The Forum for Agricultural research in Africa (FARA) is an apex organization bringing together and forming coalitions of major stakeholders in agricultural research and development in Africa. It is a strategic platform that fosters continental and global networking to reinforce the capacities of Africa’s agricultural science and innovation community from research, education/training, extension and civil society engaged in agriculture. Established in 2001, the Forum encompasses all stakeholders, African and non-African, who are committed to enabling African agricultural development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), especially MDG1 (eradicate extreme poverty and hunger) and MDG7 (ensure environmental stability).
FARA was established by the sub-regional organizations (SROs) to contribute to sustainable achievement of high broad-based agricultural growth in Africa while the specific objective is to contribute to sustainable improvement of broad-based agricultural productivity, competitiveness and markets in Africa. This objective is aligned to the Millennium Development Goals, MDG 1 – to eradicate extreme hunger and poverty, and to MDG 7 – to ensure environmental stability. Within this framework:
FARA works with the four primary sub-regional research organizations (SROs) in Africa namely;
In turn, the national agricultural research systems (NARS) remain the key mechanisms for intervention at the national level. FARA reaches out to non – research stakeholders through continental platforms of farmer’s organizations (PAFO), private sector (PanAAC) and the non-governmental organizations (Pan NGOC). FARA’s objectives are congruent with the strategic objectives of the SROs, and confirm its value proposition to foster continental and global networking that reinforces the capacities of Africa’s national agricultural research systems and SROs. To implement this objective, FARA has developed a ten-year Strategic Plan (2007 – 2016). Key to the delivery of FAR’s objectives, goal and mission are five result areas which respond to the priorities expressed by FARA’s stakeholders and clients, and which reflect FARA’s comparative advantage. These are to ensure the establishment of:
FARA makes this contribution through four mutually reinforcing Networking Support Functions (NSFs) concerned with:
These NSFs catalyse, connect and communicate to support FARA’s constituents National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) and their Sub-regional Organizations (SROs) to undertake activities that generate continental spill-over that will contribute to CAADP’s goal of agriculture-led development.
FARA’s work is supported by Governments and Development Partners, including the: World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Kingdom’s Department For International Development (DFID), European Commission (EC), Canada International Development Agency (CIDA), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Rockefeller Foundation, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,, the Governments of Italy, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, France, Sierra Leone, and other multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors. These funds are provided either through direct disbursements or through the FARA Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) which is managed by the World Bank. In view of this, FARA has adopted the World Bank procurement procedures.