By Whitney Akinyi

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) have signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance agricultural productivity, competitiveness and resilience in the continent.

This partnership agreement will focus on promoting the generation and adoption of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to expedite agricultural development, including the diversification of agricultural technologies.

Speaking during the signing of the MoU at the 8th Africa Agribusiness and Science Week in Durban, South Africa, Dr. Canisius Kanangire, the Executive Director of AATF, said the partnership with FARA will significantly contribute to raising agricultural productivity and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers across the continent.

“Our strategy for 2023-2027 underscores the importance of partnerships with like-minded organizations and leveraging each other’s strengths to fulfill our mission for African farmers. We are committed to collaborating with governmental bodies, national and international research institutions, FARA, Regional Economic Communities, farmer organizations, the private sector and all stakeholders in the agricultural value chain to deliver agricultural value to our farmers,” Dr. Kanangire said.

He noted that smallholder farmers in Africa face numerous challenges that hinder their capacity to increase yields, improve incomes and contribute to food security, adding that investing in new farming technologies, including better seeds, digital tools and machinery, holds great promise for transforming African agriculture into a key driver of economic growth, benefiting not only the farming sector but the entire continent.

The outgoing Executive Director of FARA, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, observed that the pact will contribute to advancing climate-smart agriculture and bolstering climate change resilience among African farmers.

He further noted that the agreement commits both organizations to create a conducive policy environment for the accessibility, development, and delivery of agricultural technologies and products, with a particular emphasis on expediting their commercialization to ensure food security in Africa.

“Our collaborative efforts will involve designing and leveraging mechanisms for exchanging technology-based innovations, information, and knowledge, empowering Africa’s researchers, decision-makers, influencers, and technology users,” Dr. Akinbamijo said.