The growing impact of climate change on Africa’s largely rain-fed agricultural sector coupled with the global pandemic brings food security and the unemployment challenge into full focus. Africa has the lowest agricultural productivity per capita across the world, due in large part to a severe lack of investment at the level of the smallholder farmer. This represents major latent job creation and food security potential, which can be unlocked through fast, affordable access to key productivity inputs, including electricity. The question is: how? My research team launched the Powering Agriculture campaign in 2019 to fill the agriculture-energy nexus knowledge gap and better inform public-private partnership action. My research explores the opportunities for energy access to directly support value-addition activity in grain supply chains for Uganda, East Africa. Findings also highlight the importance of cooperative reform, consumer finance and micro-enterprise support.