The steering committee of the French-South African Agricultural Institute (FSAGRI) was held on June 1st, 2018, in Pretoria, under the chairmanship of Professor Norman Maiwashe, Agricultural Research Council (ARC), scientific director of the project, accompanied by Vincent Baron, in charge of international relations, Agreenium.
An enhanced partnership, concrete actions
The ARC and Agreenium have confirmed their leading role in the coordination of the project and proposed to the committee a strategic plan and a business plan for the years to come. 3 graduates of a "Honors" in biochemistry will follow the master's degree in "Microbiology and Physiochemistry for food and wine processes" at AgroSup Dijon and two graduates of a Honors in Animal Production will follow the Agrofood Chain Master of Toulouse INP-Ensat. A teacher from the University of Venda is enrolled for a PhD in co-supervision with CIRAD and MSA at the University of Montpellier. Agreenium has proposed to establish a joint Master's degree with ONIRIS, the Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering: "Management of the Food Factories of the Future" and the creation of a campus in the agri-food industry common to the three universities concerned and the ARC on the model of what is implemented in Senegal.
All the participants welcomed the work done: the submission to the academic bodies of the Bachelor curriculum in food sciences and the implementation of a plan to increase academic skills (preparation of Master and PhD in cotutelle in France) dedicated teachers and students from the three partner universities.
New funding announced
The National Research Foundation announced its decision to take over most of the scholarship funding abroad, with the French Embassy's Cooperation and Cultural Action Service completing the financial package by providing social insurance scholarships. The Attaché for Science and Technology of the Embassy announced funding of € 370K for a project of the Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects, Civil Societies, Francophonie and Human Development, dedicated to the F'SAGRI on the years 2018 and 2019.
F'SAGRI is a Franco-South African center for training and research, involving three universities, University of Limpopo, University of Venda and University of Fort Hare. The African institutions involved are the Agricultural Research Council, the South African Ministries Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Department of Science and Technology, the formerly disadvantaged universities of Fort Hare, Venda and Limpopo for South Africa. On the French side are involved the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Agriculture, Agreenium, its members and the University Paris-Est-Créteil. A steering committee meets twice a year to review progress on current activities and programs.