Yemi Akinbamijo, the Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) met with Farming First TV to discuss why an African research agenda must be Africa-led, Africa-driven, and Africa-owned.
“For the first time, Africans should be given a say about the design and the development of the strategy we are taking” he commented. “If the agenda is not Africa-led, it is synonymous with raising your family from your neighbour’s kitchen, it does not make sense”. Continue reading
From the 15 – 20 July leading agriculture experts and scientists from around the world will gather in Ghana to discuss solutions for food security in Africa .
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is collaborating with the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to organise the 6th Africa Science Week, where enhancing Africa’s capacity for agricultural innovation will be at the forefront of discussions.
Farming First will be interviewing key attendees at the event for Farming First TV, for more information about the event click here
Last month at the first dialogue of the African Ministers of Agriculture, held by FARA, representatives from all over Africa brought consensus on the need to accelerate progression to achieving food security in the continent.
Recognising the unsatisfactory progress on eliminating hunger in Africa, caused by under-performance of the agricultural sector and under-investment in agricultural programmes, the delegates agreed on the way forward for agricultural research, education and extension in Africa. As well as commending the progress made under CAADP, whereby African leaders pledge to increase public investment in agriculture to 10% of their national budgets, the delegates highlighted the key role of science and technology in Africa’s agricultural and broader rural development.
Further recommendations were the adoption of the Framework for African Agricultural Productivity (FAAP), the need to organise farmers to enable them to express their demands effectively, and the need for research to be “demand-driven and development-oriented”.
Symbolic of a shift in attitude toward the sector, the communiqué says that “because agriculture is a business rather than just a way of life, it is vital that we are cognizant of the mindset changes required across the board to embrace this knowledge.”
Accountability of research groups was also a key point made, calling for funding recipients to demonstrate value for money and transparency.
— Making the Jump From Scientific Research to Improved Food Security —
Ensuring that research results make an impact on food security in sub-Saharan Africa will be the theme of an international conference next month.
The Africa College’s Food Security, Health and Impact Conference will look at how the results of basic scientific research can lead to increased impact on food security and human health, and how partnerships between research and development organisations can deliver innovation and impact.
This will be the first international conference by the Africa College, which is a research partnership between IITA, ICIPE and the University of Leeds. The event will take place at the University of Leeds on 24th June to 26th June 2011. Speakers at the event include Dr Monty Jones, from FARA, Professor Bob Watson, Chief Scientist at Defra, Dr Nicolas Bricas from CIRAD, and Dr Dennis Garrity from the World Agroforestry Centre.
Alongside the presentations and working groups, the Africa College Prize will be awarded to recognise individuals from research and development organisations, civil society and farmer organisations who have helped translate the results of food security and nutrition research into impact in sub-Saharan Africa.
At the FARA Science Week in Burkina Faso last month, a map was launched that details over 300 of the agricultural research programmes currently taking place in Africa.
‘CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa’ enables different research groups to learn about the challenges faced across the continent and also provides opportunities for collaboration.
The map lists information about research projects across Africa, including the project priorities, time frame, location, partners, funders and contact information. According to the map coordinator, Evelyn Katingi, the map represents an ‘86% coverage of information from all 15 centres of the CGIAR.’
According to the map, the focus areas of the projects are divided as follows:
- 21% focus on crops
- 14% focus on policy and institutions
- 10% focus on livestock
- 5% focus on land management
- 4% focus on soils
- 2% focus on fisheries
The majority of the projects are being conducted in East Africa: 120 in Kenya, 91 in Uganda and 87 in Tanzania.
The initiative was coordinated by two CGIAR programmes: Collective Action in Eastern and Southern Africa and ICT-KM (Information and Communication Technologies – Knowledge Management). ‘CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa’ is available to CGIAR staff, partners and other key stakeholders in African agricultural research.