Agricultural Research in Africa: Why CAADP Should Follow IAASTD

Briefing for APRODEV European NGO Network (May 2012)

This briefing analyses the agricultural research policies of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the extent to which they address the needs of smallholder farmers. CAADP has a huge opportunity to promote good agricultural research by following the findings of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). However, CAADP is largely not following the IAASTD roadmap. African governments are ignoring their CAADP commitment, set in 2003, to double their annual spending on agricultural research within 10 years. Despite the fact that women constitute most farmers in Africa, they are paid lip service in CAADP programmes. CAADP is also promoting a farming model, associated with the Green Revolution, that encourages heavy reliance on expensive external inputs, such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and improved and/or hybrid seeds bought from agribusiness companies; this comes at the expense of promoting sustainable agriculture approaches which are likely to benefit poor farmers much more.

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