Agricultural expedition in Zambia
Global Farmers Master Class 2016 heads to Africa
What opportunities and challenges does the African agricultural sector provide? Twenty successful farmers from all over the world are about to find out in Zambia, where they have been invited by Rabobank to take part in a special edition of the Global Farmers Master Class.
During the Global Farmers Master Class, Rabobank will be challenging a delegation of its leading agricultural customers to discuss and share information about trends and developments in the food and agricultural sector. The week-long event will include working visits, interactive presentations, workshops and other activities. This year’s Master Class stands out for two reasons: the programme is designed for farmers who have already taken part in a Master Class previously; and at their request, the spotlight is firmly on the African continent this time.
Berry Marttin, member of the Rabobank Executive Board: "Zambia is perhaps illustrative of many issues currently affecting Africa. The country has a lot of potential with its abundance of land and water, and yet they find themselves having to import 20 percent of all their food from abroad to be able to feed their population." The fast-growing Zambian food and agricultural industry is populated by a large variety of players, ranging from subsistence farmers who produce mostly for their own consumption to large corporate farms and companies engaged in food and agricultural processing.
The participants in the Global Farmers Master Class will be immersing themselves in a variety of topics, including social enabling factors, programmes designed to promote growth, business succession, big-data applications, and the growing importance of digitisation. The well-rounded programme incorporates everything from farm visits, meetings with owners of both smallholdings and larger farms to contributions from NGOs, local agricultural associations and food and agriculture analysts. The Zambian Minister of Agriculture will even be joining for part of the Master Class.
Knowledge and experience
Rabobank organised the first Global Farmers Master Class in 2012. Berry Marttin: "It was the first time we invited customers to join us in attempting to find a solution to the global food issue. It was a resounding success: the participants exchanged a wealth of knowledge and experience with each other, and in the wake of the event food safety was moved to the top of the political agenda."
Banking for food
The access to knowhow and networks that the Rabobank master classes provide makes them an indispensable part of Rabobank’s Banking for Food initiative. They are also very much in line with the bank’s views on food security and its role in achieving this goal. The Zambian master class is organised in close cooperation with Zambian bank Zanaco.