By Cindy Euston-Brown

The African Agri Council NPC (AAC) has recently launched the Market Support Programme (MSP)and Co-op Support Programme (CSP) to support the development and upskilling of African agribusinesses and cooperatives. “We believe this is a game changer for African agri food entrepreneurs and cooperatives who can now leverage the African Agri Council’s services and network to learn new skills, evolve into performing and commercially sustainable organizations as well as access a global network of food and agriculture executives” said Ben Leyka, Chief Executive Officer of the African Agri Council NPC. 

African smallholder farmers and agribusiness startups need support to build resiliency and sustainability as part of the global food security strategy; an improvement to their productivity and business model will have a huge impact on the industry and continent development. The AAC is targeting 10 million smallholder farmers and agribusiness startups in the next 10 years as part of its Athari Africa project; small scale farmers and early stage agribusinesses have limited access to assets and expertise that would facilitate a shift from low-productivity subsistence businesses to modern, commercial agribusinesses. The AAC is committed, through Markert Support and Co-op Support, to provide an integrated programme that facilitates the long awaited shift. 

“As a non-profit, our resilience was truly tested this year due to the impact of COVID, and yet, we decided to keep our heads high, push ourselves to think outside the box and move out of our comfort zones with one goal in mind; support the development of African food and agriculture” said Mr. Leyka

“The development and upskilling of 10 million agrifood entrepreneurs is a challenge that the AAC has decided to tackle head on. We are pleased to announce our commitment to invest US$4 860 000 in the training and mentorship of 540 African agrifood entrepreneurs and 54 cooperatives annually. The AAC is currently training 110 beneficiaries in South Africa, of which 90% represent women led agribusinesses, and 4 associations in Botswana representing over 300 horticulture producers. Our investment will support a continental roll out of our programmes while providing expert training, world class coaching and access to global markets” Mr. Leyka continued.

An application and selection process will soon be announced to select qualified beneficiaries for the 12 months programme. 


About the AAC Athari Africa project

Market Support (MSP) is a programme developed to support agri food entrepreneurs with technical, operational and management capability as they aim to reach local, regional and international markets. Our goal is: i) Capture and proactively engineer network effects for market access and value chain integration. ii) Manage performance with a pragmatic growth mind-set. iii) Develop robust investment strategies leveraging local and international context.

Co-op Support Programme is a consulting and training programme developed to strengthen and consolidate the institutional and commercial capacities of farmers’ cooperatives. Recognising the importance of markets in sustaining agribusinesses, CSP facilitates the integration of their cooperatives in value chains by connecting their members with buyers, financial institutions and global stakeholders.

Calls for partners and buyers

The AAC and its partners will contribute directly to the development of 10 million agribusinesses in Africa over the next 10 years. Support our mission by sponsoring our beneficiaries. Contact Deborah Payne at

The AAC is working with local, regional and international buyers to understand their specific requirements regarding products, labelling, certifications etc, and use this information to guide our beneficiaries in their production processes and product development. Contact Olivier Kambaj at olivier.kambaj@agricouncil.organd join our Buyer’s Network.


About the African Agri Council 

The African Agri Council NPC (AAC) is a pan African institution that promotes the development of sustainable food and agriculture in Africa. We are a network of key stakeholders connected to Africa’s entire food and agriculture business value chain.

We work with governments, investors and project owners and developers to accelerate investment into bankable agricultural projects. We bring together agrifood buyers and sellers with a focus on attaining and improving access to regional and international markets.

Our networking platforms bring together thousands of members, partners, government representatives, investors, consultants, technology providers, retailers, farmers, aggregators and traders to connect, share knowledge and together help grow Africa’s agricultural sector.

The AAC runs four annual events; the Investment Food Forum (IFF), Market Access Africa (MAA), AFTI Summit and African Agri Investment Indaba (AAII). Our events have attracted between 400 to 950 participants, and AAII is now Africa’s largest agribusiness and investment conference. To find out more get in touch with Cindy Euston-Brown via email or go to