Johannesburg, South Africa.
Food systems in Southern Africa face enormous challenges. Most of the regional food and agricultural sector is largely underdeveloped, dependent on imports, and lacks the enabling environment to develop, scale and attract the necessary investments. While South Africa is the center of regional agri-business, its agricultural sector has two sides: highly developed farming enterprises exist in parallel with a struggling, emerging farmer sector.
With a rapidly growing population, food security in Southern Africa will become a critical risk, a risk heightened by climate change and economic disparities in rural areas.
These challenges pose real business risks but can also present significant opportunities. The agricultural sector is also the largest employer in rural populations and is a key enabler for creating economic opportunities and improving livelihoods. We need to future-proof Southern Africa’s food value chains by investing in the communities of the future.
To address these risks and unlock opportunities at scale, it is imperative that businesses work together.
That’s where the Southern Africa Food Systems Alliance comes in. To join the Alliance, companies will sign a covenant to commit to local sourcing ambitions. The overarching ambition is for 80% of total viable sourcing to be from within the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region by 2033.
Within this overarching ambition, further social and environmental ambitions will be defined following the launch of the Alliance, and strategic focus areas include:
- building small and emerging farmer inclusion
- contributing to improved food and nutritional security
- improving the climate resilience of Southern African food value chains.
IDH will establish an Investment Development Hub to test new business models and catalyze commercial financing to scale and replicate successful business models under the Alliance. Further details will follow the launch of the Alliance on the 21st of June.
More information on participants and venue coming soon!