The key contribution of MSMEs to sustainable food systems

Linking Agribusiness and research to meet the SDGs

The World MSME Day on 27 June is a celebration of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and their crucial role in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to the United Nations, MSMEs are the backbone of most economies, accounting for over 70% of all businesses worldwide and more than 50% of jobs. These enterprises play a vital role in working with millions of family farms, contributing to food safety and security, and providing nutrition to local communities. Additionally, they drive innovation and creativity towards building sustainable food systems.

At COLEAD, we are dedicated to supporting the development and growth of agricultural MSMEs. Through the PAFO-COLEAD Innovations Series and the IICA-COLEAD Caribbean Agrifood Business Series, we highlight MSME leaders from Africa and the Caribbean, many of whom are women and youth. They share their best practices, innovations, and keys to success.
To (re) discover more about these inspiring entrepreneurs, click on the links below!

Innovations Series                              Caribbean Agrifood Business Series

Recognizing the critical importance of linking MSMEs with research, it enables entrepreneurs and all actors in the value chain to continuously enhance their skills, acquire necessary equipment, establish business networks, and access appropriate financing. The collaboration between the private sector and research institutions is essential to drive product development, technology uptake, and innovation adoption, fostering green and sustainable growth while meeting consumer expectations.
In line with this perspective, FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa) facilitated the integration of agribusiness and the private sector into the scientific discourse during the 8th African Agribusiness and Science Week (AASW) held in Durban, South Africa, from 5 to 7 June 2023. This year’s edition represented a shift in the approach to agricultural science by including agribusiness into the discussions. The event was co-organised by FARA, in collaboration with the CAADP XP4 partners (CCARDESA, ASARECA, CORAF, AFAAS), the Government of the Republic of South Africa, and several partners, including COLEAD.

The 8th African Agribusiness and Science Week (AASW) has facilitated discussions and generated outcomes focused on enhancing productivity and competitiveness in the agro-industry across the continent. During the event, agricultural MSMEs from COLEAD’s network had the opportunity to share their insights, establish connections with stakeholders along the value chain, and provide recommendations for creating a supportive environment that enables the creation and growth of MSMEs.

Under the Fit For Market Plus (FFM+) programme, COLEAD has partnered with FARA, IFADYPARD, and GFAR to co-organize three events at the 8th AASW. These sessions have focused on important topics related to opportunities for transforming the agrifood sector into a resilient, inclusive, and sustainable agrifood sector. The discussions initiated during these events have laid the foundation for ongoing cooperation between the private sector and research institutions. It is crucial to foster long-term partnerships and collaboration to drive innovation and development in the agricultural sector. COLEAD is looking forward to further collaboration in the fields of agriculture science, technology, and innovation with the apex continental organisation responsible for coordinating and advocating for agricultural research for development (AR4D).

To watch the recordings of the events and learn more about the featured entrepreneurs, click on the links below!

COLEAD’s contribution is supported by its Fit For Market Plus programme, implemented within the framework of Development cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), and the European Union (EU).

This publication is supported with the financial support of the EU and the OACPS. Its contents are the sole responsibility of COLEAD and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the EU or the OACPS.

Jul 18, 2024

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