Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Interview with Kanayo F. Nwanze, president of IFAD

15 April 2014. Rome. IPS correspondent Silvia Giannelli interviewed Kanayo F. Nwanze, president of IFAD, on the role of rural poverty and food security in shaping the current debate on the definition of a new development agenda.

Q: Do you think it is time to rethink the strategies to achieve the Millennium Development Goals?
A: It’s not only that I think, I know it. And that is why we have Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are being fashioned. The SDGs are an idea that was born in the Rio Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012. The crafting of a new global development agenda is a unique opportunity to refocus policy, investments and partnerships on inclusive and sustainable rural transformation.

The intent is to produce a new, more inclusive and more sustainable set of global development objectives that have application to all countries. These goals – once agreed by governments – would take effect after the current MDGs expire in 2015.

And measurement will be crucial if we are to achieve what we set out. This is why we are talking about universality but in a local context. The SDGs will be for all countries, developing and developed alike. But their application will need to respond to the reality on the ground, which will vary from country to country.

Q: How do the five targets revealed this month fit in this discussion on the post-2015 development goals?

A: The proposed targets and indicators are intended to provide governments with an informed tool that they use when discussing the precise nature and make-up of the SDGs related to sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition.

These are five critical issues for a universal, transformative agenda that is ambitious but also realistic and adaptable to different country and regional contexts. The targets can fit under a possible dedicated goal but also under other goals. So, it is for governments to decide whether or not they wish to include these targets in the SDGs.

Kanayo F. Nwanze, president of IFAD, says it is clear that a new revolution in agriculture is needed to transform the sector so it can fully live up to its potential to drive sustainable development. Credit: Juan Manuel Barrero/IPS

Q: Why does agriculture represent such a critical aspect within the post-2015 development agenda?
A: We have a growing global population and a deteriorating natural resource base, which means more people to feed with less water and farmland. And climate change threatens to alter the whole geography of agriculture and food systems on a global scale.

It is clear that we need a new revolution in agriculture, to transform the sector so it can fully live up to its potential to drive sustainable development. Target areas should address universal and context-specific challenges, but context-adapted approaches and agendas are the building blocks for any effort to feed the world.

Q: Why is the focus on rural areas so important in order to overcome inequality?

A: The world is becoming increasingly urban, yet cities are still fed by the people working the land in rural areas. And it is in those rural areas where 76 percent of the world’s poor live.

At IFAD we see that the gap between rich and poor is primarily a gap between urban and rural. Those who migrate to urban areas, oftentimes do so in the belief that life will be better in the urban cities.

However they get caught up in the bulging slums of cities, they lose their social cohesion which is provided by rural communities and they go into slums, they become nothing but breeding ground for social turmoil and desperation. One only has to look at what is happening today in what was described as the ‘Arab spring’.

Q: But beyond the issue of exclusion and turmoil, why is key to addressing rural poverty?
A: Because the rural space is basically where the food is produced: in the developing world 80 percent in some cases 90 percent of all food that is consumed domestically is produced in rural areas.

Related IPS Articles
Q&A: “Boosting Agriculture Is Not an Option But an Imperative”
Q&A: The World Must Learn From Smallholder Farmers
Q&A: “Smallholder Agriculture Needs to Be Seen as a Business”

Food agriculture does not grow in cities, it grows in rural areas, and the livelihoods of the majority of the rural population provide not only food, it provides employment, it provides economic empowerment,[…] and social cohesion.

Essentially, if we do not invest in rural areas through agricultural development we are dismantling the foundations for national security, not just only food security. And that translates into not just national security but also global security and global peace.

Q: What risks are we facing in terms of global security, if we don’t face and take concrete action to ensure food security?

A: We just need to go back to what happened in 2007 and 2008: the global food price crisis, as it is said, and how circumstances culminated in what happened in 40 countries around the world where there were food riots.

Those riots were the results of inaction that occurred in some 25-30 years due to these investments in agriculture and the imbalances in trade, across countries and across continents. Forty countries experienced serious problems with food riots, and they brought down two governments, one in Haiti and another one in Madagascar. […] We’ve seen it, [and] it continues to repeat itself.

Q: What role are developed countries expected to play in the achievement of these five targets?

A: All countries will have an essential role to play in achieving the SDGs – whatever they end up looking like. Countries have agreed that this is a “universal” agenda and developed countries’ commitment will have to extend beyond ODA [Official Development Assistance] alone.

At IFAD we [are] seeing that development is moving beyond aid to achieve self-sustaining, private sector-led inclusive growth and development. For example, in Africa, generated revenue shot up from 141 billion dollars in 2002 to 520 billion dollars in 2011. This is truly a universal challenge, but it also requires local and country-level ownership and international collaboration at all levels.

Friday, April 18, 2014

SNV - ILRI collaboration for the Livestock and Fish program

ILRI/SNV MoU signing ceremony 
 (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).
15 April 2014On 31 March 2014, Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Tom Derksen, managing director for agriculture of SNV Netherlands Development Organization signed a memorandum of understanding to start of a formal collaboration between SNV and the ILRI-led CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish. It also opens up spaces for further collaboration between SNV and ILRI beyond the program.

15 years ago, SNV reformed itself to become a premier capacity development organization in which a network of advisors work with clients to unlock intractable development problems. These advisory services are constructed around agriculture, water sanitation and hygiene, and renewable energy.

The Livestock and Fish program is already engaging with SNV staff in several of its value chain countries. In Tanzania, collaboration on exploring ways and means to service dairy hubs has begun as part of theMoreMilkiT project where SNV brings in expertise on multi-stakeholder facilitation. In Uganda, SNV and ILRI are working together to form a pig value chain multi-stakeholder platform. In Ethiopia, SNV contributes to the Livestock and Irrigation Value Chains for Ethiopian Smallholder project and SNV staff participated in ICARDA-led stakeholder workshops on the development of small ruminant value chains.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

La mécanisation agricole au Cameroun

15 avril 2014. Le ministre camerounais de l’Agriculture, Essimi Menyé, et le consortium allemand Agriculture Company (AGCO), ont signé le 12 avril 2014 à Yaoundé, une convention pour la mécanisation de l’agriculture. Selon Rabe Yahaya, responsable d’AGCO, grâce à cet accord, le consortium allemand contribuera à l’augmentation de la production agricole au Cameroun, grâce à la mise à disposition de tracteurs de marque Massey Fergusson, ainsi que de moissonneuses-batteuses d’une capacité de 60 tonnes par heure.

Cette convention qui sera principalement implémentée dans la filière maïs, apprend-on, intègre également la mise en place par AGCO d’un centre de formation des jeunes à l’aviculture. «Nous voulons aller de la création du champ de maïs vers la production du produit fini tel que le poulet», a expliqué le ministre Essimi Menyé. En effet, les filières avicoles et maïs sont imbriquées, dans la mesure où le maïs est le principal constituant de la provende (70%), qui est l’aliment des poulets.

Créé en 1990 en Allemagne, le consortium AGCO est devenu un mastodonte du machinisme agricole dans le monde, en prenant des participations ou absorbant et créant des joint-ventures avec des entreprises du même secteur en Amérique et en Europe. AGCO, qui ambitionne également d’aller à l’assaut des marchés des pays émergents de l’Asie, dispose de plusieurs usines de montage à travers le monde, mais surtout d’un réseau de distribution animé par 2600 partenaires indépendants installés dans 140 pays.

How Does Climate Change Alter Agricultural Strategies to Support Food Security?

April 2014: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) released a discussion paper that identifies climate adaptation strategies for agricultural systems, with the aim of achieving food security and reducing poverty. The paper discusses how to transform crop, fisheries, forests and livestock systems under a changing climate and identifies ways the FAO and CGIAR can support such changes.

The paper, titled 'How Does Climate Change Alter Agricultural Strategies to Support Food Security,' analyzes five categories of responses to climate change: increasing production systems' resilience; diversifying; expanding the use of no regrets technologies and planning; improving information use for risk management; and using mitigation co-benefits.

The paper includes sections on the: expected impacts of climate change on agriculture; potential responses to climate change impacts on agriculture; the roles of CGIAR and the FAO in supporting needed transitions; monitoring and evaluation; and suggested priority actions for FAO and CGIAR.

On the roles for CGIAR and FAO in supporting actions that incorporate climate responses, the paper recommends, inter alia:
  • embedding adaptation and mitigation capacity into agricultural growth strategies to support food security and emphasizes that no one change or technology represents a universal solution.
  • promoting agricultural technologies and innovations
  • strengthening local institutions; 
  • achieving coordinated and informed policies;
  • and increasing access to financing.

Monday, April 14, 2014

PAEPARD: ARD funding opportunities


This Call for proposals invites consortia composed of private and public practitioners organisations and research organisations, from the 15 Dutch development partner countries and from the Netherlands, to submit project proposals for applied research for innovation. Of the 15 partner countries for Dutch international cooperation, following countries are from Africa: Benin, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan, Uganda. A grant amounts to a minimum of 50,000 euro (for six months) to a maximum of 300,000 euro (for 36 months). Proposals can be submitted continuously during the course of this first Call for proposals. This Call closes at 15 April 2014.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation invites abstracts of project proposals in three themes related to global food security: (1) Agricultural practices and food systems to raise nutrition; (ii) Rights to adequate food; and (iii) Reduced water use in agriculture. Proposals have to be relevant at global level and show a clear link to policy frameworks. Projects are for three years, with possible extensions. The deadline for abstracts is 23 April 2014.

This BMGF call includes a topic on "Innovations in Feedback & Accountability Systems for Agricultural Development" (among others). The Foundation is looking for tools or approaches that enable farmers' voices to be consistently heard in all phases of projects for agricultural development. Ideas are invited from anywhere in the world. Funding is up to US$100 thousand for 18 months. The closing date for submissions is 06 May 2014.

·         Sustainable Agricultural Water Productivity Enhancement For Improved Food Security And Nutrition In Eastern And Central Africa
·         Facilitating Implementation Of Policies To Enhance Equitable Access To Input And Output Markets In Eastern And Central Africa
·         Enhancing Capacities In Price Forecasting And Input And Output Markets Price Policy Analysis.
·         Enhancing Participation Of Small And Medium Enterprise Actors In The Higher End Of Value Chains In Eastern And Central Africa
·         Developing And Upscaling Technologies And Innovations For Management Of Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease In Eastern And Central Africa
·         Development of Smallholder Wheat Production Systems And Value Chains In Eastern And Central Africa
·         Crop-Livestock-Fish Integration To Enhance Food Security, Nutrition And Resilience of Smallholder Farms In Eastern And Central Africa
·         Capacity Development For Sustainable Plant Genetic Resources (PGRS) Utilization And Conservation In Eastern And Central Africa
·         Strengthening Fruits And Vegetables Value Chains For Improved Production, Processing, Marketing And Nutrition Security In Eastern And Central Africa
Deadline: 13 May 2014

The Innovation Fund for Ethiopia Agriculture invites proposals for innovative projects that link activities in agriculture and health in order to reduce food security and malnutrition. Applicants are Ethiopian NGOs and Ethiopian national or private research institutes, optionally working with external partners (external partners are limited to 25% of the total agreement). USAID anticipates making three awards, at least one of which will focus on pastoralist areas. Funding Opportunity APS-663-14-000002. The application deadline is 15 May 2014.

The Innovation Labs will engage U.S. university capacity in support of the program "Feed the Future." The Innovation Labs aim to promote collaboration among universities in the USA and developing countries, national and international research centers, the private sector, and NGOs to sustainably intensify small-holder farming in the developing world. USAID will provide up to US$50 million over five years for a leader award (program manager) and for associate awards. Eligibility for the leader award is restricted to U.S. universities and colleges. The closing date is 15 May 2014. 

The Work Programme on ‘Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy’ offers opportunities in finding diverse 
and innovative solutions to well-identified challenges in key EU policy priorities. Through generic or dedicated topics, a broad multidisciplinary participation is welcomed in these efforts.
Specific topics related to Africa:
·         SFS-6-2014: Sustainable intensification pathways of agro-food systems in Africa (page 14) Deadline 26 June 2014
·         SFS-18-2015: Small farms but global markets: the role of small and family farms in food and nutrition security (page 29) Deadline First stage 24 February 2015

C L I M A T E  C H A N G E 

The Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG) at the University of Cape Town organizes a "winter school" intensive course in June-July. The course is presented by facilitators from CSAG and other institutions to take participants through the full spectrum of topics related to climate and climate change, with an emphasis on issues in developing countries. CSAG offers partial sponsorships to some participants. The application deadline is 25 April 2014.

In partnership with the French Committee of IUCN, the FFEM announces its 2014 call for small-scale initiatives (PPI) addressing biodiversity conservation and the fight against climate change in West Africa, Madagascar, and Mozambique. Priority is for African NGOs, and international organizations that support them, for grants that average €35 thousand (up to 75% of total project costs). The deadline for pre-proposals is 15 June 2014.


The EC will support local governments in Senegal to address pollution created by solid wastes. Eligibility for funding extends to local governments and associations in Senegal and in EU countries for grants of €250 thousand to €350 thousand, subject to cost shares. Reference EuropeAid/135496/DD/ACT/SN. The closing date is 21 April 2014.

The World Conservation Union in the Netherlands (IUCN-Netherlands) manages the Purchase of Nature program, funded by the Dutch Postal Code Lottery. The program provides grants of up to €85 thousand for the purchase and protection of threatened wildlife habitats and vulnerable ecosystems, mainly in tropical developing countries. The grants are to local conservation organizations in those countries. Pre-proposals are due before 01 May 2014.

The thematic focus of the 2014 International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture call for proposals is working towards sustainable food security by assisting farmers to adapt to climate change via conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Eligibility extends to governmental and non-governmental organizations in countries that are contracting parties to the Treaty. Funding is up to US$150 thousand for projects in one country, and up to US$500 thousand for projects operating across multiple countries. The deadline for pre-proposals to the national focal points is 05 May 2014. 

The UK-ESPA-2014 calls for 'blue skies' research that advances global understanding on the way that ecosystem services contribute to poverty alleviation, with emphasis on new understanding that can benefit poor people in low-income countries. Grants will range between £50 thousand and £150 thousand for projects of up to one year. The application deadline for proposals is 14 May 2014.

The Ekhaga Foundation (Sweden) makes grants for research in ecological agriculture and biological medicine. Universities, research institutes, etc., from all over the world are invited to apply, although Ekhaga recommends cooperation with a European institution. The deadline for applications is 31 May 2014.

The Dutch Postcode Lottery offers the Green Challenge to encourage the development of products and services that contribute to an environmental lifestyle; that reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and that rate highly in aspects of quality, design, and convenience. The competition is open globally. The Green Challenge accepts business plans through 03 June 2014.

This Competition seeks innovative ways to reduce the amount of fisheries by-catch while protecting the environment. The contest is open worldwide and will be judged by fisheries experts, gear technologists, fishermen, scientists, researchers, and conservationists. The grand prize is US$30 thousand, and several additional prizes will be offered. The deadline is 31 August 2014.

Axé sur l’opérationnel, SEP2D s’inscrit dans l’esprit de REDD+, de la mise en œuvre du protocole de Nagoya et de la Stratégie Mondiale de Conservation des Plantes (SMCP) révisée. Dans tous les domaines, l’accent sera mis sur les actions, enseignements et projets qui auront un fort impact REDD+ et/ou participeront à la valorisation de la biodiversité végétale. Des partenariats seront développés avec le secteur privé. Six établissements français ont joué un rôle moteur dans SEP : l’IRD, le MNHN, le CIRAD, le CNRS, et les Universités Pierre et Marie Curie, et Montpellier.
Mai 2014 : En cas de décision positive de l'AFD, démarrage de SEPDD
Début 2015 : Démarrage effectif de SEPDD ;  projets, actions, opérations-pilotes


The Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences provides fellowships to researchers in developing countries to collaborate with Japanese counterparts for research in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. The "Tsukuba" fellowships is carried out at the JIRCAS headquarters in Japan, and the "Project Site" fellowships are at the research institutes in the developing countries where JIRCAS collaborative research projects are being implemented. The deadline for applications in both programs is 21 April 2014.

The Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (Borlaug LEAP) offers fellowships for graduate students from developing countries for agricultural research at universities in the USA. The program currently invites applications from citizens of USAID-assisted countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Each research project is coordinated by a university in the student's home country, a university in the USA, and a mentor in the CGIAR. The application deadline is 01 May 2014.

Netherlands Organization for Cooperation in Higher Education (NUFFIC) offers opportunities for professionals in 50 developing countries to pursue masters degrees, PhD studies, and short courses in the Netherlands. Individuals applying for fellowships must be admitted to the relevant academic programs in order to be eligible for funding. Programs include subjects in agricultural and veterinary sciences; sustainable energy; marine biology; water resources; environmental governance; and various other areas related to environment and natural resources. Application deadlines vary by sub-programs -- with deadlines on 06 May 2014, and 07 October 2014.

New Zealand's government provides a variety of opportunities for training and university study through the New Zealand Aid Program, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The priorities often include agriculture, renewable energy, fisheries, disaster risk management, and other areas related to natural resources and environment. Application deadlines are specific to each country/regional program. The deadline for applicants from Africa is 01 August 2014.

The Christensen Fund makes grants to indigenous-led and community-based organizations for projects that combine biodiversity with cultural diversity. Most grants are in the range of US$50 thousand to US$100 thousand for one or two years. Application dates are 01 August through 31 August for project pre-proposals from the  African Rift Valley.

O T H E R  

The EC will support a twinning project to strengthen the administrative framework and operational capacity of Egypt's Agricultural Research Center. The available funding is €1.4 million. Reference EuropeAid/135647/IH/ACT/EG. The deadline is 01 May 2014. 

The overall objective of the E+ STEP is to advance innovation collaboration between South Africa and Europe. It aims to provide opportunities for the exchange of information and best practices in technology transfer between South Africa and Europe; to enhance and promote innovation collaboration between South Africa and Europe; and to identify and reduce barriers to innovation collaboration between South Africa and Europe. ESASTAP Plus is funded by the European Commission to support the deepening of scientific and technological cooperation between the European Union and South Africa, with a special focus on innovation.  The application deadline is 16 June 2014.

The SVN Innovation Awards aim to foster the next generation of cutting-edge leaders who are changing the way the world does business. Past award winners include some in areas such as irrigation, agricultural fertilization, solar energy, and other topics relevant for the developing world. Award winners are offered networking opportunities and professional contacts. Applications are invited from for-profit and non-profit organizations that meet the eligibility requirements. The application deadline is 09 May 2014. 

The Monsanto Fund makes grants in support of agricultural communities around the world. Grants of US$25 thousand and more are available to tax-exempt charitable organizations for activities and projects that address farmers' education and training; food security; community water and sanitation; and other local needs. Monsanto's international grants are administered at the country level; interested persons should contact the Fund's national liaison. The second yearly application period is 01 July 2014 through 31 August 2014. 

Grants up to US$15 thousand are available to individual young scientists in countries belonging to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Renewable energy is among the eligible subject areas. The application deadline is 31 August 2014. 

The Swiss Forum for International Agricultural Research annually awards a prize to scientists working at or in association with a Swiss institution in agricultural research for development. The best PhD or post-doc project wins CHF 5 thousand, and the best masters project CHF 1 thousand. The application deadline is 15 July 2014.

The Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) awards the John Dillon Fellowships to young agricultural scientists and economists in developing countries for professional visits to Australia. The fellowships aim to develop leadership skills in agricultural research management, agricultural policy, and/or extension technologies. Applicants are citizens of ACIAR's priority partner countries who spend several weeks at one or two host Australian organizations. ACIAR funds eight to ten John Dillon fellowships per year. The deadline for applications is 31 August 2014. 

GFAR Steering Committee meets in Montpellier

Mark Holderness and 
GFAR Vice- Chair, Hon. Prof. Ruth Oniang’o
7-9 April 2014. Agropolis International, Montpellier, France. Multi-stakeholder Steering Committee of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR). Invited by the CGIAR Consortium Chief Executive Officer Dr Frank Rijsberman.

Members of the GFAR Steering Committee among others decided that:
  • GFAR and CGIAR renewed their commitment to working in close partnership across programmes and to ensuring a shared vision and implementation for a successful GCARD3 process. To this end, the GFAR Steering Committee and CGIAR Consortium, in consultation with their constituencies, will prepare and submit a revised GCARD3 concept note for consideration by the CGIAR Fund Council meeting in May 2014.
  • The Committee fully endorsed the establishment, through GFAR, of an Integrated Agricultural Innovation Investment Facility to promote and increase investment and capacities in national agricultural research and innovation systems. The Facility will integrate national demands and innovation platforms, IFAD and funding partners, and international supporting mechanisms.

Friday, April 11, 2014


10-11 April 2014. Montpellier, France. Organized by Agreenium at Agropolis International, 1st MEETING OF THE TAP GLOBAL TASK FORCE (Tropical Agriculture Platform). 

The TAP (a G20 initiative) objective is to enhance Capacity Development (CD) for Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS). One of the first tasks of TAP is therefore to facilitate the emergence of a common language and a shared understanding of the scope of the challenge.

Three regional assessments were conducted from December 2012 to August 2013 to define the current priorities, capacities and needs in agricultural innovation systems in selected target countries.

The three regional assessments of agricultural innovation systems were conducted by three partner organizations located in the regions: Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in Africa (view report), International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Latin America (view report) and Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) in Asia (view report).

TAP was launched at the first G20-led Meeting of Agriculture Chief Scientists (MACS) in September 2012 in Mexico.

The “target groups” directly affected by the Platform activities are policymakers and institutions in agricultural innovation (research, extension, education etc), together with the private sector and civil society active in innovation systems, and relevant development agencies.

The partners of the Platform are a coalition of willing and committed partners/constituents including the national agricultural research, education and extension institutions as well as the private sector, civil society and farmers’ organizations in the G20 and developing countries, and the key regional and international fora, networks and agencies.

List of Partners

Comprehension and action required for successful aflatoxin control

The FoodAfrica research for development programme aims for improved food security by providing tools and information to local smallholders, experts and authorities in West and East Africa. 

The programme involves several Finnish and African research institutions. FoodAfrica is coordinated by MTT Agrifood Research Finland and its main funding agency is the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Quite a lot of research has been conducted on aflatoxins but FoodAfrica is the first project that is focusing on putting economic figures on the effects of aflatoxin on livestock and potential health risks caused by contaminated milk.

Many of the farmers who don’t understand the risk would feed moldy or spoilt maize to animals as feed, and drink the milk from these animals, which is the problem we are focusing on within the FoodAfrica programme, says Professor Erastus Kangethe from the University of Nairobi.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability

31 March 2014. Yokohama, Japan. The report of the second working group of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, and offering new insights into key risks due to climate change, was released following the 10th Session of Working Group II (WGII-10) which was held from 25 to 29 March 2014 in Yokohama, Japan. At the Session, the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (WGII AR5) was approved and the underlying scientific and technical assessment accepted. (Volume 1: global and sectoral aspects ; Volume 2: Regional aspects).

Download Regional report Africa 4.01 MB

“Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri warned.

Christopher Field, the co-chair of the second working group, added: “We are not in an era where climate change is some kind of a future hypothetical. We live in a world where the impacts of climate change that have already occurred are widespread and consequential ... There is no question that we live in a world that is already altered by climate change.”
Professors John R. Porter (second left) 
and John Morton (fourth left) from 
the University of Greenwich’s Natural Resources 
Institute (NRI) in Yokohama. Professors 
John R. Porter and John Morton were members 
of the writing team for the overall summaries 
in the report, as well as Coordinating Lead 
Authors of chapters on food 
security and rural livelihoods respectively.  See
NRI Experts contribute to UN climate change report

The report highlights many global shifts that climate change has already caused. It says that changing rainfall and melting snow and ice are affecting water resources in many regions. Glaciers continue to shrink, affecting run-off and water resources downstream. Permafrost is thawing. And wheat and maize yields have fallen in many regions.

The report also repeats warnings about shifts in species’ migratory ranges and the threats this may pose to food security. And it raises concerns about increased human displacement and resulting conflicts.

3 April 2014. London."Agriculture growth, jobs, food security and climate: Taking action in response to IPCC" was a high-level discussion in response to the latest findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The objective was to examine the implications of the IPCC findings for agricultural growth and development, jobs and food security, and identify actions and options for moving forward in agriculture, particularly with respect to investing in smallholder farmers.

The meeting, which is organized by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Bank, global risk adviser Willis, the International Sustainability Unit, and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), focused on the implications of the new IPCC report. The much-anticipated document raises fresh concerns for food security and farming, especially in tropical regions like South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The discussion highlighted opportunities for adapting food systems to changing climates.

Published on 10 Apr 2014

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security held a conference in London in response to the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report on impacts of climate change. The main focus of the conference was actions for achieving agriculture growth, jobs and food security, especially for smallholder farmers.

Speakers in the first part of the conference were:

  • Justin Mundy, Director, 'The Prince's Charities' International Sustainability Unit
  • Pramod Aggarwal, CCAFS Regional Program Leader for South Asia, IPCC author (AR4) and IPCC reviewer (AR5)
  • Christine Allen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Christian Aid
  • Michel Mordansini, Vice President, International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD)

Moderator of the conference was David Howlett, Climate Change and Livelihoods Adviser, Department for International Development (DFID).

In the second part of the conference a panel discussion on 'What are the game changers in securing food security under climate change?' was taking place.

Participating in the panel were:

  • Rowan M. Douglas, Chairman of the Willis Research Network, Willis 
  • Ruth Davis, Political Director, Greenpeace UK 
  • Gerry Boyle, Head of Advocacy, CARE International 
  • Mike Warmington, Microfinance Partnerships Manager, One Acre Fund 
  • Christof Walter, Independent Consultant 
  • Moderator was Anya Sitaram, Journalist and Broadcaster. 
Closing remarks was held by Camilla Toulmin, Director, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Lynne Featherstone, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for International Development (DFID). Moderator of the conference was David Howlett, Climate Change and Livelihoods Adviser, Department for International Development (DFID).

PROPAK East Africa Conference

1-3 April 2014. Nairobi. The PROPAK East Africa Conference, was entirely devoted to the development and growth in the East African packaging, printing, plastics and converting industry. Developments in this value chain, encompassing packaging materials, suppliers, labelling, converting equipment, flexographic and offset printing and market trends were highlighted at this event.

The PROPAK East Africa Conference encompassed a cross section of the entire packaging industry and was geared to share insight into the current East African market. Opportunities and challenges in the market place, whilst providing valuable insight into the value chain and business impact and dynamics were discussed.

Technological drivers and innovative developments related to packaging, distribution and equipment technologies were complemented by dedicated presentations.

Highlights that within the program included:
  • An all round cross section of the packaging, printing, labelling, plastics and converting industry
  • Market overview, challenges, opportunities and trends
  • Drivers behind innovation
  • Challenges and expectations facing packaging suppliers
  • Sustaining and growing a business in a competitive environment
  • The demands related to changing population dynamics and the rise of convenient packaging
Food Processing Africa is a quarterly digital magazine - published in February, May, August and November - that focuses on business assisting technologies and opportunities for small, medium and large enterprises in Africa. Topics covered include the latest developments in agribusiness; preservation and processing; fruit and vegetable processing; oil, meat, dairy, beverage and sugar processing; filling systems; cooling and refrigeration; pumps; logistics and distribution; labelling and packaging innovations; energy savings; and building systems and technologies. This digital magazine is distributed via email to 17 000 addressees and is posted for download on the Food Processing Africa  website.
15-18 March 2016 21-23 October 2014 2-4 September 2014
Expo Centre, Joburg, SA CTICC, Cape Town, SA Eko Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria
18-19 February 2014 September 2015 22-25 March 2015
Sandton Centre, Joburg, SA Eko Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria ExCel, London, UK

EU, Africa Leaders Stress Action on Climate Change

The seminar was hosted by EU Climate Action 

Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, the President of the 
African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN), 
Binilith Mahenge, and the African Union 
Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, 
Rhoda Tumusiime.
4 April 2014. Brussels. Delegates at the 4th European Union (EU)-Africa Summit adopted a Declaration a ministerial climate seminar on first of April, which took place in advance of the Summit.
that outlines commitments on peace and security, prosperity and people, including action on climate change. Leaders also agreed on a EU-Africa Ministerial Statement on Climate Change at

For more information on this event, please click on any of the items below:
EU-Africa Ministerial Statement on Climate Change
The 4th EU-Africa Summit took place in Brussels, Belgium, on 2-3 April 2014. It brought together African and EU leaders, as well as the leaders of EU and African Union (AU) institutions. Opening the Summit, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described climate change as “the defining issue of our time.” He emphasized the importance of raising ambition in 2014 to reach a meaningful climate agreement in 2015 and called on leaders to bring “bold announcements and actions” to his 2014 Climate Summit.

In the Declaration, leaders state their determination to adopt a “fair, equitable and legally binding agreement” under the UNFCC with a more efficient and universal scope to produce results on mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building and transparency.

The Declaration describes several areas in which the EU will support Africa on climate change, including on: domestic preparations for nationally determined contributions towards the 2015 agreement; and preparing regional and national climate-resilient and low-emission development strategies, particularly in the agriculture and energy sectors and within the context of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL). The EU committed to provide more than €28 billion to Africa through bilateral cooperation at the meeting.

The Statement confirms action on climate change as “a central area of the Africa-EU Partnership.” It also: calls for raising global pre-2020 ambition; highlights the importance of climate finance; and stresses the need to operationalize the Gr

3 April 2014: UN Secretary-General Urges Action on Climate Change at Brussels Meetings
In a series of meetings in Brussels, Belgium, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the importance of EU-UN cooperation on climate change. In particular, Ban participated in the Greening Europe - Policy Spotlight 'On the Road to Paris 2015: Towards a New Global Climate Deal,' organized by Friends of Europe.

Two Consortium agreements signed for PAEPARDII 4 Years Extension (4YE) granted by the European Commission (EC)

3rd and 4th April, 2014. Accra. Ghana. The Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) Steering Committee (CA) met at FARA Secretariat in Accra, Ghana for its ordinary year meeting. 

The main objective of the meeting was to sign consortium agreement for the additional 4 years extension granted by the EC; validate the technical and financial reports for year 4 of PAEPARD implementation; approve the work plan and budget for year 5; and approve the nomination of the Independent Peer Review Committee (IPRC) needed for the assessment and selection of proposals from consortia and platforms responding to the Competitive Research Fund and Incentive Fund ( CRF/IF) also granted by the EC for 4 years.

All these objectives were achieved during the meeting. Two Consortium Agreements were signed by all partners present with the EC representative as an observer. These are the Addendum to the existing Consortium agreement to cover the 4 years extension and a new Consortium agreement to set into operation the CRF/IF fund, granted to PAEPARD by the EC under Grant Contract DCI- FOOD/2013/308-657

The Steering Committee is the highest organ of the project. It provides overall oversight of the project and makes sure the project responds to the development goals of the two continents. It provides technical advice to the consortium as well. It is held once a year and composed of the heads of institutions that signed the Consortium Agreement:
  • African members of the SC: FARA, RUFORUM, PAFO, FANRPAN
  • European members of the SC: AGRINATURA, COLEACP, CSA, ICRA, CTA/EFARD 

PAEPARD II is an eight-year (2009-2017) project registered to the EC under DCI-FOOD2009/200-228 with 80.29% from the European Commission and 19.71% from partners as own contribution. FARA is the lead partner that signed the Contract Agreement with the EC on the 16 December 2009 and amended in an Addendum on 15/12/2013.

PAEPARD II aims at building joint African-European multi-stakeholder partnerships in agricultural research for development (ARD) contributing to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 
  • On the European side, the partners are AGRINATURA, COLEACP (representing the private sector), CSA (representing the NGOs) and ICRA, specialised in capacity building in ARD. The overall action of European partners in the project is coordinated by AGRINATURA through its secretariat. 
  • The African partners include the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), Le Réseau des Organisations Paysannes et des Producteurs de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA), the Plateforme Régionale des Organisations des Producteurs de l’Afrique Centrale (PROPAC). All these organizations are members of PAFO for which they are currently standing in for. PAFO is leading the work package Innovation Partnerships. The African partners also include Food Agriculture Natural Resources and Policy Analysis (FANRPAN) that co-leads the work package Communication and Advocacy and The Regional Universities Forum for capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) which leads the WP capacities in PAEPARDII.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Agritech Expo Zambia

4-5 April. Lusaka, Zambia. The Agritech Expo is an exclusive business-to-business platform, whereby the key stakeholders, retailers, agents and service providers from across the entire Agri valuechain, converged in one arena to discuss regional plans for development and Agri-Evolution.

It was the country’s first full-scale, live agriculture event, offering everything from a conference, technical workshops, live crop trials to first-hand demonstrations of the latest in large scale agricultural machinery. More than 60 exhibitors displayed the latest technology in farming and post-harvest equipment as well as products and services ranging from seeds, through fertilizers, crop protection products, and irrigation.

Zambia’s Vice President Dr Guy Scott and the new Zambian Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, the Honourable Minister Wilbur Simuusa, attended the Agritech Expo.

The Zambian National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) is a key founding partner in the Agritech Expo.  
“we are confident that the Agritech Expo will be able to ignite interest to the members of the Union and the entire agricultural sector to take advantage of the variety of technologies to choose from to make their farming businesses a success. It could not have come at a better time.” Executive Director, Mr Ndambo Ndambo
Workshops for emerging farmers
Another key partner in the event, the USAID’s Southern African Trade Hub, presented free workshops designed particularly for small holders and emerging commercial farmers, to provide them with the basic information and context to better understand the technologies that are on display and available.

The global agri giant AGCO is the exclusive diamond sponsor for Agritech Expo while Stanbic Bank is a platinum sponsor. Other sponsors include: AFGRI, Action Auto, SARO, John Deere, BASF, Seed-Co, EFE, Du Pont-Pioneer, Valtra, K2, Kempston, Monsanto, Greenbelt, HarvestPlus, Lindsay, Zamseed, NWK and Rovic Leers.

FAO Regional Conference for Africa

Statement by FAO General Director 
José Graziano da Silva(L) at the 
28th FAO conference on 
March 27, 2014 in Tunis.
24-28 March 2014 Tunis, Tunisia. FAO in collaboration with the Government of Tunisia convened the 28th Session of the Regional Conference for Africa. The Conference brought together ministers of agriculture and senior government officials from FAO Member countries in the Region as well as members of the Civil Society and partners.

Delegates discussed issues relating to the current state and perspectives of food and agriculture in Africa. These included:
  • The African youth in the food sector and rural development
  • The State of food and agriculture in the region and implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) with a special focus on small farmers and family farming.
  • The follow-up to the High-level Meeting of African and international leaders "Towards African Renaissance: Renewed Partnership for Unified Approach to End Hunger in Africa by 2025 under the CAADP Framework”.
Provisional Agenda [PDF]
Information Note [PDF]
Side events
In the Media

21/03/2014 - A two days consultative meeting with Non-State Actors (NSA) was held as an integral part of the regional conference, More than 50 representatives of international, regional and national Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) based in Africa discussed priority issues related to the development of agriculture and rural areas in Africa.

In her opening remarks, Ms Elisabeth Atangana, Vice President of the Panafrican Farmers Organizations (PAFO) emphasized the importance of the CSO meeting. “Our task to influence the policy debates related to food security for a world free of hunger is huge but not impossible. We really thank FAO for providing us with this opportunity to voice our concerns and effectively contribute to its decisions making on choices leading to the eradication of hunger in the world”, she said.
First six countries to benefit from Africa-led fund
The Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, Niger and South Sudan signed agreements in Tunis with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to receive $2 million each from the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund. The trust fund, which is housed at FAO, was originally proposed in 2012 by President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo, during the previous Regional Conference for Africa in Brazzaville. The Fund was launched officially in June 2013 with a funding package of $30 million from Equatorial Guinea. Additional funding from Angola ($10 million) and a group of civil society organizations in the Republic of the Congo have brought the total amount to $40 million. Cameroon has also pledged to add to the fund and other countries are expected to join in the coming months.