Agricultural R&D has the potential to deliver huge impact for Africa. To realise this potential, however, the way in which ARD is organised needs to be overhauled. Agricultural innovation involves interaction among multiple actors in the value chain. Such actors include researchers, extension providers, development agents, the private sector, policy makers, donors, farmer organisations and consumers. The FARA Secretariat recognises that improving innovation capacity demands mechanisms and favourable environments for establishing and strengthening institutions that can promote this interaction.
The Secretariat has a strong continental-level comparative advantage for (i) sharing information about institutional innovations and (ii) facilitating strategies to enhance capacity for innovation. Through GFAR, the Secretariat is also well positioned to facilitate the networking of ARD actors between Africa and other regions.
Refreshingly, after decades of acting independently, European institutions have recently adopted policies that encourage collaboration. They have established institutions such as the European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development (EIARD), the European Consortium for Agricultural Research and Training (ECART), the European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD), CTA, and the International Centre for Development-oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA). This emerging mode of African–European engagement has created a need to broker partnerships between European and African institutions. The Secretariat is well placed to undertake this engagement at the continental level.
Through NSF5, the Secretariat catalyses and facilitates the establishment and strengthening of partnerships and strategic alliances at various levels aimed at sustainably increasing the impact of agricultural research and development. It tests and promotes best practices in multi-stakeholder approaches to enhance agricultural innovation. It also catalyses the assemblage and exchange of information and experiences.
The specific objective of NSF 5 is to utilise partnerships and strategic alliances to support sustainable broad-based agricultural productivity, competitiveness and markets in Africa.
Kano-Katsina-Maradi pilot learning aite (KKM-PLS) lead institution research phase implementation plan, 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008. Download document
Multi-stakeholder approach to linking technical options, policy, and market access for improved land productivity in the Northern Guinea Savanna Zone. Download document