The Forum for Sustainable Agriculture in Africa: Genesis, Operations, and Future Prospects
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Senkosi, K.
Okello, D. L.

The slow rate of agricultural development in Africa can largely be blamed on lack of functional relationships between technology/innovation generation centers, local farming communities, financial institutions and markets. The result has been low penetration of promising innovations/technologies thus, low adoption levels and/ or partial adoption; and limited or no access to markets and financial services by farmers. In general, most of the innovation/technologies developed have not been extensively out-scaled; some of which are not even packaged in user friendly formats. The Forum for Sustainable Agriculture in Africa (FOSAA) believes that scientific and/or technological innovations have a greater chance of going to scale and achieving global impact if they are developed from the onset with appropriate social and business innovations—an approach that we call integrated growth. Therefore, FOSAA intends to establish and manage innovation/technology incubation centers in collaboration with knowledge institutions (Universities/ colleges; research institutions; farmer organisations and the private sector) as a mechanism for enhancing agricultural intensification. To emphasise the requisite business innovation, FOSSA will liaise with other stakeholders to reduce agricultural production and price risks caused by climatic changes (weather index insurers) and market distortions (guarantee schemes), respectively. Further, these incubation centers will also act as agribusiness training/resource centers where a multi-structured programme that includes farm enterprise selection, resource mobilisation and utilisation, routine market assessment and business negotiation skills, record keeping and financial management, risk prediction and management, value addition, carbon foot- printing and team building will be managed.

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