Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, October 31, 2014

ICT4Ag experts meeting

29 to 31 October 2014 in Rhenen, the Netherlands. The consultation is part of CTA’s ‘’Building Viable Delivery Models (BVDM) for ICT4Ag’’initiative, which is designed to help accelerate the process of adoption, uptake and scaling up of ICTs for agriculture by and for the benefit of rural communities.

Institutions expected to be part of this initial event include the African Forum on Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), CAB Internationalal, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Digital Green, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Dutch Ministries of Foreign and Economic Affairs, the East African Farmers Federation (EAFF), Farm Radio International (FRI), the Grameen Foundation App Lab, Green Dreams Ltd. (iCow), IKSL India, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Literacy Bridge, the Rwandan Telecentre Network (RTN),TechnoServe, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Re-engineered Soybean Milk processing technology


SOJAGNON-NGO is the coordination organization for the implementation of the project, a R&D project of the PAEPARD led by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) under a grant contract of the Commission of the European (DCI FOOD/2013/308-657).

Objectives:
The overall objective of the project is to improve the food chain of soybean derived products, Milk and afitin for improved food security in the area of high food insecurity. The specific objective is that 1,500 small farmers, processors and their organizations take ownership of the technologies from research, use the recommended practices for the derived products on the rural and urban markets. The project is divided into two sub-projects
  1. Sub-project Re-engineered Soybean “Afitin” processing technology: this sub-project is run by the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences of Benin and the University of Wageningen (WU) of the Netherlands 
  2. Sub-project Re-engineered Soybean Milk processing technology: this sub-project is run by the National Agricultural Research Institute of Benin (INRAB) and the Tropical Research Institute [INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGAÇÃO CIENTÍFICA TROPICAL] (IICT) of Portugal.

Countries  
Benin (West Africa)
Funding source
FARA/PAEPARD
Amount
275 000 Euros
Part of SOJAGNON
90%
Duration
9/2014 au 8/2017 (03 ans)


Implementation Partners
SOJAGNON-ONG (Project Coordinator)
FUPRO
INRAB
FSA/UAC
WU (Pays-Bas)
IICT (Portugal)



Staff
-12 long-term experts
-18 person-months
-03 person-months of international experts from short-term
-06 person-months of short-term senior national experts
-A coordinating team




Contact
SOJAGNON-NGO
Lagnon Patrice SEWADE
Tel : +229 21 07 17 55
+229 97 72 37 00
Email : sojagnon@gmail.com,                   patsewade@yahoo.fr
web site : www.sojagnon-benin.org

From left to right:
Patrice SEWADE, Prof. D. Joseph HOUNHOUIGAN, Dr ARODOKOUN Y. David, Abdoulaye TOKO,
Bruno PUEJEAN, Jonas Mugabe, Vesta Nunoo, Bruno PUEJEAN (EC)

Inclusive Investment in Agriculture: Cooperatives and the Role of Foreign Investment

Policy brief #2, Inclusive Investment in Agriculture: Cooperatives and the Role of Foreign Investment
Publication date: October 29, 2014.

This brief looks at the role of cooperatives as a vehicle to increase investment to the agriculture sector. These business models can be profitable for farmers and investors, while at the same time being socially and politically acceptable.

The next policy brief in the series, Financing for agriculture: how to boost opportunities for developing countries, will be published shortly.

La note de synthèse N° 2, Les investissements inclusifs dans le secteur agricole :les coopératives et le rôle de l'investissement étranger, se penche sur le rôle des coopératives en tant que véhicule de croissance des investissements dans le secteur agricole. Ces modèles d'affaires peuvent être rentables pour les agriculteurs et les investisseurs, tout en étant socialement et politiquement acceptable.

La prochaine note de synthèse, "Le financement de l'agriculture: comment accroître les opportunités pour les pays en développement" sera publiée prochainement.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Launch of the 2014 Global Hunger Index

14 October 2014. European Parliament, Brussels. Hosted by Linda McAvan MEP (S andD), Chair of the Development Committee. Alliance2015 partners Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe launched the 2014 Global Hunger Index in the European Parliament.
  • The Index is designed to measure and track hunger globally and by region and country. Calculated each year over the past nine years, it highlights successes and failures in hunger reduction, provides insights into the drivers of hunger, and makes policy recommendations on how to improve food and nutrition security.
  • The 2014 GHI shows that progress has been made in reducing the proportion of hungry people in the world, however levels of hunger remain ‘alarming’ or ‘extremely alarming’ in many countries across the globe still.
  • This year the GHI focuses particularly on hidden hunger, where the lack of vitamins and minerals causes serious, long term and irreversible health effects.
Full report / Interactive version / Related brief / Media materials / Map / Data



2015 will see a new set of international sustainable development goals agreed at international level. The EU will have a crucial role to play and as a leader in the fight against hunger, Europe must ensure that malnutrition is appropriately and adequately addressed within the new development framework.

This event aimed to raise awareness and enrich the discussion on hunger and food security and provides robust data and clear recommendation to be taken up by all EU stakeholders.

Speakers
  • Wolfgang Jamann, Secretary General and Chairperson of Welthungerhilfe, President of Alliance2015
  • Richard Mwape, District program coordinator, Concern worldwide Zambia
  • Debjeet Sarangi, Director Living Farms, Welthungerhilfe India
  • Jean-Pierre Halkin, Head of Unit Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition, DG DevCo

CGIAR WorldFish podcast: Farmer-led innovation key to lasting change

Prolinnova has been collaborating with the CGIAR Research Programmes on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in drawing lessons from a study of different approaches taken by civil-society organisations (CSOs) in supporting farmer-led innovation processes. Some of the cases of farmer-led research are in Africa (and the AAS research programme is working in Africa - Zambia).

WorldFish, the host organisation of AAS, has made a podcast of an interview with Boru Douthwaite, the scientist who leads the research theme on knowledge sharing, learning and innovation. Here, he talks about
farmer-led innovation as key to lasting change. Boru Douthwaite – explains how a new study has proven that when farmers lead innovation and experimentation, it can generate lasting change on many levels. For agricultural research and development to have lasting impact, farmers must be involved in the process as co­researchers, and not just the subject of research or recipients of interventions, as they often were in the past.
  • Boru: The green revolution has seen increased production of the yields of rice and wheat, particularly in Asia through the introduction of modern varieties, and together with that, input supplies like fertilizers, pesticides and the irrigation to go with it. With the green revolution, there were some winners and some losers. Modern varieties work best on the more favorable lands where you could control your irrigation, control your water where you have got access. And so, that tended to benefit the richer and more favorably located farmers, and other people were left out. 
  • Boru: The key finding from Prolinnova and ETC Foundation’s report is that farmers themselves are able to innovate, and farmer innovation can have profound impact. This is important because, in the places that were left behind by the green revolution, farmers themselves need to find solutions, improve their own varieties because modern varieties may not fit there. The second important finding from this is that research itself – the process of farmers doing research, of coming together to collectively look at how they improve their rice or bean yields, is an important process of building their capacity to innovate because it brings people together, people share information, share ideas. 
  • Boru: Innovation is the process of people taking new ideas, new technologies and experimenting with them, and making them work in their own context. Farmers have always been innovating, examples of farmer innovation include the world’s main food crops – the result of centuries and centuries, generations and generations of farmers experimenting and improving these varieties. So farmers can innovate but by building their capacity to innovate, what we mean is by building their confidence, building their linkages, building their access to new ideas and being able to make better selection decisions about what is working and what is not. 
  • Boru: So the Theory of Change when we look across these different cases that the Prolinnova report looked at. It comes out with something which is actually quite different to normal project Theory of Change. The Theory of Change is that successful farmer-­led research initiatives started small, started with something quite simple, maybe trying out a new variety that would be a quick win, that farmers would feel very much encouraged, that would build their own enthusiasm. They would start to build their social capital, so that they would do more of it. As they started to do more, they realize that actually we can go beyond simply the technical experimentation and that we can start to collectively tackle broader issues. Because when it comes to poor farmers’ livelihoods, it is more than just a technical fix, there are structural issues, there are power issues, access to land, things like that. And so what started to happen is that, through starting the experimentation and the safe space that created, people began to create a movement and started to tackle broader issues. 
  • Boru: This report has some profound implications for agricultural research in development. One of them is that, if we want to foster farmer-­led innovation and all the multi-­faceted impact that brings, then we are going to have to treat it other than we treat our normal projects. We need to start small, we need to build on local enthusiasm and interest, and look at how we nurture that. 
Further references:

Fighting against IUU: Successes from ACP countries

Middle: Emmanuel Kaunda, Professor 
Lilongwe University of Agriculture and 
Natural Resources (LUANAR)
27 October 2014. Brussels. ACP Secretariat in Brussels. “Fighting against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU): Successes from ACP countries

This CTA Briefing focused on the successful cooperation, engagement and initiatives undertaken by a number of ACP countries with key partners, notably the European Commission, in order to combat IUU and regain market access for their fisheries products into the EU market.

The objectives of the briefing were to:
  • document and review the key ACP and ACP-EU partnerships and dialogues on combating IUU;
  • present the major achievements and successes of ACP countries in combating IUU, at both the national and regional levels;
  • consider the opportunities to upscale or replicate sound methods and approaches detailed in the successful case studies;
  • further dialogue on strengthening intra-ACP and ACP-EU cooperation to combat IUU, identify future risks and build capacity to realise future opportunities in the fisheries sector.
This Briefing was meant to be a follow-up to the 2009 Briefing organised by CTA on “Fighting against
Photo Credit: SARNISSA
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing: Impacts and challenges for ACP countries” in order to measure the progress achieved in fighting IUU.

The speakers, who included high-level IUU experts, policy makers and industry representatives from ACP and EU public and private sectors, NGO’s and academia, presented the developments and successes on combating IUU.

Extract:
Overview of IUU fishing in Africa: trends, successes and challenges ahead
Emmanuel Kaunda, Professor and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Bunda Campus Malawi [Video|Presentation|Summary]

Further references 
Related:
The FISH-i Africa Task Force: Testing regional cooperation to stop illegal fishing
  • In December 2012, a pioneer initiative to pilot coordinated sharing, analysis and use of intelligence and information to generate enforcement actions against illegal fishing operators was launched in the Seychelles. 
  • It became known as FISH-i Africa. 
  • The original FISH-i Africa countries included individuals representing fisheries agencies from five countries in the Western Indian Ocean: Comoros, Kenya, Mozambique, Seychelles and the United Republic of Tanzania. 
  • In mid-2013, following requests from Madagascar and Mauritius, they also joined FISH-i.


For watching the full video use password fish8
FISH-i Africa - A task force to stop illegal fishing in Southeast Africa from commsinc on Vimeo.

Effects of organic amendments enriched with Trichoderma

27 October 2014. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. IRD Secretariat. Launch of the project: “Effets des amendements organiques enrichis aux trichoderma sp appliques aux productions maraicheres de la zone sub-saharienne”

Partners of the above consortium launched their research project funded by PAEPARD II under Competitive Research Fund - Innovation Fund. The consortium was created in 2011 with following partners:
  1. BIOPROTECT-B, Private Sector, Fada, Burkina Faso
  2. B2B-BIOPHYTECH, SARL, Montpellier, France
  3. Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD), Marseille, France
  4. INERA, Burkina Faso 
  5. Association pour la Recherche et la Formation en Agro-Ecologie (ARFA)-NGO-Burkina Faso
The specific objective of the project is to improve the agronomic potential of different organic amendments by developing and disseminating techniques and practices that promote the organic amendment enriched by Trichoderma sp.


Related PAEPARD blogposts:


BIOPROTECT – B à été créé en 2011 et son siège social est au Burkina-Faso. BIOPROTECT – B propose des intrants d'origine organiques non polluants permettant une revitalisation de la vie microbienne des sols et une valorisation optimale des ressources locales afin de fertiliser et protéger des végétaux à fortes valeur ajoutée. Olivier answers following questions:

  1. Quelle est la genese de votre collaboration avec ARFA? 
  2. Comment le PAEPARD a-t-il contribue a cette collaboration? 
  3. Comment les essais de terrain ont ete finance? (le role du ColeACP) 
  4. Est-ce que Biotech est une PME qui est devenue viable? 
  5. Quelle est la collaboration entre ARFA et Bioprotect? 
  6. Est-ce que les biopesticides sont une niche ou il y a moyen de faire de l'argent? 
  7. Quel est le lien avec la conservation des sols?

Friday, October 24, 2014

18th IFOAM Organic Worlds Congress


13 - 15 October 2014. Istanbul, Turkey. The IFOAM Organic World Congress (OWC)
occurs every three years. It is the largest and most important meeting of the organic sector. The 2014 conference had 3 themed tracks, The Main Track, The Scientific Track, and The Practitioners' Track as well as a series of Workshops.

Each track explored the organic sector from numerous interesting perspectives and the workshops highlighted the contributions of various initiatives from around the organic world.

Extracts of the programme related to Africa:
Opening Plenary Session: 
The world is challenged: 
It needs organic solutions. 
It needs the Organic Movement.

MAIN TRACK

The Main track examined issues, both current and future, impacting on the global organic world.
  • Allan Savory, Savory Institute, Zimbabwe
  • James Benjamin Cole, IFOAM WB & Eloc Farms, Uganda
  • Elisabeth Atangana, CNOP-CAM & PROPAC, Cameroon
  • Manjo Smith, IFOAM WB & Namibian Organic Association, Namibia
  • Willy Douma, Hivos International, The Netherlands
  • Bo van Elzakker, Louis Bolk Institute, The Netherlands
  • new IFOAM World Board!
    President: Andre Leu (Australia)
    Vice Presidents: Manjo Smith (Namibia), 
    Frank Eyhorn (Switzerland)
    Eva Torremocha (Spain),
    Gabi Soto (Costa Rica), 
    Mathew John (India),
    Peggy Miars (USA),
    Gerold Rahmann (Germany), 
    Roberto Ugas (Peru),
    Zeijang Zhou (China).
  • Marco Schlüter, IFOAM EU Group, Belgium
SCIENTIFIC TRACK
  • Organic/Inorganic Leaf Amaranth Production: The Case Of Poultry Manure, Fish Effluent And Npk Fertiliser - Professor Cosmas Osita Muoneke
  • Evaluation Of Different Rates Of Jathropha (Jathropha Curcas) Seed Cake On The Growth And Yield Of Amaranthus Caudatus - Dr Adebayo Abayomi Olowoake
  • Scientific technology development a necessary tool for promotion of organic agriculture in Africa: a case study of south western Nigeria organic movements scientists - Peter Olatunde Olanrewaju, Nkiru T Meludu
"This investigation revealed high interest of the scientists in having a healthy production of crops with environmental friendly technologies. However, inadequate exposure to the best organic practices and lack of research grant were constraints to the development of organic agriculture technologies and it’s promotion among farmers. In-depth interviews were conducted with some of the scientists, majority emphasised that, the few technologies that have been developed and transferred were achievd by funding form international donors
Aside from the low transfer of the developed technologies, most of the farmers’ production challenges in organic agriculture, such as disease, pest and weed managements have low level of technology development and transfer. The significant correlation between motivational factor and technology development emphasized the need to effectively motivate the scientists in a multidimensional ways for farmers oriented technology development."
  • Coverage Of Organic Agricultural News In Nigerian Newspapers: Implications For The Promotion Of Ecological Organic Agriculture (Eoa) And Food Risk Reduction - Mojisola F. Oyewole
  • Cocoa agroforestry a bridge for sustainable and organic cocoa production - Isaac Nunoo, Victor Owusu, Beatrice Darko Obiri
  • Organic sustainability visions: Farmers first!
  • Organic Agriculture Improves Ecosystem Services In Smallholder Coffee Farming: Evidence From Uganda Using Chemical Soil Indicators - Walther Pohl

PRACTITIONERS' TRACK

The practitioners' Track provided a forum for the exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences about the practical and strategic as well as socio-cultural aspects of organic food and agriculture.
  • Bridging Drought – Resilience in Rangeland Management in Times of Climate Change -Judith Isele (Namibia)
  • The Farmers Own Seed - Omer Agoligan (Benin)
  • Diola Women, Seed Conservers - Mariama Sonko (Senegal)
  • Organic exports from Africa to Europe. The experience of small scale farmers from Ghana - Patrick Deegbe (Ghana) 
  • Training for Transformation - Jacques Nametougli (Togo)
  • Presenting the Organisation APN-Sahell - Harouna Porgo (Burkina Faso)
Related:
 

Related:
Published on 9 Oct 2014
Established in 2012, the IFOAM Academy launched its first Organic Leadership Course (OLC) in South Asia. Scientists, researchers, certifiers, auditors, producers and traders from around the world have since graduated from the IFOAM Academy.


The OLC provides the knowledge, skills and expertise needed for continued success in the organic sector. • Management theories and leadership skills • Advocacy and policy-making • Organic agriculture production • Processing, trade and consumption • Organic Guarantee Systems (OGS) Published on 9 Dec 2013 How three smallholder farmers in Tanzania and Kenya escaped poverty, hunger and diminishing yields through learning organic farming practices.

Related:

 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sharefair on Rural Women's Technologies to Improve Food Security


15 - 17 October 2014. Nairobi, Kenya. UN Women's Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa in partnership with FAO, IFAD and WFP organised a Sharefair on Rural Women's Technologies to Improve Food Security, Nutrition and Productive Family Farming. 

The Sharefair is a regional initiative aimed at promoting technologies and innovations that support rural female smallholder farmers. It coincided with the International Rural Women’s Day and World Food Day 2014, and brought together rural women innovators from Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. It also offered a platform for policymakers, academics, food producers, investors, technology innovators and others to interact.

The objectives were:
  1. Accelerated programmatic and policy attention to gender and agriculture and practical ways to overcome current gender-related technology, food security, and nutrition challenges
  2. Generation of a technology repository comprising a menu of technology options that meet the needs of women farmers and that can serve the sector and the region will be a lasting contribution
  3. Identifying new and scaling up of existing technologies through linking farmers to entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers
  4. Further anchor of the Regional Network to translate into deepened collaborations on gender and agriculture and food security

Towards a common strategy to fight global hunger

13 -17 October 2014. Rome, Italy. Committee on World Food Security (CFS) 41st Session, "The impact of food safety on nutrition security", co-organised with the Global donor Platform (GDP).

High-level representatives from governments, United Nations food agencies, aid groups, the private sector and civil society gathered last week at the Food and Agriculture Organization’s headquarters in Rome to agree on a common strategy to fight global hunger.

As expected, the intergovernmental and multistakeholder Committee on World Food Security endorsed in its 41st session a set of principles on responsible investments in agriculture. It also discussed innovations in the sector, as well as lessons learned on how to address malnutrition and tackle food wastage.

Regional: CAADP/NEPAD’s efforts to mainstream nutrition in agriculture
African Group with Ghana Former President John Kufuor. Group Picture
  • Haladou Salha, Senior Technical Adviser, NEPAD
  • Karim Mtambo, Director, National Food Security in the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives, United Republic of Tanzania
  • Djibo Bagna, Pan African Farmer’s Forum, representing CSM
  • Arne Cartridge, CEO Grow Africa
Lynn Brown (World Bank) and Maureo Ghirotti (Italy)
Djibo Bagna (PAFO) and Elisabetha Atangana (PROPAC)
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Learning from Africa's Year of Agriculture and Food Security: Country Implementation and Global Implications
  • Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Global Donor Plaform for Rural Development: Impact of food safety on nutrition security. 
  • Africa Group of Representatives and Pan African Farmers’ Organization (PAFO)-Transforming African Agriculture: Who and How? Implementing the orientations of the AU, CFS and the IYFF.
  • Agriculture for Impact & the Overseas Development Institute: Linking smallholders to markets better: lessons from working models
CFS Special Event: Innovation in Family Farming: Towards Ensuring Food Security and Nutrition

The Panel
  • Moderator: Laurie Goering, Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • Her Majesty Queen Máxima Of The Netherlands, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development
  • Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Segfredo Serrano, Undersecretary for Policy and Planning, Department Of Agriculture, Philippines
  • Ibrahima Coulibaly, Vice-President of the Network of Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organisations of West Africa (ROPPA); Ambassador of FAO for the International Year on Family Farming
  • Santiago Del Solar Dorrego, Asociación Argentina de Consorcios Regionales de Experimentación Agrícola (AACREA)
Supporting documents


18 October 2014. Bari, Italy. Conference “From the seed to the food: cooperation, sustainable agriculture and food security” organized by CIHEAM, Bari, and the Italian Cooperative Alliance.

L’incontro rappresenta l’occasione, inoltre, per illustrare i risultati raggiunti e le prospettive future del Programma “Feeding Knowledge”, iniziativa strategica di Expo Milano 2015, attuata dal CIHEAM di Bari in collaborazione con il Centro METID del Politecnico di Milano, che farà parte dell’eredità permanente dell’Esposizione Universale. 


Il Programma mira a promuovere la condivisione della conoscenza nell’area Euro-Mediterranea sulle tematiche connesse con la sicurezza alimentare e a contribuire all’identificazione di soluzioni che siano in linea con le reali esigenze degli stakeholders e degli operatori locali. In questa maniera, la riduzione dello spreco di conoscenze potrà portare ad elaborare innovazioni efficaci per garantire l’accesso a cibi sani e nutrienti, nel rispetto delle risorse naturali e dell’ambiente.

See full programme

Related:
Advanced Course: INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES TO ENHANCE THE TRACE-ABILITY OF THE FOOD CHAIN
* Start: 23 March 2015
* End: 27 March 2015

Monday, October 20, 2014

Live coverage of the World Food Prize 2014

16 October 16, 2014. DES MOINES, IOWA - Live coverage of the World Food Prize, honoring outstanding individuals who strive to improve the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world. The World Food Prize Foundation awarded the 2014 World Food Prize to Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram in a live ceremony from Des Moines, Iowa.



Referred to as the "premier conference in the world on global agriculture", the Borlaug Dialogue featured expertise and diverse perspectives of governmental leaders; policymakers; farmers; CEOs and executives from agribusiness; leaders of non-governmental organizations; and scientific, academic and development experts from around the world. Highlighted speakers included:
  • His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, President, Republic of Sierra Leone
  • His Excellency Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, United States
  • His Excellency Enrique Martinez y Martinez, Secretary of Agriculture, Mexico
  • Her Excellency Florence Chenoweth, Minister of Agriculture, Liberia
The Dialogue gave special emphasis to the powers of intensification, innovation and inspiration to uplift smallholder farmers and meet the increasing demand for nutritious food.

Discussion topics included:
  • taking stock of where we currently stand in meeting the "greatest challenge in human history";
  • closing yield gaps while addressing pressing water, gender and nutrition challenges and disparities;
  • the role of information technology and data to increase productivity, conserve the environment, adapt to climate volatility and consumer needs, and improve the lives of farmers and other participants along the value chain;
  • sustainable intensification to improve productivity with a special focus on soils and fertilizers;
  • innovations in insurance and agrofinancing;
  • and the role of the next generation in the fight against hunger through the DialogueNEXT conversation that features young innovators and thought leaders who are contributing new ideas, concepts and achievements toward this goal.
Published on 20 Oct 2014 Kofi Annan’s video address to celebrate the centennial of Dr. Norman Borlaug during the World Food Prize symposium.

 

Side event: ILRI@40: Livestock-based Options for Sustainable Food Systems
In 2014, to mark 40 years of international research, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is facilitating a series of events that highlight the ways in which livestock research advances the global development agenda, specifically for sustainable food and nutritional security, economic well-being and healthy lives.
On 15 October 2014, ILRI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation held a roundtable event at the 2014 Norman E Borlaug International Symposium to articulate the roles of livestock production in sustainable food production and the changes, impacts and coordination needed to address the needs of a growing human population in sustainable as well as equitable ways. This roundtable event brought together public and private actors in sustainable livestock development to discuss ways to enhance the contributions of livestock to sustainable food and nutritional security.
Side event: From Smallholders to Shareholders: Optimizing Private Sector Partnerships for Smallholder Impact
This workshop builded on a new guide, “From Smallholders to Shareholders: A Guide to Optimizing Private Sector Partnerships for Smallholder Impact,” which details how to successfully implement private sector partnerships for smallholder impact. The interactive format highlights case studies from the guide as well as innovative partnerships, licensing and local manufacturing, marketing and distribution, extension and other forms of customer support, and financing.

Side event: America’s plenty, America’s waste: A conversation on food security at home and abroad with leading journalists
Conversation on food waste in America and the role of Iowa and U.S. businesses in transforming global agriculture. This engaging, multimedia presentation featured Chrobog's new film "Wasted" and new reporting from Hicks and White's investigation of agricultural reform in China.

Borlaug Prize

The 2014 winner of the World Food Prize is Sanjaya Rajaram, a native of India and citizen of Mexico who received the award for his groundbreaking work in maximizing the potential of wheat production.

In Mexico, Rajaram was able to raise two crops a year, shortening the time it would normally take to double a yield and feed millions more people with better-quality food. His breakthrough breeding technologies have had a far-reaching and significant impact in providing more nutritious food around the globe and alleviating world hunger.

Dr. Rajaram succeeded Dr. Norman Borlaug in leading CIMMYT's wheat breeding program, and developed an astounding 480 wheat varieties that have been released in 51 countries on six continents and have been widely adopted by small- and large-scale farmers alike.

2014 Recipient: Dr. Bram Govaerts, BELGIUM. Dr. Govaerts, 35, currently serves as Associate Director of the Global Conservation Agricultural Program at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).

Dr. Govaerts was instrumental in framing the Mexican government’s major initiative known as the Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture (MasAgro), and, in June 2014, he assumed leadership of the entire program, with responsibility for coordinating the evolution of related projects in Latin America. The component of MasAgro that Dr. Govaerts originally developed and has successfully led is named “Take It to the Farmer.”

It focuses on integrating technological innovation into small-scale farming systems for maize and wheat crops, while minimizing detrimental impacts on the environment. Under this extension-style program, farmers on over 94,000 hectares switched to sustainable systems using MasAgro technologies, while farmers on another 600,000 hectares are receiving training and information to improve their techniques and practices.

10 Big Ideas to Increase Availability and Improve Access to Food by 2025

12 October 2014. Washington. The report “Unleashing The Potential For Global Food and Agriculture - A Call For Innovation And Leadership” that was presented during the Duisenberg Lecture that was held in conjunction with the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank.

“Africa is critical to feeding the planet’s growing population. We have huge opportunity and challenge within our grasp.”

To demonstrate both what is needed and what is possible, Rabobank has developed ten big ideas in global Food and Agriculture aimed at boosting global food availability and improving access to food over the next decade However, while innovation may be the key ingredient, leadership will be the single most important tool in overcoming these difficulties and putting these big ideas into practice.

These ten ideas are:
  1. Adopt big data in U.S. agriculture, boosting grain and oilseed production and resource efficiency, leading to another 20 million tonnes of grain and oilseed output by 2025.
  2. Close the yield gap in Central and Eastern Europe, consolidating F&A to increase production. This will create an additional nine million tonnes of grain production over the next decade.
  3. Improve China's food security, taking domestic actions to complement agriculture imports. This will drive a 61 million tonne improvement in grain production and a three million tonne lift in oilseed output by 2025.
  4. Strengthen South-South trade, linking South America’s production potential to Asia’s demand, leading to another 20 million tonnes of soybean trade from South America to China over 10 years.
  5. Invest in local storage, reducing post-harvest food losses in Sub-Saharan Africa and creating an 8 million tonne increase in grain and oilseed availability over the next decade.
  6. Boost production in the F&A engine room, capitalizing on Brazil’s grain and oilseed and animal protein potential. This will create an 11 million tonne lift in meat production and a 22 million tonne increase in grain and oilseed output by 2025.
  7. Develop cold chains in China, leading to a 40 million tonne increase in meat and seafood availability over 10 years.
  8. Grow aquaculture, kickstarting the tilapia industry in Latin America and increasing production by two million tonnes by 2025.
  9. Lift dairy production in India, improving rural incomes and increasing output by the liquid milk equivalent of 30 million tonnes over the next decade.
  10. Raise sugarcane's productivity, improving consistency of yields and cane quality in Brazil, and boosting sugar output by 16 million tonnes by 2025. 
The report argues that harnessing innovation requires a shift in mindsets, to accept that business as usual is not likely be the right way forward. Although global Food and Agriculture has seen much change over the past decade, there is still some reluctance to accept that the future is going to be different, or appreciation of how different global Food and Agriculture is going to have to be in order to successfully respond to the significant constraints that come with the long-term opportunities.

Innovation, it is suggested, should be focussed in two areas. 
  1. The first is in basic research and development (R and D), to discover new technologies and practices that are implementable at a commercial scale. 
  2. The second focus area is in business models, which need to change to accelerate the take-up of new technologies and practices in ways that better manage risk and better align investments and returns.

Unleashing Science, Technology and Innovation for Food and Nutrition Security

15-17 October 2014. Arnhem, The Netherlands. International Forum Unleashing Science, Technology and Innovation for Food and Nutrition Security.With special focus on Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific.

A 2013 call for proposals was launched by CTA for the Top 20 Innovations benefitting smallholder farmers. This yielded 251 responses of which twenty (20) have been shortlisted. These innovations are having an impact on farming communities, especially small-scale farmers, fisher-folk, agro-processors and traders but they are most likely taking place under the radar of governments, the private sector and other stakeholders. 
Dr Ayele and Prof Mugabe

A CTA-CoSIS Wageningen UR 2013 expert consultation on Innovation Systems: Toward Effective Strategies that Benefit Smallholder Farmers demonstrated that while innovation systems thinking has permeated the culture and actions of several key agricultural organizations in ACP countries and beyond much more work is needed in understanding the context of smallholder farming systems so that policy and institutional changes can be effected for their benefit; thereby ensuring that development is inclusive.

Participants are reviewing the Top 20 innovations
The international forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Food and Nutrition Security brought together leading scholars, senior scientists/researchers/academicians, policy-makers, development practitioners, innovators and private sector representatives including farmers to:
  1. Assess the relevance and effectiveness of current agricultural research and innovation policies and programmes for addressing the food and nutrition security challenge;
  2. Analyze and generate evidence on innovations occurring in ACP agriculture for shaping future STI policy formulation and implementation for achieving food and nutrition security;
  3. Agree on how best to move forward in sharpening the STI focus, strengthening national innovation systems and increasing public and private investments to effectively address food and nutrition insecurity in the future;

Friday, October 17, 2014

Innovation in family farming

16 October 2014. The State of Food and Agriculture 2014: Innovation in family farming 

Innovation in family farming analyses family farms and
the role of innovation in ensuring global food security, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability.

It argues that family farms must be supported to innovate in ways that promote sustainable intensification of production and improvements in rural livelihoods.

Innovation is a process through which farmers improve their production and farm management practices.

Key messages

  • Family farms are part of the solution for achieving food security and sustainable rural development; the world’s food security and environmental sustainability depend on the more than 500 million family farms that form the backbone of agriculture in most countries.
  • Family farms are an extremely diverse group, and innovation systems must take this diversity into account.
  • The challenges facing agriculture and the institutional environment for agricultural innovation are far more complex than ever before; the world must create an innovation system that embraces this complexity.
  • Public investment in agricultural R&D and extension and advisory services should be increased and refocused to emphasize sustainable intensification and closing yield and labour productivity gaps.
  • All family farmers need an enabling environment for innovation, including good governance, stable macroeconomic conditions, transparent legal and regulatory regimes, secure property rights, risk management tools and market infrastructure.
  • Capacity to innovate in family farming must be promoted at multiple levels. Individual innovation capacity must be developed through investment in education and training.
  • Effective and inclusive producers’ organizations can support innovation by their members.


Related:
A member of the Prolinnova International Secretariat at ETC Foundation, Ann Waters-Bayer, took part in the CGIAR Development Dialogues on 25 September 2014 in New York City.
  • Ann spoke in the session on “Resilient systems and communities towards sustainable development: Fostering the capacity to innovate“. 
  • This session explored strategies and actions needed to foster the capacity to innovate in smallholder farming systems and key challenges to building inclusive innovation in these systems. 
  • Fostering capacity to innovate at all levels is critical to strengthening the resilience of these systems in the face of change, so that progress can be continued in improving agricultural livelihoods, promoting sustainable agriculture, restoring terrestrial ecosystems and engaging in effective partnerships to this end. 
  • Place-based agro-ecosystem research involving researchers, development workers, farmer groups, civil society, the private sector and policymakers can increase the impact of development policies and investments on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, and the resilience of natural resource systems on which they depend.
The session was organised and opened by Kwesi Atta-Krah, Director of the CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics, and moderated by Stephanie Strom, journalist with the New York Times. Other panel speakers on fostering the capacity to innovate were: H.E. Ruth Nankabirwa, Minister of State for Agriculture, Uganda; Sara Scherr, President, EcoAgriculture Partners; Stephen Muchiri, CEO, Eastern Africa Farmers Federation; and Blake Ratner, Research Director, WorldFish.



Stephen Muchiri answers the question:
@ 17:15 "How often do researchers contact the EAFF federation and ask for information? "
@ 20:00  "Researchers come when they have a project"
@ 31:00 Malawi farmers: "Nothing about us without us"
@34:00 "We want to be viewed as partners not as beneficiaries"

@41:47 "A lot of information on public and private financing is not available: who is providing it, etc. There is also a problem of capacity to access these finances. Partnership building has been a huge challenge (referring to PAEPARD)
@1:05:10 There is an issue of predictability when the money flows in from donors
@ 37:30 Sara Scherr, President, EcoAgriculture Partners
"How do you increase the capacity of these [multi] stakeholder forums"
@40:15 "We start to see a shift in financing those platforms. We need a more thorough assessment on what works and what works not

@45:40 H.E. Ruth Nankabirwa, Minister of State for Agriculture, In charge of Fisheries, Entebbe, Uganda
"Government says agriculture is a priority but when it comes to budgeting it's a different story".
@ 50:50 Ann Waters-Bayer, Senior Advisor, Prolinnova International Secretariat, ETC Foundation, Netherlands
"It is very important for researchers to do research in the process of platforms which are innovating"
Question time:
@ 1:07:00 
Question: Peter Manton AFRICA RICE board: The center of  gravity among most researchers in most CGIAR research centers is still a top down modern type of science domination of the dialogue. Farmers are collaborators. How do we bring a real change in mindset among CGIAR researchers?
Answers:
Stephen Muchiri: CGIAR should like IFAD [2 yearly farmer forum] engage on a regular basis with other stakeholders
Ann Bayers-Water: like we look at farmer innovators CGIAR should look at its positive deviants researcher who are interested in social learning in research for development , who try to enhance the capacity to innovate. Don't kill it