The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) confirms closure by end of 2020.

A year in review 2013: Leading the way

With CTA's 2011–2015 Strategic Plan now fully operational, and our activities closely aligned with those of our partners, we were able to build on our previous achievements and launch a range of new initiatives.

During the year we stepped up our support to regional farmers' organisations in a number of areas, including helping them to strengthen their knowledge management systems. We also continued to develop our partnerships with international research organisation such as the Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) pro-gramme and the International Food Research Policy Institute (IFPRI).

In partnership with the Rwandan Government and several international organisations, CTA organised a major global conference on information and communication technologies for agriculture – ICT4Ag – which attracted over 450 participants to Kigali in November 2013. Earlier in the year, CTA won a prestigious prize for its Web 2.0 and social media training programmes at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Congress. Through these and similar initiatives, CTA is playing a leading role in promoting the innovative use of ICTs in smallholder agricultural value chains.

CTA continued to play a prominent role in facilitating the exchange of lessons and experiences between the Caribbean and Pacific countries, which share similar food and nutritional security challenges. During the Caribbean Week of Agriculture, held in October 2013 in Georgetown, Guyana, CTA co-organised several events – addressing topics ranging from the development of the coconut industry to entrepreneurship among women – which were attended by participants from both the Caribbean and Pacific.

CTA bid farewell to the outgoing members of its Executive Board, who provided excellent service to the Centre over the last five years, and welcomed a new Executive Board, which started its work in November 2013 for a 5-year term.

In 2014 we will celebrate CTA's 30th anniversary, which coincides – appropriately – with the UN's International Year of Family Farming and the African Union's Year of Agriculture and Food Security. This will help us to put the spotlight on the important role smallholder agriculture can play in achieving food and nutritional security and sustainable growth for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. In doing so, we will continue to rely on the goodwill and support of our many partners around the world.