IFPRI Strengthens Partnerships with Pan-African Organizations

January 28, 2009

Despite enormous potential for agricultural growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, and some notable progress, food security continues to be a major problem for the continent, and the region is home to three-quarters of the world’s poorest people.

To help Africa reach its potential and improve the livelihoods of the poor, IFPRI has long been engaged in substantial research, outreach, and capacity strengthening programs in collaboration with various partners at the country, regional, and international levels. To formalize two of its strong partnerships, IFPRI recently signed Memorandums of Understanding with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).

IFPRI’s continued collaboration with FARA, which is led by World Food Prize Laureate and executive director Monty Jones, seeks to spur agricultural growth and overall economic performance through agricultural research that generates innovative ways to improve crop production, and technology dissemination and adoption. IFPRI will also support the design of agricultural and nutrition strategies and improve capacity for policy research and analysis.

“FARA is pleased to collaborate with IFPRI to foster synergies between policy recommendations and priorities for technology development and capacity building, and to promote evidence-based policymaking,” said Dr. Jones.

The agreement with the AUC will strengthen the strategic partnership between IFPRI and the Commission’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, which seeks to improve rural livelihoods and develop rural economies by increasing agricultural productivity and enhancing the sustainable use and management of Africa’s natural resources.

Mr. Jean Ping, AUC chairperson, highlighted the importance of the partnership, noting that IFPRI will offer research-based technical assistance to the Commission and strengthen its capacity with respect to food security policies and the implementation of agriculture policies by member states.

“We look forward to working hand-in-hand with both the AUC and FARA to promote food and nutrition security in Africa, with a focus on the crucial links between health and agriculture and policies that promote productivity and well-functioning markets,” said Joachim von Braun, IFPRI director general. “Together, we can improve the wellbeing of all Africans and help countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”