Smart innovation: Update on the DeSIRA-LIFT project

The European Union’s DeSIRA programme is working towards the Development of Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture.

Launched in June 2021 with funding from the European Commission (DG INTPA), the DeSIRA-LIFT project, “Leveraging the DeSIRA initiative for agri-food systems transformation”, aims to support the programme’s current and future activities in order to enhance its impacts. The EC funding is €6,500,000 for a duration of 3 years (June 2021–May 2024).

The specific objectives of DeSIRA-LIFT are:

  • Supporting country-based DeSIRA project actors to enhance their capacity to manage changes in climate-oriented innovation systems in line with sustainable agri-food system transformations
  • Supporting the five partner organisations of CAADP-XP41, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR), and the Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP) in promoting agricultural innovation systems
  • Making knowledge work for the EC policy (DG INTPA, EU delegations and their partners) and contributing to the policy dialogue on agri-food system transformations for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

COLEACP is the lead of the second service area (with support from the Natural Resources Institute), working closely with African research organisations in areas contributing to sustainable agriculture and food systems. Since June, a series of meetings have been held with CAADP-XP4 and partners to learn about their work on agricultural innovation systems and know more about theecosystem in which the operate in order to define joint action plans.

Activities in the coming months will include supporting CAADP-XP4 to strengthen their contributions to Malabo Declaration commitments (in the lead-up to its ten-year anniversary, Malabo+10); review uptake of climate-smart innovations in National and Regional Agricultural Investment Plans and sharing of best practices; identify innovations to scale up; and promote multi-stakeholder dialogues, including a focus on private sector engagement.

1 CAADP-XP4 is the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) ex-Pillar IV: Africa Regional and Sub-regional Organizations for Agricultural Research and Innovation project. The five partner organisations are : Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA); the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA); West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF), and the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA).