Michail Hailu, Director of CTA
After many years of neglect, agriculture is back on the global agenda as a major vehicle for poverty reduction and economic growth and so this renewed interest bodes well for CTA's work.
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Message from the director

Innovations in next generation agriculture are guiding a sustainable path to food and nutrition security.

As the impacts of climate change and conflicts threaten progress towards addressing global hunger, we need to apply new thinking in agriculture. Agricultural innovation can strengthen the resilience of agri-food systems and offer adaptation strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

At CTA, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation, we believe that investment in the right innovations in agriculture will help to catalyse development.

Youth, digitilisation and climate resilience are CTA’s priority intervention areas in its refreshed strategic plan, 2018-2020, which, are critical to driving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. All three are in line with the The European Consensus on Development, based around the 5 Ps: people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.

African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries have identified youth employment as a key determinant factor for sustainable development. An empowered workforce starts with the engagement of youth and youth organisations. At CTA we have learned how to harness the vitality and spirit of youth. Through our ‘Agrihack’ contests we have offered many young entrepreneurs a step-up to becoming the next generation agribusiness leaders driving change in the agricultural revolution.

Many of these ‘agripreneurs’ bring ICT solutions to age-old problems. In the digitalisation of agriculture, we see smallholder farmers being offered new ways to improve their livelihoods. The implications for productivity, reduction of food waste and even gender equity are enormous and CTA is now considered a guiding force in this area.

Digitalisation is also at the heart of climate-smart agriculture. Many solutions that can help agricultural systems to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change have emerged. The challenge is in the delivery of these solutions to farmers that need them the most. CTA therefore focuses on the development of partnerships to guide the implementation of climate-smart agriculture.

We will achieve nothing without such partnerships, and so, I look forward to continuing our important work together with the support of the ACP Group of States and the European Union.

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Who we are

At the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), we are shaping the move to next-generation farming in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries by fostering innovation with technology and sharing actionable knowledge.

We believe that now, more than ever, this shift is essential to creating opportunities for the youth, transforming rural economies and achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.

CTA’s activities contribute directly toward achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with specific focus on:

  • Goal 1 No poverty: End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  • Goal 2 Zero hunger: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
  • Goal 5 Gender equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  • Goal 8 Decent work and economic growth: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
  • Goal 13 Climate action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

CTA’s headquarters are located in Wageningen, the Netherlands. An additional branch is located in Brussels, Belgium. CTA is primarily funded by the European Development Fund but receives additionally funding through a diverse set of international partners. CTA is active in 79 ACP countries.

Mission

To advance food security, resilience and inclusive economic growth in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific through innovations in sustainable agriculture.

Vision

CTA’s vision: Smallholder agriculture as a vibrant, modern and sustainable business that creates value for farmers, entrepreneurs, youth and women, and produces affordable, nutritious and healthy food for all.

Projects are tailored to the particular needs of six regions
  • Caribbean
  • Western Africa
  • Eastern Africa
  • Central Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • Pacific
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What we do

CTA targets three areas of intervention
 
Our strategy

CTA implements the following strategy in its three areas of intervention:

Youth

Promote youth entrepreneurship and employment through access to business development services and Information and communication technologies (ICT) solutions. We do this by targeting young entrepreneurs and the institutions that support them to leverage access to finance and markets; showcase best practices and innovative business models; and create pathways to the creation of job opportunities in established agribusinesses. Examples of CTA’s initiatives and work in this area include:

  • Supporting small and medium-sized agribusinesses during their start-up phase;
  • Developing different types of small and medium-sized businesses at different phases of value chains;
  • Developing information and communication technology;
  • Holding Agrihack initiatives and competitions;
  • Showcasing promising businesses;
  • Training and mentorship;
  • Sharing of best practices;
  • Improving access to technology, best practices, market and modern inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and machinery;
  • Improving access to financial services such as credit, insurances and mobile payments;
  • Building partnerships for a demand pull from the market place to drive youth entrepreneurship and enterprise development.

Digitalisation

We focus on increasing profitability and productivity by leveraging digital solutions and strengthening business innovations. As part of this drive we will promote precision agriculture solutions, including data gathering by satellites and drones, weather information and soil sensors as well as other data driven farming practices. CTA also supports access to new services for farmers in the areas of finance and insurance. Examples of CTA’s initiatives and work in this area include:

  • Moving toward precision agriculture for smallholder farming;
  • Using satellite data for precision farming in several countries;
  • Catalysing the use of drones in several countries for inclusion in research, market and business development, and policy reform;
  • Supporting the development of data management systems to support smallholder farmers and spearhead major policy changes;
  • Building market linkages, supporting market intelligence systems, leveraging e-commerce platforms and strengthening business engagements at all stages of the value chain.

Climate

The promise of climate smart agriculture (CSA) will only be realised with innovative market-led delivery mechanisms. Support for innovations such as the use of stress-tolerant seeds, weather insurance and new climate finance models capitalises on existing market mechanisms and new ICT solutions. In parallel CTA continues to build an evidence base showing the benefits of adopting CSA at the farm level in ACP countries. Examples of CTA’s initiatives and work in this area include:

  • Focusing on successful solutions and tools and develop innovative tools based on previous successes;
  • Scaling up climate-smart solutions;
  • Including the private sector in carrying out activities;
  • Building on existing strategic partnerships;
  • Promoting the use of stress-tolerant seeds;
  • Promoting the purchase of weather insurance and through exploring new climate finance models;
  • Adapting climate-related knowledge, technology and practices to local conditions;
  • Promoting joint learning for farmers, researchers and rural advisers.

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CTA In numbers

Our world in numbers - CTA facts and figures at a glance

700K

700K farmers directly targeted in CTA’s current programmes

2M

2M to be reached by 2020

244K

244K farmers and extension agents trained in 2017

19K

19K participants at CTA events 2011-217
700K farmers directly targeted in CTA’s current programmes 2M to be reached by 2020 244K farmers and extension agents trained in 2017 19K participants at CTA events 2011-217