Impact on Strategic Partnerships

Introduction

There is a tremendous gulf between those with resources and those who need them. It is difficult to build linkages between those seeking financial or technical resources and those who could potentially deploy them. A committed, capable government must first establish the right vision, rules, and environment. But there are limits to the resources that the governments of AGRA’s focus countries can contribute, mobilize, or expect from multilateral institutions. Of the estimated $32 to 40 billion USD per annum that would be necessary to fund agricultural transformation, domestic government spending, overseas development assistance, and commercial lending account cover only one-third of the total. Catalyzing resources – financial and beyond – is urgently needed to meet this gap. 

A “business as usual” approach will not work. The gap is too big and impactful opportunities are too easily missed. Coordination is critical, but there is not enough of it. Building connections and fostering vibrant partnerships requires an intermediary with the right relationships, understanding of the landscape, and credibility. AGRA is well-positioned to play a critical role in building the right bridges, particularly in the area of public-private partnerships. Furthermore, we can draw on our unique blend of capabilities and expertise in working with both the private sector and Government. Thus in 2017, AGRA began building intentional partnerships as a core element of our strategy. We leverage our deep network and continental presence to help foster catalytic partnerships – thereby bringing new capital, expertise, and technology into agricultural systems.

Our Impact on Linkages and Partnerships

AGRA’s study of the private sector’s contribution to African agricultural transformation found the biggest challenge lay in the convergence of key assets – at the right time and in the right place. There are three key underlying drivers to this challenge:

  1. High search and transaction costs for those who do not understand commercial opportunities in Africa 
  2. Relevant technology, ideas, and innovation are not matched with funding opportunities, and vice versa – so transferrable assets do not get the opportunity to launch and scale
  3. Existing private sector actors, particularly SMEs, that are needed for implementation and reaching markets, lack both resources and linkages

Starting in 2018, AGRA invested in building strategic partnerships systematically to tackle these barriers. We establish and run platforms to showcase agricultural sector opportunities and to link those seeking – and those who can provide – capital for investment. We also identify and shape specific opportunities for investors and global players with relevant technologies, easing the introduction of innovations in inputs, digital solutions, and more. Our downstream work in agricultural systems, including our last-mile linkages via our village-based advisor and integrated delivery models, help us to offer technical areas of partnership. Indeed, it is AGRA’s unique capability set and vantage point that enable us to complement other agricultural actors and partners, particularly in building public-private partnerships.

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