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Agrifood challenges and opportunities before and far beyond a global pandemic

According to the joint report issued by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organisation, almost 690-million people around the world went hungry in 2019.

This was before the Covid-19 pandemic came and forced most countries into lockdown to put more strain on global food systems. The mentioned report also stated that while it is too early to assess the full impact of the lockdowns and other containment measures, at least another 83-million to 132-million people may go hungry in 2020.

Gert Botes, African Agri Council, Content Director said “While a highly contagious virus such as Covid-19 does indeed impact the agrifood value chain, we know that there have been other challenges before the global pandemic struck the world. We were facing funding availability, access to investors, climate change, food waste, water scarcity, and other challenges already. Although food security and supply chain were greatly impacted by lockdown, it was a concern before as well.”

Despite the negative impact of the global pandemic which affected most industries, fortunately, agriculture, forestry, and the fishing industries are some of the only positive contributors to GDP growth. “Globally people need food, whether there is lockdown or not, this ensures that the agri-food industry will continue showing positive growth and therefore investors are starting to re-enter the venture market and looking for available projects,” added Botes.

In Africa and other emerging markets, we are seeing a gap between the funders, investors and producers. The African Agri Council will be hosting the first Investment Food Forum (IFF) virtually on 17-18 November to offer attendees a comprehensive overview of the global food investment landscape, tracking the flow of capital and asset performance as well as highlight global and regional investment opportunities agrifood. 

IFF will bring industry expert representatives from global VCs, banks, donors, DFIs, family offices, pension funds and other agrifood stakeholders to the stage to share their valuable insights and expertise. Speakers will deep dive into pressing questions such as where are the funds, which alternative sources of funding is available, how can these financing options be tapped into, what are the requirements and policies?  

Further to financing discussions, the world is facing global challenges relating to food security, climate change, supply chain disruption and more, we need to join hands and learn from each other. During the two day virtual gathering, IFF will feature several real life up to date case studies on the current agrifood landscape, challenges, lessons to be learnt and investment opportunities in various countries including India, Brazil, Philippines, Ukraine, Germany, Canada, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa and more.

The virtual edition of the Investment Food Forum will be free to attend with a VIP Access option, which will give VIP attendees more benefits including networking opportunities and access to the agenda of the closed session. AAC members qualify for a discounted rate on the VIP Access registration.

For more information and to register please visit www.investmentfoodforum.com or contact Cindy Euston-Brown at cindy.eustonbrown@agricouncil.org

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