News

2012-06-06 |

Agriculture Research in Africa should follow IAASTD

Sorghum Kenya Die Rolle der Geschlechter spielt eine tragende Rolle beim Kampf gegen Armut und Hunger. Photo: Bioversity International/ Y. Wachira

According to a briefing paper published by APRODEV and PELUM Association, the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) has largely failed to take the IAASTD’s findings into account within its agricultural research policy. This briefing paper, which analysed the extent to which agricultural research, one of the four CAADP pillars, meets the needs of small-scale farmers, names five key problems. It noted that African states have not kept their promise to double spending on agricultural research and that, while the IAASTD had stressed the need to close the gender gap in agricultural policies, vital measures to support female farmers were still missing. With women being the main food producers in Africa this is an issue that urgently needs to be addressed. Furthermore, the CAADP continues to be based on a farming model that relies heavily on external inputs, such as fertilisers and pesticides and seeds from agribusiness, rather than promoting sustainable farming systems. In addition, in contrast to the IAASTD, which is cautious on GM crops and underlines the importance of local, informal seed systems, CAADP partners still continue to promote GM crops and more formal seed legislation. The paper concludes that CAADP programmes often disregard the needs of smallholders because they have only a small voice in the design of the agricultural research agenda.

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