From 2nd – 3rd March, 2016, Ghana research stakeholders converged at Coconut grove Hotel in Accra for a National Consultation Workshop on Developing an Integration Plan and Coordination Mechanism for CGIAR Research to Support Agricultural Development in Ghana.This workshop was at the invitation of the consortium on CGIAR organisations in Ghana.
The CGIAR is a worldwide partnership of 15 Centres addressing agricultural research for development (AR4D), whose work contributes to the global effort to tackle poverty, hunger and major nutrition imbalances, as well as environmental degradation. The 15 Centres of which nine are active in Ghana, work in close collaboration with many partners to generate and disseminate knowledge, technologies, and policies for agricultural development through the CGIAR Research Programs (CRP).
The main purpose of the workshop was to develop an integration plan and coordination mechanism for CGIAR activities in Ghana to be aligned with national and other AR4D programs to effectively support the overall national development agenda. Specifically, the workshop also sought to achieve the following:
1. To understand how the integrated efforts of the CGIAR Centres can be aligned and made to complement national priorities and those of other partners in order to support the overall national development agenda.
2. To develop an integration plan to implement objective 1, track progress, monitor and assess the impact of the implemented activities.
3. To develop a coordination mechanism and resource modalities for implementing the integrated plan
Participants were drawn from a wide range of stakeholders including the Academia, research institutions, MMDAs youth groups and civil society organisations.
In her opening remarks, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) decried the situation where a lot of research is done by the CGIAR organisations but the intended beneficiaries cannot benefit from these works due to lack of proper synergy between them and the researchers.
Speaker after speaker shared their thoughts on why this age old challenge of closing the gap between researchers and famers still persists. In the end, it was clear that some of the contributing reasons include: the donor demands tend to focus on other objectives rather than a solid research dissemination framework, insufficient support from government as well as lack of direct support for research by the farmers themselves.
The workshop also discussed the Status of AR4D by other stakeholders apart from the CGIAR Centres. The objective for this discussion was to find the major on-going or planned initiatives in Ghana which presents opportunity for alignment with the CGIAR. There was a thorough analysis of opportunities for areas of major development challenges in Ghana ( with ref to the SDGs) and priority AR4D (sites, focus areas etc) for which collaboration with the CGIAR presents greatest opportunities for making progress.
The workshop closed with the following outcomes:
1. There was a common understanding among participants of current and evolving development challenges in Ghana and related priorities for AR4D. This was achieved through series of group works and expect presentations from the sector ministries and reps from other institutions.
2. The workshop also gathered enough information for the development of a framework for the CGIAR site integration plan for Ghana – International Water Management Institute (IWMI) will finalise the framework and share with participants.
Learn more about the youth’s involvement in GCARD3 process and global event.
This blog post by Raymond Okrofu, was originally published on the YPARD Blog
Picture courtesy CIAT