GFAR blog, Partnerships for impact

Join the GCARD3 Online Regional Consultation for Africa


The 3rd Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3) held in Johannesburg (April 5-8, 2016) saw a wide spectrum of stakeholders engaging in dialogues on the over-arching theme ‘No One Left Behind; Agri–food Innovation and Research for a Sustainable World’. Co-hosted by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), the CGIAR, and the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa (ARC), GCARD3 was organized as the global event within a broader process of national and regional multi-stakeholder consultations taking place over 2015-2016.

These consultations reflect GFAR’s agenda described in the Roadmap, adopted by thousands of stakeholders in agricultural research for development at GCARD1, to realign research needs and priorities with countries’ own development needs and national and regional processes.

The GCARD 3 Outcomes Statement spells out a new Agenda for Action that GFAR and its Partners are determined to take forward, serving as a “touchstone” for partnerships across public, private, and civil society sectors in developing their agri-food research and innovations programs and activities towards 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The online consultation for Sub-Saharan Africa is organized in this context and will help fine-tune the outcomes of the GCARD3 Global Event for the Sub-Saharan Africa region, helping partners in GFAR to turn their commitments into Collective Actions transforming national, regional and international agricultural research agendas. Discussions will follow three Themes:

  1. African continental policies, frameworks and initiatives– moderated by Emmanuel Tambi, FARA
  2. Africa taking advantage of science to address its agriculture development challenges– moderated by Kwesi Atta-Krah, CGIAR
  3. Increasing the impact of CGIAR and other international agriculture research organisations in Africa– moderated by Harry Palmier, GFAR

Each theme is structured along some guiding questions to help you join the discussion and make your contribution.

To leave your comments, please go to the respective thematic pages (by clicking on the theme titles). We are looking forward to your contributions. 


Discussions on Theme 3 – Moderated by GFAR

Theme 3 follows the dialogue that took place at the GCARD3 Global event on: ‘Scaling up – from research to impact’; and will benefit from the preliminary outcomes of the discussion on this theme which are encapsulated in the GCARD3 summary report. Theme 3 discussions should focus on the effectiveness and perception of the impact of CGIAR’s work in Africa (the most significant impacts attributed to CGIAR); the outcomes and impacts that CGIAR and other international actors in agricultural research should aim at; and the changes required to increase the impact of CGIAR’s work in this Region.

You are invited to submit your opinions, comments and suggestions on the following questions:

  1. Perception about the impact of CGIAR’s work in Africa; what are the three most significant impacts attributed to CGIAR.
  2. Going forward what outcomes and impacts should CGIAR and other international actors in agricultural research in Africa be aiming for?
  3. What changes are required to increase the impact of CGIAR’s work in Africa with regard to:
    • Identification of the priorities on which CGIAR’s work is focused
    • Alignment of CGIAR’s agenda with national, sub-regional and continent-wide agricultural research agenda
    • Relationships among the various CGIAR centres and programmes, other supra-   national research actors and national actors
    • Implementation of CGIAR research programmes and projects
    • Tracking and reporting the outcomes and impacts (for accountability as well as advocacy for increased support to research and innovation)

Your contribution to the discussion on Theme 3 will be enhanced by referring – not exclusively – to the following documents:

A. NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)

Vision 2025: Shared prosperity and improved livelihoods.

The CAADP program was developed to improve food security and nutrition, and increase incomes in Africa’s largely agriculture-based economies. CAADP advocates for reforming the agricultural sector through knowledge, as a key input, and human resource development and partnership.

The Malabo Declaration, signed in June 2014, renewed the commitment of Africa’s member states to the CAADP vision, and highlighted the following areas of concern and challenges including the Cost of Hunger Study in Africa (COHA). Conducted by the AUC, the Study revealed the degree to which child under-nutrition influences health and educational outcomes, the challenges of economic marginalization, limited progress made in agro-industries and agribusiness development, and the heavy and growing dependence of Africa’s production systems and consumption patterns on external factors (weather, global markets, amongst others) and their associated vulnerabilities to such external factors as climate variability and change, as well as to global economic and political shocks.

B. FARA’s Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A)

Vision: By 2030 Africa ensures its food and nutrition security; becomes a recognized global scientific player in agriculture and food systems; and the world’s breadbasket.

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and its constituent partners are leading the development and operationalization of the S3A. The strategic thrusts of the S3A in the short- to medium-term are the implementation of CAADP; increasing domestic public and private sector investment; creating the enabling environment for sustainable application of science for agriculture; and doubling the current level of Agricultural Total Factor Productivity (ATFP) by 2025 through application of science for agriculture.

The S3A identifies the overarching challenge of low productivity across all farming systems in the continent.

Within the CAADP framework, FARA and CGIAR work together to strengthen African agricultural information, knowledge and innovation systems at national and regional levels, with special attention to women and youth. CGIAR is a longstanding partner of FARA and major agricultural research for development actors in Africa. As such, it is actively engaged in the delivery of the S3A.

C. CGIAR’s Strategy and Results Framework (SRF) 2016-2030

Vision: A world free of poverty, hunger and environmental degradation.

According to CGIAR’s SRF, the challenges of the 21st century are bounded by finite natural resources and continued population and income growth, which drive global food demand and put increased pressure on natural resources: land, water, and biodiversity – all used to produce food and forest products. Agriculture is acknowledged as an important driver pressing against these bio-physical planetary boundaries. Research is needed to ensure that the agri-food system both produces sufficient and nutritious food to meet the growing global demand while at the same time reduces these pressures, which include: Competition for land from multiple sources; Soil degradation; Overdrawn and polluted water supplies; Climate change adaptation and mitigation; Nutritious and diverse agri-food systems and diets; Post-harvest losses; New entrepreneurial and job opportunities.

To translate its vision of a world free of poverty, hunger and environmental degradation into reality, CGIAR has designed its scientific research priorities to produce three System level outcomes: (1) reduce poverty, (2) improve food and nutrition security for health, and (3) improve natural resource systems and ecosystems services. The goals of the CRPs contribute directly to the achievement of twelve of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:


D. Links to other relevant documents

Here is a selection of documents from the CGIAR ISPC and GFAR websites that should stimulate your appetite on these subjects.

All presentations made under GCARD3 Theme1 “Scaling up – from research to impact” are accessible here.

We sincerely hope that you will take advantage of this exciting opportunity to inform the agenda of partners involved in research for development in Africa for the next 3 years. Please join the conversation here.

Following are Syntheses of Day 1 of the online consultation, by theme:

Theme 1

Theme 2

Theme 3


Blogpost by Harry Palmier, Senior Partnerships Advisor, GFAR Secretariat

Photo credits (top photo): clockwise: FAO-Daniel Hayduk; FAO-Christena Dowsett; FAO-Roberto Faidutti

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