As the support for agricultural research declines nationally, regionally, and internationally, the need for dialogue and strategic planning for institutional and financial sustainability has become critical in order to maximize the investment in agriculture and natural resources. Sustainability has become one of the factors SACCAR and stakeholders use as criteria in developing regional programmes and projects in the region.
A diverse body of SACCAR stakeholders reviewed, and in some cases, revised Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Human Resources Development priorities, as well as the vision, mission, and mandate of SACCAR. The current structure and modalities of operation of the organization was discussed with the objective of enhancing future organizational and financial sustainability.
The meeting opened on Monday, March 10 with a keynote address by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Thomas Taukobong, who remarked upon the diversity of SACCAR stakeholders. In his address Dr. B. J. Ndunguru, the Director of SACCAR remarked that the diversity of SACCAR stakeholders attending the meeting was a testimony that development of regional research and natural resources research initiatives requires an input from all partners from the entire agricultural sector in order to formulate programmes based on priorities that are sustainable and form part of the agenda of the international agricultural research centres.
SACCAR coordinates agricultural and natural resources research and training activities throughout the southern African region in association with International Agricultural Research Centres, Universities and donors. All sectors took part in the process of developing a long-term strategy for SACCAR, and endorsed that its mandate should be to coordinate research and promote training in Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources and promote cooperation in these fields among SADC member states. SACCAR's primary responsibilities will continue to include the promotion and coordination of regional research in FANR, promotion and coordination of information exchange and training, monitoring and evaluation (including the impacts) of regional research projects, mobilization of funds to support regional research and training, and communicating the importance of agricultural research. The meeting resolved that the vision and mission of SACCAR lies within the overall objective of SADC, "achieving development and economic growth, alleviating poverty, enhancing the standard and quality of life of the people of southern Africa."
The Southern African Centre for Cooperation in Agricultural & Natural Resources Research & Training (SACCAR) which represents the 12 member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was established in 1984 by Heads of State and Government of SADC. SACCAR coordinates agricultural and natural resources research and promotes professional training in food, agriculture and natural resources.
The Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) was established in 1980 by the majority ruled independent states of Southern Africa comprising Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. On 17th August, 1992, the Union was formalized into the Southern African Development Community (SADC). South Africa following the formation of a government of national unity formally joined SADC in 1994. The republic of Mauritius acceded to the SADC treaty in August, 1995.
Copyright Chris Lungu, SACCAR, Private Bag 00108, Gaborone, Botswana email address: firstname.lastname@example.org