The Program of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovation (PARI) brings together partners from Africa, India and Germany to contribute to sustainable agricultural growth and food and nutrition security in Africa and India as part of One world, No Hunger Initiative (SEWOH) by the German government.
Globally, more than 800 million people, or one in nine, are suffering from hunger. Two billion people worldwide are chronically malnourished. On the other hand, food production levels are as high as never before in human history.
To a large extent, hunger remains to be a poverty-related problem. The majority of those afflicted from undernourishment and malnutrition are small-scale subsistence farmers. With their limited resources, these farmers are barely able to meet the rising demand for agricultural goods around the world so as to improve their living conditions sustainably. Often the storage, processing and trade of food is poorly coordinated, which leads to significant amounts of agricultural products getting spoilt on the way from the field to the plate. The frequency of sudden, acute food shortages, especially in poor rural areas, is on the rise due to increasing dependence on the global market. It is therefore imperative to increase the availability of food on the local markets.
In order to achieve enhanced production and higher incomes in an agricultural system characterized by small farms, productivity, organization, marketing and processing along the entire agricultural value chain require significant and sustainable improvement. In other words, locally adapted innovations are needed for sustainable development of the whole agricultural and food sector.
Innovations as key for food security and agricultural growth
Africa is increasingly emphasizing the role of innovation in development. The Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 takes into consideration the social, economic, and technological progress Africa has made over the last decade. Innovation for sustainable and high agricultural growth forms an important part of this ambition. The German Government has acknowledged this innovation potential and wants to support the improvement of food and nutrition security and sustainable agricultural value chains through Green Innovation Centers (GICs) in 12 African countries and India implemented by the GIZ.
GICs form the core of a comprehensive approach to enhance the promotion of the African and Indian agri-food sector. Ideally they will strengthen and shape the cluster composed of various institutions serving knowledge generation and knowledge transfer. GICs should include research organizations, demonstration farms, agricultural schools, decentralized training facilities, far-reaching advisory services and the actors along the value chains, including the private sector and policy makers.
The PARI’s main goal is to contribute to sustainable agricultural growth and food and nutrition security in Africa and India. Related goals are to promote and support the scaling of proven innovations in the agri-food sector in collaboration and partnership with all relevant actors; to support and enhance investments in the GICs through research; and thereby to contribute to the development of the agri-food sector in Africa and India through the identification, assessment and up-scaling of innovations.
Priority themes and topics of PARI
The core topics and thematic research priorities of the PARI have been identified in accordance with the African Union’s CAADP (Africa’s policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security & nutrition, economic growth & prosperity for all) as part of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
CAADP. Thematic areas of general relevance – building upon the set of established African Union priorities – include:
- Sustainable productivity in major farming systems
- Food systems, value chains, nutrition and health
- Agricultural biodiversity and natural resource management
- Challenges for agriculture and food security
Innovation research with future-oriented impact analyses, incl.:
- institutional analysis of the GICs in the context of their national agricultural innovation systems.
- developing methodologies and concepts for strategic analysis of potentials and prospects,
- modeling and mapping direct and indirect impacts of potentially promising innovations.
Identifying and stimulating technological and institutional innovations, incl.:
- screening for promising innovations from research and innovation systems (“research proven top-down approach”),
- soliciting innovations generated by farmers and other actors in the value chains (“farmer participation bottom-up approach”),
- scaling of innovations.
Engaging with food and agriculture policy making to enhance approaches for innovation that improve food and nutrition security
The PARI is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.