The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the technical branch of the Africa Union Commission on all matters of agricultural science, technology and innovation, organised its 8th Africa Agribusiness and Science Week in Durban, South Africa, from 5th to 8th June 2023.
The INTERFACES side-event was opened with a presentation by project leader Dr Tina Beuchelt. Ms Nsama Chikolwa of the African Union Commission joined in via Zoom with a presentation on the African Union (AU) Land Governance Strategy. After the presentations a panel discussion took place, including Dr Frank Kayula, Executive Director of the National Association for Smallholder Farmers, Zambia; Ms Karen Munoku, Gender and Agribusiness expert at FARA; Dr Richard Kasuga, Communication and Knowledge Management Specialist at Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute, Tanzania, and Mr Clemens Khaiseb, Director of Research and Training at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Namibia.
Three key points resulted from the discussion including the research processes needing to be participatory and co-designed by farmers from the onset; the research design to be inclusive and encompassing indigenous knowledge; and the research findings to be communicated in a simple and understandable manner. Furthermore, the panellists discussed how research can ensure sustainable land use by, on the one hand, addressing issues of land ownership and land market reforms and, on the other hand, considering agribusiness practices and market profitability. The panellists agreed that research on sustainable land use should be holistic by reflecting different power dynamics as well as taking the interconnectedness of all natural resources relevant for land use and access into account.
The side-event was convened by IDOS, the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and FARA represented in Durban by Dr Emmanuel Theodore Asimeng, Dr Tina Beuchelt and Benjamin Abugri respectively. All projects and activities are funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the platform strategy “Research for Sustainability” (FONA).