African countries are highly dependent on the agricultural industry, which accounts for more than 30% of their GDP. However, several countries still have not been able to achieve an adequate level of self-sufficiency in agricultural products. A number of factors are preventing this, including geographical and climatic factors. The use of modern technologies as well as partnerships with foreign companies will help take the African agro-industrial sector to a new level. In addition, the development of foreign trade will help seriously change the situation. Russia is one of the largest suppliers of agricultural products to African countries today and is ready to further develop this segment. Participants in the Russia–Africa Forum will discuss all these issues during the session ‘Sustainable Partnership in Agriculture: Institutions, Tools, and Guarantees’, which will be held as part of the business programme on 24 October with the support of PhosAgro.
The session will be moderated by Agrifood Strategies President Albert Davleev. The following speakers will talk about the prospects and issues in the agricultural sector and successful experience in this area will: Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation Sergey Levin, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria OtunbaAdeniyi Adebayo, Deputy General Director of United Grain Company and Executive Director of the Union of Grain Exporters Eduard Zernin, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of URALCHEM UCC Dmitry Konyaev, CEO of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Angela Ndambuki, and PhosAgro Chairman of the Board and CEO Andrey Guryev.
A lack of modern technology, skilled personnel, and suitable land for cultivation are among the main factors impeding the development of agriculture in Africa. Experts agree that Russia could become a potential partner for African countries since it has vast agricultural experience and proven technologies. In recent years, Russian companies have been actively increasing the export of agricultural and food products to foreign markets, including to African countries. Russia is one of the ten largest suppliers of food to this continent.
Of course, there are still a number of infrastructure barriers that are impeding the development of trade between Russia and Africa. The discussion will address how to take trade cooperation to a new level and create effective logistics infrastructure.
“It is crucial to establish a mutually beneficial Russian-African partnership at all stages of the agricultural production chain. This includes soil cultivation, sanitary treatment, and agricultural technologies that aim to improve product quality,” Guryev said. “Russia is actively increasing exports, and our trade relations have great prospects. In addition, Russian business is interested in investing in the agricultural sector and infrastructure in Africa. Our experts have invaluable experience, which they will be happy to share in order to develop a mutually beneficial partnership”.
The Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum will take place on 23–24 October in Sochi at the Sirius Park of Science and Art. The events are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation, and the co-organizers of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum are Russian Export Center and Afreximbank.-Press release