Statement from our Chair
Unity, resilience and resolve
A major achievement was working with governments, to ensure COVID-19 did not create a food security crisis. Throughout the year, we built out our COVID-19 response and adapted as the situation evolved, following the lead of our governments, working closely with continental bodies and our implementing partners. We invested more than USD11 million to support government co-ordination, SMEs, data and analytics, political economy analysis, and other rapid COVID-19 responses within national priorities. With our PIATA (Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa) partners, we mobilized a COVID-19 task force to coordinate our work and target mitigating measures. Despite the fact that COVID-19 impacted on our ability to travel or provide technical support directly to our grantees and partners, we adapted our working methods to keep our staff safe and support our work.
As the situation evolved in 2020, Africa’s smallholder farmers had to adapt to the new reality of lockdowns, restrictions and supply chain disruptions. As you would expect, they responded to these challenges with resilience and ingenuity. I believe this year will be remembered for the many ways in which people stood together.
Challenged by the needs and initiative of our constituency, AGRA also had to adapt, finding new ways of working and devising new approaches to the challenges of food security and agricultural transformation. I was very impressed with the togetherness and resolve everyone at AGRA demonstrated during this difficult time – with the serious intent to help Africa’s farmers feed their families, communities and the continent in these hard times.