NAIROBI, Kenya: December 2, 2021 – The “Agri-Food Industry Organizations (AFIOs) as Change Agents” report has been launched today during a webinar organized by AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and NewForesight.
AFIOs are member-based entities that integrate different value chain actors, represent the collective business interests of their members, and work to address market failures. The AFIOs comprise federations, unions, apex organizations, producer organizations, cooperatives, societies, chambers of commerce, boards, and other business-interest groups from various agri-food subsectors.
The report, which is the result of a study in Nigeria, Tanzania and Ethiopia, will bridge the need for evidence on the contributions of AFIOs to support Africa’s agri- economic transformation. Furthermore, this report provides a new lens to understand this organizations through a systemic approach, helping donors, partners and other organizations to have a more comprehensive understanding of these organizations.
Amongst the study’s important contributions is the development of a framework to better define and understand AFIOs by spotlighting these institutions and stressing how important it is to truly understand them from a strategic perspective.
“While AFIOs enhance the business environment and the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, they don’t often get the attention they deserve. This report sheds light on their role in representing the interests of their members, they are a much needed addition to improving the competitiveness of the agri-food space,” said Dr. Agnes Kalibata, AGRA President and Special Envoy to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.
“The report presents the key findings and opportunities for AFIOs to act as agents of change towards IAT. The AFIOs, the study shows, can be strategic allies for different entities to increase their reach to smallholder farmers and SMEs globally, while serving to consolidate the activities of the public, private and development organizations for the quick attainment of IAT. There are interesting insights from the research, but perhaps the most important is that there is potential for AFIOs to do more.”
The report is available for download here.
AGRA is a farmer-centered, African-led, partnerships-driven institution that is working to transforming smallholder farming from a solitary struggle to survive to a business that thrives. In collaboration with its partners—including African governments, researchers, development partners, the private sector and civil society— AGRA’s work primarily focuses on smallholder farmers – people who typically cultivate staple crops on two hectares or less. AGRA is now recognized across the continent as a strong voice for African rural development, a prosperous agricultural economy, and for supporting thousands of small African businesses and millions of African families to improve agriculture as a way to ensure food security and improve their livelihoods.
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates.
NewForesight is a strategy consultancy firm specialized in and dedicated to solving current and tough sustainability challenges. The company works with its clients to design structural, effective and long-term sustainability solutions that make business sense. NewForesight partners with leading companies, civil society organizations, governments and multi-stakeholder platforms to drive transitions in over 15 sectors and 20 countries.
Download the press release: https://agra.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/AFIOS-Press-Release-12-2-21.pdf