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Agricultural Development

We help clients transform agricultural systems at scale to raise productivity, open up access to markets, and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

We tackle deep-rooted challenges such as sector competitiveness and productivity, food access and availability, smallholder farmer livelihoods, and climate change and resource scarcity. We work closely with governments, donors, foundations, and businesses to design and implement holistic programs that transform the way agricultural systems operate.

The work we do

We apply our expertise in agribusiness, supply-chain management, infrastructure, and large-scale transformations to create models for sustainable agricultural development that attract private, public, and social investment and can be scaled and delivered effectively. These models include regional “breadbaskets,” infrastructure and logistics corridors, and dedicated agricultural economic zones or food hubs. In the past five years we have conducted more than 100 agricultural development projects globally.

We have also helped six countries to manage transformations of their entire agricultural sector since 2009. We invest in developing lean, flexible delivery models to help governments achieve the maximum impact from limited resources and build their capabilities as they pursue their long-term agricultural transformations.

In addition to our work on strategy, design, and implementation, we help set up and accelerate public/private partnerships, support individual value-chain projects and food reserve strategies, and tackle questions on organizational and strategic topics for donors and foundations.

The value we bring

From our decades of consulting experience, we understand how to engage private companies and get them to invest in agricultural development. We know how to bring large-scale change to public-sector transformations and use proven methods and tools to involve stakeholders in delivering real results on the ground within short time frames. Our deep strategy expertise and unrivaled talent pools—with 9,000 consultants and 1,600 knowledge professionals in 56 countries—enable us to provide comprehensive, world-class support to governments, donors, and businesses, whether in short-term projects or multi-year programs.

Outside our client work, we conduct research into agricultural development, food security, and sustainability, using our knowledge to develop regional and global perspectives, publish articles and reports, and help shape the global debate. We also invest in tools, proprietary data, and solutions to help governments evaluate the potential for agricultural productivity, assess their food security systems, and identify priorities for improvement.

The impact we achieve

Examples of work we do to advance agricultural development include:

  • Driving public-private partnerships. For instance, as advisors to the WEF's New Vision for Agriculture, we helped launch the G8's New Alliance campaign to encourage investment through public-private partnerships, which has secured pledges from 62 companies worth more than $3.5 billion.
  • Supporting donors and foundations. As participants in Feed the Future, a $3.5 billion US government initiative, we helped define five-year strategies for USAID missions in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to reduce hunger and malnutrition and lift 18 million smallholders out of poverty.
  • Helping governments to deliver country-wide transformations. In Ethiopia, we helped to develop the strategy and roadmap to establish an innovative  government agency to boost agricultural productivity, commerce, and exports. The agency now has over 250 employees and is creating impact across the agriculture economy. We have provided continuing support during the transformation. For example, we designed a grain reserve system that will secure access to staple crops for nearly 8 million people in times of drought.
  • Assisting the sustainable growth of economies. As part of a presidential effort to sustainably grow the economy, we helped a sub-Saharan country to identify opportunities across ocean-related sectors, including aquaculture, that could triple the size of the economy and create about 1 million jobs.

Featured experts

Kartik Jayaram

Senior Partner, Nairobi

Lutz Goedde

Senior Partner, Denver

Nicolas Denis

Partner, Brussels



From liability to opportunity: How to build food security and nourish growth

– How can public institutions, development agencies, investors, researchers, and producers work together to build a food sector that propels economic growth, meets demand, and helps to maintain social stability?