The Largest Pan-African Agribusiness Conference held between the 4th and 6th of October 2016 at the Accra International Conference Centre, Ghana.
The theme of this conference was: “Turning Science Into Business: Inclusive Agribusiness Incubation for Vibrant Economies in Africa”. In his address at the opening of this conference, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, the Executive Director of FARA pledged continuous support to the African Agribusiness Incubator’s Network (AAIN) which was established as a spin-off of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) sponsored, FARA-led UniBRAIN programme to aid agricultural business development within the continental framework.
The conference which aimed to re-brand Agribusiness to unlock Youth potential is the second of its kind, bringing together high level dignitaries from all over to proffer ways of making millionaires through agribusiness.
Dr. Akinbamijo noted that the path of agribusiness in the concept of agri-food initiatives is no longer a matter of choice since the operational context of the African agriculture is a very dynamic one. Africa has therefore, finally decided to take the bull by the horn by taking responsibility for the institutional and technical growth in its agricultural development.
He stated that the clarion call of most institutions relating to Agriculture issues in recent times are the demand for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP- Malabo), Science and Technology Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA), Agenda 2063 and the likes. Hence, the important way forward to address these demands are the modernization of our food production systems using science.
Inculcating science in the farming system he said, will bring about the change Africa desires for its economy. He further stated that the youth want to see Agriculture as a business therefore, it should be practiced as a profession and business.
“The transformation of farming into business will ensure Africa feeds Africa”. –‘Yemi Akinbamijo
On FARA’s support to AAIN, Dr. Akinbamijo said as its parent institution, assisting AAIN is in line with FARA’s core mandate. The African Development Bank (Afdb) led Transformation of African Agricultural Technologies (TAAT) and the African Agricultural Research Programme (AARP) are the two initiatives that will further allow FARA to continually support AAIN.“This will be realized through putting out capacities, experience and capabilities at AAIN’s disposal” he remarked.
Dr. Akinbamijo commended the different donors that supported the FARA-UniBRAIN programme in the broad sense of disseminating agricultural technologies and innovation. He hopes AAIN will bridge the gap to address the needs of the youths relating to agribusiness.
NOTE: AAIN is a result of the FARA-UniBRAIN program which currently hosts over 100 incubators, members and partners in 54 African countries. Under UniBRAIN, the incubators collectively commercialized over 75 Agribusiness technologies, created thousands of jobs and produced over 200 incubates. The research networks have supported over 137 SMEs to startup and expanded businesses along selected commodity value chains, while creating business networks of about 24,000 value chain actors engaged in agribusiness.