In this section, you may find new materials that have been published on the topic of ‘Upgrading to compete in a globalised world: What opportunities and challenges for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries? ‘, since the date of the event. We continually select major new publications and articles that add up to the policy points discussed in this briefing.
– The Key to Unlocking Africa’s Multi-Billion Dollar Agriculture Opportunity: Great Manager
African Policy Journal, Harvard University, 25-02-2013
Agriculture is and will remain a key growth driver for Africa. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are revitalizing Africa’s private sector and should play an increasing role in Africa’s green revolution. Experts cite several reasons for the disconnect between Africa’s agricultural potential and its current state, including macro-level hurdles such as currency risk and market-distorting policies, and micro-level hurdles such as a lack of financing and management expertise, rural location, and lack of political connections. The authors believe that agriculture-focused entrepreneurial management is the primary hurdle, and they propose an innovative model to mitigate this over the short and medium-term.
– Trade by SMEs: Africa’s opportunity beyond 2015
International Trade Centre, 16-o9-2014
Team Africa’ is working hard to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. Its ability to do so depends on muscling up a number of critical sectors, primarily in agriculture, health services, transport and logistics, but also in energy and climate adaptation. And so far the team is winning in a number of competitions. Fifteen of the top 20 countries making the best progress globally on the MDGs are in Africa. Still, many hurdles remain. The main issue is how to prepare Team Africa for its post-2015 performance. Much of that attention should go towards enacting policies that support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to deliver development results through trade and job creation. It should also aim at expanding choices available to consumers in health, nutrition, energy, and the environment.
– Financing agri-businesses in West Africa
PROPARCO, via its Investment and Support fund for Business in Africa (FISEA), CDC, via the DFID Impact Fund, and FMO, via its MASSIF Fund, have invested respectively USD 7m, USD 15m and USD 10m, in the agribusiness investment company INJARO Agricultural Capital Holdings Limited dedicated to financing West African small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) throughout the agricultural value chain.
This assessment of agri-business small and medium enterprises (ASMEs) in Malawi found a sector with diversified business ownership, in which owners commonly operate multiple businesses and can be classed as ‘portfolio’ owner-managers spanning both agri-business and non-agri-businesses. A portfolio enables them to move resources to address cashflow shortages and seasonality in each business, manage uncontrollable downside risks by moving resources from businesses affected by such a risk, and manage growth opportunities by investing in businesses that are making most progress. A key implication is that it is difficult for public sector and donors to invest in specific value chains, as owners move resources within a portfolio of businesses that span more than one value chain and may include non-agri-businesses. The analysis is particularly focused on ASME access to finance (A2F), use of business development services (BDS), use of information and communication technology (ICT), collaborating and clustering (C&C) and the enabling environment (EE). Click here to read the article
The second story presents a quieter danger: foreign investors (panicked in the wake of the 2008 food crisis) buying vast tracts of Africa’s prime agricultural land. Journalists call it a ‘global land rush,’ and in Africa’s case, they’re not exaggerating. The World Bank reports that of the 110 million acres of farmland deals announced in 2009, more than 70% of those deals were for African land.
– A Kenyan agricultural SME’s view on ARD
Grace Mueni Nyaa is the founder of the Kyome Fresh Company Ltd. This December was the first time Grace Mueni Nyaa ever set foot in Brussels. She was invited to the European Development Days to tell the story about how her village, Kyome, in just seven years, became a viable agricultural co-operative. Thanks to logistic and technical support from the European Union, Kyome’s fruits and vegetables meet international standards, and the Kyome Fresh Company exports to developed countries worldwide. Grace embodies a vision of the future of European development aid.
– The Africa Agribusiness Academy: support for African SMEs
wageningenur.nl, May 2010
In cooperation with partners the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) is initiating the Africa Agribusiness Academy to support the entrepreneurial ambitions of farmers. The academy acts as a training provider, networking association and database of best practices.