The EMRC annual AgriBusiness Forum officially closed on 25 March in Kinshasa in the presence of the DR Congo’s minister of agriculture, fisheries and livestock Isidore Kabwe Mwebhu Longo
The AgriBusiness forum is a pan-African platform created to strengthen the agri-food sector in Africa by encouraging partnerships, exchanging best practices and attracting investment. It provides an opportunity to bring together business, government officials, donors, farmers and researchers.
In his closing remarks, the minister welcomed the opportunity the Forum provided to enable all stakeholders in the agricultural value chains to get a better sense of the potential and challenges of agriculture in Africa, and, in particular, in Central Africa. He also assured delegates of the DR Congo’s commitment to the development of agriculture, and called on participants to strengthen their efforts to drive the transformation of the sector, “DR Congo is fully committed to the development of the sector, with the help of the private sector,” he said.
To ensure discussions are followed by action, participants drafted the Kinshasa Declaration, listing a number of key recommendations and calling for the establishment of national agribusiness platforms as vehicles for implementation. The proposed role of such platforms will be to pursue objectives such as the pooling of technical financial resources of the main actors involved in strengthening agricultural value chains, better coordination and leveraging synergies and experiences among the respective countries where such platforms will be established.
The theme this year was ‘creating a vision for Africa’s agricultural transformation by fostering inclusive growth.’ Over three days, the forum covered several key elements of transformation, and specifically: modernisation of the agricultural sector, creation of a sustainable and inclusive growth environment and promotion of responsible finance.
A highlight was a special session on opportunities in the DR Congo. Plenary sessions were followed with technical workshops on modernisation of infrastructure, integration of trade and access to local, regional and international markets, scientific research and innovation and creation of inclusive business models.
The EMRC Agribusiness Forum was held this year under the Presidency of DR Congo and in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, FAO and DR Congo’s Fund for the Promotion of Industry.