Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Future of Food Summit 2015 - Aflatoxin

Published on 9 Jun 2015. This panel considers and debates one of the greatest obstacles to food security in many parts of the world: mycotoxin.

Aflatoxin is a particularly dangerous mycotoxin produced predominantly by two Aspergillus fungi. It colonizes a variety of important food and feed crops both pre- and post-harvest, including groundnuts, tree nuts, maize, rice, figs and other dried foods, spices, crude vegetable oils and cocoa.

Contaminated crops have significant health risks for both humans and animals, having been linked to retarded growth and development (stunting), immunosuppression and liver cancer. The aflatoxin issue has other, complex implications for food security and, by limiting farmers’ access to international markets, can lead to food waste and economic instability.

Panelists:
  • John Lamb, Principal Associate, Abt Associates
  • Dr. Kitty Cardwell, National Program Leader, USDA-NIFA
  • Barbara Stinson, Senior Partner, Meridian Institute; Project Director, Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa
  • Moderator: Dr. Howard-Yana Shapiro, Chief Agricultural Officer, Mars, Incorporated
@36:15 Discussion on the funding needs 
@44:33 "The [multi national] agribusinesses that are working in Africa are the ones that want to create clean products. They make it worthwhile for growers to change their practices. Nestle, Mars, Unilever etc can kick start the demand - which is what we need for farmers to do what they need to do [to reduce aflatoxin levels]Dr. Kitty Cardwell
@1:00:48: "Plant science could be a profound way of solving some of those problems" Dr. Howard-Yana Shapiro


Related PAEPARD video interviews
PAEPARD video interview with Howard Shapiro of Mars, Inc USA.

He answers the following questions:
  • Why is the issue of mycotoxin contamination so important? 
  • How critical is mycotoxin contamination for Mars Inc.? 
  • Why do you expect from research and development funders? 
  • Why did the development community not take it up? 
  • Do we need a pre-harvest or post-harvest intervention? Are attitudes changing?
   

PAEPARD video interview with John Lamb; Abt. Associates. 


He answers the following questions:
  • Why the private sector should be concerned about aflatoxin? 
  • The mortality rate among chicken is strong evidence? 
  • How should the chicken feed business be approached?

   
Related: 
CREATED: July, 2015
AUTHOR(S): Mundia Silumesii, Seed Certification and Control Institute SCCI (MAL), Lusaka, Zambia.
EDITED BY: Plantwise, CABI

 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Guide to EU decision making on Africa

Last updated on 14 Mar 2015. ECDPM 5 videos.
  • How does the EU make decisions that affect the African continent? 
  • Who and what are the main players and institutions that shape European policies? 
  • ECDPM's latest guide is for African audiences eager to know more about how the European Union makes decisions in an ever changing and interdependent relationship between the two continents. 
  • This new guide is a dynamic multimedia presentation based on previous ECDPM's research and body of knowledge and supported by infographics. - See more at: http://www.ecdpm.org/

EU-Africa collaboration in science, technology and innovation.

4 - 5 February 2016. Pretoria, South Africa. CAAST-Net Plus is hosting a workshop with representatives of Africa's Regional Economic Communities (RECs) about EU-Africa collaboration in science, technology and innovation.

Workshop Objectives:
  • Exchange information and lessons learned on the mechanisms and options for the RECs to engage in Africa-EU STI cooperation.
  • Explore potential synergies between the RECs in Horizon 2020 and the activities of National Contact Points, as well as with the EU's Coordination and Support Actions, and with the national science academies and their networks.
  • Facilitate dialogue between the RECs and the ERAfrica project on co-funding opportunities, with the aim of informing the STISA 2024 implementation process.
  • Discuss participation in future joint bi-regional cooperation networks and projects, as well as strategies for the uptake of research.

AfricaRice 2016 Science Week and GRiSP-Africa Forum

2 - 4 February 2016. Cotonou, Benin. AfricaRice 2016 Science Week and GRiSP-Africa Forum. The Science Week serves as the annual review, reflection and planning event for the Center and its research and development partners from around the world. It is held under the framework of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), aCGIAR Research Program on rice.

International and national rice research and development partners from the public and private sectors, including representatives of national research and extension programs of about 30 African countries are expected to participate in this event.

The main objectives of the 2016 AfricaRice Science Week and GRiSP-Africa Forum are to discuss results obtained in 2015 and carry out effective and efficient planning of rice research-for-development (R4D) activities in 2016.

In addition to updates on GRiSP-Africa R4D activities and meetings of the Africa-wide Rice Task Forces and the Rice Sector Development Hubs, the Science Week’s program will include among others brainstorming sessions on improved seed delivery, long-term agronomic trials related to soil fertility management, knowledge sharing and innovation platforms in rice value chains.

Related:
3 January 2016. A new research centre will help African countries promote innovation in the agricultural sector. The Green Innovation Center, which was inaugurated at AfricaRice in Benin this month (), aims to boost agricultural productivity, increase the incomes of smallholder farmers and create job opportunities, particularly for youth and women in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Tunisia and Zambia.
“The main gap that the centre seeks to close is the low capacity of the present extension service.” Bernard Marc Winfried, AfricaRice
The Green Innovation Center is supported by the Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in partnership with other institutions such as Benin Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, and AfricaRice.

BMZ has given 2.7 million euros (almost US$3 million) to AfricaRice to implement the centre’s activities in 2016 and 2017, according to Bernard Marc Winfried, a knowledge management specialist at AfricaRice.

Gerd Müller, minister for BMZ, said during the inauguration that agriculture does not only need water and fertiliser but also knowledge and innovation..

Monday, February 1, 2016

Agribusiness Congress East Africa


27 - 28 January 2016. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This two-day interactive forum and exhibition brought together key public and private stakeholders from across the East African agricultural sector.

The 2016 conference programme included panel discussions and presentations such as access to markets and cross border trading, the promotion of livestock production and productivity to match
supply and demand and ensuring food security and commercial market viability.

Speakers:
  • Juliet Kariuki, the Executive Director of the Tanzanian Investment Centre discussing the role of public and private partnerships
  • Mark Blackett, the Regional Representative of Veco East Africa, 
  • Leonard Msemakweli, General Secretary from the Ugandan Co-operative Alliance, 
  • Johann Kotzé the Head of Agiculture Africa from First National Bank

The Agribusiness Congress East Africa analysed critical, strategic and practical issues, including actualising development and growth in agriculture, turning farming into a profitable business and decreasing post-harvest losses amidst the challenges posed by climate change.

Extract of the programme:
Session 1.3
Investment: Successful partnership models to attract investors to the East African Agricultural Corridor
Three key perspectives will be highlighted during this session:
  • The role of Public and Private Partnerships
  • Exploring the role of Public and Private Partnerships in a successful economy
  • Case study presentation: The effect of private investment to increase efficiencies and enhance productivity in the agri-value chain with a focus on agro-processing
Understanding the role of co-operatives and the link between farmers and producers
  • Livestock trade and marketing development: a commercial, efficient and internationally competitive industry
  • Encouraging the development of a commercially oriented, efficient and internationally competitive livestock industry
  • Promoting investment in the dry lands of East Africa
  • Increasing smallholder livestock enterprises through production diversification
Promotion of livestock production and productivity to match supply and demand
  • A new generation of co-operatives within a changed domestic and global environment

The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets

The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2015–16Trade and food security: achieving a better balance between national priorities and the collective good

This edition of The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets aims to reduce the current polarization of views on the impacts of agricultural trade on food security and on the manner in which agricultural trade should be governed to ensure that increased trade openness is beneficial to all countries. By providing evidence and clarity on a range of topics, the report seeks to contribute to a more informed debate on policy choices and to identify required improvements in the policy processes within which these choices are made.

Key messages
  1. Global trade in food products continues to expand rapidly, but the structure and pattern of trade differs significantly by commodity and by region. Key drivers of production and demand, including trade and related policies, shape these patterns in different ways, with potentially important implications for food security.
  2. Greater participation in global trade is an inevitable part of most countries’ national trade strategies. However, the process of opening to trade, and its consequences, will need to be appropriately managed if trade is to work in favour of improved food security outcomes.
  3. Trade affects each of the four dimensions of food security: food availability, access, utilization and stability. The interaction of trade with these dimensions is complex and depends on a variety of underlying factors, producing great differences in country experiences and making it difficult to ascertain a generalizable relationship.
  4. The relationship between the level of engagement in trade and food security is influenced by the way food markets work, by the ability and willingness of producers to respond to the changing incentives that trade can bring, and by the geography of food insecurity, each of which needs to be accounted for in the formulation of trade policy interventions.
  5. Trade and related policy objectives address different dimensions of food security, will differ across countries, and will change over time. The appropriateness of alternative trade policy options is largely determined by longer-term processes of economic transformation and the role of the agriculture sector within these.
  6. Episodes of food price spikes are important for their potential negative impacts on food security. Geopolitical and weather uncertainties, as well as government responses, are likely to exacerbate these episodes in the future, with increasing potential for disruptions to trade flows. The likelihood of price spikes, even if episodic, needs to be factored into longer-term decisions related to the management of trade in food and agricultural products.
  7. Trade and food security concerns can be better articulated in the multilateral trading system through improvements to the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Agriculture. However, the right balance needs to be struck between the benefits of collective action brought through disciplines on the use of trade policy, and the policy space required by developing countries, the identification of which needs to be informed by specific country-level needs.
  8. Shifting attention from the pros and cons of specific policies towards addressing weaknesses in the governance processes of agriculture and trade policy-making will improve identification of required policy space and its appropriate use. Strengthening these processes requires building synergies to increase policy coherence for food security, to enable governments to balance priorities in the design of trade policies, and to improve their compliance with regional and global trade frameworks.
Read the executive summary
Download the PDF
Read the e-book IPAD | KINDLE
See the press release
Q&A


Investing in Inclusive Agribusiness – Trends, Opportunities and Challenges

19 January 2016. Geneva. This half day event - prior to the Annual General Assembly of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development provided an opportunity for donors, NGOs and the private sector to share experiences in supporting inclusive agribusiness initiatives.

The session mapped out major streams of work including value chain development, support for the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture and Grow Asia and Grow Africa initiatives, and market systems approaches (M4P). The discussion focused on how to better align public and private investments to achieve impact at scale.
  1. Lisa Dreier (World Economic Forum): Developments with NVA and Grow Africa/Grow Asia and implications for aligning public and private investments for achieving impact at scale (private sector perspective); 
  2. Mike Albu (BEAM Exchange): Market systems approaches and the BEAM exchange: latest trends in donor investment strategies to leverage private sector engagement (donor/public sector perspective);
  3. David Bright (Oxfam) : Risks and rewards: what lessons are we learning about how align public and private interests to scale inclusive agribusiness? (NGO perspective); 
  4. Joost Guijt (Seas of Change Initiative) : Opportunities for building a stronger inclusive agribusiness learning network  
Building up on the success of the Roundtable on Inclusive Agribusiness in South East Asia (23-24/09/2015, Vietnam) the Global Donor Platform organised this pre-event, the day before the official opening of the Annual General Assembly to further discuss the alignment of public and private investments to achieve impact at scale.

The GDPRD work stream could: 
  1. Help to strengthen donor linkages across thematic areas of agriculture, trade, market development, financial inclusion and private sector engagement as they relate to inclusive agribusiness. 
  2. Explore the potential for greater donor collaboration on inclusive agribusiness research and impact assessment. 
  3. Deepen understanding of effective policy and program strategy for optimising public private partnerships in the agri-food sector. 
  4. Strengthen learning networks between donors, private sector initiatives, NGOs and research.

Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2016

14-16 January 2016. Berlin. The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2016 brought together keyHow to feed our cities? – Agriculture and rural areas in an era of urbanisation.
international actors from politics, industry, academia and civil society in order to engage in the discussion on :

Extracts of the programme:
  • Rural Transformation in Africa – Opportunities to feed an urbanizing continent. Organiser German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) operated by the GIZ Co-Organiser Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (GDPRD)
The call for urban food security provides important stimulus for
  1. the development of a "New Urban Agenda" by UN HABITAT III (October 2016 in
    Quito/Ecuador); 
  2. the discussions on food security that are being conducted for the forthcoming G7 and G20 processes; 
  3. the work of the Committee on World Food Security on rural transformation and urbanization; 
  4. the implementation of the "Milan Urban Food Policy Pact" goals, an initiative of over 100 cities that aims to promote sustainable and socially equitable food and nutrition policies; 
  5. national implementation of: • the "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" (SDGs); • the Paris Agreement of the 21st UN Climate Conference (COP 21); and • the G20 Action Plan on Food Security and Sustainable Food Systems

UK Forum: Science Policy in Food and Agriculture

27 January 2016. London. Bringing together policymakers, regulators and key stakeholders, this seminar discussed the future development of science in agricultural production and its impact on UK farming.

Delegates examined the re-assessment of regulations governing the production of GMOs in light of the EU voting to allow member states greater flexibility on whether to allow the production of GM crops on their territories, and clarification of banning procedures and regulations.

Further sessions evaluated calls by the UK Science and Technology Select Committee (STC) to move towards risk-based assessments of new foods and techniques of food production, as well as recommendations made in the STC's 5th report on techniques for crop improvement.

Discussion also looked at the future of nanotechnology and cloned meat in food production after MEPs call for a moratorium on authorization procedures, as well as wider debate about the future of science and technologies in improving food security and the sustainability of agricultural production.

Healthy diets from sustainable food systems in Zambia

Uploaded 15 January 2016. A 3-year research-for-development initiative in the Barotse floodplain, Zambia, supported by the CGIAR research programs Aquatic Agricultural Systems and Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, brought scientists and community members to improve food and nutrition security all year round.

Activities included assessing seasonal food availability, dietary intake patterns of the population, nutrient gaps across seasons and how to increase the use of seasonally available foods. Find out more in the report below, and virtually meet the community members who took part, courtesy of two new videos about the initiative.

Bioversity International, working closely with partners and local communities, has been carrying out a 3-year project to look at food availability across different seasons and find locally acceptable and culturally appropriate food resources to improve diets. The area is rich in biodiversity and natural resources that could be better used by local communities to diversify local agricultural production, livelihoods and diets to increase the availability of nutrient-rich sources of food all year round such as seeds, nuts and legumes, and strengthen the resilience of farming systems in the challenging local environment.
As Sharon Akufuna, Community Facilitator says in the video: “This programme of nutrition brought us together, sometimes we sit together, discuss with the other women, even men have joined the group – they now like cooking more than in the past, as in the past they thought cooking was only for women”.

For more information, contact: Gina Kennedy

Watch the videos:
Cooking together in Zambia (7:14)
Putting diversity on the plate (9:44)

See photographs from the Barotse Floodplain

The Transformation of Research in the South: policies and outcomes

21-22 January 2016. Paris. International Conference : “The Transformation of Research in the South: policies and outcomes”. Organisers: International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada ; Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France ; Centre Population et Développement (IRD and Univ. Paris Descartes), Paris ; Institut Recherche-Innovation-Société (IFRIS), France ; OECD Development Centre.

How countries support public scientific research has a direct bearing on the capability of researchers to generate scientific knowledge, and of organizations to adapt or apply such knowledge. While many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are characterized by weak scientific capacity, there are signs of change in how governments support research and promote science.

Topics included:
  1. Developing research policy frameworks
  2. Strengthening academic research
  3. Expanding public and private participation in research
  4. Frameworks/tools for assessing research performance and impact
  5. Transnational cooperation in research:
Extract of the program:
  • Science-granting councils in Sub-Saharan Africa: A typology of diverse science funding configurations Johann Mouton (Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa)
  • Priority issues for evaluation research in Science Granting Councils – Sub Saharan Africa Johann Mouton (Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa)
  • Evolution of science policy research in South Africa – “plus ça change …” Michael Kahn
    (Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology, South Africa)
  • Strengthening innovation and development research in African universities: the case of AfricaLics Anna Kingiri, Rebecca Hanlin (AfricaLics Secretariat, African Centre for Technology Studies, Kenya) Margrethe Holm Andersen (Globelics Secretariat, Aalborg University, Denmark) Aschalew Tigabu (AfricaLics Secretariat, African Centre for Technology Studies, Kenya)
  • A Systemic Method for Assessing the Impacts of Agricultural Research for Development Temple Ludovic, Barret Danièle, Dabat MH., Devaux-Sparatakis A., Faure G., Hainzelin Etienne, Mathé S., Toillier A., Triomphe B. (Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD), France)
  • New trends in knowledge generation lifts research cooperation in Africa a notch higher Margaret Wanjiku (The MDG Centre, East and Southern Africa, Kenya) 
  • The structuring of scientific research through cooperation in Africa countries: examples from French research for development Philippe Hamelin, Ouidir Benabderrahmane, Rigas Arvanitis (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Building extension and advisory partnerships in Africa

14-15 January 2016. AFAAS, an organisation for strengthening Africa-wide agricultural extension
and advisory services, has recently reviewed its 2015-2017 strategy, and has identified knowledge management (KM) as a key focal area. CTA’s expertise in KM will help support AFAAS in its new strategic direction.

As well as Dr Nahdy, the AFAAS delegation included Dr Dan Kisauzi, AFAAS technical adviser on knowledge management and communication and Max Olupot Olalatau, partnership officer and technical assistant to the executive director. The team had close discussions with CTA’s technical staff, facilitated by Krishan Bheenick, senior programme coordinator for KM and Dr Benjamin Kwasi Addom, ICT4D programme coordinator. Dr Ibrahim Khadar, CTA’s head of the learning monitoring and evaluation unit, presented practical areas where CTA could support AFAAS including on agricultural policies, markets and value chains, and ICTs for agriculture, learning and KM.

As a process with huge potential for impacting farmers in its new strategy, AFAAS made a
presentation on Country Fora (CF), which are ‘communities of practice’ that bring together a wide range of actors and stakeholders involved in - or benefitting from - rural advisory services in a country. Each stakeholder has an interest in extension but are not necessarily extension workers themselves.
“The CF process can make good use of CTA’s wealth of information for innovations and how to reach farmers. Whether it is information on climate-smart agriculture, value chains or the use of certain ICT tools,” said Dr Nahdy. “Working collaboratively with CTA and our networks for short, medium and long-term sustainability in African countries’ extension and advisory services is key for both CTA and AFAAS,” he added.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The EU’s ACP-EU Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) programme

Published on 13 Jan 2016. Trade is an increasingly international business, but not all countries are able fully to take part. Products must meet exacting international standards, which can be a barrier to trade for countries without adequate infrastructure, regulations, quality testing and certification. They are working with the EU to address these issues and help exporters to thrive.

The ACP-EU TBT Programme focusses on three areas:
  • Upgrading and strengthening Quality Infrastructure and related institutions 
  • Empowering economic operators and export sectors to comply with international market requirements 
  • Disseminating results, good practices and experiences 
The Programme is financed by the European Union in partnership with the ACP Secretariat under the 10th European Development Fund (intra-ACP). It is a demand-driven Programme responding to requests for capacity building from ACP countries to ensure full ownership by the ACP beneficiaries.
“When you trade in raw materials, you are selling jobs, actually,” says Nsengimana in below interview. “You are selling your raw materials to people in developed industries to transform your raw materials, because you couldn’t really conform to the standards in the chain, and then the final product comes back to you.”
This is one factor behind high trade deficits in some ACP countries. By reducing the need to import goods which could be manufactured domestically, and allowing ACP manufacturers to sell to global markets, the TBT Programme could be an economic boost: creating new trade opportunities and jobs, while reducing trade deficits.
Although the ‘red tape’ of regulations is often bemoaned, the need for internationally-recognised standards is clear in the case of kava. 
The calm-inducing root, used for thousands of years by Pacific islanders as a ceremonial drink, became a major export to the EU in the 1990s. Islanders set aside land to cultivate kava, and came to depend on its revenues: around $200 million each year. Then in 2002, fears that kava was causing liver damage led Germany to withdraw licenses for kava products. The ban spread to other European countries, Australia and New Zealand. Despite thin medical evidence, trade came to a halt. 
The economic impact on Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Tonga was severe. After much campaigning, Germany lifted its ban last year. But the islands lacked the capacity to undertake scientific assessments to rehabilitate kava’s reputation, develop safety protocols or propose standards for international trade. This EU’s ACP-EU Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) programme is working at the islands’ request to help establish quality and safety standards. 

Masava: Promoting locally fortified sunflower oil

Through Masava, MEDA is helping oil millers in Tanzania connect to a vitamin A supply chain and fortification technology so they can enhance their oil’s nutrition to meet national and regional standards.

Sokoine University of Agriculture provides training in good manufacturing practices and MEDA links businesses to a network of retailers who can sell the oil to consumers. MEDA’s partners at the University of Waterloo and Sokoine University to measure the impact of the fortification on vitamin A deficiency.

Masava from MEDA on Vimeo.

A strategic approach to EU agricultural research and innovation

26-28/01/2016. Designing the path: a strategic approach to EU agricultural research and innovation

The objectives of the conference were to:
  • present the main elements of a long-term strategy for EU agricultural research and innovation;
  • discuss its content, in particular several dimensions of the manner it could be implemented.
Extract of the programme:
Parallel session 1 - Adopting a systems approach across farms, value chains and territories
Webstreaming:
This video will be accessible through this link for two years

Objectives: Illustrate how to embed research activities in systemic approaches, systems being understood at various levels (farms working collectively, landscapes or ecosystems, food systems, territories, circular economy) based on examples referring to strategy priorities.

Chair: Tim Benton, United-Kingdom Global Food Security programme
Rapporteur: Marta Perez Soba, Alterra

Presentations:
  1. Unlocking the agricultural system: the example of agroecological research and innovation systems - Philippe Baret, Université Catholique de Louvain
  2. A systems view on below and above ground interactions in agriculture: small organisms driving big innovations - Katarina Hedlund, Lund University
  3. Agroforestry systems: complexity underpinning multiple benefits from the farm to the landscape – Paul Burgess, Cranfield University (project AGFORWARD)
  4. Putting the farm in the context of its territory and value chain - Hugues Vernier, Biovallée, Contrat de Développement Durable Rhône-Alpes
  5. What role for consumers and consumer involvement in food production? Demand as a driver of sustainable and competitive farming systems and value chains - Moya Kneafsey, Coventry University
Discussion with the audience.

Parallel session 4 - The global dimension: fostering the contribution of EU research and innovation towards global challenges through multi-lateral cooperation

Webstreaming: This video will be accessible through this link for two years

Objectives: Discuss how the external dimension of the agriculture research and innovation strategy can be implemented, for instance how to foster efficiency at global level on the basis of examples of approaches which could be used in future programming, how to integrate global frameworks on development or food security or climate.

Chair: Mark Holderness, Executive Secretary of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR)
Rapporteur: Jimmy Smith, International Livestock Research Institute

Presentations:
  1. What could be the contribution of the Strategy to cooperation with Africa – The point of view of FARA - Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
  2. Outcome of SCAR ARCH pre-event "Fostering the impact of agricultural research and innovation on global challenges - The role of platforms, partnerships and policies"- Patricia Wagenmakers, Co-chair of SCAR ARCH strategic working group, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Netherlands
  3. Outcome of FACCE JPI pre-event "International soil research - Opportunities for synergy and cooperation" – Maurice Heral, French National Research Agency
  4. Working in areas of high priority: the example of the international research consortium on animal health - Alex Morrow, DEFRA
Discussion with the audience.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Policy Brief: Small-scale farmer innovation

Small-scale farmer innovation
Susan H. Bragdon Chelsea Smith
The Quaker UN Office, Geneva and New York
22 pages

December 2015. This policy brief consolidates lessons learned from an in-depth literature review on small-scale farmer (SSF) innovation systems and a two-day expert consultation on the same topic that QUNO hosted in May 2015.

The key message here is that small-scale farmer innovation systems are unique relative to more ‘formal’ agricultural innovation systems. For this reason, the types of policies that are put in place to encourage innovation in agriculture require a fundamental reconsideration.

Small-scale farmer innovation in practice:
1. Technical and institutional innovation.
2. The application of local (traditional) knowledge to changing circumstances.
3. The maintenance, use and development of agrobiodiversity and farm management practices.
4. Adaptation to environmental and socio-economic stresses.
5. The adaptation of ‘modern’ technologies to suit specific local needs
Synergy can be created between the small-scale farmer and ‘formal’ agricultural innovation systems when farmers’ active roles in innovation are recognized and ‘scientific’ and local knowledge systems are bridged. National innovation strategies that reflect the realities of small-scale farmer innovation systems may be more effective in nurturing innovation in agriculture than conventional strategies that focus on encouraging private sector investment.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

Roundtable of aflatoxin experts


25th January 2016. Roundtable of aflatoxin experts on “Building a multi-stakeholder approach to mitigate aflatoxin contamination of food and feed”.

PAEPARD organized with the support of the Directorate General Santé of the European Commission and the East African Farmer Federation (EAFF), and in collaboration with the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) and the African Society of Mycotoxicology (ASM), a roundtable meeting of key aflatoxin experts (not only research experts) on the mitigation of aflatoxin in food and feed in Africa on Monday 25/01/2015 in Brussels (by invitation only).

Some 40 experts participated in this meeting originating from (in alphabetic order: Austria, Belgium, Benin, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Nigeria, Norway, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, United Kingdom , United States, Zimbabwe). The meeting involved private sector actors, non-governmental organisations, research institutes and EC policy makers (DG Sante and DG Agriculture).

400 persons followed the web stream. Average watching time 24:21
https://scic.ec.europa.eu/streaming/management-of-aflatoxins-in-africa-working-group-implementing-legislation

The video-on-demand will be available via the same link for 2 years (after which it will be automatically deleted).

The Round Table was a follow up to the PAEPARD policy brief on the aflatoxin contamination of food and feed in Africa presented during the DEVCo Info Lunch conference in Brussels on 26th October 2015.
  • Date: Monday 25th January 2016: 9h30-17h30
  • Venue: Albert Borschette Conference Center
    (36 rue Froissart, Metro station “Schuman” lines 1 and 5)
  • Meeting Room: 5b 
  • Meeting title: Management of Aflatoxin in Africa: working group on aflatoxin
  • Organiser: PAEPARD
The objectives of the Roundtable meeting were:
  • Assessing the real needs of Africa, expressed by various stakeholders.
  • Assessing the current expertise from African and European organisations on aflatoxin issues relevant to Africa, and identify new research and ICT (Information and communication technology) collaboration on aflatoxin mitigation between Africa and Europe and synergies with ongoing or future aflatoxin research in Africa (China, USA, Germany …). 1
  • Linking together the most competent partners around the funding and knowledge bases for implementing aflatoxin contamination mitigation on a large scale in Africa.
The format of this meeting included a morning session with presentations and discussions. The afternoon session will be organized in three consecutive panels on pre-harvest mitigation, post-harvest technologies, and education and awareness creation. The third and last session will discuss upcoming funding opportunities and an action plan for the way forward.

9:30    Welcoming by DG Sante
Frans Verstraete
Welcoming by PAEPARD and EAFF
Stephen Muchiri, EAFF, the Chairperson of the morning session
Remi Kahane, PAEPARD
Keynote speaker
Comments on the PAEPARD policy note: "The role of multi-stakeholder partnerships between Africa and Europe exemplified by the issue of aflatoxin contamination of food and feed"
Dr. Habiba Wassef, Bio-NCP Egypt (H2020 National Contact Point), nutritionist and senior reviewer FP5, FP6, FP7 and Horizon 2020.

           Amare Ayelew , Program Manager, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



10:30  Improving Food Safety in Africa
Brad Flett - Agricultural Research Council - Grain Crops Institute, Potchefstroom, Republic of South Africa
. President of the African Society of Mycotoxicology


Antonio Logrieco, Istituto Scienze delle Produzioni Alimentari (ISPA), Bari, Italy
(coordinator of the Mycokey project under H2020- SFS-13-2015 call on Biological contamination of crops and the food chain: A contribution to a long-term collaboration with China on food safety).

Andrew Emmott, Twin&Twin Trading, Senior Associate (Nuts), London, UK.



12:00  Respondents: Below experts will react to the presentations in a panel discussion. The
PPTs below will not be presented but serve as background for the participants
Sarah De Saeger (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University) The expertise of Mycotox at the laboratory of Food Analysis
Monica Olsen (National Food Agency of Sweden) Risk Benefit Assessment 
Monique Denijs (WUR, The Netherlands) Wageningen ur approach to aflatoxin
Ferenc Bagi, University of Novi Sad, Serbia (member of the MyToolBox project under H2020- SFS-13-2015 call as well). Experiences about aflatoxins in Serbia: what could be relevant for Africa?

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break and networking (self-service cafeteria, same floor of the building)

Session 2: Actions
14:00  Chair person: Lynn Brown (Global Donor Platform for Rural Development)
Panel discussions: Presentations in 3 consecutive panels (pitching type of panel without slide show).

14:15  Panel discussion on pre-harvest mitigation:
Bruno Schuler (GIZ Germany) African Cashew initiative

15:00  Panel discussion on post-harvest technologies:
Erastus Kang'ethe (EAFF) on Aflatoxin in milk
15:45  Panel discussion on Education and awareness creation:
Kouadio James (University Félix Houphouet-Boigny, Abidjan - Côte d’Ivoire) Toxicologie et hygiène alimentaire (title tbc)
Daniel Gad (Exporter and entrepreneur in horticulture - Ethiopia) The importance of consumer awareness on the risks of aflatoxin contamination
Hailemichael Desmae Management of aflatoxin contamination in groundnut – ICRISAT Approach (International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics -West & Central Africa, Bamako, Mali)

Session 3: Funding
16:30   Panel discussion on Funding opportunities:
       Marc Duponcel (DG Agriculture H5) H2020 priority setting, themes and the current selection process (cfr. multi stakeholder consortia)
Francois Stepman (PAEPARD) The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions and the Apps4aflatoxin H2020 proposal
Wolfgang Buechs (Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants - Julius-Kuehn-Institute) AflaNET project: Minimization of aflatoxin contamination in the value chain

17:00 Recommendations and action plan: the recommendations and commitments to an action plan from this meeting will be presented during the panel session 3 of the ARCH Pre-event (on 26/01) to the DG-AGRI Agricultural Research and Innovation Conference (on 27-28/01).

17:45 - 18:00       Conclusion and closure of the Roundtable meeting.

PPT business cards
Ida Skaar (Norwegian Veterinary Institute Section of Mycology) NVI`s interests and available expertise
Bruno Schuler (GIZ Germany) Rapid Loss Appraisal Tool (RLAT)
Tina Ajdic and Aida Axelsson-Bakri (ADS Brussels) ADS Insight & aflatoxins
Gennadiy Shulga (Agricultural Services, Global Business Development, SGS Group Management Ltd, Geneva) SGS monitoring program for mycotoxins

Resources:
Related PAEPARD blog posts on aflatoxin
See: http://paepard.blogspot.be/search/label/Aflatoxin (61 blog posts)

Webinar how better storage can improve household resilience

21 January 2016Webinar Increasing Reslience Through Improved On-Farm Storage. Farm
products that are properly processed and stored can be a lifeline for smallholder farmers who are trying to break out of the feast/famine cycle and normalize household consumption as well as business activity and income flows. Handling and storage is often integrated into projects that focus on strengthening markets and better integrating smallholders into market systems.

For January's ASC, Agrilinks focused on how improved processing and storage can improve the resilience of the entire farm enterprise by improving the market value of crops, allowing farmers to be price makers rather than price takers, improving the variety and quality of food consumed by the farm household, and increasing the year-round availability of food and income.

AgResults, a multi-donor initiative funded by the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is examining the efficacy of using pull mechanisms to promote the uptake of innovative technologies, and the efficacy of results-based economic incentives that contribute to improving smallholder resilience.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sensors and wireless technologies for development

Harnessing the Internet of Things for Global Development explores how sensors and the connectivity technologies associated with the Internet of Things (IoT), is improving development activities in research, policy formulation, service delivery and monitoring and evaluation across a range of different sectors including agriculture, sanitation, natural resource management, energy, and others.

The report highlights projects currently deploying sensors and connectivity technologies to show how the IoT can be used directly to improve development outcomes. As John Garrity, co-author of the report puts it;
“Much of the impact of the IoT is currently concentrated in developed economies. In this report, we want to focus attention on examples of where development projects in developing countries are already benefiting from the IoT.”
The report details various IoT functionalities (types and costs of sensors and wireless technologies) and introduces over twenty IoT project implementations where low cost sensors and connectivity are improving lives, such as:
  • In healthcare, where cellular enabled thermometers are helping to protect the ‘cold chain’ of critical vaccine delivery to remote and rural areas via real-time monitoring of temperatures in cold storage units;
  • In water delivery, sensors that monitor and water flow are tracking when village hand water pumps break and then alert local authorities, municipal utility providers and donor agencies, helping to reduce the downtime of water pumps providing critical water service; and
  • In densely occupied informal urban settlements, networked smoke and fire sensors placed in homes are able to signal and warn residents, and neighbors, of potential fast moving fires, saving lives and property.
Sensors in development is still at a nascent level and the report acknowledges that there are many obstacles to widespread deployment, from technical challenges (e.g. reliability, power, connectivity) to policy issues (e.g. interoperability, security, privacy). The authors hope however the report broadens the conversation on how ICTs, particularly the IoT, can play a positive role in development.

Related:
FHI 360 and Cisco are organizing an event on January 29th in Washington, DC to take a critical look at the role of sensors and other Internet of Things devices and how they can be used to increase development outcomes. This half-day morning event will dive deep into current uses and future applications, with hands-on explorations of potential solutions for your programs.

Pilot test on soybean milk processing and stabilization

19 to 22 January, 2015. Zogbodomey, Benin. In the framework of the project ProSAM, Soybean
Consortium of Benin organized a pilot test on soybean milk processing and stabilization.

This meeting tested with processors technologies that have been developed on station by ProSAM team notably the National Agricultural Research Institute (INRAB). 

Processors will be concomitantly trained on best hygienic practices in order to ensure milk safety. This pilot and training section provided the project team with feedbacks from processors to readjust the technology.