In today’s world, it is essential to reach a point where the common interests between the market and agriculture production come up to the surface. The current context brings some reflections on how to provide safe and nutritious food to all, but the discussion goes beyond that and other issues must be debated. How is it possible to match the market demands with what is called the green revolution, Agriculture 4.0?
This was the discussion during the last session of the first day of the Brazil Africa Forum 2019. Joined the panel for the discussion Mr. Ulrich Sabel-Koschella, Head of the Value Chains Agriculture of GIZ, Mr. Alysson Paolinelli, Goodwill Ambassador of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Mr. Tang Shengyao, Director of the Office of South-South and Triangular Cooperation of FAO, Mrs. Jessie de Boer, Co-Founder of L.E.A.F. Africa, Mr. Paolo Silveri, Lead Regional Economist in Latin America and Caribbean Region of IFAD and Mr. Miguel Azevedo, Head of Investment Banking Middle East and Africa of Citigroup.
For Mr. Ulrich Sabel-Koschella, sustainable agriculture, linked to agroforestry practices, is one of the possible strategies. This way, it is possible to strengthen the connections between smallholder farmers and the market, through the Sharing Economy.
Similar thoughts are endorsed by Mr. Paolo Silveri: “We must never forget for what and for who we do what we do.”
The relation with the private sector, of course, is delicate. Mr. Ulrich, with his work focused on the lifehood of small producers, also pointed: “The population in Africa has grown exponentially, which means that more and more people in the urban areas need to be fed. 70% of the food is purchased from the smallholder farmers.”
Mrs. Jessie de Boer added that 80% of the soil is already degraded and in order to find solutions and think of the future, it is required not only to discuss food matter but also how life works. In her company, L.E.A.F. Africa, a work focused on finding solutions for agribusiness in Africa is being developed, through regenerative and integrated agriculture.
When it comes to Brazil’s potential to reduce poverty through the promotion of food security, it is mentioned by Mr. Alysson Paolinelli that “the key to food security is here: through this competitive agriculture, in a tropical country.” Fond of the effective solutions brought by machinery and other technologies that have enhanced labor conditions for farmers in the past years, he stressed the rising potential of Brazilian savanna and how this model of sustainable agriculture is claimed as one of the most effective of the world.
In terms of investments and financial opportunities, Mr. Miguel de Azevedo goes straight to the point: “We believe that the key element is access to capital. What we do is connecting investors around the world with entrepreneurs in Africa. We put them together with investors, to build possible opportunities.”
The 7th edition of Brazil Africa Forum, held in São Paulo on November 12th and 13th, came up with the main theme “Food security: Path to economic growth”. During the event, around 300 representatives from governments, private sector, academia and possible investors exchanged experiences, discussed valuable opportunities and also spread vast knowledge related to possible solutions for the eradication of hunger, along with the promotion of sustainable development in Brazil and countries of the African continent.