The Annual Implementers Forum for third-party projects for the Accelerating inclusive green growth through Agri-based digital innovation in West Africa (AGriDI) project was physically held in Kumasi, Ghana from 28th November to 3rd December 2022. This followed the official launch of the project, which was physically held at Hotel Azalai in Cotonou, Benin in March 2022. The main objective of the Annual Implementers Forum (AIF) was to share preliminary results achieved by third-party projects, challenges met and the way forward in the implementation of the projects; and to build the technical and financial capacity of third-party projects.
Collaboration among various actors, including Governments, in the digital eco-system will remain key for the success of agri-food systems. In this spirit, existing linkages between research and the technology sectors need to be strengthened further to support innovation, technology development. AGriDI projects will strengthen the livelihoods of smallholder farmers through its stakeholder engagement initiatives in supporting the acceleration of a digital revolution through training and community engagement activities.
The implementation model of AGriDI involves a competitive grant scheme for projects implemented by academic and research institutions, ministries, and government agencies responsible for ICT or science, technology, and innovation (STI), farmer cooperatives, SMEs, and civil society groups in the ECOWAS region. AGriDI also provides technical assistance and know-how to the project grantees for the development and scaling the use of digital technologies for agricultural development. With a total of EUR 2.73 million available for grants to third-party projects, 10 grants were awarded in April 2021 as follows:
- 4 proposals under Category 1 (Co-development & adaptation of digital solutions)
- 4 proposals under Category 2 (Digital innovations for establishing market linkages)
- 2 proposals under Category 3 (Policies for digital innovation).
AGriDI is a 4-year intervention that aims to provide a conducive environment for agri-based digital innovations, especially for women and youth farmers, and accelerating inclusive green growth in West African countries, and will be implemented in the ECOWAS states in Western Africa region. It is expected to lead to; (i) increased uptake of agri-based digital technologies by farmers’ cooperatives and SMEs especially women and youth in the region; (ii) strengthened collaboration between research communities, industry and policy actors in digital innovations and (iii) improved knowledge on policymaking facilitating the scaling of agri-business digital innovations
AGriDI is jointly implemented by the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology, icipe as the Lead and its partners, the University of Abomey Calavi in Benin, Agropolis Foundation in France, and Gearbox Pan African Network in Kenya. It is co-funded by the OACPS R&I Programme, a programme implemented by the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and financed by the European Union (EU).
By the end of the forum, the third-party projects had effectively presented and discussed their achieved results, lessons learnt from the projects’ implementation, identified technical and financial challenges, and strengthened capacity. They also had an improved understanding of the stakeholders involved, for improved implementation.
For more information about the workshop, follow @AgridiAfr on twitter.