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.
Background: Innovations as key for food security and agricultural growth
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.
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 Africa and India implemented by the GIZ.
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 and their enabling environment 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.
To this end, PARI pursues the following strategies:
- Analyses of the potential and impact of innovations (which innovations to invest in, where and for whom),
- Identification and assessment of supportive measures to strengthen the framework / policy conditions for the generation and dissemination of promising agriculture and rural areas development–related innovations, and
- Engaging with food, nutrition, agriculture and rural areas development policy makers to inform reforms and investment decisions that an improve job creation and food and nutrition security.
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).
Drawing on these priorities as well as research findings by the PARI partners to date, research is structured in five clusters:
- Targeting investments in innovations and framework conditions
- Mechanization and skill development for productivity growth, employment and value addition
- Digitalization in agriculture, food and nutrition
- Enhancing opportunities for the youth in the rural economy
- Improving the policy context and contributing to evidence-based policy
The PARI is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.