Three decades ago, in the build up to the signing of the Second Lom Convention between the EU and ACP, the latter started lobbying for an agriculture fund. It was within this context that CTA, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation was established.
At that time, CTAs mandate was to be at the disposal of the ACP states to provide them with better access to information, research and training and innovations in the agricultural and rural field.
Thirty years on, CTA remains dedicated to agricultural and rural development in the 80 member countries of the ACP Group. The Centre is governed by the Cotonou Agreement (successor to the Lom Convention).
Since 1984, CTA, with its numerous national, regional and international partners, has been working towards achieving a shared vision of strong agricultural and rural development to ensure food and nutrition security, increased prosperity and sound natural resource management in ACP countries.
CTA has been at the forefront of strengthening the capacities of ACP agricultural professionals and institutions, through various programmes, including the wide dissemination of its well-known Spore magazine, technical publications databases, and Web2.0 Learning Opportunities, Brussels Development Briefings, the International Conference series, Participatory Mapping and knowledge management platforms.
In recent years, CTA has expanded its programmes to address the needs of ACP countries in the areas of agricultural policies, value chain development and ICTs for agriculture.
CTAs 30th Anniversary is being observed throughout 2014. Several activities are being organised, details of which will follow shortly.
While there will certainly be a reflection on the Centres activities and their impact to date, the focus remains firmly fixed on the road ahead and CTAs vision of the future in transforming agriculture to benefit smallholder farmers throughout the ACP.