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A Scorecard for Africa’s Green Revolution

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is a favorite cause among Western donors — including Germany. But a study finds that the work of the organization is actually counterproductive. AGRA counts its achievements as: $650 million 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 critics say there are other numbers missing on AGRA’s website; 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. Authors of a current review of the organization say figures highlighted in the report do not paint AGRA in a good light: The number of starving people in AGRA’s 13 partner countries across Africa is said not to have fallen at all but is reported to rather have risen — by almost a third.