Unlocking opportunities for agricultural growth and transformation through mechanization along the value chain

Kigali, Rwanda

Malabo Montpellier Panel Side Event at the African Green Revolution Forum

Where: Kigali Convention Centre (KCC), Room MH3

The Malabo Montpellier Panel’s latest report, ‘Mechanized: Transforming Africa’s Agriculture Value Chains’ shows what can be one to sustainably mechanize agriculture to increase production and enhance value addition across value chain segments. This report summarizes the findings of a systematic analysis of what African countries at the forefront of progress in mechanization have done right on in terms of policy decisions and interventions implemented. The set of policies and practices that are identified, if brought to scale, could have significant impact on agricultural transformation in Africa.

An agricultural mechanization agenda should harness the opportunities for mechanization at each stage of the agriculture value chain. Successful mechanization along the value chain will have to be a priority in future development and growth agendas for African smallholder agriculture and will require not only new technologies but also organizational innovations, such as reliable services and cooperation arrangements for and with farmers. Mechanization of value chains, when done right, can and must be employment enhancing and need not be labor replacing.

Key questions and talking points

  • What approaches are being used by countries at the forefront of progress in mechanization?
  • Which policy decisions were taken and which interventions were implemented to substantially increase the uptake of mechanization?
  • How can successful policies and practices be effectively scaled to have a significant impact on agricultural transformation in Africa?
  • Can the mechanization of African agriculture significantly diminish employment opportunities?
  • How can countries prioritize mechanization along the entire food value chain, not just at production level?
  • What are the best approaches to stimulate investment in supporting infrastructure?
  • What private sector incentives can be created to invest in mechanization?
  • How can public-private partnerships be structured to develop local machinery industries to ensure the technology is affordable and appropriate?

Session outline:

  • Geoffrey Mrema, Sokoine University of Agriculture - Chair & moderator
  • Joachim von Braun, Director ZEF and co-chair Malabo Montpellier Panel - Welcome – 5 mins
  • Hon. Higino de Marrule, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Mozambique - Keynote – 15mins
  • Joachim von Braun, Director ZEF and co-chair Malabo Montpellier Panel - Presentation of the report’s key findings – 15mins

Panel discussion: 

  • Ishmael Sunga, CEO SACAU and member Malabo Montpellier Panel - mechanization for youth employment in African agriculture
  • Sheryl Hendriks, Director, Institute for Food, Nutrition and Well-being at the University of Pretoria and member Malabo Montpellier Panel - commercializing neglected but nutritious foods through mechanization
  • Van Jones, co- Founder and Head of Strategy, Hello Tractor - the role of public-private partnerships in increasing the uptake of agricultural mechanization
  • Nuradin Osman, Director of Africa and Middle East, AGCO - mechanization for smallholder farmers
  • Hon. Fulgence Nsengiyumva, Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Republic of Rwanda 
  • Joachim von Braun, ZEF Director and co-chair Malabo Montpellier Panel – Closing Remarks - 5mins

Audience Q&A - 30mins

Experts from the fields of agriculture, ecology, nutrition and public policy

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