Kofi Annan and Melinda Gates Call for Action at the AGRA Forum 2012

Kofi Annan at the AGRA Forum

Farmers have the enthusiasm but need the necessary support from the government. This was the key message of Kofi Annan, chairman of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the first of the three-day African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2012 in Arusha, Tanzania. 

Opening the Forum, Annan remarked that there is an essential need for “farmers to be at the heart of an African Green Revolution”.

The overall focus of the forum was dedicated to improving the life of the farmer so that she can become more self-sufficient and empowered to reduce hunger and poverty in her community. 

AGRF 2012 which had previously been described as the next milestone in developing African-led food security solutions, brought together global leaders to discuss how they could transform Africa through innovative partnerships, revolutionizing African agricultural finance models. 

The Forum welcomed notable guests, Bill and Melinda Gates in addition to African heads of states, ministers, private agribusiness firms, financial institutions, farmers, NGOs, CSOs and scientists. 

Melinda Gates also a key speaker at the Forum's opening spoke of how encouraged she was by the push increasing farmers’ productivity, and pleaded with governments to assist them more. “I urge you to set an agenda for the next decade which is even greater”.

Before the Forum began, participants had visited several small cassava farmers in rural Arusha. "Our farmers are smart but they need support," Annan said. "They are planting bananas that need little irrigation. They are coping with climate change despite the huge challenges, they are applying the necessary dedication. Just give them more support.” 

Read more about the important calls to action at the AGRA Forum

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