On February 13, 2004, the Africa Division of IFDC and its partners launched the Network for Agricultural Intensification in Sub-Saharan Africa (AISSA). The official launching ceremony, which was held at Hotel Sarakawa in Lomé, Togo, was attended by 100 participants including AISSA’s members and other invited guests from national and international research and development organizations and donor agencies. The launching of the AISSA network formalizes a partnership convened by IFDC since 1998 to facilitate agricultural intensification in Sub-Saharan Africa.
AISSA was established with the following initial objectives: 1) provide a platform for information and experience exchange; 2) develop and disseminate tools that facilitate the development of sustainable agricultural systems and competitive rural enterprises; 3) join forces to get agricultural intensification on the agenda of decision-makers; and 4) stimulate collaborative activities among members. The focus has not changed drastically over the years.
IFDC and its partners are taking agricultural intensification processes towards market development, arguing for a cautiously implemented grassroots approach to stimulate agricultural and agribusiness development. To this end, over a period of approximately eight years in collaboration with many partner organizations (including producer and trader organizations) including producer and trader organizations, IFDC has developed an approach to a market-oriented agricultural intensification.
The approach, known as Competitive Agricultural Systems and Enterprises (CASE), comprises pillars, concepts and values.
The three pillars are:
- Agribusiness cluster formation
- Value chain development
- Strengthening of transactional governance capacities
The basic concepts of the CASE approach are:
It is believed that competitiveness – at various levels – depends on effective balancing of competition and coordination.
The three core values are: