Africa is the world’s second largest continent and home to the youngest and fastest growing youth demography. yet one of the continent’s main economic sectors (agriculture) still fails to attract the youth.
The Agriculture Supply Chain Entrepreneurship Development (ASCED) programme was developed to i) improve local business skills and increase entrepreneurial development; ii) increase skills of rural farmers, small holder farmers and agro-entrepreneurs; iii) impart practical knowledge of managing logistics and supply chains to enhance returns and link into the value chain and iv) increase the capacity of small non-commercial farmers to meet the expected contractual supply side specifications of the market (large scale farmers).
The NBF developed the ASCED curriculum for the Instituto Superior Politecnico de Manica (ISPM) college. Through its roll-out, the ASCED programme is developing a new cadre of graduates who have undertaken Mozambique's premier supply chain programme. These graduates have been provided with an interactive and practical agricultural logistics and supply chain training with links to the private sector.
During the NBF’s African Leaders in Dialogue dinner held in November 2014, Her Excellency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU spoke about the importance of human development, which is in line with Africa’s continental development objectives. She highlighted that the AU’s Africa Agenda 2063 prioritised women and the youth and would focus on their continuous development over the next 50 years.
A classic example of how this would work would be the NBF’s Foundation for Community Development (FDC) Rural Women's programme. The FDC programme was developed to assist rural women to acquire DUATs (rights of use of land) in Mozambique in order to for them to be able to access project funding and technical support services.
The NBF, FDC and African Women in Agriculture (AWIA) worked with the Manica's provincial government and the Ministry of Agriculture to implement a process for transferring DUATs to rural women expeditiously. After the DUATs were issued, the NBF worked to provide mentorship and networking with established private sector companies for integration of the rural women farmers into the value chain.
The NBF plans to expand this initiative to other parts of Mozambique and the SADC region. Its success will speed up sectorial development at grassroots level as DUATs will serve as collateral therefore enabling rural farmers to access micro finance from banks.
One of the main reasons why African agriculture development is not moving as fast as is necessary is the lack of inter-country coordination of the key role players responsible for growing the sector. Aside from continental frameworks such as CAADP, most African countries work on national targets for agriculture development in isolation and fail to capitalise on a advantages of a regional approach of sectoral development.
In response to this challenge in the SADC region, the NBF developed the Southern African Agriculture Development Partnership Platform (SAADPP). The SAADPP is a private sector-led partnership platform aimed at identifying and removing barriers to agricultural development, investment and trade in Southern Africa. Championed by the private sector, the SAADPP facilitates collaborative and co-ordinated dialogue and practical project development, planning and implementation with active partnership between regional governments, development partners and civil society.
Through this platform the NBF hopes to expedite the development of African agriculture with special focus on rural and women farmers that will help improve and secure livelihoods for a larger portion of the people dependant on agriculture.
In order to join SAADPP kindly click link to register
The NBF has been working on agriculture projects in Mozambique since 2010 and with a four-year funding grant from the USAID and the Hewlett Foundation, the NBF has initiated interventions that include policy lobbying, skills training and investment in rural farm mechanisation.
One of the more successful interventions has been the mechanisation of soya bean farmers in the Angonia region in Mozambique. Through funding secured from private sector companies and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the NBF was able to procure the required animal traction farming equipment for rural farmers to increase production of soya beans. Additionally, the NBF also coordinated technical support organisations to train farmers on the use of this equipment and progressive farming practices.
The result of this intervention has been the increase of the rural farmers’ productivity, which has risen from 300kg per hectare to 1800kg per hectare, increasing their income from US$1 to US$6 per day. The NBF also secured off-taker arrangements for the soya beans produced by the Angonian Farmers Association to ensure their integration into the agribusiness value chain.
In Mozambique, like in most of the sub-Sahara region, challenges such as the lack of access to agricultural input and equipment as well as the inability to access funding and technical support is crippling the development of rural and smallholder farmers. The NBF hopes to gain private sector support to initiate phase 2 of the Angonia pilot project, which entails replication in other regions of Mozambique and countries.
Since inception, the NBF has been highly active in developmental interventions in the agriculture sector within Southern Africa. With the finalisation of pilot projects funded by the Hewlett Foundation, the UNDP and USAID, the NBF will be undertaking a more ambitious private-sector led approach to African agriculture.
The successful agriculture programme brands of Removing the Barriers in Agriculture (RtB) and the Southern African Agriculture Development Partnership Platform (SAADPP) will be expanding their scope by going beyond the initial focus countries to have a larger footprint on Africa.
Building on the lessons learnt and the experience gained in implementing agriculture development projects along the Beira Corridor, the NBF is in the process of developing an NBF Africa Agriculture Desk to replicate the pilot projects implemented across the continent and individually adapt them to suite each country of focus.
Through private sector support and leveraging off NBF’s political capital, the NBF envisions this much larger and broader initiative will increase the support the current programmes were offering to the NEPAD Agency and AU’s CAADP framework.
The International Development Finance Club (IDFC) is a group of like-minded development banks of national and sub-regional origin. The collectives operate within the framework of development policies of their respective countries, assisting their respective governments in fulfilling their national and international commitments. The IDFC acts inter alia as financier, advisor, partner and implementer to mobilize finance and expertise for development projects in emerging and developing countries.
The IDFC recently released their annual publication and invited the NBF to contribute content. Kindly click here access pdf version of the NBF’s article in the IDFC’s annual publication.
The African Union has declared 2014 as 'The Year of Agriculture'. Over 70% of African households survive on subsistence farming and as such, agriculture remains a big contributor to the African economy accounting for over a fifth of the continent's GDP. Africa's average household income levels are steadily raising but they remain far below global standards meaning that more remains to be done to improve the living standards of a large portion of the population. Owing to the slow mechanisation process of small scale and subsistence farming, the continent is currently unable to produce surplus and the size of the regional economy does not allow Africa to comfortably import enough farm produce to cover the deficit without foreign aid. There is a great need to increase local food production levels for the continent to improve its own food security and secure sustainable livelihoods for its people.
This year will see the African Union intensify efforts of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADAP) as they target to reach their goal of a viable 6% average annual growth rate in agriculture by 2015 measured over the past 12 years. The main aim of this programme is to steadily upsurge the levels of production within the agriculture sector and to ensure food security for the region. To achieve this, the AU and African governments agreed to increase national budget allocations for agriculture to a minimum of 10% of total annual expenditure by 2008. Since the launch of CAADP in 2003, countries such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi and Senegal have exceeded the spending targets and Ethiopia and Senegal have achieved the projected growth rates in the sector. Countries such as Burkina Faso, Congo-Brazzaville, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania by virtue of the size of their economies have surpassed the 6% growth target with less spending in agriculture. On the overall, CAADP has been responsible for a rethink of agriculture’s importance to African economies, which goes beyond the capacity of the sector to subsidise to cost of living and to improve of living standards for the poor.
As the NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF), our vision of African agriculture development and food security is being realised through our Removing the Barriers in agriculture (RtB) programme and a specialised approach to agriculture in the SADC region through our Southern Africa Agriculture Development Partnership Platform (SAADPP). Our agriculture programmes, platforms and projects are private sector initiated and are geared to directly benefit small to medium scale farmers by linking them to commercial value chains. By understanding that the growth and development of this sector requires a multi stakeholder approach that involves both the public and private sector, we have aligned our efforts to national goals and targets. Currently, the NBF has a foothold in Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa, through the SAADPP programme and we are looking to expand into four more countries by 2015.
We will continue to work with governments and the African people to scale up agriculture production with the support of our private sector members and partners.
Members of the SAADPP Capacity Building TWG met at the CSIR International Convention Centre on 4 June 2013 to review and discuss project concept notes drafted by focus area teams within the group.
A proposal to implement a project to document and facilitate cooperation of capacity building initiatives targeted at smallholder farmers in Southern Africa was presented to the TWG. This project aims to profile, document and standardise the various models being used by capacity builder organisations and stakeholders in the region.
To download full Capacity Building TWG report click here
The Southern African Agriculture Development Partnership Platform (SAADPP) Regional Market Integration Thematic Working Group (TWG) met at the CSIR International Convention Centre on 5 June 2013. Participants discussed proposed projects under the focus areas of market development, trade policy and infrastructure development.
A project for developing agri-parks and agri-processing hubs along mining and other resource extraction corridors in Mozambique and Zambia was presented to the participants. The NBF is tasked to begin high level feasibility studies along the copper belts in Mozambique and Zambia as well as set up meetings with representatives from mining companies in the region.
Under the market development and trade policy focus area, the TWG deliberated on tackling a project to support the domestication of technical agreements on harmonisation of seed regulations in the SADC region. This project is aimed at standardising regional regulation in order to give farmers ease of access to quality crop varieties which remains a key barrier to food security.
To download full Regional Market Integration TWG report click here
Representatives from public and private financial institutes, equity funds, investors and development organisations participating in the SAADPP’s Alternative Funding Streams TWG, met at the Nedbank offices in Sandton on 6 June 2013 to discuss various models for funding agriculture value chain business projects in Africa.
At the meeting the NBF conceptualized the Agricultural Project Preparation Facility, an initiative that will assist project promoters in packaging and presenting their proposals to interested investors and funders. It was noted that small to medium agriculture entrepreneurs remain unable to access finance due to the inability to demonstrate the bankability of their projects. This new facility will form part of the NBF’s suite of offerings.
To download full Alternative Funding Streams TWG report click here
Following the successful launch of SAADPP-Mozambique, the NBF has begun engaging both the private and public sectors in Malawi and Zambia to set-up SAADPP-Zambia and SAADPP-Malawi platforms.