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AIN Conference Communique – AIF 2020

AIN Conference Communique – AIF 2020

COMMUNIQUE

THE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY FORUM (AIF) 2020

Theme: Rethinking Agribusiness: Enhancing Effectiveness in Public- Private Partnerships

RESOLUTIONS FROM THE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY FORUM 2020 HELD AT NAIROBI HOSPITAL CONVENTION CENTRE NAIROBI, KENYA

3TH – 4TH MARCH 2020

  1. PREAMBLE

We the 350 delegates gathered here at the Agriculture Industry Forum held at the Nairobi Hospital Convention Centre on 3rd and 4th of March 2020, representing public and private-sector stakeholders in the agricultural sector have discussed and explored how best to craft, strengthen and sustain effective public private agribusiness partnerships in the agriculture sector, within the context of devolution. 

The overall objective of the conference was to create an agricultural sector-wide platform for an inclusive and sustainable policy, agribusiness and value chain development. During the Forum, stakeholders:

  • Discussed various challenges, solutions and opportunities to enhance agribusiness development in the sector and,
  • Shared best practices and practical examples of agribusiness approaches based on stakeholders’ experiences, tools and approaches

In particular the delegates took cognisance of various innovations, technologies and best practises that exist and employed by the county and national government, private sector, development partners and the non-state actors.

They further appreciated the efforts by the government in transforming the sector through policy reforms, transformative strategies including the Big 4 agenda, ASTGS, funds injection to various subsectors in efforts to revive the tea, coffee, dairy, reforming the fertilizer subsidy programme and replacing with a smart incentive, initiated creation of agro-processing hub to drive value addition as well as setting up several large scale farms.

3.         The Key Challenges

Delegates noted that despite the progress made, there are still challenges affecting growth and development of the sector. They include:

  • Low and stagnated agricultural productivity
  • Policy constrains including delayed finalization of the national agriculture policy, fragmented policy instruments at both national and county level, weak provisions, lack of inclusivity in policy development, multiple commodity levies and taxation.  
  • Weak inter and intra-sector and stakeholder coordination
  •  Institutional challenges, that is,  weak market systems, poor cooperative governance
  • Inadequate financial and human resources investment into the sector by the government,
  • Limited financial access for smallholder farmers and MSMEs
  • Minimal financial support for research, extension services and development financing for smallholder farmers
  • Growing concern of food safety
  • Low investment in value addition.

3. Moving forward

From the conference, delegates undertook to implement a wide range of commitments to address critical priorities to accelerate agribusiness and value chain development. The priorities included;

Improving the policy environment

  • Finalization and adoption of the national agriculture policy to guide agriculture sector development at national and county level
  • Alignment of existing multiple legislations governing the sector for coherent redress of challenges
  • Reforming and/or enforcement of existing regulations

Enhancing public private partnerships

  • Establishment of a strong, inclusive public private policy dialogue platform and leveraging on other on-going initiatives (Agriculture Sector Network, public private policy dialogue platform)

Revamping the cooperative movement

  • The finalisation of the cooperatives policy and regulations
  • Strengthening cooperatives to offer financial, education, training and publicity, marketing and input supplies
  • Mobilisation and organisations of farmers into production marketing groups 

Disruptive financing and insurance to de-risk agriculture

  • Private public partnership to leverage on private sector investment
  • Increasing public investment in agriculture in line with recommended 10% by Malabo Declaration
  • Support integrated services such as finance, extension, research, training, marketing linkages, inputs access and accelerating start-ups

Unlocking markets and trade opportunities

  • Shifting the role of government from a market actor to an enabler, in line with the current parastatal reforms
  • Learning and contextualizing and upscaling local, regional and global best practices.
  • Market infrastructure to support product handling and traceability to address competitiveness in local and international markets
  • Exploiting competitive advantages in line with ASTGS

 Sector coordination

  • Inter-governmental, inter and intra-sectoral coordination, development partners and private sector. 
  • Appropriate constitution architecture model to support cross learning and continuity

Social inclusivity

  • Promoting women and youth in agriculture sector by enhancing access to productive resources (land, finance, technology)
  • Education reforms to address skills and job mismatch through competence based approach in education and training.

Agricultural Information Management System

  • Investment in data and information management for evidence based policy and agriculture development

 The Forum further resolved to urgently convene a follow-up workshop to review recommendations, resolutions and proposed action plans with clear performance indicators and responsibilities of the partners in the promotion of Agriculture value chains.Contacts: Edward K Mudibo, Chairman, Agriculture Industry Networkekmudibo@yahoo.com