STAKEHOLDERS at the just-ended African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) have identified and committed themselves to resolving challenges of finance, input and agriculture infrastructure for the smallholder farmers in Africa.
Others are trade, markets and the domestic private sector development and capacity building, youth and women in agriculture for the sector to contribute significantly to the development of the continent.
According to a communiqué, the other challenge that emerged was enhancing youth inclusiveness in the sector.
The forum also identified women as the backbone of rural agriculture and that their role needed to be supported.
It also wanted financial institutions to create products tailored to women, while public and private organisations should enhance extension services.
There was also need to provide appropriate technologies to women smallholder farmers to increase agricultural productivity, and access markets while making their lives better.
Financiers needed to support alternatives to traditional collateral such as value chain financing and warehouse receipt systems in addition to using land as collateral.
It contended that for Africa to achieve changes in crop yields, the Government and private sector actors needed to work together to ensure access technological packages, including quality seed and fertiliser, as well as lime to restore Africa’s depleted soils.
Stakeholders were looking forward for efficient infrastructure, technology and mechanisation being key drivers to increasing agri-business competitiveness and modern farming in Africa.
These could be achieved through public private sector partnerships and achieve greater investments in agricultural infrastructure and make available affordable technologies and machinery along the whole value chain.
They also suggested that equipment leasing be enhanced as a model of ensuring that youths and women had more access to modern agricultural technologies.
On trade and markets, including domestic private sector development, stakeholders said more advocacy and communication were needed to enhance regional trade and policy interventions that would spur growth of domestic private sector and agribusinesses.
“There should be adequate focus on agricultural value chains, including livestock and horticulture subsectors.
“More investments and policies should be directed at incubating and developing local agro-processing facilities and agribusinesses run by youths and women.
“The AGRF 2015 thereby pledges to advocate for, facilitate and support youths and women with regard to the afore-mentioned 10 thematic focus areas,” reads part of the resolutions.
The youth, women and participants of AGRF 2015 adopted the new AGRF Results Framework as an implementation and monitoring tool to achieve the goals outlined in the Malabo Declaration.
The next AGRF will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, in early September