Today, across Africa, big things are happening on the millions of small family farms that are Africa’s main source of food, employment, and income. Over the last decade, we have laid the foundations for a renaissance in Africa’s agriculture, one powered by the enormous progress increasingly evident in farmers who are gaining more options in the seeds they plant, in the fertilizers they use, and in the markets available to purchase their produce. So far, it’s just a glimpse of success. But it offers an inspiring new vision of a future Africa in which farming as a struggle to survive gives way to farming as a business that thrives. This future can be our reality if all of us—farmers, businesses, governments, donors and civil society organizations—are willing to act now and seize the moment, because the time is ripe for African agriculture.
At the 2016 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), we came together to advance the policies and secure the investments that will ensure a better life for millions of Africa’s farmers and families—and realize the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In a region challenged by climate change, rapidly growing urban populations, and an urgent need for jobs, agriculture offers solutions, providing a clear path to food security and employment opportunities for all Africans. We have seen through our collective efforts across the agriculture sector that there are innovations, institutions, programs, and policies that work. This gathering was our collective opportunity to highlight the best elements of Africa’s agriculture, the changes that are allowing farming families to lift themselves out of poverty by embracing farming as a business. It is up to all of us to come ready to build on this progress—quickly, efficiently, and at the speed and scale required to secure Africa’s rise through an agricultural transformation.