Transformation strategy

Successful agricultural transformations are built on strategies that prioritize, sequence, and are able to react to changes.


National agricultural or rural economic-development plans serve multiple purposes as political instruments as well as setting the foundations for a strategic approach to accelerating agricultural transformation. Creating a strategy for actionable progress on agricultural transformation requires expertise, a deep understanding of political nuances, and access to geospatial analytics to answer key questions about crops, livestock, markets, exports and imports, infrastructure, energy, and water. Too often, plans for agricultural transformation fail to prioritize, budget, or set targets. This sets the stage for failure in implementation.

Also, many agricultural transformation strategies do not account for the rapid pace of change that can happen. The best strategies involve a decision-making structure that reevaluates evidence as contexts change and supports realignment of public policies and investments. Additionally, it can be difficult to assess and plan for private-sector engagement. This is often a weak element of agricultural transformation strategies.

What we do

Our staff at the McKinsey Center for Agricultural Transformation has analyzed more than 30 agricultural transformations, both historic and current. We have drawn out both common best practices as well as critical differences where tailored approaches are needed. We bring a depth of practical knowledge about the dynamics of rural transformations and what has been successful.

When supporting partners to develop or improve agricultural transformation strategies, we also provide a foundation of world-class data and analytics, including cost curves of commodities, comparative competitive assessments across value chains, and micromarket analyses. We also have the capacity to develop analytical tools for future use by transformation leaders to ensure that ongoing assessments use the best available evidence.

Additionally, our convening power and private-sector insights provide our partners with the ability to integrate practical, up-to-date information about commercial activity in agriculture. This enables better tailoring and targeting of enabling environment policies and can contribute to creating a reasonable path for leveraging private-sector investment.

Read our paper about planning and delivery to discover how to increase the odds of a successful rural transformation.

More about how we help clients

Private-sector engagement

We bring an “investor mind-set” to public-sector policies and support private investments needed to enable commercial opportunities that will create jobs and accelerate growth.


Too often, transformation plans fail during implementation. We work closely with stakeholders across public and private sectors, bringing global best practices to drive on-the-ground implementation.

Building capacity

Transformation success depends on talented people—from top leadership to farmer-facing change agents. We tailor capacity-building tools based on global experience in transformation to in-country needs.

Data and analytics

McKinsey has a firmwide commitment to creating and applying next-generation analytics. We provide world-class agricultural transformation data and analytics to support partners.

Connect with the McKinsey Center for Agricultural Transformation