Impact on National Capacity

Farmers can thrive when the systems around them – powered primarily by the private sector – are working. The private sector thrives when they can invest in a stable, predictable environment. It is the government’s role to establish the policies, regulations, and investment programs that make the agricultural sector attractive. Countries that have achieved agricultural transformation have effective public sectors that kickstart and sustain change, make long-term investments in systemic enablers, and create strong incentives to crowd in other resources. Without the right enabling environment, businesses and philanthropic actors and NGOs – however well-intentioned – will have limited impact.

In short, an effective government is a fundamental pre-condition to agricultural transformation. Since 2017, AGRA has collaborated closely with governments to help lay the groundwork for systemic

change. While this is a long-term investment, we already see compelling early results – evident in national investment plans, changes to long-held institutional practices, smarter and faster policy reform, and the response of private sector actors.

Across 44 indicators measuring vision and strategic planning, coordination, implementation capacity, and accountability, we see evidence of improvement in 42 of them.

Establishing a Vision, Commitment, and Agenda

Institutional change is difficult. The government’s contribution to the agricultural sector may be marked by uneven commitment, limited coordination, and a lack of capacity and resources.

We support governments to strengthen their planning, stakeholder engagement, monitoring and evaluation tools, and more.

AGRA tracks improvement in state capability across a range of indicators. In the 11 countries where we have invested, we have seen real progress. In fact, across 44 indicators measuring vision and strategic planning, coordination, implementation capacity, and accountability, we see evidence of improvement in 42 of them. Clearly, change in institutional mindset, strategies, and processes are achievable and relatively fast with the right evidence and support system.

State Capability Impact

AGRA focuses on state capability to support the development of the agriculture sector at national level.

  • AGRA works with governments at the national level through support in four key areas of administration:
  • Vision, Strategy and Priorities
  • Accountability
  • Delivery Capacity
  • Coordination

Over the last four years, we have scaled up our support with significant improvement in coordination and accountability in 10 of our 11 focus countries. Over this period, more than half of our focus countries had significant improvement in their delivery capacity, while about half recorded significant improvement in their vision, strategy and priorities.

Catalyzing Investments through
Flagships (investment pipelines)

A core focus of our work is improving and operationalizing National Agriculture Investment Plans (NAIPs). We collaborated on NAIPs with nine of our focus countries; from these, we have supported the implementation of 10 flagship programs, the prioritized, bankable investment projects selected from NAIPs. These flagships serve as umbrella initiatives under which different actors can mobilize resources, expertise, and operations towards a common goal.

Our impact is evident in two ways. We see accelerated development, with time for flagship design declining from an average of two years to 4–6 months with AGRA support. We also see better planning lead to more resources for flagships, with USD400 million committed by governments themselves and an additional USD1 billion mobilized from multilaterals and the private sector. This has concrete impact; the 10 flagship programs supported by AGRA are projected to reach 13 million smallholder farmers.

Case story
Burkina Faso, “One Million”
Presidential Rice Initiative

Burkina Faso is highly dependent on rice imports, with annual demand exceeding production by 2.5 times. Various attempts to boost the country’s production
have faltered, stuck in different silos. AGRA invested to strengthen planning, coordination, delivery, and monitoring for a flagship rice program.

In contrast to past interventions that attracted little funding, the “One Million” Rice Initiative has attracted USD500 million in investments from development partners, while the domestic private sector is investing in irrigating 20,000 hectares – accounting for 40% of the flagship’s needs. The flagship is projected to grow rice production four-fold to 1 million MTs and improve livelihoods for 40,000 smallholder households.

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