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ECDPM event



Corridors, Clusters and Spatial Development Initiatives in African Agriculture

30 November 2015

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Corridor initiatives like the SAGCOT corridor in Tanzania have spurred heated debate. On one hand, the  model can  attract and coordinate public and private investment to achieve a sustainable increase in production and incomes; on the other, corridors are said to impose a model that encourages land grabbing, monocropping and exclusion of small scale farmers remains unanswered. The debate is not helped by a lack of undisputed evidence. In the meantime, international agricultural researchers at CGIAR centres around the world are working hard everyday to show their USD1bn-worth of research is contributing to ‘a world free of poverty, hunger and environmental degradation’.

CGIAR centres are developing and sharing experiences in multisectoral, multistakeholder approaches to agricultural and rural development through innovation platforms like the MilkIT platforms in India and Tanzania. At the side-event of the Global forum for innovations in agriculture, co-organised by the Independent Science and Partnership Council of the CGIAR, NEPAD and ECDPM, these two worlds will meet to discuss the implications of corridors and other spatial development initiatives for agricultural research and vice versa; how research can contribute to making corridors more sustainable and inclusive. See the video live stream of this event here. 

A side event of the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture in Africa

The CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) will be organizing a one-day workshop as a side event of GFIA-Africa, in close collaboration with ECDPM and NEPAD. The workshop is entitled: “Corridors, clusters, and spatial development initiatives in African agriculture” and represents a step in the ISPC’s efforts to develop a strategic study for the CGIAR on this topic. The overall strategic study has three objectives:

(i)      Collate and synthesize existing information on development corridors, growth clusters, and similar initiatives in the context of agricultural development in Africa

(ii)     Analyze potential priorities for internationally-funded agricultural research (including plant breeding, natural resource management, livestock, agricultural policy research, “systems” or “action” research) in the context of concentrated private sector and government investment

(iii)    Facilitate the consideration of these priorities into the portfolio of CGIAR Research Programs

The workshop will bring together some of the main institutions and researchers that are active on this topic, with the objectives of understanding the current state of thinking in research and policy circles, and to help define how best the ISPC might contribute through its strategic study.

Scoping workshop

The workshop on spatial development initiatives will discuss the potential implications for the CGIAR of transformational change, with CRP scientists and research managers together with representatives of major promoters of change and other key partners and stakeholders. The ISPC has prepared a background paper to be used as a basis for discussion[1]. During the workshop we expect to focus on the following activities:

(i)         Present and discuss the status of active and planned corridors relevant to agricultural development in SSA;

(ii)        Discuss the major issues and potential risks of these developments (Land tenure, NRM, etc.)

(iii)       Identify potential knowledge gaps and research priorities in the ongoing transformational change initiatives;

(iv)      Discuss the scope of an ISPC strategic study on SDI and the opportunities and principles of engagement for future CGIAR R4D and potential partnerships in SSA.

The workshop outcomes will be complemented by further analysis and synthesis, to be written into an ISPC report for informing future CGIAR agricultural research for development strategies in SS Africa and developing countries.

ECDPM’s Paul Engel will moderate the workshop.

Download Bruce Byiers’ presentation.

The workshop report is available here.



Sustainable food systemsAgricultureAfrica