From the first edition in 2019 under the theme “Help us feed you better”, to the virtual fair (in 2020) and the webinar in 2021 on access to agricultural land for women, the concept “1er May of the farmer” of the agricultural reference goes a long way.
The 4th edition, marked by the fashion show of agricultural actors, brought together different actors of the agricultural value chain in Togo around a rich, colorful evening that was appreciated by the participants.
Unlike classic fashion shows, the key players in the agricultural value chain (producers, processors, traders, consumers) each paraded local products and displayed their products to the public.
The auctions of local products and the declamations of poems – Slams in honor of the values of the country’s workers presided over the ceremony.
(reread: Farming is in fashion
The evening concluded with the tasting and exhibition of local products. “A successful bet”, say the first media managers who want to repeat the feat next year by mobilizing actors in all regions of the country.
Satisfaction shared by visitors and exhibitors on the evening who appreciated this unique event that focuses on agriculture.
Exhibitors not only sold, but informed a wide audience about the existence of their products by sharing flyers, contacts, etc.
A precarious context
Beyond the festive aspect of 1er May workers in general, including land in particular, the agricultural sector in Africa employs 60% of the population, constitutes 38 to 40% of the national wealth (GDP).
The health crisis situation (covid19) for 2 years has increased fears about food and nutrition security in many countries on the continent.
The drought in the Sahel caused by climate change and recently again the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, two world leaders in the supply of fertilizers, complicate the comparison for farmers.
The prohibitive cost of fertilizers on the international market and their availability to the poorest vulnerable groups is a headache for governments implementing alternatives to save agricultural production.
Specifically for fertilizers, some countries are committed to helping farmers access it at subsidized prices, others are starting funds to facilitate access to inputs.
(reread: The farmers still at work on May 1th
All these initiatives are certainly commendable, but the challenges of the agricultural sector remain enormous. The project is huge and needs more investment, innovation, brilliance, agility and anticipation.
The other key factor in the modernization of the sector is the investment in the digitization of the sector, which should take a prominent place in government policy in favor of African agriculture in the future.
The development of digital platforms for agricultural information, agricultural services, e-commerce to market local products, educate farmers in digital culture, etc. are necessary to enter the era of agriculture 4.0.
The digitalisation of agriculture in Africa remains a sine qua non to also accelerate the advance towards the zero hunger challenge by 2030, as set by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Achieving this goal requires the involvement of all stakeholders. Every link in the agricultural value chain is called upon to play its part.
Happy Labor Day to all farm workers across Africa.