FoodFirst Floriade Conference – Investing in Food Security & Food Markets in Africa

The recent G20 in Chicago emphasized the importance and urgency of global food security. Africa is emerging as the potential giant in the world food supply: it is the only continent with opportunities for mayor increases in cropping area and productivity. This outlook is already changing the economic and (geo-)political status of the continent. This conference focuses on the new modalities of cooperation involving the (local) private sector and how the concessionary funds of development cooperation can best be allocated. The aims and goals of all partners involved – public sector, private sector, scientists and NGOs, from Africa and from outside Africa – do not necessarily coincide. What are the possibilities,challenges, and lessons learned from investing in agricultural development in Africa, also with regard to fostering its sustainable development and its food security?

Both Dutch and German governments foresee a mayor role for private sector involvement in agricultural development, including businesses in their home countries and in Africa. Having agricultural development as one of their key pillars, Germany will earmark € 700 million for rural-agricultural development. The Minister of Development Cooperation sends his coordinator Stefan Schmitz to talk about Germany’s budgets for cooperation with the South. Also in the Netherlands new initiatives are being developed in this field. Diederik de Boer shall talk about a recently presented plan to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to start cooperation clusters in Africa. Piet Heemskerk and Elijah Kang’ara discuss their experiences with involving SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) through the African Agribusiness Academy. Furthermore Rudy Rabbinge, one of the top experts on global food security, will share the experiences and challenges of AGRA (the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) and Ton Dietz will highlight the current stages and opportunities of agriculture in different African countries.


Moderator Marcia Luyten

12.45 Networking lunch with EMRC


Part 1: What are the possibilities, challenges and lessons learned of investing in agricultural development in Africa?

14.00 Introductory speech

Ton Dietz (Director African Studies Centre, University Leiden)

14.15 Keynote speech

Dr. Stefan Schmitz (Head Task Force for Rural Development and Global Food Security, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany)

14.35 Keynote speech

Rudy Rabbinge (Sustainable Development & Food Security, Wageningen University)

14.50 Question from the audience

15.00 Break

Part 2: Different kind of cooperation: how can entrepreneurs  seize the opportunities?

15.30 Introductory speech

Diederik de Boer (Director Round Table Africa / Senior Project Consultant Maastricht School of Management)

15.45 Duo-presentation 1: Elijah Kang’ara (Ugandese entrepreneur), and Piet Heemskerk (African Agribusiness Academy, Wageningen)

16.00 Presentation 2:  Gerard van Empel (Directory Advisory Services, Rabo Development)

16.15 Discussion

Chaired by Gerda Verburg (Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the Food and Agriculture Organization)

17.00 Conclusions and closure: Jos van Gennip (president FoodFirst)

17.10 Drinks


The Floriade in Venlo is the inspiring location for this event and guests of the conference can visit the Floriade free of charge on the day of the conference.

You can register via the website <> .

Participation in the conference is free.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Inge Jansen ( <>  / +31 (0)70 338 32 88)

Vice Versa

08 juni 2012