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Interview with Rockefeller Foundation President on Resilient Cities, Smallholder Farmers

The Rockefeller Foundation president, Judith Rodin spoke to Allan Olingo on its interventions in Africa's agriculture and its impact on productivity, food supplies, farmer profits and resilient communities.

I can share three notable examples. First, Agra has worked with farmers and plant breeders to develop more than 500 new varieties of crops from cassava and cowpea to maize, sorghum, and rice. These seeds are drought-, pest-, and disease-resistant, enabling farmers to double their yields.

Second, Agra has trained many of the next generation agricultural leaders. It has trained over 600 scientists at Masters and PhD levels, in crop breeding and soil science. After completing their studies, many of these researchers have returned home to work with farmers to develop new technologies, like crop varieties and soil management practices, that lead to increased harvests and greater resilience.

Agra's programmes have trained more than 650,000 farmers in how to handle and store their crops, and how to work as a group to obtain higher prices for their products.

Benjamin Wald

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