Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa
Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
In 1997, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa (ASARECA), the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), the Sahel Institute (INSAH), the Southern African Center for Cooperation in Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Training (SACCAR) and the Special Program for African Agricultural Research (SPAAR) came together at the Seventeenth Plenary Session of the Special Program for African Agricultural Research (SPAAR) and decided to found FARA.
The next milestone came in 2000 at the African Agricultural Research Week (Conakry, Guinea) when the decision was made to transform SPAAR into FARA. The FAO agreed to host the Forum's Secretariat at its regional office in Accra, Ghana. The first FARA Generaly Assembly meeting was held in 2002, at which time Monty P. Jones was appointed as FARA’s founding Executive Secretary.
- "The first action of FARA, together with SPAAR, was leadership in the formulation of the Vision for African Agricultural Research, which has been adopted by NEPAD as the vision for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
- "FARA’s 2nd General Assembly (May 2003, Dakar) determined that FARA should, for the time being, focus on the first three themes. A main feature of the Assembly was the side meeting and plenary debate on FARA’s role in biotechnology. The FARA Secretariat was asked to report on the outcome of stakeholder consultations on biotechnology and biosafety issues at the next General Assembly.
- "FARA’s 3rd General Assembly (June 2005, Entebbe) endorsed FARA’s 2006 work programme, which addressed the first three themes set forth in FARA’s 2002-12 Strategic Plan. However, there were increasing demands from the floor for FARA to address issues constraining the dissemination of new technologies, as well as to respond to the biotechnology consultation report that advocated a role for FARA in promoting common continent-wide biotechnology and biosafety policies. The floor also demanded that FARA pay more attention to policy and market issues. FARA’s work programme for 2005-08 was endorsed with these elements partially addressed within the advocacy, partnership and knowledge themes."
FARA has technical responsibility for Pillar IV (agricultural research, technology dissemination and adoption) of NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
In 2006, FARA published the Framework for African Agricultural Productivity (FAAP).
FARA and Biotechnology
In 2009, FARA began a 3-year initiative called the SABIMA Project, or the Project on Strengthening Capacity for Safe Biotechnology Management in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is led by Walter Alhassan and is the first in a "series of projects to be launched by FARA under its African Biotechnology Biosafety Policy Platform (ABBPP) designed for capacity strengthening in biotechnology and biosafety in Africa." SABIMA is managed by FARA, run by the national agricultural research systems (NARS) of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda, and funded by the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) provides stewardship expertise and advice, as well as funding for capacity-building.
- The African Union
- Southern African Development Community Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resources (SADC/FANR)
- Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR)
- Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)
- NARS – National agricultural research systems
- ARIs – Advanced research institutes
- IARCs – International agricultural research centres
- Farmer organisations
- Private sector
- Government institutions
- Policy makers
- Development partners/donors
As of 2005, FARA was funded by The African Development Bank, The Canadian International Development Agency, European Commission, the Governments of the Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, Germany and France, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, FAO, the World Bank, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme
- New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
- African Union
- Monty Jones
- USAID Promotion of Agricultural Biotechnology
- U.S. State Department Promotion of Agricultural Biotechnology
- GMO Policies by Country
- Walter Alhassan
- Project on Strengthening Capacity for Safe Biotechnology Management in Sub-Saharan Africa (SABIMA)
- West Africa Communicators of Biotechnology
- Framework for African Agricultural Productivity, 2006.
- The Framework for Africa’s Agricultural Productivity (FAAP) operational guide, 2009.
- "Biotechnology crucial to global food security – Prof. Alhassan, Ghana Business News, February 28, 2012.