Despite numerous challenges, smallholder farmers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have unprecedented opportunities to supply local, regional and export markets. Innovation is a driving force in transforming food systems, promoting sustainable agriculture and leveraging investment. The private sector has a key role to play in shaping more sustainable, inclusive and profitable food systems, driven by innovation, knowledge co-creation, and support for a green transition.
In the context of implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), and of booming African urban markets, many trade opportunities exist and will increase at local, regional and continental levels. These opportunities will have to be captured by the local private sector to increase employment, especially for youth and women.
With this background and willing to support farmers’ organisations, cooperatives and SMEs to seize opportunities in new markets and to establish key partnerships to strengthen their competitiveness, PAFO and COLEACP launched in 2020 a series of sessions on Innovations and successes of African farmer-led businesses and SMEs.