Why Heifer International participation at AGRF 2023 crucial

TANZANIA as from September 5-8 will host the Africa Food Systems Forum (AGRF) 2023 Summit aimed at to engaging agriculture sector stakeholders on how increased innovative financing and support for youth-led transformative solutions can improve African food systems.

Making the revelation to ‘Daily News’ in Heifer International Senior Vice President, Africa Programs, Adesuwa Ifedi, who confirmed their participation noted that the gathering of vital stakeholders for Africa’s agricultural development at the AGRF 2023 is a critical opportunity to share knowledge and experience in leveraging innovative funding and strategic partnerships to build more-resilient and sustainable food systems

She added: “The summit also presents an exciting opportunity for us to show the critical role that young innovators and technology are playing in helping Africa’s smallholder farmers increase their productivity and incomes, catalysing improvements across the agricultural value chain and improving food systems.”

Elaborating, she said that the forum will also be a platform for stakeholders to take practical action and share lessons that will move the continent’s food systems to end hunger and poverty, which have been crippling the area’s growth in terms of securing food security among others.

“AGRF is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture and food systems, bringing together stakeholders to take practical action and this year’s summit will convene with more than 3000 attendees from over 70 countries.

More than 350 experts and policymakers will present on ways that Africa can build back better food systems and strengthen the continent’s food sovereignty – with youth and women at the centre.” In her narration,

Ms Ifedi said that Heifer International, being a leading global nonprofit working to end hunger and poverty in low- and middle-income countries has experience of working with farmers and communities in Africa for nearly 50 years to help them build resilient food systems that can withstand shocks and stresses.

“Heifer has also ramped up innovative investments in young Africans working on transformative solutions and products within the agriculture ecosystem that have led to improved livelihoods, increased climate-smart and sustainable practices, job creation and improved food productivity and storage infrastructure.

“Heifer International will host a side event at the summit on Sept. 4 that will bring together youth innovators, policymakers, experts in finance and technology, and other stakeholders to discuss leveraging innovative capital for youth in agriculture.

A second Heifer-hosted event will be the Pitch AgriHack/ AYuTe Showcase on Sept. 6, promoting ICT innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture by identifying and amplifying efforts of young innovators using technology to reimagine farming and food production across the continent,” she pointed out.

These events are aligned with the summit’s theme of Recover, Regenerate, Act: Africa’s Solutions to Food Systems Transformation,” focusing on building back better food systems and food sovereignty with youth and women at the centre. “Young Africans are not only the future of the continent’s agricultural transformation, but are leading present developmental efforts,” said Ifedi.

“By leveraging innovative capital, young innovators are empowered to see agriculture as a viable career path and sector to scale tech products that build systems and markets.

This leads to solutions that enable more productive market systems that transform our food systems, such as our AYuTe Africa Challenge program that focuses on creating opportunities for young African innovators to transform the agricultural landscape.”

Heifer’s AYuTe Africa Challenge is one of the most ambitious agriculture competitions on the continent, combining the power of African youth with the many possibilities of emerging technologies to support smallholder farmers across Africa to grow their businesses and incomes – a transformative force called AYuTe.

Since 1944, Heifer International has worked with nearly 43 million people around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way and mostly its activities are felt at the grassroots of working to end hunger and poverty in partnership with the communities it serves, here its programs support them beginning with a seed investment of livestock or agriculture, followed by mentorship to help project participants build a business, and ultimately to gain access to supply chains and markets.

By supporting and training the world’s farmers, ranchers, and female business owners, it’s investing in a new breed of success and working with rural communities across Africa for nearly 50 years,

Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income. Heifer is currently operating in 19 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas.

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