Agricultural Policy and Innovation Fund (FABI)

Project description

Title: Global Project Agricultural Policy and Innovation Fund
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Benin, Namibia, East African Community (EAC), global
Overall term: 2018 to 2023

Innovation Challenge

Context

The development of the agriculture and food sector is of key importance in meeting the growing worldwide demand for agricultural products and creating jobs in rural regions. Intra-African trade and the promotion of innovation in the agri-food sector offer particular potential in this context.

Regional trade can compensate for food shortages and improve food security as well as creating jobs and generating income. However, the opportunities presented by intra-African trade currently remain underutilized. 

Promoting innovation around the world can improve processes in agribusiness and the food industry. This leads to sustainable, long-term increases in production. However, support for existing innovations and their dissemination has often been lacking to date.

Objective

Selected African countries and country groups shape their agricultural (trade) policies in a participatory, sustainable and evidence-based way.

Innovations that are ready for implementation in the agri-food sector are used and upscaled.

As a result, opportunities for employment and for generating income in rural areas are improved.

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Approach

The project consists of two funds:  the Agricultural Policy Advisory Fund (ABF) provides advisory services for partner countries in the field of agriculture and trade policy; the Agricultural Innovation Fund (AIF) promotes innovation in the agri-food sector. To this end, the two project components use different methodological approaches. 

The ABF helps improve the evidence base for agricultural policy and agricultural trade policy in Africa. Policymaking needs to be based on scientific findings and should involve relevant players. To this end, the project cooperates with national governments, for instance in Benin, Namibia and Kenya. The project also operates on a regional level – in East and West Africa, for example – and on the continental level, for instance with the Pan-African Agribusiness Apex Chamber. It works on a range of different commodities, such as rice, soy, poultry and seed potatoes, and cooperates with various partners, including farmers’ organisations, agribusiness and government agencies. Implementation partners include the Andreas Hermes Academy in the Bildungswerk der Deutschen Landwirtschaft e.V., the German-African Business Association and the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) think tank.

The AIF identifies and promotes agricultural innovations in partner countries worldwide. These should contribute to a long-term increase in production in the agri-food sector. Innovations that are ready for implementation are upscaled through innovation platforms.

Results

To date, a total of 94 farmers, of whom 30 per cent are women, have been trained in advocating for their needs and positions in decision-making processes on agricultural policy. The Andreas Hermes Academy conducted training for this purpose with regional and national farmers’ associations in East, West and Southern Africa. 

Benin's current national agricultural strategy was evaluated to determine the need for adaptations. In doing so, the project responded to a request by the partner. Subsequently, the Ministry of Agriculture was advised on developing a new, socially inclusive agricultural strategy. Local capacities for policy analysis and economic modelling were also strengthened.

The AIF organised a first Innovation Challenge in 2020. The competition was designed to identify and promote innovative local ideas that contribute to a more environmentally friendly and productive agriculture. More than 1,000 people from Africa and Southeast Asia submitted their ideas. In 2021 the nine winners will receive funding packages to further develop their innovations. These top innovations include, among others, innovative drone technologies, financing solutions and cold storage systems.

Last update: January 2021

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