The annual partnership meeting on agriculture and food security in Africa between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) took place in Tunis on 27-28 October 2011.
The participants emphasized the importance of their continued collaboration. Specific areas for this collaboration included economic and sector work, as well as in thematic areas such as the Ex-Act Carbon Balance Tool used to assist in project design, agribusiness, post-harvest loss reduction, the Costab/Farmod project upgrade, etc.
The meeting also reviewed the latest developments relate to the planned regional Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Project to deal with the crisis in the Greater Horn of Africa.
The two sides noted the need for strong collaboration among development partners, continued dialogue with governments in the Horn, and the provision of development partner support in line with their comparative advantages and experience.
These details are being transformed into an action plan for consideration by the management of both institutions. The meeting also identified practical programming measures aimed at improving the quality of their on-going cooperation initiatives.
Speaking at the event, the acting director of the AfDB’s Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department, Abdirahman Beileh, challenged participants to propose and embark on innovative joint activities that could make a long-term contribution to development, He also called on them to identify non-conventional sources to finance such activities in order to accelerate the sustainable and sustained implementation of Africa’s pro-poor continental agriculture and food security agenda.
About 20 AfDB staff, together with ten staff from the FAO Investment Centre and concerned FAO Technical Divisions, attended the meeting.
The partnership between the AfDB and FAO dates back to 1968 when the first cooperation agreement between the institutions came into force. Since then, FAO has been assisting in identifying and preparing AfDB Group agriculture investment operations.
More recently, FAO funded and conducted a study on post-harvest losses reduction, which helped the AfDB prepare its agriculture and agro-industry strategy for the period 2010-14, as well as the AfDB’s framework paper for post-harvest loss reduction.
In order to sharpen the scope and relevance of their partnership, the AfDB and FAO have been holding regular annual meetings for the past ten years. These consultations have helped both parties to gauge progress made in their cooperation, share experiences on topical thematic issues and make better plans for future cooperation.