CultiAF-2 will boost efforts to improve food security across seven eastern and southern African countries. Senior IDRC and ACIAR officials, Canada’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Antoine Chevrier, and Australia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Peter Doyle, as well as senior officials from the Ethiopian government, attended the event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
More than 70% of the rural population in eastern and southern Africa are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, but poor performance in the sector has suppressed regional economic growth. ACIAR and IDRC have jointly invested CA$35 million ($37 million AUD) in CultiAF to foster economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve food security in the region.
CultiAF-2 is part of a 10-year partnership between IDRC and ACIAR that comprises nine projects targeting smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
“CultiAF-2 builds on five years of collaboration to support agriculture and nutrition research in eastern and southern Africa and is part of a larger partnership that expands the program into a new phase of activities in the region,” said Renaud De Plaen, program leader for IDRC’s Agriculture and Food Security program.
On behalf of Canada, Ambassador Chevrier noted that CultiAF-funded projects will promote gender responsive innovation and climate resilience, empower youth, and use research results to inform food security, nutrition, climate change, and water policies and programs in Ethiopia and the region.
“Global partnerships have great potential in securing food and nutrition, not just in Africa, but globally. ACIAR recognizes the value of research in the development of agriculture, especially targeting smallholder farmers,” said ACIAR’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Campbell.
On behalf of the Australian Government, Ambassador Doyle hailed the ACIAR/IDRC partnership as a symbol of unity by the Canadian and Australian governments under a shared goal to reduce poverty and improve food security in eastern and southern Africa.
CultiAF-2 is expected to build the capacity of farmers, many of them women, to generate practical, lasting solutions that are economically viable. The new phase will engage the private sector, NGOs, and civil society organizations. The program will also engage young people, addressing both economic issues and building a new generation of farmers.