By Jimoh Babatunde
Agroundbreaking partnership that will link African governmentsâ€™ commitment to agricultural development with concrete programs in seeds, soil health, policy, and marketsÂ was launchedÂ in AbujaÂ onÂ Monday between
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the New Partnership for Africaâ€™s Development (NEPAD)
â€œThis partnership will enable African countries to close the gap between intentions and actions on behalf of smallholder farmers,â€ said Mr Kofi A Annan, Chairman of AGRA and former Secretary-General of the United Nations.
â€œNEPAD has mobilised public support among African governments to prioritise and invest in agriculture.Â AGRA develops and disseminates the technologies farmers need; bolsters policy reform; builds markets and involves the private sector.Â Our combined efforts will be a strong force for change across Africa.â€ he stated
Based on the Memorandum of Understanding, the two organisations will join forces to work directly with national governments and partners across the agricultural value chain in a comprehensive effort to increase the productivity of small holder farmers growing Africaâ€™s staple food crops. They will focus particularly on plans to develop high potential breadbasket areas of African countries.
â€œAn African strategy that increases the productivity of smallholder farmers is crucial to reaching our goal of 6 per cent annual agricultural growth,â€ said Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD, who signed the Memorandum with AGRA.
NEPAD works closely with African governments to implement the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), a framework to accelerate economic growth and boost food security through greater investments in agriculture. Endorsed by African leaders, CAADP calls on African governments to allocate 10 per cent of their national budgets to agriculture, in order to achieve 6 per cent annual agricultural growth. AGRA is a partnership-based organisation whose integrated programs in seeds, soil health, market access and policy work to increaseÂ productivity.