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AGRA and USDA commit to helping small African farmers

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Agriculture Department today signed a five-year memorandum of understanding to explore ways to help smallholder farmers in Africa through coordinated research, exchanges, training and development activities.

The MOU, signed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and AGRA president Namanga Ngongi, includes joint efforts to promote seed development and soil enhancement, reduce crop loss, manage water resources, improve data collection, develop farmer training programs, create market information systems, and improve human capacity and food-related infrastructure in Africa, AGRA said in a news release.

AGRA and USDA will initially focus on increasing food production in African breadbasket regions – areas with high potential because of existing policies, infrastructure and growing conditions, such as Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Tanzania and Mozambique, AGRA said.

AGRA is funded largely by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.