The African continent represents a challenge and at the same time a great opportunity for agricultural mechanization. The use of technologies for agriculture is still very limited, as only 3% of the world's total tractors are found in Africa. However, many African countries are increasing their agricultural economies, and mechanization is considered an essential step in this process.
More than ever, it is important to relaunch cooperation and develop synergies between institutions, organizations, industries of the agro-food sector and agricultural mechanics. The 42nd edition of EIMA International, the large exhibition held in Bologna from November 9-13, will dedicate to the theme an initiative called “EIMA for Africa,” held on Friday, November 11 in the Four-Sided Arch Hall of the Service Center. The day will be divided into two parts, with the conference hosted by FOCSIV/FederUnacoma on the theme “Mechanization and family agriculture: the future of Africa” and the meeting hosted by CEFA/Granarolo/FederUnacoma on theme “AfricHandProject: food, work and development for Mozambique.” The first conference, held in the morning (at 10:30 am, in the Four-Sided Arch Hall) and coordinated by the journalist of Il Sole 24 Ore Anna Maria Capparelli, will give an outlook on the opportunities and critical issues linked to the development of agricultural cooperation projects, with the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Andrea Olivero, the Associate Professor of the Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences Department at the University of Turin Angela Calvo, FAO Representative Josef Kienzle, the Director-General for the Cooperation in Development Pietro Sebastiani, FOCSIV President Gianfranco Cattai and the President of FederUnacoma Massimo Goldoni.
Agricultural mechanization is considered as a key factor of cooperation projects for agricultural development in Africa. However, the introduction of agricultural machinery and equipment may have positive effects only if coping with the demands of the African territories and local communities. In this sense, the conference will also give the opportunity to re-launch cooperation activities and promote a debate with all the stakeholders on the best strategies for the development of the agricultural sector. Some important experiences within agricultural development projects in Africa were collected in a dossier, specially designed by FOCSIV for the conference. This dossier is a valuable support for promoting debates and outlining new strategies. While the conference promoted by FOCSIV will provide an overview of themes related to cooperation projects in Africa, the meeting organized by CEFA, in collaboration with Granarolo and FederUnacoma – held in the afternoon of the same day at 15:00 – will highlight a specific experience, concerning a project for the milk industry in Mozambique.
The event will start with a preview screening of a documentary by director Enrico Carlesi – one of the best-known authors of documentary films – describing the dramatic reality of the Mozambican communities, with interviews of local farmers and on-site cooperators. “AfricHandProject” for Mozambique is a project aimed at giving food and work to the poorest farmers living in the area of Beira, the second largest city in Mozambique. The goal is to create a milk industry – from fodder crops for livestock farms, to collection, pasteurization and marketing of milk, yogurt and cheese – in oder to help local families – the most affected by the recent civil war and the most fragile under the socio-economic point of view – to get out of poverty.
“AfricHandProject” for Mozambique – with the collaboration of CEFA Onlus, Consorzio Associazioni Mozambico, Granarolo, Emilia Romagna Region, Coopermondo, AIA, Alleanza delle Cooperative and FederUnacoma – was established to fulfill the commitment to feed the planet, signed by the international community at Expo 2015 and to develop, within 5 years, a modern and eco-friendly agro-industrial reality. During the event, held at EIMA International and coordinated by the Communications Manager of CEFA Giovanni Beccari, are scheduled the interventions of Cécile Kyenge, Member of the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of the ACP-EU Commission; Gianfranco Cattai, President of FOCSIV; Patrizia Farolini, President of CEFA; Giampiero Calzolari, President of Granarolo and of the President of FederUnacoma Massimo Goldoni. Since the CEFA Project, as well as many other cooperation initiatives for Africa, is centered on the milk industry, the “EIMA for Africa” day will include an interlude between the two conferences, with a convivial moment offered by Granarolo and entitled: “Degustazione bianca: tutti i sapori del latte” (White tasting: all milk tastes).