As a preview to the issues that will be discussed at Cracking the Nut 2017, the webinar covered a variety of topics, including how to best prepare farmers for increasingly complex requirements within supply chains, the role of finance and business, and how inclusive supply chains can help create stronger linkages and opportunities for businesses and smallholder farmers.
In discussing access to finance, Anita Campion asserted that, “What we have seen consistently is the lack of access to finance continues to be one of the most significant barriers to rural and agricultural development and so ultimately it is an important factor for food security.” She discussed the different creative approaches that have been used in agricultural finance and value chain finance to address the remaining obstacles.
Cracking the Nut is a learning event that has looked at agricultural development through different lens. Initially, the conference focused on looked at financing rural agriculture, but over the years, it has zoomed in on different issues, such as food security, climate change, and this year it will focus on urban demand, and rural-to-urban linkages.
If you missed this very interesting and timely webinar, you can listen to it here. To learn more about this subject, and here about a variety of innovations to improve the sustainability of urban markets and strengthen rural-to-urban links, register today for the Cracking the Nut 2017 conference.
In October 2016, Connexus President and CEO Anita Campion was a guest on the Nigerian talk show Magnus Kpakol global views Africa (gvA), which discusses Africa’s economic struggles and focuses on the continent’s continuing story of economic development in the context of a global political economy. Ms. Campion spoke with the show’s host, Dr. Magnus Kpakol, about a variety of topics including food security in Africa, value chain financing, the role of microfinance and agriculture in Nigeria.
See below for the full video. The interview starts at 10:35.
In October, President & CEO Anita Campion delivered a speech during the Refined Economic Development (RED) Quarterly Lecture on “The Role of Monetary Policy in Job Creation” in Abuja, Nigeria. The quarterly lecture series are hosted and organized by Economic and Business Strategies (EBS), whose goal is to promote and develop competent and productive initiatives in the area of small enterprises in Nigeria. Ms. Campion spoke about a variety of issues, addressing the current state of the Nigerian job market and economy and the opportunities that agriculture and agribusinesses can provide to Nigerian job seekers.
Agriculture has ample room for growth in Nigeria, especially if supported by good business advisory services. She emphasized the importance of private and public dialogue and partnership when discussing how to create a stable and enabling environment for sustainable jobs, and cited the Central Bank’s 2013 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund as an example of how the government can support the growth of agricultural value chains in Nigeria.
Ms. Campion noted Connexus’ recent work in Ghana providing tripartite financing models to help farmers, processors, and banks create stable lines of credit and secure food supplies to promote growth and reduce risk at all levels of the agricultural value chain. Climate-smart agriculture is an integral part of sustainable growth and provides many investment opportunities, especially when linked to improving technology and innovation. Check out her full speech and the rest of the RED lectures below!
Or watch the video segment of Ms. Campion’s speech below:
Our first Cracking the Nut Health conference on July 18-19, 2016 brought together almost 200 participants from 25 countries to discuss “The Role of Communities in Building Resilient Health Systems.” Participants engaged in a lively and participatory atmosphere on topics including mHealth innovations, the role of frontline health workers, engaging with the private sector, data access and ownership, and many more thought-provoking quandaries in this fast changing world.
From the conference evaluation, several participants indicated that they planned to take many of the best practices presented and apply them to their ongoing work. While the conference provided many insights, as highlighted by Rebecca Kohler of IntraHealth International in this blog post, the discussion will continue beyond the two days in July.
In May, Connexus designed and conducted a Due Diligence for Agricultural Investments training for financial institutions as part of the USAID-funded Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (FinGAP) in Accra and Tamale, Ghana. The purpose of this training was to build participants’ capacities in reviewing and using financial statements, understanding the key components of conducting thorough due diligence for agricultural investments, and learning how to gather data during an on-site visit to an agricultural enterprise. Overall, 67 people participated in the training, of which 63% were men and 37% were women. The training was very well received, including one participant who exclaimed that this was “by far the best USAID training I have participated in.”
Led by Chemonics International, the USAID Afghanistan Public Financial Management project (APFM) aims to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) in its efforts to improve fiscal sustainability and enable delivery of essential services by strengthening the Government’s ability at national and sub-national levels to mobilize domestic revenues and more effectively manage its budget. As part of the consortium, Connexus is responsible for leading the Public Financial Management Roadmap II (PFMR-II) performance management team. Connexus is working with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of the Economy and the Afghan Revenue Department to provide technical assistance in policy development and implementation. Connexus is also providing policy advice on expenditure proposals, including forward estimates, and is assisting with revenue forecasting integrated with macro data. Connexus is also supporting the work of the Tax Policy Committee and the High Economic Council in order to strengthen the government’s capacity to forecast, increase, and manage domestic revenues.