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Agra calls for food systems revolution

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The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) has stressed the need to build a critical mass of African leaders who are committed to cross-sector collaboration and innovation in food systems.

This, Agra says, will take the agriculture sector forward and get African people out of poverty.

The organisation’s president Agnes Kalibata was speaking during the graduation of 18 food systems leaders from Malawi and Tanzania, in Agra-led Centre for African Leaders in Agriculture’s (Cala) Advanced Leadership Programme.

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Kalibata said there is need for continuous sharing of ideas and support within the agriculture sector.

“One can’t be a leader in agriculture unless they understand how the sector works. It is time to think of our roles as leaders and how we can collaborate for the sake of our people,” Kalibata said.

Director of Planning in the Ministry of Agriculture Rodwell Mzonde encouraged the graduates to mentor others.

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“You must pass on the knowledge that you have gained to others that will practise the same. Note that your ability to apply what you have learnt is what is going to make you transformation agents,” Mzonde said.

The graduates have been awarded certificates in Food Security and Sustainability, after completing a 16-month training.

The programme has equipped them with practical leadership skills for effective implementation of national agriculture programmes prioritised in their respective countries.

During the ceremony, the delegates presented results of Action Learning Projects, which is a unique aspect of Cala’s leadership training.

This was the third and final of three regional graduation ceremonies scheduled for Cala’s inaugural cohort of 80 delegates who were competitively selected from eight countries including Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria.

The first cohort was selected from over 1,000 applicants, with 45 percent of them drawn from government agencies across the eight countries.

Twenty-six percent of the participants came from the private sector and 29 percent from the civil society. The second cohort of 80 delegates joined the programme in August 2022.

Cala was launched in August 2021 as an Agra-led initiative to provide practical training for African leaders in the agriculture sector.

The initiative seeks to catalyse collective action on food systems as an avenue for transformation of national and regional agriculture priorities.

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