The main implementors of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme EX Pillar 4 (CAADP-XP4) met in Nairobi, Kenya, from January 31 to February 5, 2022, to review the progress achieved and plan joint activities for 2022.
Five major African agricultural research and development players implement CAADP-XP4 project: the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (ASARECA), the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA), and the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF).
The main objective of the meeting was focused around three points:
- Assess the progress of the implementation of CAADP-XP4 project;
- Take stock of lessons learnt; and
- Jointly plan the implementation of the project and deepen the collaboration in 2022, with the strategic guidance of the Technical and Advisory Committees.
At just over halfway through the life of the project, we are seeing an overall cumulative performance of 66% for the CAADP-XP4 program,”said Dr. Emmanuel Njukwe, Director of Research and Innovation at CORAF.
“This performance has been achieved through the hard work of all the implementing partners and the support and involvement of all stakeholders,” he argued.
As for the project’s financial performance, evidences showed that it is following the same trend as the overall cumulative performance of the project.
“The consortium expenditure at 31 December 2021, as percentage of total disbursed, is 66% while CORAF’s expenditure at the same date is 68%,” declared Dr. Njukwe.
Challenges in implementation
However, like its fellow implementers, CORAF has faced some challenges in implementing the program.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major challenge for CORAF as well as for the other organizations involved in the implementation,” said Mr. Maurice Lorka, CAADP-XP4 Program Coordinator at CORAF.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic and among many other challenges, partners also pointed to the lack of visibility of the CAADP-XP4 program among European Union country delegations, as well as delays in the implementation of joint activities.
Faced with these challenges, the five organizations have reflected and agreed on ways to circumvent the challenges and achieve the project’s objective.
Joint activities planning
The CAADP-XP4 implementation partners also took the opportunity of the Nairobi meeting to reflect on the next steps, in the short and medium term.
To ease joint activities planning and implementation, the CAADP-XP4 implementation partners set five Technical Working Groups on identified thematic issues : Policy and Gender, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization, Knowledge Management and communication, Monitoring and Evaluation, Capacity Building.
A number of key activities to be achieved in 2022 have been identified, with an appointed consortium member taking the lead for each.
For example, CORAF and AFASS will take the lead in the development of a joint Knowledge Management proposal for funding. CORAF will also take the lead on joint activities for Policy and Gender, while CCARDESA will take the lead in the Mapping of satellite data sources.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is expected to organize Mid-term and Impact Evaluation Studies for CAADP-XP4 Program, between the last week of April and the first week of May. IFAD is the organization entrusted with the management of the project resources.
CAADP-XP4 falls under the Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture program (DeSIRA), a 57-month European Union funded initiative which had started in March 2019.
In addition to CAADP-XP4, CORAF is implementing two (02) other DeSIRA projects, namely the West Africa Breeding networks and Extension Empowerment project (ABEE) and the second one: Anticipating and managing biological risks to strengthen farmers’ resilience to climate change in West and Central Africa (BIORISKS).