Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Horizon 2020 seminar and EU-Nigeria Business Forum in Lagos

9 November 2016. Lagos Around 50, mostly Directors for Research and Deans of the major Universities and Directors of the major Research Institutions of Nigeria attended the information session on Horizon 2020 in Lagos followed by a second day of hands-on training about proposal writing, financial management and reporting in Horizon 2020.

The seminar was organised with the support of the FP7 funded policy-support project CAAST-NET Plus.

11 November 2016. At the EU-Nigeria Business Forum Cristina Russo gave a keynote speech on Horizon 2020 in the session on ‘integrating Nigerian SMEs in the global market’. The other keynote speech was given by the Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment. The panel was composed of the Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Enterprise Europe Network, the European Investment Bank and Syntesa who referred in the presentation to their involvement in FP7 funded projects on mycotoxin reduction in the food and feed chain as an important contribution to trade enhancement of Nigerian agriculture products to the European market. Director Sandra Gallina from DG Trade also participated in the Forum.

Side-visits took place to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan involved in several FP7 and Horizon 2020 funded projects mostly in the area of mycotoxin management and bio fortification and a discussion took place about their involvement in the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.

On the last day, a visit was paid to Nobex company involved in the FP7 funded project Gratitude, that aimed at reducing the post-harvest losses of crops such as cassava and yam that are extremely high. 
  • Waste, such as cassava peal or cashew shell and palm kernel is dried through a drying technology (flash dryer) of which the prototype was developed in the Gratitude project. 
  • The waste is turned into flower (cassava, yam), mushroom and animal feed
  • The company now commercialises the technology on the Nigerian market and started exporting it to other countries in Africa (eg. Ghana, Uganda, Benin, Malawi). 
  • The company created 20 additional jobs and underlined the important contribution of FP7 funding to its success and the opportunities offered for knowledge exchange in this case with organisations in Vietnam and Portugal.

International Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition

1-2 December 2016.  International Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition.

The Symposium concentrated on three sub-themes that together provide a comprehensive picture of food systems and their actionable entry points for promoting healthy diets:
  1. Supply side policies and measures for increasing access to healthy diets: to exchange views and country examples on improving nutrition by sustainable agriculture diversification, reducing food waste and improving post-harvest management, food processing for improved nutrition value, product reformulation, bio fortification, food safety and ways to facilitate market access were discussed. A particular attention was given to forests to identify the challenges and opportunities for exploring this important and nutritious food resource. 
  2. Demand side policies and measures for increasing access and empowering consumers to choose healthy diets: successful examples of nutrition-sensitive social protection, nutrition education and awareness raising, regulations on food labelling and advertisement, and strategies to empower women as key-food system drivers were showcased.
  3. Measures to strengthen accountability, resilience, and equity within the food system: to discuss and showcase concrete examples of linking data to policy and programme design, monitoring and evaluation, to exchange views on ways to shape comprehensive multi-sector and multi-stakeholders policies effectively. This sub-theme showcased country examples of maintaining functioning food systems in crisis, including areas affected by climate change
Extracts of the programme See the full programme (16 pages)
  • Underutilized nutritious food resources: the case of forest foods in Cameroon, by Cécile Ndjebet, President of the African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests, the Republic of Cameroon
  • Biodiverse agroecological systems for traditional nutritious foods in Mali, by Alimata Traoré, President of Convergence des Femmes Rurales pour la Souveraineté Alimentaire (COFERSA), the Republic of Mali. Biofortification for nutritious crops production in Uganda, by Bho Mudyahoto, Senior Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation Specialist, Harvest Plus/IFPRI. 
  • Tracking affordability/price of diverse, nutritious foods in Ghana, by John Nortey, Statistics Research and Information Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Republic of Ghana.
  • Effective platforms and coalitions for healthy diets: what concrete results? by Sarah Lilian Mshiu, Senior Economist/Nutrition Focal Person, Office of the Prime Minister, the United Republic of Tanzania.
  • Food fortification policies and programs for improved nutrition in Senegal, by Abdoulaye Ka, National Coordinator of Senegal’s cellule for fighting malnutrition, Office of the Prime Minister, the Republic of Senegal.
  • Integrating nutrition education in agriculture extension services in Kenya by Teresa Tumwet, Head of Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture – Home Economics Department, the Republic of Kenya
  • Food system resilience in economic/food price crisis in Uganda, by Stephen Biribonwa, Senior Agriculture Officer, Nutrition and Home Economics, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the Republic of Uganda.
  • Food Security and Nutrition and the global control and eradication of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), by Bouna Diop, Animal Health Division, FAO
  • Engaging effectively with the private sector actors in the food systems for healthy diets: the marketplace for nutritious foods in Mozambique, by Katia Santos Dias, Director of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Mozambique, the Republic of Mozambique
  • Cash transfers for improved food security and diet diversity: the lessons from Lesotho, by Ntitia Tuoane, Director of Field Services a.i., Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Public procurement from family farmers for improved food basket in Malawi, by Albert Saka, Senior Officer, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Republic of Malawi
  • Empowering women as key drivers of food system change Overview by Lindiwe Sibanda, Chief Executive Officer, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), the Republic of South Africa
  • Engaging women and men as agents of change in agriculture and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, by Christiane Monsieur, Dimitra Project Coordinator, FAO
Video coverage:
First session of Sub-theme 1: Supply Side Policies and Measures for Diversifying Food Production and for Increasing Availability and Affodability of Nutritious Foods for Healthy Diets.

Interview with Anna Lartey, Director FAO of Nutrition and Food Systems Division
Published on 28 Nov 2016
Hidden hunger indicates a diet poor in essential macronutrients, capablel of damaging people’s health and productivity. Anna Lartey underlines the need for action to be taken at national level to improve nutrition and ensure access to healthy diets for all.

Building the capacities of early-career climate researchers.

21-23 November 2016. Accra, Ghana. CAAST-Net Plus held a second pilot workshop aimed at building the capacities of early-career climate researchers.

The format, first piloted in Kigali in June, consisted of two morning sessions with technical presentations focused on the theme of sustainable agricultural intensification and on funding options for research on this theme. Afternoons were reserved for group sessions, in which participants interacted with presenters, seeking advice on how to refine the research project proposals.

Workshop participants travelled from Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda. All participants are early-career African researchers with a professional interest in the issue of sustainable agriculture intensification. Out of 40 proposals submitted by prospective participants, invitations were extended to 14 researchers. The workshop ended with a field trip to Humberg Farms in Anum in the Eastern Region of Ghana, where the concepts discussed were revisited in practice.
"This [workshop represents] an embryo of a platform we want to institutionalise as part of our legacy. The aim is to bridge the gross asymmetry between Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. We have brought together experts on research funding and climate change research, with a particular focus on sustainable agriculture intensification, from academia, the public and private sectors, to provide you with guidance and feedback." Arne Tostensen, Research Council of Norway
Presentations

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New Business Models for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in sub-Saharan Africa

30th November – 3rd December 2016. Nairobi, Kenya. The main purpose of this workshop was to provide a platform to discuss sustainable mechanization development strategy options and, specifically the role of public-private and private-private partnerships.

The 105 participants at this workshop were delegates drawn from SSA countries, including policy-makers, academics, private sector, financial institutions, Farmer Organizations, and national development organizations (international and regional), and NGOs. Experts from outside the region, especially private companies.

The participants exchanged knowledge, perspectives, experiences and lessons learnt in the past while identifying leveraging and entry points for sustainable development of agricultural mechanization in SSA during 8 Sessions, and attended over 25 keynote and technical presentations.

Objectives:
  1. Provide a platform for public and private sector actors to meet and exchange knowledge, and articulate commitments to improve agriculture mechanization is sub-Saharan Africa for:
    a. Ascertaining the main needs and constraints for the dissemination and adoption of sustainable mechanization in sub-Saharan Africa
    b. Defining potentials
    c. Identifying key factors for developing sustainable agricultural mechanization
    d. The delineation of holistic sustainable mechanization policy guidelines;
  2. Devise new collaborative models for Private-Public and Private-Private Partnerships in order to
    prepare the ground for potential investments and articulating opportunities, across a range of specific points of the agriculture value chains, that can create jobs and improve livelihoods with support from the World Bank, FAO, AGRA and the industry and as part of this define:
    a. Possible pilot/priority countries (5 – 7)
    b. Funding (immediate funding needs, finance/co-finance options)
    c. Governance issues
  3. Explore and consider the development of a global sustainable mechanization knowledge exchange platform (ICT level) to enable the continuation of consultations;
  4. Explore the possibility to establish a Regional Center for sustainable agricultural mechanization in Africa similar to existing centers in Asia (BISA1, UN/CSAM2) which will help in the research, training and capacity building on technologies and practices related to mechanization along the agrifood value chain specifically for the region in line with the priorities of the existing and future policies.
Presentations:
Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization -Josef Kienzle, FAO (25 slides)
"Private sector development increases the manufacturing and service provision base for agricultural mechanization and provides opportunities for more South-South Cooperation among manufacturers, dealers and institutions"
New Models for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in Sub Saharan Africa -Chakib Jenane Senior Agribusiness Specialist, World Bank (20 slides)
Survey results about the importance and potential of the agricultural machinery market in Africa: New PPP business models: Agricultural guarantee funds, Mechanization Demo farms, Mechanization Centers of Excellence 
Up-Scaling Sustainable Mechanization in India -Harminder Sidhu BISA (24 slides)
The Spread of Smaller Scale Machinery in South Asia: Observations -Scott Justice and Enamul Haque CIMMYT (18 slides)
An Overview of Agricultural Mechanization in Sub Saharan Africa -Geoffrey Mrema SOKOINE UNIVERSITY (20 slides)
"There is a need to learn from our past experience both successful and failed projects – too much repetition of past mistakes and to learn from others especially where mechanization has occurred in recent past and from other countries in SSA"
Technology, Infrastructure and Mechanization for Africa’s Agricultural Transformation -Jonas Chianu AFDB (31 slides)
"Urbanization is driving increased demand for food products that are not currently being supplied by African producers. Many Post-harvest losses (PHL) solutions exist and can be locally manufactured, but are not yet reaching farmers at scale. 

Mahaseel Agricultural Investment Fund and Anterra Capital are venture and private equity funds providing growth capital to storage and processing companies in Africa.

The CGIAR Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) Clearinghouse led by IITA will raise farmer productivity and incomes by creating a repository of proven agricultural transformation technologies that are tailored for the African context and can be scaled beyond pilots through CGIAR and partner delivery mechanisms. This includes: Processing of Cassava: Mechanical Peeling and Mechanical Drying (Using Pneumatic Dryers), Improved Storage of Cowpea Using PICs bags (Cowpea)"



Sustainable mechanization development strategy options and, the role of publicprivate and private-private partnerships. -Jean Moreira AFRICA RICE (28 slides)
"Where manual threshing yields one tonne of paddy per day, the ASI—taking its name from ADRAO (French acronym of AfricaRice)-SAED-ISRA—produces 6 tonnes of paddy. With a grain-straw separation rate of 99%, no additional labor is required for sifting and winnowing.270 ASI threshers built in 2 years for a turn over of $ 1,350 000. 

Farmers (who do not have own thresher) can save time, reduce labor demand, reduce grain loss, and enhance double cropping. ASI owners can expect an internal rate of return of 65% and a high cost/benefit ratio (1.73) over the economic life of ASI. Local blacksmiths’ income can be increased. Employment for providing service for threshing can be increased. Indirectly, Governments can get taxes on the importation of the engine, belts and bearing. Banks may be encouraged to provide with loans to farmers and owner of ASI"


PROMOTING AGRICULTURAL MECHANIZATION THROUGH COOPERATIVES -Koffivi Nouwogou UNCUMA  (17 slides)
"Cooperatives are a promising path to the development of the strategy of Mechanization in Africa" The international partners of the Union nationale des coopératives de mécanisation agricoles du Bénin (UNCUMA) are  - USADF - Swiss Cooperation - Association CUMA Benin (France). 

Mechanization from an Industrial Development Perspective -Rajab UNIDO
Agricultural Mechanization in Kenya -Jasper Nkanya MOA KENYA (17 slides)
Sustainable mechanization: public private partnerships -Ignatius ANSEMAT and AGRIEVOLUTION (10 slides)
Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization: Partnership Models / Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) -Hans Z Group (9 slides)
GERMAN MACHINERY RING MODELS: EXPERIENCES AND LESSONS LEARNT -Andreas MACHINERY RING (22 slides)
PRIVATE SECTOR DRIVEN AGRICULTURAL MECHANIZATION PROGRAMME (PSDAMF) AND GES APPLICATION STRATEGY OF NIGERIA -Innocent Originye MOA NIGERIA (28 slides)
Facilitating small scale farmer’s access to Conservation Agriculture mechanization services. Lessons learnt from EU Funded Conservation Agriculture Scaling Up (CASU) Project in Zambia -Mtendere FAO ZAMBIA (7 slides)
Food security in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Fresh Look on Agricultural Mechanisation -Muller DIE (22 slides)
"Only demand-driven and profitable mechanization has sustainable positive effects. This requires viable business models and risk management." 
Sarwat Hussain 
"Four experts were commissioned to undertake, through a consultative process, a rapid appraisal of the Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (SAM) situation in the four sub –regions. This will be the first document which is considering agricultural mechanization at pan-Africa level developed by African experts and subjected to an African wide review process. A Stakeholders workshop is planned in March 2017 to discuss the recommendations in the document."

Agricultural Mechanization Policy Issues -Mataba University of Botswana (8 slides)
Consultative Meeting on Mechanization: Vignettes and Reflections -Sarwat Hussein WORLDBANK (19 slides)
Charting the way foward (4 slides) 

Video interview
Josef Kienzle (FAO) speaks about mechanization: What is it, how can it improve small farmers’ livelihoods and how does it bring perspectives to the youth in rural areas?



Related:
21 January 2016. Istanbul. Fifth World Summit on Agriculture Machinery


Future of Users’ Led Research and Innovation Partnerships

Vladimir Verner 
Dep. of Economics and Development 
Czech University of Life Sciences 
29-30 November, 2016. Prague. Czech University of Life Sciences. 2016 Annual Technical and Business Meeting. European Forum for Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD).


The theme for the 2016 EFARD annual meeting was the “Future of User-Led Research and Innovation Partnerships” to determine the relevance from the perspectives of European AR4D stakeholders and how best to embed and up-scale this approach for achieving the sustainable development goals through North-South research and development cooperation involving researchers and non-researchers considering especially Eastern and Central European perspectives.

Download the concept note of the meeting and the programme
Download the list of participants
  • As EFARD’s mission is to promote more effective, demand-driven and impact-focused research and innovation through building partnerships particularly with developing countries, this year’s annual technical meeting provided a platform for reflection and learning by showcasing the experience of ongoing policy and programme initiatives, in particular the PAEPARD programme, and lessons learned from the ULP process, innovative AR4D funding mechanisms and innovation partnerships between Europe and Africa. 
  • EFARD also seeked to engage more with Eastern and Central Europe organizations and issues. 
Extract of the PAEPARD programme:
  • PAEPARD Innovative Funding Mechanisms and Lessons Learned from Africa-EU AR4D partnerships over the years – Jonas Mugabe, FARA, Ghana and Remi Kahane, Agrinatura/ CIRAD, France - PAEPARD Management Team
  • EFARD’s Assessment of the position of European partners in the PAEPARD Users’-Led Process – Laurianne Ollivier, EFARD Intern and J.A. Francis, Executive Secretary, EFARD, The Netherlands 
  • Adding Value to Mango Waste in West-Africa led by COLEACP (European-led) – Timbilfou Kiendrebeogo, Zootechnicien/Systèmes de Production Animale, CNRST/INERA, Burkina Faso and Denis Felicite-Zulma, Project Officer, COLEACP, France 
  • Aflatoxin Groundnut Value Chain in Malawi-Zambia led by FANRPAN (African-led) – Limbikani Kenani Matumba, Lecturer/Researcher, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR),
    Malawi and Tim Chancellor, Director of Capacity Strengthening and Partnerships, Natural  Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom 
  • Users’/Farmers’ perspectives on engaging in research and innovation partnerships -Irish potato Consortium -Burundi (public research leader) – Anton Haverkort, Researcher, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands 
  • Trichoderma for horticulture soil fertility management in Burkina Faso (private sector leader) – Olivier Besnard and Claude Arsène Savadogo, Administrateur-Géran, GIE BIOPROTECT-B, Burkina Faso
Extract of the Eastern and Central Europe programme:
  • The Future of Demand-led Research and Innovation – Szandra Megyery, International Research Coordinator, National Agriculture Research and Innovation Centre, Hungary 
  • Showcasing examples of research and innovation partnerships led by Eastern and Central European partner organisations Strengthening the Engagement of Eastern and Central Europe in Agricultural Research and Innovation Partnerships – Vladimir Verner, Professor Assistant, Head of Department of Economics and Development, Czech University of Life Sciences, Czech Republic 
  • Transformative Change of Agriculture through Collaborative Agricultural Research and Citizen-led Innovation – Michael Hauser, President of Agrinatura, Boku University, Austria 
  • Process model based decision support for multi-stakeholder water-food-energy-ecosystem networks - harmonization of local interests with global sustainabilityMonika Varga, YPARD Representative- Hungary, Kaposvár University, Hungary 
  • Reinventing networking and collective action in the Balkans: the case of Slow Food in Velika Plana, central Serbia – Ivana Radic Jean, YPARD Representative- Serbia - AgTraIn PhD program SupAgro University, CIRAD, Montpellier and University of Catania, France 
  • Agriculture and Research: Kosovo's youth brought together with YPARD – Hana Voca, YPARD Representative – Kosovo- Agriculture engineer, AEP Anadolu Etap Penkon company, Turkey 
  • Ana Vrankulj, Associate, South Eastern Europe Advisory Service Network (SEASN), Croatia 
  • Regional Development Association - Transforming Lives to Better – Davit Gogilashvili, YPARD Representative– Georgia - Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Regional Development Association (RDA), Georgia 
  • Increasing youth engagement through YPARD in Mongolia– Enkhtor Anudari, YPARD 
    Representative – Mongolia, Czech University of Life Sciences, Czech Republic
Related: Launch of the PAEPARD publications:
Facilitating innovation in agricultural research for development:
Brokerage as the vital link, “From assumptions to reality”
François Stepman, Edited by Susanna Cartmell-Thorp, WRENmedia
PAEPARD November 2016. Published by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa – FARA, Accra, Ghana, 20 pages

Enseignements des consultations sectorielles et multi-acteurs menées dans le cadre de PAEPARD entre 2010 et 2012
Julie Flament, Denis Félicité-Zulma, Jonas Mugabe et Rémi Kahane
22.11.2016, 40 pages
Avant d’engager les acteurs africains et européens dans ces partenariats, et pour mieux les y préparer, le projet a organisé entre 2010 et 2012 des consultations en Afrique et en Europe, qui font l’objet de cette publication.
Inclusive, balanced, demand-led partnerships for ARD: A consultative process.
PAEPARD Policy brief nr. 3. November 2016. 8 pages

This document presents a summary of the main findings of sector and multi-stakeholder consultations conducted by the Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) during 2010-2012. It provides recommendations for the sustainable establishment of partnerships in agricultural research for development (ARD), between African and European partners in particular, to be innovative, balanced and demand-driven. From the consultations all PAEPARD partners agreed that, while the cultures and interests of each sector are often different, points of view need to converge and expertise be put at the disposal of all partners if a multi-stakeholder partnership in ARD is to be successful
Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo of FARA
The first paper Brokerage as the vital link, “From assumptions to reality” highlights lessons learned from the development of PAEPARD-
supported consortia, which illustrate various impacts of brokerage.

A number of assumptions have been used in the implementation of PAEPARD II, which PAEPARD consortium partners have worked to refine over the years. The most important assumptions included:
  1. Demand-driven agricultural innovation and research increases quality of results; 
  2. Innovation facilitators are key in multi-stakeholder partnership success; 
  3. An inclusive approach supports locally-led change, innovation and entrepreneurship; 
  4. PAEPARD supported-consortia have better balanced multi-stakeholder partnerships; 
  5. Improved call preparedness increases success rate of ARD proposals

Monday, December 5, 2016

Young farmers at the Second High-Level Meeting (HLM2)

28 November–1 December 2016. Nairobi, Kenya. Hosted by the Government of Kenya in Nairobi HLM2 :
  • Took stock of the implementation of development effectiveness principles and commitments
  • Provided a learning space on development effectiveness, showcasing successful examples
  • Identified innovative approaches to sustainable development that can be scaled up
  • Position the Global Partnership to effectively contribute to implementation of the SDGs and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda
Based on an inclusive consultation that concluded in Kenya at the Global Partnership’s HLM2, the was released on 1 December 2016. This document will help to shape how existing and new development actors can partner to implement Agenda 2030 and realise the SDGs.
Nairobi Outcome Document

Side events
30 November 2016. Listen to young farmers from Africa – multi-stakeholder engagement for agri-business

  • Organised by: PAFO/AgriCord/CTA side event 
  • Content: Active discussion between organized young farmers, private sector, government and donors on how they can contribute concretely to the priorities of young farmers to develop
    agribusiness in Africa, also based on the experience of one Asian farmers’ organisation; Showcase how AgriCord and CTA can channel support from donors, private sector and research, via one mechanism, to support farmers’ organisations and their involvement in agri-business; Have a legitimate voice of young organized farmers from Africa on how they see their future in agri-business, on the role of different stakeholders in this and on their
    suggested indicators to monitor progres 

30 November 2016. Inclusive and Effective Multi-stakeholder Partnerships: How to strengthen ownership and results, transparency and mutual accountability
  • Organised by: Dr. Anne Ellersiek, SWP/DFG Research Project
  • Content: The objective of the side-event wass to provide space for discussion of lessons learned from past partnership experience and how these can be translated into guidance on how to design and implement mechanism at the global and national level and in line with the Busan Principles that help to build and review inclusive and effective multi-stakeholder partnership. 

30 November 2016Delivering on The Promise: In-country multi-stakeholder Platforms for partnership are a critical mechanism to engage platforms to catalyse collaboration and partnerships for Agenda 2030 

  • Organised by: Business Partnership Action, Department for International Development, United Kingdom
  • Content: The Partnering Initiative Platforms for partnership are a critical mechanism to business, leverage investment and systematically catalyse essential partnerships and co-operation for the SDGs at the country level. The event will discuss the challenges and opportunities of platforms, how they can support all develop actors to achieve their objectives, and provide the building blocks to set them up for success

Regional Conference on Grain Trade in West Africa

29 November - 1 December 2016. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. "Grain agribusiness in West Africa: What market instruments and public policies are needed to enhance the fluidity of the regional grain market in the ECOWAS region?”

That was the subject of the regional conference organised by CTA, the West Africa Farmers' organisation Network (ROPPA), the West African Grain Network (WAGN) and the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA).

The organising committee was composed of experts from organisations such as ROPPA, WAGN, Ministry of Agriculture of Burkina Faso and CTA, as well as other partnering regional organisations such as AGRA and the USAID Trade Hub.
the
  • Around 200 participants shared their experiences and best practices, and proposed ways of promoting cross-border grain value chains in West Africa.
  • Some twenty participants from outside West Africa have been invited: from neighbouring countries trading in grain with West Africa, and representatives of other regional communities such as the Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC), a network of East African grain organisations. Inter-regional exchanges will thus be facilitated, to share experiences and best practices.
Although national grain markets in West Africa have developed considerably over the last 30 years, regional trade remains limited. Its total volume (mainly, millet, sorghum and maize) is estimated at 1.5 million tonnes a year. Nevertheless, West Africa continues to import very large quantities of grain. There are several obstacles to inter-regional trade. 
 « Les possibilités d'améliorer la sécurité alimentaire et les revenus des agriculteurs grâce aux céréales sont énormes mais elles ne sont pas mises à profit. Nous importons quelque 20% de la consommation régionale de céréales », Djibo Bagna, Président du ROPPA.
By bringing together different types of stakeholders for a joint brainstorming, with the support of numerous partners, CTA hoped to generate firm recommendations which will help to modernise the regional grain market. What is at stake over time is the food security of more than 300 million inhabitants.
Extracts of the programme:
  • The challenges of developing crossborder grain value chains: - grain standards in regional trade; the post-harvest losses issue (aflatoxin, etc.)
  • The issue of aflatoxin and theimpact on grain trade in the WestAfrica region  (Communicator PACA and USAID Trade Hub)

    "In Africa, aflatoxin is one of the most pervasive food safety challenges, because of its impact on food and nutrition security, trade and public health. Aflatoxins affect access to markets and rural incomes, so it is extremely important to examine how this can impact the West African grain trade." Winta Sintayehu, Programme Officer at the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA)"Grain production in West Africa faces some serious challenges, among them mycotoxin
    attacks – particularly aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a silent killer that must be eradicated. Given the complex nature of the aflatoxin problem, the most effective way of combatting the challenge will be through an integrated approach. These include encouraging good agricultural practices, drawing up more stringent regulations and standards and introducing good policies to enforce them"
    . CTA Director Michael Hailu
  • The grain production systems and processing: inputs, mechanisation, modernisation, storage, post-harvest losses (Group ROPPA (facilitated by AGRA + entrepreneur)
Links

Modernization of Agricultural Statistics

26-28 November 2016. Rome, Italy. The Seventh International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS VII) was organized by the Italian National Institute of Statistics, in close collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). The Conference focused on bringing together research and best practices in the field of agriculture statistics, in response to the changing needs and opportunities for agricultural statistics.

ICAS VII convened senior agricultural statisticians from all over the world. Most of them represent national statistical offices and ministries of agriculture, but the Conference was open to all producers, suppliers, trainers and users of agricultural statistics, such as economists, statisticians, agronomists, researchers, analysts and decision-makers from government entities, academia, development partners and international organizations.

Extracts of the programme

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Africa’s Climate: Helping decision-makers make sense of climate information

30 November 2016. Africa’s Climate: Helping decision-makers make sense of climate information is the first major programme-wide report to emerge from Future Climate for Africa (FCFA). FCFA comprises five major research projects to develop better climate information for Africa and to test how the new information could be used in decision-making, with potential benefit for millions of affected Africans.

The report is available in the form of a digibook: http://2016report.futureclimateafrica.org/

Key findings in Africa’s Climate report:
  • Climate modelling indicates that east Africa is expected to warm in the next five to 40 years, although changes in rainfall are much less certain.
  • Extreme events (floods, droughts, heatwaves, and so on) are expected to change and, in most cases, increase into the future.
  • The region is severely understudied, because of a lack of scientific observation data, such as that from weather stations
  • Southern African economies are exposed to weather and climate vulnerabilities, particularly through sectors such as agriculture, energy, and water management. It follows that the supply of essential resources are all extremely at risk as the climate becomes more changeable and extreme.
  • Most government departments are planning according to a three- to five-year time horizon, while the climate projections are based on decades-longer timeframes, such as looking to 2050 and beyond.
  • Applying past data to the future, which is also used by other ministries, is potentially problematic as it assumes that the future climate will mirror the past, which may not be the case for projected climate change.
  • Although there is uncertainty associated with the future climate projections, climate change will have significant economic impacts across Africa.
  • Future climate change is likely to lead to new risks: the negative impacts seen from today’s climate variability are likely to become worse.
  • While there is often uncertainty in climate projections, this should not be a reason for inaction.
FCFA’s Coordination, Capacity Development and Knowledge Exchange unit is based with the Climate and Development Knowledge Network in Cape Town, South Africa.

IFAD Rural Development Report 2016

The 2016 Rural Development Report of IFAD focuses on inclusive rural transformation as a central element of the global efforts to eliminate poverty and hunger, and build inclusive and sustainable societies for all.

It analyses global, regional and national pathways of rural transformation, and suggests four categories into which most countries and regions fall, each with distinct objectives for rural development strategies to promote inclusive rural transformation: to adapt, to amplify, to accelerate, and a combination of them.

The report presents policy and programme implications in various regions and thematic areas of intervention, based on both rigorous analysis and IFAD’s 40 years of experience investing in rural people and enabling inclusive and sustainable transformation of rural areas.

Browse the report online now.

If rural transformation is essential to the development process, why have some countries been able to transform and to reduce poverty faster than others? The answer to that question is not only key to focus global efforts on eliminating poverty and hunger and to reach the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, but to inclusively and sustainably transform rural areas.

This report provides a thorough analysis of this complex picture and seeks to answer three key questions:
  • What are the different pathways of structural and rural transformation in developing countries?
  • How do the different pathways affect rural poverty reduction and social and economic inclusion?
  • What can policy makers do to stimulate and support inclusive rural transformation?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Brokering and facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships in ARD: from assumptions to reality


Facilitating innovation in agricultural research for development:
Brokerage as the vital link, “From assumptions to reality”
François Stepman, Edited by Susanna Cartmell-Thorp, WRENmedia
PAEPARD November 2016. Published by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa – FARA, Accra, Ghana, 20 pages 

Initially set up in 2007, PAEPARD was formed to question why agricultural research partnerships were often not balanced, and why competitive funding applications with African partners were also often unsuccessful.

This paper highlights lessons learned from the development of PAEPARD-supported consortia, which illustrate various impacts of brokerage.

A number of assumptions have been used in the implementation of PAEPARD II, which PAEPARD consortium partners have worked to refine over the years. The most important assumptions included:
  1. Demand-driven agricultural innovation and research increases quality of results
  2. Innovation facilitators are key in multi-stakeholder partnership success; 
  3. An inclusive approach supports locally-led change, innovation and entrepreneurship; 
  4. PAEPARD supported-consortia have better balanced multi-stakeholder partnerships
  5. Improved call preparedness increases success rate of ARD proposals
Since 2010, some 55 concept notes and proposals have been submitted by PAEPARD-supported consortia. And, as of early 2016, 21 submitted proposals have been selected for a call organized by a diverse group of donors.  PAEPARD was able to influence donors on the focus of their calls, lobbying for specific funding for an under-supported (participatory) research field such as, for example, the aflatoxin contamination of food and feed.

The preliminary conclusions and recommendations may appear obvious at first sight, but will be useful for informing the implementation of brokerage activities until PAEPARD activities come to an end in December 2017.

Related:
Facilitating innovation in agricultural research for development: Brokerage as the vital link
Policy brief March 2016. 8 pages

PAEPARD has undertaken a diversity of brokerage activities in support of demand-driven research. This brief highlighted lessons learned from the development of PAEPARD-supported consortia, and provides insights for policy and decision-makers to
build and develop users-led demand-driven multistakeholder partnerships in agricultural research for
development (ARD).

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ecosystem Services Partnership Africa Conference

21-25 November 2016. The conference theme was Ecosystem Services for SDGs in Africa. Discussions focused on Africa’s contribution towards data and evidence on best practices for management, restoration of ecosystem services for decision making particularly towards the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The issue of Ecosystem Services is crucial for the African continent given that we already experience negative effects of climate change and the situation is projected to worsen. Proper management and restoration of essential ecosystem services will to a large extent ensure we are equipped to deal and or cope with climate change.

Africa’s participation in this forum is also heightened by the fact that there is underwhelming data and information on ecosystem services and climate change from the continent. This makes it difficult to formulate strategic policies and implement action for sustainable development.

The conference brought together 250 African experts, students, policy makers, and the private sector to discuss, explore and exchange research as well as action on preserving and restoring ecosystem services in the content. In particular we would like to bring as many early career practitioners, specialists and researchers from around the continent to enable learning, exchange and exposure to knowledge, ideas, experiences and contacts that will enhance contributions when they get back home.

5th World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance

24 to 25 November 2016. Dakar, Senegal. 5th World Congress on Agricultural and Rural Finance.

This event was organised by The African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA) in collaboration with sister Rural and Agricultural Credit Associations (RACAs) around the World, namely; The International Confederation of Agricultural Credit (CICA), Near East North Africa Regional Agricultural Credit Association (NENARACA), Asia and Pacific Regional Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) and The Latin American Association of Development Financial Institutions (ALIDE), are organizing the 5th World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance.

The world congress, which is being organized every three years, was last held in Paris, France from 26 to 28 September 2013. The forum brought together who is who in rural and agricultural finance and stakeholders around the globe to share experiences on emerging and cross cutting issues on the industry.

One of the key objectives of the upcoming world congress was to show case best practices and innovations in rural and agricultural finance space world over. See also the concept note
  • The forum provided a platform to share core and complimentary competencies on best practices, innovations and promotes international and interregional cooperation.
  • In the context of rapid demographic growth and climate change and in order to key-in to attaining the objectives the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is essential to improve rural and agricultural aimed at boosting agricultural production to meet a growing consumption demand. 
  • Agricultural and rural finance institutions are major stakeholders in these challenges as they continuously innovate in order to provide rural people with the most appropriate and suitable financial services that take into account their existing needs and anticipate the change to come.
Agricultural Innovations and Technologies in Agricultural and Rural Finance
This panel discussed the role of new techniques and technologies in the development of agricultural and rural finance.
  • Mr Tarik Sijilmassi, Chairman Credit Agricole du Maroc
  • Mr.Massimo Pera FAO, Rome, Italy
  • Mrs. Corinne Riquet- Bamba CGAP Financial Sector Specialist, Inclusive Markets (based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire)
  • Dr. Sirajul Islam, Programme Head, BRAC, Bangladesh
  • Mrs. Mbengue Rokhaya Solange Director RSE, Orange Sénégal. 
  • Mr. Robert H. Masumbuko Director of Financial Inclusion Afican Development Bank (AFDB)
What is the future of Farmers, Producers and Organizations (FPO) ? Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies.
This panel discussed of family farming, its opportunities for development and inclusion in economic channels, but also its constraints and limitations.
  • M. Xavier Beulin, Chairman of Avril Group, President of FNSEA (France). Agricultural industries in the North and in the South, experiences of an agro-industrial group.
  • Cheikh Mouhamady Cissokho, Chairman, Réseau des organisations paysannes et de productuers de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (ROPPA)
  • Shri G.R. Chinthala, Chief General Manager, National Bank for AGriculture and Rural Development (NABARD); India
  • Luis Alberto Ibrra, Director General, Fondo de Capitalization e inversion del Sector Rural (FOCIR), Mexico
  • Mr. Alain Gagnon, Chairman DesJardins International, France
Risk Management in Agricultural Financing : Best Practices and ChallengesThe panel was dedicated to the risk management in the agricultural sector, that remains difficult to manage compared to other economic sectors, (impacts of drought, inundations, frost, hail, volatile markets).
  • Mrs. Sylvie De Serres, Executive Director and Administrator of Financière agricole du Québec,
    Canada. The agricultural insurance system in Canada.
  • Mr. Nipath Kuasakul, Executive Vice President, Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative (BAAC), Thailand
  • Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, Managing Director Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending( Nirsal), Nigeria
  • Mrs. Marie Sennequier, Africa Project leader, responsible for Private Sector AFD, Paris France
  • Mr. Vincente Caruz Middleton, President Desarolloy Redes , Chile
  • Carlos Ginocchio, Development Manager, Banco Agropecuario – AGROBANCO, Peru