To develop and promote Penn State’s collaborative initiatives in Africa in order to enhance food and economic security and sustainable agricultural development through research, extension and education.
Focus of initiative
The College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS) at Penn State has been working for more than three decades with partners in Africa, and current college involvement in the continent is at an all-time high. CAS has developed a wide range of programs with African agricultural, educational and research institutions for joint research, faculty and student exchanges, and other collaborative projects. The Ag2Africa initiative is designed to build upon this ongoing work of CAS and facilitate further faculty and student involvement in Africa. Ag2Africa works through partnerships between CAS faculty, students and extension agents and African-based public and private-sector institutions, including universities, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and multi-lateral institutions to tackle contemporary issues facing the diversity of food, agriculture and natural resource systems of Africa.
Ag2Africa is based out of the International Programs Office in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University, and is a component of the university-wide initiative to increase involvement in African development.
Ag2Africa provides a focal point for new and ongoing collaborations in Africa. Its overall objectives are:
- Promote sustainable livelihoods by studying and implementing new technologies that will address such challenges as drought, poor soil fertility, pest damage and low crop yields
- Enhance human-resource capacity in Africa by helping to train and develop leaders, scientists and educators who can solve local problems
- Build extension and outreach programs so that the latest and best scientific information can be translated to practices in the field
- Provide service-learning opportunities for students - both in the United States and Africa - to apply what they've learned and become global citizens
The "2" in Ag2Africa
Ag2Africa is based on 2-way collaborative flows between Penn State and African-based partners in addressing the challenges of global hunger and food security. Ag2Africa's goal and objectives are thus based on the following 2-way flows:
- People: the development of student and faculty exchange possibilities between PSU and African partner organizations
- Information: the enhancement of communication and dialogue to generate exchange of information between PSU and African partner organizations
- Research: the facilitation and development of current and future opportunities for PSU faculty, extension and students to conduct collaborative research with African-based partners in the agricultural sciences, based both at Penn State and in Africa
- Training: the development and provision of training opportunities for African partners and PSU faculty and students in both specific and multi-disciplinary issues in African agriculture