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HIGH VALUE CROPS RESEARCH, A PERSPECTIVE FROM AFRICA. Dr. Peter SSERUWAGI National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) P. O. Box 7084, Kampala, Uganda Dr. Dennis KYETERE National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) P. O. Box 295, Entebbe, Uganda.

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high value crops research a perspective from africa



National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI)

P. O. Box 7084, Kampala, Uganda

Dr. Dennis KYETERE

National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO)

P. O. Box 295, Entebbe, Uganda

forum for agricultural research in africa fara
Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
  • FARA - facilitating and information exchange forum among the sub-regional organizations (SROs) and as an apex body to represent Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
  • The manner in which FARA adds value to the SROs is set out in the Framework for African Agricultural Productivity (FAAP). These interrelationships are depicted in Figure 1.
fara 2007 2016 strategic plan enhancing african agricultural innovation capacity
FARA 2007 - 2016 Strategic PlanEnhancing African Agricultural Innovation Capacity
  • The Plan leads to FARA’s Super Objective, which is to contribute to the sustainable reduction of food insecurity and poverty in Africa while enhancing the environment.
  • The General Objective to which it will contribute is to establish sustainable high broad-based agricultural growth in Africa.
  • It will do this by achieving its Specific Objective of sustainable improvements to broad-based agricultural productivity, competitiveness and markets.
fara s net working support functions
FARA’s Net working Support Functions
  • FARA’s general and specific objectives are achieved through 5 networking support functions
  • The support functions include:

i) advocacy and resource mobilisation

ii) access to knowledge and technologies

iii) regional policies and markets

iv) capacity strengthening

v) partnership and strategic alliances

  • The needs and requirements of Africa’s farmers are at the centre of all FARA’s work.
asareca s priorities
ASARECA’s priorities
  • ASARECA has undertaken extensive, thorough and participatory priority setting and has concluded that the most important objectives and advantages for collaborative regional research programmes are:

1. To address common constraints that cut across several countries

2. To enhance complementarity and reduce duplication

3. To increase the efficiency of agricultural research through the optimum use of human, financial and other research resources

4. To facilitate the spill over and transfer of technology among cooperating countries

asareca priorities
ASARECA priorities
  • Commodities accorded priority by ASARECA are congruent with the priorities of member countries (11) and the mandates of the IARCs operating in its sub region.
  • ASARECA Strategic Plan: 2005-2015 identified commodity priorities as follows:

1. Staples: maize, sorghum, cassava

2. Livestock products

3. Fruits and vegetables

4. Oilseeds

asareca priorities9
ASARECA priorities
  • Recommendations from the priority setting exercise relevant to the SSA CP were that:
    • ASARECA stimulates the NARSs to give higher priority to:

a) post-production issues, b) private sector involvement, c)

natural resource management and d) technology transfer

2. Developing technology options that have high potential

payoff in a wide range of agro-ecological systems, including

arid and semi-arid lands, irrigated agriculture and peri-urban farming.

3. Production must be profitable for farmers to be interested in how new

technology can be applied.

4. Through the NARSs, ASARECA could be the regional meeting point for

extension services, farmer organisations, co-operative movements, private

research, agribusiness services and NGOs

asareca priorities10
ASARECA priorities
  • ASARECA should strive to develop and foster links between agricultural research institutions and the technology transfer institutions such as public sector extension departments, private sector, farmer organisations, co-operative societies and NGOs.

Figure 3. Priority research for development themes identified by the CGIAR Centres and ASARECA

asareca s themes
ASARECA’s themes
  • Eight specific themes for programmes have been agreed between the CGIAR centres and ASARECA (Figure 3).

1. Adaptation to climate change

2. Support to policy reform

3. Agriculture, health and nutrition

4. Management of agrobiodiversity

5. Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM)

6. Analysis of problems, priorities and impacts

7. Market chains

8. Improving learning mechanisms, capacities and spread of knowledge,

  • ASARECA expects the SSA CP to contribute to these themes.
coraf wecard s priorities
CORAF/WECARD’s Priorities
  • In common with the other SROs and the priorities of the SSA CP, CORAF/ WECARD recognises that:
    • Sustainable natural resource management is the most critical factor in agricultural food production in West and Central Africa.
  • The relationships between soil, water, genetic resources and human communities are therefore the central issues.
  • This challenge is heightened by the fragile nature of the ecosystems, characteristic of much of West and Central Africa.
  • CORAF/WECARD is looking to science to boost agricultural factors of production and enable the people of the region to meet the challenge of intensifying agriculture in a sustainable manner.
coraf wecard s priorities14
CORAF/WECARD’s Priorities
  • The approach to be adopted by the SSA CP, CORAF/ WECARD believes:

a. That future research should focus on an holistic approach to integrated natural resource management.

b. Must involve all sections of stakeholders

c. Examine competitiveness of the agriculture of the sub-region.

d. It should focus on reducing poverty, and increasing food and income security.

e. Should address the following four themes: production; markets; policy issues; and capacity development and retention.

coraf wecard s priorities15
CORAF/WECARD’s Priorities
  • Research is needed to improved key productivity constraints and opportunities that include:

1. Lack of improved germplasm

2. Low efficiency of input use

3. Low labour productivity

4. Little market orientation

5. Weak productivity of the farming system

6. Poor integration of the production systems

7. Land tenure constraints

8. Weak access to credit.

coraf wecard s priorities16
CORAF/WECARD’s Priorities
  • Research is particularly needed to improve national, regional and international level input and output markets. The constraints include:

1. Poor access, including infrastructural issues and limited competition

2. Quality of products prejudiced by poor harvest, produce processing, conservation and conditioning technologies and procedures

3. Poor market information

4. Poorly organised producer organisations

coraf wecard s priorities17
CORAF/WECARD’s Priorities
  • Research to address policy issues and produce options to guide the formulation of appropriate policies that will provide economic incentives bro producers to improve:
    • technology adoption, and increase output and productivity.
  • Capacity building is required to develop the ability to analyse policy and make informed policy decisions on:

1. Facilitating/guaranteeing access to inputs, subsidies, decentralisation and liberalisation

2. Strengthening research and extension links and partnerships with farmers and extension agents

3. Systematising market control/information supported by training in international markets and policies that promote access to regional and international markets

4. Promoting and institutionally strengthening producer organisations and facilitating stakeholder involvement

coraf wecard s priorities18
CORAF/WECARD’s Priorities

5. Promoting agro-industries

6. Facilitating access to credit

7. Providing land tenure security

8. Addressing quality control issues.

sadc fanr s priorities
SADC/FANR’s Priorities
  • The SSA CP is also consistent with SADC/FANR’s recognition that increased food insecurity and poverty, in many parts of Africa, relate directly to the declining productivity of the soils.
  • SADC/FANR note that research that seeks to recapture the ability of the soil to remain in sustainable production -such as conservation farming, represents an opportunity for dealing with recurrent food insecurity situations in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Development and promotion of conservation farming is now a priority, which needs financial, human, and material support to make further progress on improving livelihoods.
sadc fanr s priorities20
SADC/FANR’s priorities
  • The objectives of SADC/FANR’s regional component of ‘land management and conservation farming’ are: to develop strategies to develop, test and disseminate conservation farming practices.
  • The programme activities will focus on:

1. Development of technological options

2. Farmer-centred research action approaches

3. Local institutional capacity building

4. Involvement of the private sector.

  • Taking into account local climatic and socio-economic circumstances and prevailing cropping systems, a range of conservation farming options is slated to be tested using participatory technology development approaches.
  • These options are essentially based on minimum or no soil disturbance,
  • maintenance of soil cover and crop rotations.
  • SADC/FANR state that emphasis will be placed on understanding the basic principles of conservation farming practices.
sadc fanr s priorities21
SADC/FANR’s priorities
  • Farmers will be encouraged to experiment, integrating external and local knowledge, and to direct their own learning experiences.
  • The SSA CP’s focus on participatory methods is echoed in SADC/FANR’s objective of strengthening farmer group organisations to facilitate mutual learning and the sharing of information/experiences.
  • Farmer groups are expected to be more competitive in the local and regional markets than individual farmers.
  • Support to farmer groups will take into account and build on existing groupings, locally existing civic and traditional leadership and social modes of interaction.
  • Deliberate private sector interest and participation is desired, especially in fields such as marketing, farm inputs/outputs, credit support and mutually rewarding strategies.
  • SADC/FANR believes that the SSA CP will provide opportunities to:
    • Continue the process of technology development - finding practical solutions for direct planting, soil fertility management and weed control.
    • Allow the promotion, on a more massive scale, of the technologies that have been proven at individual farm level.