West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development

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West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) is an organization with 22 members: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape-Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra-Leone and Togo.[1] The group's vision is "to contribute to sustainable reduction of poverty and food insecurity in West and Central Africa. This will be achieved through agricultural led economic growth, and improving agricultural research system of the sub-region."[2] To do this, it aims "to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of small-scale producers and promote the agribusiness sector."


  • 1987: CORAF/WECARD began as "the Conference of African and French leaders of agricultural research institutes (CORAF):" a group of 15 "francophone agricultural research institutions of West and Central Africa and Madagascar and their colleagues from French agricultural research institutions namely, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and the Office de recherche scientifique et technique d’Outre-Mer (ORSTOM) now the Development Research Institute (IRD)"[3]
  • 1990: The group moved its headquarters from Paris to Dakar, Senegal and it decided to open CORAF to research institutions of English- and Portuguese-speaking nations.
  • 1992: A Conference of Ministers responsible for agricultural research in West and Central Africa recognized CORAF as a sub-regional organization and approved its Strategic Plan.
  • 1995: "The research institutions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra-Leone, Cape-Verde and Guinea Bissau joined CORAF. Consequently, the institution became the Conference of Leaders of Agricultural Research in West and Central Africa."
  • 1996: "The Conference of Ministers of Agriculture in West and Central Africa followed suit by recognizing it as the technical instrument of its research policy."
  • 1997: The group established the organization Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).
  • 1999: The organization changed its name to the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development.
  • 2000: CORAF/WECARD adopted its 15-year Strategic Plan (1999-2014). "The framework for action is based on developing cash-crops (cotton, para-rubber, cocoa and oil palm), cereals (maize, millet, rice and sorghum), livestock/fisheries, grain legumes (cowpea and peanut), fruits and vegetables (banana/plantain), and root and tuber crops such as cassava, sweet potato and yam."[4]
  • 2003: The 15-year Strategic Plan (1999-2014) was reviewed and amended.
  • 2006: The 15-year Strategic Plan was "furthered and expanded" to take account of "the orientations of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Union (AU), the objectives of agricultural policies of the Regional Economic Communities and principles of the FARA-led Framework for Africa Agricultural Productivity (FAAP)."
  • 2007: Two new plans are approved: A Strategic Plan (2007-2016), and an operational plan (2007-2011) for the first phase of implementation.


CORAF/WECARD's Strategic Plan 2007-2016 lists the following as Scientific Partners:[5]

It also lists its technical partners as the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), and the FAO.

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Related SourceWatch Articles


  1. NARS Members, Accessed March 12, 2012.
  2. Mission and Objectives, Accessed March 12, 2012.
  3. About Us, Accessed March 12, 2012.
  4. Calestous Juma, Ismail Serageldin, Freedom to Innovate: Biotechnology in Africa’s Development, Report of the High-Level African Panel on Modern Biotechnology, NEPAD, August 2007.
  5. Strategic Plan 2007-2016

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