NAIROBI: The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has received a grant of $1 million from Econet Wireless Global to support AGRA’s efforts in assisting smallholder farmers in the organization’s “breadbasket countries,” which include Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
AGRA is an Africa-based and African-led organization working with various partners to foster food security in Africa by catalyzing sustainable increases in the productivity and incomes of resource poor smallholder farmers – most of whom are women.
Speaking during the official signing ceremony for the grant, Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Wireless Global and Vice Chair of AGRA’s Board said, “We are delighted to support this project because we believe that AGRA’s approach – focusing on a critical mass of investments in high-potential breadbasket areas while employing an integrated approach across the agricultural value-chain – is a potential game-changer.”
“As a member of AGRA’s Board, I am delighted to make this contribution on behalf of my company because I know that our resources will be put to great use. Our contribution will help catalyze a change process at the grass-roots level, helping thousands of smallholder farmers across Africa.“
AGRA’s breadbasket strategy involves three key types of investments including: expanding and intensifying production of major food crops through improved technologies and farm management methods; linking smallholder farmers with the private sector; and improving the various supply chains that affect food production, marketing and consumption.
AGRA President Namanga Ngongi said, “We are very grateful to Econet Wireless Global for this generous and timely contribution. This kind gesture will help our organization scale up our efforts to transform major staple food value chains in high-potential, change-ready countries.” He added, “We believe that demonstrating successful systemic transformation in a few highly visible breadbaskets will help spark a broader Green Revolution across Africa.”
Dr. Ngongi further said, “The overall goal of the Breadbasket Strategy is to contribute to increased smallholder food security, incomes and agricultural contribution to the GDP in Ghana, Mali, Mozambique and Tanzania by increasing agricultural productivity and production of the following staple crops: maize, rice, and sorghum for cereals; and pulses such as soybeans, beans and cowpeas on a sustainable basis.”
“AGRA’s role in the implementation of the Breadbasket Strategy is to drive innovation, fund demonstrations and engage collaboratively with partners to scale up successes across breadbasket areas and countries,” said Dr. Ngongi.
AGRA will make use of the new funds to further develop plans for Breadbasket Investments, engaging with the governments of the selected countries in a bid to ramp up investments in the selected breadbaskets and to leverage on Governments’ network of partners to provide additional financing to ensure successful implementation of their respective CAADP Compacts.