GFIA Africa announces Conference line-up for 2015 Event


The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA Africa) is pleased to announce its 2015 Conference Programme for its debut African edition, to be held in KwaZulu-Natal from 1-2 December at the Durban Exhibition Centre.

Since its launch in Abu Dhabi in 2014, the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture has received international recognition as the largest global showcase of sustainable agriculture solutions. The first African edition of the Global Forum for Innovations in Africa (GFIA) is proudly presented by international events organiser, Turret Media, in association with CTA, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).

“International research has shown that with at least 60 percent of the world’s arable land, Africa has the potential to feed itself and become a major food exporter,” says Mark Beaumont, GFIA Project Director. “To unlock this potential, African agriculture needs to harness the power of technology and innovation to leapfrog traditional development challenges and leverage sustainable agriculture as a driver for economic prosperity and global trade,” he says.

The theme of the GFIA Africa Conference is: Innovations and technologies in agriculture to leapfrog Africa’s development.

The GFIA Africa Conference bring together public decision makers, private sector champions and civil society leaders to discuss what has been achieved through innovative technologies and how to scale up innovative approaches, including: responsible investing, appropriate policy environments, the creation of regional value chains and developing rural infrastructure.

GFIA attracts professionals from across the value chain. If you work within the world of sustainable agriculture, or need to know more about the opportunities of adopting new technology, you should be at GFIA Africa. This includes: food producers, supply chain professional, government representatives, R&D experts, investors, development agencies and NGOs.

The feature-rich conference programme includes a series of pre-conference events hosted by the CTA and Pan African Farmers Organisation. These sessions will focus on how farmers can leverage the most out of innovative technologies, as well as creating a path towards climate-resilience agriculture in Africa.

The GFIA Conference opens on Tuesday 1 December with a high-level panel discussion on agribusiness development for agricultural transformation in Africa. This will be followed by presentations on enhancing crops with integrated biological and chemical solutions. A panel discussion featuring will examine how climate-smart solutions will mitigate climate change and increase productivity. The Rethinking agricultural investment and finance presentation will look at how investment support innovations in agriculture can help build the business of agriculture and increase productivity in a sustainable way.

The conference will recommence on 2 December with a discussion on how Catalysing investment in agro-processing infrastructure and technologies through enabling policies, can develop rural infrastructure, capacity and skills development.

The Agriculture mobile games session will review the status of mobile and online agricultural games in Africa, the business potentials for young entrepreneurs, and the actual opportunities that games offer for engaging youth in agriculture. Challenges identified in this area as well as options for addressing them effectively will also be explored and identified. 

Finally, the conference programme will discuss the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones in the context of farming, fisheries, livestock, and natural resource management. Presenters in this session will share their experiences in making use of UAVs to improve the management of crops as well as insights on existing and forthcoming laws and regulations governing the use of UAVs in developing countries.

The Conference Programme Speakers include a panel of high-level speakers, such as: Peter Staude, CEO of Tongaat Hulett, Dr Theo de Jager, President of the Pan African Farmers' Organisation (PAFO), Dr Richard Okine, Regional Director of DuPont for Sub-Saharan Africa, Lucy Muchoki, CEO, Pan African Agribusiness and Agro Industry Consortium (PANAAC), Brent Habig, Regional Director West and Southern Africa, TechnoServe, John Bee, Regional Head of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs for Nestlé, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Speakers will also include representatives from World Vision, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and the CEOs of the Cheetah Development, One Acre Fund, Land Bank, Malawi Mangoes and Agbiz. 

“It is our belief that African entrepreneurs are at the forefront of exciting new developments that will revolutionise agricultural production and trade on the African continent,” says Beaumont. “GFIA Africa will explore all those innovative agricultural solutions coming from the continent and beyond that are enabling farmers, large and small, to create agribusinesses and contribute to wider economic prosperity,” he concluded.

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