24 July 2014

How Agribusiness Innovation Centers Contribute to Africa's Agribusiness Sector

Case Studies from the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review

As rapid urbanization will soon cause more than 50% of Africans to live in cities, the World Bank estimates that continent’s food market will be worth $1 trillion by 2030. Over the next decade, agribusiness in Africa could hence become the engine that drives dynamic, unprecedented economic growth and development. 

2 May 2014

Boosting Skills through Agribusiness Incubation Training

An Assessment of Agribusiness Incubation Training Outcomes

infoDev publishes a new report that analyzes the effects of the delivery of its Agribusiness Incubation training module to a total of 149 people from 25 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. The delivery of the training has proven successful in conveying the fundamentals of agribusiness innovation, as well as exposing trainees to the variety of business models that exist and can be explored. Participants emphasized the acquired knowledge on value chains and how this understanding transformed their activities inside their organizations. Download full report here.

16 October 2014

Creating a new market in Kenya

Nyawira Gitaka and her clean-tech venture Mushroom Blue

Supported by the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC), Mushroom Blue is revolutionizing Nairobi’s produce market by introducing innovative cultivation techniques that can turn coffee waste into a potent fertilizer. We sat down with Nyawira Gitaka, co-founder of the company, to talk about her innovative ideas and the plans for the future of her business.


Catalyzing Inclusive Growth through Acceleration of Pioneering Enterprises

infoDev’s Agribusiness Innovation Program (AIP)seeks to catalyze inclusive growth by accelerating the growth of pioneering agribusinesses. Its focus is to 1) develop and test new approaches to connecting innovative, growth oriented entrepreneurs to the knowledge, markets, networks and capital needed to advance their enterprises; 2) build local capacity and enable public-private partnerships to deliver these approaches, and 3) deliver solid methodologies to the development community for planning, supporting, monitoring and evaluating initiatives that advance the growth of innovative agribusiness enterprises through provision of financial and non-financial services.

It offers an effective "how to" course for professionals looking to use business incubation to enable the start-up and growth of innovative agribusiness enterprises in developing countries and interested in designing a new agribusiness incubator or strengthening an existing one.

Through a specialized training course, professionals can have the knowledge they need to foster the growth of innovative agribusiness enterprises in developing countries through business incubation. The course is part of infoDev's Business Incubation Management Training Program.

Scaling a competitive horticulture sector through value adding post-harvest processing

This document proposes a new model for promoting the growth of a competitive value adding horticulture sector in Senegal.The proposed Agribusiness Innovation Center (AIC) will provide a set of financial and nonfinancial services to high-growth potential entrepreneurs, aiming to accelerate the growth of their enterprises and demonstrating product, process, and business model innovation across the horticulture sector. AIC complements existing efforts focused on farm-level improvements and foreign investment facilitation.

Developing market-led post harvest value adding processing enprises
In line with the government of Mozambique’s strategies, this document proposes an innovative model with high promise to develop value adding market led post-harvest processing enterprises and to transform the post harvest-processing sector in Mozambique, while creating sustainable jobs and increasing incomes. The challenge is to ensure coordination across value chains to guarantee that the right conditions are in place for making the Agribusiness Innovation Center (AIC) a success.
Feasibility Assessment for an Agribusiness Innovation Center
This report examines the feasibility of an Agribusiness Innovation Center (AIC) in the agro-processing sector in Nepal and proposes a sustainable business model. The proposed AIC will foster and accelerate the growth of Nepal’s agro-processing sector, thereby helping to commercialize agricultural production, increase agricultural incomes, and reduce poverty. It builds upon infoDev’s earlier efforts to develop and expand business incubation in Nepal. Lessons gathered are from various agribusiness incubators (see the Global Good Practices Assessment on Agribusiness Incubation) and similar feasibility assessments carried out in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania.
Scaling value added post-harvest processing agribusinesses

This document proposes a new model for promoting the growth of competitive value-added sunflower oil processing in Tanzania, and also seeks to identify potential growth enterprises in other value chains.The proposed Agribusiness Innovation Center (AIC) will provide a set of financial and non-financial services to high growth potential entrepreneurs, aiming to accelerate the growth of their enterprises and demonstrating product, process, and business model innovation across focal sectors. The AIC will complement existing efforts focused on farm-level improvements and foreign investment facilitation.

Enabling a climate smart, competitive, and sustainable agribusiness sector

The Agribusiness Innovation Initiative (AII) seeks to contribute toward advancing a climate-smart competitive agribusiness sector in Ethiopian which Ethiopians benefit from an increased number of jobs and raised incomes. The AII will contribute toward this objective by identifying innovative growth-oriented entrepreneurs who are pursuing business opportunities based on value addition of agricultural commodities and providing them with a holistic service offering that accelerates their growth and increases their sustainability.

Included in this report is an op-ed by infoDev Program Coordinator, Ellen Olafsen, on how infoDev works to help developing countries turn their agricultural surpluses into high-quality processing jobs. Download  the report entitled "Agriculture: Smallholder Value Chains" and read the op-ed on page 19. 

Applying Business Incubation to Agribusiness SMEs

infoDev's global good practices assessment, which was released today, presents lessons learned from 10 case studies of agribusiness incubators in low and middle income countries, including Brazil, Chile, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Mozambique, Timbali, Uganda, India, and Indonesia. 

UPDATED (May 22, 2014): The full texts of the 10 case studies are now available for download. These case studies highlight best practices and lessons learned from across the globe for developing and sustaining agribusiness incubators. 

A new World Bank report “Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness,” says that Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods. The report calls on governments to work side-by-side with agribusinesses, to link farmers with consumers in an increasingly urbanized Africa. 

Read the full story on this report in The World Bank website. 




Many developing countries have a strong agricultural sector, but miss out on the chance to turn their excess produce into processing jobs. This is an exciting development opportunity, because each additional job in agro-processing adds another 2.8 jobs to the wider economy, often benefitting smallholders, rural communities, and the unskilled. The Agribusiness Innovation Program (AIP) aims to reach development goals such as job creation and inclusive growth in agriculture, by focusing on supporting growth oriented entrepreneurs engaged in downstream business activities (such as processing) to develop competitive enterprises to effectively link into productive value chains.

Our Agribusiness Innovation Program initially funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland under the Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Program, aims to generate competitive, inclusive agribusiness sector jobs in developing countries by helping local entrepreneurs with high growth potential. Providing access to a holistic service offering including financial, market linkage, technology, and business development services, we can channel our business support know-how to transformative innovators through locally owned and operated Agribusiness Innovation Centers, or AICs.

For a deeper look at our Agribusiness Innovation Program, check out its chapter in our Work Program.

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