This is the Opening Remarks by Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, FARA at the West Africa Technology Fair
On the theme Mainstreaming Technology for Agricultural Development
Held at the King Fahd Hotel, Dakar, October 25-29
Thank you for inviting FARA to this epoch-making event, where, perhaps for the first time, a composite of stakeholders across the board is brought together to engage, share ideas, exchange knowledge, and possibly forge new partnerships to mainstream technology for agricultural development.
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and its sister organizations -ASARECA, CORAF, CCARDESA & NASRO, have been at the forefront in creating innovation ecosystems for confronting the challenges faced by last-mile users of technology within the Agricultural Innovation System (AIS).
As the TAAT-CDTO Enabler Compact, FARA has, over the last years, been focusing on (i) the development of the capacity of local facilitators to manage Innovation Platforms, (ii) supporting the development of outreach materials for technology scaling (iii) the development of Agripreneurship and enhanced Commercialization in the Value chains, and (iv) strengthening the capacity of Youth and Women to capture insights and share experiences of implementing TAAT.
Through this four-thronged approach, the CDTO has provided a strong foundation for collaboration with the commodity compacts, allowing for the design, development, and packaging of outreach materials to support scaling of the TAAT technologies at the local level.
In the wake of the covid pandemic, ICT created the opportunity to reach a more significant number of individuals. The compact has also leveraged other programs, including CAADXP4, to bring new knowledge and skills to the TAAT community, using such tools as foresight, information management, and application of Instructional Design in developing materials on technologies to scale.
To date, CDTO has reached over 3 million beneficiaries through the packaging of 69 technologies, publication of 43 videos, production of 9 press releases, publication of 21 articles on webpages on Capacity Development, Gender, Youth, Agribusiness, Knowledge Management, and Outreach: broadcast 12 radio and 6 Television programs and distribution of 701 Leaflets & Exercise Books.
The CDTO publications have been downloaded 83,603 times with a hit of 427,354 (www.Library.faraafrica.org)
Finally, and more importantly, 463 Innovation Platforms associated with TAAT have been registered on the FARA IP portal with 747 facilitators registered.
While these numbers appear significant, we recognize that more needs to be done to ensure that appropriate technologies reach the last mile, and that Africa attains the food and nutrition security we all desire.
In this respect, FARA and the SROs remain committed to building on the gains of TAAT I and further implementing new activities that will lead to the much-desired agricultural transformation in TAAT II and beyond.