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Agriculture experts root for contract farming to achieve food security

Experts in agriculture are advocating contract farming (CF) to solve food insecurity in Africa.

Contract farming involves agricultural production being carried out on the basis of an agreement between the buyer and farmers.

Both parties agree in advance on terms and conditions for the production and marketing of farm products.

Farmers undertake to supply agreed quantities of crop or livestock products based on the quality standards and delivery requirements of the purchaser.

In return, the buyer, usually a company, agrees to buy the product often at a pre-set price.

The experts meeting in Nairobi under the aegis of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) said this model of farming has the potential to increase food production among other benefits.

"Contract farming brings public and private sectors together and it is not about one side winning. It ensures there is a market to grow and it has advance payment. Once a farmer knows someone is waiting, they will work hard," said Dr Apollos Nwafor, Agra’s vice president.