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Agrifood Innovation Finance Debate

How to mobilize capital for innovations transforming agrifood systems in Africa and Asia to accelerate the SDGs?

Virtual Event, 22/11/2023

Amaati Group (Ghana) empowers rural women through farming indigenous Fonio grains. It is one of the 11 participating SMEs in the SDG Agrifood Accelerator Programme

©Amaati Group

The Agrifood Innovation Finance Debate provided a platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and investors to discuss critical current challenges in financing innovations that have the potential to transform agrifood systems across Africa and Asia. The Debate is part of the SDG Agrifood Accelerator Programme, an instrument designed to help agrifood system start-ups develop their businesses while contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Programme is an initiative by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), supported by SEED. It introduces an innovative approach to drive the transformation of agrifood systems through the development of scalable and replicable business instruments for SMEs - allowing them to meet their economic targets, while contributing to accelerating SDG implementation in their local context. The Programme offers to the participating enterprises a comprehensive toolkit of support, personalized mentoring to facilitate business growth, aid in developing investment and financial strategies to strengthen market expansion and diversification and a methodology for tracking their social and environmental impact and contribution to the SDGs.

During this interactive webinar, financiers and SMEs engaged in lively discussions, exploring diverse perspectives on the financing obstacles and opportunities across Africa and Asia. The practical insights of the debate will inform the further implementation and agenda setting of the FAO SDG Agrifood Accelerator Programme and offered reflections on the scaling-up of SDG-focused financing, which has been highlighted at the 2023 SDG Summit and beyond as key to accelerating our collective progress towards the achievement of the SDGs.

Passcode: OJ%TQ@16 


11:00 - 11:10
Welcome and setting the scene
  • Hajnalka Petrics, Programme Officer, Office of SDGs, FAO
  • Setting the scene
    • Stefanos Fotiou, Director, Office of SDGs, FAO
    • Arab Hoballah, Executive Director, SEED
  • Video about the SDG Agrifood Accelerator Programme innovators
11:10 - 11:40
Debate 1: New Business Models vs. New Technologies: Which innovations are more promising for financers? – A focus on Africa
  • Moderator: Mirko Zuerker, SEED
  • Debaters:
    • Impact Investor Africa: Keith Wallace, Hivos Impact Investments
    • Impact Investor Africa: Yvonne Ofosu-Appiah, Sahara Impact Ventures, Ghana
    • Enterprise: Abdulai A. Dasana, Amaati, Ghana
    • Enterprise: Lawrence Zikusoka, Gorilla Conservation Coffee, Uganda 
11:40 - 12:10
Debate 2: Impact First vs. Profit First Models: What makes a difference in attracting commercial financing for agrifood SMEs? – A focus on Asia
  • Moderator: Hajnalka Petrics, FAO
  • Debaters:
    • Impact Investor Asia: Michal Gorczewski, Nexus for Development, Cambodia
    • Impact Investor Asia: Suresh Krishna, Yunus Social Business, India
    • Enterprise: Pradeep P S, FarmersFZ, India
    • Enterprise: Hatta Kresna, Rahsa Nusantara, Indonesia


12:10 -12:40
Debate 3: Loans vs. Grants: Which instruments are better to build-up agrifood innovations? – A focus on Africa and Asia
  • Moderator: Mirko, Zuerker, SEED
  • Debaters:
    • Financial Institution Africa: Emmanuel Imbula, Stanbic Bank, Zambia
    • Agricultural Development Bank Asia: Sriram Appulingam, NABARD, India
    • Enterprise: Harry Malichi, Wuchi Wami, Zambia
    • Enterprise: Pradeep P S, FarmersFZ, India 
12:40 - 13:00

Moderator: Hajnalka Petrics, FAO

  • Massimo Pera, Senior Agribusiness Officer, Investment Centre, FAO
  • Fabrizio Bresciani, Senior Technical Officer, Office of Innovation, FAO




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