Since mid-2015 Agropolis Fondation is involved in an international initiative aiming at developing conditions to strengthen production and value chains of sorghum and millet in Africa. This is expected to lead to international African-based project(s) based on a Public-Private Partnership Platform gathering actors involved in sorghum and millet.
As a follow-up to the October 2015 meeting in Montpellier involving 30+ specialists working on African sorghum and millet, the platform’s Core Group met in Adama (Ethiopia) in July 2016 to develop its Action Plan. It was followed up by two smaller meetings in Des Moines (USA) with DuPont Pioneer and in Nairobi (Kenya) with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) before the end of 2016.
The platform’s overall mission is to develop innovative partnerships in order to catalyze sustainable productivity and competitiveness of sorghum and millet value chains for improved farmers’ livelihood. By gathering a combination of expertise and building a community of practice (farmers, R&D, private, trade, tech., public policies) the platform will serve as a venue : (1) to share information, resources, knowledge and perspectives on sorghum and millet in Africa and create linkages between value chain actors to work together ; and (2) to enhance the collaborative design and uptake of research, technology and innovation, in five main areas : (i) seed systems, (ii) seed product development, (iii) farmers production systems, (iv) markets and value chains, and (v) policies. The work of the platform will build upon research and pilot projects, and will make use of global experience, to scale and reach maximum impact.
The Foundation coordinated the development of a proposal submitted to the US-based Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) in April 2017. This was carried out with key African partners namely AATF, Ceraas, a Senegalese laboratory with a regional vocation under the tutelage of two institutions ISRA (Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute) and CORAF/WECARD. The proposal was, however, not selected for funding despite expert reviewers finding the proposal well conceived and novel.