A year in review 2015: Advancing agricultural transformation

With 2015 came the start of a new strategic plan for CTA, entitled Sowing Innovation, Harvesting Prosperity. The plan, which is discussed in this review, will guide the Centre’s valuable work up until 2020 towards a greater emphasis on agribusiness development, climate-smart agriculture and nutrition-sensitive agri-food systems.

The year also saw CTA securing new sources of funding, working to scale up ICTs to benefit large numbers of farmers and its involvement in many successful events. These included the Caribbean-Pacific Agri-Food Forum, which focused on promoting the engagement of the private sector and farmers’ organisations in transforming agriculture in the region, and numerous meetings on ‘open data’.

In 2015, the achievements of the past few years were acknowledged in an independent external evaluation of the organisation commissioned by the European Commission and the ACP Secretariat. The evaluation concluded that CTA’s work was highly relevant to the ACP–Cotonou Agreement, under whose framework it operates. It found that the approach we had adopted during recent years – involving a smaller number of larger partnerships and working through regional organisations – had helped to increase our relevance and impact.

The new CTA strategy 2016-2020, entitled Sowing Innovation, Harvesting Prosperity will build on these strengths. At the same time, there will be a greater emphasis on providing support for agribusiness development, climate-smart agriculture and the promotion of nutrition-sensitive agri-food systems. The strategy also affirms that the future belongs, quite literally, to young people under the age of 30, who make up more than half the populations in ACP countries. That is why we shall be strengthening our youth involvement, as well as the support we give to women. CTA and its partners organised a successful Caribbean-Pacific Agri-Food Forum which focused on promoting the engagement of the private sector and farmers’ organisations in transforming agriculture in the region. Workshops covering topics ranging from value chain development to agro-tourism, ICTs, youth and agriculture and finance allowed participants to learn about promising innovations and share experiences. 

CTA has a unique role as an organisation that promotes cross-ACP learning, and the forum brought together experts in a range of disciplines from the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. You can read more about this event, and many of others involving CTA, in this Year in Review. During the year, we have secured new sources of funding through competitive grants that will allow us to scale up our work and support our partners for greater results and impact.

Michael Hailu, CTA Director