Virtual Event – Africa and India: Experiences with transformation of food and agriculture and opportunities for learning and collaboration

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The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa and the Center for Development Research (ZEF) of the University of Bonn hosted a virtual seminar on 26 November 2021 to discuss opportunities for fostering India-Africa learning and collaboration to promote food and nutrition security in the two global regions.

India has gained tremendous hands-on experiences on the ‘how’ and ‘how not’ to scale innovations. It will be crucial for the two entities (Africa and India) who have a lot of demographic indices in common but also a lot of cross-learning opportunities. Specifically, the workshop focused on innovations and conducive framework conditions to (1) scale promising innovations that increase productivity and domestic food supplies, (2) strengthen the resilience of national and regional food systems, and (3) ensure that policies and investments to improve food and nutrition security contribute to employment and income generation.

Recording of the workshop

Presentation | Policy Brief

Bios of chairs and panellists

Agenda

10:30-11:15

Session 1: Comparative studies on experiences with food systems and agriculture transformation of African nations and Indian States.

Chair: Yemi Akinbamijo, FARA

The speakers will present research findings from a comparative analysis of Indian states and African countries conducted jointly by ICRIER, ZEF, and African partners on drivers of agricultural growth and food systems transformation in India and Africa. The presentations will be followed by a discussion on lessons learnt from these studies to guide policies and investments within and between the two regions.

Opening remarks: Deepak Mishra, Director, ICRIER, and Joachim von Braun, ZEF

Presentations of the research findings: Shyma Jose, ICRIER, and Muhammed Usman, ZEF

11:15-12:15

Session 2: Increasing productivity and domestic supply of sufficient, affordable and healthy foods

Chair: Ashok Gulati, ICRIER

This session will focus on locally appropriate innovations that have proven promising in India and Africa to increase food supplies for affordable and healthy diets in the two regions. Panellists and participants will discuss the potential of different technological and institutional innovations to boost productive capacities, as well as marketing-related innovations to increase food supplies through well-functioning supply chains and trade. They will also debate necessary elements of a conducive innovation environment to foster India-Africa exchange and scale promising innovations.

Panel (followed by an open discussion):

  • Ousmane Badiane, AKADEMIYA2063
  • Temi Adegoroye, Partner at Sahel Consulting
  • Usha Barwale Zehr, Director and Chief Technology Officer, Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Private Limited (MAHYCO)
  • Heike Baumüller, Senior Researcher and PARI Coordinator, ZEF
  • Mahendra Dev, Director & Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research
  • P. Soman, Chief Agronomist, Jain Irrigation Systems Limited

12:15-13:45

Session 3: Strengthening food systems resilience against shocks

Chair: Joachim von Braun, ZEF

This session will focus on policies and investments that can increase the resilience of Indian and African foods systems. Most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic has driven up the number of hungry and malnourished following disruptions in supply chains, income losses and displacement of migrant workers among other factors. Conflicts are another major driver of food systems failures while in the coming decades, climate change is expected to put unprecedented strains on food systems. Panellists and participants will reflect on the impact of such global and local shocks on Africa and India to draw lessons for food systems resilience, including the role of trade integration, foreign investments and financial assistance in this regard.

Panel (followed by open discussion):

  • Sheryl Hendriks, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, University of Pretoria
  • Lukas Kornher, Senior Researcher, ZEF
  • Ayodele Odusola, UNDP Resident Representative, South Africa
  • Manasi Phadke, Visiting Faculty, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management
  • Shri P. V. S. Suryakumar, Deputy Managing Director, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
  • Dirk Schattschneider, Commissioner for the special initiative “ONE WORLD No Hunger”, BMZ*

Open discussion:

Reflections on the future of India-Africa relations in food systems transformations: P.K. Joshi (NAAS), Assefa Admassie (U. of Addis Ababa) and Oluwole Fatunbi (FARA)

Closing remarks and Way forward: Yemi Akinbamijo and Ashok Gulati