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The Malabo Montpellier Forum – A platform for promoting progress through knowledge exchange and mutual learning

Anticipation is building as the Malabo Montpellier Panel prepares to welcome senior African policy and decision makers at the next Malabo Montpellier Forum in Lilongwe, Malawi, on 10 July 2018.

The Malabo Montpellier Forum, the 2nd in its series, will offer a platform for exchange and mutual learning among leaders on agricultural growth, nutrition and food security. It will be hosted by the Right Honorable Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, and co-chaired by His Excellency Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané, Minister of Planning and Development of the Republic of Benin.

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Agriculture plays a central role in Malawi’s economy, accounting for about a third of the country’s GDP and contributing to employment, export earnings, poverty reduction, food security and nutrition. In recent years, the Malawian government has made concerted efforts to optimize the efficiency and productivity of its agricultural sector through its National Agriculture Policy. The Vice President of Malawi is therefore excited to welcome experts and leaders from across Africa and Europe for this unique opportunity to share research and exchange learning at a continental level. It is hoped that the Forum will raise possibilities for cross-country policy implementation.

Furthering Africa’s development agenda

African Heads of State and the African Union have responded to the need for agricultural development through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) which was established in 2003 as the overarching framework to drive agriculture-led economic growth and transformation on the continent. In 2014 African Heads of State and the African Union reaffirmed and expanded their original commitments by signing the Malabo Declaration, which set ambitious targets for 2025 to:

  • Uphold or further increase 10% public spending in the agriculture sector 
  • AT least double agriculture productivity;
  • Reduce post-harvest losses at least by half;
  • End hunger and reduce stunting to 10%;
  • Halve poverty through inclusive agriculture growth (sustaining 6% agriculture GDP growth);
  • Create jobs for at least 30% of the youth in agriculture value-chains;
  • Triple intra-Africa trade in agricultural commodities
  • Ensure at least 30% of farm/pastoral households are resilient to shocks.

As African governments seek to implement a more evidence based approach to agriculture there is a need to make the latest information accessible to senior leaders and to provide a forum for exchange with leading thinkers on agricultural development. Thus, the Malabo Montpellier Forum brings key decision makers together twice a year to review the progress of African countries towards achieving the strategic goals of the African Union under the 2063 Agenda, particularly the objectives of CAADP.

Shining a light on mechanization

Dialogue at the upcoming MaMo Forum will be informed by the Panel’s eagerly awaited latest report, Mechanized: Transforming Africa’s Agriculture Value Chains. To encourage mutual learning and the replication of best practices the Malabo Montpellier Panel has invited representatives of countries that have made the most progress in agricultural mechanization to share their experiences with other African countries.

The Mechanized report has been prepared by the members of the Malabo Montpellier Panel, which consists of 17 leading African and European experts in the fields of agriculture, ecology, nutrition, public policy and global development. Much like the Nourished report that came before it, the Mechanized report offers valuable evidence based insights through a technical analysis of the African countries that have achieved significant agricultural growth as a result of systematic mechanization efforts.

If harnessed effectively, mechanization has the potential to transform agricultural value chains and drive higher productivity and efficiency in the sector. Currently, Africa is the region with the least mechanized agricultural system in the world. African farmers have a tenth of mechanized tools per farm area compared to farmers in other developing regions. At the same time, at 36 percent, Africa has the highest share of food loss and waste, most of which is due to poor harvest, post-harvest, processing, and packing processes.

Successful mechanization will therefore be key to Africa’s economic growth and it is essential that it is given sufficient priority in development agendas. The Malabo Montpellier Panel’s report will provide critical recommendations as to how successful mechanization can be achieved and guide discussions at the Forum to ensure policy makers are able to make informed decisions to support agriculture’s mechanization in Africa.

Thus, it is opportune that senior ministerial decision makers across Africa and representatives from large development agencies including the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and UK Department for International Development will participate.

Click here to find more information about the Malabo Montpellier Forum.

Pictures from the previous Forum are available here.