FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sustainable improvement of food and nutrition security and the livelihoods of African farmers are at issue when 23 African and European research partners strike out collaboration on a long term research and innovation effort. The focus of the partnership is on sustainable intensification of the agro-food system in Africa.
ACCRA, GHANA. April 22, 2015 – The FARA Secretariat hosted a gathering of high level representatives of 23 African and European institutions at the FARA Secretariat, between 21-23 April, 2015 for the kick-off of the ProIntensAfrica initiative. The initiative aims to explore opportunities for sustainable food systems in Africa and Europe.
The ProIntensAfrica is a partnership initiative between Africa and Europe on the issues of sustainable intensification of Agriculture. The project currently involves 23 research and development organization, 15 are drawn from Europe and eight from Africa. The initiative is a forerunner project supported by the European Commission to help form the initial partnerships and develop a fundable proposal for a long term initiative on agricultural intensification tagged IntenseAfrica.
The Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Honorable Mahama Ayariga carried out the official launching of the project on the 23rd April 2015. In an opening address, the Honourable minister indicated that the “ProIntensAfrica is a laudable initiative that will help address some of the challenges facing the agricultural sector in Africa’’ he assured FARA and other stakeholders at the workshop of the Ghanaian Government’s commitment to making agriculture a successful and sustainable livelihood. He further thanked the European Union (EU) for committing resources and expertise to the program. The Honorable Minister appealed to the research community in the agricultural sector to make their research findings available to farmers and other stakeholders, who will need them to improve their work and livelihoods.
In a welcome remark at the occasion, The Executive director of FARA, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo reaffirmed FARA’s confidence in “working together, pulling together and delivering together” as an important working principle that will enhance our individual and collective relevance and impact. He further indicated the role of science in generation of sustainable solution to major agricultural problems confronting the Africa continent.
The Director General of Agriculture at the European Union (EU), Mr. Marc Donponcel, in a keynote paper expressed the commitment of the European Commision to partner with the stakeholders of ProIntensAfrica to make it a success. He expressed the commitment of the EC to the program, planned to be in a more engaging manner; compared to the previous practice of just committing funds to the program and expecting the outcomes. “The EC will participate in the entire work plan and other process from the beginning to the end” he indicated. He further expressed his conviction that the ProIntensAfrica will ultimately benefit Africa and Europe.
During the kickoff meeting the Executive Director of FARA, Dr Yemi Akinbamijo (FARA), Dr. Patrick Caron (CIRAD) and Dr Martin Kropff (WUR) signed the Consortium Agreement in the presence of the other Consortium members present. The Consortium Agreement is the instrument that gives legal backing to the partnership arrangement within the program. And it represents a significant milestone in the history of ProIntensAfrica. It also paves the way for the implementation of the program activities.
Following the elaborate launch of the program, the ProIntensAfrica will run for two years to develop a fundable proposal and effective partnership framework for the long standing IntensAfrica program.
African partners in the ProIntensAfrica project project are: FARA (Ghana), CORAF/WECARD (Senegal), CCARDESA (Botswana), ASARECA (Uganda), AFAAS (Uganda), ARC (South Africa), CSRI-CRI (Ghana) and INERA (Burkina Faso).
European partners are: Wageningen UR (The Netherlands), CIRAD (France), UCL (Belgium), SLU (Sweden), IICT (Portugal), Luke (Finland), University of Copenhagen (Denmark), ZEF (Germany), INIA (Spain), NRI (England), Teagasc (Ireland), BOKU (Austria), University of Life Sciences (Czech Republic), University Szent Istvan (Hungary) and Bioforsk (Norway).
For more information please contact:
Huub Löffler, Wageningen UR
Yemi Akinbamijo PhD, FARA
Tel. +233 (302)772823
Philippe Petithuguenin, Cirad
Tel. +33- (0) 4 67 61 44 40
– Ghana Minister of Environment and Innovation formerly launched the ProIntensAfrica
– New initiative explores African opportunities for sustainable food systems
– A strong case made for agriculture intensification in Africa
– Participants at ProIntensAfrica meeting discuss the relevance of the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa
– General Assembly of ProIntensAfrica endorses Consortium Agreement