AFRICA – AGRA, an alliance led by Africans with roots in farming communities across the continent, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Barbados for collaboration and the promotion of food systems transformation in Africa and the Caribbean Community.
The partnership will strengthen cooperation and advocacy in areas of common interest in food systems and climate change adaptation between relevant stakeholders in Barbados and Africa.
The MoU also allows for partnership in knowledge and experience sharing on technology and innovative approaches.
These include but are not limited to: last mile delivery of sustainable inputs, value chain models, digital technology and access to finance models.
Additionally, the agreement seeks to promote the mobilization of public and private investments for food systems transformation.
The two parties will work together to develop solutions for increased public and private investments in food systems transformation and the development of innovative finance mechanisms.
AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata said, “With this MoU, we see an opportunity to advance our South-to-South partnership to include Island States. We will focus on a unified fight against climate change, [and] support to functional food systems that advance the role of trade in feeding the world while minimizing its negative impacts on health and nutrition.
“Furthermore, we see an opportunity to continue advancing partnerships that promote skills and expertise on both sides.
“The MoU is an opportunity for the Government of Barbados to connect to all 15 countries AGRA is working with across the continent, and to connect with the wider continent through AGRF. We are excited about this partnership with the Caricom countries with Barbados as our first direct engagement.”
AGRA shall facilitate exchange of experiences and knowledge between Barbados and African countries where best practices exist, and vice-versa.
Barbados’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Honourable Kerrie Symmonds, added, “Today we have made a major step towards improving the food systems in our two regions.
“The reality is that many African countries share similarities with Barbados, and through this partnership with AGRA, we can now work together to draw on our shared heritage and identifying areas of common interest for knowledge and experience sharing, and advocacy in global and regional platforms to strengthen investments in agri-food systems.”
Meanwhile, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and climate and impact fund manager Camco have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ramp up investments in climate-resilient agriculture in Southern Africa.
Rural populations across Southern Africa are heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture for subsistence farming, which puts them at the frontline of worsening climate variability across the region.
As has been emphasized at the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), adaptation finance for agriculture in Southern Africa requires significant scaling up and incentivisation to build capacity and unlock private sector investment in climate-smart agriculture to promote adaptation and build climate resilience.
Under the agreement, UNIDO and Camco will promote access to climate finance, which will support developing countries in meeting their climate commitments and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through accelerating sustainable industrial and economic development.
The collaboration between UNIDO and Camco will aim at delivering tangible climate resilience via the Resilient Investment in Southern Africa (RISA) programme, which is currently being prepared for submission to the Green Climate Fund.
RISA will enhance climate resilience of some of Africa’s most vulnerable groups by investing in small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs), since SMEs in the agricultural value chain are the best source of innovative adaptation solutions for the short to medium term.
It will seek to address climate vulnerability and risk by building resilience through the cost-effective deployment of products and services via SMEs within the agricultural value chain.
The programme will consist of two interlinked components: a technical assistance facility, managed by UNIDO, and an investment facility, managed by Camco.