Agriculture Business Community Development

Leadership, innovation key to Africa’s food security: Masiyiwa shows private sector

African agriculture
Outgoing Africa Green Revolution Alliance (AGRA) Chairman Strive Masiyiwa says during his tenure as chairman of the institution, he focused on using entrepreneurial tools to lift African agricultural production.
Writing in his Facebook blog, Masiyiwa gives 10 examples:
#1. We financed 110 seed manufacturing companies in 16 countries. These businesses received an average of $2m in investment each. They lifted seed production from 2000 MT/year to 110,000 MT/year.
#2. We created a Distribution network of entrepreneurs to sell seeds and fertilizers. We trained a network of 38 000 AGRO Dealers. We reduced access to seeds and fertilizer distributors from 60km, to 4km.
#3. We created a venture fund for ‘Agripreneurs’ known as AECF:
It has over $350 million in investable funds.
#4. We created a platform for donors and investors to make annual pledges for agriculture:
It has now reached $60bn.
#5. We created a platform at AGRF (the Africa Green Revolution Forum) for investors to meet entrepreneurs every year. We call it a “Deal Room”:
This has attracted some of the biggest investors in the world to come to AGRF EVERY YEAR!
(This year AGRF had more leaders, investors, and policy makers than WEF!)
#6. We pushed for policies to open bank and government funding for agriculture in their countries.
#7. We pushed for opening up of markets for African produce, particularly within Africa. We were one of the key advocates for the ACFTA.
#8. We helped increase the number of African agriculture scientists (those with a Masters or PHDs) from about 500 to over 3 000. They are being trained at African universities.
#9. We pushed global donors to recommit and return to agriculture. They are all back!
#10. We pushed for a #ScoreCard to measure success!
At every turn we pushed for policies for young people, women and smallholder farmers, as the backbone of African agriculture!
“I’m satisfied that the Seed of the African Green Revolution has not only been sown, it has germinated successfully.
“Let’s Water it, and nurture it (so that) by 2030 we will have a beautiful harvest!”

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende