Investment in research and human capacity building is proven as one of the best approaches for increasing agricultural production and reducing food insecurity. The FoodAfrica Programme has striven towards these objectives for almost four years. We may conclude that the Programme has managed to achieve tangible results in most of its activities.
However, more efforts are needed for completing the on-going capacity building aspirations and dissemination of research outputs. The FoodAfrica’s current phase will come to end in mid-2016. It is, therefore, greatly appreciated to acknowledge that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has approved continuation of the programme , FoodAfrica II, for two more years from July 2016 to end June 2018. In this way, FoodAfrica II can contribute further to the sustainable development goals adopted recently by the UN.
I have had a great pleasure to be involved in the development and implementation of FoodAfrica since its conception in 2009. At the end of November 2015 I have reached the official retirement age and following the Finnish government regulations I have stepped down from the FoodAfrica Director position. As of December 1, 2015 Luke has appointed Professor Martti Esala, who is a member of the FoodAfrica’s Management Team and responsible of Luke activities in WP1, to assume the FoodAfrica Director’s responsibilities to the end of the current phase. I wish Martti all the success in this key assignment.
Finally, I wish to take this opportunity to thank cordially all the FoodAfrica partners and stakeholders for your active contribution to FoodAfrica’s achievements so far and look forward to a successful completion of this important development initiative.
Text: Professor Hannu Korhonen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)