Launching of the Platform on African–European Partnership for Agricultural Research in Africa

Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) PAEPARD is a new agricultural research for development (ARD) project implemented by FARA and includes different partners from Africa and Europe. Its overall objective is to build joint African-European multi-stakeholder partnerships in ARD to help achieve the millennium development goals (MDGs). The specific objective has been spelt out as follows:

Enhanced, more equitable, more demand-driven and mutually beneficial collaboration of Africa and Europe on ARD with the aim to attaining the MDGs. In contrast to man other projects, PAEPARD phase II is more balanced because it involves many non-research stakeholders towards a demand-driven approach. It is sponsored by the European Commission and through the contributions of the consortium partners. The event consisted of presentations by partners, followed by an official launch by the FARA Executive Director and the representative of the European Commission.

Following expectations were expressed by David Radcliffe, Unit Sustainable Management of Natural Resources DG Development and Relations with ACP States:

European Commission support for PAEPARD

  • Euros 5.5 million over 3 years (total budget €6.85 million)
  • From Food Security Thematic Programme
  • Builds on PAEPARD I funded by DG Research and Technology Development

Big challenges of food security and poverty in Africa (around 350 million < $1.25/day and undernourished)
ARD part of solution but African ARD under-resourced

Constraints to African ARD stakeholders

  • poor access to information on funding opportunities,
  • complex procedures of donor agencies in applying for research grants,
  • limited involvement of farmers’ organisations, civil society, private sector
  • difficulties of establishing equitable partnerships with European institutions.

PAEPARD I addressed some challenges and learned lessons.

GCARD sets new paradigm for ARD: Montpellier Roadmap

  • Collective action among stakeholders
  • Addressing regional constraints, Implementation of regional priorities
  • Innovative partnerships taking account of comparative advantage
  • Developing collective capacities – linking research and development
  • Mutual accountability among stakeholders and to constituencies

PAEPARD II is uniquely timed to pioneer this approach. PAEPARD II and GCARD I developed in parallel. PAEPARD workplan can build on GCARD recommendations

Some key issues in innovative partnerships

  1. Equitable and transparent
  2. Gender: importance of women farmers
  3. Roles and comparative advantages:
  4. Farmers’ organisations
  5. Civil society
  6. Private sector
  7. Durable partnerships, but flexible according to demand

Expectations of European Commission

  • Deliver on objectives and results specified:
  • Overarching objective is enhanced equitable and mutually beneficial collaboration of Africa and Europe on agricultural research for development, ultimately contributing to food security and reduction of poverty in Africa.

Some key expected results are:

  • Durable and equitable African – European Partnerships
  • The European ARD agenda better reflects African needs and priorities;
  • Greater and more equitable participation of African research stakeholders in ARD projects
  • Increased capacity of all African – European ARD stakeholders

Emerging opportunities
New EU Policy Framework to assist developing countries address food security challenges.

  • Advocates demand driven agricultural research, extension and innovation to increase food availability
  • Focuses on smallholder farmers and sustainable, ecologically efficient, intensification
  • Calls for 50% increase in spending on ARD (including extension, innovation) ‘globally’ by 2015.

European Commission Initiatives

  • FSTP Phase II 2011-13. Programming underway
  • Africa Regional and sub-regional programmes: FARA, ASARECA, CORAF, CARBAP etc.
  • FP 7: Annual Work Programmes – Food, agriculture and biotechnologies.
  • CGIAR partnership opportunities – new mega-programmes
  • EU member states (and Norway, Switzerland)
  • Joint programming initiative: Food security, agriculture and climate change
  • Bilateral programmes

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