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«Green Revolution in Africa August 2009 Report Contributions: Sam Moyo, Walter Chambati, Tendai Murisa and Amade Sucá TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. ...»

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PASS specifically aims to train 220 African crop scientists at MSc and PhD levels, to establish 40 national breeding programmes a year and to assist 40 African seed companies within 10 years as well as train 10,000 agro-dealers within the first five years. The SEPA programme will create a loan called African Seed Investment Fund (ASIF) with a total of USD$12 million, to capitalize seed enterprises over a period of eight years. The breeding programmes are expected to improve local participatory crop breeding practices and to provide higher yielding seeds for small farmers.

Table 2.1: Summary of Projects Implemented under PASS

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3.4 The actors and partnerships involved 3.4.1 AGRA Leadership AGRA represents a collaboration between the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.4 Intellectual and technical support was initially rendered by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an institution originally created by the Rockefeller Foundation. The CGIAR was the key scientific and technical backbone of the green revolution in Asia (Dano, 2007).

Assessing the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa

Page |6 The AGRA board includes two senior staffers from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a representative of the Rockefeller Foundation, and six Africans.5 These consist of a mixture of members of the private sector, technocrats and academics: Kofi Annan, Chairman and Former Secretary-General to the UN, Monty Jones, Board Member and Executive Secretary of FARA;

Strive Masiyiwa, Board Member and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Econet Wireless International; Sylvia M. Mathews, Board Member and President of Global Development at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Moise C. Mensah, Board Member and High Commissioner for Consultative Governance, Benin; Mamphele Ramphele, Board Member and Executive Chairperson, Circle Capital Venture, South Africa; Rajiv J. Shah, Board Member and Director for Agricultural Development at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Nadya K. Shmavonian, Board Member and Vice President, Foundation Initiatives, Rockefeller Foundation (resigned September, 2008 and replacement under process); Rudy Rabbinge, Board Member and Professor, Wageningen University, The Netherlands and Mohamed Ibrahim, Board Member and Founder of Celtel. AGRA was first established in September 2006 under an “Implementing Director’, employed by Rockefeller Foundation. An African, Dr Amos Namanga Ngongi then succeeded him as its first president in November 2007.

Partnerships with fellow aid agencies, farmers’ associations, unions, agricultural forums and African governments are central to AGRA’s goal of building an alliance. Some of the partnerships (especially NGOs and Universities) entail grant making and the joint implementation of projects. Many of its programmes entail scaling up existing green revolution activities. Currently AGRA is supporting eight universities under the Education for African Crop Improvement programme (EACI). They are: University of Ghana – WACCIS and Kwame Nkrumah University (Ghana); Ahmadu Bello University and University of Ibadan (Nigeria);

Makerere University (Uganda); Haramaya University (Ethiopia); Sokoine University (Tanzania);

Cornell University (USA); University of KwaZulu-Natal (RSA) and Moi University (Kenya). Some AGRA programmes are a continuation of Rockefeller activities such as the education and the agro-dealer programmes.

3.4.2 Implementation partnerships AGRA claims that one of its core values is working through African based partnerships. In the past two years African partners have included: Ministries of Agriculture, plant breeders, soil scientists, agricultural extensionists, universities and private sector actors. AGRA has loose albeit formal relationships with African governments, something which did not happen in the first green revolution. AGRA works more directly with some local NGOs and farmers’ associations, and with some government ministries. These form part of AGRA’s strategic vision to build partnerships that pool the strengths and resources of the public and private sectors...’ (IFAD, 2008). Regarding the private sector partners, AGRA reported that it does not collaborate, nor partner with transnational corporations (TNCs) involved in agriculture, such as Syngenta, Monsanto and Dupont, and various African firms. However, recently AGRA has partnered with multinational banks such as Standard Bank in order to mobilize resources for credit and indicated that ‘AGRA will work with TNCs if there is a clear and compelling benefit to smallholder farmers’ (AGRA, 2009).

In May 2008 AGRA entered into a partnership with the Coalition for Rice Development, Japan International Corporation Agency and NEPAD in order to reduce Africa’s reliance on expensive rice imports and increase rice production. In June 2008 AGRA entered into collaboration agreements with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

Assessing the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa

Page |7 (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP). The agreement with the MCC involves collaboration and implementation of specific projects in Ghana, Madagascar and Mali, in order to ‘foster broad-based agricultural growth and poverty alleviation’ (AGRA, 2008:2). This collaboration covers five broad areas: (i) agricultural-related infrastructural support, (ii) agricultural research, (iii)increasing access to financing, (iv) improving market infrastructure and (v) working towards a more a conducive pro-poor policy environment (ibid:2). The MOU with IFAD, FAO and WFP is aimed at optimising production in areas with relatively good rainfall, soils, infrastructure, and markets.





Table 2.1.

1: Summary of key AGRA’s partnerships

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To date numerous Kenyan-based organizations have benefited from AGRA grants, perhaps due to the fact that the alliance is headquartered in Nairobi (see chart 2.3). AGRA funding by country indicates that a few countries, such as South Africa (24 percent), Ghana (20.1 percent), Kenya (18.4 percent), and Tanzania (16 percent) have received the bulk of its funding, followed by Malawi (13.5 percent), Mali (1.7 percent) and Uganda (3.5 percent) (See Annex 2-2). Even the USA has received some funding to work with African universities. The seed production subprogramme involves numerous private companies, although some governments and research centres have also received some funding. A US-based NGO, Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs (CNFA), has received most of AGRA´s funding allocated to NGOs for the Agro Dealer Development Programme in Kenya, Malawi, Mali and Tanzania. Citizens Network’s affiliate, the Agricultural Market Development Trust (AGMARK) based in Kenya is reportedly responsible for the implementation of the various projects within the programme. CNFA implements similar programme in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi and Uganda, with funds from USAID.

AGRA partnerships with government institutions focus mainly on the Education for African Crop Improvement Programme (EACI) and the Fund for Improvement and Adoption of African Crops (FIAAC) The former is being implemented jointly with tertiary institutions - such as the universities of Makerere, KwaZulu-Natal and Ghana. The latter programme is being implemented by national research institutions (e.g. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; National Agricultural Research institute; Kenya Agricultural Research Institute,

Assessing the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa

Page |8 Ethiopia Institute for Agricultural Research; Division of Research and Training; etc) and the universities of Moi, Makerere, Ebony and KwaZulu-Natal. The role of these government institutions is either to build capacity (through training) or to develop and improve seed through conducting research on selected African crops. Government institutions’ involvement in the other two programmes is limited (Chart 2.2).

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3.4.3 AGRA and regional organisations AGRA has indicated that it will work closely with the AU, through NEPAD, and with other African development institutions. The African Development Bank (AfDB) does not yet have a formal relationship with AGRA although it has been mandated by the AU, through the Abuja

Assessing the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa

Page |9 declaration on Fertiliser for the African Green Revolution, to promote this area of work.

However, the AfDB and the AU are yet to operationalise the declaration. There are a few differences between the AGRA approach and that of the CAADP and AfDB, although AGRA has invested heavily in seeds, research and training, while the latter institutions have been slow to take off.

A few regional partnerships have been entered into by AGRA with African-based NGOs and universities. The most prominent partnership is the establishment of the West African Centre for Crop Improvement with the University of Ghana. The alliance has funding partnerships with Agricultural research centres in East and West Africa and private sector companies involved in seed manufacturing and distribution. There are also engagements with some civil societybased networks through an American consultancy firm.

3.5 Distribution of AGRA grants The initial funding for the establishment of AGRA came from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which contributed USD$50million and USD$100million respectively. This is the largest single investment in Africa’s agriculture. Currently less than a third (USD$33,708,982.00) of the committed/pledged amount from the main funders has been spent on actual programmes. So far more than 45 percent of these funds have been spent on education (see Annex2-2). Some funding has been received from DFID, Netherlands, CGAP and IFAD. AGRA recognizes that the magnitude of its goals requires funding from other international financing organizations, NGOs and donors. In terms of the regional distribution of AGRA programme, East and West Africa have set up the bulk of them (52 percent and 26 percent respectively), with Kenya and Ghana accounting for 80 percent of the funding.

Table 2.3: The distribution of AGRA grants awarded up to April 2009

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Assessing the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa P a g e | 10 Source: An update on AGRA’s Grants; AGRA records

4. AN ASSESSMENT OF AGRA The efficacy of any agricultural development strategy for Africa (such as AGRA) depends on the systemic nature and sources of the agricultural problem identified and the suitability of the interventions proposed. In a large and diverse continent, the national specificities of political economy and the complex agricultural systems would need to be taken into account.

AGRA began by focusing on a few specific technological interventions, which it believes are the key aspects of Africa’s agrarian problem. Evidently, AGRA does not address the wider sociopolitical and economic aspects of Africa’s agrarian issues. No doubt transforming Africa’s productive forces (technological change) towards improved productivity of all resources can contribute to increased agricultural surpluses and contribute to fair social development and the expansion of the industrial and other sectors. While it is doubtful that the proposed technological changes alone can achieve the desired development, the importance of technology cannot be under-stated. ActionAid assesses AGRA’s promised market-led, smallholder technological change project, by its socio-economic and financial feasibility impact, and its broader sustainability.

4.1 Market-led agricultural transformation The agricultural model proposed by AGRA emphasizes the role of the private sector in the development of agricultural technologies and input and output markets, with success predicated on the ‘free’ market leading resource allocation. Moreover, while AGRA promises to support the development of local small and medium private companies involved in agriculture, it is unclear how these efforts would not be undermined by Trans National Corporations (TNCs) with their monopolistic tendencies and unequal power relationships in Africa. These need to be regulated to enhance local capital accumulation. The local companies and small-scale rural farmers could become exploited by a few large TNCs, through the sale of expensive technologies with the bulk of the profits sent back abroad (Holt-Gimenez, Altieri and Rosset, 2006). In the current context where the state has disinvested from agriculture, ‘profit inflation’ is likely to limit the affordability of the proposed technologies.

While AGRA emphasizes private markets, it supports ‘smart subsidies’; meaning ‘…those that support the poor, while building private markets...’ (AGRA, FAQ, p 8). Coined by the World Bank, smart subsidies are meant to be limited and targeted, and primarily focused on fertiliser (WDR, 2008). There are no clear procedures in the programme design which can guarantee that smart subsidies will be accessible and affordable to most smallholder farmers who deserve them. More critically, while AGRA does work with public institutions involved in agricultural development, it does not advocate that the African state resuscitate critical agricultural agents such as parastatals.

The first green revolution in Asia and Latin America was initially accompanied by heavy state intervention in its initial phases, through subsidies, which enabled smallholder farmers to access expensive technology packages and guaranteed a market for private companies (Lipton, 2008;

Assessing the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa

P a g e | 11 Otsuka and Kalirajan, 2005; Freebairn 1995). For instance, in the 2005/06 agricultural season, the Malawi government managed to avert a famine by re-introducing fertiliser subsidies, having ignored World Bank advice (Majele-Sibanda, n.d; Chisunga, 2007 quoted in ActionAid, 2007).



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