The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has unveiled a new 5-year strategy that seeks to establish a new way of practicing agriculture on the continent but also support governments to create an enabling environment for private sector involvement in agricultural transformation. The strategy whose implementation will cost $550 million was unveiled by AGRA board chair, Hailemariam Desalegn on the margins of the ongoing 12th Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Kigali on September 08. “Our focus on seed systems will enable us to trigger higher productivity through improved seeds, thus improving the pathway to higher incomes and better food security. Our sustainable farming business line will ensure farmers are building resilient farming systems which enable them to sustain their improved yields,” said Desalegn. Desalegn, who is a former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, took stock of progress in the ability of farmers to access improved inputs in farming and added that there is a political willingness to move towards building food systems. Young people are advocating passionately for changes in diets. And changes in how we produce and consume food sustainably.” Besides improved seed systems, Desalegn said that the new strategy also rallies behind governments in providing the best opportunities for food system transformation, supporting farmers, and attracting investment. “We have been learning our lessons and responding to the needs that are so clearly out there. We are expanding our work in sustainable farming. This will help farmers and communities to build the sustainability of their businesses and lives, through the land, water, and farming that they need. “We have also learned from our last strategy that markets and trade are critical components of the transformation. We are now sharpening our focus, knowing farmers and SMEs depend heavily on markets to sell their produce,” said Desalegn as he elaborated on what the new strategy will focus on. As per the strategy, Rwanda is among the countries where AGRA will provide support to several sectors by building inclusive agricultural markets by enhancing the competitiveness of local actors. Describing the strategy, the president of AGRA, Agnes Kalibata said that it was designed in a way that it reflected everyone’s daily life. “When we were growing up in rural areas, we would plant beans with groomers. We grew other things and you know how much we harvested. When I went to university I got exposed to improved seeds and realized that in the same area we were growing and getting half a ton of katumani maize variety, which can actually give you five metric tons with different varieties. This is what we are going with the new strategy,” said Kalibata. She added that the new strategy seeks to change farmers’ lives and help them have access to the seeds that can change their lives. Reacting to the new strategy, Burkina Faso's Minister of Agriculture Innocent Kiba said that areas like poultry farming will require a boost in the new strategy since it remains a sector that needs much attention in his country. The new strategy comes into effect next year at a time when the AGRF Summit will also be renamed to Africa Food Systems Summit.