AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, held its sixth annual AGCO Africa Summit in Berlin, Germany. A joint initiative of AGCO, Bayer CropScience, Rabobank, De Lage Landen, Trelleborg and Fuse Connected Services, this year’s Summit focused on ‘Organizing Farmers of the Future.’
Keynote speakers at the event included Christian Schmidt, Germany’s Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa, World Economic Forum, Christian Wulff, Former Federal President of Germany and Dr Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa).
Through presentations and panel discussions, the Summit explored how agribusiness and farmer-based organizations can be aligned as co-creators of rural wealth; how youth and Information and Communication Technology (ITC) can catalyze the organization of farmers in the future, and how maximum ‘value’ can be secured from the value chains for the farmers who participate in them.
Among the panelists were figures from farmer organizations in Africa and Europe including Dr. Theo de Jager, President Pan African Farmers’ Organization, Joachim Rukwied, President German Farmers’ Association, Ishmael Sunga, CEO Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions and Jehiel Oliver, CEO and Founder of Hello Tractor, an innovative shared-economy platform that makes tractor usage affordable to marginalized farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Since its premiere in 2012, this AGCO Africa Summit has established itself as an important institution for discussing critical issues impacting Africa’s agricultural development. The Summit has a strong focus on private sector-driven agricultural growth, promoting the idea of agriculture as a business and not a development agenda. The focus of panel topics, discussions and workshops engage with practical real-life examples of leading edge projects and initiatives. The international conference attracts CEOs, industry experts and political leaders with a common interest to accelerate the development of African agriculture.