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African Community Leaders Tell Congress: Stop Funding African Green Revolution

On April 27, three members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee wrote to the co-chairs of the House Appropriations Committee expressing “serious concern about U.S. funding for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).”

The letter, signed by Democratic Representatives Sara Jacobs, Tom Malinowski, and Ilhan Omar, came on the heels of a March 30 briefing by African civil society and faith leaders, who called on Congress to cut funding to an initiative that, in their words, “has done more harm than good” since it was founded 16 years ago.

The three representatives took that message to heart, citing evidence that “AGRA has failed to meet its topline goals, while having potentially damaging effects on food security, the environment, and anti-poverty goals in the countries where it operates.”

The congressional letter is the latest salvo in the ongoing controversy over AGRA. My own research, which I presented in the briefing, had shown that the billion-dollar effort to double yields and incomes by 2020 for 30 million small-scale farming households in 13 African countries has failed on its own terms.