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Regional Workshop on Establishing IGAD Dryland Research Forum

IGAD Dryland Research Forum

 

INTRODUCTION

The Regional workshop on the establishment of IGAD Dryland Research Forum has been conducted at the Capital Hotel Addis Abeba, Ethiopia from Sep. 16-17/2015 with the participation of relevant research institutions from the member countries namely: Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia and concerned staffs from the IGAD Secretariat (35 participants).

The workshop has undergone through three sessions: Opening, plenary session and group discussion.

  1. Opening session

Introductory Remark

The introductory remark has been given by Dr. J. Kabayo, The IDDRSI Plat form Coordinator that stated about the IGAD regional profile and the IDDRSI strategy as follows:

I have been given the honor of welcoming you all to Addis Ababa ; and to this workshop, on the Establishment of an IGAD Drylands Research Forum. And so, as I stand here before you, basking in Ethiopia’s traditional warmth and hospitality as our host, I wish to extend a big hand of hearty IGAD welcome to each and every one of you.

In addition to welcoming you, I would like to use this opportunity to say a few words on the importance of this workshop – and in the same vein, briefly comment on the necessity of the IGAD Drylands Research Forum as well as the timeliness of forming it.

I do not need to tell you or remind you that about 70% of the IGAD Region, which receives less than 600mm in annual rainfall, is categorized as a dry land or arid and semiarid lands (ASALs). Nor do I need to describe the vagaries of our region’s harsh and deteriorating ecological circumstances, exacerbated by global warming and climate change phenomena and challenged by persistent drought and worsening land degradation. Similarly I do not need to tell you that a number of the region’s scientists and experts are engaged in various efforts and forms of scientific and social research activities dedicated to the objective of crafting technological innovations to advance development, improve livelihoods and generally find solutions to the region’s challenges.

 

But I would like to use this opportunity to observe that the dryland characteristic of our region has, in recent times, come under sharper focus. Upon the realization that this characteristic is all we have got; and upon the realization that this characteristic threatens our very existence, our region did what all cornered animals do. It turned at bay. The region decided to do something about our circumstances in order to give our vulnerable communities a fighting chance. When the leaders of the countries in this region made a collective historic summit decision to embark on a drought resilience initiative, there were three 3 fundamental aspects of this decision that had revolutionary significance aspects that relate directly to the cause and purposes of this workshop. As a person that was assigned the honour of being involved as one of the key actors in the implementation of that historic summit decision; and as a person who, whether by design or by coincidence was assigned to introduce this workshop, I find myself in a vantage point of unusual privilege, which explains my immense happiness to be here today and to share with you some thoughts on the IGAD Drylands Research Forum – and most especially its significance to the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI). When our leaders made the historic decision to embark on IDDRSI, they characterized this decision as the region’s resolve to do things differently. 3 things were clearly different: 1st the primary objective would be to build resilience by investing in sustainability; 2nd the focus would be on investing in the ASALS, which had previously been neglected; and 3rd we would all work as a region. While designing the IDDRSI strategy to define the activities and methods of work that would guide the process of implementing IDDRSI, the experts from the region who designed that strategy were mindful of the demands and consequences of the decision. They were aware that we did not have all the answers and so provided a mechanism through which answers and suggestions on how to achieve the objectives of IDDRSI: they identified research among the pillars or priority intervention areas in the IDDRSI strategy; given the multiplicity of the actors and sectors involved in the implementation of IDDRSI, they also saw the importance of working closely together and so identified the importance of coordination, for which they created a drought resilience platform through which the implementation of IDDRSI would be planned, discussed and coordinated.

 

We can now deduce why we are here today: focusing on drylands; working together as a region; doing research on different fronts related to drylands and the capacity of our communities to maximise the productivity of the region’s resources; and, as a matter of necessity, having a coordination arrangement. You can appreciate that, as far as IDDRSI is concerned, the formation of the IGAD Drylands Research Forum is a logical necessity whose final realization is highly welcome. It is consistent with the IDDRSI strategic plan and its realization today will be recorded among the growing list of accomplishments in the implementation of IDDRSI. I believe that the increased contact between the researchers through the workings of the Forum will expedite the process by which research results will inform programming and enhance the region’s capacity to find solutions to the challenges posed by drylands. I look forward to a partnership that I am confident will grow from strength to strength, as research and researchers continue to vindicate the inclusion of research as a pillar in the IDDRSI strategic plan and consolidate their position as a tool in the region’s arsenal or toolkit being used to overcome the challenges of drylands.

 

Welcome Speech

 

A welcome speech has been made by Mr. Wolde Gebriel Tesfamariam, Director of Pastoral/agro-pastoral Areas Research and Capacity Building Directorate representing the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research and stated as follows:

On behalf of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Institute of Agriculture Research and myself, I feel honored in being amongst you today to present my welcome address in the opening ceremony of this important regional workshop on The Dryland Agriculture Research forum with the objective of reviewing, adopting the draft TOR of IGAD Regional Research forum including preparation of the proposal for the establishment of the Forum by IGAD policy organs.

 

The pastoral areas of Ethiopia account for about 60% of the total land cover, and home to about 12% of the human population who make a living from an extensive form of livestock production. In these environments, there is diverse resource of flora and fauna, which are the main bases for the livelihood of the pastoral/agro-pastoral community. Under this ecosystem the productivity of livestock and crop products is in its lower stage because of certain reasons. Among which inadequate inputs and technologies, low level of skilled man power and very limited relevant infrastructures to mention few.

 

Cognizant of these challenges the Government of Ethiopia is striving to establish and strengthen the academic and research institutions in these respective areas. Dryland agriculture by its nature of fact is complex that requires due attention than other high land areas. Water is scarce, temperature is relatively high, and various appropriate technologies are very scanty, despite the immense resource availability. In contrast, however, natural disasters like drought episode have become more frequent than ever before in the region. With this respect, abolishing of this particular hazard including other similar challenges through a very strong, integrated and harmonized research and development efforts is of paramount importance.

 

It is therefore, imperative to strengthen the dryland agriculture research and development interventions coupled with strengthening of the respective institutions, which are responsible in undertaking dryland research activities in these respective areas. I do believe that countries in the IGAD region are endowed with dynamic professionals that can bring significant difference in achieving food security and economic growth at both house hold and country level in the region. This could, however, can happen provided if we are doing things differently through an integrated and harmonized manner unlike the previous experiences. Thus I have found this workshop to be very timely and important in bringing together the concerned dryland research institutions in the region by establishing appropriate regional platform/forum.

At this juncture I would like to assure you that the EIAR is very much pleased and ready and committed to work with the respective research organizations in the region, and with the IGAD secretariat in a collaborative manner to enhance the dryland research endeavors. In my conclusion I would like to extend my gratitude to IGAD for the giving an opportunity to have this regional workshop here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. And I hope the workshop will meet its objective. Finally, Allow me once more to welcome you all, and I wish you a very fruitful deliberations. Thank you!

 

Opening Remark

The workshop is officially opened by Mr. Mohammed Moussa, Director of Agriculture and Environment Division of the IGAD Secretariat. His opening speech is stated as follows:

It is a great honor and privilege to have you all assembled here in Addis Abba, Ethiopia for the purpose of establishing an IGAD Dry Land Research Forum (IDRF), which will be an important additional platform for boosting collaboration between agricultural research institutions among the IGAD member states. We are thankful to the Government and People of Ethiopia for hosting us here in Addis Ababa, the capital of Africa. As the world’s population continues to grow, ensuring food production that can meet the growing demand is an ever-mounting challenge. Agricultural research is one of the main factors that contribute to improvements in agricultural production systems and increase agricultural incomes. Various studies have confirmed that, though not evenly distributed across the world, the social rate of return to investments in agricultural Research and Development (R&D) has been generally high. The importance of Agricultural Research and Development is nowhere more important than the IGAD region whose 60 – 70 percent of the land mass is arid or semi-arid. The area is inhabited by pastoral and agro-pastoral communities that face multiple challenges that undermine the resilience of these communities.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) was established in 1986 (nearly 30 years ago) to fight the recurring droughts in the region. Ten years later the mandate of IGAD was expanded to cover three broad priority areas namely, agriculture and environmental protection, peace and security, and economic cooperation and integration.

The ASALs, in spite of their wide geographical coverage, it is only recently, that they have received the attention of policy makers. This was in response to the severe drought that devastated the region in 2010/2011, when a firm decision to end drought emergences was taken by IGAD and East African Community (EAC) Heads of State and Government at a Summit convened in Nairobi on 9th September 2011. The Summit took the decision to address the effects of recurring droughts and called for increased commitment by the Member States and Development Partners to support investments in resilience and sustainable development especially in the ASALs. This gave birth to the IGAD Drought Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI).

IDDRSI aims at addressing the effects of drought and related shocks in the IGAD region in a sustainable and holistic multi-sectoral manner. The IDDRSI Strategy has 7 priority intervention areas, where the necessary investment and action will help build resilience through reducing the vulnerability of target communities to climatic and economic shocks. Enhancing the generation and use of research, knowledge, technology and innovations in the IGAD region is one of the IDDRSI priority investment areas with the objective of enhancing knowledge generation and innovation and its promotion and dissemination in the region.

On the basis of the IDDRSI strategic framework, Member States have produced country level IDDRSI Program Papers so as to facilitate the implementation of programs/projects aimed at strengthening the resilience of the communities under their jurisdictions. A number of Multilateral and bilateral donors such as, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the German Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Danish government, the EU, etc… have joined hands with IGAD to swiftly operationalise the strategy by financing several big projects. The projects are already under implementation across the region. I wish to express IGAD’s profound appreciation for this new partnership under IDDRSI platform. This level of support mobilized through regional mechanisms is unprecedented in the region.

This workshop is supported by the Danish government as part of the  IGAD project on ‘Regional Drylands Resilience Coordination, Governance and Applied Research’ with the objective to promote and coordinate Dry land Resilience Knowledge Sharing, Applied Research and Natural Resources Governance in the IGAD region. Through the project, IGAD and Dry land focused Research institutions and Civil Society Organizations are implementing ten projects on various themes throughout the region. We are grateful to Denmark for that support.

To conclude, While this is a good beginning and acts as springboard for taking coordinated action against problems faced by the people in the Dry land areas of the region, we still have a long way to go in tackling the complex development challenges ahead of us that require new technologies and innovative ways of solving them. Thus, it is my conviction that the establishments of the IGAD Dry land Research Forum will advance the cause for promoting problem solving research and innovations that are of immense importance to the vulnerable communities in the region as it would enhance networking, institutional collaboration and capacity building. Your professional contribution and inputs to this workshop will enable us to have a well founded platform for advancing knowledge and innovation in the IGAD region. I now declare the workshop open and I wish you all a successful workshop and an enjoyable stay in Ethiopia. Thank you very much.

  1. . The Need for Regional Dryland Agriculture Research Forum, by Bekabil Fufa.        IGAD Secretariat

The presenter in his introduction part described the overall profile of the IGAD region by stating the IGAD-Mission, IDDRSI strategy, Applied Research and Dryland Agriculture Research in IGAD region, Networks, gaps and challenges. On top of this, he noted that the region is prone to drought so does he emphasized the IDDRSI strategy and the priority interventions areas/ PIAs (7). In particular he detailed the Research, Knowledge Management and Technology Transfer (one of the IDDRSI-PIA) with the following strategies:

  • Support and enhance networks and institutions of excellence in research, knowledge, science, technology and innovations relevant to IGAD region;
  • Support research and capacity building in priority themes;

 

  • Strengthen relevant global, regional and national research and higher education networks, collaborations and integration;
  • Enhance ASALs-based commodity research, knowledge management, information sharing, communication, technical/ extension support, advisory services and training;

 

  • Support and enhance policy research and policies that support research, knowledge management and technology transfer at all levels.

The presenter indicated the Development Partners (DPs), which are supporting the IDDRSI – IGAD and The Danish Government is the one that is supporting IGAD on Regional Dry lands Resilience Coordination, Governance and Applied Research. With this respect, he noted the ongoing and completed projects, which are of Applied Research (5) and reviews and assessments by CSOs (5). In Addition he highlighted that IGAD has undertaken the study to know the organizations engaged in dryland research, thereby the following have been identified:

 

  • Djibouti :  Centre for Research and Development (CERD)
  • Ethiopia: EIAR, Regional Research Institutes, Mekelle University, etc.
  • Kenya: KARLO, Universities (Nairobi University, South Eastern University.
  • Sudan: Sudan Agricultural Research Corporation, University of Khartoum, etc
  • Uganda: National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO)

 

In his presentation it was noted that agricultural research expenditure has been gradually increasing over the past 2-3 decades whereby Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia are among the top 6 countries with highest investment in Agricultural Research and Development. He also noted that there are few Dry land research Networks mainly initiated by International organizations, NGOs and western countries among which, ILRI, ICRDA, IUCN, Dry land Biodiversity Network for Eastern Africa (DBNEA) based in Sweden, Global Network of Dry land Research Institutes (GNDRI)-Germany are cited.

 

The major challenges in the Countries of SSA including the IGAD region were stated as follows:

  • Institutional Fragmentation: Centralization Vs Decentralization; NARS Vs Higher Education;
  • The Need for Higher level of Education (PhD): to Produce Quality Research output;
  • High staff turnover and Aging;
  • Low level of Female Participation (Less than 22%);
  • Widespread underinvestment: Human and Material (<1% of Ag.GDP recommended by AU);
  • Agricultural R&D funding in many countries is highly dependent on donors;
  • Dry land focused research activities in the region are too little, compared to the magnitude and complexity of the problem;
  • Most Agricultural Research activities in the region are crop or mixed farming focused;
  • Efforts made by the research institutions working on Dry land issues are scattered and fragmented;
  • Lack of appropriate technologies to address the needs of the communities            living in Dryland       areas;

Based on the aforementioned circumstances the presenter justified for the strong need for an initiative that is harmonized, locally owned and managed so as to enhance the dryland agriculture research interventions.

 Discussion on the RDRF presentation

Questions:

  1. All projects mentioned are implemented at national levels. Where are the projects implemented at regional level? Sudan:
  2. What are the major challenges in planning research activities? Is there a regional research strategy? Djibouti

      Response

  1. Yes all the projects have been implemented at the national level, which is because, cross border projects are demanding huge resource and due to limited budget the focus was at national level. However, it has to be understood that the framework of project coordination is at regional level and thus during the implementation the regional dimension was considered. On top of this it has to be noted that the outcomes of the projects will be shared among countries.
  2. So far there is no regional research strategy though it will be following after the establishment of the research Forum.

Session II plenary session

In the plenary session the following presentations were presented by the IGAD and the respective organization from member countries participated in the workshop.

  1. Status of Dryland Agriculture Research in IGAD Countries.

 b.1.) Research programmes developed by the Center of Study and Research of Djibouti, by Mohamed       Jalludin, General Manager of CERD

The presenter has described the objective of the Centre, which is to fully contribute to the social and economical development of the Republic of Djibouti by applying sciences and technologies. Institutionnel restructuration, Scientific research coordination,- Capacity building and Develop financial mechanisms are targets set as strategy to meet the objective. He  has indicated the presence of  6 institutes and two Departments with 3 each sections under the General Directorate. There are 9 laboratories under the  Institute of Earth Science. The presenter also stated the  significant capacity building interventions and the  main research thematic areas (23)  covered by the centre. Completed (22) and ongoing projects (19) were also highlighted.

Finally he noted the issues of technologies and innovations (applied science achivements and  treshold level of science and technology development) and the  constarints and challneges of the centre  among which, human resource, scientific  and laboratory equipments, financial resources, capacities and lack of regional scientific based networks are cited.

b.2.) Status of the Dryland Agriculture Research in Ethiopia by Woldegebriel T. Director      pastoral/agropastoral Areas Research and Capacity Development Directorate, EIAR

The presenter started his presentation by stating the overall profile, vision, mission and values of the Institute. Supply of improved agricultural technologies, popularization of improved technologies, capacity building of researchers has been described as the mandates of the institute. He also highlighted the organizational setup of the institute and thus there are 17 technical and support providing (10) Directorates with the total of 3787 staffs. Under the EIAR there are 16 research centers located in various regions of the country of which 6 are working on dryland agricultural research activities.

He also noted the thematic research areas (5) whereby crop, livestock, irrigation water management and saline agriculture are predominant ones. Certain forage and crop technologies (maize, wheat, sesame, rice, sorghum, teff, etc that have been distributed to the dryland areas were also notified. The presenter has indicated the ongoing projects on dryland agriculture research activities (20) in line with crop, livestock and value chains.

The presenter described the following impacts of the research outcomes in the dryland areas:

  • Availability and access to alternative food sources has increased while the dependence on food purchase has reduced. Moreover, women households are more empowered with pre-scaling up activities and have learned how to produce food crops.
  • New emerging production types have also appeared especially with back yard poultry, improved honey bees hives, fishing nests and community level honey processing technologies. A waste from traditional beekeeping has also reduced and farmers have learnt that the technology adoption has helped them to get more money from quality products.
  • The number of communities eager to participate in the pre-scaling up of technologies has increased from time to time and the pressure on EIAR has also equally increased, while resources are limited.
  • More pastoralists and agro-pastoralists are capable of producing food crops and have either graduated from food insecurity or have significantly reduced their dependency on food purchase.

In his final presentation he noted the very constraints and challenges of the crop and livestock research interventions. Some of them are listed below

  • Climate Change,
  • In crop development and research: poor adaptation rate comparing to high land, lack of proper extension system and infrastructures, poor irrigation water management, salinity problem, bush encroachment by invasive species, land Degradation, lack of high yielding and pest resistant varieties, shortage of heat and drought tolerant varieties /species, lack of high value crop varieties with industrial and export qualities and lack of appropriate cultural practices.
  • In livestock development and research: feed shortage in quantity and quality, health problem, poor genetic resources and recurrent drought and lack of conservation experience of available feed resources.

 

  b.3) Status of the Dryland agriculture Research in Kenya, by William Mnene, Director of ARLRI,         KARLO

The presenter described the overall profile of the KARLO, the vision, mission and values of the organization. KARLO was established in 2013 that is composed of:

  • Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)
  • Tea Research Foundation (TRF)
  • Coffee Research Foundation (CRF)
  • Kenya Sugar Research Foundation (KESREF), and with the following objectives;

 

  • To promote, streamline, co-ordinate and regulate research in crops, livestock, genetic resources and biotechnology in Kenya;
  • To promote, streamline, co-ordinate and regulate research in crops and animal diseases; and
  • Expedite equitable access to research information, resources and technology and promote the application of research findings and technology in the field of agriculture.

 

The presenter discussed that KARLO has 17 institutions, 23 sub centers, which are based in various areas and agro-ecological zones of the country with a total 3280 staffs. On top of this, he noted the ongoing projects, innovations released, impacts achieved, (but not detailed) and constraints and challenges of the research interventions. In particular he outlined the thematic research areas (9) of which the natural resource management, dry land animal production and health, socio economics and research & analytical methods and  dry land Crops  are the priority in the dryland areas.

He has also described the major constraints and challenges of which the following are  stated: staff shortage, insecurity and general hardships, prohibitive land tenure system that impeded adoption of capital and labour intensive productivity-enhancing technologies, high cost of operation, frequent drought, and low and erratic research funding.

Finally he concluded that a strong forum will strengthen partnerships so as to facilitate greater Access to germplasm, provide more Training opportunities, avail New tools and technologies, access to state of the art research facilities, open more opportunities for research funds, and  easier access to publications, which has justified the objective of the workshop.

 

 

b.4)  Status of dryland agriculture research in Somalia, by Abdirashid Ali Adle, Head of             International Cooperation Department. Mogadishu University

The presenter has described the brief historical review of research activity whereby he divided into three periods of events in Somalia. Thus the time from 1983-1991 was the best time for undertaking a research activities in the country while from 1991-1996 there was no space for continuation of the dryland agricultural research as the central government has collapsed. In the 1997- 2014 there has been established a private non-profit academia.

At present no institution that works on dryland agricultural research. He also noted that the undertaken researches are descriptive than applied researches and most researches are not reliable. The presenter has also indicated the future opportunities and challenges. Good governance peace and stability, no institutional and policy framework for agricultural research, huge gap of agricultural research capacity and expertise.  The presenter has also noted that recently, Mogadishu University, the center established for Somalia water and environment in 2007 that works for the betterment of agriculture. However there is no capacity and expertise, which is a critical challenge.

b.5) An Overview Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC) in Sudan, by  Adil Omer Salih          Abdel Rahim, Acting Director General, ARC

The presenter has stated the vision and mission and the geographic coverage of the ARC with the general profile whereby the ARC is considered as the principal arm of the government on agriculture with the age of more than hundred years. He also noted that field and horticulture crops, forestry, food and natural resources are the research scope of ARC with14 research centers and 2 research units and 27 research stations. Under the ARC there are 26 National Programs which are either thematic or commodity based (e.g. genetic enhancement & crop breeding, crop production management, pests management, and natural resources management) and 150 research projects with a total of 3460 (1262 technical and 2198 others staffs). It has been indicated that there are each 7 thematic and commodity based programs to which there are 6 completed and  6 ongoing projects.

On top of this the presenter described the historical achievements of the research activities since the 1950-2015 in various crops (cotton, wheat, sorghum, millet etc), including crop husbandry technologies (115), water harvesting technologies, crop protection technologies (287), weed control recommendations (103), insect pest management recommendations (123) and disease management recommendations (61). The impacts of the undertaken research interventions were elaborated as follows:

  • Technological packages disseminated in northern, eastern, western parts of the country,
  • Up take of the technologies by a number of projects and programs has increased
  • Farmers (both men and women) trained and their capacities were built on improved technologies in a number of states,
  • Farmer sorghum yield in target rain fed areas increased by three folds (0.5-0.8 t/ha to 1.7-2 t/ha) using improved early maturing varieties and water harvesting techniques.

In his final presentation he outlined the constraints and concerns of the dryland research interventions as stated below:

  • Inadequate budgetary support to agricultural R&D(irregular budget flow)
  • There has been progressive erosion in HR Capacities
  • Retirement of highly qualified scientists and brain drain.
  • There is a need to create a critical mass of researchers for doing quality research on emerging research areas, e.g. biotechnology, climate change, protected agriculture,
  • Weak NARS and NARES systems (weak coordination among research institutes and university and weak extension system, while the followings are concerns  for the future to be considered,
  • Need for a vision and a supportive Policy environment
  • A need for strengthening Human Resources capacities
  • Need for strong Public-Private Partnerships

b.6) Status of the National Agricultural Research in Uganda, by Justus Rutaisire  Director, Corporate    Services, NARO

The presenter described the overall profile of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) of Uganda, which is an apex body with the mandate to provide oversight, coordinate and implement research for development in all aspects of crops, livestock, fisheries, forestry and natural resources, whereby the Research agenda are demand-driven, client-oriented and market-based.

The NARO has 16 Public Agricultural Research Institutes; 9 national and 7 zonal, based on agro ecological zones, with a human resource capacity of 842 staffs of which 231 and 183 are scientists and technicians respectively. He has indicated that the dryland areas are popularly known as the “Cattle Corridor” that support about 90% of the national ruminant population and supply more than 85% of the total marketed beef and milk in the country and makes a significant contribution to the supply of cereal grains and root crops.

With regard to the dryland research he highlighted the focus thematic areas:- varietal development for drought, pest and disease tolerance, breeding and seed systems development, soil fertility management for improvement and forage species development and 7 livestock and fisheries research areas. With this respect he stated the 8 completed and 10 research projects in various thematic areas.

The presenter also noted the technologies/innovations released in the course of the research interventions of which are listed below:

  • Improved crop varieties; groundnuts, sunflower, sesame released by NARO
  • Enhanced crop and soil management practices for food crops and cotton
  • Technologies for pests and diseases control developed while the following impacts were achieved.
  • Improved livelihoods, arising from improved incomes, food and nutrition security because of improved yields
  • Enhanced sustainable land management.

Finally he has clarified the major constraints and challenges of the dryland research interventions as follows:

  • Low staff salaries; NARO Scientists have won numerous awards, including Best Maize Breeder in the ECA region for two consecutive years, but they have the lowest pay in the region;
  • Land grabbing, encroachment, non titling;
  • Limited capacity to produce sufficient quantities of Breeder and Foundation seed;
  • Limited funding of agricultural research for development.

 

Following the presentation of the countries on the status of dryland research a discussion was undertaken:

What is the level of coordination and harmonization of human and financial resources in Uganda?  And how is the coordination among other universities and research institutions?

 

  • There is coordination in financial aspects like who is doing what. We have to be working together as cluster. Financial assistance to undertake research policies would be on competitive grant scheme (CGS), where institutions compete for funding. There is no as such strong harmonization and coordination in technical matters, otherwise. This is the very challenging one to do it accordingly as issues are complex and different in terms of responsibility and implementation area.

How these research results were able in improving the livelihoods of local communities?  

  • Despite the difficulty in impact assessment of the research results, many of the producers have been benefiting from the improved technologies for boosting their productivity so does improves their Livelihood simultaneously.

Research should be informing debate and voices of the researchers ideas, how to amplify the researchers voices in the public domain?

  • Yes the voice of the researchers has to be heard in the public and thus this dryland research forum will be among the ones to play for.

What was the level of technology dissemination as research outputs?

  • The research organizations are not responsible for technology dissemination; it is the extension service that should deal with.

What is our opinion in line with accepting the GMOs or not accepting?

  • At this moment it may not be likely to discuss for rejecting or accepting, as the issue is debatable.

More clarification on hosting institution has been asked by Uganda?

  • The chair from IGAD has given a response that in each MSs, there will be an institution that will host the national research f Suggestion that the hosting institution, the chair and vice chair will represent the national research forum to the SC at regional level

       Comments

  • Fish research is not addressed in dry-land research in all countries presentations, thus it needs to be considered in potential areas
  • There has been an oversight on nutrient development and mapping, in the presentations of Djibouti and Ethiopia.
  • The forum will decide on how to bring and disseminate research and exchange results /technology transfer and best practice at different levels to other levels (national/regional), bringing in some changes to communities’ livelihoods. The forum will also avoid duplication of research and benefit from regional ideas and research done by others.
  • Land restoration not addressed, that needs to be considered
  • Because of the research outcomes, we may have adequate production, but market is not accessible that needs to be taken into account.
  • There should be a regional research strategy so as to distribute and share experiences and technologies among the countries in the region, whereby all comments were accepted by the presenters to be considered in due course.
  • Framework for measuring impact should be developed within the region this will be a bench mark, a standards in the region
  • Involve donors and development partners in future meetings
  • IGAD should work to scale up research-contribute to social economic development-and add to resilience and study tours between member states should be encouraged
  • PHD Training should be set up to enhance research activities
  • Create appropriate extension for the dryland research
  • Create dialogue forum between the community of practice

      Session III

  1. Status of Dryland Agriculture Research at regional/International levels (Academic institutions):

 

C.1). Experience of Mekelle University in Dryland Research, by Atinkut Mezgebu, Dean, CDANR,       Mekelle University, Ethiopia.

The presenter stated the geographic coverage of the drylands in Ethiopia (70%) although significant proportions of the farming communities of the drylands were not beneficiaries. Following this he expressed the vision and mission of College of Dryland Agriculture and Natural Resources (CDANR) in addressing the dryland research interventions. He noted that the college has started in three thematic areas (Soil and Water conservation, Dryland Crop Sciences and Animal and Range Sciences) to train students at BSc level while currently the CDANR has 7 colleges, 8 institutes and 7 departments including 2 research and innovation centres with 2013 academic staffs and 3100 students.

The thematic areas that have been described are sustainable land management (SLM), water resource management, soil fertility management and plant nutrition, participatory plant breeding and variety selection, indigenous knowledge in seed selection, crop protection and pest management, biodiversity conservation and institutional and socioeconomic issues in natural resource management and environment.

On top of this he also indicated the completed projects in the areas of agroecology in Practice: Training and Education (capacity building program), training on SLM for under and post graduate students. He noted that there have been projects implemented in partnerships with the bureau of agriculture, and regional research institute and other development partners and there are also 10 ongoing projects. AS a result of the research technologies like hybrid spate diversion headwork design, this has helped for the enhancement of irrigation development in the area and to the effect design of two hybrid spate irrigation head works, training and inclusion in the 2nd five years  development plan (GTP-II) of the region are impacts achieved.

The presenter also indicated the IGAD regional Short courses: Potential Bright Spots for Flood-based Farming Systems in Turkana County, Potential Bright Spots for Flood-based Farming Systems in Marsabit County, Northern Kenya, Training workshop in rainwater harvesting and catchment area development (Karamoja, UGANDA), and training on the integrated river basin management for 10 MSc students IGAD Region.

In his final discussion he noted the following constraints

  • Problem of scaling up successful sustainable farming case studies
  • Slow institutionalization of sustainable extension approaches
  • Staff retention incentives and, he aspired that the CDANRM of Mekelle University to be an African Center of Excellence In Dryland and Water Development.

 

C.2.) Experience of University of South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) in dryland research, by          Geoffrey Muluvi.

The presenter has described the historical development of SEKU form the establishment till the level today that the South Eastern Kenya University was upgraded to a fully-fledged university on 1st of March 2013. He indicated the vision and mission core values with its philosophy: Arid to Green -transforming Lives. In his further explanation he stated that SEKU has 11 schools with 32 departments by having 75 academic programs. In SEKU there is a Directorate of Research, Innovation and Technology which coordinates all research activities in the University and is committed to excellence in research and development in dryland agriculture, environment, natural resources,, mining, etc. He has also stated the following projects with the anticipated outputs:

  1. Sustainable livelihoods (SL) in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALI/ with 7 expected outputs)
  2. Development of shared groundwater resources under climate variability/change: Mt Elgon volcanic aquifer (with 5 expected outputs)
  3. Promotion of surface runoff and rainwater harvesting for application in aquaculture and horticulture development in Kitui District, Kenya (with 2 expected outputs).
  4. Mapping of existing, emerging and re-emerging vectors and vector-borne pathogens mapped for disease surveillance and sustainable healthcare preparedness in Kenya (with 3 expected outputs)
  5. Capacity building to deliver competent human resources in integrated water resource management and aquaculture for equitable and sustainable livelihoods in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands and beyond (with 2 expected outputs). It was observed that these projects have been implemented in partnerships with other partners like Moi, Egorton, Vu Amsterdam, Makerere, Ndejje (Uganda) and of Nairobi Universities other institutions that showed a wide range of partnerships. Apart from the aforementioned ones there are also 6 ongoing projects.

C.3).Experience of Khartoum University in Dryland Agriculture: Threats, Some Mitigation Scenarios     and Research: Sudan: by El Balla, M.M.A.; Deputy VC, University of Khartoum.

The presenter has tried to show the historical genesis of Khartoum University (KU) since 1902 by then known as “Gorden College” by using pictorial slides. He also described that the KU has 22 faculties and one school and 11 research institutes. Moreover, he highlighted the agro-ecological zones of the country, whereby it is divided into humid, semi humid, semidry, dry, semi desert and desert and he displayed the aridity zones and severity of soil degradation in the Sudan, which is divided in to five zones.  He also noted that climate changes exacerbated the difficult environmental conditions and affected agriculture and people livelihood that is observed since the beginning of the 20th century temperature is rising and rainfall is declining.

In his introduction he discussed that in Sudan, agriculture (crop and livestock production) is the main livelihood source for more than 70% of the population and iimprovement in agricultural productivity and revenues is the key means to reduce poverty. In Sudan the farming system is divided into traditional farming (12.5%), irrigated farming (21%) and mechanized farming (6.2%),whereby the rain-fed agriculture (mechanized and traditional) is entirely dependent on natural rainfall water, and accounts for nearly 80% of the cultivated area and contributing 75% of sorghum  production. Desertification process is enhancing by wind and water erosions.

The presenter indicated that the thematic areas of the dryland research programs are the following:

  1. Desert cultivation through ccultivation of desert and desertification affected soils
  2. Afforestation and agroforestry through field Establishment of tree shrub/ species in dry zones of Sudan, bio-invertigations into the gum cultivation cycle and shelter belt effects researches etc.
  3. Range management by concentrate research programs on restoring the ecological balance
  4. Land use and management through improvement of seed varieties to develop grain varieties that are high yielding, drought resistant and ripen in short period within the rainy season.

 

On top of this the presenter stated the 6 completed projects that brought  impacts that farmers have been trained for compost making from local sources and using compost in desert cultivation and  2 ongoing  research projects. In his conclusion he stated the constraints like funding and brain draining of scientists while land degradation and impact of climate change are challenges.

 

C.4.) Experience /Status of Dryland Agricultural Research At Regional/International Levels, by Nalule Sarah, COVAB, Makerere University (MakU)

In her introductory discussion she has indicated that MAKU is a public university, founded in 1922 with a mandate to train/teach, research/create knowledge and provide outreach services and it is the only institution offering Veterinary degree in the country.  She stated the vision, mission while in 2012 the MakU has established 9 colleges and one school each with different mandates in which MakU has become as a research led university with the following strategic priority research areas;

  • Research in health, indigenous technical knowledge and health systems,
  • Environmental and natural resources management
  • Agricultural production and productivity (crops, livestock- nutrition, food security and value addition).
  • Technology and basic science
  • Governance, human rights and economic management
  • Cross cutting issues –Gender, quality assurance, ICT and biotechnology and with the following goals:
  • To consolidate and enhance the research profile of the University by:
    • Developing and operationalizing University research agenda;
    • strengthening research capacity of staff;
    • strengthening research execution,
    • coordination and management; mobilizing more funds to support research,
    • Mainstreaming laboratory services in research and university partnerships and mainstreaming gender.
  • To provide robust supportive environment for a research driven university by 2016.

On top of this the she has described the role of MakU in the national development, as indicated below:

  • To support Government plan for transforming economy and eradicate poverty, the University selected themes and cross cutting areas that make up the University’s Research Agenda:
  • To enhance transformation and utilization of knowledge, research and innovations by developing a dissemination strategy; promoting commercialization of innovations and exploitation of intellectual property; and enhancing networks with teaching, research.

The presenter has also described about the college of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecuirity (CoVAB), whereby she emphasized that the recognition of the importance of veterinary services and animal resources development in guaranteeing the sustainability and integrity of national and global economies, the security, and livelihood and health systems. She noted that more than 500 million Africans rely on animal resources value chains for their livelihood and most Sub Saharan Africa countries rely on wildlife tourism anchored in animal resources.

The CoVAB has repositioned itself to meet emerging development challenges, and the National Vision (2010-2040) to transform Uganda from a peasant to a modern and prosperous society with the following strategic priorities:

  1. Securing sustainable bio-security of the economies, trade, security systems, people, their animals and environment,
  2. Securing biological resources from the animal resources world
  3. Improving production and productivity of biological resources from the animal resources world
  4. d) Building human capital to enhance engagement and competitiveness of the populations
  5. Enhancing participation in production and available markets through Science, Technology and Innovations, and strengthening policy development and implementation, and with the following focuses (training and skills development, research, generation and transfer of knowledge, technology and innovations, and community engagement and services under Africa Institute for Strategic Services and Development (AFRISA) – taking university to community.

It was observed that CoVAB has provided an academic grant for 5 undergraduate 2 diploma 9 graduate, and 11 Animal value chain based undergraduate programmes through alternative education model. The college has a well equipped lab facility    with 63%, 33% and 4% expertise are PhD, MSc and BSc holders respectively, testifies the capacity of the college in research.

The presenter has also indicated a regional role of  CoVAB in  Capacity building in the region, leading in the fight against emerging, re-emerging and trans-boundary diseases, Avian flu, Ebola, Marburg etc and in championing the research and promotion of one-health and animal disease surveillance  in the region. It was noted that CoVAB has played role in poverty reduction and youth unemployment through alternative education model-MEME to skill youths, develop entrepreneurship and fight poverty through livestock based value chain programms to enhance livelihoods alternatives (Artisan certificates, diploma, degree)  with an action integrated research activity.

In her final presentation she has indicated the dryland research priorities of CoVAB

  • Rangeland pasture improvement, bush and Invasive species management
  • Water conservation and Livestock water productivity
  • Range animal nutrition, feeds & Sustainable Termite management
  • Eco-system health, climate change and socio-economics
  • ITK in livestock health management, Natural products, alternative and complementary medicines
  • Animal health, productivity, Trans boundary disease control
  • Public health, bio-security &epidemiology
  • Development of extractible dry land resources
  • Biodiversity conservation/ Wildlife health & sustainable tourism
  • Animal biotechnology and vaccine development   

Besides this, she also stated that the research priorities of CAES as follow;

  • Sustainable agricultural production and productivity
  • Renewable energy production and management
  • Food nutrition, food systems, processing and value addition and market niche expansion
  • Sustainable environmental and water resources management, biodiversity, forestry management and conservation
  • Natural products and climate change
  • Resilience, adaptation, and productivity
  • Rural innovations for development

Finally she has indicated the major challenges and constraints of the research

  • Government funding of research in universities remain low at 1%
  • Brain drain resulting from poor pay
  • Fragmentation of research in the region
  • Donor led research agenda
  • Short term funding

 

C.5.) Dryland Research in Eastern and Central Africa: ASARECA engagement, By Hezron Mogaka

 The presenter started his presentation by raising an argument issue as “The dry-lands of the Eastern Africa region hold huge but largely unexploited potential that may support local livelihoods as well as national and regional economies. The opportunity lies in securing innovative institutions that optimise on the hidden harvest from these land masses”

Then he elaborated about ASARECA that holds 11 members of the Eastern and Central African nations with the:-

     Mission: To enhance regional collective action in:

  • Agricultural research for development,
  • Extension and
  • Agricultural training and education and, in order to promote Inclusive economic growth, reduction of poverty and hunger and to enhance sustainable use of resources in ECA.

On top of this he stated the key investment areas of ASARECA that includes:

  • breeding programs (e.g. drought-tolerant and striga-resistant sorghum research)
  • Agricultural water productivity enhancement research

 

  • Watershed/landscape management ( through IWM)
  • In-situ water conservation
  • Soil-water interaction – ISFM, micro-dosing (moisture management–crop residue, use of ridges, use of micro-pits, water dams, use of terraces technologies)
  • Appropriate irrigation regimes – supplemental, drip, soil moisture demand-based irrigation

As a result of the research interventions major changes triggered by the AWP in has been indicated such as in Kenya-CSA Learning site, whereby the involvement of HHs  in producing crops like maize has increased significantly between 2014 and 2015.

 

  • Feed production and management through choice of feed varieties, feed Production and feed management.
  • Governance systems (institutional aspects) through stimulation of social capital formation, markets and market arrangements, policy and legal aspects and application of ICT at watershed level.

 

Through the support of ASARECA producers are following market oriented production pattern through the value chain development quality. The presenter has also described the experience of ICT application at watershed development by using landscape approach model for building the capacity.

  • Downscaled forecasting, through seasonal forecasting and advisories to the agro-pastoral and pastoral communities

 

Finally the presenter stated the following conclusion remarks:

  • Dryland areas in the region have huge potential to contribute to local livelihoods
  • Income at various levels – local, national and regional levels
  • Generation of employment across the gender landscape
  • Investment in dryland research for development has the potential of addressing climate-induced risks
  • Key challenge – bringing to scale successful investments

 

Discussion on the presentations of Academic institutions

 

Following the presentations of the academic/research institutions a brief discussion has been undertaken.  Based on the presentations most of the research intervention are more or less similar with minor differences. Thus it is imperative to utilize the information among us in a harmonized manner to avoid duplication of efforts /resources. Otherwise all presentations were very informative that showed the presence of opportunities to work together in line with the dryland agriculture.

 

Session IV

 

ESTABLISHMENT OF IGAD DRY LAND RESEARCH FORUM (IDRF): Terms of Reference (ToR), by Bekabil Fufa, IGAD

The presenter has described the main and specific objectives of the forum to be established at regional  and national levels as follows :

  • The objective of the Forum is to bring together the major research institutions, public, private, civil society /NGOs, universities, etc in the region so as to increase their combined contribution in enhancing resilience in the region.

     Specific objectives are:

  •  Advocacy and policy on Dry land research in IGAD region;
  • Facilitate identification of Dry land related research priorities and design collaborative research projects;
  • Facilitate Dry land related exchange of information/innovations, best practices, learning and experience sharing among member states;
  • Enhancing the capacity of Dry land focused research organizations in the region;
  • Forging partnerships and alliances with institutions and agencies working on dry land issues; and
  • Networking among professionals (providing detailed addresses and profiles),

While the major activities of the forum are stated below:

  1. Advocacy and policy on Dry land research in IGAD region;
  2. Facilitate identification of Dry land related research priorities and design collaborative research projects;
  3. Facilitate Dry land related exchange of information/innovations, best practices, learning and experience sharing among member states;
  4. Enhancing the capacity of Dry land focused research organizations in the region;
  5. Forging partnership and alliances with institutions and agencies working on dry land issues;
  6. Networking among professionals (providing detailed addresses and profiles).

 

Following his description on these activities he has also pointed out the modality of operation of the forum as follows:

  • The Forum will be an open whereby any institution with track record on Dry Land research will freely subscribe and participate.
  • The forum can form partnership with other regional and international research organizations.
  • Facilitate the linkage and smooth communication with f National Research Fora
  • However, once they subscribe to the forum, there should be agreed upon contributions and benefits.
  • The forum will have a steering committee chaired by one member states on a rotational basis (e.g. the country chairing IGAD) and a Secretariat, which will be provided by IGAD Secretariat.

The presenter noted that the forum will use IGAD meetings rules and regulations in which the platform shall undertake its activities through:

  • Holding a statutory annual meeting: general assembly where research results will be presented, deliberated on and agreed on best results to be shared and future research areas to be undertaken.
  • IGAD shall provide administrative support to the platform
  • The chair / deputy chair of the steering committee will chair the annual statutory meeting

On top of these, he also indicated the funding mechanism of the forum, revision of the TOR and the implementation strategy, whereby all issues in line with the TOR of forum were subjected to discussion in the plenary session. Finally he pointed out the establishment of the Forum through the adoption of the TOR in this workshop held on 17th of September, 2015 in Addis Abeba. In his conclusion remark he noted that The IGAD Dry land Research Forum (IDRF) is deemed to have been established and will have come into existence, once the report of the establishing Forum and its TOR are formally approved by the respective bodies of IGAD.

Discussion on the RDRF- TOR

In the plenary session the following issues were raised and discussed:

Ques:  Words such network, platform and forum need to be cleared out based on their duties, responsibilities and even legal aspects, so as to avoid confusion.

Resp:  Most often platform is a higher body while a forum can be established for             undertaking various thematic issues and a network is a system/strategy to enhance communication among each other.

Comments

  • The regional IDRF shall be based on the national fora and thus it needs to be established in each MSs.
  • There is a need to develop a common regional research strategy, joint planning and programming of regional research agenda,
  • Communicating research results to reach communities at grass root level is important
  • Establish data base system on dryland research
  • Indicate a clear scope of the work and physical area coverage
  • Facilitate trainings of expertise/specialists in very important thematic areas.
  • Type of membership should be modified and clearly stated in the TOR.
  • The issue of partnership with other regional /Int’l organizations has to be taken in to account.
  • The legal aspect of the forum in terms of its role, forum SC, mode of operation and meeting schedules shall be cleared out. And thus Forum will be within the structure of IDDRSI-research and knowledge management

Based on the given comments and raised questions the presenter and from chair from the IGAD have given appropriate response. The comments given by the participants were accepted and taken positively to incorporate in the TOR accordingly.

Group discussion

  1. For the intended group discussion, three groups were formed and discussed based on the following points review the ToR with respect to following discussion points:

 

  • Legal and Institutional Framework
  • Linkages with National, Regional and International Fora
  • Objectives, Functions of the Forum
  • Review the operational modalities of the Forum
  • Identify Proper implementation strategy
  • Identify funding mechanism of the Forum
  • Discuss the way Forward

And thus based on the group discussion the outputs of each group was presented in the plenary and discussed accordingly while all the issues presented by the three groups were more or less similar and thus they are compiled and summarized as follows:

 

  1. Legal and institutional Frame work
  • The establishment of this Forum will be embedded in the legal agreements made among members’ countries for establishing IGAD and other IGAD forums and IGAD supporting centers (e.g. NGO Forum, Civil society forum, IGAD business forum). The forum has to align and work within the framework of the IDDRSI strategy in particular under the pillar (PIA) of the Research, KM and technology transfer.
  • The Forum will use the reporting mechanism in line with the existing modality in accordance with the IDDRSI strategy i.e., the forum will report to the IDDRSI Steering Committee and General Assembly
  • The endorsement of the TOR and establishment of the forum will be done by this meeting and then it has to be approved by the IDDRSI Steering Committee and General Assembly.

 

  1. Linkage with national, regional and international

 

  • The IGAD Secretariat will request and advise member states to establish/strengthen national dryland research forum.
  • The RDRF Forum will be working closely with the national research forums and with other regional and international institutions working on dryland research through a proper collaboration, cooperation and partnership mechanisms. While the national and regional priorities shall be discussed and set at the regional forum.
  • The Regional and international organizations can participate in the SC meeting as an observer
  • The forum will facilitate networking among institutions/professionals at national level within the member states.

 

  1. Review the operational modality of the forum

 

  • The forum will be open for membership for any institutions working in the dryland research and development in the IGAD region , while institutions will be eligible through payment of membership fee . (However the membership obligation/criteria should be worked out by the IGAD secretariat)
  • The forum will be housed at IGAD secretariat while the national forum will be hosted by the respective national institutions and the host institution will be representing the steering committee with 2 participants (the chair and co-chair of the national forum).
  • Institutions present at this forum will constitute founder members of the forum while the Interim regional steering committee can be formed from the founding institutions (2 from each member country)
  • There shall be a national and regional dryland research forum that require collaboration and partnership between national, regional  including international institutions
  • The RDRF should facilitate linkage and smooth communication with national research fora as a regular function.

 

  1. Identify Proper implementation strategy

 

  • National forums will take time to establish and operationalise
  • An interim steering committee should be established from this meeting to work for a period of one year
  • Engage consultants to prepare necessary documentation to operationalise the forum
  • Within one year we should be able to operationalise the forum.

 

  1. Funding Mechanism

 

  • IGAD to provide a start-up budget
  • Member states
  • Contribution from members of the forum
  • Contribution from DP
  • Private sectors, foundations, charities
  • Collaborative R&D activities
  • Publications and sponsorship

 

  1. The Way forward

 

  • Process of the operationalization of the forum will require time and thus Interim secretariat  (temporary team) and interim steering committee must be established by having a planning meeting in 2 months time to fit in to the IGAD strategy
  • Develop strategy, procedure to implement provision on the TOR
  • Preparation of constitutive document and working on legal issues for establishing the Forum,
  • Use of virtual technology to strengthen the networking and  communication
  • To facilitate the final approval of the forum by the appropriate organ of IGAD.

After the detail discussion on the presentations of each three group, with the exception of the comment given to replace the word platform into forum throughout the document, a general consensus has been reached among participants and thus the IGAD secretariat should polish and compile the document for further action to be taken accordingly.

Session V

Conclusions and Recommendations of the IGAD Dry land Research Forum

  • The workshop received presentations on research activities being undertaken on dry lands in different centers of the IGAD region, covering a wide range of thematic areas, which were found to be very important to build resilience in the region.

 

  • The workshop reweived, discussed and adopted (with amendments) the TORs presented by the IGAD Secretariat, which will form the content of the founding documents for the establishment of the IGAD Drylands Research Forum.

        Thus, the participants of the Forum, after having gone through and reviewed the concept note  and        the ToRs presented to them by IGAD Secretariat, have agreed on the following:

  1. Welcomed the IGAD initiative to establish a regional IGAD Dry land Research Forum (RDRF) to enhance the contribution of dryland research in building resilience in the region;
  2. Agreed on the need to establish a National Dryland Research Forum, bringing all research actors in drylands in each country, which will create the basis for the establishment of the RDRF;
  3. Urged IGAD Secretariat to formally request member states to establish and/or strengthen the National Dryland Research Forum (NDRF);
  4. Requested the Forum participants to solicit support and create awareness on the importance of establishing NDRFs and RDRF;
  5. Established an Interim Steering Committee for the RDRF composed of two research institutions from each country presented here, until the NDRFs are established where their steering committee will form the basis for building the RDRF Steering Committee;
  6. Requested IGAD Secretariat to mobilize resources for undertaking capacity assessment and areas of research activities of dryland research institutions in all IGAD member states, with the view to identify areas of comparative advantages.
  7. Requested IGAD to present and have the outcome of the Forum endorsed by IDDRSI governance structures (Steering Committee, GA).
  8. The workshop participants resolved to constitute themselves as the founding members of the forum upon the endorsement by the IGAD policy organs.

In the final session of the workshop a common understanding has been created incorporate all relevant comments in the TOR and to share for  the participants for any comment they may have and as feedback. The time frame for the accomplishment of the TOR also has been suggested with the coming two weeks. Based on the agreement made on the given recommendation for the establishment of the fourm, and Interim Steering Committee (ISC) the participants have also agreed to follow the current IGAD responsibility in charring of IGAD, and thus

  1. Mekelle University of Ethiopia designated as Chair
  2. KARLO of Kenya designated as Co-chair
  3. NARO of Uganda designated as Secretary
  4. ASARECA from the regional organization as an Observer

 

And an agreement has been made on the membership of the SC at regional level as follows:

 

  • Ethiopia: EIAR and Mekelle University
  • Kenya: KARLO and South-East Kenya University
  • Sudan: Agricultural Research Center and University of Khartoum
  • Somalia: Mogaishu University and Amoud University
  • Djibouti: CERD and …….?

The legal issues for the establishment and node of operation has been described by the legal officer of the IGAD secretariat that made issues very clear among the participants. In particular she has made a comment on the acronym name of the forum ‘’IDRF’’ to be changed as there is already similar acronym name in the IGAD secretariat which was taken in to account (in the recommendation written as RDRF). It is also suggested that taking lessons from other previously IGAD established forums to avoid limitations.

The way forward

After the discussion on the recommendations the following activities were proposed as the way forward by the workshop organizers, IGAD, which will be revised in line with the presentations and proposals given by the groups.

  • Report the outcomes of this workshop to IDDRSI- SC/GA
  • Facilitate a meeting of the SC
  • Develop a regional dryland research policy and strategy
  • The SC to convene 1st meeting ASAP to develop an action plan (Strategy devt, Assessment etc) in which an agreement was made by the participants.

Closing Session

The chair of the session has given a chance to one of the senior participant who is Prof. Suleiman Ahmed Gulaid, The president of Amoud Univesity, to put his feeling.

First and foremost he speak out that he is vey happy to see such encouraging efforts in line with strengthening the dryland research, which is very critical in the IGAD region. He noted that the workshop was very informative that helps to get vital lessons among us and this has continue in keeping the momentum. Finally he acknowledge the IGAD Secretariat to organize such an important workshop and inviting the pertinent institutions.

 

The workshop was officially closed by Mr. Mohamed Moussa, Head of the Agriculture and Environment Division of the IGAD. In his closing remark he appreciated the member states and organizations participated here in the first regional dryland research forum workshop. And IGAD will see this workshop as a founding event for the establishment of the RDRF organ, which is significantly important. Today’s established Interim SC will be definitely supported by IGAD Secretariat till the formation of the permanent SC. On top of this, he noted that member states are requested to establish the national dryland research forum (NDRF) than need to be linked with each other i.e. with regional and national levels. He also emphasized that IGAD’s role is only to facilitate the effort of member states in this regard and other related activities in general.

 

He has also notably acknowledged the Danish government for the provision of financial support for the research focused activities. Besides this, IGAD has undertaken various assessments and pilot projects through the financial support of The Danish government. This experience will be helping IGAD to look for other development partners for supporting the dryland research endeavors. IGAD has been very impressed by the very success of this first event to establish the regional dryland research forum.

Finally he acknowledged the IGAD staffs those who have made significant contribution to make this workshop happen.

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