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The 7th Africa Agri-Expo kicks-off at Sarit Expo Centre in Nairobi  

The 7th Africa Agri Expo (AAE 2024), is currently ongoing at Sarit Expo Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

The two-day event, which started on 19 February 2024, under the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Department, is set to unlock the potential of Agri-business in Africa as the government urges private sector investment in agriculture.  

 

During the inaugural launch of the Expo, Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Mithika Linturi, in a speech read on his behalf by Senior Deputy Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Badu Katelo, said the Expo encapsulates and focuses on exploring the vast untapped opportunities, innovative solutions and sustainable practices that can revolutionize Africa’s agricultural sector and global Agri-business.

 

The CS said AAE 2024 focus, is aligned with the government’s priority on food and nutrition security and manufacturing, and specifically the agro-processing and Micro and Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), for this is where the government intends to generate over US $ 200 million annually, in value addition.

 

“Agriculture sector in Kenya is large and complex. But under the current government plan, we have prioritized value chains, which if achieved, would create wealth, value addition as well as nutrition security among other benefits,” he said

 

CS Linturi said the Expo is poised to serve as a platform for knowledge sharing for policymakers, industry leaders and investors from all around the world, on crucial topics such as innovative farming techniques, data-driven agriculture, best practices for sustainable agriculture, financing, and investment opportunities among others.

 

“Here policymakers, entrepreneurs, industry professionals, and farmers came together to exchange ideas, expand businesses, share knowledge and technologies that can drive sustainable growth in the Agri-sector of Africa,” he said.

 

CS Linturi further said the agriculture sector continues to play a pivotal role in the country’s economy, contributing to 33 percent directly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and another 27 percent to GDP indirectly through linkages with other sectors.

 

Charlene Ruto, President William Ruto’s daughter, a youth, farmer and climate change champion, speaking at the event urged the youth and women to take up agriculture for financial dependency and food security.

 

“By empowering and harnessing the power of the youth and women and leveraging on technology, the country is cultivating a brighter, more inclusive future for agriculture,” she said while highlighting the pivotal role women play in agriculture in shaping the future of farming. 

 

She emphasized on the need for youth to have access to education and training programmes to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary in sustainable agriculture practices to drive innovation and sustainability in the agricultural sector.

 

Bridget Okumu, Country Director- Kenya, International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), said that Africa holds immense potential in the realm of Agri-business and it boasts of vast arable land, which presents numerous opportunities to be seized to achieve global food security.

 

“The regional integration can be used to facilitate cross-border trade, knowledge sharing, and resource pulling,” she said, adding that this requires greater investment in food production systems for innovative technologies to improve farming practices.

 

Similarly, the event organizer TAB Group Chief Executive Officer, Tahir Bari said that the Expo will feature the latest technologies and solutions for agriculture including irrigation systems, farm machinery, greenhouses, fertilizers/agrochemicals, seeds, and more from all over the world.

 

“This event is aimed at providing a platform for showcasing the latest products, services, and innovation to improve the agriculture sector through expansive exhibition space, networking lounges, strategic conferences, panel discussions and seminars,” he said

 

He said that the Africa Agri Expo has attracted hundreds of participants and brought together 35 plus countries all over the world with over 50 plus speakers, 100 plus exhibitors and sponsors and 1000 plus related agriculture companies

 

Africa Agri-Expo continues to be a trailblazing event sponsored by some of the world-leading brands and supported by top authorities and associations.

 

AAE 2024 – is the Seventh Edition of the Africa Agri-Expo which promotes Africa’s rich agriculture resources and helps international agri-businesses expand and establish their business in Africa, by helping them identify, network, and connect the right channel partners in the region.

 

By Anita Omwenga

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