Agriculture for impact: for inclusive agricultural development in Africa

Agriculture for Impact (A4I) was (2010- 2016) an independent advocacy initiative based at Imperial College LondonA4I aimed to enable better European government support for productive, sustainable, equitable and resilient agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing in particular on the needs of smallholder farmers.

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By building and sharing evidence and driving an active dialogue with European governments and aid agencies, A4I aimed to improve the effectiveness of European development assistance, implement policies for agricultural transformation at scale and create an enabling environment for equitable growth and development.

To support their efforts, A4I convened the Montpellier Panel - a group of European and African experts in the fields of agriculture, trade, ecology and global development.

Among the A4I partners it is worth mentioning:  

Farming First - one of the most diverse and active agricultural coalitions in the world;

Bond - the UK membership body promoting, supporting, representing and on occasion leading the work and interests of UK international development organisations, united by a common goal to eradicate global poverty;

GASCA (hosted by FAO) - an inclusive, voluntary and action-oriented multi-stakeholder platform on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA).

The following outputs from the A4I might be of your interest. You can access, read, download them for free:

All publications are here.

SI database offers a practical pathway towards the goal of producing more food whilst ensuring the natural resource base on which agriculture depends is sustained, and indeed improved, for future generations.

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INTENSIFICATION

involves a greater intensity, variety and range of involvement of farmers in social and economic processes and institutions on the farm, in the community and across regions and nations.  Adoption of new practices and technologies by farmers will only happen and persist if an appropriate enabling environment is supported that favors not only agricultural intensification but also its sustainability.

 

BUILDING HUMAN CAPITAL

plays a critical role in agricultural growth and development because human beings occupy the centre of production, distribution and consumption.

 

 

AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING

(AET) covers a broad range of formal and informal activities that build capacity within the agriculture sector and for wider rural development encompassing higher education, diploma and certificate levels, vocational and in-service training and informal knowledge and skill acquisition.

 

 

AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION

is the application of scientific research and knowledge to agricultural practices through farmer education. The role of extension services is invaluable in teaching farmers how to improve their productivity.

 

 

PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH

has increased adoption rates of new methods or technologies by involving farmers in the design and execution of the research programme.

 

BUILDING SOCIAL CAPITAL

is the value that can be created through networking and trust built within and between people and organisations.

 

 

AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAINS

encompass the flow of products, knowledge and information between smallholder farmers and consumers.

 

 

LOCAL INSTITUTIONS

can either drive or hinder an enabling environment. Strong institutions encourage participation in policy processes, build local capacity and establish a culture of learning.

 

 

AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES

create social relations that enable individuals to achieve goals that they may not otherwise be able to achieve by themselves.

 

ENABLING ENVIRONMENTS  

combines macro-economic policies that favour markets and trade, the provision of inputs, related physical infrastructure (such as roads and irrigation) and social infrastructure (such as ‎‎education and research), together with institutions and regulations.

 

 

INCLUSIVE MARKETS

allow farmers to benefit from increased production. Although there is a spectrum of markets that provide new opportunities for farmers, there are also barriers and risks.

 

 

MICRO-INSURANCE

is not a complete solution, but rather one component of a risk management strategy where constraints such as the lack of access to finance, improved seed and markets can also be addressed.

 

 

AGRICULTURAL FINANCE

is the provision of multiple types of services dedicated to supporting both on- and off-farm agricultural activities and businesses including input provision, production, and distribution, wholesale, processing and marketing.

 

Source: Agriculture for Impact


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