AGRA and CTA begin new collaboration to spearhead innovations for more inclusive agricultural development
NAIROBI, Kenya. On16 July 2014, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) signed a letter of agreement that will mark the beginning of a new collaboration to spearhead the use of innovative approaches to agricultural development. These include promoting more inclusive agricultural financing, use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) across value chains, structured trade tools and advocacy for policy reform. This agreement is being signed during the ongoing “Fin4Ag14” Conference, taking place in Nairobi.
Currently ICTs are being used to raise the agricultural productivity of Africa’s smallholder farmers across the produce value chain: from providing access to information on improved seeds, soil fertility management and extension services to remunerative market access. Additionally, farmers are now using ICTs to gain access to agricultural financing and to strengthen institutional arrangements such as farmers’ organizations.
Both AGRA and the CTA share the same objectives of addressing key development issues facing the agricultural sector through improved policymaking, enhanced institutional capacity for excellent and innovative agricultural value chains and strong partnerships, including use of ICTs for agricultural development.
“Through combining AGRA’s extensive footprint across 17 sub-Saharan Africa countries, its inclusive and innovative agriculture value chain approach to agricultural development and CTA’s outstanding advocacy, ICT and knowledge-sharing capabilities, we will have extra fire power to drive a uniquely African green revolution forward,” says Jane Karuku, AGRA President.
Echoing these sentiments, CTA Director, Michael Hailu, says: “The timing for formalizing this collaboration could not be better: there is a new positive energy around both agriculture development and ICT at the moment and this collaboration will help us to harness that energy in our joint efforts to drive a green revolution in Africa – one that will get more youthful and women farmers into the farms and in agribusiness.”
Through this collaboration, sector players will be encouraged to adopt structured trade tools such as Grades & Standards, Warehouse Receipts Systems and Commodity Exchanges, which will help to enhance regional agricultural trade. Other aspects include: increasing the interaction between producer organizations, youth and women groups, relevant professional associations, analysts and policymakers for the development of evidence-based agricultural development policies; and sharing of the knowledge jointly generated by both organizations as best practices and lessons learnt to enhance smallholder agriculture.
Photo credit: http://us5.campaign-archive1.com; Letter of agreement CTA – AGRA