The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) seems to enjoy boasting with numbers and statistics: Its website is full of figures, highlighting some of the organization’s self-declared milestones such as the 550 million euros ($650 million) it has invested across the continent, the 119 seed companies AGRA has founded, the 700 scientific papers it has financed, and the almost 23 million small farmers the organization has reportedly impacted.
But there is another number, which now is sorely missing on AGRA’s website; on older versions of the website stored on Internet archives it can, however, still be found: AGRA had set itself the ambitious objective of doubling the earnings of 20 million small farmers by 2020 while halving food shortages in 20 African countries. This is what the organization had pledged to do when it was founded in 2006.
Some critics say that this is not the only shortcoming they have witnessed in terms of AGRA delivering on its promises. Zambian agricultural expert Mutinta Nketani says that when an organization like AGRA “fails to achieve the goals it had set itself, all alarm bells should go off — not only amid civil society, but also amid AGRA itself as well as its donors.”