Biggest funders of African agriculture transformation have launched a new $280 million partnership at the 2017 Agricultural Green Revolution Forum in Abidjan.
The funders are United states Agency for International Development (USAID), the Rockfeller foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations.
According to the 2017 African Agriculture Status Report, Africa needs an agricultural revolution that links millions of small farms to agribusinesses, creating extended food supply chains, jobs and economic opportunities for majority of the population.
The new funding package called Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA) will see donors pool their resources and knowledge together.
Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA, said “I’m immensely proud that PIATA has become a reality. It is a real milestone in Africa’s journey towards the agricultural transformation that will see the public and private sector work more closely together to benefit millions of people”
The Managing Director, Africa Regional Office, Mr. Mamadou Biteye, said: “I feel really proud to be at this event after many months of meetings to finally bring this idea of PIATA to life.”
Assistant to the Administrator, USAID, Dr. Jim Jones, said “This is where USAID wants to be all the time sitting next to partners to work together and invest more together”.
Executive Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Rodger Voorhies, ended the speech aspect of the event by saying that “An investment in agriculture reduces poverty at four times the rate compared to other forms of donations.”
The purpose of the partnership is to increase incomes and improve the food security of 30 million smallholder farm households across 11 African countries by 2021.
Since 2006, Bill Gates Foundation has supported 660 agricultural projects with $3billion. More so, just of recent, Bill Gates Foundation and other donors gave out $30billion for rice production in Africa with Nigerian rice farmers having access to $600M.
The Rockefeller and Bill Gates Foundation are known to offer solution to problems in the agricultural sector especially in developing countries through the release of funds.
Nigeria has been chosen as one of the priority countries that will benefit from the $280M PIATA fund. Other African countries that will also benefit include: Ghana, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique.