Without policies and partnerships that enable smallholder farmers - including subsistence farmers and pastoralists - to participate in and benefit from the growth, that opportunity will turn into risk, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.

"Inclusiveness is key to promote sustainable development in the African continent," he said at the Third International foodFirst Conference, which this year focuses on how to team up with African "agripreneurs".

Noting that African agribusinesses are expected to create a $1 trillion market by 2030, Graziano da Silva hailed the opportunities but emphasized the risks such rapid growth pose, especially if large-scale food processers and retailers manage to dominate the process.

While poor rural family farmers rarely do not participate in the agri-food value chain, they play a fundamental role in local markets and in mitigating food insecurity in areas where it tends already to be high. "These people should be taken into account when we talk about creating conditions for agricultural entrepreneurs to grow and thrive in Africa," he said.

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Source : FAO

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