The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) is to develop guidelines for Africa in the agriculture sector to bridge the gap between the public and private sector.
Stephanie Gallatova, FAO Agribusiness Officer, said Public, Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives have the potential to help transform the production-oriented agricultural sector of African countries towards a more market-oriented, modernised agri-food sector.
“The guideline will help trigger finance from the private sector to finance country’s agricultural investment plans,” Gallatova said during an agribusiness workshop that is being attended by eight African countries in Nairobi.
“The initiative is capable of availing improved farmer-market linkages and employment creation in rural areas and cities,” she added.
Gallatova said that the guideline will also create better understanding between the government and the private sector as they aspire to partner in a number of development projects.
She advised countries to engage in projects that are easier since some projects are difficult to sustain because they are perishable.
The official observed that the continent has the potential of unlocking the perennial food insecurity through the incorporation of the private sector through the introduction of mechanisation.
“With over 300 million hectares of arable land, agricultural activities are capable of providing food and revenue for the rural and commercial farmers,” she added.
Gallatova urged African countries to choose their commodities of engagement well and emulate Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire that enjoys their partnership in the sugarcane and cocoa projects respectively.
Also, Janet Edeme, African Union Commission Head of Division, Rural Economy, said the guideline will help all African countries to develop their PPP for five priority agricultural commodities by 2025.
“The priority agricultural commodities are aimed at reducing post harvest losses by 50 per cent and also ending hunger by 2025,” she added.
The meeting brought together agribusiness experts from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and South Africa.