Consultation between the Australian Council for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and FARA took place at the FARA Secretariat on 10 February. The objective of the Consultation was to initiate identification of priority themes for Australia’s investment. The Australian Government has sharpened its focus on food security through increased investment in an initiative on food security through rural development by setting up the Australian International Food Security Centre (AIFSC).
The specific focus of the FARA-ACIAR Consultation was the establishment of AIFSC, which is envisaged as a centre that will support smallholder-driven research partnerships to tackle major food security challenges, stimulate broader education and training for postgraduate students, and provide a global portal for access to Australian expertise. Although the focus of AIFSC will have a broad international focus, emphasis will be given to Africa, where the highest proportion of the world’s poor are found.
Australia is keen to align its investment to the CAADP agenda by complementing existing initiatives in research and education. Information on the status of the research agenda from the African perspective was shared through presentations on CAADP by Prof Richard Mkandawire, on FARA by Prof Monty Jones, and on RUFORUM by Mrs Dhlamini Nodumo. The Australian delegation was headed by Nick Austin with technical support from AusAID and Australia High Commission in Ghana (Sarah Willis) and Kenya (Louisa Cass). Discussions were enriched with contributions from NPCA, COMESA, ASARECA, CORAF/WECARD, PAFFO (through EAFF), and the FARA Secretariat. click here for more information.