Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Saturday, March 9, 2013

EFARD Steering Committee meeting

Participants: André Stucki (YPARD, Switzerland) Substitute for Martina Graf Ann Waters-Bayer (ETC Foundation, Netherlands) Catherine Guichard (COLEACP, France, Chair) Christian Hoste (AGREENIUM/ France) David Radcliffe (EC/DEVCO; Executive Secretary) Francois Stepman (European Co-manager, PAEPARD) Observer George Rothschild (UK Forum) Hubert Wiggering (ZALF, Germany) Ignace Coussement (AgriICord, Belgium) Observer Jürgen Anthofer ((GIZ, EIARD Executive Secretary) Judith Ann Francis (CTA, Netherlands) Observer – only Wednesday Richard Hawkins (ICRA) Observer Stefano Del Debbio (IAO, Italy) Alex Percy-Smith (Consultant to Secretariat)
6th – 7th March 2013. Brussels. COLEACP. Steering Committee Meeting of EFARD.  The topics on the agenda were among others: AGRICORD’s involvement with EFARD, the election of new Chair and Vice Chair ; the status of EFARD funding from GFAR and PAEPARD ; a discussion about the review of the EFARD Governance ; the recent EFARD Lobby activities; EFARD’s activities and future ; GFAR, GCARD and related matters ; ERA-ARD II Final Conference ; EIARD issues of relevance to EFARD ; an update on EFARD actions and process to revise the EFARD Action Plan ; Activities of interest since the last SC meeting. The EFARD SC paid a short tribute to Jacky Ganry who sadly passed away recently.

At this meeting PAEPARD interviewed Prof. Dr. Hurbert Wiggering of the German Agricultural Research Alliance.(DAFA).

Dr. Hurbert Wiggering answers following questions: 
  • What is the German Agricultural Research Alliance (DAFA) about? 
  • Is research relevant for farmers?
The DAFA is a joint project of the German agricultural research. The network aims to improve the efficiency, transparency and the international visibility of German Agricultural Research.

  • Identification of research topics that are relevant to target groups of agricultural research 
  • Development of strategies for placing promising research topics in planning and tenders in national and international research programs.
  • Networking of research institutions, pooling their expertise and preparation of consortia, which are capable of processing the identified research topics particularly.
  • Providing updated information on structures and competences of German agricultural research institutions to enable interested parties from Germany and abroad to be contacted rapidly with competent partners.
To be involved in the development and refinement of thematic funding programs, the German Agricultural Research Alliance works with donors of research funding in Germany and at the European level.

During the EFARD meeting Ignace Coussement made an interesting presentation about AgriCord.

AgriCord’s core business is strengthening the capacities of farmer organisations (FOs) in developing countries. It is a development NGO that is a network of agri-agencies, i.e. NGOs that have structural links with FOs in a wide sense, including rural people’s organisations, young farmers’ organisations and agricultural cooperatives. Within AgriCord, the agri-agencies developed one common and comprehensive programme called “Farmers Fighting Poverty”. AgriCord is interested in EFARD because it would like to support FOs to become more involved in ARD. The mandate of the agri-agencies is to mobilise their farmer constituencies on issues related to development, and research is one such issue.

AgriCord has had some pressure from two sides to give more attention to ARD: a few requests from FOs in developing countries, plus some requests from FOs in the EU that are increasingly being asked to become involved in research in the EU. AgriCord seeks to strengthen FO capacities to engage more continuously in ARD processes and not just on an ad hoc basis, as is presently the case. FOs need representatives who can follow the ARD agenda, be well informed, make strong contributions and can also become implementing partners in ARD. AgriCord therefore needs a facility to coach leaders from FOs so that they can be better prepared for interaction with research and have mandated statements, and so that they are confronted with their own responsibility of being representatives.

However, because research is not the core business of FOs, it is difficult to get them together to discuss ARD. The research has to link in with the farmers’ main concerns. For farmers in Europe, this would revolve around issues of nutrition and food systems.

Interview with Ignace Coussement published on 1 Feb 2013 The first Forest Farm Facility Steering Committee - FAO HQ, Rome on 10-11 January 2013.

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