AGRF 2018: How can Africa move from substandard agriculture to agribusiness?

Boubacar Diallo

One of the sessions of the Agriculture Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) focused on this major issue on Friday, September 07, 2018. If former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has advocated the application of the system he calls “4 P “, Xavier Leprince, Deputy General Manager of Syngenta Agro France, offers three solutions. In the meantime, several other speakers have also made their proposals. This demonstrates the interest in this subject. Zoom Eco goes back to the main lines of these light ideas.

Indeed, the African continent with all the potentialities it has, has enough to make agriculture, a great resource for its economy. It has several arable lands, a good climate, a presence of rivers, abundant labor, etc. Paradoxically, agriculture has remained, until then, for most African countries at the stage of substance, that is to say produce only for local consumption.
If some producers think of exporting, they are rather stuck with financial and logistical problems to transform and conform their products to international standards.

Tony Blair, use of 4P

Faced with this compelling need for Africa to move from agriculture to agribusiness, Tony Blair, the former British prime minister and current Executive President of the Institute bearing his name for global change, suggests 4P application.

Everything starts from the Priorization. It’s good to have a great vision but it’s better to materialize it. Hence, he believes the need to have priorities. “This is what is missing in most African governments that do not make this sector their priorities. As a result, a small percentage is allocated to agriculture in the national budget, “said Tony Blair.

Then the Policy. The former British Prime Minister believes that there is a need to reverse the trend by developing a good political program based on good causes.

There is also the Staff. To succeed, he insisted, it is necessary to be surrounded by a good competent team with a good expertise. And if necessary, use the transfer of skills from third parties. Finally, the Performance. She is, according to Tony Blair, very necessary to do a good follow-up and achieve expected results.

Xavier Leprince, privilege to quality

The deputy general manager of Syngenta agro France, he, focuses on quality. Indeed, several farmers produce but all do not take into account the quality. As a specialist in plant protection, he encourages farmers to use good seeds to achieve quality.

Other solutions, according to Xavier Leprince, go through the business chain: producers must regroup into cooperatives so as to have the facility to benefit from credits from banks. For their part, insurance companies have a duty to intervene to reduce risks. Hardware dealers, meanwhile, intervene to ensure good logistics and farmers to their towers must buy. And, at the end consumers are served with products that meet the standards.

Thus, according to Xavier the Prince, agriculture should not be isolated but be part of a system for marketing crops.

Dr. Rajiv Shah, the farmers first

Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Rajiv Shah said that government policy should put farmers in the center of interest. Also, should it fight and prune the corruption that plagues African societies. At the same time, promote the public-private partnership that he believes is very important.

This session also allowed the various ministers of the sector whose countries had signed the Malabo agreement in June 2014 to self-evaluate.

Indeed, a Target had been given to everyone and everyone had to identify the priorities of their interventions in the agricultural sector. This sharing of experience will have been important to encourage those who are still lagging behind.

Nadine Fula | Zoom Eco

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