7TH OCTOBER 2009
We the AFRICAN FARMERS ORGANIZATIONS Representing farmers from Eastern; Southern; Western and Central Africa
WHO congregated here in Accra, Ghana from 5 – 7th October, 2009 to discuss on “The Global Conference on Agriculture Research and Development (GCARD) face-to-face consultation” on the invitation of FARA
RECOGNIZE the importance of Agricultural Research and Development to farmers in Africa
RECOGNIZE the key role of the Forum for Research in Africa (FARA); and its role in CAADP pillar IV
RECOGNIZE the sub-regional research organizations in Africa- ASARECA; CORAF/WARDA; SADC-FANR and AARINENA and the National Agriculture Research Systems (NARS) and their role in implementation of CAADP pillar IV
RECOGNIZE and APPRECIATE that CAADP is the main framework for agricultural development in Africa and declare our continued commitment to the CAADP initiative and call upon re-alignment of all research priorities to CAADP.
WE RECOGNIZE and APPRECIATE the role that AU-NEPAD; COMESA, ECOWAS, and SADC secretariats have done in initiating and implementation of the CAADP process.
We RECOGNIZE and APPRECIATE the assertion in the Framework for African Agricultural Productivity (FAAP) on the importance of empowerment of Farmer organizations and
THEREFORE, ACKNOWLEDGE the inclusion of Farmer organizations in the structures of research institutions from the national; sub-regional and FARA level
IN THIS REGARD, We RE-AFFIRM the central position of farmer and farmer organizations in making research work successful
HOWEVER, despite the space that farmer organizations have been given by research based organizations
WE ARE CONCERNED BY
- The weak engagement of farmers and farmer organizations with research institutions in terms of setting the research for development agenda in Afriica
- The challenges that Farmer organizations are facing in identifying, collecting, analyzing, and articulating the research needs of poor farmers
- The weakness of the extension/ agricultural advisory services, leading to failure of research findings reaching the farmers
- The diminished involvement of farmers in measurements of impact and use of tools to evaluate successes or failures of research on improving rural livelihoods
- The failure of research to address current and emerging challenges in Agricultural support and advocacy e.g. EPAs, land grab, climate change, risk management, energy.
WE HEREBY DECLARE THAT:
There is need to build strong partnership which is mutually beneficial between African Farmer Organizations and FARA (and its constituents) at all levels based on principles that recognize
- Elaborate roles and responsibilities of the partners
- Weaknesses and strengths of each partner
- Each partner as an equal partner
- Farmer Organizations should participate in the research agenda setting process and implementation including the GCARD process
- Farmer Organizations should engage in consultative dialogue processes on ALL aspects of the CAADP pillar IV initiative with their members
- Farmer Organizations should participate in programming of regional research programs to ensure inclusion of capacity needs of FOs
- FARA and the constituent SROs i.e. ASARECA, CORAF/WECARD, ARRINENA and SADC/FANR should put mechanisms in place to ensure farmers participation in the implementation of the CAADP pillar IV initiative; post-GCARD process among others at all levels. A horizontal and vertical communication channel between FARA (and its constituents) and Farmer Organizations should be facilitated.
- Research should also give due attention to the livestock, fisheries and also specific needs of women and young farmers.
- Farmers Organizations should also seek support and solidarity from development partners, governments and NGOs supporting the research agenda.
WE the African Farmers Organizations commit –
- To launch a strong lobby to ensure that states support research and extension in terms of policy and budgets
- Ensure that we oppose to engage in research and extension that is superficial in its involvement of farmers and farmer organizations
- Lobby governments and development partners to support farmers organizations in participating in research and extension for development processes
- To lobby for Institutional reforms in organizations supporting agricultural research to ensure increased support to the sector e.g. Financial institutions
THANK YOU DATE 7 OCTOBER 2009
African Farmers Organizations
PROPAC (Central Africa)