Tuesday, 8 April 2014

President of IFAD receives FARA Executive Director

The President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Dr Kanayo Nwanze hosted the Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) Dr Yemi Akinbamijo in his Rome Office on Monday 7th April 2014 during a courtesy call of the latter.

Both heads of institution discussed amongst others the modalities of increasing the collaboration between FARA and IFAD. FARA Executive Director expressed appreciation for the support provided by IFAD in support of the elaboration of the Science Agenda for African Agriculture (S3A) and acceptance by President Nwanze to serve as a member of the FARA High Level Advocacy Panel (HiLAP) – a group of eminent Africans (under the chairmanship of H.E Dr Jean Ping) tasked with the responsibility of strengthening advocacy, visibility and resource mobilization for FARA and the SROs.

FARA recognizes the very strong impact of IFAD’s contribution to the Africa’s agricultural development strategy and in particular the support it has received from IFAD within the context of the CAADPs Agricultural Science Agenda Workstream. It will also be recalled that President Nwanze was instrumental to the establishment and evolution of FARA as the Chairman of the group that helped transform SPAAR (FARA’s predecessor) into FARA. Most recently, President Nwanze serves as FARA patron and Chair of the Expert Panel Commissioned to develop the Science Agenda.

The visit was the first official visit of the FARA Executive Director since assuming office in July 2013.

PAEPARDII: Two Consortium agreements signed for PAEPARDII 4 Years Extension (4YE) granted by the European Commission (EC)

On 3rd and 4th April, 2014 the Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) Steering Committee (CA) met at FARA Secretariat in Accra, Ghana for its ordinary year meeting. The main objective of the meeting was to sign consortium agreement for the additional 4 years extension granted by the EC; validate the technical and financial reports for year 4 of PAEPARD implementation; approve the work plan and budget for year 5; and approve the nomination of the Independent Peer Review Committee (IPRC) needed for the assessment and selection of proposals from consortia and platforms responding to the Competitive Research Fund and Incentive Fund ( CRF/IF) also granted by the EC for 4 years.

All these objectives were achieved during the meeting. Two Consortium Agreements were signed by all partners present with the EC representative as an observer.
These are the Addendum to the existing Consortium agreement to cover the 4 years extension and a new Consortium agreement to set into operation the CRF/IF fund, granted to PAEPARD by the EC under Grant Contract DCI- FOOD/2013/308-657

The Steering Committee is the highest organ of the project. It provides overall oversight of the project and makes sure the project responds to the development goals of the two continents. It provides technical advice to the consortium as well. It is held once a year and composed of the heads of institutions that signed the Consortium Agreement:
African members of the SC: FARA, RUFORUM, PAFO, FANRPAN

AEPARD II is an eight-year (2009-2017) project registered to the EC under DCI-FOOD2009/200-228 with 80.29% from the European Commission and 19.71% from partners as own contribution. FARA is the lead partner that signed the Contract Agreement with the EC on the 16 December 2009 and amended in an Addendum on 15/12/2013.

PAEPARD II aims at building joint African-European multi-stakeholder partnerships in agricultural research for development (ARD) contributing to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). On the European side, the partners are AGRINATURA, COLEACP (representing the private sector), CSA (representing the NGOs) and ICRA, specialised in capacity building in ARD. The overall action of European partners in the project is coordinated by AGRINATURA through its secretariat.

The African partners include the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), Le RĂ©seau des Organisations Paysannes et des Producteurs de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA), the Plateforme RĂ©gionale des Organisations des Producteurs de l’Afrique Centrale (PROPAC). All these organizations are members of PAFO for which they are currently standing in for. PAFO is leading the work package Innovation Partnerships. The African partners also include Food Agriculture Natural Resources and Policy Analysis (FANRPAN) that co-leads the work package Communication and Advocacy and The Regional Universities Forum for capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) which leads the WP capacities in PAEPARDII.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Stimulating Collective Action to Scale-up Climate Smart Agriculture (SCA) Practices in Africa

A well-attended back-to-back CSA and FS CSA workshop kicked off at the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, Kenya today 31st March 2014. The workshop is co-organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the NEPADPlanning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the International Center for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF). The workshop will run from the 31st March to 4th April 2014.
The purpose of the workshop is to stimulate collective action to leverage political (policy), technical and financing support to grass-root, national and regional-level programmes and initiatives to scale-up the adoption of climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices in defined farming systems in Africa. The workshop brings together over 60 experts from 15 countries, sub-regional, regional and international organizations working on climate change issues as they affect agriculture.

A statement delivered at the opening ceremony on behalf of the Executive Director of FARA, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo noted that Climate Change is an important global externality that calls for a global collective action and that Africa is already experiencing the impacts of climate change that are expected to become more severe. In the coming years, many African countries are likely to experience more severe droughts and declines in water supply, which would further aggravate food shortages on the continent. The statement pointed out that from a research perspective, Climate Smart Agriculture as a solution, should be an integral part of Africa’s economic transformation process. It noted further that there is need to generate data and research outputs to support evidence-based policies that promote adoption of CSA practices; and that the increase in production expected from adoption of CSA should be driven by sound strategic analysis and foresight, enhanced CSA capacity building and an enabling policy environment for implementation of CSA initiatives.

Participants at the workshop are expected to discuss the relationship between evolving Climate Smart Agriculture and Africa’s economic transformation; discuss local political economy factors and drivers that promote or hinder the adoption of CSA practices; deliberate on the effectiveness of CSA policies and how they could be improved through evidence-based policy design; examine successful CSA initiatives, reasons for success, lessons learned and options on how they can be up- and out-scaled. Participants are also expected to develop a framework for a common African-aligned application of CSA as well as agree on a set of guidelines to identify and measure the implementation of CSA in Africa.

Before closing his statement, the Executive Director expressed FARA’s appreciation to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation for funding the project on Research to Support Accelerated Scaling of Climate Smart Agriculturethat FARA and its partners are currently implementing.