3rd PAFO Continental Briefing – The Way Forward

In light of the changes in world finance and economic governance, it was recognised that PAFO needs to work on increasing farmers’ share in the value chain. This requires political dialogue, but also other measures such as capacity building, engaging women and youth, developing strategies and boosting advocacy amongst others.

Taking into account the proposals from the members during the discussion on the strategic plan of PAFO, agribusiness is a strategic area. Farmers and their organisations have been present on different markets and segments of the makets at all times. However, the changes in the world financial and economic governance has led to a need to re-think how to have a better share in the value chain, especially in terms of equity, transparency, sustainability financially, economically environmentally and socially.

There is a need to clarify key concepts, such as markets, functions of the value chain, and governance of the value chain among others. Additionally, there is no common standards at PAFO level that can allow the assessment of different players roles in the investment projects in the continent. This is compounded by the fact that there are many diverse initiatives and opportunities for investment or financing in agriculture. For example, FOs need to be prepared to seize the opportunities to develop their position in the value chain.

The dialogue raised the fact that PAFO is “politically ready” to engage in a dialogue with other actors in the agribusiness value chain. Going forward, PAFO would need a mandate to be given to a technical team to work on this. This also requires building business skills and capacities at different levels.

In the coming years, PAFO needs to co-ordinate a mapping of key agribusiness actors and different accessible funding initiatives for farmers that operate on the continent. A dialogue platform linking farmers to local and global agribusiness groups and investors to increase the place, role and share of farmers in the value chain would complement this. PAFO would also lend its support to standardisation and certification processes, mainly for companies involved in VGGT and other international instruments. It would also play a key role in building capacities and training members on business skills to accelerate sustainable bankable projects taking into account the growing revenue of farmers. This would also include supporting the capitalisation and documenting best and bad practices of inclusive agribusiness models.

Going forward, PAFO can support FOs, in relation to governance of the value chains and in political negotiations. It can also support data driven farming within FOs and new opportunities offered by different sustainable models such as precision agriculture. PAFO is also well placed to develop a strategy related to big data as resource mobilisation for FOs and to advocate for broader issues with governments, regional institutions and AU for policy changes. Additionally, PAFO forums can be link women and youth to agribusiness opportunities to develop entrepreneurship.