The European Union funded ‟Support towards operationalization of the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy” (STOSAR) is part of the 11th Economic Development Fund Programme (EDF 11). The programme has three components being implemented by the SADC Secretariat and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which are:
- enhancing information on agricultural production, sustainability and competitiveness for evidence-based decision-making;
- improving access to markets through the implementation of plant and animal pest and disease control strategies at regional level;
- facilitating the implementation of some components of Regional Food and Nutrition Security Strategy (FNSS). The latter component is being implemented directly by the SADC Secretariat.
Through the project, FAO is supporting the SADC Secretariat to develop the long-term capacities of Member States by strengthening the management of agricultural information systems, and control of five emerging transboundary plant pests and diseases; Tuta absoluta, Fall armyworm, Fruit fly, Maize lethal Necrotic disease, and Banana Fusarium wilt, as well as, three high-impact transboundary animal diseases namely; Foot and Mouth Disease, Peste des Petits Ruminants and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Overall, the project aims to strengthen regional integration, promote sustainable agricultural and socio-economic growth, improve access to markets, facilitate trade, and enhance food and nutrition security within the SADC region.
In order to strengthen regional coordination and collaboration, build partnerships, and ensure sustainability of project results, six centres of excellence from the SADC region were engaged to provide technical assistance. Implementing entities include the French Agricultural Research and International Cooperation Organization (CIRAD), the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch in South Africa, the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa (ARC), and Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique