ICRA (International Centre for development oriented Research in Agriculture) is a European institution, with main offices in Wageningen (Netherlands) and Montpellier (France) and satellite offices and regional representation in the South (e.g. in Southern Africa).
ICRA is a capacity-strengthening organisation. It has long-standing experience in implementing ARD (Agricultural Research for Development) learning programmes, through training programmes in Wageningen and Montpellier with fieldwork in developing countries, combined with tailor-made in-country “learning cycles” to support multistakeholder innovation processes facilitated by inter-institutional teams. ICRA has stimulated the development of national-level ARD partnerships, involving the participation of research, education, policymakers, producer organisations and NGOs. ICRA’s partnership strategy is put into practice in each country/region through a combination of externally-funded projects and service contracts, contributions of the partners to local operational budgets, and ICRA core funding. It also involves mentoring of learning cycles at local and sub-national level.
ICRA's partnership programmes in sub-Saharan Africa include ongoing involvement in countries of Eastern, Southern and West Africa. In particular, ICRA supports actively programmes in the three countries selected for this project:
- South Africa (involving, among others, the ARC; the Universities of Fort Hare, of the Free State, of KwaZulu-Natal, of Venda and of Limpopo; the National Department of Agriculture; the National Department of Science and Technology, five Provincial Departments of Agriculture; and Prolinnova–South Africa).
- Kenya (involving among others KARI, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, University of Nairobi, Egerton University, Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and the Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers).
- Benin (involving, among others, the Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques and the Ecole Polytechnique d’Abomey-Calavi , UAC, INRAB, producer organisations at sub-national and national level, including FUPRO and GEA, as well as NGOs, Business Support Services and Associations, and the Ministry of Agriculture).
ICRA is leader of WP3, and contributes to WP2, WP4 and WP5.
Dr Nour Sellamna (extension scientist) is the coordinator of ICRA’s francophone capacity-strengthening programme, based in Montpellier. His professional career has been at the crossroads of research and extension. From 2005 to 2008, he was responsible for an EU-funded training and facilitation programme on multistakeholder experiential learning.
Dr Arno Maatman (economist, ICRA Director) has been involved in interdisciplinary research on food-security policies and farmer strategies in sub-Saharan Africa, with emphasis on risk management, with a long-term tenure with IFDC as team leader of the Agribusiness Development programme. He has worked for over 15 years in West Africa and has ample experience in facilitating multistakeholder platforms. His expertise areas include institutional economics, empowerment and transformational change, competitiveness and value-chain development.