Over 700 agriculture experts are meeting in Burkina Faso this coming week to discuss how to accelerate innovation for African farmers.
They will meet at the 5th African Agriculture Science week and General Assembly of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, or FARA, in an effort to increase investments in agricultural research and speed up the delivery of these discoveries to the fields.
Given how quickly Africa’s population is growing there has never been a better time for focus to be spotlighted on the needs of innovative agricultural research. The FARA meeting comes at the same time that African leaders will be at a summit of the African Union in Kampala, Uganda focusing on maternal, infant, and child health and development.
“The links between these two incredibly important meetings could not be clearer because nothing is more vital to maternal and child health than the food that is produced on Africa’s farms and the income agriculture provides to lift our people out of poverty,” said World Food Prize Winner and executive secretary of FARA, Monty Jones.
The key issues to be discussed at this year’s FARA meeting include;
- the need to increase and sustain public and private sector investments in African agriculture, especially in the wake of the global financial crisis
- delivering innovations and building capacity at the local level that will enable farmers to adapt to the challenges posed by globalization and climate change
- assessing the resilience of African agricultural trade to domestic and external shocks
- embracing the importance of biodiversity in the African environmental and agricultural health areas in addition to focusing on social and economic development.
Running alongside the FARA meeting in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, will be an exhibition featuring an array of agricultural innovations from within and without Africa that could provide insights into various challenges facing African farmers: including pests and plant diseases, bioenergy production in Africa, maintaining Africa’s agriculture biodiversity, climate change, and regional integration.
The 5th African Agriculture Science week and FARA General Assembly will take place over the week of July starting the 19th and finishing on the 24th and will be held at the Ouaga 2000 International Convention Centre, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Attending will be Monty Jones, Executive Secretary of Fara, President of Burkina Faso H.E. Blaise Compaore, and ministers of of Agriculture, Science, Technology, International Cooperation and Foreign Affairs from Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra-Leone, Uganda, and Togo.
Image Source: Neil Palmer (CIAT)