Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) is a programme of the African Development Bank. Launched in 2018, the programme, is an integral part of the bank’s Feed Africa Strategy of 2016–2025.
TAAT seeks to ensure the growth of the agricultural sector, improve food security, and encourage inclusive growth by involving more women and youth. It also promotes improved resilience to climate variability and shock. The overall goal of TAAT is to improve agriculture as a business across Africa by deploying agricultural productivity-increasing technologies within nine priority commodities (cassava, wheat, rice, maize, sorghum/millet, orange-fleshed sweet potato, high iron beans, aquaculture, and small livestock).
By focusing efforts on these initial priority commodities, TAAT is poised to increase agricultural productivity and diversification, leading to improved food and nutrition security, job creation through expanded commercialisation and industrialisation. This will also improve the socioeconomic status of farmers including women and youth, through the expected higher incomes. Other benefits are reduced vulnerabilities to market price fluctuations due to more reliable supplies leading to better organized and accessible markets, improved soil, land and water management practices as a result of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and increased resilience to climate variability and stress through the deployment of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) technologies and innovations.
Africa has many agricultural research organizations operating in the research and development sectors. These are the CGIAR centers, National Agricultural Research Institutes, Regional and Africa wide bodies. These bodies and centers seek to address the problems of low agricultural productivity, food insecurity, malnutrition, lack of agribusiness skills, lack of use of modern technologies and many others. Therefore, Africa, over the last 50 years, has assembled a lot of agricultural technologies.
However, moving these technologies from the research instituted shelves to the next users and end users has been the missing link. Hence, Africa ranks low in the world in terms of utilization of modern seeds, inputs and other scalable of agriculture solutions. Technologies have not moved to scale in Africa due to many factors. These are weak agricultural extension systems, poor linkages between research and extension services, lengthy technology verification and release systems, a focus on national boundaries instead of strengthening partnerships across agro-ecological zones, and insufficient attention to private sector players along the commodity value chains. Another factor is that Africa is dominated by family farms which relies on family labor. Africa has 33 million farms of less than 2 hectares, accounting for 80% of all farms. Hence, getting these farmers to adopt new technologies requires a new way of thinking.
TAAT is a program that seeks to address these challenges by ensuring the holders of technologies develop the appropriate partnerships with the research organizations, government agencies, financial service providers, and private sector to accelerate technology deployment to farmers and rural communities.
TAAT Program’s Implementing Structure
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is responsible for TAAT programme’s execution in close partnership with CGIAR research centers and specialised institutions. These institutions come together with specific objectives within selected agricultural value chains and form Commodity Technology Delivery Compacts for technology delivery to millions of agricultural producers. TAAT I programme includes fifteen (15) Commodity and Enabler Compacts. These are: The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), AfricaRice, the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, the Centro International de la Papa (CIP), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), the International Centre for Research in Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the International Fertilizer Development Corporation (IFDC), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and WorldFish Centre.