The GA brings together leaders and delegates of the five African Farmers’ Organizations networks members from Eastern Africa (EAFF), Central Africa (PROPAC), Western Africa (ROPPA), Southern Africa (SACAU) and Northern Africa (UMNAGRI). The delegation from FARA was led by the Executive Director, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo and included the Director for Corporate Partnerships and Communication, Dr. Aggrey Agumya and a compliance Officer, Ms. Edna Yeboah. This was the first GA to be attended by an Executive Director of FARA.
The Assembly reviewed progress in the implementation of PAFO’s programme for 2016. It discussed the challenges encountered and options for addressing them. Further, the GA provided a space for partners to share their proposed engagement with PAFO going forward. It also reviewed and adopted PAFO’s internal procedures and elected a new Board.
In his address to the GA, the Executive Director of FARA affirmed his commitment to deepen the partnership between researchers and farmers noting that the two have common goals and working together more effectively is crucially essential for these goals to be realised. He further pointed out that transformation of Africa’s agriculture is conditional on farmers taking charge of the transformation agenda.
He proposed the following three joint actions between FARA and PAFO:
(i) a platform for farmers and researchers to engage and map out what the farmers expect from researchers and vice versa;
(ii) farmers to leverage their capacity to influencing policy to advocate for policy changes that will enable the outputs of research to deliver impact. The researchers will arm the farmers with the evidence to support the farmers’ advocacy; and
(iii) researchers to bring to bear the knowledge that farmers can draw upon to transition from being financially dependent on external parties to being self-sustaining and sustainable.