Conference Round-up

The challenges of Agricultural Finance are widely recognised. But what would effectively facilitate business between the agriculture and finance sectors in Africa? What policies are needed to ensure success for all concerned? These questions can only be answered through joint efforts between the public and private sector as well as the stakeholders in the agricultural and financial sectors.

The conference on Zipping Finance and Farming in Africa: Harnessing the Continent’s Potential (Kampala, 29-30 June 2011) gathered leading practitioners from both sectors, policy-makers, researchers, the media and development partners from all over Africa as well as other regions. With this blend of experience and expertise, the conference provided a platform to foster understanding among various stakeholders on the challenges faced in financing agriculture, as well as on proven solutions to these challenges.

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On Day 1, promising business cases were presented and discussed. All the initiatives shared a common success factor, namely the effective business arrangement between the financial and agricultural sectors. Participants and representatives of the respective cases had the chance to discuss the following topics during six individual sessions:

 

This interactive exchange on existing practices sought to foster the spread of similar business arrangements throughout the continent.

Day 2 focused on policy issues. The objective was to derive clear and widely implementable policy recommendations geared towards creating an enabling environment for the provision of financial services to agricultural value chains and businesses. Recommendations from the policy paper, Policy Support to Agricultural Finance in Africa (which had been drafted through a consultative process involving stakeholders from all sectors prior to the conference), were examined in working groups looking at the following thematic areas: public sector, demand side and supply side.

After extensively discussing the policy recommendations, the final plenary session fine-tuned and adopted the Kampala Principles on Agricultural Finance , 11 principles that suggest the actions most urgently required for fostering the effective provision of financial services to the agricultural sector in Africa.

These African policy recommendations will be fed into the CAADP process to attract private sector investment into the various country compacts. Furthermore, they will represent the African voice within the international community, as a primary input for the forthcoming international G20 policy paper on agricultural finance. The MFW4A Partnership will create a stakeholder working group on Agricultural Finance to champion the implementation of the Kampala Principles.

After these two insightful conference days, participants were given the chance to embark on field trips  to various agribusinesses, which enabled them to gain first-hand practical insight into some of the issues discussed during the conference.

Please click here for the conference documentation.