African Agriculture is on the move! Over the past two decades agri-food systems on the continent have transformed; reflecting the structural change at the farm level all the way through to the dietary transition into higher-value, protein-rich food demand at the retail level (Jayne et. al., 2018). The combined effect of these changes is an 800% increase in the volumes and value of food marketed through rural-to-urban value chains since 2000 (Reardon, 2015). In fact, under current population growth projections, the size of the food and agricultural market in Africa is expected to reach USD 1 Trillion by 2030 (AfDB, 2018).
Despite these positive signs challenges still exist. Africa needs to move from food shortages to surpluses, boost beneficial continental trade, and create millions of employment opportunities, particularly for women and youth (AGRA, 2018). In the face of these challenges, valid questions arise as to whether or not the transformation narrative on the continent will falter (Fioramonti, 2017). Ensuring sustainable transformation will require committed and innovative leadership, transparent accountability, evidence to guide action, and data for accurate measurement of progress. African-led research institutes have important contributions to make in this process.
Within this context, ReNAPRI’s 5th Annual Stakeholder Conference will focus on moving toward consensus on the evidence to guide public and private sector strategies in support of agricultural transformation.
The theme for this year’s conference is, “Unlocking the Region’s Agricultural Potential through Land Reform, Youth Employment and Markets“.
The purpose of the conference is to create a platform for strategic dialogue around evidence of agricultural transformation. An evidence-based approach can assist African governments, private firms and civil society groups to respond in an informed manner to the region’s emerging challenges.
The key objectives of the 5th Annual ReNAPRI Stakeholders’ Conference is to:
- Take stock of the emerging trends in farm size distributions and the implications for agricultural development policies.
- Investigate the potential employment opportunities for youth and women in the agri-food system
- Anticipate the 5-year outlook for key commodities within the context of rapidly changing agricultural systems both regionally and globally.
- Enhance engagement of African parliamentarians and government officials on issues pertaining to African agricultural transformation; and
- Assess the operational feasibility of alternative policy options by clearly identifying concrete strategies that address the challenges to transformation – i.e. focusing on the “how” questions.
The Concept Note provides more information on the expected participants, outcomes, conference approach, event organizers, and funders.
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