Background Papers and Presentations

Background Papers

Prior to the convening, several documents were shared to prepare participants for the discussions:

  • The Montpellier Panel Report 2013-Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture: The 2013 Montpellier Panel Report provides innovative thinking and recommendations from a group of agriculture and development experts about how sustainable intensification techniques are being used by smallholder farmers in Africa to address the continent’s food and nutrition crisis.
  • Innovation Gaps and Smallholder Farmers: Opportunities for Action: ‚ÄčAt the request of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Meridian Institute conducted 78 off-the-record interviews with thought leaders and practitioners from diverse sectors across the globe. The purpose of this effort was to help inform the foundation’s and the broader agricultural development community’s understanding of critical short- and long-term innovation gaps effecting smallholder farmers, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing innovation partners along the agricultural value chain.
  • African Agriculture: Drivers of Success for CAADP Implementation (Executive Summary of a forthcoming report) The African Union commissioned a series of studies to analyze levels of public expenditures committed to agriculture, identify thematic investment areas that may drive agriculture related growth, and analyze key drivers of success in a number of selected countries. The Executive Summary of a forthcoming report presents the findings across seven country case studies (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania) and includes examples of agricultural success and the drivers for it in specific contexts. (Document Forthcoming).
  • Five Inter-Linked Transformations in the African Agrifood System Economy: Food Security Implications At the request of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a team led by Dr. Thomas Reardon of Michigan State University analyzed “Five interlinked transformations” of the agrifood system that are occurring rapidly in Africa: 1) urbanization; 2) diet change; 3) agrifood system transformation (in wholesale, processing, and retail systems); 4) rural factor market transformation; and 5) intensification of farm technology. The paper describes transformations that are linked in mutually causal ways with the potential for the overall transformation to be rapid and complicated. He notes that there is a need for action—by both the private and public sectors—in this changing environment.
  • Realizing the Promise and Potential of African Agriculture-Executive Summary: This InterAcademy Council report addresses the question of how science and technology can be mobilized to realize the potential of African agriculture. Five underlying strategic themes were recommended to guide the future of agricultural research and development in Africa: 1) Identifying science and technology options that can make a difference; 2) Building impact-oriented research, knowledge, and development institutions that reflect the needs of farmers; 3) Creating and retaining a new generation of agricultural scientists; 4) Ensuring markets and policies that support smallholders and assure food security; and 5) Creating effective solutions that empower farmers to make decisions about their own crops and livelihoods.

Presentations and Other Materials

Below please find a presentation from the November 2013 convening and other relevant background documents: