From 2004 to 2014, I had the privilege of putting my knowledge to work back in my home country of Rwanda, where I served as permanent secretary, then minister of state, and ultimately minister for agriculture, livestock, and fisheries. During this time, Rwanda prioritized agriculture and smallholder farmers, and the country moved from food insecurity to food security, lifting 20 percent of the population out of poverty.
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a farmer smile when he or she has a good crop and thinks about what to do with money from selling the extra produce. This little additional income can pay for healthcare or send kids to school. Small changes can make a big difference in the lives of farmers struggling to survive; the rest they can do themselves.
Agnes Kalibata is the President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa