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Exploring the future of food systems: IDRC at AGRF 2020

September 4, 2020
The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), the world's premiere forum for African agriculture, brings stakeholders together to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward.
Woman buying fish at a market
International Committee for the Development of Peoples

IDRC is supporting the tenth annual AGRF, co-hosted by the Government of Rwanda and the AGRF Partners Group (of which IDRC is a member). In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s AGRF, which gathers thousands of delegates from across government, civil society, the private sector, research communities, and development partners, will be held virtually from September 8-11, 2020.

Feed the Cities, Grow the Continent: Leveraging Urban Food Markets to Achieve Sustainable Food Systems in Africa — the theme of this year’s summit — is a call to action to rethink our food systems to deliver more resilient, nourishing, and prosperous outcomes for all. It will inspire and call for the adoption of concrete action and commitments from regional governments, the private sector, farmers and processors, and other stakeholders in the agriculture and food systems sectors.

The AGRF Virtual Summit 2020 comes at an unprecedented time for African cities because many are facing a looming hunger crisis (especially those reliant on imported food) following international COVID-19 lockdowns.

IDRC is leading and contributing to several events during the AGRF Virtual Summit 2020. Our sessions will highlight how the Centre is investing in inclusive, socially equitable research to help inform a new global food security agenda, supported by evidence-based analysis that considers the broad impacts of COVID-19.

IDRC sessions at the AGRF Virtual Summit 2020 include:


Monday, September 7

Demand-driven transformation of food systems in Africa

Time: 15:00–16:45

The Rockefeller Foundation, in partnership with IDRC, host this pre-Summit session exploring how research can be leveraged to build healthy, equitable, and sustainable food systems in Africa through demand-driven policies and interventions.


Tuesday, September 8

Women-led resilience strategies [Women in Agriculture]

Time: 11:00–13:00

Women agripreneurs and farmers have faced many challenges during the pandemic — including increased violence and lack of market access — that have prompted them to create new strategies to cope. Co-hosted by IDRC and AGRA, with support from BMGF, UN Women, CIMMYT, CGIAR, GAC, AWARD, AWEP Kenya, FAO, USAID, CARE, ILRI, AfDB, and AWAN, this session will highlight some of the most innovative emerging solutions, from input distribution at the farmer level to feeding children in cities.


Red threads: Leveraging market systems to improve resilience

Time: 18:15–19:00

In a fireside chat, guest speakers, including IDRC President Jean Lebel, will provide comments on key outcomes of the day and additional insights on strategies to deliver healthy, safe, affordable, and accessible food to cities. Other speakers include President and CEO of the One Campaign, Gayle Smith; Chairman/CEO of GEF, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez; Ambassador of the World Food Bank Aliaume (Akon) Thiam; and CEO of One Africa Network, Sam Nkusi.


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Policy symposium – Advancing nutrition and gender

Time: 14:00–15:45

This two-part session, which includes IDRC’s Vice-President, Programs and Partnerships, Dominique Charron as a panelist, will explore the following pressing questions on issues of gender, sustainable food systems, and nutrition: 

  • How do we better identify high-risk and high-priority groups in urban environments, especially in light of COVID-19?
  • How do we ensure that policy to improve urban food systems reaches and benefits the most vulnerable communities?
  • How do we make the most out of gender-based financing?
  • What methods are needed to identify and fund women entrepreneurs, particularly those working to link farmers to the value-added processing, retail, and food services sectors in urban centres across Africa?


Register for the AGRF Virtual Summit 2020.