It was a privilege to be back in Kigali in September 2022 to speak at the AGRF: Africa’s leading agricultural forum. Boasting over 6000 delegates representing over 70 different countries in 2022, the AGRF is the beating heart of African agriculture.
Innovating with farmers
Speaking to attendees at the CGIAR session on “Scaling up Innovations for Climate-Resilient Food, Land, and Water Systems”, VIP Executive Director Danielle Abraham (photographed) highlighted some of the most salient points from Israel’s agricultural revolution. She notably detailed the importance of Israel’s Golden Triangle in bringing about Israel’s astounding agricultural transformation. This approach embeds farmers at the heart of the work of researchers, agronomists and the private sector: fostering innovations that are developed with farmers, rather than for them. She also stressed the importance of crop diversification: farmers cannot continue to grow stable food crops alone, they must also be encouraged to pursue the commercial opportunities afforded by higher value crops.
Old Friends and New
As you might expect, the AGRF was also a welcome opportunity to (re)connect with friends and partners, old and new. Among this plethora of exciting and promising connections, a few in particular stand out:
(i) It was fantastic to catch up with our good friend Ambassador Ron Adam who is doing some impressive work representing the State of Israel in Rwanda, including with regards to sharing Israel’s agricultural expertise for the benefit of Rwandans.
(ii) After the COVID-19 pandemic unceremoniously brought our budding collaboration efforts to a halt, we were delighted to reconnect with the Rt Hon Sir Tony Blair and his team: discussing the potential to use both Israel’s enviable agricultural expertise and the Tony Blair Institute’s unparalleled policy insights and reach to foster real change to African agriculture.
(iii) It was inspiring and a particular pleasure to meet with leadership from the African Development Bank Group to learn about the exciting Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) programme and share Israel’s experience and insights.
(iv) Last, but certainly not least, it was a welcome opportunity to meet once more with the fantastic Ngabaghila Chatata: one of Malawi’s leading agri-entrepreneurs and the first pioneer in our IAPP program.