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New partnership

Adding to its network of more than 1,000 partners, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has formalized its collaborations with three organizations: Pur Projet, Bioversity International, and the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS).

Such partnerships, which are managed by ICRAF’s Partnerships & Impact Directorate, are critical to ensuring that the latest breakthroughs in agroforestry science are adopted and brought to scale throughout the developing world. Details on each of the new collaborations can be found below.

ICRAF partners with Pur Projet, building links to the private sector

ICRAF has formalized a partnership with Pur Projet, a Paris-based company founded in 2008 that helps businesses offset their socio-environmental impacts. The organization currently has more than 30 environmental projects ongoing around the world, several of which include an agroforestry component. Pur Projet’s clients include Nespresso, Hugo Boss, and the French bottled water company Vittel, among many others.

Through its partnership with ICRAF – which was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that took effect on 26 April 2015 – Pur Projet hopes to benefit from ICRAF’s research and experience in agroforestry, especially with regard to coffee and cocoa farming. In turn, ICRAF will benefit from having its research spread to new communities around the world. The collaboration will also increase ICRAF’s contacts with the private sector.

Together, ICRAF and Pur Projet plan to develop joint funding proposals, collaborate on project development, and generate training kits and communications tools, among other activities.

Bioversity to share germplasm with ICRAF in support of AOCC

Bioversity International has agreed to give ICRAF access to the germplasm of specific African ‘orphan crops’ from the Bioversity genebank, under the terms of an MoU that took effect on 22nd May. The germplasm will be shared for research purposes only.

The ICRAF-Bioversity collaboration is in support of the African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC), an international effort to sequence the genomes of 100 traditional food crops that are critical to Africa’s smallholder farmers. The ultimate aim of the project is to reduce malnutrition among the continent’s rural-dwelling children.

The germplasm for sequencing under the AOCC is being supplied by several institutions, including Bioversity. The sequencing will be carried out at the AOCC Genomics Laboratory, which is hosted by ICRAF. Other AOCC partners include Mars, Inc.; the University of California, Davis; the African Union’s New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD); Google; and the iPlant Collaborative, among several others.

Partnership with AFAAS aims to strengthen farmer training in Africa 

ICRAF has formalized its partnership with the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), a Kampala-based organization that aims to improve the delivery of farmer trainings – also known as agricultural extension and advisory services – across the African continent.

In an MoU that took effect on 21st May, ICRAF and AFAAS agree to collaborate on developing funding proposals to potential donors, and to work together on research and institutional strengthening with regard to improving the delivery of farmer trainings. The collaboration has already begun; indeed, a joint funding proposal to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is already in the works.