Africa is the next frontier of the global economy. Several African countries boast some of the fastest growth rates in the world. Four of the world’s top 10 fastest growing economies in 2015 and 2016 are forecasted to be in Africa. And yet, the sector that employs as much as 60 percent of Africa’s labor force only accounts for 25 percent of the gross domestic product. Why the disconnect?

In a piece written for the Guardian, Agnes Kalibata, the president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA ), outlines the importance of merging development goals with the aspirations of the private sector to ensure that Africa’s farmers are a part of the “Africa Rising” narrative.

She expresses a mix of optimism and impatience about the future of agriculture in Africa. She is optimistic because there has been so much progress and entrepreneurial spirit. Yields are increasing, and seed companies are springing up to meet farmers’ demands for better seeds. She is impatient because progress has been tempered by barriers including a lack of access to financing or the absence of a market to sell a surplus.

To break through these barriers, Agnes emphasizes that the support and expertise provided by development assistance needs to work alongside investment and business acumen of the private sector. Working together, she says, we can see smallholder agriculture evolve “from farming as a struggle to survive to farming as a business that thrives.”