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Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa

Working along the agricultural supply chain to catalyze a uniquely African green revolution

Overview

The Rockefeller Foundation believes the fight against hunger, especially when anchored in science and markets, can be won. Food security is critical for both human welfare and economic growth in Africa. About 70 percent of sub-Saharan Africans depend on agriculture for their livelihoods—and smallholder farmers account for 90 percent of food production in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, many farmers barely produce enough food to feed their families, leaving no money for investing in tools and technologies that could increase yields. As a result, increases in staple crop production, wide scale marketing of surpluses and value-added businesses have not been sustained in Africa as in many other regions of the world. By supporting new scientific advances in human nutrition and food production, and carrying forward our commitment to a Green Revolution in Africa, The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to reaching hundreds of millions of people with nourishing food while improving the sustainability of the global food system.

Our Strategy & Results

In 2006, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partnered to launch the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA, based on a shared vision that investing in agriculture is the surest path to reducing poverty and hunger in Africa. AGRA works across the continent to help millions of smallholder farmers boost their farm productivity and incomes. Today, AGRA is catalyzing and sustaining an inclusive agricultural transformation in Africa by increasing incomes and improving food security for 30 million farming households in 11 focus countries.

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Since 2006, AGRA has supported more than 800 projects, including efforts to develop and deliver better seeds, increase yields, improve soil fertility, upgrade storage facilities, improve market information systems, strengthen farmers’ associations, expand access to credit for farmers and suppliers, and advocate for national policies that benefit smallholder farmers. Over the past decade, AGRA’s results include:

  • Scale of Impact: Empowering 15 million African smallholders with training, financing and technology that doubled yields and increased marketable surpluses by 9.7 MMT
  • Environment: 1.3 million hectares restored for agricultural production
  • Financial Support: Grants totaling more than $430 million
  • Education: Making possible 470 PhD and Master’s graduates in plant sciences
  • R&D: Helping to commercialize 562 new seed varieties

Watch the AGRA story here:

Developed in close coordination with sector experts and stakeholders, AGRA’s new strategic approach is responsive to country needs and focused on catalyzing an inclusive agriculture transformation across sub-Saharan Africa. AGRA’s 2017-2021 strategy will help double the yields and incomes of 30 million smallholder households in 11 focus countries through smallholder-centered, African-led, partnership-driven agricultural development. Ultimately, AGRA aims to help catalyze investments and partnerships that reach hundreds of millions of people through 4 interconnected interventions:

  1. Inputs Systems
  2. Agribusiness Development & Finance
  3. Building Resilience
  4. Policy & Country Support

#1 Inputs Systems

AGRA is supporting and partnering with both the public and private sectors to develop the systems that ensure sustained availability, delivery and adoption of improved seeds and fertilizers, with a particular focus on getting these inputs into the hands of women farmers, and taking innovative crop varieties and soil and crop management techniques to scale.

#2 Agribusiness Development & Finance

AGRA is also working to develop the agriculture sector more broadly by enhancing the capacity of local agribusinesses to access markets and financial products and services. This includes providing affordable financing to smallholder farmers and local SMEs to transform farms, businesses and value chains into sustainable and profitable enterprises that help attract public private partnerships.

#3 Building Resilience

AGRA is promoting interventions that help production systems remain resilient to climate change and climate variability. This includes developing more efficient marketing systems, introducing post-harvest technologies to close yield gaps and ensuring farmers can sustainably sell quality product to consumer markets.

#4 Policy & Country Support

Central to AGRA’s work is its continuing effort to shape implementation of CAADP—the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme that calls for African governments to allocate 10 percent of national budgets to agriculture and to aim for 6% annual growth in the sector. Countries that moved quickly to embrace CAADP have enjoyed more sustained agriculture productivity growth and reduced poverty. AGRA works with countries to develop business plans, often analyzing and advocating for critical policy reforms that will remove barriers and spur growth.

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