What is FARA?

FARA is the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, an umbrella organization bringing together and forming coalitions of major stakeholders in agricultural research and development in Africa. FARA complements the innovative activities of national, international and sub-regional research institutions to deliver more responsive and effective services to its stakeholders. It plays advocacy and coordination roles for agricultural research for development, while the national agricultural research systems (NARS), advanced research institutions (ARIs) and international agricultural research centres (IARCs) develop improved technologies along the research-to-development continuum in their respective countries and coverage areas.
FARA’s Key Strategic Statements

 FARA’s Vision:  Reduced poverty in Africa as a result of sustainable broad-based agricultural growth and improved livelihoods, particularly of smallholder and pastoral enterprises.

FARA’s Mission:  The creation of broad-based improvements in agricultural productivity, competitiveness and markets by supporting Africa’s sub-regional organisations in strengthening capacity for agricultural innovation.

FARA’s Value Proposition:  To provide a strategic platform to foster continental and global networking that reinforces the capacities of Africa’s national agricultural research systems and sub-regional organisations.

FARA in its Vision and Mission statements emphasizes its commitments to the Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, and CAADP’s goal of agriculture-led development.  It confirms in its Value Proposition that it will do this by bringing continental and global perspectives to the networking support of the SROs and NARS. FARA’s Super Objective is to sustainably reduce African food insecurity and poverty and enhance environmental conditions.  This is to be done by sustainably establishing high broad-based agricultural growth in Africa (General Objective).  FARA will make this contribution by achieving its Specific Objective of sustainable improvements to broad-based agricultural productivity, competitiveness and markets.

These objectives are congruent with the strategic objectives of ASARECA, CORAF/WECARD, SADC-FANR, and the North African Sub-regional organization (NASRO).  The broad-based nature of the plan indicates inclusiveness of issues relating to smallholders, pastoralists and fisheries, as well as female-headed and HIV/AIDS affected households; it also includes large scale and commercial enterprises. The fact that the rate of growth is to be sustainably established, indicates the intention to safeguard environmental issues, and not produce the increased growth through resource mining or other environmentally damaging approaches.

FARA Secretariat in Accra, Ghana

FARA delivers on its mandate through four mutually-reinforcing Networking Support Functions (NSFs) concerned with:

  • Advocacy and policy analysis (NSF1/3);
  • Access to Knowledge and Technologies (NSF2);
  • Capacity strengthening (NSF4); and
  • Development of partnerships and strategic alliances (NSF5).

The NSFs mobilize and support FARA’s constituents and partners (Sub-regional organizations and organizations of the National Agricultural Research Systems) to undertake activities that generate continental spillovers and public goods.