- Posted by: Robin Ruquet
Promoting sustainable agriculture and agroecological practices: the key role of MSMEs and farmers organisations
The 6th Innovations Session will focus on Promoting sustainable agriculture and agroecological practices: the key role of MSMEs and farmers organisations and will be held online on Thursday 30 September, 12:00-14:00 (GMT).
Today’s food and farming systems have succeeded in supplying large volumes of foods to global markets but are generating negative outcomes on multiple fronts: widespread degradation of land, water and ecosystems; high Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions; biodiversity losses; persistent hunger and micro-nutrient deficiencies alongside the rapid rise of obesity and diet-related diseases; and livelihood stresses for farmers around the world.1 Some of the current agricultural practices are clearly unsustainable.2 In this context, there is a consensus on the transition towards more sustainable food systems, able to preserve natural resources and adapt to climate change, while meeting the needs of growing rural and urban communities and satisfy changing consumer demands. It is therefore vital we learn how to produce differently.3 There is growing recognition that the global food system needs a paradigm shift to feed the world without destroying the planet. A growing number of voices are calling for a complete transformation of our agricultural and food systems and are pointing to a transition to agroecology as a key pathway to tackle the challenges currently facing humankind. To preserve natural resources and adapt to climate change, meet the needs of growing rural and urban communities, and satisfy changing consumer demands, it is vital we learn how to produce differently.4
1 IPES-Food. 2016. From uniformity to diversity: a paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecologicalsystems. International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food systems.
2 While there has been significant progress in increasing world food production, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations (FAO) estimates that a further 50% increase in food production by 2050 will be needed to feed a growing world
population a nutritious, safe, and sustainable diet. Increasing food available for consumption also relies on reducing food
3 François-Xavier COTE, Emmanuelle POIRIER-MAGONA, Sylvain PERRET, Bruno RAPIDEL, Philippe ROUDIER, Marie-Cécile
THIRION (dir.), La transition agro-écologique des agricultures du Sud, Agricultures et défis du monde, Versailles, Éditions Quæ,
30 September 2021 (12:00-14:00 GMT)
- Fatma Ben Rejeb, CEO, PAFO
Moderator: Isolina Boto, Head of Networks and Alliances, COLEACP
12:10-13:00 Panel: Successes of businesses
- Gustav Dessogom Bakoundah, Director, Label d’Or and Jus Délices, Togo
- Olayemi Aganga, Co-founder, Maungo Craft, Bostwana
- Gora Ndiaye, Founder and Director, Ferme-École Agroécologique de Kaydara, Senegal
- Noël N’Guessan, Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer, LONO, Côte d’Ivoire
- Emile Frison, Member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES), co-lead of UNFSS solution cluster Agroecology
- Christophe Larose, Head of Sector, Sustainable Agri-Food systems and Fisheries, DG INTPA, European Commission
- Charles Mulozi Olweny, Advocacy and Campaign Coordinator, AFSA
13:50-14:00 Key takeaways and conclusion
- Elizabeth Nsimadala, President, PAFO
- Jeremy Knops, General Delegate, COLEACP
OLAYEMI AGANGA – CO-FOUNDER, MAUNGO CRAFT, BOSTWANA
Olayemi Aganga is a Nigerian-born citizen of Botswana, having moved to Botswana at the age of six. He has a Master’s degree in Intellectual Property Law and practiced law for over seven years both at private practice and also as a government attorney at Botswana’s Attorney General’s Chambers. He currently advises legislation for indigenous foods and serves as the Secretary of the Natural Producers Association of Botswana (NPAB) which promotes the growth of a young industry based on natural and indigenous products that has the potential to change lives, create climate conscious jobs and diversify the economy of Botswana.
Olayemi is the co-founder of Maungo Craft, a company which upcycles indigenous fruits that would otherwise be wasted to produce jams, sauces and syrups and also works with cosmetic oil processors. Maungo Craft creates new value chains between communities, cosmetic processors and farmers to develop a climate change adaptive circular economy. The company started in 2017 and won 13 local, regional and international awards including the Pan African Agripreneurship Competition “Gogettaz” in 2019.
Fatma BEN REJEB – CEO, Pan-African Farmers Organization (PAFO)
Fatma has been working with farmers’ organisations for more than 20 years. She began her involvement in land and legal affairs with farmers and their grassroots organisations. Subsequently, she held the administrative and financial management, and later the international cooperation and the partnership management at the Tunisian National Farmers Organization. She has been Director of the North African Farmers’ Network (UMNAGRI). Fatma holds a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Political Science, a Masters in Juridical Sciences and a Certificate of Specialised Studies in Political and International Studies. She is fluent in Arabic, French, English, Italian and basic knowledge in Spanish.
Isolina BOTO – Head of Networks and Alliances, COLEACP
Isolina is the Head of Networks and Alliances at COLEACP, a non-profit Association of private sector operators in the agrifood sector active in the EU, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) regions. Isolina has more than 25 years of experience in agricultural development. She started her career with the European Commission and has also worked with various ACP embassies and NGOs in areas related to food security, rural development and trade. Before joining COLEACP, she was the Manager of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) Brussels Office (2004-2020) implementing policy initiatives related to the ACP-EU cooperation in the field of agricultural and rural development. She has led agribusiness projects in support of capacity development of SMEs, entrepreneurs and farmers organisations across Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Gustav DESSOGOM BAKOUNDAH – Director, Label d’Or and Jus Délices, Togo
After his high school graduation and having studied banking and finance, Gustav started working with organic pineapple producers. He provided them support to meet the production requirements and looked for export opportunities. Since 2008, he has been developing the export of Togolese tropical fruits with his partners in France. In 2012, he created Label d’Or, a pioneer Togolese company supporting agricultural sectors along the entire value chain (production, processing, export). Label d’Or supports (small) producers in organising themselves into cooperatives and unions, as well as offering training and certification in organic farming. Today, Label d’Or has more than 10,000 producers in 14 organic productions.
Gustav is also Chairman of the Board of Jus Délice, Togo’s first modern organic juice processing plant for export, as well as the country’s largest organic pineapple juice processing plant.
Gustav is President of the National Association of Soybean Exporters (Association Nationale des Commerçants Exportateurs de Soja) and the first President of the Interprofessional Council of the Soybean Sector of Togo (Conseil Interprofessionnel de la Filière du Soja du Togo). He has been made an Officer of the Order of Mono and the National Order of Agricultural Merit in Togo, as well as a Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit of the French Republic.
Emile FRISON – Member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES), co-lead of UNFSS solution cluster Agroecology
Emile Frison is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES). A Belgian national, he spent his entire career in international agricultural research for development, including six years in Africa in Nigeria and Mauritania. In 2003, he became Director General of Bioversity International and developed a strategy entitled “Diversity for Well-being” focusing on the contribution of agricultural biodiversity to the nutritional quality of diets and to the sustainability, resilience and productivity of smallholder agriculture.
Dr Frison is the lead author of the IPES-Food report “From Uniformity to Diversity: a paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems”. He is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Ecoagriculture Partners, a member of the Mission Board on Soil Health and Food of the European Commission.
Jeremy KNOPS – General Delegate, COLEACP
Jeremy holds a Master’s degree in Business Engineering from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-EM). Prior to joining COLEACP in 2009, he was involved in Guatemala with the daily operations of a farmers’ cooperative exporting loquats to the EU and the US. He started to work for COLEACP as an expert in charge of matters related to private standards and certification for ACP producers and exporters of fruit and vegetables. Jeremy is an accredited coach for leadership and professional development. He has been appointed as General Delegate of COLEACP in June 2019.
Christophe LAROSE – Head of Sector, Sustainable Agri-Food systems and Fisheries, DG INTPA, European Commission
Christophe Larose holds a Master degree in Development Economics from Auvergne University, France. He has been a consultant and works for the European Commission as an administrator since 2003. He has been posted in several EU Delegations: Mauritius (with responsibilities over Seychelles, Comoros and Indian Ocean), Madagascar and South Africa. He came back to the Directorate-General for Development and International Cooperation (EuropeAid) of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, in September 2016. He is heading the sector in charge of sustainable agriculture which includes innovation, research and digitalisation in agriculture.
Gora NDIAYE – Founder and Director, Ferme-École Agroécologique de Kaydara, Senegal
Gora Ndiaye is the President of the Senegalese association “Jardins d’Afrique” and founder of the “Kaydara” agro-ecological farm school. He studied agroecology after a teaching career in Dakar and having worked in several NGOs where he led development projects with a social and environmental dimension. Gora then set up a coconut plantation in the village of Keur Samba Dia and created the farm school to offer alternatives to the rural exodus and to set up agroecological training for young Senegalese.
Since 2007, the association has trained dozens of young farmers at the farm school and has become a reference for local institutions, NGOs and French local authorities working on co-development. The involvement of local elected officials is fundamental in the project to support access to land for young rural entrepreneurs. The “Kaydara” concept is a model based on social inclusion and its vision lies on the symbolism of the initiation tale “Kaydara” (Amadou Hampaté Bâ), where the values of knowledge take precedence over having and power.
Today, Gora actively contributes to the dissemination of this approach in Senegal and in other African countries. He also participates in numerous seminars on this subject in Africa and in Europe.
Noël N’GUESSAN – Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer, LONO, Côte d’Ivoire
Noël N’guessan is a Bioprocess engineer with experience in energy and nutrient recovery from organic waste. He founded with Louise Antonia Bijleveld LONO, an engineering SME based in Côte d’Ivoire, that makes carbon and nutrient recycling accessible to farmers. Since launching in 2017, the company has developed two products under the brand name Kubeko that smallholder farmers can use to directly recycle the nutrients and organic matter back into their soils.
The company works directly with cooperatives and larger value chain organisations to integrate their sustainability strategies such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for palm oil and ECOCERT for cacao and fruit production. The company is also developing larger industrial composting projects that create local bioeconomy for organic waste.
Elizabeth NSIMADALA – President, Pan-African Farmers Organization (PAFO)
Elizabeth is a Ugandan young agripreneur, President of the Pan Africa Farmers Organization (PAFO) and the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF). She is a member of the United Nations Advisory Committee for The Secretary General’s Food Systems Summit 2021, a task force member for AU- EU Cooperation in Agriculture, sits on the Global steering committee for Forest Farm Facility (FFF), serves on the board of Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), is a Governing Council member for Africa Fertilizer Financing Mechanism (AFFM), member of the steering committee of Pan Africa Agribusiness Chamber (PAAAC) and a board member for ACTESA/COMESA. She also serves on a number of National and local farmers’ and cooperative platforms. Elizabeth is a passionate co-operator and farmer who has been at the fore front of championing digitalization of the agriculture sector through the EAFF farmers’ owned E-granary mobile initiative that virtually aggregates farmers for input, services and output markets. As a result of her efforts and support to Farmers Organizations, she was globally recognized by the World Farmers Organization as one of the women contributing to sustainable development.
Charles Mulozi OLWENY – Advocacy and Campaign Coordinator, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)
Charles is a development practitioner working with the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) as an Advocacy and Campaign Coordinator. He has expertise in public policy analysis and effective organising for social change. He is interested in working with others to ensure that civil society becomes the vanguard for promoting active citizenship and proactive citizen agency as a basis for justice, equity and human dignity.