21 May 2014
A growing global alliance devoted to improving food security and nutrition now covers 10 African countries, includes more than 160 companies and has generated more than $7 billion in planned investments, according to a new U.S. report on accelerated progress to end global hunger.
The 2014 Feed the Future Progress Report, released May 19 in Washington, says that organizations supported by the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition are showing results. One organization is the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), established in 2006 by the Rockefeller and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundations.
AGRA leads a $47 million Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership to expand production by African companies of high-quality seeds and increase the number of smallholder farmers who have access to innovative technologies.
Through the New Alliance and Grow Africa, more than 2.6 million smallholders have been reached through services, training or production contracts and 33,000 jobs have been created.
Grow Africa seeks to accelerate investment and change in African agriculture based on national agricultural plans. Grow Africa supports the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), established in 2003 by the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). So far, 40 African countries have now completed national agricultural plans.
The African Union has proclaimed 2014 as the “Year of Agriculture and Food Security.”In 2012, President Obama, African leaders and other members of the Group of Eight industrialized nations launched the New Alliance to significantly expand public-private partnerships and investment in smallholder agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa. The New Alliance complements the Feed the Future program, which Obama launched in 2009 as part of an effort to leverage resources to improve food security, reduce malnutrition and strengthen resilience to recurrent crises in vulnerable areas of the Horn of Africa and the Sahel caused by climate change and other factors.
“I believe that the United States has a moral obligation to lead the fight against hunger and malnutrition … we’ve put the fight against hunger where it should be — at the forefront of global development,” Obama said in October 2012.
“Growth in the agriculture sector is a powerful driver in advancing economic opportunity, peace and security, markets and strong trading partners,” the report says. “We will win our fight against poverty and hunger by improving value chains and leveraging investment, trade and science” and by working with civil society and the private sector, it continues.
The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition focuses on Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania.
The text of the 2014 Feed the Future Progress Report (PDF 13 MB) is available on the U.S. Agency for International Development’s website.