African Agricultural Transformation Initiative: A Path to Enduring Change

McKinsey Supports African Agriculture Transformation Initiative

Agriculture is a vital sector for Africa, with roughly 780 million small-scale farmers relying on it for income. Yet, despite rich soil, most farmers face economic struggles and widespread malnutrition. However, with the right policies, infrastructure, and support, agriculture in Africa can be transformed. To achieve this, the African Agricultural Transformation Initiative (AATI) was established to bring together public, private, and non-governmental partners.

“This does not need to be our reality,” says Omid Kassiri, managing partner in McKinsey’s Nairobi office. “With the right policies, infrastructure, support, and capabilities, we’ve seen that agriculture in Africa can be transformed and make a massive, meaningful difference in people’s lives.”

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) hosts AATI, with McKinsey and other organizations co-founding the initiative. McKinsey has a long history of working in agriculture and food systems across Africa, resulting in 11 million fewer undernourished people and creating 100,000 new jobs. McKinsey provides fact-based and practical support, including increasing farmers’ technical knowledge and capacity to invest, research and development, and market linkages.

“McKinsey is our vital thought leader for tools and methodologies that accelerate agricultural transformation,” says Safia Boly, executive director of AATI. “The role of McKinsey here is knowledge—of working with partners and having the reach to bring partners together, bringing digital solutions, delivery expertise, problem-solving, and implementation methodologies, all of which have been essential to establishing the AATI.”

McKinsey also played a crucial role in launching AATI through the Fund for Social Good. AATI’s part is accelerating effective and sustainable food system changes, balancing government and private sector interests for inclusive growth. McKinsey’s goal is to increase the percentage of small-holder farmers who become entrepreneurs. By supporting AATI, McKinsey is creating an enduring catalyst for change in Africa.

Photo by Damian Patkowski on Unsplash 

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