Agriculture Productivity Program for Southern Africa (APPSA)

What is APPSA ????

The Agricultural Productivity Program for Southern Africa (APPSA) is a project supported by the World Bank which seeks to promote a regional approach to agricultural technology generation and dissemination by supporting the strengthening and scaling up of regional centres of research leadership on commodities of regional importance. This approach is currently being pursued by IDA in other regions of Africa through the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) and the East Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (EAAPP). Structured as adaptable program loans, both of these programs have been designed to support an initial set of strong national systems to establish regional canters of excellence. Coverage will expand over time to include more countries and additional centres.  These programs are facilitated and complemented by the activities of sub-regional research institutions, which play a key role in facilitating collaborative work between countries and acting as brokers for the exchange of information and materials.

APPSA supports the development of collaborative partnership between weak and strong systems in the Southern Africa region. APPSA differs from EAAPP and WAAPP in that, it invests in building systems that have demonstrated some potential but that are not yet as strong as systems in neighbouring middle-income countries, such as South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.  As a result, the design of APPSA places greater emphasis on technology transfer, and uses capacity development and training as a key entry point to build relationships between stronger and weaker systems.

A necessary, but not sufficient condition is that any country in the Southern Africa region can participate in the initiative by committing to develop one of its agricultural research centres into a Regional Centre of Leadership (RCoL) for an agreed priority commodity or research theme. The program supports the building of RCoLs where potential exists and increased, where investment is required. Any program designated as a Centre of Leadership (CoL) should be in a position to lead regional initiatives, should be connected to the global system of research, and should have the capacity to develop partnerships across the sub-region. In the current program Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia are participating in maize based farming systems, rice and legumes, respectively. In future, additional low income countries from the region will participate beyond the first-round countries.

The program estimated cost is about US$ 90 million, of which the Malawi component has been allocated $29.8 million for the first 5 years. The World Bank will contribute about US$ 90 million while the participating countries contributes personnel and existing systems and at least a research institution.

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