Three of the biggest funders of African agricultural transformation have launched a new $280 million partnership at the 2017 Agricultural Green Revolution Forum in Abidjan, to increase incomes and improve the food security of 30 million smallholder farm households across 11 African countries by 2021.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have formed a new funding package called Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA), which will see these organisations pool their resources and their knowledge.

Speaking at the PIATA launch event, Dr Agnes Kalibata, President, of AGRA said: “I am immensely proud that PIATA has become a reality.  It is a real milestone in Africa’s journey towards agricultural transformation that will see the public and private sector work more closely together to benefit millions of people.  PIATA is all about building on each other’s capacity and I hope we can continue adding more funding bodies to the partnership.”

Delegates listening in to the launch of the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA) at the Africa Green Revolution Forum 2017 in Abidjan

According to the 2017 Africa 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 large segments of the population.  Agriculture is still the best bet for inclusive African economic growth and poverty reduction, but no one part of society can deliver everything and partnerships such as PIATA are essential for success.

This point was stressed by Mr. Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director, Africa Regional Office, The Rockefeller Foundation Biteye who commented at the launch event: “I feel really proud to be at this event after many months of meetings to finally bring this idea of PIATA to life. Despite the achievements so far, the road is still long and we need to form partnerships like this to do more together than we can do alone.”

Panelists during the launch of the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA) at the Africa Green Revolution Forum 2017 in Abidjan. From left: Mr Sean Jones, the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Food Security, USAID; Mr Rodger Voorhies, Executive Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Mr Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director, Africa Regional Office, The Rockefeller Foundation; Dr Agnes Kalibata, President, AGRA; and Moderator Ms Maria Angele Toure, media personality.

Dr Jim Jones, Assistant to the Administrator, USAID, said: “This where USAID wants to be all the time – sitting next to partners to work together and invest more together.  The PIATA partnership is the perfect vehicle for our new commitment to African agriculture and offers an innovative mechanism to work with other donors with shared goals.”

Mr. Rodger Voorhies, Executive Director, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ended the event by adding: “An investment in agriculture reduces poverty at four times the rate compared to other forms of donations.  By forming this partnership, I am sure we will see a similar multiplier effect as we share our networks and look for opportunities to work together to achieve more for African agriculture.”