The German Ministry of Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMVEL) has provided the funds in order to implement a field oriented programme that should contribute to the SARD initiative. The project is also endorsed by the high level German Council for Sustainable Development.
The African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT)
The ACT is a voluntary association of people committed to sustainable agricultural productivity ‘designed’ to enhance capacities and abilities of stakeholders in facilitating the adaptation-adoption of conservation agriculture practices among small farmers in Africa. ACT has a technical regional coordination role in the CA for SARD Project. ACT has taken on responsibilities in regional training on CA and implantation methodologies, in knowledge documentation and sharing as well as networking with other partners as listed below. ACT also hosted the III World Congress on Conservation Agriculture in Nairobi in October 2006.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Within FAO, the Agricultural and Food Engineering Technologies Service (AGST)of the Agricultural Support Systems Division (AGS), Agricultural Department is Lead Technical Unit of the CA-SARD project. The FAO Regional Office for Africa has been nominated to be the budget holder of this project. This is in line with FAO rules and regulations regarding the implementation of regional trust-fund projects in Africa. The ownership and responsibility for the national project activities rests with the FAO country offices in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam.
The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) in Kenya
In Kenya a national steering committee, chaired by Tom Boyo, Deputy Director of Ministry of Agriculture is overseeing the work of the National Coordinator (Pascal Kaumbutho) and the project field teams. The MOA of Kenya is closely backing up the field work of the CA-SARD project through its field officers, through the Rural Technology Development Centres and with support of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). The CA-SARD project, as it is perceived by the MOA of Kenya, has a role to contribute in better labour and farm power utilization. In the long term the MOA of Kenya expects to achieve increased food security in the project areas, a critical mass of trained farmers and extension workers and active and dynamic CA farmer field school groups in all project sites.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) in Tanzania
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) of the United Republic of Tanzania envisages an agricultural sector by the year 2025 that is modernized, commercial, highly productive and profitable and uses natural resources in an overall sustainable manner and acts as a basis for inter-sectoral linkages. The MAFS is concerned with land degradation, poor soil fertility, low productivity and shortage of farm power. Mr Richard Shetto together with his team of the CA-SARD and FAO Technical Cooperation Programme CA pilot project is perceived as playing a crucial role and to be one of a number of measures to address the above situation and to achieve the countries vision for its agricultural sector.
Researchers are expected to participate in farm trials to evaluate some of the technologies that are introduced through CA-SARD. Extension officers are to participate in establishing demonstration plots and farmer training through CA-farmer field schools (FFS). District planners are encouraged to prepare District Agricultural Development Plans that include CA activities.
The MAFS expects from the CA-SARD project:
The Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) (Tanzania)
SARI is one of the Government's research institutes in the Northern Zone of Tanzania based in Arusha. SARI is hosting the project coordination office in Tanzania. SARI has more than five years of experience in conducting field research on the impact of conservation tillage and cover crops on soil fertility and crop production in the Northern Zone of Tanzania. This work was supported by the German GTZ.
The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) (Kenya)
In Kenya, KARI is hosting the CA for SARD project coordination office at the National Agricultural Research Laboratries in Nairobi.
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Within ICRAF, the Swedish Sida-funded Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA), provides regional and continental support to the CA for SARD project. RELMA collaborates very closely with ACT and was one of the key supporters of the III World Congress on CA in Nairobi.
The SARD Initiative
The SARD Initiative was launched at WSSD as a multi-stakeholder umbrella framework designed to support the transition to people-centred sustainable agriculture and rural development and to strengthen participation in programme and policy development. FAO has the Task Manager responsibility for Agenda 21, Chapter 14 (SARD). One of the objectives of the SARD Initiative is to serve as a platform for exchange of good practices and resource materials. Its collaboration with the CA for SARD project aims at deriving lessons about the feasibility of CA for small and resource poor farmers.
Sustainet (Sustainable Agriculture Information Network)
The Sustainet project was initiated by the German government’s Council for Sustainable Development. This is the same group that has endorsed the funding for the CA for SARD project. The overall objective of Sustainet is to systematically evaluate, communicate and disseminate successful approaches and farming concepts for scaling up. Kenya and Tanzania have been selected to be the two pilot countries for sub Saharan Africa. Sustainet is – as CA-SARD – regionally coordinated by the African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT). This way identified successful or good agricultural practices and conservation agriculture practices are jointly analysed and lessons learnt from both projects can be synthesized and made available to the public. Sustainet and CA-SARD have increased their field collaborations through the joint coordination by the ACT.
CIRAD (International Cooperation Centre for Agricultural Research in Development)
CIRAD is collaborating with the CA-SARD project, ICRAF, ACT and FAO in conducting case studies to verify the impact of conservation agriculture practices on the livelihoods and the natural resources management. This is an important contribution to the M&E process of the CA-SARD project.