Programme 4: Advocacy

Economic growth originating from agriculture has been shown to be 2-4 times more effective at reducing poverty than growth originating from other sectors according to the World Development Report 2018 of the World Bank. Despite this trend, in the regions where hunger and poverty are the most widespread today, there are declining or stagnant levels of investment in agriculture. FAO’s estimates from 2013 indicate that an additional investment of USD 83 billion annually will be required globally to close the gap between what low- and middle-income countries have invested each year over the last decade and what is needed by 2050. In other words, investment needs to rise by more than 50 per cent. As such, increasing investment and improving understanding on the crucial role of agri-food research and innovation in development requires advocacy.

APAARI can play a role in advocating for investment in agricultural research. However, advocacy in the agricultural sector cannot be left to a single organization or individuals within it. Advocacy requires collective actions at a regional level. APAARI is well positioned to lead this coordinated action through the following strategies:

  1. Understanding of the role of agri-food research and innovations in agri-food systems and socioeconomic development improved
    • Increase political recognition of the role of agri-food research and innovation as a major driver of socioeonomic development
    • Improve the voice and engagement of disadvantaged stakeholders involved in AFS
    • Strengthen capacity for advocacy
    • Engage social and broadcast media to strengthen advocacy efforts
  2. Investment in agri-food research and innovations improved for development of agri-food systems
    • Enhance understanding of agri-food stakeholders and policy makers on the need, scope and return of improved investment
    • Assess the status, trend and priority for investment, and use the data and information for policies and strategies to attract investment and improve decision making
    • Develop advocacy tools and on-going dialogue on promoting investment
    • Assess and develop skills and capacities for mobilizing investment
    • Assess and adopt innovative funding and partnership mechanisms

APAARI members and partners will implement these strategies, for example, through systematic monitoring of the contribution of agri-food research and innovation to socioeconomic development; providing opportunities for knowledge sharing and learning; improving the representation of disadvantaged stakeholders in regional events; facilitating documentation and dissemination of experiences; developing an advocacy toolkit; using social media to promote activities; sensitizing agri-food stakeholders and policy makers on the need, scope and return of improved investment; assessing and using investment data for improved advocacy efforts; developing guidelines; and documenting and sharing experiences with innovative funding and partnership mechanisms.

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