Dr. Alioune Fall, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa, has called on the members of the consortium and all stakeholders to prepare to take up new ways of doing things, particularly in agricultural research and innovation on the continent, in the wake of the corona virus pandemic that has hit the world.
Giving his opening remarks at the first regional and continental e-forum on the contribution of agricultural research and innovation in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 in Africa, Dr. Fall, who is also the Director General of Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA), reiterated that the COVID-19 is more than a health crisis which has precipitated shocks in other sectors among which the worst hit is Africa’s agriculture and food system, thereby requiring immediate and brisk action to develop and implement a sector-relevant response.
“COVID-19 is also projected to be with us a for a very long time, such that, living with it will become the new norm”, Dr. Fall intimates. He likened the crisis to climate change and indicated that world must find a way of developing appropriate response to and living with the pandemic. He also notes that as organizations within the food and agriculture research value chain, there is need to make a choice between staying idle and be consumed by the shocks of the virus or to put appropriate systems in place, formulating smart regional systems to mitigate its impact and thereby help improve the livelihoods of the people on the continent.
The eForum is the first in the series of webinars by the implementing institutions under the European Union funded CAADP XP4 programme. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) ex-Pillar IV Africa Regional and Sub-regional Organizations for Agricultural Research and Innovation project (CAADP XP4), is funded by the European Union (EU) under the Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DeSIRA) initiative and administered by IFAD.
The programme which brings together the major continental and sub-regional organizations AFAAS, ASARECA, CCARDESA, CORAF and FARA, aims at contributing to Agenda 2063 and to the climate-relevant CAADP goals as set in the 2014 African Union’s Malabo Declaration in advancing Accelerated African Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods.
The objective is to enable agricultural research and innovation, including extension services, to contribute effectively to food and nutrition security, economic development and climate mitigation in Africa.