The first major evaluation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s controversial efforts to expand capital-intensive, high-input agriculture in Africa found that the 15-year-effort has failed to achieve its goals of improving food security.
The Gates-led Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) aimed to transform agriculture in Africa by increasing incomes and food security for millions of smallholder farmers. But an independent evaluation by the consulting firm Mathematica provides no evidence of progress toward these goals.
The evaluation posted Feb. 28 was funded by the Gates Foundation on behalf of AGRA’s lead donors, including the Rockefeller Foundation and government agencies in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. It is the only macro-level performance review of AGRA released to the public since the effort launched in 2006.
Still, the review of AGRA’s core strategy, the Partnership Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA), is far from comprehensive, covering just five years, leaving out many of AGRA’s target countries and offering few details on key metrics, including specifics on yields and incomes.
Although AGRA operates in 11 countries, the analysis reports only on select countries for each outcome it measured.