National Agricultural Research Forum (NARF)



A long series of extensive consultations, plenary sessions, and development of supportive documents and among major stakeholders of the status of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in South Africa led to consensus agreement, establishment of eventual launch of South African National Agricultural Research Forum (NARF) in May 2002.



The Mission of the NARF is to facilitate consensus and integrate coordination in the fields of research, development, and technology transfer to agriculture in order to enhance national economic growth, social welfare and environmental sustainability.
NARF's activities are implemented by the NARF Secretariat. The Secretariat is situated in the national Department of Agriculture. The NARF Secretariat is responsible for providing sectoral support to the NARF Plenary and Steering Committee, composed of representatives of NARF's stakeholders headed by a chairperson who, in turn, is responsible to the NARF Plenary session. The Plenary is the highest organ of the NARF.



Membership of the NARF is restricted to the organized bodies and requests are done by way of application and acceptance by the plenary session of the forum. Entities meeting the following criteria can apply for membership under any of the following categories:

  • Full membership: Any national organization involved in agricultural research and technology transfer; or has capacity to carry out agricultural production and products research community or is a representative of the major clients and private funders of agricultural research and technology transfer.
  • Observers: any national or international organization that has interest in the output of agricultural research, development and technology transfer.


The functions of the NARF are to:

  • Reach agreement and make recommendations to Government and others on the coordination of research and development programmes; optimal resourcing for agricultural research, a common policy framework for national and international issues pertaining to agricultural research, development and technology transfer, broad national agricultural priorities in research.
  • Promote human resource capacity development and recommend ways of addressing problems in order to meet national needs and fill gaps in capacity.
  • Review policy and priorities in research, development and technology transfer on an ongoing basis.
  • Advise government and others through the DoA and other relevant bodies on all matters pertaining to agricultural research, development and technology transfer.
  • Identify opportunities and promote multi-organizational cooperation in major projects.
  • Interact and share information with regional and international agricultural research, development and technology transfer organizations.
  • Serve as the task team to make recommendations on the implementation of the relevant sections of the sector Strategy.


Principles and values

  • Emphasize advisory and consultative aspect of the forum activities.
  • Consider all inputs from private, provincial and national stakeholders in order to recommend national priorities in agricultural research, technology development and transfer.
  • Facilitate information sharing among the role players on ongoing research, available resources and how to access these, and developments in agricultural research on a provincial and national basis.
  • Facilitate an effective application of national research and technology transfer capacities at all levels in the interest of having positive impact on the client(s) of agricultural research.
  • Promote effective coordination and collaboration in International Relations affecting agricultural research, technology and development and transfer.
  • Develop consensus regarding approaches to and opinions on agricultural research issues.
  • Promote relationships of trust and goodwill among stakeholders.

National Agricultural Research and Development Strategy

Memorundum of Understanding for National Agricultural Research Forum