The sub-Saharan Challenge Programme "Building Sustainable Livelihoods through Integrated Research for Development", led by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, is a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to build agricultural R&D capacity in Africa to meet the urgent food security and income generating needs of the poor. It is based on an innovation systems approach with four main components: 1) intensifying subsistence-oriented small-holder farming systems, 2) sustainably managing natural resources while intensifying their use, 3) developing more efficient markets, and 4) developing enabling policies. In its initial phase the Challenge Programme will be implemented through 'pilot learning teams' established in each on of FARA's three sub-regions: West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.
The Global Post-harvest Initiative - Linking Farmers to Markets was established following and International Workshop jointly organised held in October 2003 by FAO/AGS, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Post-harvest Forum (PhAction). More than 100 participants representing different stakeholder groups attended the event which addressed the challenges that face farmers and other rural actors to meet the new demands of the post-harvest sector in a rapidly changing world. The Workshop was preceded by five Regional Consultations in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, West Asia and North Africa, and Central Asia and the Caucasus that provided an assessment of the needs of the post-harvest sector in each region. The Regional Consultation for East Africa was organised and reported on by ASARECA's FOODNET.
Building on the results of the five regional consultations, the International Workshop endorsed a "Strategic Framework for a Global Post-harvest Initiative-Linking Farmers to Markets". One of the first steps in the implementation of this strategy is to build on strong regional and sub-regional axes. Networks of institutions, programmes and projects, both new and existing, are essential for creating the synergy required to achieve the strategy's proposed objectives. New partnerships will be created, across disciplinary and organisational divides at all levels, which will contribute to improve communication and the exchange of ideas and information within and across regions.
The GPhI and the sub-Saharan Challenge Programme share the common purpose of linking small-scale farmers equitably and sustainably to growth markets. They also share many operational principles, among them the active participation of stakeholders in project design and implementation and the establishment of inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral partnerships to ensure effective generation and adoption of new knowledge and technology. In particular, the linkage of regional projects undertaken within the sub-Saharan Challenge Programme to a global initiative such as GPhI will result in important opportunities for mutual learning and sharing of experiences.
This FARA pre-General Assembly session has the following objectives:
- Sensitise participants on the objectives and scope of the sub-Saharan Challenge Programme's market component and of the Global Post-harvest Initiative;
- Review the regional priorities that have been identified during the various consultation processes that led to the International Workshop in 2003, incorporating additional demands and needs identified since then in different for a, conferences, research studies, etc;
- Explore avenues for collaboration among the two initiatives that add value, avoid duplication and ensure mutual learning and sharing of experiences.
Registration of participants
Welcome remarks. Representative of FAO; Ola Smith, Executive Secretary, GFAR; Guy Poulter, Director General NRI and Chair, PhAction; John Jagwe, FOODNET.
The Sub-Saharan Challenge Programme: background, objectives, components and modus operandi, with special emphasis on the market, post-harvest and enterprise development issues.
The Global Post-harvest Initiative: background, partners, objectives and strategies
Regional priorities revisited. Professor Andrew Temu, Sokoine University
Coffee and tea break
Post-harvest, marketing and enterprise development: living experiences and expectations:
- A national research programme: Dr Sefora Masia, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa (15 min.)
- A farmersí organisation: Mr. Leonard Msemakweli of Uganda Cooperative Alliance, Uganda (15 min.)
- An NGO: Mary Rimoy, Usambara Lishe Trust, Tanzania (15 min.)
Plenary discussion and elaboration of recommendations to the FARA General Assembly