Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, November 27, 2015

ARD Innovation & private sector engagement

26 November 2015. Johannesburg, South Africa. CAAST-Net Plus hosted a workshop on Africa-EU cooperation in food and nutrition security.

The Africa-EU STI cooperation in Food and Nutrition Security: Innovation and Private Sector Engagement workshop aimed to learn more about the opportunities and challenges faced by innovators in the area of food and nutrition security, while exploring how to better take into account the interests of entrepreneurs in an EU-African Research and Innovation Platform on Food and Nutrition Security.

The workshop address the following key questions:
  • What does innovation in food and nutrition security mean in the African context?
  • What possibilities exist for potential collaboration?
  • What are the obstacles and opportunities encountered by innovators?
  • How can the private sector be involved in Africa-EU food and nutrition security collaboration?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities of Inter Partes Review-Patenting in the food and nutrition security sector?
The event was organised by the CAAST-Net Plus partner: France's Institute for Research and Development (IRD), and was held in conjunction with the Africa Techno Forum which took place
from 23-27 November in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Africa-Techno is an annual forum about innovation, where technologies developed in Africa and Europe are showcased. The event is organised by CVT Valorisation Sud, France, in collaboration with a number of South African and international partners, and targets investors, researchers and inventors.
Extracts of the programme:

Presentation on EU Funding opportunities for innovative projects in the Food and Nutrition Security sector by Francois Stepman (PAEPARD)


Presentation of innovative projects in the Food and Nutrition Security area

Presentation of the FP7 EU project AFTER (Senegal) by M. Mady Cisse
Presentation of  Guanomad (Madagascar) by  Erick RAJAONARY

Berekotry Ltd (Nigeria) by T.Owonikoko. He presented biodiesel made from carbs and vegetable oils.
  • Berekotry Ltd  is a multiple award winning private African start-up with more than a decade of R and D exploits and success stories with Multiple Patent that cover the biobased related industrial products' development. 
  • The company is engaging in both the pyrolytic and Non pyrolytic conversion of agro cellulose materilas to several industrial products that are applicable in Automotive, Semiconductor, coatings,Lubricants, biolpolymers, wood preservatives,Leather processing, Life Sciences etc 
  • Berekotry Limited and its passionate President and Chemical Engineer of more than 20 years innovation experience Mr Taslim Owonikoko are soul mates and it is difficult to separate him from his company or his numerous landmark inventions and Agro-based industrial innovations. 
  • He is an energetic, inspiring, and talented enterprising inventor, who sees and understands exactly what Nigerians and the global community need to oil the wheel of innovation system. 
  • He has garnered numerous awards from within and outside Nigeria In the last couple of years . Some of which are, Innocentive-MIT-CBS Gift Certificate Award , USA, National Gold Innovation Award, Nigeria , Global Top 100 Best Innovators by General Electric Ecomagination Challenge, USA and recently capped with the Best Award Winner on National Science and Innovation awarded by the Federal Ministry Of Science and Technology in Conjunction with United Nations Development Program in Nigeria 2013. 
  • He has been nominated on industrial/Innovation tours to South Korea, India , Ethiopia 
  • The company's Ceo emerged as one of the top Global R and D innovators awarded by General Electric (USA) of the GE ecomagination Challenge for his novel work on bio reinforced critical material alternative in the production of power semiconductors. 
  • The company was a finalist at the 2010 United Nations Science With Africa Challenge, Addis Ababa Ethiopia. 
  • The company emerged the best Federal Government and UNDP-Award sponsored Innovative company in Nigeria 2007 and 2014.
  • See also: The Vanguard 16/04/2012: I convert agric waste to industrial products – Engr. Taslim Owonikoko

THE VIDEO CLIP below shows the application of agro-biomass waste based oil spill cleaning product at mopping up crude oil spill on surface of water . The product works effectively in acidified, saline and fresh water bodies . The recovered oil in sludge with the Inert-mopping agent is ready for the refinery for fractional distillation, so no waste.

16 to 18 October 2015. Rome, ItalyBerekotry Ltd was the only African participation to the Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition 2015. Maker Faire is a showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker Movement.

Seeds without borders

16-20th November 2015. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. ILRI Campus. A week-long workshop co-organized by Bioversity International and the ABS Capacity Development Initiative, in cooperation with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the African Union, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security and the Japan Biodiversity Fund.

11 African countries gathered to implement seed sharing and use, to adapt to climate change, ensure food security and alleviate poverty. Interdisciplinary teams from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Senegal and Uganda spent the week working together to set their country roadmaps for embedding the sustainable use of plant genetic resources into the heart of national development plans.

Two international agreements govern how countries exchange seeds beyond their borders – the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (Plant Treaty) and the Nagoya Protocol. But to implement these agreements at the country level is not always straightforward as Michael Halewood, Bioversity International, explains:

“What we saw last week is the importance of bringing people together from different focal areas of responsibility that do not normally work together. For example, focal points from the agricultural and the environment sector sat together with their finance and planning, GEF* and climate change focal points, to develop national roadmaps to address to address climate change adaptation, access and benefit-sharing associated with genetic resources. This is significant. If countries are to make the most out of the biological diversity that they have at their disposal, and that they can get from other places, they’ve got to implement these agreements together.”
“It is really important for African countries to think through how to bring access and benefit-sharing (ABS) into the national implementation processes in a coherent way. Since the beginnings of agriculture farmers and local communities have exchanged their seeds to improve and diversify crops they grow to adapt to changing conditions. These days, we are all faced with new environmental challenges, such as increased flooding, heat and drought - and that is why everyone needs crop diversity: to be able to maintain food security for everyone.” Andreas Drews, ABS Capacity Development Initiative
As part of the week’s activities, the participants were invited to attend the African Union Commission (AU) to discuss the opportunities and constraints of implementing the two agreements.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development Annual Technical and Business Meeting

23-24 November 2015. Brussels. This year’s annual technical meeting provided a platform for
reflection and learning by showcasing ongoing policy and programme initiatives and success stories of research and innovation partnerships, agricultural entrepreneurship and institutional realignment for increasing the impact of research on socio-economic development.

  • To deliberate on mechanisms for strengthening the links between research,
  • innovation and entrepreneurship for achieving societal and economic transformation
  • through agriculture
  • EFARD road map on research, innovation and entrepreneurship for increasing the
  • impact of agricultural research for development.
In June 2015, EFARD endorsed a new management team to lead the organization for the next two years (2015-2017). Between July and August 2015, the EFARD management team updated the EFARD membership database and solicited feedback on priority areas for the future. EFARD also launched an exercise to map all European stakeholders involved in agriculture and nutrition projects as well as European CSOs. At international level, the GFAR Constituent Assembly took place in
August 2015 and EFARD had the opportunity to share its position. The Annual Business meeting discussed these and other developments and review and update the EFARD 2013-2015 governance document and identified the strategies on the way forward for enhancing EFARD’s visibility, relevance, operations and growth strategy & for strengthening partnerships with SCAR/ARCH, CGIAR, and other GFAR regional platforms.

Extract of the presentations:
The EC’s Agriculture Finance Initiative (AgriFi) – Mr. Regis Meritan, Head of Sector Agricultural Growth, DG for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO/C1), European Commission, Belgium.

Related PAEPARD blog post: (24/08/2015)
Agrifi: investment in smallholder agriculture and agribusiness micro/ small/medium enterprises

Inter-Agency Donor Group (IADG) on pro-poor livestock research and development

18th - 20th November 2015. GIZ-House in Berlin. The “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH” organised the 16th annual meeting of the Inter-Agency Donor Group (IADG) on pro-poor livestock research and development.

The major theme of the meeting was ‘Improving the contribution of livestock to human health, nutrition and wellbeing’. With a mix of formal presentations, structured discussions and break out groups, the meeting brought together aspects of livestock keeping and production with human nutrition and health parameters.

16th IADG Meeting Agenda

Extract of the presentations:
Parallel Session II

Understanding the livestock to nutrition pathway for better outcomes - Carmen Jaquez Land’O’Lakes


RELOAD: Reduction of Post-harvest Losses and Value Addition in East African Food Value Chains - Margareta Lelea Deutsches Institut für Tropische und Subtropische Landwirtschaft (DITSL), University of Kassel Margareta Lelea

Mycotoxins in animal feed: François Stepman - PAEPARD 

Parallel Session IV 
Animal source food in human nutrition. Role of dairy products in human nutrition. Presentation of the book ‘Milk and dairy products in human nutrition” - FAO Jurjen Draajier

Role of informal markets in the dairy sector. Towards professionalizing, not criminalizing, informal sellers of milk and meat in poor countries. Recent ILRI and IFPRI research. - ILRI Kristina

Related PAEPARD blogpost:
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 Food safety and informal markets: Animal products in sub-Saharan
Food safety and informal markets: Animal products in sub-Saharan Africa. 
London, UK: Routledge.
Roesel, K. and Grace, D. 2014.
284 pages

Animal products are vital components of the diets and livelihoods of people across sub-Saharan Africa. They are frequently traded in local, unregulated markets and this can pose significant health risks. This volume presents an accessible overview of these issues in the context of food safety, zoonoses and public health, while at the same time maintaining fair and equitable livelihoods for poorer people across the continent. 

The book includes a review of the key issues and 25 case studies of the meat, milk, egg and fish food sectors drawn from a wide range of countries in East, West and Southern Africa, as part of the "Safe Food, Fair Food" project. It describes a realistic analysis of food safety riskby developing a methodology of ‘participatory food safety risk assessment’, involving small-scale producers and consumers in the process of data collection in a data-poor environment often found in developing countries. This approach aims to ensure market access for poor producers, while adopting a realistic and pragmatic strategy for reducing the risk of food-borne diseases for consumers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Food Security & Climate Change and the role of private companies

9 November 2015. Brussels. Mission of Switzerland to the EU. With a special focus on the example of Africa, this Partners in Dialogue tackled these questions and offered insight into specific projects dealing with this complex issue.

Climate change is already having a negative impact on food security, affecting agriculture, major crops, livestock production and fisheries. There is a growing awareness of the urgent need to adapt current food systems to a changing climate, in order to feed the growing population in a sustainable manner. To achieve this in practice, agricultural productivity needs to increase alongside better food systems efficiency and protection of ecosystems.

How can Europe, Switzerland and the international community face the challenges posed by climate change to agriculture and food security? How can public policies stimulate progress on green growth in the agricultural sector more effectively? What more can the private sector do to synergize climate change and food security action?

Panel discussion: (from left to right on the picture)
  • Moderator Mr Ewald Wermuth ECDPM Director
  • Ms Gerda Verburg, Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Food and Nutrition Security (WEF) 
  • Ambassador Pio Wennubst, Assistant Director General, Head of the Global Cooperation Department at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) 
  • Dr Karen Cooper,  Nutrition and Sustainability, Nestlé 
  • Dr Roberto Ridolfi,  Director Directorate C - Sustainable Growth and Development, DG DEVCO 
Extract: (page 8) Can development partners do more for sustainable agriculture as part of their ‘private sector for development’ (PSD) approaches? How can PSD effectively differentiate and support companies of different kind, size, and location in the greening of agriculture? What can donors do to address the concerns about the fact that their initiatives to involve investors from their own countries in African agriculture is used as self-interested ‘economic diplomacy’ at the expense of sustainable development objectives? Can this debated be depolarised through better evidence-based public-private dialogue? 
05/11/2015 Knaepen, H., Torres, C., Rampa, F. 2015. Making agriculture in Africa climate-smart: From continental policies to local practices. (Briefing Note 80). ECDPM Maastricht, 19 pages
Extract: Investing in climate-sensitive agriculture is an opportunity for the private sector to make sustainable profits. But governments and financial partners should create an enabling environment and provide financial incentives to mitigate risks especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SMEs can better address opportunities in local markets and can better adapt climate smart technologies to local markets.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Annual Action Programme for the food and nutrition security & sustainable agriculture

5 November 2015The Annual Action Programme for the food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture component of the Global Public Goods and Challenges thematic programme  2015 to be financed under the EC Development Cooperation Instrument was adopted last August and is now published.

It provides more than € 228 million to the following programmes: 
  1. Land Governance Programme
    This programme supports the responsible governance of land tenure by promoting the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the context of national food security (VGGT). The programme is countrybased, responding to needs in 8 countries (Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Sudan, Uganda, Pakistan, Brazil and Colombia). In addition support will be provided to the International Land Coalition because of the importance of civil society to land governance and to the Land Matrix Initiative, recognising the need for information and data on land deals. Monitoring of progress of the in-country projects and exploring lessons learned for the further promotion of the VGGT will be ensured by FAO. 
  2. Inclusive and Sustainable Value Chains and Food Fortification
    This multi-country programme focuses on 60 countries with food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture as a focal sector in cooperation with the EU and with high levels of undernutrition. It supports the development of inclusive, sustainable agriculture based value chains and the strengthening of evidence and access to fortified food. The programme will be implemented through a mix of modalities including technical assistance, call for proposals and blending
  3. The National Information Platforms for Nutrition (NIPN)
    This multi-country programme is currently setting-up of Information Platforms in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Burundi, Niger, Kenya and Laos. The programme will be extended to more countries as soon as financial resources are available and interest is expressed by countries. This action aims to improve partner country capacity for collecting and using nutrition information.  The primary goal of this EU partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is to join forces to implement the NIPN in order to improve accountability and governance on nutrition. They will provide $500,000 dollars for the initiative. The UK's Department for International Development will also support the initiative with £6.4 million.
  4. Pro-Resilience Action (PRO-ACT-2015)
    This programme covers interventions in West Africa, Syria, Nigeria, Burundi, Gambia, Sudan, DPR Korea, Cape Verde, responding to major post-food crises, promoting structural and resilient actions, and building capacity of public institutions and private organisations to respond to food crises. The direct focus of these actions is on long-term solutions to food crises. The programme will be implemented using a variety of modalities.

West Africa campaign of preservation of peasant seeds

4 November 2015We are the Solution: African Women Organize for Land and Seed Sovereignty is a campaign in West Africa led by rural women to promote ancestral knowledge and put pressure on governments to take seriously the preservation of agriculture. 

The campaign seeks to uphold traditional knowledge, which supports food sovereignty and the preservation of peasant seeds, restore national policies favorable to agroecological peasant farming, and promote African agricultural production.

The a campaign is led by rural women from Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana and Guinea. 

This is the first article in a 7-part series which features interviews with grassroots African leaders working for seed and food sovereignty, the decolonization of Africa's food system, and the preservation of traditional farming practices. This series is made possible with support from New Field Foundation and Grassroots International. Many thank to Stephen Bartlett for translation of the interview.

In Casamance [Senegal], We Are the Solution has established a platform of 100 grassroots associations. There is a model farm field and a store for marketing family farm products from various kinds of production and hand-tool farming. The store is there to help promote ecologically produced products produced by women. We Are the Solution is also trying to organize a forum on local consumption.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

HORTINLEA: Connecting Innovators of African Leafy Vegetables in Kenya

The Innovation System of African Leafy Vegetables in Kenya
164 pages

Since July, 2013 HORTINLEA is coordinating a research project which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research, Education and Technology (BMBF) within the Programme “GlobaE – Global Food Security”.

The project HORTINLEA (Horticultural Innovations and Learning for Improved Nutrition and Livelihood in East Africa) is a cooperation of 19 German and East African universities and research institutes. In the frame of the project, they have conducted a new study analysing innovation processes along the value chain of African Indigenous Vegetables in Kenya focusing on their potential to alleviate poverty and malnutrition through income generation and/or improved supply of essential nutrients for the rural and urban poor.

Furthermore, the study focuses on how good agricultural practices and other relevant information and knowledge are shared between stakeholders such as farmers, researchers, development actors and policy-makers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Third edition of the Food Processing & Packaging Exposyum

3 - 5 November 2015. Nairobi.  The Food Processing & Packaging Exposyum (FPPE) Kenya 2015 is organized by Messe Düsseldorf. Enterprises from ten nations are showcasing their solutions and products. The exhibition is accompanied by a three-day conference at which the theme of SAVE FOOD will play an important role.
  1. Government and trade association topics head the agenda at the beginning of the three-day programme
    Martina Claus, Head of Market Development Africa / VDMA, Germany
  2. The second day devotes mainly to the topic of food losses. This part of the program was organized by the partners of the SAVE FOOD Initiative, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Messe Düsseldorf.
  3. Adequate processing and packaging solutions are key in fighting food losses, particularly in the Sub-Saharan countries where these losses are often caused by the lack of suitable means to process, store and transport harvested produce. For this reason, the third and last day of the symposium  concentrates on technology and knowledge transfer in these areas.
See: Conference Programme (468.2 KB)

Presentation by M. Patrice Lagnon SEWADE, Agro-industrial Coordinator of SOJAGNON, a consortium supported by PAEPARD since 2010.



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

African Investment and Energy Forum

27 - 29 October 2015African Investment and Energy Forum. The Africa`s leading B2G and B2B Exhibition and Conference adressses Africa's most important business topics by international experts and well known personalities. The AIF is the only one of its kind to take place in the AFRICAN UNION Conference Center.

Extract of the program

  • Private Sector and Development Cooperation in practice (Judith Helfmann-Hundack, Foreign Trade and Development Policy, AfrikaVerein der deutschen Wirtschaft e.V. 
  • The dual approach - the German experience in vocational training in Subshara Africa (Ingo Badoreck - Country Director – Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya) 
  • Investment opportunities in Agribusiness: The East Africa experience (Kanini Mutooni – USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub Director, Investment, ICT) 
  • Agricultural Wastes as Source of Energy and Income: Making Agriculture More Attractive and Rewarding (Abdulkadir Hassan - ZHE Africa)

Panel Discussion International Investment in Agriculture – along the value chain

  • Lutz Hartmann - General Manager, FruitBox Africa GmbH and Partner Belmont Legal. 
  • Dr. Ferdinand Schmitz, Managing Director, German Seed Alliance 
  • Henk-Jan Voskuil, General Manager Dümmen Orange   
  • Asmau Nitardy – Manager East Africa & Agribusiness, Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft e.V.) 
  • Business partners from Finland – government supported Matchmaking - program of Finnpartnership (Birgit Nevala - MA, Business Partnership Coordinator, Finnpartnership) 
  • Financing and investments from Finland to Africa (Jussi Ahonen – Investment Manager – Manufacturing and Services Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd (FINNFUND)
  • M. Rizanur Meral – President of TUSKON 

The German-Africa Business Association, which comprises 600 German companies with an interest in Africa, offers a platform for establishing contacts and exchanging information and opinions.
  • Association Foreign Trade and Development Policy Head Judith Helfmann-Hundack said that they have come with the business delegation for the first time following Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn's visit to Germany last December.
  • She indicated that there are good opportunities in Ethiopia especially in the agriculture sector. Anything to do with manufacturing and processing agricultural products, packaging them to transport is an important and interesting points to consider, she said. "It's a right time to be here."
  • The visiting delegation, which all hailed from agribusiness sector, participated in the African Investment and Energy Forum and many more German companies outside of the delegation 

Louis Dreyfus creates investment fund for agribusiness in Sub-Saharan Africa

28 October 2015. GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — Louis Dreyfus Holding and Bamboo Finance announced a partnership to launch and jointly manage NISABA, a $50 million impact investment fund project with a focus on small- and medium-sized agribusiness enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa.

NISABA will target a balanced portfolio of countries, activities and commodities, and will invest in financing gaps across the agribusiness value chain in growth markets. The focus will be on businesses that combine social, environmental and financial returns by improving efficiency through access to data, finance and risk mitigation, training and technology innovation; strengthening market access by linking producers to end-consumers; and building local capacity through post-harvest handling and storage, value-addition or processing solutions, among others. More information is available on

Korea-Africa Food & Agriculture Cooperation Initiative

A researcher at the Rural Development Administration (RDA) 
shows how to operate a machine to process harvested crops in 
Zimbabwe on May 13, 2015. / Courtesy of RDA
3 November 2015. The Rural Development Administration (RDA), the state-run agricultural research institute of South Korea, has been operating three consultative groups for Asia, Africa and South America to offer more tailored, field-oriented help to farmers there.

In July 2010, RDA launched the Korea-Africa Food & Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (KAFACI) with 19 countries across the continent including Ethiopia, Cameroon, Angola and Uganda. It has provided information on how to cope effectively with diseases and pests affecting rice and other crops. It has also transferred a wide range of agricultural techniques to increase production, develop disease-resistant crops and manufacture and operate farm machinery.

The RDA's Korea Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA) centers have been implementing the initiatives. There are 6 KOPIA centers in Africa.
"Many African countries want to learn how to successfully advance their agriculture and improve living conditions in rural communities. Through the initiative, we have built a win-win system with our counterparts in Africa."

Enabling small and medium agribusinesses to unlock development

3 November 2015. The report, Strengthening the first mile: Enabling small and medium agribusinesses to unlock development in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, (PDF 2.6MB) was launched at a symposium held in Nairobi celebrating Farm Africa’s 30th anniversary.

The symposium brought together representatives from businesses and NGOs across Kenya to discuss how to strengthen markets for rural smallholders in eastern Africa.
  • This new report highlights how support to small and medium agriculture businesses is key to driving rural economic development in East Africa.
  • These ‘first mile’ businesses play a vital role in connecting small-scale farming to wider markets by buying their produce or supplying goods to them. However, the first mile market is failing due to a lack of appropriate financial products for agricultural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • Without the finance they need to invest, professionalise or develop, the growth of agricultural SMEs is being stifled, as is the productivity and profitability of smallholders who depend on their services. 
  • Agricultural SMEs are being held back by a ‘missing middle’ of suitable financial products.
    They tend to be too big for small-scale loans offered by microfinance institutions and others, but too small to be able to borrow money from commercial lenders affordably and viably. There is therefore a need to find alternative financing mechanisms suitable for agribusiness SMEs.
The report sets out the business case for Farm Africa’s Maendeleo Agricultural Enterprise Fund (MAEF), a venture philanthropy programme that addresses this critical financing gap. MAEF provides working capital and support in agronomy, business and marketing to first mile rural enterprises that in turn enable African smallholders to lift themselves out of poverty. To learn more about MAEF, visit its dedicated website.

Farm Africa has appointed Nicolas Mounard as its new Chief Executive. Nicolas is currently the Managing Director of Twin and Twin Trading and brings with him tremendous experience in developing and managing long term agricultural programmes in developing countries. Nicolas will join Farm Africa on 22 February 2016, taking over from the current Chief Executive Nigel Harris who will be leaving this month.

25/10/2015. Spintelligent, a major business consultancy in sub-Saharan Africa, is helping to organise the next AgriBusiness Congress East Africa set for next January 2016 in Dar es Salaam.

6th Africa Day of Food and Nutrition Security

28-30 October 2015. Kampala. The Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS) was commemorated on the continent of Africa with continental level celebrations held in Uganda.

The 6th ADFNS gave a special focus to women under the theme “Empowering Our Women, Securing Our Food, Improving Our Nutrition”, in line with the declaration by the African Union of 2015 as the “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”.

Building on the selected theme, the following four sub-themes represented the areas of technical and policy discussions:
  1. Sub-theme 1: Accelerated action toward improved maternal, adolescent and young child nutrition
  2. Sub-theme 2: Harnessing opportunities for production, access and consumption of nutritious, safe and diverse diets
  3. Sub-theme 3: Improving and promoting small holder farmers’, particularly women farmers’ capacity to access markets
  4. Sub-theme 4: Strengthening institutional capacities and systems, partnerships and knowledge sharing for enhanced delivery of food and nutrition security interventions
Since 2010, at the 15th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit, the African Union announced that 30 October will be recognized each year as the ADFNS. The ADFNS provides a platform at national, regional and continental levels to share experiences, knowledge and mutual learning, as well as measure progress in assuring food and nutrition security for all by governments and multi-stakeholder partners.


28 October 2015. Launch of the Agriculture to Nutrition Initiative - ATONU

Led by the South Africa-based Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), the regional initiative ATONU answers the question of what agriculture programs can do to achieve positive nutrition outcomes. 

FANRPAN has assembled a leading global consortium of African and international organizations to design, pilot, rigorously evaluate and promote a range of interventions that will improve nutritional outcomes of agricultural programs and policies. The interventions address the variety of social, cultural and environmental contexts found in African agriculture.

The ATONU project provides technical assistance to integrate tailored nutrition interventions into planned and ongoing agricultural investments through:
  • Generating tools and frameworks for diagnosing the opportunities to incorporate tailored nutrition interventions into agriculture investments;
  • Offering technical assistance for designing, testing, and rigorously monitoring and evaluating results of the tailored nutrition interventions (proof of concept)
  • Documenting best practices and evidence and adding to the agriculture for nutrition knowledge base
  • Advocating for evidence-based decision making at all levels
  • James speaking at ATONU about how FarmAfrica
    is improving nutrition for sesame farmers
  • Strengthening African capacity and building a community of practice in agriculture for improved nutrition.
ATONU is breaking the intergenerational cycle of under-nutrition in four Sub-Saharan African countries and improving the nutrition of smallholder farm families and poor households through tailored nutrition sensitive agriculture programs that ultimately benefit women of child bearing age and children in the first 1000 days of life after conception.

First Caribbean and Pacific Agri-Food Forum

2 - 6 November 2015. The Caribbean and Pacific Agri-Food Forum is organised by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), together with the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), with the support of the Intra-ACP Agricultural Policy Programme.

The Forum attracted more than 250 agribusiness private sector players, decision-makers, policy-makers, financial institutions, chefs, development partners and other actors.

The event opened with a rich three-day programme of hands-on workshops and a range of meetings,
covering areas that include building a successful agribusiness company, inclusive value chain development, ICTs for fisheries, policy advocacy for Caribbean and Pacific farmers' leaders, access to finance, strengthening the link between agriculture and nutrition and successful initiatives to counter climate change. Participants are being invited to attend training sessions in social media and Web 2.0 tools and a team of young ACP social media reporters will be covering exchanges throughout the Forum.

5 - 6 November 2015. The 2nd Caribbean Agribusiness Forum – Strengthening the agri-food sector and expanding markets, will explore the main drivers of agribusiness development and highlight success stories.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Economic Empowerment of African Women Through Equitable Participation in Agricultural Value Chains

Economic Empowerment of African Women Through Equitable Participation in Agricultural Value Chains
Copyright © African Development Bank 2015
148 pages

The study, jointly commissioned by the Office of the SEOG and the Bank's Department for Agriculture and Agro-industry, identifies opportunities for women in four subsectors including cocoa, coffee, cotton and cassava sectors in Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, respectively. These sectors account for US $43 billion in production and US $12 billion in export value across the focus countries. "They present opportunities to expand the export market share by improving processing techniques and integrating production into regional and global value chains," the report indicates.

The report says women can seize the opportunities if backed by the right policies, technologies, training, and access to financing. In Côte d'Ivoire, Africa's largest cocoa producer, generating one third of the world's cocoa, land is available, but women do not have the right training and appropriate funding to modernise agricultural systems.

The report highlighted three broad areas for action that could begin to address the specific constraints women face in each focus country:
  • Grow the number of large-scale agribusiness entrepreneurs by providing access to financing and training, and improving regional and global market links.
  • Make sure women are remunerated by setting them up as co-owners, improving productivity, and providing training in core business skills.
  • Increase women’s access to niche markets by producing and marketing women-only products.
This report will help to identify areas that the African Development Bank (AfDB) and its partners could target to empower women economically through agriculture as the Bank implements its Gender Strategy (2014-2018).

12th Africa-Israel Economic Mission

27 - 30 September 2015. Tel-Aviv, Israel. The 12th Africa-Israel Economic Mission brought together a group of African entrepreneurs and leaders.

The programme which was open to existing and potential agribusiness investors in Africa was organised by Belgium-based European Marketing Research Commission (EMRC). The aim, according to the organisers, was firstly to share Israel’s expertise in agriculture, agribusiness, livestock, training and agricultural research, as well as to establish partnerships between public and private African and Israeli entities. Field visits were carried out to sophisticated greenhouses, companies specialising in biotechnology, drip irrigation, seeds and other agricultural inputs, fruits and vegetables packaging, dairy farms and aquaculture.

According to Idit Miller, vice president and managing director, European Marketing Research Commission (EMRC), working sessions were organised to present key projects realised by leading Israeli companies in Africa. Business meetings were organised according to participants’ projects and activities.

Miller further stated that the mission enjoyed the support of Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Department of International Cooperation (MASHAV), Centre for International Agricultural Development (CINADCO), and the Institute of Export and International Cooperation of Israel, as well as private companies.

The Farms of Change: African Smallholders Responding to an Uncertain Climate Future

The Farms of Change
Click here to download
25th September 2015. New York. The Montpellier Panel report ‘The Farms of Change: African Smallholders Responding to an Uncertain Climate Future’ was presented by Agriculture for Impact ahead of the Climate Week.

Africa is already battling against the impacts of climate change. Mean temperatures in Africa will rise faster than the global average, and agricultural losses in the region will amount to 2% to 7% of GDP by 2100. By 2050, hunger and child malnutrition could increase by as much as 20% as a result of climate change, reversing the gains achieved through the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) process whilst jeopardising the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report calls for donors and government to boost investment, to avoid problems that would have catastrophic results on African development such as major food shortages, increased child malnutrition, unplanned migration, food price hikes and exacerbated poverty.

The report advocates for this funding gap to be met through public and private resources, but allowing local governments to allocate funds according to need. The report analyses the finance options currently available to smallholders from multilateral funding mechanisms, as well as schemes such as carbon markets.
"Change will come from the bottom up as local people take action for themselves," says Ramadjita Tabo, one of the study's authors and head of the West and Central African hub of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in Niamey, Niger.
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21 September 2015. How low-tech farming innovations can make African farmers climate-resilient

The Soils, Food and Healthy Communities project has been teaching agroecological methods in hundreds of Malawian villages over the last fifteen years and the results have been impressive.

Farmers started planting crops that enhance soil fertility such as peanuts, beans and pigeonpea, which provide a food source as well as other benefits such as a source of cash, livestock feed and even fuelwood. Families had improved child nutrition and food security was enhanced as well as land quality. These methods are now expanding to thousands of farmers through the Malawi Farmer to Farmer Agroecology project.

However, Anita and her colleagues face an uphill battle. This year the Malawi government has indicated that overall crop yields will be even lower, by almost one-third, due to drought in the north and floods in the south. Recent reports anticipate severe impacts, particularly on the poor in the next few months. In a country in which the majority of people grow at least half of their own food supply, this news suggests that the coming year will be grim for Anita’s village and many more families across the country.

The most recent climate change studies leave no room for doubt that human activities primarily in the Global North release carbon and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, leading to unprecedented shifts in climate: rising temperatures and consequently increased droughts, floods, unpredictability of precipitation and rising sea levels. A recent study found that Africa contributes about two percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, and that is only based on current emissions, not even taking historical emissions into account.

Africa and Australia working together on biosecurity

23 October 2015. Melbourne, Australia. Fifteen Senior Biosecurity Fellows from Africa have begun an intensive six weeks studying Australia’s globally recognised plant biosecurity system, beginning today with a week-long workshop at AgriBio in Melbourne.

The Fellows are the first members of the Africa Plant Biosecurity network, which aims to improve plant biosecurity and safe trade of agricultural products in ten east and southern African countries; Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The six weeks in Australia will include individual three week placements with a range of State and Federal Governments, and biosecurity research organisations in New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria and the ACT. The Fellows will spend some of this time working with their host agencies on priority African plant pest and disease issues.

The Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership is funded by the Australian International Food Security Research Centre (AIFSRC), within the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The program is being delivered by a consortium of PBCRC, ACIAR, CABI, CSIRO and the Crawford Fund.

Improving Fish Post-Harvest Management and Marketing in Malawi and Zambia

Fishing community drawing a map of their fishing area,
Tangatanga fishing village, Senanga , Zambia
25-26 September 2015. Fishing communities are working alongside researchers in Malawi and Zambia to evaluate post-harvest fish processing practices to improve their effectiveness, reduce losses, and promote greater equity among the men and women who work in the fisheries sector.

Working with fishing communities in Barotse and Lake Chilwa, and other partners, the project is analyzing fish value chains, including the differing roles of men and women, to understand how losses occur in fish volume, nutrient content, and economic value.

Research team discussing with fishing community at
Tangatanga fishing village on the banks of Zambezi River, Mongu.
The research team is developing and piloting interventions to reduce these losses, while also addressing issues connected to gender and power. These interventions include improved processing methods, such as paraboiling, solar drying, and kilning. Gender training and behaviour change communication activities will address the gender and social relations in the fisheries value chain. Working with policymakers, the team aims to increase recognition of the importance of fish production and gender equality in national and regional policies.

There is no local market for salted fish in Barotse because people are unaware of the methods for
desalting the fish in order to make it palatable. To address this, one of the groups involved in the project and traders based in local markets are creating awareness of desalting methods in order to develop the local market, and thereby provide a new outlet for fishermen and processors in the area.

One option is to develop packaging for salted fish products which includes desalting instructions;
Heading for field work at 3 locations. CultiAF project
team from Fisheries,World Fish,University of Malawi,NAIS .
another is to hold demonstrations and taste tests in local markets, as well as raising awareness through radio broadcasts. Another group is investigating the use of solar tents made from plastic sheeting. These have the advantage of protecting the fish from dust and flies during the drying process and speeding up the time for fish to dry.

This project is funded by the Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund (CultiAF). It is a CA$15 million joint program of the Australian International Food Security Research Centre of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and Canada’s International Development Research Centre. CultiAF supports research to achieve long-term food security in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Source: CultiAf Press Release 29/09/2015. Southern Africa: Improving Fish Post-Harvest Management and Marketing in Malawi and Zambia

15th September 2015. Addis Ababa. The FAO organised the East Africa Consultation Workshop on improving small-scale fisheries (SSF) in the context of food security and poverty eradication. This event was organized by the FAO Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa (SFE) in collaboration with FAO HQ Fisheries Division.

The overall objective of the workshop was to facilitate the understanding of the principles of the SSF Guidelines and their application in order to support sustainable small-scale fisheries in the region; and, it is in response to direct demand from the region, and within the evolving framework of a Global Assistance Programme to support the promotion and application of the Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries.

The East Africa Consultation Workshop convenes 45 participants from government officers, civil society representatives, researchers, regional organization representatives and development partners from the countries covered by the FAO Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa and from Tanzania.

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