Agri-Food Tech & Innovation Summit – Adopting Ag-Tech, Scaling up innovations


The Africa Agri Council (AAC) is hosting the 4th Agri-Food Tech & Innovation Summit (AFTI EA 2020) on 24-25 March in Nairobi.

Speakers will explore the upsurge in new thinking and the game changing developments in agri practices and technology and what is needed to truly scale these innovations to reach smallholder farmers and agribusinesses, with a focus on what it will take to get the developing world’s. We have the technology and the innovations to make a difference for smallholder farmers to try these products.  Importantly, what would it take to get them to buy these products again and again.

AAC MD, Ben Leyka says ‘We have the technology and the innovations to make a difference, yet these innovations aren’t reaching the smallholder farmers who need them most – they lack access to the right information at the right time.’

Michael Hailu, Director, CTA states that ‘With the right policies, innovation and investment, the continent’s agriculture could be transformed into a powerhouse not only to feed a growing population but to create decent employment for millions of young people.’

AFTI EA 2020 will take a look at the challenge of scaling: Why aren’t more market-based solution models scaling?  What barriers do they face? How to overcome lack of awareness of new products, and appreciation of their benefits? Where market-based solutions have achieved scale, how has this been achieved? What needs to happen to spur sustained adoption?

Better farming techniques, improved seeds, demand for organic and fair trade products and the integration into global supply chains have the chance to lift hundreds of millions out of poverty.  Delegates will hear from a number of entrepreneurs who are trying, and succeeding, in reaching these farmers, in building businesses that both create a profit and help farmers work their way out of poverty.   

Innovative firms, industry facilitators and leveraging of partnerships will get better tools into the hands of farmers, reduce the barriers between farmers and markets, and strengthen policies that help farming families become more a part of a functioning private-sector agricultural and food system.

For many of the 2.5 billion people living at the base of the pyramid and relying on agriculture for their livelihood, adopting these innovations could improve their lives and the lives of future generations.

A superb partnership example will be presented by speaker Neil Ashworth of social enterprise Natural Extracts Industries (NEI) working with nearly 5,000 farmers in Tanzania providing the technical guidance, inputs and best practices to grow premium vanilla crops.

AFTI EA 2020 will bring together a diversity of stakeholders and partners who all play an essential role in building thriving inclusive markets, including investors, foundations, aid agencies, policymakers, corporates, intermediaries, multilateral development agencies, impact investors, host governments and companies.

Delegates will acquire valuable information relevant to their business and the agriculture and food production sector, designed to add value to strategic business planning, and meet potential business partners and new opportunities. 

Site visits will provide delegates with first-hand interaction directly with farms or fields of contracted smallholders farmers and experience ag-tech and innovations in action.

The AAC hosts 3 African agri events each year: The above Agri-Food Tech & Innovation Summit (AFTI EA 24-25 March 2020); Market Access Africa (MAA 18-20 July, Durban, South Africa) the global meeting place for food and agriculture buyers and sellers; and their flagship African Agri Investment Indaba (AAII 18-20 Nov 2020) with a focus on agri finance and investment.