Coldiretti, Eni and BF spa signed a cooperation agreement to start an agricultural supply chain project in Africa. It was one of the central themes dealt with in the 18th edition of the “International Forum of Agriculture and Food” which took place in Cernobbio (Como province) on 12 October. The objective of the agreement concerns the job creation through the development of local economies using sustainable and eco-friendly farming techniques.

Job Creation In Africa

This year the annual Forum, dedicated to agricultural and agri-food companies, was the scene of an important cooperation agreement between Coldiretti, Eni and BF spa to promote sustainable farming in Africa. It is a question of promoting a model of economic development, particularly in energy, farming, agri-food and livestock sector, which facilitates the knowledge transfer and the development entrepreneurship, respecting local environmental and cultural characteristics.

A model able to exploit the potential of family businesses and support the small producers of the South of the world who – as pointed out by the President of Coldiretti, Ettore Prandini – are “threatened by the distortion in the systems of production and distribution of food that favors the hoarding of lands and causes the migration from the countryside to the richest countries, where they often expect suffering and marginalization”. BF SpA, the largest Italian agro-industrial group listed on the stock exchange, will help to generate value and benefit local areas through its seed production companies applied technology, and high-quality food production, to create highly integrated, innovative and sustainable supply chains. BF spa’ CEO, Federico Vecchioni, said: ” is duty-bound to offer its skills transform Africa into a testing ground for agricultural sustainability and innovation. Creating modern, integrated agricultural supply chains and transferring expertise on sustainable, innovative farming to younger generations are key goals for BF Spa ‘s Africa Project”.

During his speech, Claudio Descalzi, Eni’s CEO, focused on the energy production model that Eni intends to develop in the name of sustainability and decarbonization: “These are vital concerns for the planet, which pose momentous challenges. Our contribution will become more meaningful once the principles we have applied will be adopted by the entire system”. The first pilot project will be the ‘Ghana Project‘ that involves setting up a training center for agricultural development and businesses where its alumni can work, thereby also creating an agricultural business community. Students will receive a daily allowance throughout their training, provided that they attend lessons.

Italian Prime Minister’s Support

In his inauguration address to the Coldiretti Forum’s audience, the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expressed words of great appreciation for the “Africa Project” to which the Government offers all the possible support. A project that comes from a private initiative, but which has a political strategic implication because it will facilitate the marriage between economy and ecology directly in Africa, in order to reduce the social gap that has characterized our planet for decades. “The education in Africa must be promoted, so that the staff has precise employment prospects – the Italian Prime Minister said – It is also the best method to prevent migration flows that could be destabilizing in the long term”.

In Conte’s speech, all the pride in the excellence of the Italian agri-food sector that defines a pillar of the country emerges. Italy – continued Conte – must work on a foreign policy which, coming from the heritage of the past, looks to Africa, to a land of opportunity and responsibility for both parties “. He concluded with a thought of hope for a world of zero hunger, so that the food and agriculture of the future can produce safe and nutritious food for all, preserving natural resources. It is unacceptable that even today – we are in 2019 – 820 million people suffer from hunger and many of them are still concentrated in Africa.”