Monty Jones Africa Australia consultationPriorities for Research to Improve Food Security in Africa

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Monty Jones Africa Australia consultation

Monty Jones Africa Australia consultation

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  • The picture shows the difference that S&T can make to increasing productivity and subsequently to food security. The field on the left was not fertilized or put under improved management while the one on the right was.
  • Concluding remarks are added after “about FARA”
  • The common characterizationof the state of Africa’s development is one of doom and gloom, i.e. the highest poverty rates, hunger and food insecurity, poor governance, etc. There is a tendency, especially by the media, to focus on the challenges and ignore the opportunities and achievements.A lot of attention placed on the status and not on the trends.Next two slides focus on poverty and food insecurity
  • The underlying challenge for Africa is poverty. In this map showing %age of population living under the poverty line across the globe, it is evident that poverty is concentrated in Africa. There are great variation of poverty rate across Africa with the highest rates in SSA and in particular in Eastern and Central Africa as well as in parts of West Africa. We shall come back to this distribution highlighting Central Africa towards the end of the presentation
  • Associated with poverty is the challenge of hunger which is also concentrated in Africa. Food is a basic need necessary for human survival. Deficiencies in access to food pose a threat to survival and the security of the rest of the world.FAO estimates for 2010 put the %age of undernourished Africansat about ⅓ of the population. DRC has highest rate followed by southern Africa, Eastern Africa and countries in the Sahel. There is a strong correlation between poverty and hunger. This is not surprising because the two reinforce each other. Africa has lowest productivity rates. Has moved from exporter to net importer of food–imports a quarter of food requirements yet has potential to feed itself.These grim statistics are for a continent that is richly endowed with resources. How can Africa harness its resources to improve livelihoods of its people? By developing its own capacities, better policies (e.g. resource use & population control), capital, win-win partnerships (example of China)
  • Although the statistics on key development indicators remain depressing, the recent trend is promising. Graph on left shows that Africa has sustained GDP growth at 5% for most of the last decade. It has outperformed other developing regionsIt shows that Africa is emerging out of stagnation and decline and could substantially improve those indicators if it sustains the current trends. Graph on right shows that poverty has been reducing progressively. Over the past decade African countries have made he greatest progress toward MDGsHowever, the reduction in poverty has been slower than expected from the growth rate because the benefits of growth are not equitably accruing to the poor. Agricultural growth holds the key to lifting the rural poor out of poverty.
  • A heavily animated slideScale of the problem:Food insecurity is widespread. Many countries at high or extreme risk. Even populations that are food secure are vulnerable in case of shocks e.g. Somalia, Niger and other countries in the Sahel. Secondly, the high population growth (highest in the world (2.5%)) calls forequally high growth in foodsupplyHeterogeneity: Numerous agro-ecological zones & farming systems require different interventions, unlike green revolution in Asia. PS. The farming systems map was put together by John Dixon when he was at FAO. His contribution may be acknowledged.Numerous small countries—fragmentation; difficult to exploit economies of scale…high transaction costsWeak capacities: partlyassociated with small size of countries. Weak institutions, Poor infrastructure, limited access to markets, high transaction costs, limited competitiveness.Resource degradation and climate change—increase the risks
  • The services include research, extension, education, enterprise development and agribusinessApplies to crops, livestock,fisheries & forestry. There is a tendency to focus on crops at expense of othersInterventions cut across several sectors not merely agriculture (i.e. finance, planning, public works, S&T, environment, trade, local govt etc)
  • Animated slide.List is not exhaustive, e.g. its does not mention Africa-Brazil or Africa-China etc. Serves to show that there are numerous initiatives. All initiatives listed on the right are continental programs and are aligned to CAADP—priorities identified by countries and at regional level.FARA-led efforts underway to strengthen the CGIAR’s alignment to CAADPSARD-SC Support to Agricultural Research for Development on Strategic Crops in Africa (cassava, maize, rice and wheat)GAFSP: Global Agriculture and Food Security Program—Australia is among the 8 contributors to this fund. To date 6 African countries have received funding to finance components of their CAADPinvestment plansThe funding for the Australia-Africa Food Security Initiative (AUD100m) is separate from the Australia International Food Security Centre. The centre enhances the work of the initiative.Feed the future: 12 countries in Africa (4 in each of east, west and southern Africa) out of a total of 20 countries globally 4 in Asia and 4 in Latin America & the Caribbean.Key issues: (a) Coordination to ensure synergy and avoid duplication (enhance overall impact); and (b) coverage to ensure that no priority theme or geographical region is left out.
  • Animated with graph to show the need not only to increase investments but to assure stabilityThese are the priorities for research—they are interlinked with those for extension and educationIt is not enough to increase investments. It is as important to allocate the investments prudently—example of Malawi which invested in inputs but not in R&D or infrastructure—sustainability of its interventions was compromised.Capacities of institutions include capacities of the workers and the facilitiesBottlenecks are the gaps outlined a few slides ahead
  • This has been done. The IAC report and GCARD consultations have identified research priorities and gaps. These are listed in the next slideThese are to be refined in the exercise to develop a science agenda for Africa. This FARA-led exercise will combine the mapping of demand and supply of ARD withforesightingto propose priorities for the medium and long term. These will be validated through a consultation. Invite Australia to co-finance the exerciseThe Australia-Africa conference proposed for mid 2012 may be an opportune forum to discuss the outcomes of this analysis.
  • The list is presented at high level of aggregation. These need to be fleshed out and ranked.IAC recommends focus on limiting factors, reducing factors and post harvest losses. This of course does not preclude paying sufficient attention to yield defining factors (breeding).These are the thematic gaps. There are gaps in terms of geography. As the maps in next slide show, there are gaps in attention to Central Africa & the two Sudans which are home to the most severe food insecurity
  • An Animated slideThe Central African region (representing a population of 110m) and a unique forest-basedagro-ecology and farming system is consistently by-passed by major pan-AfricanARD initiatives. This is partly because it has lagged behind in taking up the CAADP processes and therefore cannot yet benefit from initiatives that are tied to CAADP e.g. GAFSP and Feed the Future. Only 2 countries in the region have signed compacts (DRC & CAR). These have not moved to the stage of submitting IPs for review The impact of unsustainable agricultural practices in this region are bound to extend beyond it.The other consideration in geographical targeting is of countries emerging from conflict including the youngest country in the world which has special capacity needs.North Africa is not as serious a concern as central Africa despite similar gaps because its dependence on agriculture is much less.
  • Being focused means the investment is devoted to a few priority components where impact can be demonstrated rather than being spread thin over many components.By being aligned to CAADP such an initiative would build on CAADP-derived plans and processes, e.g. taking forward the investment plans and supporting components of these plans. It should also be aligned to CAADP principles which call for African ownership & leadership Having a Pan-African reach means it should be conceived to be a strategic programme whose outcomes cut across the continent—deliver international public goods.Filling gaps: means that it is necessary to establish the priorities that are not addressed by ongoing projects and explore whether the new initiative can cover them given the comparative advantages of its promoters
  • Organization of actors engaged in improving agricultural productivity. Cut across the value chainApart from the political structures, Research has the most organized structure with a strong presence at all levels. Education is also fairly well organized but the institutions are weak. Same can be said for farmers.Because research has fairly strong institutions, they are often called upon to support collective action for the others. FARA as lead institution for Pillar IV is charged with coordinating the services provided by all the other actors.It is therefore responsible for mobilizing collective action at the Pan-African level while the SROs do the same at the sub regional level.
  • Established in 2002;located in Accra, Ghana.Founding Executive Director: Prof. Monty JonesKey achievements: FAAP, Pan-African Initiatives, General Assemblies, Strengthening CSO engagement in ARD
  • Concluding slideFARA undertakes to work with stakeholders and AIFSC to flesh out the five areas of engagement.Mandates of FARA: leadership of CAADP Pillar IV and platform for all ARD stakeholders to support their networking amongst themselves and with external partners


  • 1. Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa Priorities for Research to Improve Food Security in Africa Prof. Monty P. Jones Executive Director, FARA
  • 2. Outline 1. Africa’s Development Context 2. Challenges and Opportunities for improving food security in Africa 3. Research Priorities and Gaps 4. About FARAForum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 3. Africa’s Development Context Africa’s development challenges are well documented – Poverty, food insecurity, poor governance & conflict, inherently poor soils, poor infrastructure, mindset of dependency, etc – Mutually-reinforcing, most severeForum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 4. Africa’s Development context: Poverty % of population living on less than US$1.25 (PPP 2005) per day 0 1-10 11- 20 21- 30 31- 40 41- 50 51- 60 61- 70 71- 80 81- 90 Over 90Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 5. Development Context: Food insecurity %age of population undernourishedForum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 6. Recent trends (GDP growth & Poverty rate)Percent growth in GDP Poverty rate in SSA (1990-2005) • Several success stories (Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mali, Malawi, etc) • Benefits of growth not equitably distributedForum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 7. Improving food security in Africa Challenges Opportunities• Scale of the Problem • CAADP, FAAP• Heterogeneity & • High level attention to agric numerous small countries & food security• Weak capacities for • Trajectory of economic innovation & marketing growth• Climate change & • N-S & S-S Risk Extreme partnerships & resource degradation initiatives High Risk Medium RiskForum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 8. Improving Food Security in Africa • Focus on smallholders (SHs) & productivity especially for staples • Improve delivery of services to SHs across value chains: Improvement in productivity can account – enhance productivity, reduce post harvest losses, for ½ of value addition & food utilization support the 6% CAADP target of growth in agricultural output per year – Reduce transaction costs (infrastructure) & increase access to markets – Reduce exposure and resilience to risks (safety nets)Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 9. Current Agric. Productivity initiatives aimed at improving food security in Africa • CAADP: Refocus attention • FARA Pan-african of national govts to agric. • WAAPP (SSACP, PSTAD, initiatives NASRO (10% investment & 6% growth) SCARDA, UniBRAIN, SABIMA) • EAAPP ASARECA • Multi-Country Agricultural • AGRA, AATF Productivity Programmes •• MAPP Southern Africa: CARD CORAF/WECARD under development • SARD-SC (AfDB) • Sub regional and Regional AR&D Organizations • Feed the Future • AFAAS CCARDESA • GAFSP • CGIAR reform (global • RUFORUM, ANAFE including Africa) & CRPs • Australia-Africa Food • PanAAC,InitiativePANGOC Security PAFFO,Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 10. Identifying Research Gaps at Pan-Africa level • IAC study (2004), GCARD consultations (2009) • Developing a Science agenda for Africa (ongoing) – Analysis of demand for ARD (CAADP investment plans) and supply from (CRPs and ongoing programs) over the medium term – Use this analysis to identify gaps for medium term – Use foresighting to identify gaps in the long termForum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 11. Agricultural research gaps • At thematic level IAC Yield Defining recommends focus on factors Genetic potential realizing attainable yield Limiting factors Nutrients, Water & • GCARD highlights coping with Labour risks (climatic, prices etc) Reducing factors Pests, weeds & diseases • Priority setting and Post harvest losses foresighting • Development of markets, Potential Attainable Actual Available institutions and policies Yield yield Yield food • Research support & management (M&E, Biometrics, stewardship)Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 12. Gaps in geographical targeting AGRA countries CAADP & FtF countries GAFSP Progress Portfolio 1 Compact signed (29) Portfolio 2 Investment Plan reviewed (20) GAFSP funding granted (6) Feed the Future Country (12)Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 13. Organization of actors engaged in improving Africas agricultural productivityGlobal Pan African Sub regional National StakeholdersGFAR, FARA ASARECA, CORAF, NARIsCGIAR CCARDESA, Research NASROGFRAS AFAAS ? Nat. Agric Extension Extension SystemsGCHERA ANAFE RUFORUM Networks of Education Universities? PAFFO Sub regional National Farmer Farmers Organizations Farmers organizations? PANGOC ? National NGO NGOs Platforms? PanAAC ? Agribusiness Private Sector PlatformsUN -GA AUC ECOWAS, Ministry of Agric Policy / COMESA, SADC, EAC , AMU Political
  • 14. The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa• Apex organization for coordinating and facilitating agricultural R&D in Africa• Technical arm of AU commission & Lead Institution for CAADP Pillar IV (research, education & extension)Value PropositionTo provide a strategic platform for networking to strengthencapacities of Africa’s agric. R&D systemsNSFs1. Policy + advocacy; 2. Access to knowledge and technology,3. capacity development and 4. partnerships
  • 15. FARA …. • welcomes renewed commitment of Australia to engage with Africa on food security • supports the 5 broad areas of engagement laid out by the AIFSC • looks forward to discharging its mandate with regard to AIFSC • success of AIFSC hugely depends on buy-in, collaboration and leadership by beneficiariesForum for Agricultural Research in Africa
  • 16. Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa Thank you for the attention