The call for greater involvement of the private sector in the development of agriculture and agri-food value chains to meet the challenges of food security, nutrition, poverty and employment, is a leitmotiv of international organizations and most African governments. In view in particular of low rural incomes and climate change impact in Africa, the development of these sectors must be sustainable, that is, combine economic profitability and better social and environmental performances. How and under which conditions can private investments contribute to achieving these objectives is the topic of the 2015 conference organized jointly by the Foundation for World Agriculture and Rurality, and Pluriagri.
This topic will be discussed in three round tables composed of representatives from agriculture, local and international agri-food companies, and the public sector. What is the impact on the private sector of the principles for responsible investments in agriculture and food systems issued by international organizations? How do agri-food processors work with smallholder farmers? What are the legitimate roles of the private sector and governments for the sustainable development of agri-food value chains in Africa? A debate will examine the controversial role of agribusiness investments in plantations managed by hired workers, rather than in contract farming with small producers.