Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Malawi Agriculture Extension Week

25 - 29 July 2016. Malawi. Agriculture Extension Week organized by Malawi Forum for Agriculture Advisory Services (MaFAAS) and Farm Radio Trust. The extension

On Thursday 28 July is a special day during the extension week. There will be exhibitions of ICT4Ag Platforms by different organizations in Ag value chain and also a panel discussion on rebranding Agriculture to attract more youth. There will be side sessions to discuss new mode of delivering
information, monitoring and feedback from the farming community focusing on rural radio, Mobile phones and Apps, Internet and Video/TV. 

Community radio stations will cover and broadcast live all activities on this day to allow rural audience learn new innovations and extension methods.

More details here

Farmers can detect aflatoxins with a low-cost device

Low-cost device developed 
for rapid detection of aflatoxins in Medak
27 July 2017A new technology that detects aflatoxins on location was developed by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). The rapid test kit device is also affordable at under US$ 2.

This exciting advancement combined with a mobile extraction kit that will be ready in two months, will be the first portable cost-effective way for farmers and others to detect aflatoxins instantly.

With funding from the McKnight Foundation and in collaboration with partners including the National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi-NASFAM, Farmers Union Malawi (FUM), Kamuzu Central Hospital and Nkhoma Hospital, Malawi, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) developed the rapid test kit for aflatoxins. It is a simple non-laboratory based kit that can be used directly by non-technical people such as farmers, agro-dealers and food processors. Currently, the test can be applied to detect aflatoxin in groundnuts.

The test kit launched officially by Dr. Wilkson Makumba, Director, Department of Agricultural Research Services (DARS), Lilongwe at ICRISAT-Malawi, requires limited technical knowledge or training and can be done on location.

The new test is simple to perform and can detect contamination at levels of 10 parts per billion (ppb) in less than 15 minutes. 
“The device will contribute to manage and reduce the entry of aflatoxins in the food value chains, improve diagnosis for local and export trade and support the food processing industry to maintain low exposure levels in food products in our local markets as well as for export markets,” said Dr. Anitha Seetha, Scientist, ICRISAT, Malawi. 
Groundnut, maize, sorghum, pearl millet, chilies, pistachios, cassava and other food products are contaminated by aflatoxin each year.
“ICRISAT has been working with smallholder farmers in Africa to combat the aflatoxin problem. This kit will enable rapid and cost-effective deployment by the government and private sector to protect public health and also improve the export prospects for African countries,” said Dr. David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

How to Design and Facilitate Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships

The MSP Guide: How to Design and Facilitate Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships
2016 Pages: 188

In recent years, multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) have become popular for tackling the complex challenges of sustainable development. This guide provides a practical framework for the design and facilitation of these collaborative processes that work across the boundaries of business, government, civil society and science. The guide links the underlying rationale for multi-stakeholder partnerships, with a clear four phase process model, a set of seven core principles, key ideas for facilitation and 60 participatory tools for analysis, planning and decision making.

The guide has been written for those directly involved in MSPs – as a stakeholder, leader, facilitator or funder – to provide both the conceptual foundations and practical tools that underpin successful partnerships.

The guide draws on the direct experience of staff from the Centre of Development Innovation (CDI), at Wageningen University & Research Centre, in supporting MSP processes in many countries around the world. It also compiles the ideas and materials behind CDI’s annual three week international course on facilitating MSPs and social learning. This work has been inspired by the motivation and passion that comes when people dare to “walk in each other’s shoes” to find new paths toward shared ambitions for the future.

Download this book (PDF 9.36MB)

6 farmer training videos on fruit fly management

25 July 2016. With support from CORAF, and in collaboration with the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin and the University of Ghana, Agro-Insight produced a series of 6 farmer training videos on fruit fly management, which will be of great relevance to all those involved in developing fruit value chains across Africa.
There is a related blog story: The smell of ants

All videos are freely downloadable as video, audio or 3gp file for mobile phone viewing from the Access Agriculture website, and come with one-page, farmer-friendly fact sheets that contain contact information of scientists involved.

These videos will become available in African languages in the near future.

Related PAEPARD projects:
ColeACP is seeking funding under the private sector Users' led programme (ULP) of PAEPARD in order to support research on mango residues / mango waste to combat the fruit fly.
  • This includes research on the use of the kernel for cosmetics, bio gas, livestock feed and fertilizer. 
  • In particular research funding is needed on the processing of mangoes infested with fruit fly larvae which may increase the protein value of poultry feed when transformed properly.
  • Creating a revenue from waste may be a crucial incentive for farmers to collect infested mangoes.
  • See presentation of Dr Timbilfou KIENDREBEOGO, Institute of Environmental and Agricultural Researches (INEAR), Department of Livestock Productions (DLP), Non Ruminants Program (NRP), Burkina Faso (Member of the ULP ColeACP consortium: Mango waste for feed): Use of production and transformation of the waste of mangoes for food of poultry in Burkina Faso.
ECOWAS is funding a Fruit Fly Project in 8 countries (including Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali etc.) with a total amount of 23,312,000 USD for 3 years. Professor Kwame Afreh-Nuamah of the School of Agriculture, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, is the Chairman of the Fruit Fly National Committee of Ghana (and member of the PAEPARD and FARA/SSA-CP supported Citrus Innovation Platform of Ghana

CORAF/WECARD has funded the ARD component (research) of the Fruit Fly Project with 2.5 million USD. The project is coordinated by Dr Antonio Sinzogan from the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin. The Ghana country chapter is led by Dr Maxwell K. Billah of University of Ghana. The above mentioned videos are one of the outcomes for this research project.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Agribusiness TV

21st July 2016. Agribusiness TV has hit the nail on the head! 300,000 views, 6,000 sharesWatch the recording with Nawsheen and Inoussa about who the people are watching their videos. How they organise their operations and where they want to go with the project?

The main success is apparently achieved on Facebook. An overview over the videos produced is accessible on the Agribusiness TV LinkedIn account as well.

Friday, July 22, 2016

New sustainable livestock development report

In October 2014, the CFS requested the HLPE to prepare a report on sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition, including the role of livestock. An important planning meeting was held at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). Delia Grace, a veterinary epidemiologist and food safety expert at ILRI, served as one of ten members of the HLPE livestock project team members.

The report was launched at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on 1 Jul 2016, in Rome. ILRI Director General Jimmy Smith, who the day before gave a keynote presentation at a Partnerships Forum on Livestock at the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), attended the FAO launch of the report on the role of livestock in sustainable agricultural development.

Read the whole report:
HLPE. 2016. Sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition: What roles for livestock? A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome, 139 pp.

High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

12 July 2016. New York. High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
5th session.  Ensuring that no one is left behind - Food security and sustainable agriculture, climate action, sustainable oceans and terrestrial ecosystems - adopting a nexus approach.

The session identified important inter-linkages among the different nexus areas and enumerate possible threats to agriculture, the climate and the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems which are at the same time negatively affecting food security. The session elaborated on the necessity of using an integrated approach when dealing with this nexus at the sub-national, national, regional and global level.
  • What are the most important inter-linkages among the different nexus areas?
  • What are possible threats affecting agriculture, the climate, the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems and how do they affect food security?
  • How can an integrated approach be used when dealing with this nexus at the sub-national, national, regional and global level to ensure that no one is left behind and what are good examples of such approach?
Panel members:
  • Ms. Deborah Fulton, Secretary at the Committee on World Food Security (CFS)
  • Ms. Evelyn Nguleka, President, World Farmers' Organization
  • Ms. Omoyemen Lucia Odigie-Emmanuel, President of the Centre for Human Rights and Climate Change
  • Mr. Jake Rice, Chief Scientist – Emeritus at the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) participated in the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. This meeting was the first of many meetings and processes that took place to monitor progress in meeting the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Shirley Tarawali, assistant director general of ILRI, was one of five panel members who gave a short talk to frame the discussion. The other speakers were Dyborn Chibonga, CEO of the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi; Jackie Klippenstein, vice president for Industry & Legislative Affairs at Dairy Farmers of America; Martha Hirpa, managing senior director atHeifer International; and Franck Berthe, leader of the Livestock Global Alliance that is facilitating joint communications of five of the world’s leading organizations focusing on global livestock issues.

Expert Network on Food and Non-food Biomass-based Value webs (BiomassNet)

21 July 2016. BiomassNet and the BiomassNet Dgroup are an initiative of the BiomassWeb project coordinated by the Center for Development Research (ZEF), an institute of the University of Bonn, Germany, and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), based in Accra, Ghana.

BiomassWeb investigates the production and utilization of biomass in Africa by looking at current and future biomass demand and supply. The project identifies innovation opportunities in pre- and post-harvest production technologies, institutional settings and governance structures. This is complemented by implementation activities focusing on joint learning and network building to create innovative capacity beyond the project duration.

BiomassWeb is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supported with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as part of the GlobE – Research for the global food supply program. the duration of the Project is: 2013-2016, with the prospect of continuation from 2016-2018 upon evaluation.

One feature of BiomassNet is the BiomassNet Dgroup, which promotes dialogue and cooperation amongst individuals and organisations working in food and non-food biomass production, processing and trading in African countries. The Dgroup welcomes all stakeholders who are interested in research and development issues related to biomass in Africa, such as scientists, policy makers, local, regional and national authorities, practitioners, civil society and development organisations, etc. The issues raised can refer to the broad range of food and non-food aspects of biomass, e.g., from agricultural production and nutritional value to innovative processing techniques and market analyses.

During a BiomassWeb Science Meeting in Ibadan, Nigeria, the participants visited parts of IITA's research campus. One part was the joint cassava peels processing plant. The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) tests different processes to find the best and efficient way to reuse cassava peels. This video shows some options what do to with the big amounts of cassava peels.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Smart and Affordable farming solutions

13 July 2016. Brussels. This Briefing was organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the European Commission, the the European Commission / DEVCO, the ACP Secretariat, CONCORD, CEMA, Agricord and the PanAfrican Farmer’s Organisation (PAFO).

Panel 1: Setting the scene: Drivers of smart-farming in Africa
This panel discussed the available tools and approaches in support of smart-farming which can benefit the smallholders. It will also discuss public-private partnerships (PPPs) and multi-stakeholder alliances that aim at accelerating investments and transformative change in African agriculture.
  • Smart-farming: trends and new opportunities benefiting small-holders; Josef Kienzle, Expert, Equipment and Institutions/Agro-Industries, Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries. Division (AGST), FAO [presentation|video]
  • Connecting your farm: the future of Precision Agriculture in Africa; Louisa Parker, Manager Institutional Funding and Stakeholder Relations Africa and Middle EastAdvanced Technology Solutions AGCO Corporation (AGCO) [presentation|video]
  • Contribution of unmanned aerial systems to precision farming; Giacomo Rambaldi, Senior Coordinator ICT, CTA; Damien van Eeckhout, Head of International Business Development, Airinov [presentation|video]
  • Smart farming: a priority for farmers in Africa; Theo de Jager, President, Panafrican Farmers Organisation (PAFO) [presentation|video]
Panel 2: Scaling up successes in smart farming
This panel looked at specific examples of successful smart-farming applications at various levels. It will also show smart inclusive and sustainable PPPs.
  • PPPs: Upscaling agribusiness successes in Africa; Chris Addison, Senior Coordinator, CTA; Stephen Muchiri, CEO, Eastern African Farmers Federation, Kenya [presentation|video]
  • Proven successful smart-farming technologies: the case of Potato initiative Africa; Frank Nordmann, Grimme, Germany [presentation|video]
  • Empowering women and youth through capacity building; Eric Kaduru, KadAfrica, Uganda [executive summary|video]
  • Pooling forces: Machinery rings and cooperatives; Andreas Hastedt, Board member, German Association of Machinery Rings [presentation|video]
Programme and Background Note
Biodata of the speakers

A strategic approach to EU agricultural research & innovation final paper

A strategic approach to EU agricultural research & innovation final paper
July 2016. 40 pages

The year-long process to develop a strategic approach to EU agricultural research and innovation has successfully come to an end with the publication of the final paper.

This final paper incorporates the outcomes of the 'Designing the path' conference held in January 2016.

The strategy aims to harness EU investments in the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation in view of the following main objectives: ensure food security in the long term; address the environmental sustainability and resilience of competitive land-based primary production for food and non-food systems; and boost the sustainable growth of rural territories. In addition, the strategy seeks to improve the delivery of research results for policy use.

The strategy focuses on land-based primary production from agriculture and forestry and extends to food and non-food chains and the rural economy. Five priority areas for research and innovation have been identified, and clustered under two thematic headings.

Creating value from land - sustainable primary production: 
  1. Priority 1: Resource management (notably soil, water and biodiversity) 
  2. Priority 2: Healthier plants and animals 
  3. Priority 3: Integrated ecological approaches from farm to landscape level. 
Enhancing rural innovation - modernising rural areas and policies:
  1. Priority 4: New openings for rural growth 
  2. Priority 5: Enhancing the human and social capital in rural areas.
6 July 2016. Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
4 - 6 July 2016. Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
A strategic approach to EU agricultural research and innovation
26-28/01/2016. Brussels

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Second Aflatoxin Biocontrol Workers’ Network Workshop

11 - 14 July 2016. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This expert meeting funded by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of USDA and IITA, brought together over 50 participants including researchers, farmers’ groups, national program partners, officials from regional and international organizations, policy makers, and donors. The workshop followed an earlier one held at the USDA-ARS labs at the University of Arizona, USA in 2012.

The participants of this Second Aflatoxin Biocontrol Workers’ Network Workshop focused on progress made in rolling out Aflasafe, an effective and safe biological control product which reduces the prevalence of aflatoxins in treated maize and groundnut by 80 - 99% from farm to fork.
“The workshop participants took stock of the current status of aflasafe development in various countries, discuss research protocols, and provide a platform to network and understand each other’s work. The result will be a shared understanding of the needs for future developments of biocontrol in Africa,” Dr Ranajit Bandyopadhyay, Senior Plant Pathologist, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)- Nigeria, and team leader of IITA’s aflasafe projects.
“Biological control products such as Aflasafe provide farmers with a safe, simple solution that protects their crops on the farm and in storage saving them a long list of tasks to carry out to prevent their crops from being contaminated with aflatoxins,” Prof Peter Cotty, a Research Plant Pathologist at USDA-ARS
All Africa 19/07 Africa: Experts Meet to Tackle Killer Fungi in African Food Crops
Daily Nation 16/07 Experts meet to discuss how to tackle aflatoxin

J Food Prot. 2016 May; A Case for Regular Aflatoxin Monitoring in Peanut Butter in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons from a 3-Year Survey in Zambia.

A 3-year comprehensive analysis of aflatoxin contamination in peanut butter was conducted in Zambia, sub-Saharan Africa. The study analyzed 954 containers of 24 local and imported peanut butter brands collected from shops in Chipata, Mambwe, Petauke, Katete, and Nyimba districts and also in Lusaka from 2012 to 2014. For analysis, a sample included six containers of a single brand, from the same processing batch number and the same shop. Each container was quantitatively analyzed for aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in six replicates by using competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; thus, aflatoxin contamination level of a given sample was derived from an average of 36 test values. Results showed that 73% of the brands tested in 2012 were contaminated with AFB1 levels >20 μg/kg and ranged up to 130 μg/kg. In 2013, 80% of the brands were contaminated with AFB1 levels >20 μg/kg and ranged up to 10,740 μg/kg. Compared with brand data from 2012 and 2013, fewer brands in 2014, i.e., 53%, had aflatoxin B1 levels >20 μg/kg and ranged up to 1,000 μg/kg. Of the eight brands tested repeatedly across the 3-year period, none consistently averaged ≤20 μg/kg. Our survey clearly demonstrates the regular occurrence of high levels of AF B1 in peanut butter in Zambia. Considering that some of the brands tested originated from neighboring countries such as Malawi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, the current findings provide a sub-Saharan regional perspective regarding the safety of peanut butter.

Sharing experiences from climate change and agriculture communities of practice

Guidebook for online facilitators – Sharing experiences from climate change and agriculture communities of practice
Nuutinen, M.; Neely, C.; García, C.; Avagyan, A.
FAO 2016, 80 p.

This guidebook synthesizes lessons learned from the FAO Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture programme’s work with online communities of practice. It aims to help others searching for effective ways to organize and facilitate online communities. The guidebook is a one-stop resource bank and background for establishing an online community of practice. It is hoped that it will encourage practitioners to organize online learning events. 

The book is targeted at people working on knowledge management, participatory approaches, stakeholder consultations and networks to enhance online capacity development efforts. The guidance is valid for all sectors, but focuses on challenges related to natural resource management under climate change in the development context.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services in East African Agriculture

5 July 2016. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) have released a joint document that provides technical and policy guidance to East African governments on measures promoting the use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural production.

Year of publication: 2016
Publisher: FAO
Pages: 170 p.

The document titled, 'Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity into Agricultural Production and Management in Eastern Africa,' Practical issues for consideration in National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans to minimize the use of agrochemicals, aims to promote mainstreaming through countries' National Biodiversity and Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). NBSAPs are the main policy tool for implementing the CBD's provisions at the national level and achieving the Convention's Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

The document features three parts, the first of which provides definitions and an overview of the international and African contexts. The second part provides detailed technical information on how ecosystem services and biodiversity can be used to minimize the use of agro-chemicals in agricultural production in East Africa. It describes ecosystem services, related practices, challenges and potential trade-offs in the following areas: pest and disease control; weed management; enhancing soil fertility; water conservation; pollination; management of agro-pastoral production systems; farm-level management of crop, tree and livestock integration; and farmers' traditional knowledge and innovation.

The third part of the document focuses on practical advice for policy makers in mainstreaming ecosystem services in agriculture. The first chapter of this section describes the international policy framework and gives examples and experiences of how agro-ecosystem services are being handled in the European Union (EU). The second chapter presents a case study of Kenya's national policy framework and policy instruments that are being used in various agricultural sectors in Kenya. The final chapter presents policy recommendations for promoting biodiversity and ecosystem services in agro-ecosystem management in NBSAPs as well as recommendations for policy entry points with regard to various national actors.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Améliorer l’accès des agriculteurs familiaux aux semences de qualité

12 - 14 juillet 2016. Goma, RDC. Dans le cadre du programme PAEPARD, le CSA et le Consortium des OP des Grands Lacs ont co-organisé à Goma (RDC) un atelier international sur le thème "Améliorer l’accès des agriculteurs familiaux aux semences de qualité".

L’atelier a rassemblé les multiples acteurs du système semenciers de la Région (organisations paysannes, institutions de recherche, secteur privé, acteurs gouvernementaux, ONG …) afin d’assurer un débat multi-acteurs autour de la question semencière et de dégager des pistes concrètes d’amélioration de l’accès des agriculteurs familiaux aux semences de qualité. La question des partenariats OP-recherche-secteur privé a été en particulier abordée.

L’atelier visait à :
  • Permettre un débat multi-acteurs sur les partenariats entre OP et autres acteurs des systèmes semenciers pour un accès durable aux semences de qualité ; 
  • Partager et capitaliser les différentes expériences vécues par les OP dans leurs multiples collaborations avec les différents secteurs et acteurs ; 
  • Susciter une réflexion collective sur les systèmes semenciers existant, sur base d’expériences pertinentes, afin de dégager leurs avantages et inconvénients pour les agriculteurs familiaux et les améliorations possibles ; 
  • Envisager les conditions possibles pour une meilleure circulation du matériel semencier dans la Région des Grands Lacs ; Définir des lignes de plaidoyer pour améliorer la complémentarité entre les entreprises gouvernementales, commerciales et paysannes dans les domaines de la création variétale, de la production et de la distribution des semences tant au niveau national qu’au niveau régional ; 
  • Etablir des mécanismes fiables et inclusifs devant faciliter les échanges d’informations et d’expertise entre les pays et les institutions de la Région des Grands Lacs dans le domaine des ressources phytogénétiques destinées à l’agriculture et du développement de la production semencière. 
  • Enregistrer ceux-ci dans un document de plaidoyer et de capitalisation afin d’appuyer les actions de différentes OP actives sur le thème.
SESSION 1. Défis de l’organisation de l’offre : renforcer les capacités des producteurs
SESSION 2. Défis de l’organisation de la demande : rencontrer les besoins des consommateurs tout en remplissant un rôle incitatif, au bénéfice des producteurs
SESSION 3. Quelles conditions associer aux achats publics pour assurer un impact social et environnemental favorable ?

PAEPARD regional write-shops for the AUC Research Grants open call

11-15 July 2016. The African Union Commission launched in May 2016 Phase 2 of the African Union Research Grants programme with an open call for proposals for Research and Innovation in Africa supported by the European Union. The closing date for applications is 17 August 2016. All information and documents pertaining to the call are available on the AURG website.

PAEPARD management is organizing 2 regional write-shops to allow those who would like respond to the AUC Research Grants open call. The two write-shops are facilitated by Mr Gerard den Ouden who facilitated the 2012 African Union call.
  • For Eastern and Southern Africa: Venue Entebbe. Dates: 11-15 July 2016
  • For West-Africa consortia based: Venue Accra. Dates: 18-22 July 2016
Also in 2012 - taking advantage of the African Union Research Grants open call for proposal - PAEPARD organized 2 write-shops for consortia who had completed the partnership inception workshop. Besides the consortia initiated by PAEPARD.
  • The first proposal write-shop, for Anglophones, took place in Entebbe from 18 to 22 March 2012. A total 24 participants attended the workshop excluding the facilitators and support staff. 
  • The second proposal write-shop was devoted to Francophone participants and took place in Cotonou from 25 to 29 March 2012. A total 26 participants attended this workshop. 
The average cost per workshop was 40,000 Euro per workshop. 11 proposals focused on the AU Call (deadline 20 April 2012). The facilitator was: Gerard den Ouden (the Netherlands/Belgium). In 2012 none of the proposals was selected.

Evaluation African Union Research Grants 2011-2012
The focus was on socio-economic issues in the sectors of food security, sustainable energy and integrated water resources and waste management. Under the African Union Research Grant calls, there was a problem of high wastage and unmet demand with only 20 grants being made (with a further 11 reserves) against the 450 bids received (i.e., a success rate of about 5%). Funding available for the African Union Research Grants was very limited. As a consequence, the success rate for applying was low, and many potentially interesting projects did not receive funding. The available funding was thus not adequate to meet the strong demand for Africa-focused research grants.

Selected proposals: The two ARG calls (2001+2012) resulted in 20 grants up of to 750,000 (total value: EUR 13.8 million). The contracts all end between December 2015 and December 2016. Of the 20 projects funded, five were led by European and 15 by African organisations, (in contrast with FP7 consortia which are usually European led) although activities always take place in Africa. This funding was seen as a good preparation to be successful in FP7 calls, although it is too early to say whether AURGs will contribute to more success under H2020. The EU is pushing the AUC strongly to find other funding sources, including AU Member States, but this continues to be a struggle.

[See] Mackie, J., Engel, P., Bizzotto Molina, P., Deneckere, M., Spierings, E., Tondel, F. (et al.). 2016. Evaluation of EU support to Research and Innovation for development in partner countries (2007-2013). Volume 3. Page 136-137

Closing panel of the AU-EU Conference on Investing in a Food Secure Future

Closing panel
6 July 2016. High Level Ministerial segment.  The Government of the Netherlands, in its role as EU Presidency 2016, has taken the initiative to advance AU - EU cooperation in the field of agriculture, and place special emphasis on the role of agricultural policy cooperation in food security and nutrition improvement.

This agricultural policy cooperation seeks to support governments, farmers, private sector, scientists, businesses, and civil society, as well as regional blocs and international organizations, in adjusting agricultural, forestry and fisheries practices, food systems and social and economic policies in order to reach these goals.

Ministerial meeting
The Conference was built around a two-day Experts’ segment followed by a High Level Ministerial segment on the third day, giving political orientations to improve AU-EU agricultural cooperation and build on previous international efforts and existing structures.

Following Ministers participated in the High Level Ministerial meeting:

  • H.E. Deo-Guige RUREMA, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of BURUNDI
  • H.E. Henry Eyebe Ayissi, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of CAMEROON
  • H.E. Henri DJOMBO, Ministre de l’Agriculture, de l’elevage et de la Pêche, Republique de CONGO
  • H.E. Mboumba NzienguiI Mathieu, Ministre de l'Agriculture GABON
  • H.E. Jacqueline Marthe Sultan, Ministre de l’Agriculture GUINEA
  • H.E. Lisemelo 'Mapalesa MOTHOKHO, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security LESOTHO
  • H.E. Audu I. Ogbeh OFR, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development NIGERIA
  • H.E. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources RWANDA
  • H.E. Lam Akol Ajawin Agongdit, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security SOUTH SUDAN
  • H.E. Ibrahim Adem Ahmed Eldekerei, Minister of Agriculture & Irrigation SUDAN
  • H.E. Vincent Ssempijja, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fishery UGANDA
Themes of cooperation
  • Climate smart agriculture
  • Fighting Food Losses and Waste
  • Improved Market Access
  • Responsible Private Sector Investment
  • Science and Innovation for Agricultural Development
The Conference put forward partnerships on the main themes of AU-EU cooperation, in order to accelerate the implementation of relevant agreements and actions as well as to strengthen the cooperation with privates sector, especially through public private partnerships. This will be a rolling agenda for the AU-EU cooperation the coming years.
  • The Netherlands, as co-organizer of the AU-EU Investing in a Food Secure Future Conference,
    committed to funding two to four Agri-business incubators for Africa, and invited to further exploring this approach with other partners.
  • The European Commission committed to deepen their work in the five thematic areas, especially via EC Funds, mainly EDF, ENI for North Africa, the Global Public Goods Fund, Agrifi, and Funds of the European Investment Bank.
  • The Dutch Topsector Agri-food and Horticulture will support the set up of a AU-EU Business Forum involving Government, private sector, farmers organizations, and financial institutions;
  • UNECA offered a platform for accelerating technology transfer on thematic issues, including
    on Food Loss and Waste.
  • And as a next step facilitate the continued dialogue called for by the Conference, by bringing a biennial Ministerial AU-EU ‘Roundtable’ focused on implementation to life, aimed at a strong and lasting partnership of AU and EU around the five main themes of cooperation.
Creation of two new research-industry-public partnership incubators.
Set up a Africa-EU multistakeholder agricultural business platform focused on market access
  • This proposal involves establishing two new incubator programs in each of the 54 countries. 
  • A science-driven approach is the only way to transform agricultural markets quickly enough. In order to achieve this transformation, there needs to be a new paradigm for commercializing science to address critical questions asked of scientists. 
  • Innovation systems require bringing relevant actors together to achieve the kind of big impact Africa is looking for. While a number of models have already been tested, only one of those models is implementing innovation platforms. 
  • Furthermore, there is a need to engage the private sector, research universities, and policymakers in most effectively designing incubation programs. 
  • Currently, there are a number of incubators around a variety of value chains, including coffee, banana, livestock, vegetables, and agroforestry products. 
  • These incubators are creating direct jobs, supporting SMEs, and are often the basis for devleoping agribusiness curricula.
ColeACP announced at the Ministerial meeting the approval by the EC/DG-DevCo (Directorate General Development Cooperation) of the ColeACP programme on "Competitiveness through sustainable business" (European Development Fund/EDF).
“In our new programme, the economic dimension of the business is fundamental. So far, we have devoted ourselves to its technical dimension by supporting businesses in the field of food safety, traceability and the implementation of international standards. With the new programme, we also want to help them integrate all the economic data into their management and decisionmaking. The objective is competitiveness. In other words, ensure that the technical skills acquired by businesses are used to improve their economic performance and, in addition, to help unlock the potential of agro-industrial production in developing countries. 
The support of COLEACP will therefore extend to entrepreneurial development as a whole, including dimensions such as market analysis, marketing, the cold chain, logistics, invoicing and administration. This diversification is designed to set up a virtuous circle to resolve the main problem of SMEs in Southern countries - access to credit. By working to consolidate their economic pillar, COLEACP will help improve their bankability, to facilitate the raising of funds from financial institutions, and thus leverage their development. The aim, in fact, is to prepare ACP businesses so that they are in a position to take advantage of opportunities that will inevitably arise for them in the coming decades.”  Guy Stinglhamber, General Delegate of COLEACP

Farming for the future of Friends of the Earth

Farming for the Future: Organic and Agroecological Solutions to Feed the World
This report was written by Christopher D. Cook, Kari Hamerschlag, Friends of the Earth U.S. and Kendra Klein, Friends of the Earth U.S
2016, 23 pages
The science is clear: Feeding the world sustainably requires that we protect the ecological resources that are essential for producing food now and in the future. What’s more, research consistently shows that hunger is not a problem of overall supply of food, but results from poverty, lack of democracy and unequal access to land, water and other resources. 

Rather than producing more food under unequal and ecologically destructive conditions, the solution to hunger hinges on creating a more sustainable, democratic and fair food system for all.
Despite the many proven benefits of ecological farming, there is a massive disparity in research funding for organic in comparison to conventional agriculture. Of the $49 billion invested globally in agricultural research, less than one percent goes to organic farming.164 In the U.S., less than two percent of public agricultural research funding goes to organic and biologically diversified farming.165,166 Agroecological farming approaches have achieved high levels of environmental performance and productivity despite minimal funding. Increased research could improve yields and environmental gains beyond already proven success. (page 17)
Learn from top scientists and thought leaders on the science of sustainable food production and a comprehensive approach to creating a healthy, resilient food system to feed all people, now and into the future.

The AfDB strategy for Africa’s agricultural transformation

22 May 2016. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.  The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank
Group (AfDB) has approved an agricultural transformation strategy for a competitive and inclusive agribusiness sector that creates wealth, improves lives and secures the environment. The document was widely reviewed by global stakeholders, peer institutions and partners as well as through regional consultations held in Rabat, Kinshasa, Lusaka, Dar es Salaam and Accra.

Focusing on transformation, scaling up agriculture as a business through value addition, led by the private sector and enabled by the public sector, and using innovative financing mechanisms, the strategy aims to end hunger and rural poverty in Africa in the next decade.

It is the second of the Bank’s High 5 priorities – Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa – a blueprint for the implementation of its Ten Year Strategy 2013-2022.

Realizing the objectives of the strategy would involve increased productivity; value addition; investment in infrastructure; creating an enabling agribusiness environment; catalyzing capital flows; ensuring inclusivity, sustainability and effective nutrition; all in a coordinated manner.
  • The idea is to drive transformation through 15 priority commodity value chains in given agro-ecological zones specifically to achieve self-sufficiency in key commodities such as rice, wheat, fish, palm oil, horticulture, cassava; move up the value chain in key export-oriented commodities like cocoa, coffee, cotton, cashew; create a food-secure Sahel in sorghum, millet, livestock; and realize the potential of the Guinea savannah in maize, soybean and livestock.
  • The Feed Africa Strategy makes a strong case for reversing the situation of a continent that spends US $35.4 billion on food imports annually despite being home to 65% of the world’s undeveloped arable land.
  • The total investment for the realization of the transformation agenda over 10 years is estimated at US $315-400 billion with annual returns of US $85 billion, when fully funded.
  • The Bank will itself invest US $24 billion and leverage additional investments through equity, quasi equity, debt and risk instruments to catalyze investments at scale from the private sector and with co-financing from traditional donors and new players. 
  • The identified financing gap estimated at US $23 billion can be met using innovative de-risking tools and blended financing from combined sovereign, pension and private equity funds.
Related PAEPARD blog post:
23-27 May 2016. Lusaka. 2016 AfDB Annual Meetings to focus on energy and climate change

Resilient Cities 2016

6 - 8 July 2016. Bonn, Germany. Over 300 participants from more than 40 countries gathered for the seventh year in Bonn to discuss urban resilience. Three main strands of work were launched:
  1. how to finance resilience; 
  2. how to ensure that resilience is inclusive; 
  3. how to move forward on the global agenda.
After three days it became clear to all that these issues are fundamentally interconnected. It is impossible to move forward the global agenda without the involvement of citizens, and in particular slum dwellers and members of marginalized communities that are often the backbone of local economies. The case of Accra, in Ghana, where the so-called “informal economy” makes up a very large part of the local economy, is telling. Thanks to the help of WIEGO, hawkers and street sellers got together, identified their priorities and gradually conquered a sit at the table.

Resilience projects can often be outside the financial reach of local authorities. Lots of money is needed to build new, green and resilient infrastructure, as it is to upgrade existing infrastructure. How to make this connection happen? People, again. Their capacity, which needs to be build; their involvement in the planning and implementation of the project, which is crucial to ensure long-term success and therefore financial viability of the project.

It is not (or not only) about making “prettier” projects that would appeal to potential investors, but rather about creating the environment in which innovative financial tools can be developed to leverage existing resources and even bridge the income gap in many emerging economies, as was suggested during a workshop on City Innovation Platforms (CIPs) for African infrastructure risk and resilience.

Extract of the programme:

PANEL: Inclusive and Resilient Urban Development Forum - Slum upgrading achieving resilient cities for all in Africa
Session Description
  • Julian Baskin, Head of Programme Unit, Cities Alliance, Brussels, Belgium
  • Ellen Oteng Nsiah, Executive Director, Housing the Masses, Accra, Ghana
  • Sipliant Takougang, National Coordinator Urban Governance Programme, Ministry of Urban Development and Habitat, Yaounde, Cameroon
  • Wolfgang Ryll, Principal Sector Economist, KfW, Frankfurt, Germany
PANEL: Resilience planning in small and intermediate-sized cities in Sub-Saharan Africa
Session Description
  • Katharina Rochell, Urban Resilience Specialist, UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Joost Möhlmann, Head of Programme, UN-Habitat Mozambique, Maputo, Mozambique
  • Julian Baskin, Head of Programme Unit, Cities Alliance, Brussels, Belgium
  • Sean O’Donoghue, Acting Manager of the Climate Protection Branch, Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department, eThekwini Municipality/Durban, South Africa 
  • Daviz Mbepo Simango, Mayor, City Council of Beira, Mozambique
WORKSHOP: City Innovation Platforms (CIPs) for African infrastructure risk and resilience
Session Description
  • Tom Herbstein, Programme Manager, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)'s ClimateWise, Cambridge, UK Leadership (CISL)'s ClimateWise, Cambridge, UK
  • Vanessa Otto-Mentz, Head: Group Strategy Unit Santam, Bellville, South Africa
  • Kobie Brand, Regional Director, ICLEI Africa, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Butch Bacani, Programme Leader, The UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (UNEP FI - PSI), Geneva, Switzerland

Friday, July 8, 2016

The vital role of adapted and resilient pastoral systems

1 July 2016. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The workshop on Policy Dialogue and Strengthening of the capacity of pastoralists’ networks and organizations reaffirmed the vital role of adapted and resilient pastoral systems in the face of climate change. The three-day gathering workshop was organized by the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUC/DREA), through Pastoralism Division, under the theme: “Resilience and adaptation to drought conditions and pastoralists systems in Africa”. It was attended by various experts and actors, namely representatives of the AUC, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), pastoralist organisations, Farmers’ Organizations, National Governments and Civil Society Organizations.

The main objective of the workshop was to understand the mechanism for assessing and predicting risks, monitoring and early warning in pastoralists’ regions. The workshop provided the opportunity for the creation of platform for exchanges, dialogues and cooperation among African pastoralist organizations and networks which would facilitate the management, sharing and dissemination of knowledge and best practices of pastoralism.

Delivering the opening remarks on the behalf of AUC, Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS, underlined the importance of pastoralism despite the vulnerability of pastoralists and hence the need for promotion of sustainable pastoralism to take the place it deserves in the debate on development of natural resource management strategies.
“Some of the critical elements necessary to strengthen the capacity of pastoralists include livestock development, policy and governance, gender balanced development, equitable resource tenure, access to social services in addition to efficient resource use”. Mr. Djibo Bagna, Head of Board of the network of peasant organizations and producers in West Africa (ROPPA) 
After three days of intensive sessions, strong recommendations have been formulated to key targets. The role of the African Union Commission in addressing the plight of pastoralists through the preparation of the Policy Framework for Pastoralism was acknowledged. Also African governments were called on to support the implementation of the Policy Framework by committing adequate resources as well as developing suitable policies and laws to enhance cross border livestock mobility that would go a long way to boost food security and nutrition.

As key messages, the workshop noted the need for concerted actions aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change including technical preventive measures and aspects of socio-economic interventions to ease the vulnerability of populations inhabiting arid and semi-arid zones to ensure resilience and adaptation to drought conditions and pastoral systems in Africa.

Delegates noted pastoralism as a business that is a continuum along the demand and supply value chains that would benefit from investment in public infrastructure and provision of basic services to the pastoral communities. Delegates underscored the need for a robust advocacy campaign with solid and scientific evidence, capacity building, favorable policies, structured investments and technological innovations to make pastoralism an attractive venture for women and youth as well as for financial support through credits. The workshop recognized the sensitive land tenure systems within Member States which affect transformation towards sustainable pastoralism in arid and semi-arid zones.

A key recommendation of the workshop was that AUC, in collaboration with RECs, should provide the needed support to cascade the AUC policy framework on Pastoralism in Africa in the New Generation of Regional Agriculture Investment Plans (RAIPs)/National Agriculture Investment Plans (NAIPs) under theComprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).