The NEPAD Agency has launched an alliance of diverse partners to reach six million farming families through Climate-Smart Agriculture processes over the next seven years.
Known as the Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance, the group will contribute to helping 25 million farmers become more resilient and food secure by 2025.
The Alliance unites the public sector with research and civil society organisations to scale up on-farm assistance, link to technological advances and support a favourable policy environment. This cross-sector collaboration is designed to achieve transformational impact; farmers, communities and systems for lasting change.
Convened by NEPAD via its Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP), the Alliance which was launched last night in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea will align international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) and research activities with existing agricultural investment plans, increasing coherence and coordination for greater impact.
NEPAD CEO Dr Mayaki said that implementation and ensuring tangible results at grassroot level is a key factor that sets this Alliance apart. “It is in this regard also important that the Alliance has set itself clear targets. Within the context of the CAADP Results Framework, we should be able to monitor and follow progress in attaining the six million farm household target.” he said
Members of the Alliance include five INGOs which will lead scaling up activities: CARE, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Concern Worldwide, Oxfam and World Vision. Four technical partners will ensure the best, most up-to-date technical information and evaluation capacity. They are the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the African policy and advocacy NGO known as the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), the research consortium CGIAR, and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).
Former President of Ghana, Dr John Kufour spoke on the looming threat of climate change and the need for advocacy on the effects thereof.
“If we do not do something urgently to forestall the impact of climate change, it will lead to a downward trend in Africa’s development. Africa needs to come up with strategies to reduce the negative effects of climate change. These include green economy approaches, government policies and other mechanisms to protect our ecosystems,” said president Kufour.
World Vision Australia CEO, Mr Tim Costello cautioned that the world’s poor had a trust factor in leaders, that had to be fulfilled.. “If growth does not touch the poorest, then the trust deficit in leaders will only grow. So many of the worlds’ poorest are being left dramatically behind. This initiative is one of the powerful tools to address the challenges of the small-scale farmers” he said.
Representing Catholic Relief Services, the CEO, Dr Carolyn Woo said “As Africa starts to prosper, we have an opportunity to reach out, we need to provide prosperity for those small scale farmers and an effective way to do that is through climate smart agriculture”
The CEO of FARNAPAN, Lindiwe Sibanda, speaking on behalf of Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security ( CICAFS), a programme tasked with dealing with climate change issues, reiterated that this alliance will need to address issues on food security, nutrition security, mitigation of agriculture and adaption to climate change strategies.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between NEPAD and the INGOs.