Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, August 29, 2013

European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD) meeting

The EFARD meeting was chaired by Martin Kropff
rector magnificus Wageningen University
27-28. August 2013. European Commission, DG Research & Innovation, Brussels. European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD) meeting.

Some 30 representative of European ARD actors discussed the vision, strategy and way forward for making EFARD a stronger and more effective organization at both the European and international levels to respond to priority agricultural research for development issues within Europe and on other continents.

The outcomes were:
  • a consensus on the way forward for growing and strengthening EFARD community over the period 2013 – 2015;
  • a revised strategy of EFARD including the EFARD governance
  • the endorsement of EFARD’s new management team and mandate

The European ARD participants represented DG RTD/EIARD + DG AGRI + DG DEVCO (Belgium), BFH + YPARD, BFTH (Switzerland), KU (Danmark), ETC Agriculture (the Netherlands), Action Contre la Faim (France),  the European Cocoa Association (Belgium), CIRAD (France), AGREENIUM (France), PAEPARD (Belgium/Ghana), GFAR (Italy), Wageningen (the Netherlands), AGRICORD (Belgium), NRI (UK), EFARD Secretariat/ CTA, (the Netherlands),  ICRA (the Netherlands), SKAN Platform (Portugal), IAO (Italy).

For the first time two participants represented the Diaspora (AAAPD-E, Sweden): Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora and the private cacao industry: CAOBISCO (Chocolate, biscuits and confectionery of Europe) and a cacao processor: EUROCOCOA.

DEVCO presentation
Representatives from DG Research and Innovation, DG Development and Cooperation (DEVCO) and DG Agricultural and Rural Development (DGAGRI) attended the meeting. Bernard Rey,
DG DEVCO Deputy Head of the Unit Rural Development, Food Security and Nutrition, explained the new AR4D strategy (2014–0), which is based partly on the EC communications on resilience in 2012 and on nutrition in 2013.

The Food Security Programme will be absorbed into the Global Public Goods and Challenges Programme.

  • This aims at inclusive and sustainable growth, encompassing social protection, health, education, business environment, sustainable agriculture and energy. 
  • In the new financial envelope, there is nothing earmarked specifically for research, which will be part of global public goods. 
  • Global calls for proposals may be dropped, because the projects were too scattered and small (€1–2 million, disproportionate with costs of managing the calls), did not build strategically on each other, involved too time-consuming procedures (especially for those who did not win projects) and did not contribute to institutional strengthening. Calls may be replaced by commissioned funding of jointly set-­up programmes: the EC would ask specific institutions to develop proposals. More attention will be given to scaling up outputs of past research and to measuring the impact of the research, although the EC currently is not supporting any research into measuring impact. 
DG DEVCO cannot finance Europe bodies, but a mechanism is being developed to combine funding from DG DEVCO and DG Research and Innovation (which traditionally supports European organisations) to allow this. The IntensAfrica initiative led by CIRAD (France) and WUR (Wageningen University and Research) and involving several European research institutes and universities is seeking this kind of funding for African-­European partnership.

The reformed DG AGRI is fostering innovation through the European Innovation Partnership (EIP), implemented through the Rural Development Policy, and has a budget for international agricultural research for implementing part of Horizon 2020. They are working together with DG Research and Innovation in co‐managing research projects through the Research Executive Agency (REA). DG AGRI is currently doing a public e-­consultation on family farming and is organising a large conference on this topic, to be held on 29 November 2013.

PAEPARD presentation:

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