An innovative and transformative partnership and financing vehicle to drive inclusive agriculture transformation across Africa has been launched in Abidjan as part of activities marking the 7th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF).
The multi-million dollar Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation-PIATA is an important collaboration between donors that aligns behind the Malabo agenda agreed to by African Heads of State and Government in 2014.
Together, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and the United States Agency for International Aid (USAID) will provide up to US$280 million to catalyse and sustain inclusive agricultural transformation in at least 11 countries in Africa, of which Ghana has been included.
The deal is meant to increase the incomes and improve the food security of 30 million smallholder farm households.
PIATA is but one of the means by which each of the partners is supporting African countries to deliver on agricultural Transformation; it partners continue to provide support through avenues including direct support to continental agencies, government bodies and in-country partners. The partnership will allow partners to align and complement existing efforts, making new investments in developing input systems, value chains, and; policy where they will have the most impact.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Office said: “We are pleased to be part of PIATA. We see an opportunity to leverage even more from the partners and their huge networks, for greater impact. 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”.
According to the 2017 Africa Agriculture Status Report, Africa needs an agricultural revolution that is distinct and that links millions of small farms to agribusiness, creating extended food supply chains, jobs and economic opportunities for large segments of the population Agriculture is still the best bet for inclusive African economic growth and poverty reduction.
Delivering on Africa’s potential requires both the public and private sectors to engage in new ways and strengthen collaboration. The role of the private sector and non-state actors in agriculture development and in support of formulation of country agriculture plans is critical for sustainable growth.
This was emphasised by Sean Jones, the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Food Security, USAID who said: “PIATA offers a new way of doing business across the many public and private actors working to ensure food security and economic growth as called for in country-owned visions and the goals laid out in the Malabo Declaration. Agriculture is at its core a private sector enterprise and one of the best bets for job creation and inclusive growth when the right policies and investments allow the private sector to flourish. This partnership offers an innovative mechanism to unlock this investment and realize many of the targets laid out in Global Food Security Strategy approved by our Congress”.
The launch of PIATA comes at a critical time for Africa’s agriculture history. Most African countries have undertaken a rigorous review of the sector, developing and adopting a new generation of sector development plans that prepare them for business.
Continentally, the African Union is coordinating the biennial review of the progress made towards the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) goals, which will be presented in the first Biennial Review Report along with a scorecard for the Heads of State to guide them in the sector’s transformation.
AGRA President, Agnes Kalibata welcomed the new partnership and expressed her belief the initiative would contribute significantly to accelerating Africa’s path to prosperity by growing inclusive economies and jobs through agriculture.