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Sanjay Sethi -A Food and Agribusiness professional focused on developing winning integrated supply chains in Africa, Middle East and in India. Mr. Sethi is a trusted advisor to various governments, corporations and investment funds with expertise recognized with awards including “The Africa Food Prize 2013”.  He undertook various infrastructure projects like setting up India’s first Mega Food Park and India’s first Free Trade Warehousing Zone. He conceived and implemented food security projects in Africa business and managed an impact investment fund for Africa. 

In the past, he was felicitated for his efforts in the realm of food security by the Government of Ras Al Khaimah, and by Governor Samuel Ortom, of Benue State, Nigeria, as the Minister of Commerce and Industry Nigeria. Sethi is Sustainability and Impact investment leader developing and managing large commercial farms, agri-infrastructure and making the businesses more sustainable.

Alberto Didoni has worked in private sector development and foreign direct investments in emerging markets for the past 20 years, working and consulting for major development finance institutions, privately-held firms and international organizations. He started off as a consultant and project officer for major development finance institutions (WB, IFC) and then joined an operator of microfinance banks in Africa and Asia as an Investment Officer. In 2013, he created Varcando Limited, a boutique advisory firm focused on the structuring and fund-raising for projects and firms in emerging and frontier markets. Since then, he and his colleagues structured projects in multiple geographies and sectors, including agribusiness. Alberto sat on the Board of directors of various banks and MFIs in Africa and Asia. He speaks fluently English, French and Spanish.

Jon Vandenheuvel is CEO of First Hectares Capital, an infrastructure development company focused on Africa and the Middle East. First Hectares is working to develop infrastructure and financing for small farm clusters and economic systems in Malawi and Somalia, with a special emphasis on refugees and IDPs. He is co-founder of AKILI, the non-profit Agribusiness Knowledge, Innovation and Leadership Initiative, and he recently served as an MIT Visiting Scholar for African Urbanism.  He is also co-founder of Africa Atlantic Franchise Farms in Ghana, a laboratory farming operation on the shoreline of Lake Volta. He started his career on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., serving as Executive Director of the Republican Conference of the U.S. House of Representatives for then-Chairman, U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts of Oklahoma.  Earlier, he served as Chief of Staff for US Congressman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan.


Ben Valk is the current Head Food and Agri Partnerships for Rabobank. In this capacity, Ben advocated Rabobank’s banking for Food Strategy in international networks, notably the World Economic Forum, UN and World Bank networks, in which context he organized Rabobank’s highest level client and strategy development events.

Ben headed Rabobank’s Multilateral Development Banking team in 2012 – 2014, a team with both a development and commercial target. From 2006 – 2011 he was Regional Manager for Rabo Development in Asia and South America, serving a variety of rural banks with strategy planning, capacity building and project management in countries as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brazil and Egypt and in West Africa. Before that, Ben served for 10 years in various senior management functions in the domestic banking network of Rabobank, a.o. as Director Corporate Banking for Rabobank Arnhem and as Adjunct Regional Director.

Josien Sluijs has been active in the field of inclusive finance for over 15 years. In her current position as Director of the Netherlands Platform for Inclusive Finance (NpM), she is responsible for the representation of the Dutch Inclusive Finance sector and she facilitates cooperation, knowledge development and sharing amongst the members of NpM. Before her current position, she held a senior position at Rabo Development. She was responsible for restructuring Rural Banks in the Middle East and Asia.

She was also responsible for different advisory trajectories for international organizations, such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and research projects with regard to Value Chain Finance. Other functions she held at Rabobank International were Project Manager Securitization and Credit Structurer Food and Agribusiness. For the World Food Program (WFP) in India, she carried out an evaluation and advised the WFP on the Mother and Child program.

Bettina Prato - A political scientist by training, Bettina Prato has worked in the area of rural development for over fifteen years, with a focus on international policy processes affecting country-level and regional investments in rural transformation and agri-food SMEs.

Prior to taking on the role of Senior Coordinator for SAFIN, she was the Global Engagement team leader in the Global Engagement, Strategy and Knowledge Department at IFAD, with responsibility for participation in a number of forums in the United Nations system and in other contexts (including G7/8 and G20). She was a co-author of the IFAD Rural Development Report 2011 and has published a number of essays and articles on matters related to rural transformation and the 2030 Agenda, rural development in post-conflict transitions, and issues in contemporary political theory.


Oluwatoyin E. Olamiji is the Principal Consultant and Head of Agro Advisory Services at Toyola Consult in Nigeria. She has been involved in Agro advisory services for most of his career and business life. Oluwatoyin has been versed in business experiences even before her professional qualification as a chartered Accountant. She was the Chief Executive Officer of Estoyin Ventures operating in general merchant business (a business in Export of Agro Nigeria products to many countries in the world.

Oluwatoyin E. Olamiji qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2011 and has extensive experience in the areas of accounting, auditing, oil and gas audit, consulting and due diligence services working in Nigeria. She was trained in S. S. Afemikhe Consulting after qualification in 2011 from May 2012 to July 2016. Oluwatoyin underwent several in-house and on the job training while working in S. S. Afemikhe Consulting. She is highly experienced in oil and gas downstream Audit Verification of PMS and DPK importation to Nigeria. Oluwatoyin is also experienced in joining team of financial audit of companies and consulting while working.

She later resigned to her full time business and consulting in July 2016. Oluwatoyin extra passion for Agro consulting and entrepreneurship led to the emergence of Export Nigerian Goods platform


Aly-Khan is a Partner in Dalberg’s London office, where he focuses on work in the practice areas of Inclusive Growth, Agriculture and Food Security, and Mobile and ICT for Development. In particular, he has worked with FMCG, consumer goods, telecoms, media, and technology firms on their emerging and frontier market strategies. In addition to strategy consulting, Aly-Khan also draws on extensive transaction advisory experience across the full activity chain, having worked on over 40 transactions and with most of the largest private equity firms in the world as well as several emerging-markets focused funds. As a result of this combination, Aly-Khan works closely with Dalberg Capital, which is also based in London.

Aly-Khan started his career at OC & C Strategy Consultants in London and Paris. He holds a Bachelors in Arts from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and a Masters in Economics from McGill University.

Eze I Nwakanma is currently the Sector Lead for Agribusiness in Union Bank Plc. Prior to this He was the Team Lead for Corporate Agribusiness in Union Bank saddled with the responsibility of repositioning the Agribusiness balance sheet of the bank. Developed active relationship with the multi-lateral aid agencies like GIZ, USAID, Henrich Boll and leveraging them to improve funding for Agriculture. He was instrumental to the recent collaboration with NIRSAL that is supported with a N10B line from Union Bank for Agribusiness funding in the areas of processing, market access, mechanization and input supply. He has represented Union Bank in the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and presented in NES#22 that led to the SEDCON concept and the NES#23 which built acceptable models for the intervention in the Niger Delta. He has over 18 years banking experience.

Edem Agbe is the Managing Director of Participatory Development Associates (PDA). Edem is an experienced development practitioner with professional experience in the fields of community development, research, monitoring and evaluation, project management policy analysis, financial inclusion and organisation development. Prior to his appointment as the Managing Director, Edem worked as the Ghana country coordinator for the Youth Forward initiative Learning Partnership led by Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Participatory Development Associates (PDA) and Development Research and Training (DRT), Uganda. The Youth Forward initiative is in partnership with MasterCard Foundation and is being implemented by 28 organisations in Ghana and Uganda to create sustainable employment and economic opportunities for youth in Construction an

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