Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Breaking the Mold: Impacts of Mycotoxins

20th May 201. Washington, DC United States. USAID. This month’s agrilinks seminar was an opportunity for agronomists, nutritionists, sociologists and field staff to share their background and experiences on the science behind mycotoxins and their health impacts and shifted towards integrating mycotoxin responses into agricultural development programming. Agrilinks and the Agriculture Sector Council Seminar Series are products of the USAID Bureau for Food Security under the Feed the Future Knowledge-Driven Agricultural Development (KDAD) project.

Watch the power point presentation (37 slides)

Speakers:

  • John Bowman, USAID Bureau for Food Security 
  • John Leslie, Kansas State University 
  • Felicia Wu, Michigan State University 
Nothing represents the interface between ag and nutrition as appropriately as the aflatoxin issue. Elimination/mitigation of aflatoxin in the ag value chain will have a significant positive nutrition/health outcomes This is the perfect type of subject matter that FTF was conceptually designed to work on – a new breed of agriculture that is intimately tied to health outcomes.
Aflatoxin free staple foods would be an agricultural result with a huge nutritional outcome - so why are the funding levels so low for such a pervasive problem? The Global Health Community is not convinced it is a priority equal to MCH, diarrheal and pulmonary diseases. It is not a primary killer but an an “accelerator” – requiring a more convincing “evidence base.

Overview of Feed the Future Investments in Aflatoxin Research and Development: 
  1. Feed the Future (FTF) has, conservatively, tripled or quadrupled investments in mycotoxin-related areas since inception 
  2. The total pool of investments is relatively low considering the potentially high levels of damage to health and productivity 
  3. The current mix of investments may be “off” – with possible need for strategic re-alignment – in order to bring in more funds
Johanna Lindahl (ILRI, Kenya) commented: We are not having any USAID funded project at the moment, but we are very interested in future projects aiming at looking at alternative uses of contaminated crops, especially the potential of using it as animal feeds, either with higher levels to less sensitive species, or in combination with binders or biological control measuresWe have been discussing nixtamilisation in our group, but we have not found a way in adopting it to the African problem at a large scale. Nixtamalization can actually be reversed in the digestive system, thus reactivating the aflatoxin. This may be the case with many of the biological binders as well, such as Lactic acid bacteria, and I think this would be worth studying further. 
Bryan Sobel (Cornell University, Institut Senegelaise de Recherche Agricole (ISRA) quoted: Aflatoxin‐detoxification achieved with Mexican traditional nixtamalization process (MTNP) is reversibleby Méndez‐Albores, JA; Villa, GA; Del Rio‐ García, JC; Martínez, EMJurnal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, ISSN 0022-5142, 09/2004, Volume 84, Issue 12, pp. 1611 - 1614  
Conclusion for discussion:
Fund much more work on the evidence base and less on ag best practice, (eg. breeding, storage structures, biological control) - As a result, more donor/ministerial funding that is “health sensitive” will roll in at a much higher levels of magnitude – which can ultimately be “re-applied” to ag best practice interventions. Thus the problem now may be poor “balance” in the limited funding pool – too little funding in ag/health linkage areas which have the potential to build the evidence base, possibly enabling higher levels of overall donor commitment in the future.

Mapping and assessment of soils

18 - 22 May 2015. ISRIC - World Soil Information organised a Spring School on mapping and  assessment of soils for soil and environmental scientists, experts and professionals in natural resources management. This spring school is a contribution to the Global Soil Partnership implementation. The Spring School took place on the Wageningen Campus in the Netherlands. It consisted of two five-day courses that ran in parallel:
  1. Hands-on Global Soil Information Facilities (GSIF): The aim of this course was to introduce methods and software for the management, analysis and modelling of soil data within the R environment for statistical computing. 
  2. World Soils and their Assessment (WSA): This is a course on international standards for soils assessment. It provided an introduction to the soils of the world and their diversity, their main forming factors, their classification (according to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources 2014), and their management. 

Agricultural Machinery and sustainable agriculture and food security

19 May 2015. Under the auspices of EXPO Milan 2015 “Feeding the planet, Energy for life”, CEMA (CEMA - European Agricultural Machinery) and the European Commission’s Directorate General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) organised a 1-day conference on: “The role and contribution of Europe’s Agricultural Machinery Industry in promoting sustainable agriculture and food security

Bringing together EU decision-makers, business leaders, industry experts and stakeholder groups, the event was an occasion to explore the role of advanced machine technology in helping farmers to make agriculture more productive and sustainable and ensure sufficient food production for an expected world population of 9.6 billion people by 2050 and discussed key issues such as:
  • How can smart machines and precision farming make agriculture more productive and sustainable?
  • How can the EU support the innovative power and competitiveness of Europe’s agricultural machinery industry?
  • How can mechanization efforts advance food security and rural development in Africa?
Read the whole agenda and find more information here.

Featured speakers included: 
  • Richard Markwell – CEMA President: Europe’s agricultural machinery industry – a global leader in production and innovation
  • Luis Filipe Girao – European Commission: The EU’s industrial policy as a promoter of growth, jobs, and competitiveness  
  • Prof. Simon Blackmore – Harper Adams University: The potential of smart machines and precision farming technologies in making agriculture more productive and sustainable
  • Philippe Jean – European Commission
  • Gian-Gherardo Calini – European GNSS Agency: Supporting smart machinery and better farm management – GNSS and complementary technology
  • Christoph Wigger – John Deere: How can the EU best promote research, innovation, production, and uptake of advanced agricultural machine technology? The industry’s point of view
  • Joseph Kienzle – FAO: Mechanization for rural development – patterns and progress in Africa
  • Gianpietro de Cao – European Commission: The role of private sector engagement and Public Private Partnerships in EU Development Policy
  • Franz Georg Von Busse – German Agribusiness Alliance: Advancing sustainable agricultural mechanization in Africa – industry efforts and inititatives
  • Dr Thomas Breuer – GIZ: Public Private Partnerships as the way forward in mechanization in Africa?

Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance Launched

Mrs Estherine Fotabong NEPAD Programmes Director
with H.E Ato Sileshi Getahum ( Ethiopian State Minister for Agriculture)
Hon Zenevu Tadesse, Minister for Women, Children & Youth Affairs;
Minister Councillor Ms Tove Stub, Norwegian Embassy, Addis Ababa
13 - 15 May 2015. Addis Ababa. Launched as Africa’s Strategic Approach for Food Security and Nutrition in the Face of Climate Change, the Africa CSA Alliance was attended by about 150 representatives and participants from Governments, Regional Economic Communities, Farmers’ Organisations, Private Sector, Civil Society, specialised agencies and development partners.

To achieve this, Africa is leading a country-driven and regionally-integrated Initiative that will provide the tools for action and platform for partnerships that will deliver results. Centred on NEPAD, the initiative will be fully aligned with and an integral part of the CAADP framework, as well as cultivating the necessary multi-sectorial engagements, including the environment, natural resources and climate change policies and programmes.

To support countries, a virtual and physical African Alliance was established where knowledge is exchanged to identify best practice and partnerships across stakeholder groups are catalysed. The Alliance will also foster a coherent African CSA Agenda as well as sustaining the collective power and urge for action. It will also facilitate assessment of individual (country, region, sector, etc.) performance against continental and even global benchmarks.

SAVE FOOD Annual General Meeting

12 May 2015. Vevey, Switzerland. In collaboration with Messe Düsseldorf, the  SAVE FOOD Annual General Meeting focused on “Raised interest for private sector project support”. The meeting present cases of successful private sector projects, and show opportunities for collaboration with the public sector in the framework of the Save Food Initiative. The expected outcome of the meeting was increased commitment of private companies to support projects on FLW.
Session 1: SAVE FOOD – Public private sector collaborations
  • Review of SAVE FOOD and related FAO initiatives – Robert van Otterdijk, SAVE FOOD Project Coordinator, FAO [Download presentation]
  • UNEP “Think Eat Save” guidelines and synergies with SAVE FOOD – James Lomax, Food Programme Officer in UNEP’s Division of Trade, Industry and Economics [Download presentation]
  • The mango project in Kenya: Reduction of food loss across the value chain. How a market based approach is creating benefits to suppliers, farmers, processors and consumers. Showing that multi-party collaboration can reduce Mango losses and build a sustainable business while doing so –Marc-Peter Zander, Partner & CEO, XCOM Africa GmbH [Download presentation]
  • Improved Food Packaging for SMAEs in Developing Regions
    - Improving food packaging for Small and Medium Agro-Enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa –Daniele Vacchi, IMA Director of CorporateCommunication [Download presentation]
    - Proposals for a Center Focused on Appropriate Food Packaging Development – Alberto Vacchi, IMA Charman [Download presentation]
  • Mainstreaming Food Loss Reduction Initiatives for Smallholders in Food-Deficit Areas
    - FAO/IFAD/WFP joint project funded by Swiss government – Mireille Totobesola-Barbier, Project Leader, FAO [Download presentation]
    - Business models for improved postharvest management – Philippe Monteil, Thematic Advisor, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation [Download presentation]
  • The community of practice
    on food loss reduction
  • The Role of Packaging in reducing food waste and ensuring resource efficient food consumption globally – Stefan Glimm, Executive Director, EAFA und FPE [Download presentation]
Session 2: Entrepreneurial and innovative initiatives
  • Nestlé path towards zero food wastage – Hélène Lanctuit, Sustainability and novel packaging senior specialist, Nestlé
  • Making food safe and available in emerging markets – Products and Projects – Tetra Pak –Hemant Krashak, Product Director, Tetra Pak [Download presentation]
  • Surplus food distribution with the GFN – Jeff Klein, President and CEO, The Global FoodBanking Network [Download presentation]
  • BON et Bien – A new social business to support local employment and combat food waste –François Tasmowski, Corporate Social Responsibility & Communications Director, McCain Foods Continental Europe [Download presentation]
  • Initiatives to reduce food waste by E.Leclerc, a big European retailer chain –Thomas Pocher, independent store owner, member of the E.Leclerc organization in northern France
  • Startups using surplus food in Europe – Michael Minch Dixon, Co-founder of Snact and founding member of the European Food Surplus Entrepreneurs Network [Download presentation]

Second European Climate Change Adaptation conference (ECCA2015)

12 - 14 May 2015. Copenhagen, Denmark. The second biennial ‘European Climate Change Adaptation Conference’ attracted more than 1000 participants.

The European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (ECCA) 2015 was the second of its kind, following the first ECCA held in Hamburg 2013 which was attended by more than 700 participants. The conference covered a broad range of issues related to climate change adaptation and follows international adaptation conferences in Australia (Gold Coast, Queensland) in 2010 and in the United States (Tucson, Arizona) in 2012.

This European conference placed a greater emphasis on understanding and assessing adaptation in action under the theme: Integrating climate adaptation action in science, policy, practitioners and business.

Nature-based solutions for Climate Change Adaptation: Research and Innovation Opportunities for Europe 
  • Chair: Eleni Manoli, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation 
  • de Boissezon, B.: A new EU Research and Innovation policy perspective on Nature-Based Solutions for climate change adaptation 
  • Berry, P.: Research abd Innovation perspectives towards the development of Nature-Based Solutions for climate change adaptation 
  • Ruijs, A.: Experiences and lessons learnt from nature based solutions for safeguarding water safety Perini, L.: Coastal threats in the Emilia-Romagna region and potential measures 
  • Robrecht, H : Resilient cities: Opportunities for nature-based solutions Discussion
Sylvia is a mangrove 
carbon scientists, 
originally from Madagascar, 
with experience 
working on conservation projects 
in Indonesia and Thailand
Local community and citizen knowledge – how can it steam up the adaptation process and move science-practice-interaction to a new quality? 
  • Chair: Birgit Kuna, Andreas Baumgärtner 
  • Paulot, Sylvia: Experiences from Madagascar 
  • Born, M.: Climate Change Adaptation within regions in Germany (KLIMZUG) 
  • Vogel, K., Schmidt, A.: The social dimensions of climate change: Interand transdisciplinary research on regional perceptions and actions 
  • Riaz, B. K.: Climate Change and local health issues 
  • Suthhof, A.: Toolbox for local knowledge integration in Europe and developing countries
Related: 

Published on 16 Apr 2015
In this video, the Skoll Foundation visits Alasdair Harris of Blue Ventures in Madagascar, where he is building sustainable coastal communities. This video debuted on the big screen at the 2015 Skoll Awards Ceremony, April 16, 2015, before Alasdair went on stage to receive his award from Skoll Foundation Founder and Chairman Jeff Skoll and President and CEO Sally Osberg.

Ten years ago, in a coastal village in Madagascar, Alasdair tested an elegantly simple model that put Blue Ventures on the map. He encouraged residents to take charge of their local fishery by cordoning off a small section of their octopus-fishing area for a designated period of time. When the area was re-opened, the community saw huge increases in their catch and incomes. In this video, you'll see one woman's reaction and how this drastically changed her family's life.

Building on this success, local communities created Madagascar’s first local committee to manage and conserve marine resources. Since that auspicious start, Blue Ventures has helped replicate this model along thousands of miles of coastline along the Indian Ocean. Beyond managing fisheries, Blue Ventures has integrated family planning and health services into its livelihoods and conservation work, showing the world that protecting the ocean can and should go hand-in-hand with improving lives.

Land and Water Resources Management in the Dry Areas under Climate Change


La séance d’ouverture en présence de 
l' IRESAet les directions de l’ACSAD, l’ICARDA et l’IRD.
11 to 14 May 2015. Djerba Island, Tunisia. The Institut des Regions Arides (IRA) and its partners ILDAC2015 International Conference on: “Integrated Land  and Water Resources Management in the Dry Areas under Climate Change”.

OBJECTIVES:
  • Updates on climate change and projections.
  • Present recent development in land and water resources management in the drylands.
  • Provide forum for debate and exchange among all stakeholders working for drylands development.
  • Learn from the local experiences in combating land degradation and desertification.
THEMES
Theme 1: Climate change- UNFCC and IPCC reports
- CC projections/scenarios and downscaling
- CC adaptation strategies
Theme 2: Water resources mobilization and management- Surface and groundwater mobilization
- Non-conventional resources (desalination, treated wastewater, gray water, etc.)
- Water use efficiency/productivity and irrigation methods
- Water resources modeling
- Extremes: drought, flooding, etc.
- CC impacts on water resources
Theme 3: Land and vegetation cover degradation and remediation- Process and indicators of land/vegetation degradation
- Carbon sequestration
- Ecosystem services
- Remediation practices and strategies to combat land degradation and desertification
- CC impacts
Theme 4: Geo-information and Remote Sensing technologies- Change detection of land degradation
- Land Use/Land Cover mapping
- Databases and information sharing
- Telemetry
- Geo-information based decision making systems
Theme 5: Socio-economic aspects and integrated approaches- Valuation of land degradation
- Land degradation impacts on livelihood
- Cost benefit analysis of remediation practices
- Mainstreaming CC in planning strategies
- Integrated participatory approaches for sustainable development

Global Land Forum 2015

11 - 17 May 2015. Dakar. This Global Land Forum meeting brought together over 500 grassroots organisations, activists, local and international NGOs, researchers, multilateral organisations and government agencies from around the world.

The Forum created opportunities for participants to learn from, and contribute to, land governance successes and challenges in Senegal and Africa. It facilitated dialogue to the highest political level on land reform in Senegal. Moreover, the global cope of the Forum enabled exchange across different national and regional contexts that allowed for not only identification of trends, but also the emergence of new perspectives and areas demanding common action.


Extract of the program: THE FUTURE OF SMALL-SCALE FARMING SYSTEMS

  • Keynote Ibrahima Coulibaly, Mali Farmers’ Union 
  • Mr Michel Mordasini, IFAD; 
  • H.E. Ms Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union (AU) (tbc); 
  • Mr Auxtin Ortiz, World Rural Forum 
  • Mr Mario Cerutti, Lavazza, Green Coffee & Corporate Relations Partner Manager; 
  • Mr Jean Ousman Camara (National Coordinator, Land Reform Coodrination, Government of Madagascar)
Animation: Promoting accountability in agricultural investment chains
Published on 19 May 2015
  • This five-minute animated film is part of a programme of work by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) designed to help grassroots organisations understand the complexities of international investment chains, find opportunities to influence the terms of land deals and hold actors to account for any harm done.
  • The animation was launched at the International Land Coalition Global Land Forum in Dakar , where it was shared with civil society organisations and grassroots organisations from all over the world during a panel discussing 'lessons from experience on legal tools for citizen empowerment' organised by IIED.

EU-Africa B2B Forum 2015

6 - 8 May, 2015. Mons, Belgium. For this first edition the tourism was in the spotlight. This forum promotes business meetings between African traders and those of Europe. It is a platform for discussion on Europe-Africa business relationship, but also a direct contact between economic operators platform between the two continents with practical workshops led by experts. It also gave to African countries the opportunity to promote investments in their territories.

Extract of the programme:

Agri-business

  • Mr Guy CALLEBAUT (Belgium) (VBT/BelOrta), GLOBALGAP Chairman 
  • Mr. Ernest Mintah, Matching Fund Manager African Cashew initiative (ACi) 
  • Mr. Jean Baptiste Satchivi, Chairman, Agrisatch Group, Chairman of the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Benin 
  • Viktória PALOTAI, International Policy Officer - Unit A3 – ACP and Development Issues, Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission.

Access to finance for SMEs 

  • Mr. Luuk Zonneveld, CEO, BIO INVEST 
  • Mr. Daniel Monehin, Division President of Sub-Saharan Africa, MasterCard Inc.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Operation Maasai Removal

Published on 13 May 2015. A short documentary describing the political tension in Tanzania as traditional pastoralists are forced off of their lands.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

PAEPARD Reflection and Learning Workshop


27-30 April 2015. Entebbe, Uganda. Drawing lessons from 5-years’ experience of PAEPARD is critical for the way forward.

This workshop harvested the experiences of the consortia related to the Users'led process of PAEPARD (research steered by the beneficiaries: private sector actors and farmer organisations) and the consortia funded under the PAEPARD Competitive research Fund and the Dutch Applied Research Fund.

During the project’s Steering Committee meeting (held in Montpellier on April 16th and 17th), which considered a possible new phase of the project, the weakness of the project with regards to publications and documenting the PAEPARD story was highlighted. As a consequence, the process and outcome of this workshop will be documented in detail.

Activities:
  1. Presentation of the survey on Capacity building needs (July-October 2014). This survey highlighted two main issues faced by the consortia: i) the weak implication of the European research stakeholders in the multi-stakeholders partnerships facilitated by PAEPARD, and ii) AIF insufficient support that brought consortia to develop their own facilitating “strategy”. Since that survey the situation changed with the launch of the PAEPARD Competitive research Fund and the PAEPARD Incentives Fund. The PAEPARD Competitive research Fund selected 4 consortia.
  2. Building a timeline per consortia. Participants identified and began to analysis the breakthroughs achieved and the setbacks/challenges they had achieved so far within the framework of the PAEPARD program.
Participants’ assessment of the workshop was positive as they felt it had enabled them to identify and collectively express the breakthroughs they have achieved and the challenges they are facing within PAEPARD, to learn from this experience and suggest solutions for the way forward. Participants expressed their interest in holding such reflection and learning exercises on a regular basis to allow all PAEPARD members to meet, exchange and reflect on their situation, strengthen their collaboration and ownership of the programme.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

3rd CAAST-Net Plus Annual Meeting


10 - 11 May 2015. Johannesburg. Annual Meeting. The goal of CAAST-Net Plus is a reinforced bi-regional STI relationship for jointly tackling global societal challenges and contributing to smart, inclusive and sustainable growth of both regions.
See the agenda of the meeting.

Addressing this goal CAAST-Net Plus has a series of six core objectives:
  1. Focus on societal challenges: Encourage multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral and bi-regional STI partnerships on key topics of mutual interest and benefit, focussing on major societal challenges.
  2. Coordination of policies and programmes: Explore collaborative and novel programming options and funding mechanisms for bi-regional partnerships around global challenges, promoting improved coherence and reduced fragmentation between relevant EU, AU and MS policies and programmes.
  3. Bridging the public-private sector gap: Foster greater public-private sector cooperation through enhancing mutual understanding to promote better exploitation of R and D outputs for innovation.
  4. Improving framework conditions: Identify and propose innovative solutions to reduce or overcome restrictive cooperation conditions, constraints or barriers.
  5. Mutual learning through bi-regional dialogue: Facilitate informal bi-regional stakeholder dialogues, complementing formal policy dialogue formats for advancing the bi-regional STI relationship, encouraging mutual learning, and understanding of national, regional and continental RDI in S and T strategies, priorities and instruments of relevance for cooperation.
  6. Stéphane Hogan, Minister-Counsellor 
    Delegation of the European Union 
    to the African Union
  7. Strengthening cooperation: Strengthen cooperation through increased awareness of the opportunities, the conditions, and the topics for cooperation supported by multilateral and bilateral programmes, through increasing capacities and networking of support structures for bi-regional RDI cooperation in S and T as well as fostering bi- regional networking of the science and innovation communities.
12 May 2015. CAAST-Net Plus Workshop on Pathways for Research Uptake. This meeting explored contemporary issues and emerging lessons for better evidence-based decision making and better uptake of research for innovation in goods, services and technologies for global challenges.

Session 1: Transferring Knowledge: Research Agendas, Challenges, Visions and Good Practices. The first
panel addressed the following topics:
  • the most pressing challenges to research uptake for global challenges;
  • actions required for the advancement of evidence-based knowledge for global challenges, for research and policy institutions at implementation level; and,
  • good practice examples for optimal uptake of research.
Session 2: Emerging Lessons from CAAST-Net Plus and DRUSSA. The second panel focused on
  • CAAST-Net Plus and the DRUSSA programmes as case studies for research uptake and knowledge transfer. 
  • Both initiatives seek to contribute to policy-making by offering recommendations and support to the formal and informal dialogue on issues concerning societal challenges.
Session 3: Building Partnerships for Research Uptake and Knowledge Transfer. The third panel focused on:
  • the diversity of partnerships; 
  • the challenges faced by these partnerships; and, 
  • good practices in forming sustainable partnerships for global challenges through research and innovation.
Background:
The DRUSSA project has received funding from the UK Department of International Development (DFID). CAAST-Net Plus is supported through the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) is a five-year programme supporting 24 African universities as they strengthen processes and systems to manage research uptake.
  • Unfortunately, too little of the knowledge being generated by African universities is currently being put to use or incorporated into public policy and practice. The DRUSSA programme is working with 24 African universities to rise to this challenge by improving the capacity of universities to contribute research evidence in pro-poor policy and practice.
  • Research Uptake Management is an emerging university management field with a practical, cost-effective and sustainable approach to getting knowledge generated through research to those who need it, can benefit from it and put it into use. It requires specialist individual capacity, aligned organisational structures and strategic management processes to optimise conditions for the dissemination, uptake and application of scientific evidence.
  • The DRUSSA programme is led by the Association of Commonwealth Universities based in the UK and is delivered in partnership with the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa and Organisation Systems Design, also based in South Africa.
  • For further information, visit the DRUSSA project website.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Towards a Research Agenda for Global Food and Nutrition Security

8 May 2015, Expo 2015, Milan. This high level conference was the official launch of a series of discussions that the EU Scientific Steering Committee for Expo will follow during the course of the six months of the Expo.

Including: Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union ; Monty Jones, President European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC) ; Lucy Muckoki, Chief Executive Officer, Pan African Agribusiness and AgroIndustry Consortium (PANAAC).

THE ROLE OF RESEARCH IN GLOBAL FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY
Expo 2015 EU Scientific Steering Committee Discussion paper
© European Union, 2015, 35 pages

Research within Europe, and alignment of Europe’s research (and funding) with other countries has a significant role to play to address foodand nutrition security in Europe and globally. A Steering Committee was established to provide expert advice on Expo’s theme. The Steering Committee’s role was to

  • give guidance on the draft programme of conferences, work-shops and online consultation for Expo 2015, and
  • provide this paper highlighting priorities for research, development and innovation on the theme of global food and nutrition security.

This paper should stimulate discussion with stakeholders and the general public and ultimately contribute to the EU’s legacy from the Expo. It is a “think piece” suggesting a strategy to address the challenges spanning the production of, access to, and consumption of food. The paper does not make recommendations for policy, rather it aims to prompt discussion of where research and innovation can contribute most to solving the issues, including providing underpinning evidence for policy development.

Related:
Online Consultation on the Role of Research in Global Food and Nutrition Security.
Period of Consultation: 13 April 2015 – 1 September 2015. The European Commission launched an online consultation on the role of research in global food and nutrition security. The aim of the consultation is to gather the views of stakeholders, citizens and the scientific community on the role that research has to play in tackling the challenges associated with ensuring food and nutrition security. EC wants an open and forward-looking debate with stakeholders to encourage dynamic and evidence-based policy making to tackle the many pressing challenges associated with food and nutrition security.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

La mécanisation partagée au Bénin : les Cuma

24 April 2015. Une expérience inédite de motorisation partagée au Bénin est au cœur de cette étude menée en collaboration avec l’Union nationale des Cuma du Bénin et l’association française Cuma Bénin. Cette publication retrace l’historique des Cuma, leur fonctionnement, leur réseau au Bénin et le partenariat franco-béninois. Sont analysées les conditions de la pérennité de cette initiative ainsi que les transformations induites par la motorisation sur l’activité agricole. 

Ce travail a vu le jour grâce à la FNCuma, FARM et la FAO qui ont accompagné cette capitalisation, entre février 2014 et mars 2015. Cette publication repose sur un stage de terrain mené auprès d’agriculteurs béninois par Marie Balse, une étudiante de l'Institut des régions chaudes (Montpellier Sup Agro), stagiaire à FARM.

Télécharger le document
Download the executive summary

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

10 videos about fruit trees in Central Asia

29 April 2015. For more than 15 years, Bioversity International has been working in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, focusing on promoting the conservation and use of traditional fruit tree varieties.

Fruit trees are the cornerstone of agriculture in Central Asia. As a centre of origin, there exists a highly diverse gene pool of both domesticated and wild fruit species. Fruit trees here have evolved to withstand drought and survive frost conditions. Many practices have also been specially developed to ensure their continued productivity under harsh conditions.

Published on 6 May 2015
An introduction to the wild walnut forests of Uzbekistan, why conserving these forests are important, and the genetic diversity that they provide to agriculture and nutrition.
You can watch the full Central Asia Fruit Trees playlist here, or view the individual videos though the links below. All videos are in Russian with English subtitles (click the CC icon on the bottom right of the video to activate the subtitles).

Mobile phone app for Agricultural video animations

27 April 2015.  SAWBO has developed more than 30 different 2D and 3D animations with voice-overs in over 50 different languages. SAWBO works in three main areas: Agriculture, Health and Women's Empowerment.

SAWBO has now a mobile app that is available for any compatible Android device. Download the app in the Google Play market to access the entire library of animations. You can then download as many videos as you want, and you can share them with anyone through bluetooth! Use the buttons below to download the SAWBO Deployer App or watch its video Tutorial.


Visit SAWBO's Video Library where you can watch or download all their videos in any available language, for free. All other languages for watching or downloading  will be available on the Video Library. Some languages can already be accessed on http://sawbo-illinois.org/lite/.



Here under are the videos developed around agriculture:
  1. Biocontrol of Legume Pod Borer (Maruca vitrata)
  2. Cooking With Soy!
  3. Natural Insecticide from Neem Seeds
  4. Natural Insecticide from Neem Seeds (With female and male character)
  5. Postharvest Loss: Bag Stacking
  6. Postharvest Loss: Bag Transportation
  7. Postharvest Loss: Bulk Transportation
  8. Postharvest Loss: Storage
  9. Postharvest Loss: Salt Testing for Grain Moisture Levels
  10. Solar Treating of Cowpea Seeds
  11. Survival Gardening: How to Create Compost (2D)
  12. Survival Gardening: How to Create Compost (3D)
  13. Survival Gardening: Raised Planting Beds
  14. Survival Gardening: Drip Irrigation
  15. Row Planting of Teff
  16. Tef (Teff) Transplanting Technology
  17. Charcoal Water Filtration
  18. How to Remove The Poison from Cassava Flour
  19. Improved Method of Shea Butter Processing
African Languages (examples):
AM|Amharic (Ethiopia) BBA|Bariba/Batonu (Benin) DDN|Dendi (Benin) DYU|Dioula (Burkina Faso) EN1|English (Nigeria) FAT|Fante (Ghana) FON|Fon (Benin) FR2|French (Congo) FR6|French (Benin) FUH|Fulfulde (Burkina Faso) GAZ|Afan Oromo (Ethiopia) GUW|Goun (Benin) HA|Hausa (Niger) LN|Lingala (Congo) PES| SBD|San (Burkina Faso)  TIR|Tigrigna (Ethiopia) WO|Wolof (Senegal) ZU|Zulu

Visit the You Tube channel of SAWBO™ Scientific Animations Without Borders

Postharvest Loss: Storage in English
This animation explains how to store grains using best practices for bag storage. It deals with how to prepare the grain for storage, transport the bags, and how to properly store the bags.


Published on 27 Mar 2015
SAWBO members discuss their new video on drip irrigation.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Upscale and Out-scale EbA-driven agriculture In Africa

UNEP, April 2015, 50 pages

Report with the findings of the Continental Task Force Members on EbA for Food security in Africa.

Africa faces a myriad of hurdles on its way to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda. Climate change, population growth, youth bulge, widespread unemployment, extreme poverty and hunger are some of the challenges that the continent is grappling with. Africa’s agricultural potential is immense. It is estimated the continent holds up to 65% of the world’s arable land and 10% of internal renewable fresh water sources

On incomes and poverty reduction, evidence from the World Bank is reported that in Africa, a 10% increase in crop yields translates to approximately a 7% reduction in poverty, greater than the 5% reduction reported in Asia. Neither the manufacturing nor services sectors can achieve an equivalent impact. The reason for this could be that in Africa, agriculture is not only a source of food but of livelihood, employing up to 60% of labour in the continent, a majority being small holders at 60%.

Related: 

The 2nd Africa Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Conference 2015
30 Jul 2015 - 31 Jul 2015, Nairobi, Kenya

This event "the 2nd Africa Food Security and Adaptation conference (AFSAC2)" is taking place on July 30 to 31, 2015. The theme this year is: Africa’s Soil the New Frontier: Re-imagining Africa Food Security Now and into the Future Under a Changing Climate. No fees are required to participate in this conference. For more information and registration, please visit the website: www.afsac2.aaknet.org
  • UN Organisation(s): UNEP
  • Partner(s):FAO, African Union, World Agroforestry Center , Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network, Nestle, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, International Center for Tropical Agriculture, IUGG Union-Commission on Climatic and Environmental Change, Biodiversity International, EcoAgriculture Partners, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network , African Center for Economic Transformation, Greenpeace, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture, ActionAid, The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, African Centre for Technology Studies
The Ecosystem Based Adaptation programme aimed at enhancing food security and climate change adaptation by demonstrating how to build climate resilient, ecologically-sound food systems in sub-Saharan Africa. This project will implement "demonstration projects" in countries and use the results to build capacity that will inform food security and climate change policies at the national and regional levels.

Highlight: the the Institute of Postharvest and Food Sciences of Israel

The main objective of the Institute of Postharvest and Food Sciences is research and development for preservation of shelf-life while keeping the quality, safety and nutritional value of various types of fresh or dry agricultural produce intended for export as well as for local markets. These include foods intended for human consumption, animal feed derived from plants and animals and ornamental use.

The institute aims at advancing and supporting Israeli agriculture and contributing to the wellbeing of the farmers and the general public in the country. The existence of diverse research disciplines and research groups under the same roof enables fruitful interdisciplinary cooperative research between the various research teams aimed at achieving common objectives.

The Institute's research and development outcomes are recognized as a significant factor in the development of agriculture in Israel, the ability of fresh produce marketing, and especially the ability to export to foreign markets. Knowledge, methods and various technologies resulting from the activities in the institute relevant to agricultural produce treatment and preservation are transferred to - farmers, export companies, packing houses, dry grain storage facilities and the food industry.

Over the years, environmental friendly protocols and technologies have been developed in the Institute for the treatment, storage and packaging of fresh produce and dry grains using environmentally friendly substances, and biological control for the preservation of produce, whilst preventing microbial risks and minimizing food waste.

The recent issue of the "Volcani Voice" is dedicated to the subject of "FACING CHALLENGES IN POSTHARVEST and FOOD LOSSES" and include review articles written by the researchers of the Institute of Postharvest and Food Sciences who participated in the International conference  April 28-30 in the frame of the Agritech
2015 exhibition.

See also the recently published instructions for "HOW TO STORE FRUITS & VEGETABLES AT HOME" prepared by researchers of the Dept. of Postharvest Sciences.

Published on 27 Nov 2014
Located at the Volcani Center campus in Bet-Dagan, near Tel-Aviv, ARO's six institutes are responsible for Plant Sciences, Animal Science, Plant Protection, Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Engineering, and Postharvest and Food Sciences. ARO also operates four research stations, in various parts of the country, and serves as a testing center for agricultural produce and equipment. Israel's Gene Bank for Agricultural Crops is also located on the ARO Volcani Center campus.




Highlight: SME Impact Fund invests in East Africa’s growth sector: agribusiness

The SME Impact Fund is dedicated to providing loans, skills and knowledge to SMEs in agricultural value chains, thus unlocking the agricultural potential of East Africa.. By connecting smallholder farmers and agribusiness SMEs, the SME Impact Fund strengthens links between small rural entrepreneurs and regional, national and export markets. The SME Impact Fund is an initiative of the Match Maker Group.

Small and medium sized enterprises receive comprehensive guidance and support throughout the implementation of their proposed project. The SME Impact Fund has extensive and complementary experience in agribusiness in East Africa and in SME banking and investments in Africa and Europe.
  • Number of Loans: 14
  • Total Permanent Employment: 232
  • Total Outreach to Small Holder Farmers: 912
How to Apply?
  • You are a duly registered company in Tanzania
  • Your company processes agricultural commodities
  • Your annual turnover exceeds TZS 200 million annually
  • You work in close cooperation with your suppliers
  • You are trustworthy and willing to share your financial data with the Fund
  • You are able to provide tangible securities for the loan
Related:
As part of fulfillment of the ongoing assignment by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to design an integrated value chain development (IVCD) project in Tanzania focusing on Common Bean and Groundnut, MMA organized a workshop in December 2014. A total of 31 key professionals and practitioners in the Legumes sector from East Africa region were brought together for two days to deliberate on the design parameters of the project.