The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa has announced commitments totaling more than $30 billion from corporations, foundations, and governments to boost production, income, and employment for smallholder farmers and agricultural businesses on the African continent over the next ten years.
Announced at the sixth African Green Revolution Forum, the commitments represent the first wave of support for the Seize the Moment campaign, which is backed by the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa's Development, the African Development Bank (AfDB), AGRA, key NGOs, companies, and donor countries. As part of the campaign, AfDB committed $24 billion over ten years — a 400 percent increase over its previous commitments — to help drive agricultural transformation on the continent, with support for the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation, a key pillar of that work.
In addition, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which pledged at least $5 billion to development initiatives on the continent over the next five years, including at least $1 billion for agriculture, with a focus on the foundation's ongoing efforts to expand crop and livestock research, strengthen data collection for decision-making, and improve tools, information, and innovations for smallholder farmers. The foundation also pledged to match other development partner support for AGRA programs on a one-to-one basis.
Other investors and development partners include the Rockefeller Foundation, which partnered with Gates to establish AGRA and announced $50 million in new funding — which is in addition to the $130 million it committed to YieldWise earlier this year and the $105 million it has awarded to AGRA since 2006. The International Fund for Agricultural Development pledged more than $3 billion, with a focus on efforts to generate jobs in farming and food production for African youth and African women. And the World Food Programme pledged to purchase at least $120 million of the agricultural products it distributes annually — 10 percent of its annual procurement budget — from smallholder farmers through a partnership called the Patient Procurement Platform.
"Food loss and waste across the value chain threatens farmers' livelihoods and costs the global economy more than the combined 2015 profits of the Fortune 500," said Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin. "In sub-Saharan Africa, 40 percent to 50 percent of certain staple crops are lost post-harvest."