FAO Regional Office for Africa

COVID-19 and investments in agriculture: challenges and opportunities for transforming food systems in Africa

Funding and investments opportunities for agrifood SMEs are scarce in Africa, due to the perceived risks of the agricultural sector, coupled with the lack of capacity of financial institutions and private investors to assess profitable business opportunities within agribusiness markets. 

The new pandemic threat from COVID-19 is making these challenges even more pronounced and financial markets are likely to further decrease confidence and limit credit opportunities for agri-food SMEs. In addition, disruptions to the MFI sector could lead to reduce food security through damaging economic resilience in the short to medium term; decrease agricultural output in the upcoming production seasons; and lower the potential for microfinance to support economic growth.  

However, the pandemic imposes the agri-food industry to rethink its modus operandi, creating opportunities for private investments to pursue a transformation of food systems towards an economic, social and environmental sustainability.

The webinar is intended to serve as a roundtable among different actors from the supply and demand side for financial services, who will interact and mutually share their perceived bottlenecks, experiences and innovative practices to cope, respond and react to the pandemic.


  1. Rod Bassett- Director, Agriculture & Dairy- United Green, UK
  2. Vincent Marangu- Director Co-operatives Banking Division- Co-operative Bank, Kenya
  3. Margaret Komen, Director, MACE Foods Ltd, Kenya
  4. Lade Araba- Managing Director, Africa – Convergence

Moderator: Massimo Pera, Agribusiness Officer SP4, FAO

Panelists will then address questions around the following:

  1. What are the major changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to your sector and your work? 
  2. What are the immediate actions that your company/institution put in place to cope with the challenges raised by the pandemic? 
  3. What are the mid- and long-term solutions that you think would work best to increase investment into agriculture and food systems with an impact on SDGs?
  4. What should the public sector do to support investment in this new context?

Instruction for joining the webinar

Join Zoom Meeting through the following link:https://fao.zoom.us/j/96199143677Access through Zoom app using Meeting ID: 961 9914 3677 
Insert the Password: 651560  
Please note that the session will start on time.
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For more technical information please feel free to contact:[email protected]