AGRA seeks to build capacity of actors close to smallholder farmers in Africa to increase their food sufficiency and incomes
Since 2007, AGRA has supported 1,100 bright, motivated African scientists to obtain post-graduate degrees whilst developing solutions to address the challenges of smallholder farmers with respect to seeds, soils, applied agricultural economics and policy.
During the same period, 600 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and agri-businesses personnel were trained in business development, over 950 seed enterprise personnel from over 100 key local Seed Companies from across Africa were trained to improve their efficiency, outreach and profitability.
In addition, approximately 260 laboratory and field technicians, 4,900 Extension Agents, and 2,780 fertilizer inspectors were equipped to do their work more efficiently.
In the current strategy (2017-2021), AGRAsseeks to utilize this improved human and institutional capacities to in turn build the capacity of 30 million smallholder farmers in production, marketing and processing to improve their food security and increase their incomes.
AGRA further seeks to build the capacity of partners working along target value chains to transfer various skills to smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
The interventions are targeted at strengthening the Institutions within the seed, fertilizer, extension, input delivery, markets, inclusive finance and resilience systems to ensure farmers have last-mile access to the appropriate technologies, and information to enable them to increase their crop productivity, and to have access to markets for their produce.
Approximately 260 laboratory and field technicians, 4,900 Extension Agents, and 2,780 fertilizer inspectors were equipped to do their work more efficiently.
More specifically, Capacity Building Interventions are targeted at the following main institutions/personnel:
AGRA’s Implementing Partners and staff; Organizational Capacity Assessments are conducted to identify gaps in partners’ operational and/or technical capacity to implement the programs. Specific interventions that include short-term training on technical aspects, grant/financial management and/or Business Development Services are conducted to improve on grant performance. AGRA regional staff are trained on the critical agricultural systems by technical in-house experts.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); this includes short-term courses and/or Business Development Services which are designed according to the needs of SMEs, which are primarily involved in input supply and/or buying of farmers’ produce. Training enables SMEs to access finance to expand their businesses and benefit more farmers.
Extension Agents and Community/Village-based Advisors; AGRAsupports the training ofTrainers of Extension Agents and self-employed Community-based Agents (CBAs) or Village-based Advisors (VBAs) to develop a sustainable “last-mile” delivery of extension information, inputs and markets. This training ensures that farmers are trained in the right way to ensure behavior change and adoption of technologies to increase their productivity and incomes.
Fertilizer and Seed inspectors (both government and/or private sector), and research and laboratory technicians are trained in short term courses.