About FARA

ABOUT FARA


The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is the apex continental organization responsible for coordinating and advocating for agricultural research for development (AR4D). FARA serves as the technical arm of the Africa Union Commission on matters concerning agriculture science, technology and innovation.

FARA was conceived in the late 1990s by a core group of committed champions, including both African scientists and enlightened donor aid officials, who believed in agriculture’s potential to lift the continent from poverty, yet realized that this would only be achieved if the continent’s weak and fragmented agricultural research systems could somehow be brought together and strengthened under a common banner. FARA was then voted into existence in 1997 by the Sub-Regional Organizations, including CORAF/WECARD, ASARECA and SADC-FANR, at the 17th Plenary of the Special Programme for African Agricultural Research (SPAAR), a precursor organization to FARA, situated within the World Bank.

FARA serves as the entry point for agricultural research initiatives in Africa designed to have a continental reach or a sub-continental reach spanning more than one sub-region. Headquartered in Accra, Ghana, FARA has been in existence for 12 years. Over this period, FARA has provided a continental forum for stakeholders in AR4D to shape the vision and agenda for this sub-sector, and to mobilize themselves to respond to key continent-wide development frameworks, notably the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)

FARA also plays a key role in galvanizing the agricultural research for development sector, and brings a strong African voice to global forums such as the G-8 and the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR).

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WHAT WE DO


As a coordinating body, FARA works through collaboration with its partners, an approach driven by the principle of Subsidiarity, which devolves the implementation of programmes to the Sub-regional organizations and the National Agricultural Research Institutes NARIs.

In implementing its strategy, FARA mobilizes stakeholders around a portfolio of continent-wide programmes and projects jointly developed with the stakeholders, to address specific challenges or opportunities. Currently, FARA is coordinating the following such initiatives

  • DONATA Dissemination of New Agricultural Technologies in Africa
  • PAEPARD 1 & 2: Platform for African – European Partnership on                Agricultural Research for Development (link to description)
  • RAILS: Regional Agricultural Information and Learning Systems
  • SSA CP: Sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Programme
  • UniBRAIN: Universities, Business and Research in Agricultural Innovation
  • BiomassWeb & BiomassNet: The first Pan-African expert network on food and non-food biomass
  • Adaptation for Future Demands in Agriculture (AFDA)
  • Regional Mobility for Capacity Strengthening (ReMoCaSt)
  • Africa Human Capital, Science Technology and Agri-preneurship for Food Security Framework (AHC-STAFF)
  • Programme for Agricultural Intensification in Africa (PAINT)
  • African Special Progamme on the Environment and Agricultural Research (African SPEAR)
  • The African Food and Agriculture Policy platform (AFAPP) (link to description)

Going forward with the new strategic (2019-2028) orientation, FARA is embarking on the following new continent-wide roles and programmes in the context of the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa:

  • Mandated roles solicited by FARA’s authorizing bodies for leveraging new core funds: FARA’s positioning in this domain is enhanced by its role in the High-Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) Working Group of the EU-AU Bureau for the FNSSA. It is further strengthened by FARA’s role in advocacy through the Building Nutritious Food Basket (BNFB) campaign on biofortification and the AfDB’s Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT).
  • Roles solicited by partners and stakeholders; These include roles demanded by partners in bilaterally-funded interventions or as requested by development partners with an interest in addressing multi-regional and multi-country interventions in Africa. These also include country-focused solicited roles to leverage on domestic resources as exemplified by the backstopping activities undertaken by FARA arising from the implementation of S3A through facilitating the Innovation Platforms or the Policy Practice Index and other instruments. These include:
    • The African Agricultural Research Program (AARP)
    • Supporting Implementation of a Science-Led and Climate-Relevant Agricultural Transformation in Africa (SISTA)

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STRATEGIC PLAN


FARA’s new Strategy (2019-2028) is designed to respond to its Value Proposition, “Africans’ unique partnerships connecting science to agriculture for livelihood impact at scale”,  following a broader stakeholder assessment.

Based on this assessment , FARA is acknowledged to deliver on this value proposition by;

  1. Providing access to global and regional knowledge and data systems to identify expert solutions and funding opportunities for priority issues such as food security, nutrition, poverty and climate change
  2. Facilitating networking far beyond organizations’ own access, reaching vertically and horizontally over the continent and allowing for partnerships and collective actions to address shared challenges of food and climate change
  3. Providing equitable multi-stakeholder representation, wider visibility of partners in the region and their solid collective voices to increase Advocacy and impact on policy
  4. Strengthening individual and institutional capacities of partners for climate-relevant transformation of agriculture and food systems, and agricultural youth, women and small holder farmers empowered to progress along the value chain, reduce poverty and improve their livelihoods
  5. Providing technical advice, administrative expertise, monitoring and evaluation and accountability systems to ensure the success of their food and nutrition programs .
  6. Facilitating research agenda setting for increased and effective application of Science and innovation to effect climate-relevant transformation of national agricultural and food systems and to contribute to CAADP and the SDGs

Vision: Africa becomes a food secure continent through partnerships that connect science to agricultural livelihoods.

Mission: Offering innovative partnerships and solutions that enhance the application of science to create sustainable and decent livelihoods in Agriculture.

Goal: To contribute to progressive achievement of Malabo-CAADP commitments on ending hunger, poverty reduction and building resilience of agricultural systems through the application of science, technology and innovation.

Objectives

  1. To optimize multi-stakeholder engagements and increase access to wider partnership opportunities in the development and delivery of collective actions to address shared
  2. To improve access to pristine management of STI data and information and for funding opportunities in Africa
  3. To strengthen the science-policy interface and impact on policy, shared visioning and collection action through evidence-based advocacy
  4. To strengthen individual and institutional capacities for climate-relevant agricultural transformation targeting women, youth, agribusiness and smallholder farmers
  5. To improved technical and fiduciary capacities of partners for outreach, coordination, programme implementation.
  6. To build a network of critical masses of actors in Africa working in major programme areas; including climate change, bio-economy, nutrition, agribusiness and natural resources management while enhancing responsiveness to youth, women and the private sector.

Programme Clusters

Programme Cluster 1: Innovation to Impact Partnerships & Systems (2IPS): Agricultural innovation systems (AIS) Approach is fast gaining good acceptance as an operational instrument for facilitating change, through demand led research and effective outreach for agricultural development. Its use finds a convergence around many issues that drives change and development in a coherent manner. The development of the innovation systems in agriculture entailed the trial of various theoretical model and learning lessons to come up with essential element that makes a functional system. This cluster therefore seeks to enhance partnership across geographies, sectors, and agricultural value chains for the deployment of science, technologies and innovation to achieve CAADP results.

Programme Cluster 2: Knowledge Management and Decision Support (KDS): Knowledge Management and Decision Support (KDS) initiatives are crucial for catalyzing agricultural innovation and climate relevant interventions. This cluster seeks to promote access to knowledge products and technological options through knowledge management, advocacy, and policy to support evidence-based decision making..

Programme Cluster 3: Capacity Development and Agri-preneurship (CDA): The essence of the Capacity Development & Agri-preneurship (CDA) cluster is to support the strengthening of country capacities to address previous under achievements in AR4D and confront emerging challenges to deliver science- and innovation-based solutions on the ground that deal with the existing institutional, market and policy failures. The main objective is Strengthen human and institutional capacities for agricultural research and innovation targeting women, youth, agribusiness and smallholder farmers.

Programme Cluster 4: Research Management and Leadership (RML): Through collaboration with partners for over a decade, FARA has learned some lessons in research for development partnership and management. The most important lesson is the need to strengthen African partner institutions in governance, fiduciary responsibilities, quality assurance, monitoring, evaluation and learning to achieve innovation and impact. This cluster therefore seeks  to Strengthen research management and leadership and promote the development and coordination of continental agricultural transformation programmes.

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FARA SECRETARIAT


FARA Secretariat provides the services that FARA stakeholders require in order to function as a continental Forum to capture the added value of thinking and acting across the four sub-regions. These services include, but are not limited to, carrying out the three Strategic Priorities, which require leadership, planning, coordination, facilitation and resource mobilization.

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)’s revised strategy for the next decade articulate a Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa strategic framework designed to guide Agriculture Science and Technology visioning and planning. FARA’s new programme over the next five years is therefore aligned to this Science Agenda and designed to build on FARA’s and African Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D)’s achievements participatory approach also requires considerable and continual consultation between stakeholders and lessons learnt over the past years. In providing these services the Secretariat’s responsibilities include:

1. Advocacy and resource mobilization
2. Contributing in sustaining the CAADP Momentum
3. Promoting compliance with FAAP principles
4. Linking to the global community, especially with GFAR and the CGIAR

Most of these responsibilities are shared with the sub-regional research organizations (SROs) with FARA bringing a continental perspective while working together, pulling together and delivering together.

The FARA Secretariat, led by an Executive Director, as the functional arm of FARA, keeps a lean and flat management structure albeit with no compromise to excellence, rigor, transparency and accountability to its constituents and stakeholders.

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GOVERNING ORGANS


The Organs of FARA include the General Assembly, the Board of Directors and the FARA Secretariat.

General Assembly

Composition and Functions

The General Assembly of members shall consist of registered and paid-up members. The functions and powers of the General Assembly are to i. Formulate and approve the rules of procedure of the General Assembly, ii. Approve and ratify agreements, contracts, policies, programmes, new members, protocols, by-laws, budgets, financial statements, audit reports, the membership / subscription fee, General Assembly registration fees and the seat of FARA, iii. Elect the Chairperson of FARA upon the nomination of the Board, iv. Ratify the selection and appointment of the Executive Director.

The Board of Directors

Composition

The Board of FARA consists of the following members:

Chairperson of FARA – non-executive position;  Vice-chairperson of FARA – non-executive position; c. Executive Director of FARA; Two (2) representatives from each of the Sub-regional Organization (SRO) members, except the SRO of the incumbent Vice chairperson which shall have one (1) representative in addition to the Vice Chair – non-executive positions; One (1) representative of donor and development partners – non-executive, non-voting observer position; One (1)  representative of scientific partners (CGIAR) – non-executive position; One (1) representative of the private sector – non-executive position; One (1) representative of foundations and NGOs – non-executive position; One (1) representative of Non-African Partner institutions – non-executive position; One (1) representative of farmers’ organizations/associations – non-executive position; One (1) representative of the African Union Commission – non-executive position; Financial and Governance Expert/s: non-executive position/s represented by a person/s with a background and experience in Financial Management and/ or Corporate Governance;  Ex-officio members who shall be non-executive non-voting observers invited by the Board from time to time to provide specialist advice to the Board; Honorary Members representative – non-executive, non-voting observers – invited by Chairperson after consultation with the Board.

Functions and Powers of the Board of FARA

The following are the functions of the FARA Board: i. Acts on behalf of the General Assembly on all matters requiring immediate attention, ii. Recommends for approval or ratification by the business session of the General Assembly policies, programmes, budgets, financial statement, audit report, agreements, contracts, protocols, bye-laws, new members, and the membership fee, iii. Establishes the procedures for the appointment and severance / separation of the Executive Director of FARA; iv. Establishes the procedures for the recruitment, selection and appointment of staff, v. Approves the regulations governing the terms and conditions of employment of staff, vi. Frames its rules of procedure, vii. Appoints auditors and independent review committees, viii. Approves the annual reports on FARA’s achievements and work in progress, ix. Reviews, approves and establishes the annual plan of work, x. Does and performs all other acts as deemed appropriate for the implementation of the directives received from the business session of the General Assembly in the pursuit of FARA’s mission.

Meetings
FARA Board meets at least twice a year for its ordinary meetings. Its meetings are convened after due consultation between the Chairperson and the Executive Director.

Current Board Members

FARA BOARD OF DIRECTORS – APRIL 2014

NameProfessionRegional /Stakeholder RepresentationNational OfTenure
Charity KrugerEnvironmental Economist & Management SpecialistFARA Forum:ChairpersonBotswana20 July 2013 – 2016 (Single term)
Paul MafukaSoil ScientistFARA Forum:Vice-Chairperson & ASARECADemocratic Republic of Congo20 July 2013 – 2016 (1 st  term)
Yemi AkinbamijoAgricultural & Environmental ScientistFARA Secretariat:Executive DirectorNigeria20 July 2013 – 2018 (1 st  term)
Fina OpioPlant PathologistASARECAUganda 20 July 2013 – 2016 (1 st  term)
Habib AmamouAgricultural EconomistNASROTunisia20 July 2013-2016(2 nd   term)
Abdel-moneim ElbannaBiochemist (Agriculture)NASROEgypt20 July2013 – 2016 (1 st  term)
Timothy SimalengaAgriculture EngineerCCARDESATanzaniaApril 2013 – 2016 (1 st term)
2nd CCARDESA RepresentativeCCARDESAVACANT
Harold Roy-MacauleyTropical Plant BiologistCORAF/WECARDSierra LeoneNovember 2012 – 2015 (1 st  term)
2 nd  CORAF/WECARD RepresentativeCORAF/WECARDVACANT
Consolather MuzagaEntrepreneurNGOs and FoundationsTanzaniaMay 2012 – July 2015 (1 st   term)
Njabulo ZwaneAgricultural SpecialistPrivate Sector OrganisationsSouth Africa20 July 2013 – 2016 (1st  term)
Nteranya SangingaAgronomist/Soil microbiologistScientific PartnersDemocratic Republic of Congo20 July 2013 – 2016 (1st  term)
Abebe Haile-GabrielAgricultural EconomistAfrican Union CommissionEthiopiaJanuary 2012 – 2015 (2nd  term)
Samuel AdamAccountantFinancial ExpertGhanaNovember 2012 – July 2015 (1st term)
Philip KiriroLivestock SpecialistFarmers OrganizationsKenyaMay 2011-2014(1st term)
Bakari TraoreLawyerGovernance ExpertCote d’IvoireMay 2011-2014(1st term)
David RadcliffeSoil ScientistDevelopment Partners(Observer)Great Britain20 July 2013 – 2016 (2nd term)
David NielsonAgricultural EconomistWorld Bank (Observer)United States of America20 July 2013 – 2016  (1 st  term)

 The Secretariat

FARA Secretariat provides the services that FARA stakeholders require in order to function as a continental Forum to capture the added value of thinking and acting across the four sub-regions. These services include, but are not limited to, carrying out the three Strategic Priorities, which require leadership, planning, coordination, facilitation and resource mobilization.

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)’s revised strategy for the next decade articulate a Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa strategic framework designed to guide Agriculture Science and Technology visioning and planning. FARA’s new programme over the next five years is therefore aligned to this Science Agenda and designed to build on FARA’s and African Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D)’s achievements participatory approach also requires considerable and continual consultation between stakeholders and lessons learnt over the past years. In providing these services the Secretariat’s responsibilities include:

1. Advocacy and resource mobilization

2. Contributing in sustaining the CAADP Momentum

3. Promoting compliance with FAAP principles

4. Linking to the global community, especially with GFAR and the CGIAR

Most of these responsibilities are shared with the sub-regional research organizations (SROs) with FARA bringing a continental perspective while working together, pulling together and delivering together.

The FARA Secretariat, led by an Executive Director, as the functional arm of FARA, keeps a lean and flat management structure albeit with no compromise to excellence, rigor, transparency and accountability to its constituents and stakeholders.