Special Fruit creates platform for development of agro chain in Africa
Belgian players from the private sector and the civil society are bundling their powers for a sustainable and inclusive development of the agro food chains in Africa. African agriculture is being confronted with a double challenge: it has to feed its population and contribute to the eradication of poverty combined with realising promising job opportunities for an entire generation. In this context it is the family agriculture and the small and medium sized businesses that feel the most effect of this. To be able to fully play their role they especially need support in strengthening the skills of their human capital, access to sources of finance, the organisation of production powers and logistic and health infrastructure.
Creating sustainable and inclusive agro food supply chain in Africa that supply to both the local and international markets is a vision that is shared by many Belgian players in the private sector and the civil society. On the initiative of François Maes, founder of the Belgian company 'Special Fruit'a platform for discussion and dialogue was started between the non governmental organisation VECO, Exchange unions, CLOEACP, Ondernemers voor ondernemers, the shopping chain Colruyt, KU Leuven and the investment companies with social impact Durabilis and Kampani. The combination of expertise and the respective areas of action of these organisations will allow them to step in in a complimentary way to the limits that producers and leaders of African companies are faced with.
It is in this context that a first exploratory mission by the platform will take place in Senegal at the end of March 2016. The goal is simply: in discussion with the involved Senegalese stake holders, evaluate the economic development potential for different local agro food chains, including groups of small producers. Once identified these chains will be collectively supported by the various partners to improve their agricultural practices and promote an environmentally friendly way of working. The competitive power of the operators (and therefore the chain) will improve as a result of these interventions. In their turn that will be the catalyst for investments due to an improved access to various sources of finance. Extra income for smaller producers will lead to the economic value that will be created by all participants of the involved chains and which will generate a real societal added value.
For more information:François Maesfrancois@francoismaes.be
+32 (0) 475 43 07 72.