In a new push to catalyze growth in Sub-Saharan Africa’s agriculture and food sectors, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and World Bank Agriculture Global Practice last week end signed a letter of intent to strengthen cooperation, share information, and deepen collaboration including jointly developing a strategic portfolio of projects for greater impact.
“At a time when AGRA is focused on a significant push for Africa’s agricultural transformation, the partnership with the World Bank provides new energy and drive for the realization of this ambition, we are very excited to partner in this initiative for achieving our common goals,” Said AGRA President Agnes Kalibata.
The effort comes at a time when there is greater recognition of the untapped potential of agriculture and food sectors to deliver development dividends and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Despite progress, one in four Africans is hungry, and every one African child in three is stunted. Food demand will rise by at least 20 percent globally over the next 15 years with the largest increases projected in Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the Bank, food production in Sub-Saharan Africa will need to increase by about 60 percent. AGRA’s goal is to double yields and incomes for 30 million farming households across Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020. This objective will be met by supporting productivity improvements on smallholder farms, increases poor farmers’ access to markets and finance, while safeguarding the environment.
Specifically, AGRA and the World Bank will work jointly to identify policy constraints that are hindering agricultural transformation in Africa and collaborate on designing mechanisms to deal with these constraints, benefiting millions of smallholder African farmers.
“Across Sub-Saharan Africa, agricultural transformation holds the key to economic growth and feeding more people with nutritious, safe and affordable diets, our collaboration with AGRA is extensive and we look forward to taking our partnership to the next level so that we can together work to end poverty and boost shared prosperity on the African continent,” says WB Senior Director for the Agriculture Global Practice, Juergen Voegele.