IDRC renews food security partnership with ACIAR

July 31, 2017

Jean Lebel and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research CEO Andrew Campbell signed an agreement for a new CA$25 million investment for the second phase of the Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund.

IDRC

IDRC President Jean Lebel and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) CEO Andrew Campbell signed an agreement for a new CA$25 million investment for the second phase of the Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund (CultiAf). CultiAf is a joint IDRC-ACIAR program that supports research to achieve long-term food security in Eastern and Southern Africa. 

The fund leverages Australian and Canadian science and technology expertise with African leadership and innovation to benefit smallholder farmers who grow most of Africa’s food. The investment will contribute towards increasing food security and improving nutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa through game-changing research.

This 10-year phase will build on the success of the first phase by focussing on innovations that reduce post-harvest loss, improve nutrition, and promote climate smart sustainable and efficient use of water for agriculture. The new phase is intended to reach millions across Eastern and Southern Africa, with particular emphasis on improving agricultural productivity and supporting expanded roles for women and youth in agribusiness.

During CultiAf’s first phase, which was launched in 2013, CA$15 million was invested to support eight innovative and results-driven research projects in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Projects focussed on post-harvest losses, nutrition, and empowering women and youth to participate in agribusiness. CultiAf developed 24 innovations and practical solutions currently used by more than 25,000 smallholder producers in five countries.

The signing of the agreement in Nairobi was attended by Bethwel Omolo representing Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; HE Sara Hradecky, Canada’s High Commissioner to Kenya; HE John Feakes, Australia’s High Commissioner to Kenya; Melissa Wood, program manager for Global Programs at ACIAR; Simon Carter, IDRC’s regional director for sub-Saharan Africa; other IDRC and ACIAR staff; and partner organizations.