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  • Matt Spencer

the Age of Agricultural Transformation in Africa

It has been announced that there will be a $280 million partnership made to promote inclusive agricultural transformation. The partnership, named the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA), is between Bill and Melinda Gates, the Rockefeller Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The announcement was made at the 2017 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF). The purpose of this partnership is to further Africa’s commitment to transformation.

The partnership aligns behind the 2014 Malabo agenda, in which African heads of state and government committed to furthering Africa’s transformation agenda, and opening up the regions agricultural potential. The partners will provide support through various means, such as direct support to continental agencies, government bodies and in-country partners. Giving in to Africa’s potential will require private and public sector engagement and collaboration. Their role is critical in encouraging sustainable growth. 

Managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Office, Mamadou Biteye, says of the partnership:  “We are pleased to be part of PIATA. We see it as an opportunity to leverage even more from the partners and their huge networks, for greater impact. We are looking forward to deploying the technologies that we have helped develop over the years, together with our shared knowledge and grant support, to work with our esteemed partners. Together we hope to catalyse Africa’s pursuit of prosperity through agriculture. PIATA is critical in our ongoing push to build the resilience of farmers and systems that affect them, especially in light of increasing challenges such as climate change, among others.” 

The importance of agriculture:

The agricultural sector is of utmost importance throughout Africa, one that’s growth can greatly contribute to creating an inclusive African economy and the reduction of poverty. For a while now, agriculture has been hailed as the new frontier. Africa’s richest man, Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote, has begun diversifying into agriculture, planning to invest millions in sugar, rice and milk production.  African Development Bank President, Dr.  Akinwumi Adesina believes that the next group of African billionaires will be farmers.As such, the future of agriculture in Africa is looking bright. 

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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