|Building on a Solid Foundation: Achievements, Opportunities and Impact (ICRAF, 1998, 78 p.)|
The International Centre for Research in Agroforestry had its first CGIAR-commissioned External Programme and Management Review (EPMR) in 1993. At that time ICRAF had substantial applied research activities in Africa but few strategic research activities. The last EPMR report noted that ICRAF was in a state of rapid change following its inclusion into the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in 1991. ICRAF has continued the process of transformation from an information agency into a global strategic research centre. As ICRAF prepares for its second EPMR, which covers the period from 1993 to 1997, it has much to show in terms of achievements and impact.
ICRAF's achievements and impact reflect its major objectives and overall mission, namely:
· improving human well-being by alleviating poverty and increasing cash income, especially among women, as well as improving food and nutritional security through agroforestry products
· improving environmental resilience through agroforestry services such as soil fertility replenishment, soil conservation, enhanced biological diversity, carbon sequestration and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases.
ICRAF envisions its role in terms of five goals: poverty alleviation, increasing food security, increasing nutritional security (vitamins and micronutrients), enhancing environmental resilience (increasing soil conservation, enhancing carbon sequestration and biodiversity, and decreasing generous gas emissions), and empowering women. By building on accomplishments and partnerships and using a multidisciplinary approach, ICRAF continues to implement research and development activities that are sensitive to social, economic, ecological and cultural issues.
A new definition of agroforestry developed by ICRAF puts our work in context:
Agroforestry is a dynamic, ecologically based, natural resources management system that, through the integration of trees on farms and in the agricultural landscape, diversifies and sustains production for increased social, economic and environmental benefits for land users at all levels.
There is evidence that the number of trees being planted on small-scale farms is increasing in Africa, with its increasing population density. Already agroforestry is a response of farmers to increasing pressure on land resources. The role of research is to increase the range of options open to farmers who have to survive in a changing world.
ICRAF's agenda is based on five pillars of research and development that bring together activities in six ecoregions, and give global coherence and perspective to ICRAF's work. The three research pillars are:
· policy research leading to the promotion of an enabling policy environment for smallholder farmers
· domestication of agroforestry trees to diversify and intensify land-use systems
· soil fertility replenishment with agroforestry practices and other nutrient inputs
The two development pillars are:
· acceleration of impact on farm by ensuring that research results are translated into messages that reach farmers and are then implemented
· capacity and institutional strengthening in agroforestry research and development
To achieve these goals, ICRAF has five thematic programmes involving both research and development. The programmes operate in six ecoregions, as well as at headquarters, thus addressing the poverty and environment issues centred around alternatives to slash-and-burn in the humid tropics and overcoming land depletion in subhumid and semi-arid Africa.