Today marks International Workers’ Day, a day set aside to pay tribute to and honour the contributions made by workers globally, for the betterment of society. The importance of this day cannot be lost on us.
Even though this year’s celebration comes to us in rather very difficult and unusual times, we wish to commend the tireless and valiant efforts of the frontline “soldiers” in the battle against an invisible enemy, COVID-19; those who who are directly braving the odds so that the rest of us can remain alive and tell the stories to generations yet to come. We salute you and we wish you stay safe and alive.
We take this opportunity to celebrate African farmers — the main beneficiaries of our work in agricultural research and innovation. They work hard all year round, even on workers’ day, and under difficult conditions, to ensure we are supplied with the basic needs of food and fibre. We also gratefully acknowledge the various other players in the agriculture and food value chain and in particular those engaged in research and innovation to sustain and increase productivity and profitability. The lockdowns instituted across the globe to contain the spread of COVID-19 have shown how indispensable farmers and other agriculture value chain actors are at all times.
FARA is working in partnership with the Sub-Regional Agriculture Research Organisations (ASARECA, CCARDESA, CORAF and NAASRO) and AFAAS to roll out tools and practices aimed at accelerating the deployment of technologies and innovations for mitigating the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on the continent’s food and nutrition security, rural incomes, jobs and resilience to climate shocks.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and Management of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, I wish you all a happy International Workers’ Day, wherever you are working from. Keep safe. Practice the health and safety protocols, and surely, we shall see the back of this pandemic before long.
Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, FARA.