Food Systems

Climate-resilient Agriculture

Food Security and Climate Change are major challenges of our era, particularly in Africa where over 20% of the population faced hunger in 2020. The Horn of Africa, comprising eight countries and 160 million people, is notably affected. Almost half of its inhabitants live in areas vulnerable to acute food shortages due to factors like drought, conflict, environmental issues, and limited agricultural progress. Many of these countries depend on local, rain-fed agriculture, making them sensitive to climate variations. The 2021 UN Food Systems Summit highlighted the need for a comprehensive change in food systems, advocating for a sustainable and nature-positive approach that considers the entire food production and consumption cycle.


% of population who faced hunger in Africa in 2020


Million. No. of people affected by hunger in 2020 in Africa


No. of African countries affected by hunger in 2020

Sustainable Food Systems: The Remedy

Increasing food production in Africa without safeguards has led to environmental harm due to over-reliance on land expansion, endangering ecosystems. In 2022, discussions centered on sustainable food system solutions, emphasizing the protection of non-renewable resources and adoption of eco-friendly technologies. Additionally, policy alignment was recognized as vital for effective transformation, given the interconnectivity of food systems and the need for integrated, climate-resilient approaches.

From a “Green Revolution” to sustainable food systems

AGRA has evolved its focus towards strengthening Africa's food systems, impacted by multiple crises like climate change and global conflicts. As a result, "AGRA" has transitioned from an acronym to a standalone name, representing a call for sustainable food systems. This change emphasizes AGRA's commitment to long-term sustainability and deep partnerships.

Building sustainable, inclusive, and resilient food systems Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR)

AGRA and partners produced the Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR) to offer insights into megatrends aiding national recovery efforts. The 2022 AASR, themed "Accelerating African Food Systems Transformation," focuses on assisting countries in developing holistic food system transformation strategies. This report promotes multi-stakeholder collaboration and resource mobilization.

Seed Systems

AGRA's long-term investments have informed a strategy utilizing two key assets: the Center of Excellence for Seed Systems in Africa (CESSA) and the Seed Systems Assessment Tool (SeedSAT). These tools aim to comprehensively support governments and guide the private sector, facilitating transformative national seed system investment plans.

The Center of Excellence for Seed Systems in Africa (CESSA)

The Center of Excellence for Seed Systems in Africa (CESSA) began operations in 2022, supporting governments and partners in developing resilient seed systems. CESSA focuses on strengthening the seed value chain, including variety development, quality assurance, and policy frameworks. Their guidance aids countries in strategic seed planning, budget allocation, and directs investment towards critical components.

Seed Systems Assessment Tool (SeedSAT), the diagnostic tool for seed systems

AGRA's flagship program, SeedSAT, assesses the health of national seed systems and has been implemented in several African countries. It provides governments with detailed reports highlighting gaps and offers recommendations. SeedSAT aids in strategy formulation, plan design, and resource mobilization for effective planning.

Digital agriculture: Disruptive innovation in agricultural communications, information, and supply chains

The rise in mobile adoption and internet connectivity, accelerated by Covid-19, has boosted access to digital agricultural services for farmers. These innovations offer real-time advice at a fraction of traditional costs. AGRA aims to enhance rural communication infrastructure, promote local digital innovations, and ensure inclusivity, addressing digital poverty concerns.

Tracking Inclusive Agricultural Transformation (IAT)

The Inclusive Agricultural Transformation (IAT) tool evaluates agricultural transformation in Africa and was co-developed with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). It identifies key transformation drivers and investment priorities. AGRA has piloted this tool in 15 African countries.

AGRA’s work in Regenerative Agriculture

AGRA, with the IKEA Foundation, promotes regenerative agriculture in Embu and Makueni counties to counter climate change effects and land degradation, aiming for food security and sustainable, market-led agricultural systems. This approach forms AGRA's central strategy, focusing on overall farm productivity to break rural poverty cycles.

Strengthening Resilience through Agroforestry

Rising temperatures and extreme climate events have led to resource depletion and land degradation. AGRA focuses on agroforestry in Burkina Faso to bolster resilience and enhance sustainability. This approach supports 210,000 farmers, improving incomes and nutrition for 5,000 rural women and youth.