Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is chaired by Kofi A. Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations. AGRA is a relatively new organisation, with initial support from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, maintains offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Accra, Ghana.

AGRA believes that pro-poor and pro-environment agricultural development requires:

*Conserving African crop biodiversity, and using that diversity to develop resilient new crop varieties that are high-yielding, stress tolerant and naturally resistant to pests and diseases;

*Providing Africa’s small-scale farmers with access to a balance of organic and mineral fertilisers to restore soil health and increase farm yield;

*Farm management techniques that integrate livestock and crops to the benefit of the environment;

*Low-cost water management systems that make efficient use of available water, getting “more crop for each drop”;

*Providing small-scale farmers with knowledge of safe and environmentally sound use of farm inputs that will protect human health and restore soil health;

*Monitoring and evaluation of new farming practices, using environmental sustainability as a benchmark of success;

*Evaluating results for small-scale farm households and families;

*Helping small-scale farmers gain access to markets.

Taken together, these efforts will ease the pressure to clear more land for cultivation, thus saving forests and savannahs from destruction and protecting wildlife habitats.

See AGRA Grants to date here.

Read Stories from the Field, where people relay their experiences and farming difficulties from different parts of Africa.


“The soil nutrient losses in Sub-Saharan Africa are an environmental, social, and political time bomb. Unless we wake up soon and reverse these disastrous trends, the future viability of African food systems will indeed be imperiled.”

Dr. Norman Borlaug, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 

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4 Responses to Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa

  1. the Grit says:


    That sounds like the start of a good short term solution to the problems Africa faces. Of course, in the long term they need to move to a modern agricultural system to free up enough labor to industrialize.

    the Grit

  2. matt says:

    They certainly need to be empowered by people/organisations they can trust. Most people want to control their own destiny. The last thing they want, is to have to leave their homeland to travel thousands of miles at great cost & risk, to work at crap wages without protection in a foreign land that doesn’t want them … away from family & friends.

    Go AGRA I say.

  3. On the face of it, AGRA sounds worthy, but a couple of sources suggest it’s not a good idea, mainly because it entrenches dependence on GM seeds and the pesticides and fertilisers that are needed to keep this kind of farming viable. Have a look at this article from The Herald (Zimbabwe) and this post from a researcher on The Aspirant Locavore (see comments below main post).

  4. matt says:

    Hi Rory

    Thanks for the link. Organic is always better for small farmers if conditions allow for this. Fertilizers can get quick results but are expensive and yes eventually a farmer can see his or her land exhausted and then chasing more expensive fertilizer purchases. I do hope AGRA aren’t just another dressed up western sales drive.

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