Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Innovation serving food and nutrition security in Europe and Africa

Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo of FARA presenting the
Integrated Agricultural Research for Development
1 April 2014. Brussels, Belgium. DG Research and Innovation (COVE).

Africa and Europe have formally agreed as a first priority to work towards a long term, jointly-funded research and innovation partnership to promote food and nutrition security, and sustainable agriculture.

This will be done within the institutional framework of the Africa-EU relationship in science, technology and innovation, embedded in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. Already last November, senior officials on science, technology and innovation reviewed cooperation and set new priorities ahead of the EU-Africa Summit 2014.

During 2014, a high level expert group will be tasked with developing a detailed roadmap defining the scope, objectives and key components of the partnership. Consultations with representatives of the private sector is vital to better understand both the role that the business community can play in delivering goods, services and technologies, to share experience and best practice, and to shape the policy and programming actions needed to bridge the public-private sector divide for linking research and innovation, for more coherent and sustained impact.

A round table session was organised to articulate a set of high-level, core messages to the EU-Africa Summit about the role of and conditions for private sector engagement in the food and nutrition security research and innovation partnership. The debate also importantly serves to enrich understanding of policy makers and programme owners across Africa and Europe of the policy and programming options for fostering a conducive environment for effective public-private partnerships in research based innovation processes.

Following key questions structured the Round Table:
Stephen Mintah of ColeACP Ghana mentioned the
PAEPARD supported research on mango residues / mango waste
 to combat the fruit fly which includes research on the use of
the kernel for cosmetics, biogaz, livestock feed and fertilizer.
  1. What has worked? Success stories of innovation processes contributing to food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture at the local, regional and global level; the role of key actors and the added-value of EU-Africa cooperation; What are the key criteria of and barriers to success; and the causes of failure.
  2. What are the best models for the research, agri-business and civil society communities to interact and cooperate to achieve food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture? How does the research community better respond to the needs of the agri-business community (multi-nationals, SMEs and entrepreneurs) with respect to research outputs? On what sources of R and D does the agri-business community rely for innovation? What works and what does not?
  3. How do family farms and smallholder’s farms access and then increase the uptake of researchbased innovation? What are the best models of cooperation between research community and farmers? What works and what does not?
  4. What is the role of the public sector in enhancing private sector engagement in research based innovation processes?

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