The National Agriculture Marketing Council (NAMC) in partnership with the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) and the University of Leeds launched the Agricultural and Food Systems Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy (AFRICAP) project funded by the United Kingdom’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) on the 12th July 2018, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The meeting was attended by 55 participants representing relevant government departments, non-government organizations, farmer organizations, universities, researchers, civil society organizations among others. The main objective of the workshop was to introduce the four-year project to key stakeholders working within the food, agriculture and development space. AFRICAP seeks to develop pathways to address challenges in the future.

The GCRF-AFRICAP is an £8m program led by the University of Leeds, a leading international university in the north of England, in partnership with FANRPAN, a pan African multi-stakeholder policy network whose regional secretariat is based in Pretoria, South Africa. The program is focused on generating evidence-based policy to transform agriculture and food systems in Africa with a view of identifying key steps towards a more resilient food system for 2050. AFRICAP also aims at improving productivity of farming systems, and their resilience to shocks emanating from climate change impacts. Research will be conducted in selected African countries including Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia and the UK, thus enabling the project to provide a multi-country synthesis and lessons.

The GCRF-AFRICAP project launch meeting deliberations focused on unpacking the rationale of the AFRICAP project, the current agriculture and climate change policy environment, future climate and agriculture development scenarios, household/farm profiles. The meeting confirmed the Free State province as the project focus area with Thabo Mofutsanyane, Xhariep and Lejweleputswa districts as possible project sites.

The Free State provincial Department of Agriculture welcomed the project and encouraged the AFRICAP team to plan for the full engagement of key stakeholders within the province to ensure that alignment with existing work that is on-going within the province. The AFRICAP team was encouraged to conduct a scoping exercise of existing Agri-Parks in the Free State and surrounding provinces to see how they can fit into the scenarios work that is planned under Theme C of the project. The project scenarios meeting is planned to take place in November 2018.

A follow up scenario planning workshop is scheduled for November 2018.

As FANRPAN’s node host in South Africa, the NAMC will coordinate program activities. The NAMC will work closely with the Free State department of Agriculture and other partners to develop and run applied research projects. The outputs of the research will be generated and disseminated through joint research-policy forums.

Find out more about GCRF-AFRICAP in South Africa.