South African-French agricultural research cooperation has received a major boost with the signing of a ground-breaking new tripartite agreement.
The agreement was signed by Dr Shadrack Ralekeno Moephuli, CEO of ARC (Agricultural Research Council), Michel Eddi, CEO of Cirad (French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development) and Philippe Mauguin, CEO of INRAE (French Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment), on Friday 24 July.
It will aim to support and strengthen the existing collaborations between the main South African research and development organisations in agriculture and its related fields, and the two French counterparts.
The signatures highlight the ambition of these organisations to join forces to address the regional challenges faced by Southern Africa and to analyse the global initiatives that are developing in the area. The agreement was signed in both Paris and Pretoria by videoconference, and witnessed by H.E. Aurélien Lechevallier, Ambassador of France to South Africa.
The collaborations will see staff exchanges, as well as the joint organisation of scientific events and projects on a range of scientific themes including family farming, adaptation to climate change or the impact of science.
This is the first cooperation agreement signed jointly by CIRAD and INRAE with an African research organisation. It follows previous agreements from as far back as 1999 between ARC and CIRAD and since 2014 between ARC and INRA, which has since become INRAE. Collaborations already exist in the fields of animal health (in particular African swine fever), bovine genomic selection, plant protection, climate change as well as the promotion of dialogue and knowledge dissemination across Africa.