Deploying partnership platforms to meet the needs of horticultural enterprises
The Africa-Europe Partnership Platform on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) is a co-funded project by the European Union (DG-Development and International Cooperation) and the nine project partners led by FARA for Africa and Agrinatura for Europe. PAEPARD is based on a demand-driven process, farmer organizations and agribusiness enterprises, around four instruments available to multi-stakeholder consortia: i) a users-led process (ULP), ii) incentives funds, iii) projects on competitive funds and, iv) a strategy of advocacy and communication. Lessons learned from the current project are illustrated by a horticultural example for each instrument. African players have all indicated their training and capacity strengthening preferences in partnership management, project coordination and communication/information management, rather than on specific technical fields. Clusters or incubators combining public and private stakeholders are the most stimulating and efficient forms of partnership, provided the environment is enabling: the number of projects submitted increased and 21 have been funded since 2010. The Master Pro on horticultural agro-ecology (GEDAH) at the University of Dakar, Senegal, operates on the following premises: i) it meets the expectations and helps improve career paths of executives in the agro-food industry; ii) training courses are demand-driven. The purpose of GEDAH is to integrate in the training curriculum contents that cover the issues of horticultural enterprises and professional organizations. The graduates of the first six training cycles have almost all found been employed the end of their training, have started their own business or, have extended their studies. Partnership and entrepreneurship are essential for building sustainable innovation projects in horticulture, attract and employ the youth in Africa. Capacity strengthening and higher education shall play a key role too in this regard, either for creating or for scaling successful initiatives.
Kahane, R. and Diarra, K. (2018). Deploying partnership platforms to meet the needs of horticultural enterprises. Acta Hortic. 1225, 75-84
brokerage, entrepreneurship, incentive, innovation systems, public-private partnership