The session discusses the potential of African regional markets. The session highlights successes from SMEs and Smallholders.
Innovations Session N°11
The way forward
There is a whole area of economic development which will allow to save money and save the planet while promoting health diets.
There is a pressure from consumers as well as high-end markets such as the European Union (EU), where exporters need to meet sustainability standards related to prevent deforestation, excessive water use, better inclusion of small farmers, decent working conditions, and identification of alternatives to plastic packaging that producers will have to adapt to enter this market. The implementation of the EU Farm-to-Fork strategy is expected to reinforce these trends through the establishment of new regulations to comply with for suppliers from EU-partner countries. This can make exporting to the EU harder, especially for smaller firms. In this context, it is critical to support SMEs compliance through updated information on standards, capacity building, trainings and technical assistance.
Infrastructure and efficient logistics services are key to move goods from the production site to the final consumer avoiding spoilage. It is important to connect those who generate waste to those who use waste for productive resources to learn from each other and create value partnerships.
Access to finance to scale up remains a challenge, especially for smallholders, SMEs and entrepreneurs. The food industry competitiveness in many African countries is hampered by various factors which aggravate food loss and waste and need also to be addressed such as lack of infrastructure, limited finance for investments in processing, storage and cooling, high costs for inputs, lack of value chain organisation, and lack of stakeholder involvement in policy making and public-private dialogue.
Key points for discussion on SMEs and businesses contributing to reduce food loss and waste
- What are the drivers of success in addressing food loss and waste: what innovations and technologies have proven to be successful and accessible to SMEs?
- What type of investments are needed?
- What incentives can be provided to SMEs and smallholders to better address?
Join our Agrinnovators community forum to discuss and explore how to encourage innovations across agricultural value chains to transform food systems in Africa, promote sustainable agriculture, and leverage investment. Share insights, ask questions, and collaborate on innovative solutions for a greener future
HEAD OF NETWORKS AND ALLIANCES, COLEACP
Isolina Boto is the Head of Networks and Alliances at COLEACP, a non-profit Association of private sector operators in the agrifood sector active in the EU, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) regions. Isolina has more than 25 years of experience in agricultural development. She started her career with the European Commission and has also worked with various ACP embassies and NGOs in areas related to food security, rural development and trade. Before joining COLEACP, she was the Manager of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) Brussels Office (2004-2020) implementing policy initiatives related to the ACP-EU cooperation in the field of agricultural and rural development. She has led agribusiness projects in support of capacity development of SMEs, entrepreneurs and farmers organisations across Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
FATOU TITINE CISSOKO
FOUNDER AND MANAGER, JEDENGUI, GUINEA
Fatou Titine Cissoko is a trainer and consultant in agri-food processing for women’s organisations, agricultural companies and the prefectural agricultural services of the region of Kindia, Republic of Guinea. She holds a degree in accounting and business management and is responsible for the administrative management of farms in the region of Kindia, where she specialised in agri-food processing of fruits and vegetables in 2014. She works with the University of California Davis (UC DAVIS) and WINROCK INTERNATIONAL/ SMARTE in the experimentation and extension of drying technologies (solar chimney dryer and AIR FORCE dryer).
In 2002, Fatou was elected President of the Cooperative of Actors for the Agricultural, Industrial and Artisanal Development of Kindia. She mentors and coaches rural women entrepreneurs in all aspects of the agricultural sector. She takes part in all the structuring and promotion consultations of the pineapple and mango sectors at national and international level to support the development of the agricultural sector.
Fatou was awarded in 2020the first Agrobusiness Prize of the Social Entrepreneurship Program of SADEN (Salon Des Entrepreneurs De Guinée), as well as in 2022the Best Female Hope and Best Rural Investment Prize by Gnouma Magazine.
FOUNDER, CHOWBERRY, NIGERIA
Oscar Ekponimo is a young software design engineer using technology to improve the lives and well-being of communities. At 26 he founded Chowberry Inc, Africa’s first technology driven social business that improves access to food for persons facing hunger while reducing food waste via an app that aggregates food waste data and connects families facing hunger to life saving nutrition. Since inception technology service has facilitated the distribution of millions of over 1.6 meals to food insecure persons.
In recognition of his work, Oscar he was named in Time Magazine’s list of 10 Next Generation Leaders, and is a recipient of the Rolex Award for Enterprise in Applied Technology by the Rolex Watch Company. He was also named a Young Pioneer at Harvard Medical by World Frontiers Forum and most recently awarded the Creative Entrepreneur of 2022 by 50Next at the Basque Culinary Centre.
Oscar is a member of the Advisory Board – Digital Communities to Ars Electronica and has served on multiple juries connect to issues of sustainability and the Food System such as MIT Solve.
GENERAL DELEGATE, COLEACP
Jeremy Knops holds a Master’s degree in Business Engineering from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-EM). Prior to joining COLEACP in 2009, he was involved in Guatemala with the daily operations of a farmers’ cooperative exporting loquats to the EU and the US. He started to work for COLEACP as an expert in charge of matters related to private standards and certification for ACP producers and exporters of fruit and vegetables. Jeremy is an accredited coach for leadership and professional development. He has been appointed as General Delegate of COLEACP in June 2019.
AMOGELANG SHAUN MASI
CO-FOUNDER, VIVA ORGANICA, BOTSWANA
Amo is the co-founder of Viva Organica, a fertiliser manufacturing company in the sustainable agriculture space. The computer engineer turned farmer ran a commercial scale horticulture business and realized that the conventional way of growing food is not sustainable for both the environment and finances of all parties involved; from the food grower, to the end consumer. Also the linear-pattern with which resources are currently consumed creates a lot of waste and missed opportunity. Amo is dedicated to exploring ways of shifting this paradigm to create circular patterns of consumption that provide local people more opportunities of participating in their respective economies. The dream being to democratise Africa’s natural resources. Viva Organica has reduced the cost of fertiliser by 25%, and is aiming for 50% by 2024.
Amo has a degree in Computer Systems Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Sunderland, United Kingdom. He also obtained an Associate’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and he studied Entrepreneurship Skills at the University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development, South Africa.
LEAD CONSULTANT, TANDEM CIRCULAR CONSULTING, ZAMBIA
Andrew Mcnaught is a waste management expert with a passion for developing a more Circular Economy in Africa. Andrew has a Bachelor’s degree in robotics engineering and gave up a promising career in Biomedical Engineering to found an innovative company in South Africa developing informal waste value chains and creating jobs for street people with a path to re-integration. After over 7 years of experience, he founded Tandem Circular Consulting to works with the private sector to develop circular projects, improve resource utilisation, operating efficiencies and provide sustainable business solutions. Andrew thrives in solving complex problems.
TEAM LEAD, HYA BIOPLASTICS, UGANDA
Mark Musinguzi is a Mechanical Engineer who is extremely passionate about creating and delivering sustainable life-changing products in the hands of millions of people. During his third year while at Makerere University in Uganda, he founded a multi-award winning project called Wet Technik that looked at effectively treating and recycling wastewater using nature-based constructed wetland technologies. In October 2019, he co-founded Hya Bioplastics, primarily as a research project focused on converting water hyacinth, an invasive aquatic plant, into biodegradable packaging.
Mark was selected as a fellow at the prestigious Halcyon Incubator based in Washington DC, United States. He has presented at different conferences including the Open Design Afrika Virtual Festival, the first East African Bioeconomy Conference, and the Global Design Thinking Summit.
Mark obtained an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Makerere University, Uganda, where he held various leadership positions during his four year stay there.
CEO, WEST AFRICAN FEEDS (KEMPROTEIN), GHANA
Rose Oduro Serwaa is the co-founder and CEO of West African Feeds Ltd, a Ghanaian biotech firm at the vanguard of the new climate-positive, nutrient recycling industry. Fuelled by the desire to address Africa’s 1.38 Bn ton GHG emissions problem, West African Feeds leverages edible insects to convert food waste into climate shock-resistant protein alternatives for Africa’s $710 million livestock feed industry. Her experience in the sustainable agriculture industry has led her to work with industry participants such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Footprints Africa, Ghana Climate Change Accelerator in forwarding climate-focused interventions in the agri-waste management space. In 2017, Rose started her own social enterprise called the Black Paradigm Foundation, a local non-profit geared towards promoting early childhood education, financial literacy and self-development. Rose is also a social commentator, poet and an author in the line of publishing her debut book.
FOUNDER AND CEO, AGRICENTRIC VENTURES, GHANA
Gideon Nyamesen is an agripreneur who is passionate about promoting climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and strengthening the capacity of farmers when it comes to climate change, soil enhancement, and crop resilience. His goal is to bring forth healthy crops free from chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and to train Ghanaians in environmentally sound farming. Starting from 2015, Gideon has been training local farmers in Ghana to produce their own fertilizers and pesticides. In 2019, he founded AgriCentric Ventures, which utilises a diversified business model to create innovative synergies between energy, water, and waste while engaging multi-stakeholder partnerships to advance CSA.
Gideon has work experience as a field enumerator, an independent agriculture consultant, a volunteer trainer on sustainable farming practices and a project development officer. He holds several certificates, including in Best Practice Farming for Sustainable 2050, Water Resources Management and Policy, and Municipal Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern Languages from Kwame Nkrumah’ University Of Science And Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.
DR. BABAFEMI OYEWOLE
Dr. Babafemi Oyewole, the CEO of Pan African Farmers Organization (PAFO), is a tri-sector executive and professional with experiences in the public, private and non-government sectors, and a veteran in the management of international institutions. Prior to his appointment at PAFO, he was the CEO of the African Agribusiness Alliance; former CEO of African Cashew Alliance; former Executive Director/CEO of African Energy Investment Corporation (AEICORP); Deputy Secretary General of the West African Bankers Association (WABA); General Manager, Banque Internationale du Benin, and Senior Economist with the Bank of Industry, Nigeria. He was a Regional Consultant on natural resources management policy in African countries with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He is a member of Africa Regional Experts on Policy Dialogue on Natural Resource-based Development at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Dr. Oyewole was a Chevening Scholar for his PhD in development economics at the university of Bradford, United Kingdom, and obtained an MBA in Technology, Marketing and Business Strategy from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria. He has attended several management and executive development programmes in top universities including Lagos Business School, Nigeria, and Harvard university, United States. He has published articles in international journals and made conference presentations on development policy, banking and finance, agriculture, agribusiness, and sustainable development issues.
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