The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with stakeholders have organised a regional consultation on rolling out the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A) for countries in Central, West and North Africa.
The programme was jointly organised with the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), the North Africa Agricultural Sub-Regional Organisation (NAASRO) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of Ghana.
A statement signed by Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, the Executive Director of FARA and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the event brought together participants from National Agricultural Research Systems from countries such as Ghana, Comoros, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, and São Tomé and Príncipe.
Others include Somalia and Sahrawi Arab DR, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Other participants include the African Union Commission, ECOWAS, among others.
The statement said the Science Agenda was a framework for deepening the application of Science to accelerate the transformation of Agriculture in Africa with the goal of achieving sustainable inclusive growth, shared prosperity and poverty reduction as encapsulated in the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP).
It refers to the science, technology, extension, innovations, policy and social learning Africa needs to apply to meet its evolving agricultural development goals.
The S3A is based on the recognition of the game-changing potential of science to transform agricultural development.
It said its goal was the realisation of the CAADP target of doubling agricultural productivity by 2025.
The statement said in 2012, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Agency mandated FARA to co-ordinate the development of a Science Agenda for Agriculture through a consultative process that cultivated African ownership of the product.
The S3A was endorsed by the African Union Joint Conference of Ministers of Agriculture, Rural Development, Fisheries and Aquaculture in April 2014 and subsequently by the AU Heads of State and Governments in their June 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated African Agricultural Growth and Transformation.
The S3A was launched in Johannesburg in November 2014 with the vision that “By 2030 Africa is food secure, a global scientific player, and the world’s breadbasket.
The S3A advocated a doubling of public and private sector investment into agricultural research for development (AR4D) by 2020 and that the realisation of the Science Agenda’s vision depended on effective domestication of the framework into national strategies, investment plans and action plans given the uniqueness of the contexts, challenges, opportunities and priorities of countries.
The statement said to ensure that the S3A is owned and driven by countries, a series of engagements at Sub regional and National level was organised by FARA, AFAAS and the sub regional agricultural research organisations.