Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Strategies towards more sustainable food systems in the Mediterranean Region

15 to 17 May 2019. Palermo, Italy. The 2nd World Conference “Strategies towards more sustainable food systems in the Mediterranean Region: Mediterranean Diet as a Lever for Bridging Consumption and Production, in a Sustainable and Healthy Way”.

Organised by CIHEAM Bari and by the Forum of the Mediterranean Food Cultures in collaboration with more than 20 partners, this world conference was hosted under the auspices of CIHEAM, the International Foundation of Mediterranean Diet (IFMeD), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) , the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Cooperation, the Region of Sicily, the City of Palermo, and the European Federation of Nutrition Societies.

This high-level meeting identified strategies, programs and actions, able to provide solutions for more sustainable Mediterranean food systems, by bridging sustainable food consumption and production through the Mediterranean diet as a lever.
coping with current critical challenges in the region through

Extract of the programme
Download the brochure of the event (Scope and objectives, expected outcomes, programme, partners)
PARALLEL SESSIONS

  • SESSION 5 Solutions for Coping with Challenges for Coping with Youth Migrations, Agriculture, and Rural sustainable development in the Mediterranean Region: Knowledge Sharing, Capacity Building and Training as Driving Forces for the Shift Towards More Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean
  • SESSION 7 TALK SHOW PANNEL DISCUSSION Solutions for Coping with impacts of Water Scarcity, Land Degradation and Climate Change on Mediterranean Food Systems
  • SESSION 8 The Diversity of Mediterranean Food Cultures and Culinary Systems as a Driver for the Revitalization of the Mediterranean Diet in the Context of Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean Region
  • SESSION 10 The Challenge of Organic Food Systems Linking Sustainable Production and Consumption in the Mediterranean 
  • SESSION 13 Sustainable Agriculture, Agro-Ecology and Sustainable Food Value Chains Development in the Mediterranean Region
  • SESSION 14 Research and Innovation as Driving Forces for the Shift Towards More Sustainable Food Systems in the Mediterranean
  • SESSION 18 Fostering Engagement and Partnership Towards a Multi-stakeholder Sustainable Food Systems Platform in the Mediterranean, within the United Nations One Planet Network, for Achieving the 2030 Agenda’s SDGs
  • SIDE EVENT 1 Networking Euro Mediterranean Countries for Sustainable Food Consumption and Production Strategies using the Mediterranean Diet for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases

Power, Politics, and Governance in the Food System

8 May 2019. Webinar: Power, Politics, and Governance in the Food System: Applications to Africa.

Growing interest by the development community in stimulating transformation throughout the agri-food system in Africa implies a more complex role for the region’s governments. Such roles include not only creating an enabling environment for the private sector but re-orienting public expenditures, resolving coordination failures, and regulating food safety.

This webinar summarized research findings relevant to different policy domains of the food system, including fertilizer subsidies, agricultural extension services, land governance, and urban informal food trade.

This PIM webinar drew on case studies from Ghana, Nigeria, and Zambia to show how electoral incentives, overlapping ministerial mandates, and relations between central and local authorities structure the ability of governments to fulfill these roles in the food system.
  • Presenter: Danielle Resnick, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • Moderator: Frank Place, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)

FARA and ZEF Collaborate to Define Needed Investment for Jobs Creation in Agriculture

Participants from Ghana, Ethiopia, Tunisia and FARA experts during the event 
Researchers from the Forum forAgricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and counterparts from the Center for Development Studies (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany,  Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STPRI), Ghana and the and National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRAT), Tunisia met in Accra to consider some critical steps to creating jobs in the agriculture sector. The two-day meeting which was under the auspices of the Program of Accompanying Research with Agricultural Innovation (PARI), was a collaboration among the stakeholders, geared at defining the needed investment for the creation of jobs from agriculture.


The meeting also assessed, among other things, methodologies and other logistics required to run the study, whose outputs are expected to influence policy development and direction for investment into agriculture related jobs.
Speaking at the brainstorming session of the stakeholder engagement, Wole Fatunbi, Lead Specialist for Innovation Systems and Partnerships at FARA, underscored the need for leveraging jobs in agriculture to stem the tides of youth migration from Africa to the West and the Americas.
“Apparently, Africa, is least prepared for the explosion in its youth population.  There is an urgent need for smart solutions going forward and all eyes are on the agricultural sector to generate the needed jobs”.

The stakeholders also intimated that the real puzzle for technocrats is what component of agriculture truly holds the potential to generate jobs and livelihood-compliant income for the youth. The said the conundrum is based on the prevailing data that suggests, that 60% of the continent’s population is already engaged in agriculture as a means of livelihood. That being the case, what specific investments will be required to generate the jobs and from whom will the resources be derived?  The meeting concluded that the answers to these and other questions will require comprehensive studies done with proven methodologies.

Sourced from: FARA Africa

FARA Hosts African Youth in Agriculture


The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) hosting more than sixty young men and women, involved in diverse agricultural value chains, at the FARA Secretariat in Accra.  The participants have been drawn from twenty-six countries across the region.


The three-day workshop is being organized as part of FARA’s efforts to effectively scale up proven innovative technologies within the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT)’s ten tier one countries and subsequently across the continent. This role is within the context of the Capacity Development and Technology Outreach Enabler Compact (CDTO) which is FARA’s commitment to TAAT.
TAAT is an initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) aimed at improving the business of agriculture across Africa as part of the Feed Africa Program.

The main objective of the youth workshop is to develop a set of guidelines on strategic engagement and capacity development of youth focused on agripreneurship and scaling of technologies for increased productivity.

Opening the workshop on behalf of the Executive Director of FARA, Dr. Irene Annor-Frempong, Director for Research and Innovation urged the participants to leverage the opportunities and platforms that the workshop offers so that will be able to impact their communities when they return to their home countries. She encouraged the participants to stay invigorated so they will be able to achieve the set objectives.

Over the course of the workshop, participants will explore the diverse youth engagement initiatives in the various countries, brainstorm on ideas for a continental Youth Engagement Strategy, draft cases of experience capitalization, be taken through TAAT value chains, Innovation Platforms and Knowledge Management among others.
It is expected that deliberations at this workshop will lead to the development of a practical and realistic action plan to strengthen youth initiatives for technology deployment. This includes reinforcing activities of the youth activities within the YPARD Africa network for example.

Also, the documentation of the capitalized experiences of youth engaged in agri-preneurship will help identify opportunities for youth employment. Youth and women-led enterprise development will also be identified within the TAAT value chains through innovation platforms.

Eventually, the discussions are expected to validate the existing draft framework on what will be more effective in building capacity for agri-preneurship development within TAAT value chains, as well as key areas to focus on, when developing Africa’s youth agri-preneurship strategy.

Sourced from: FARA Africa

FARA Publication: Innovation Opportunities Guidebook in Dairy Livestock in Kenya (NEW)


Persistent food shortage is a common occurrence in many sub-Saharan African countries. Several initiatives have been implemented to address this problem where some of them have recognized the role of innovations in spurring agricultural development. Hence, the use of innovations in agriculture and development in addressing the challenges of feeding an increasingly populous and resource-constrained Africa is receiving prominence. Creating an innovation system is therefore critical in establishing favourable networks of organizations within an economic system that are directly involved in the creation, diffusion and use of scientific and technological knowledge, as well as the organizations responsible for the coordination and support of these processes. 
The actors involved focus on bringing new products, new processes, new policies, and new forms of organization into economic use.

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), in partnership with the German Government represented by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) of the University of Bonn under its ‘One World No Hunger’ initiative, is implementing the “Programme of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovations (PARI)” (2014-2019). PARI has taken cognizance of the successes of research and innovation initiatives in African agriculture and through FARA developed a sub grant agreements with the identified National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARI) in 12 African countries.

Application of innovations offers important opportunities to African farmers and consumers; and therefore publication of the book is an important means of communicating current dairy research findings to a wider audience. The book which also has information on XIII utilization and marketing as well as existing innovations, and opportunities for further innovations will be shared widely with academicians, researchers, policy makers, development partners and practitioners, and other value chain actors, as a reference material on innovations and other aspects of the dairy value chain.




FARA Publication: Innovation Opportunities Guidebook in the Poultry Livestock Sector in Benin ( NEW)


The Poultry livestock plays a key role in the different facet of African society, it is traditionally valued as source of protein in the diet of the majority as well as a source of income for the farming families. The size of the different birds and the relative ease of raising them, makes the poultry a very affable livestock enterprise in the traditional farming system. Over the years, the poultry industry in Africa has witnessed significant growth following the development of highly productive breeds for meat and eggs. This has resulted in the expansion of the industry and the provision of livelihood along the value chain. Despite the noticeable change in the sector, it is still faced by a myriad of constraints that require scientific and institutional interventions. 

The conventional poultry birds are much susceptible to a myriad of diseases ranging from biotic factors to physiological stress. For a handful of the pathogenic diseases, there are known cure through antibiotics and series of vaccination to ensure healthy and productive birds. The use of these vaccines and antibiotics are also considered to have some effect on the quality of carcass and egg products from the poultry industry. With increasing health and nutritional awareness among the populace occasioned by the growth of the middle class, the need for low or zero use of antibiotics is fast gaining recognition, and in some instances, it is becoming the subject of some social movement. Apparently, the poultry industry strongly requires more scientific interventions to develop hardier and yet productive breeds to withstand various stresses.


Research efforts to improve the productivity of the poultry industry require attention in Africa. Principally, Africa needs to beef up its game in the industry with more advanced science and technologies. This needs to target farm level productivity as well as the total factor productivity of the sector.
This book attempt to analyses the poultry livestock production and marketing systems in Benin Republic, to identify the constraints, source solutions and explicate the innovation opportunities within the industry. The book explicated both the technological and institutional or infrastructural modification including markets, policies and social interactions that could be deployed to yield improved productivity and profitability.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Agriculture Knowledge Share Fair for the CGIAR System

15-17 May 2019. Addis Abeba. The Agriculture Knowledge Share Fair for the CGIAR System Council.

Global Challenge 1: Living within planetary boundaries
  • Digital AgroMet advisory platform for resilient agriculture in Ethiopia - Climate Change. Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
  • Quality tree seed accelerate forest landscape restoration and enhance forest production in Ethiopia - Forests, Trees and Agriculture (FTA)
  • Mapping genomic regions and genes associated with the fat-tail, an adaptation trait in indigenous sheep - LIVESTOCK
  • How can the data revolution help deliver better agronomy to African smallholder farmers? - MAIZE, TAMASA initiative
  • Climate-resilient sweetpotato seed systems - Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB)
  • Innovation equips pastoralists in dry Ethiopian lowlands to turn flooding events into farming opportunities - Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE)
  • Transforming livelihoods and building resilience through multifunctional landscapes - WLE, FTA
  • Water scarcity solutions for smallholders: Climate smart water lifting, solar irrigation and simple optimization technologies improve farm productivity - WLE, CCAFS
Global Challenge 2: Sustaining food availability
  • Nutritious, resilient and market preferred common bean varieties - Agriculture for Health and Nutrition (A4NH), Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM), WLE
  • Deploying nutritious climate-smart potato varieties - RTB
  • Sustaining farming systems for food security and economic growth in Ethiopia - Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC), PIM
  • Increased performance of sheep and goat value chains in Ethiopia through community-based sheep and goat breeding programs - LIVESTOCK
  • Africa RISING: Innovation for development highlights - LIVESTOCK
  • Creating more inclusive and integrated programs for the poor in Ethiopia - PIM
  • Maize and Wheat: Strategic crops to fill Ethiopia’s food basket - WHEAT
  • Promoting adoption of improved seed through the Direct Seed Marketing approach - PIM
Global Challenge 3: Promoting equality of opportunity
  • Transforming gender relations in rural Ethiopia through community conversations - LIVESTOCK
  • Fostering youth employment in rural Ethiopian through Sheep Fattening – a viable solution to empower young people and unlock their potential - LIVESTOCK
  • Accelerating technical change through video-mediated agricultural extension - PIM
  • Gender-responsive food production, Ethiopia - RTB
  • Resilience through agricultural water management: Gender matters - WLE
  • Addressing Gender Norms in Ethiopia’s Wheat Sector - WHEAT
Global Challenge 4: Securing public health
  • A food systems approach to healthier diets in Ethiopia - A4NH
  • CGIAR Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Hub – a global research and development partnership for reducing agriculture-associated antimicrobial resistance - CGIAR AMR Hub and A4NH
  • Tackling Malnutrition through Nutri-food baskets - GLDC, AN4H, ICRISAT
  • Quality Protein Maize (QPM) for better nutrition in Ethiopia - MAIZE and A4NH
  • Driving adoption of regional health nutritional standards for sweetpotato crops and processed products - Roots, Tubers and Bananas; A4NH
  • Citizen science to fill hydro-meteorological data gaps in rural watersheds - WLE
Global Challenge 5: Creating jobs and growth
  • Smart marketing of small ruminant in Ethiopia - LIVESTOCK
  • Willingness to pay for livestock market facilities in Ethiopia - LIVESTOCK and PIM
  • Healthy sweetpotato-based bakery products for sub-Saharan Africa - RTB
  • Improving agricultural extension systems for wider adoption of technologies - WHEAT
  • Rural Resource Centre (RRC) Business Model - A new agri-based knowledge-hub - WLE
  • Appropriate small-scale mechanizationWheat & Maize
  • Public-private partnership to transform malt barley value chain in EthiopiaICARDA
Videos related to Global Challenge 5

Sowing the seeds of success: Ethiopia on a new path to explore global malt markets



ICARDA, through its long-term engagement and partnership with the national Ethiopian agricultural researchers and policy makers, in particularly the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, has developed several malt barley varieties adapted to the country and of a desired malt quality.

This partnership, supported by USAID, has furthermore enabled the introduction of new technologies allowing for scaling out malt barley production. Till now, this has involved farmers in four major barley growing areas of the country in a national drive to meet domestic demand with an ultimate objective of export markets in the region and beyond.

Early August 2018, ICARDA in collaboration with the Ethiopian Gonder Malt Factory and the Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute gathered stakeholders in the production of malt barley from the Amhara Regional State. Present were also representatives of global beer brands, presenting views and challenges to be overcome to unlock the potential of Ethiopia’s barley production.

When Women Farmers Lead the Way



A research partnership of ICARDA with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) has been working to overcome production constraints in barley in the country. ICARDA’s barley crop improvement research has been providing germplasm to develop higher-yielding and disease-resistant varieties, while building the country’s capacity. A resulting new variety, HB 1307 – a cross between ICARDA’s germplasm and a local variety – has demonstrated superior performance both in yield and disease resistance and was approved for release to the farmers. (Donor: USAID)

Sowing the seeds of success: improved lentil varieties in Ethiopia



Success story of improved lentil varieties bringing higher yields, income and nutrition in Ethiopia. The research, led by ICARDA in partnership with EIAR, was funded by IFAD and Government of Netherlands.

Combating the threat of Wheat Stripe (Yellow) Rust



When a breakout of stripe rust swept across Ethiopia in 2010, prompted by unusual temperature and rain patterns, it decimated large areas of wheat crops and left the farmers devastated. A fast-track crop research and seed distribution program delivered future protection, along with higher yields and incomes for the farmers.(Donor: USAID)

The integration of dietary indicators in the CAADP process



Namukolo Covic works for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) as Senior Research Coordinator in the Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division and is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Namukolo Covic answers following questions:

  • Why is it essential to integrate dietary indicators in the CAADP process?
  • How difficult was it to get this in the CAADP?
  • How does it change the rolling out of the Compacts?
  • How do you relate African diets, orphan crops, biodiversity and agribusiness for youth?
  • The next Tropentag will be in Kassel-Germany and ICARDA will receive more attention. What are the challenges for the arid zones in Africa related to the orphan crops ?

Opportunities of blockchain for agriculture

15 May 2019. Brussels. Opportunities of blockchain for agriculture organised by CTA, the European Commission/EuropeAid, the ACP Secretariat, Concord and BMZ.

While blockchain solutions in production are still relatively limited globally, it’s clear that there’s greater interest in—and a better understanding of—blockchain and its benefits. Multiple proofs of concepts are completed already or are in progress, and some solutions are already in or close to production release. Companies and other organizations are putting more effort into development of the technology every day, and governments have started to take adoption seriously. In addition to the progressive adoption of blockchain by enterprises, efforts to standardize blockchain platforms are happening.


Background Note and Programme

Panel 1: Blockchain technology in support of the agrifood sector 
This panel provided an overview of the opportunities and challenges in adopting the blockchain technology in agriculture and the agrifood industry across several sectors. 
  • Overview of blockchain opportunities and challenges of relevance to agriculture Mischa Tripoli, Economist, Trade and Markets Division, FAO 
  • Key areas of interest of blockchain applications for ACP countries Chris Addison, Senior Expert, Data4Ag, CTA 
  • Blockchain supporting food systems: private sector perspective Louis de Bruin, Blockchain Thought Leader Europe, IBM Global Business Services 
  • Blockchain legislation: the case of Uganda Alice Namuli Blazevic, Expert Blockchain and AI, KATS, Uganda 
  • Critical views on blockchain development: control and sovereignty Pat Roy Mooney, Founder, ETC Group 
Panel 2: Best practices in blockchain technology adoption 
This panel looked at specific examples of successful applications of the blockchain technology of interest to the ACP countries
  • Potential and successes of Blockchain for the agribusiness industry Anthi Tsilimeni-Archangelidi, Business Analyst, EMEA Business Applications, Cargill 
  • Opportunities of blockchain for famers in Africa Theo De Jager, President, World Farmer’s Organisation (WFO) 
  • Increasing price transparency through blockchain in the coffee chain in Ethiopia Sander Govers, Moyee Coffee “FairChain”, Ethiopia 
  • IBISA: Inclusive Blockchain Insurance using Space Assets Annette Houtekamer, Expert in Inclusive Insurance, Ibisa 
  • Blockchain applications in food safety Árokszállási Erik, CEO, TE-FOOD International

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Change of Host Country for the 8th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW8)


Accra, Ghana, 14 May 2019 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



The Board of Directors and Management of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), regret to announce to all stakeholders and the general public, that due to circumstances beyond their control, the 8th Africa Agriculture Science Week and FARA General Assembly which were set to take place from 28th to 30th October, 2019, will no longer be held in Cairo, Egypt. A new host country and date shall be communicated as soon as they are confirmed.


The Africa Agriculture Science Week is a triennial platform that brings together stakeholders in Africa’s agriculture research and development to exchange information, network and shape the research and innovation agenda for the next triennium.



  
For more information contact:

1.       Dr. Aggrey Agumya (FARA AASW8 Conference Chair): aagumya@faraafrica.org 

2.       Christoph Essikpe (FARA Communications Specialist): cessikpe@faraafrica.org 


  


“-ends-”


Monday, May 13, 2019

Strengthening functional capacities in agricultural innovation systems.

13-14 May 2019, Gembloux, Belgium. Strengthening functional capacities in agricultural innovation systems.

The EU-funded Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS, www.cdais.net) was initiated in 2015. In May, partners will gather to share their experiences and knowledge from this project to a broader audience. And much has been learnt. We also invite those from other initiatives working on similar themes related to capacity strengthening in agricultural innovation, to join with us and communicate your experiences and knowledge. The aim, is to share and shape a path for action on how to strengthen functional capacities, and develop
recommendations on to most effectively drive innovation processes in agriculture.

Objectives
  • Share documented and scientific anal/ysis of the relevance and applicability of the CDAIS Common Framework
  • Shape ideas and visions on how to mainstream the strengthening of functional capacities in the development agenda at national and global levels.
The CDAIS team including partners and beneficiaries from the eight pilot countries (Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Laos and Rwanda) presented their experiences and the knowledge gained through the strengthening of their capacities to innovate during the past 3-4 years. The discussions included:
  • Improved practices or innovations that have resulted from strengthened capacities, or that have failed because of a lack of adequate functional capacities.
  • Concepts based on analyses on how agricultural innovations can benefit (or not) from strengthened functional capacities.
  • Policies or investments that support or block agricultural innovation because of a limited knowledge of the benefits from improved functional capacities.
Resources:
Common Framework onCapacity Development forAgricultural Innovation Systems  (87 pp.)
Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CD for AIS) enables joint learning and co-creation and new uses of knowledge for social change and enhances the interactions between actors. It is also about creating an enabling environment for such interaction, learning and innovation, based not only on conducive formal law and regulations, but also on informal values, attitudes and behaviours. It aims at changing people’s behaviour and developing of more sustainable practices that bring about societal transformation.

CDAIS Stories of Change – FULL BOOK
Agrinatura and FAO. 2018. Building Competence and Confidence in Agricultural Innovation Systems. Stories of Change. Pasiecznik N, ed. Agrinatura, Paris, and FAO, Rome. 196 pp.
Building on CDAIS training experience, this manual has been developed to support the activities of the CDAIS project.This manual is a resource for the training of National Innovation Facilitators (NIFs) across all 8 countries. The objective of the training is to strengthen the NIFs’ facilitation skills and their ability to carry out Capacity Needs Assessments (CNAs) in agricultural innovation niche partnerships.
The implementing partners of CDAIS developed a serie of factsheets outlining tools and approaches to promote capacity development projects for agricultural innovation systems (AIS) that has just been released. Each factsheet includes an introduction on each of the five stages of the CDAIS cycle used and implemented by the CDAIS project.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

FARA Led S3A receives a boost as Uganda, 13 other countries to commit 1% of their budget for agricultural research

Uganda’s Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, also the chairperson of the ASARECA Council of Patron Ministers signs the Communique in the presence of his counterparts from other countries. Together they committed to increase funding dedicated for agricultural research. 


In a move to address the glaring food insecurity several African countries are facing, Uganda and 13 other continental states have committed to increase funding for agricultural research in their respective countries.
In a communique, the ministers of agriculture from the 14 African countries, including Uganda, pledged on behalf of their respective nations to dedicate at least one percent (1%) of their total national resource envelop to agricultural research in line with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa's (FARA) Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A) agenda

For Uganda whose next budget (2019/2020) is estimated at Shs39.5trillion, the fund allocation for conducting agricultural research shouldn’t be less than Shs395billion. Should this happen, then it will be a record budget allocation and a statement of intent from the government.
Despite the capabilities and availability of human resource in this area, agricultural research in African countries has for decades been relegated to the periphery.
Most agricultural research in Africa are donor funded which according to the executive director of Forum forAgricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, has robbed of the conscious of continental scientists and researchers, urging continental government to take up research funding responsibilities.
And for that, the ministers of agriculture from the 14 countries in the continent, mostly drawn from Eastern, Central and Southern African, now want the casual manner in which agricultural research is treated in the continent to stop forthwith.
“Aware that in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the challenge of feeding a growing population is projected to double by 2050 has to be met, that despite a degrading resource base coupled with global climatic and economic changes, where smallholder agriculture remains the centerpiece of our countries’ economies, that confronting this challenge while protecting the natural resource base involves finding innovative and sustainable ways to produce more food with less resources,” reads the communique signed by the Ministers responsible for Agricultural Research from 14 countries in Kampala, Uganda, on Friday last week.

Cognizant of the need to use the land resources in ways that will ensure its health and sustainable access to future generations, they committed to: “Conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification (CASI) practices, including practicing minimum tillage, maintaining permanent soil cover and mulches.
“This is in addition to the implementation of crop diversification practices (such as cereal legume intercropping and rotations), as tested through the sustainable intensification of maize-legume cropping systems in eastern and southern Africa (SIMLESA) program and similar multidisciplinary research efforts show promise in boosting and stabilizing productivity and safeguarding the resource base in the face of climate change.”
Importantly perhaps, they committed to mainstreaming Conservation agriculture, institutionalisation efforts that support scaling and networking, integration into agricultural research and extension systems and fostering value chains development.
Part of the communiqué committed to reducing drudgery especially for women farmers and laborers; as well as attracting youth talent into agriculture. Supporting agribusinesses willing to invest in rural innovation and market development was also highlighted.
Promoting collective institutions to enable farmer integration into markets, supporting the development of smallholder machinery value chains through, local-level training for entrepreneurs and supporting market innovations that enable low-cost farmer learning and experimentation was conspicuous in the communique. 
Time to walk the talk
Uganda’s Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja who is also the chairperson of the ASARECA Council of Patron Ministers, after signing the communique said it is time research is promoted in Africa, saying their gesture (signing the joint communique) stress the call for research funding and promotion in all the continental states.
For scientists and researchers involved in the agricultural sector to fulfil their potential he said: “At least one percent of the total national budget of the country should be geared towards agricultural research because without that it will be difficult to overcome food insecurity threats that is already widespread across the continent,” said Mr Ssempijja.
As for Amb. Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, the African Union commissioner for rural economy and agriculture, without research in agriculture, the continent should forget about agricultural transformation which helped propelled the economies of most European countries.
But before that the executive director of ASERECA, Prof Jean Jacques Mbonigaba Muhinda, said the role of research in agriculture has never been that crucial as it is today. He said the agricultural sector is evolving and without research it will be difficult to keep pace with the changes, most of which have far reaching effects on the livelihood.

And the head of Uganda’s delegation in the ASERECA Council of Patron Ministers Summit, the State Minister for Agriculture, Mr Christopher Kibanzanga, was of the view that African countries, including his own, Uganda, should invest where it reaps most and that is in agriculture. 
Governments that signed a joint communique in Kampala on May 03, 2019;
  1. The Republic of Burundi: Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock
  2. Republic of the Congo: Minister of Scientific Research and Technological Innovations
  3. The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Minister of Scientific Research
  4. The State of Eritrea: Minister of Agriculture
  5. The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia: Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  6. The Republic of Kenya: Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation
  7. The Republic of Madagascar: Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries
  8. The Republic of Malawi: Minister of Agriculture, Water and Irrigation Development
  9. Republic of Mozambique: Minister of Agriculture
  10. The Republic of Rwanda: Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources
  11. The Republic of South Sudan: Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
  12. The Republic of The Sudan: Minister of Science and Technology
  13. The United Republic of Tanzania: Minister of Agriculture
  14. The Republic Of Uganda: Minister Of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries
  15. For The African Union: Commissioner, Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission
  16. Observer: Dr. Martin Kropf, Director General, Cimmyt


Uncertainties of Climate Change Impacts in Agriculture

8 May 2019. ICARDA Workshop on Novel Research Dimensions in Modeling Climate Change Impacts in Agriculture.

The participants brainstormed on issues associated with modelling of crop growth process (in particular wheat) under various limiting factors such as weather, soil, management and water in a climate change scenario to strengthen the in-house modelling capacities and also to develop future projects.

The workshop was chaired by Prof. Senthold Asseng a renowned crop modeller from University of Florida and co-leader of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) network. He is the Director of the Florida Climate Institute and elected Chair of the Expert Working Group (now a program) Plant and Crop Modeling of the international Wheat Initiative.
"Africa imports every year 40 million tons of wheat. The main import is from Russia" 
"Our models predict that there will be a 6% decline in global wheat production for each degree in global warming"
"In 2010 Egypt lost 1,5 tons of wheat production out of the 10 million tons produced or a 16% drop due to a warmer season." 
"In 2016 France - as the 5th world producer of wheat - had a 32 % drop with a production of 12 million tons of wheat." 
"The combination of a warmer early winter and intensive rainfall during key crop growing stages leads to increased disease pressure, water logging, nutrient leaching and lower solar radiation." 
"Seasonal forecast research is very promising in dry areas where there is a great weather variability. Simulating the weather for the coming 6 to 9 months is like making money on a roulette game where 80% are red numbers. Seasonal forecasts need to be 80% reliable to be useful"
"If you have more dry seasons you better get the few wet seasons right" 
The  workshop identified the research gaps, challenges, pitfalls and opportunities within the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) context and in collaboration with AgMIP. The participants discussed various modelling options and identify funding opportunities within the region and globally and identify prospective partners and modelling platforms.
  • Introducing ICARDA and the DryArc Initiative, Jacques Wery ICARDA Deputy Director General - Research

  • Climate change impact and adaptation on the production of wheat. Senthold Asseng Professor at the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department of the University of Florida. (see presentation and video interview below)
  • Modeling wheat yield, water productivity and nutrition using new high yielding cultivars and irrigation management strategies in Egypt. Ahmed Kheir Agricultural Research Center (ARC, Egypt), Soil, Water and Environment Research Institute
  • Improving and Upscaling WUE in agriculture the Nile Delta: Raised Bed Technology and ET-based Irrigation Scheduling, A.Swalem ICARDA Senior Scientist - Irrigation and Water Management
  • Bio-economic modelling at ICARDA, Y. A. Yigezu ICARDA Senior Agricultural Economist
  • Digital Augmentation for Accelerating Sustainable Intensification, C.Biradar ICARDA Geoinformatics and Research Data Management
  • Climate change in the DryArc and its implications on Agroecosystems A.Govind ICARDA Climatologist
Climate change impact and adaptation in wheat. Presentation by by Dr. Senthold Asseng


ICARDA video interview
Dr. Senthold Asseng, answers following questions: (partial transcription)
  • What is the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement project (AgMIP)?
    AgMIP - brings together thousand researchers, modelers and experimentalists around the globe  
  • How could barley and lentil crop modeling be integrated in the AgMIP research community?
    Some of the crops like barley and lentils have no teams yet. It would be very important to find a leader together with AgMIT who could motivate the community of whoever has barley and lentil crop models to collaborate. I would encourage ICARDA to take up such role.
  • Can climate change be used for farmers' decisions in rainfed dryland systems?
    If we get longer period of drought we better get prepared for that. We can help farmers to prepare for taking decisions and the changes which will come with climate change: for example to change crops or alter the management of fertilizers
  • How can we convince donors to support research on seasonal forecasting in dry land areas?
    Seasonal forecast research is very promising fo dry areas where there is great weather variability. We have to give the farmer the tools to recognize the good seasons to get most out of them. And we need to be prepared for the poor seasons and not waste limited resources. Seasonal forecast will help the farmer in the future to cope with  even increased seasonal variability.

Background DryArc
       ICARDA is currently elaborating a new large-scale initiative – the DryArc – in collaboration with five other CGIAR centers which is founded on the DryArc Interface;
  • Two of the CGIAR Centers were created specifically to work on the agriculture of the dry areas, ICARDA with a focus on the West Africa, North Africa region (WANA) and ICRISAT on the semi-arid tropics of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • The participating CGIAR Centers, ICARDA, ICRISAT, IFPRI, IWMI and World Fish have developed a proposal for a Proof of Concept for the New CGIAR Interface to support research and development investments in the global dry and based on current technologies for scaling;
  • A prototype of the DryArc Interface will be implemented as proof of concept phase (2019-2021), during which it will be tested through its application to key thematic areas of particular relevance for the DryArc region stretching from Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. By the end of 2021, the Initiative will serve as a means to support, informing research and development investments in the DryArc region as a part of the subsequent 2022-2030 CGIAR Business Plan.
Related:
Talk at the 2014 ASP Summer Colloquium at NCAR.
Dr. Senthold Asseng works on systems analysis to understand compare and improve the productivity and sustainability of atmosphere - crop - soil systems changing over time, space and scales. He is interested in the impact and adaptation of climate variability and climate change on cropping systems and food security. 



Related:

Farmers and other players in Sudan's agricultural sectorare celebrating the success of new heat-resistant wheatvarieties which could transform the food landscape in Sudan. The country has been hard hit by a severe bread shortage and sharp price increases last year.

Thanks to the new cultivars such as Imam, Zakia and Bohain, Sudan's wheat-growing areas saw a rise in production to around 303,000 ha, up from 230,000 ha in 2017. The high productivity and wheat area expansion witnessed during this season would lead to a record high production expectation of around 0.85 million tons of wheat, covering up to 45% of the national demand, the nation's Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Nahar Osman Nahar, announced.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

AR4D Funding Opportunities - May 2019


A G R I C U L T U R AL 
Research


VLIR-UOS is the secretariat of Flemish universities for development cooperation, with funding by Belgian Development Cooperation. VLIR-UOS announces cooperation activities for 2020 between its member universities and partner universities and networks in the developing world. The partner countries are Bolivia, Cambodia, DR Congo, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Vietnam. Current calls include the JOINT (€ 90 thousand) and South Initiatives (€ 70 thousand), each with a deadline on 14 May 2019.


The European Commission is launching an exciting new initiative that will enable vocational education and training (VET) colleges in the EU to set up student and staff exchange programmes with colleges in the Western Balkans, Turkey and Africa.
Besides student and staff mobility between colleges, these mobility partnerships will also share good practice in their countries and regions and create networks and partnerships for exchange. Deadline: 28 May 2019 @12:00(Brussels time)

  • Call: Section 1 – Management of Water 2019 Topic 1.1.1 Sustainable groundwater management in water-stressed Mediterranean areas- Deadline Stage 2 Full proposals - 16th July, 2019
  • Call: Section 1 – Farming Systems 2019 - Topic 1.2.1 Conserving water and soil in Mediterranean dry-farming, smallholder agriculture Deadline Stage 2 Full proposals - 16th July, 2019
  • Call: Section 1 – Farming Systems 2019 - Topic 1.2.2 Sustainability and competitiveness of Mediterranean greenhouse and intensive Horticulture Deadline Stage 2 Full proposals - 16th July, 2019
  • Call: Section 1 – Agro-food Value Chain 2019 Topic 1.3.1 Implementation of analytical tools and digital technology to achieve traceability, authenticity control of traditional Mediterranean foods. Deadline Stage 2 Full proposals - 16th July, 2019
  • Call: Section 1 – Nexus 2019 RIA Topic 1.4.1 Assessing social, technical and economic benefits of a cross-sectoral governance of the Water-Ecosystems-Food Nexus Stage 2 Full proposals - 16th July, 2019
  • Call: Section 2 – Multi-topic 2019 - Transnational call funded by Participating States
  • Deadline Stage 2 Full proposals – 4th September, 2019

GAFSP announces its next call for proposals in the Public Sector Window for programs and projects that strengthen agriculture and lessen food insecurity in low-income countries. GAFSP intends to fund 4-6 proposals for a total of at least US$100 million. Applications (English and French) are limited to 24 countries in fragile and conflict-affected situations: Africa, Middle East and North Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, and South Asia. For the first time, GAFSP is providing technical assistance for proposal preparation. Application for proposal preparation assistance have to be submitted by 15 April 2019. The closing date for full applications is 10 September 2019.

Agribusiness


The D-Prize funds pilot projects that more widely distribute relatively low-cost products and services in the fight against poverty. The current challenges include social enterprises for innovations in specified themes of agriculture; energy; and several other categories. The D-Prize will award up to US$20 thousand to social enterprises that are successful in their pilot phases. Eligibility to compete extends to entrepreneurs anywhere in the world, and of any age or background. The D-Prize invites concept notes before 12 May 2019 (early deadline); 02 June 2019 (regular deadline); or 23 June 2019 (limited extension).

The Agri-Tech Catalyst aims to increase the pace and scale of uptake of agricultural innovation by farmers in Africa. Projects should focus in any of three categories: early-stage technical feasibility; industrial research; or late-stage experimental development. Project leaders must be UK businesses (or UK research organizations in the case of early-stage technical feasibility), but have to include at least one consortium member from an eligible African country. The amount of project co-funding available varies from £100 thousand to £1 million depending on category and business size. The deadline for registration is 29 May 2019. 

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) seeks applications for the Transform Fund. The fund provides seed money to innovators, startups, SMEs and institutions that need initial funding and growth capital to develop ideas and business proposal related to 6 focused Sustainable Development Goals. Supported goals that fall within the scope of the Terra Viva Grants Directory are Zero Hunger, Clean Water and Sanitation, and Affordable and Clean Energy. Funding support is organized in four categories, ranging from US$50 thousand to US$1 million. Applications are accepted until 31 May 2019. 

Internationally, the Caterpillar Foundation has supported projects in tropical forest conservation and afforestation; water and sanitation; food and agriculture; alternative (low-carbon) transportation systems; urban waste recycling; and other themes related to environment and natural resources. The Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations such as development NGOs, universities and institutes, foundations, museums, conservation groups, and others. Most grants are in communities in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe where Caterpillar has an active presence. Applicants answer a series of questions about their eligibility in order to apply. The 2019 grant cycle closes 31 May 2019.

The Pollination Project (TPP) offers start-up grants of up to US$1 thousand to compassion-driven visionaries in who need seed capital to get started. Currently, TPP makes grants for community projects in Kenya and Uganda. Topics for projects include education, clean water, afforestation, and many others. The deadlines for applications are 15 April and 01 August 2019.

The Business Partnership Facility awards subsidies to support and develop private sector involvement in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries. The projects submitted under this call must contribute to achieving at least one clearly identified SDG. Funding of up to €200 thousand is available. Partnerships must comprise of actors from the private sector, civil society, academia and/or the public sector, with least one organisation from the for-profit private sector. The application deadline is 09 September 2019.

Dining for Women makes grants to non-profit  organizations that support women and girls living in extreme poverty in developing countries. Thematic areas include access to clean water and sanitation, food security, and education, among other themes. Applicants may request between US$35 thousand to US$50 thousand. Eligibility extends to US 5.01(c)3 corporations or international organisations with a fiscal sponsor which is a US 5.01(c)3 corporation. Dining for Women has two annual grant cycles. The submission deadlines for 2019 are 24 April and 24 October 2019.

The Rescued Tools Foundation (Stichting Gered Gereedschap) collects and refurbishes discarded tools and small items of equipment in the Netherlands for the benefit of recipients in Sub-Saharan Africa. The priority countries are Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania and Ghana. The Foundation favors projects that offer opportunities for women, marginalized groups, co-operatives, and ecological awareness and environmental protection. Organizations that meet the Foundation’s criteria for assistance can fill out an application form. 

Misereor is the international development agency of the Catholic Church in Germany. Its mission is to fight hunger, disease, poverty, and other forms of human suffering in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Issues and themes include climate change and justice; food security and agriculture; access to land; energy for the poor; and extractive industries. Misereor posts guidelines in multiple languages regarding how to request funding support. Applications can be sent at any time.


Bio-diversity, environment, climate change

Melania focuses on self-help projects which contribute to the improvement of the social, economic, and cultural position of women in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. Projects have to focus on income generating activities, which may include agriculture, and several others. Melania invites and reviews project applications. Melania selects and proposes some of these projects to Dutch women’s groups for requested financial support. There is no calendar deadline.

The Foundation’s interests include marine ecosystems and protected areas, along with projects promoting sustainable agriculture and land use. Projects in marine conservation focus heavily on the Asia-Pacific Coral Triangle, but also include marine protected areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Foundation’s funding for sustainable land use is oriented mainly towards West Africa. Most grants are to Dutch and international organizations that work with local partners. Turing does not accept unsolicited applications, but it invites brief project summaries.

The First Solar Corporate Charitable Fund seeks to improve the quality of life in communities around the world. Priority areas are “green” education; access to clean energy and water in underserved areas; and the development of innovative and sustainable technologies. In support of these objectives, the Fund donates solar modules and systems. Applications may also include a request for a grant (US$10 thousand to US$15 thousand) to help with project support. The next deadlines for proposals are 01 May, 01 August and 01 November. 

The Thomson Reuters Foundation invites journalists from around the world to participate in a one-week Reporting Rural Poverty and Agricultural Development workshop in Senegal (June 2019). The Foundation offers full bursaries for journalists from developing world countries working for established media organisations. Participating journalists will have access to high profile delegates, leading experts, technical experts, as well as a number of smallholder farmers. The application deadline is 22 May 2019.

SNV invites expressions of interest from private sector-led agribusinesses to co-invest in the implementation of business models under the Climate Smart Agriculture East Africa Project (CSA-EA). The goal is to increase the availability of accessible climate smart food for the population in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Selected SMEs and cooperatives will receive a maximum co-investment of 50% or €200 thousand, whichever is lower, for the proposed solutions. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and Cooperatives based in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania are eligible to apply. The deadline for the submission of expressions of interest (EOIs) is 30 May 2019.

The Rural Resilience activity aims to enable individuals and communities to engage in strong and sustainable market systems rather than continuing to rely on humanitarian assistance. Proposed projects need to provide livelihoods and employment opportunities, build capacity and stimulate market systems growth with focus on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and natural resource management. Over the course of five year, USAID will provide US$30 million in funding. Eligibility is not restricted however, local organizations are encouraged to apply and international organizations are encouraged to seek local partners. The application deadline is 30 May 2019. 

Earthwatch supports scientific field projects in topics of ecosystems and biodiversity in several world regions. Applicants to lead these field projects must have a PhD and can be of any nationality. Earthwatch invites projects that have a strong rationale for using non-specialists (volunteers) to aid with data collection, scientific observation, or other research tasks. Annual budgets range between US$20 thousand to US$80 thousand. Program themes include among others collaborative ecological research; ecological restoration; global conservation priorities; ocean ecosystems; and sustainable agriculture and forestry. The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is 09 June 2019.

The Embassy of Japan in Uganda provides financial assistance to non-profit, development-oriented organizations in support of community development projects in Uganda. Any projects geared towards grassroots assistance are eligible for financing, including water and sanitation, disaster relief, and agricultural development. The grant amount per project is generally under 10 million yen (approx. US$100thousand). Potential recipients are international or local NGOs, community based organizations, educational institutions and local governments. The Embassy receives concept papers anytime throughout the year, but the selection process is conducted twice a year. The next deadline is 31 July 2019.

Fellowships/scholarships/grants

EC-EACEA Call for Proposal: Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme
The European Commission-Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) is seeking proposals for its Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme 2019 with an aim to enhance human capital development in Africa, while strengthening intra-African collaboration as called for by Agenda 2063.

The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme invites international candidates from developing countries to apply for training courses scheduled during October-December in India. Topics for this period include courses in the themes of power, renewable & alternative energy; agriculture and rural development; environment & climate change; and others. The program covers transportation and visa costs, course fees, accommodation, and living and book allowances for course participants. Applications should be submitted preferably 3 months before the commencement of the course.

ProposalsforNGOs, an initiative by FundsforNGOs, invites applications for the “Small Grant Competition” aimed at NGOs around the world. The contest aims to help grassroots NGOs to develop a project idea to reality by submitting a one-page concept note. The winner will be awarded US$500 as well as a copy of the resource guide ‘The NGO Guide to Proposal Writing: The complete ‘How to’ for everything proposal related’. The deadline for submission is 03 May 2019. 

The David Phillips Fellowship (DPF) provides support for UK and international early-career researchers wishing to establish their first independent research group. Proposals can be submitted in any area of science, including agriculture, bioenergy and biotechnology. Awards are up to £1 million for five years. The application deadline is 09 May 2019. 

The African Open Science Platform School of Research Data Science, in collaboration with the CODATA-RDA Data Schools Initiative will take place on 17-28 June 2019 at Addis Ababa University. The goal of this school is to train researchers in Research Data Science (RDS). RDS refers to the principles and practice of Open Science and research data management and curation, the use of a range of data platforms and infrastructures, large scale analysis, statistics, visualization and modelling techniques, software development and data annotation. These are important tools for extracting useful information from data and these tools are useful in every research area. A 10-day school, organized by the African Open Science Platform (AOSP), the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences (EAS), CODATA: the Committee on Data of the International Science Council, the Research Data Alliance (RDA), the International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and East African Institute for Fundamental Research (EAIFR), will be conducted at Addis Ababa University to introduce participants to the skills of RDS. The deadline for applications is 10 May 2019.

Royal Society — Fellowships for Independent African Researchers
The Royal Society, in partnership with the African Academy of Sciences, offers fellowships to African early-career researchers who have the potential to become leaders in their field. Each FLAIR Fellowship will be for two years and will offer up to £150 thousand per year, alongside training and mentoring. Applications should be within the remit of natural sciences, including agricultural and biological research, among others. Eligibility extends to early-career researchers from sub-Saharan African countries. The deadline for applications is 15 May 2019. 

VLIR-UOS is the secretariat of Flemish universities for development cooperation, with funding by Belgian Development Cooperation. VLIR-UOS announces courses at Belgian Flemish universities and university colleges that are eligible for scholarships in 2020/21. They include 1-year masters’ programs, along with training courses lasting from two weeks to three months. Subject areas include aquaculture, marine science, plant breeding, nematology, water resources, rural development, and others. Eligibility for scholarships extends to applicants from developing countries in Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. The scholarship amount varies with a maximum support of €58,320. Candidates apply directly to the Flemish universities that offer the programs, requesting scholarship support. The deadline for submission project proposals to Flemish universities and university colleges is 20 May 2019.

In November 2019 the OpenStreetMap community in Africa will come together for our annual State of the Map Africa conference. The 2019 State of the Map Africa will build on a new strategy envisioned for Openstreetmap Africa as a renewed, strong, and growing network, and as part of the global open mapping movement.
This year’s conference will provide a diverse and fun space for everyone to collaborate and be a part of the openstreetmap Africa community. We will also lay the foundation that will provide us with a solid base for the open, collaborative, and participatory community that we want to build and is needed for our movement to diversify and thrive. You must join us. Submit a Talk before 31 May 2019. Apply for Scholarship to attend SOTM Africa before 20 May 2019.

Ekhaga Foundation – Ecological Agriculture and Biological Medicine 2019
The Ekhaga Foundation makes grants for research in ecological agriculture and biological medicine. Universities, research institutes, etc., from all over the world are invited to apply. Ekhaga requires cooperation with a Swedish institution for applications that do not come from Europe or North America. The deadline for applications is 20 May 2019.

The IRDC announces the 2019 round of doctoral research grants for Canadians, permanent residents of Canada, and citizens of developing countries pursuing doctoral studies at Canadian universities. Thematic priorities include agriculture and environment (including climate change), among others. IDRC supports research in all developing countries, with certain exceptions (explained in the announcement). The program aims to fund approximately 20 grants at up to CA$20 thousand each. The deadline for applications (English, French) is 23 May 2019.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) offers grants to foreign citizens and Italian citizens living abroad for the academic year 2019-2020 in order to foster international cultural, scientific and technological cooperation. Grants are offered to pursue study, training, and/or research programs at Italian Higher Education Institutes. (Note: This may include one or more categories covered by the Terra Viva Grants Directory). Grantees will receive a €900 monthly allowance on a quarterly basis and health insurance. Applicants must provide a certificate of their proficiency in Italian language (not required for courses entirely taught in English). Applications must be submitted by 30 May 2019.


The Fellowship is offered to women scientists from Science and Technology Lagging Countries (STLCs) to undertake PhD research in the Natural, Engineering and Information Technology sciences at a host institute in the South. The call for applications is open. Deadline for submission: 30 May 2019.

The European Commission seeks to improve the livelihoods for smallholder farmers and small-scale fishers to develop a competitive and environmentally-sustainable cocoa sector and climate-resilient aquaculture value chain in Liberia. Applicants may request up to €4 million unter this call (varying by activity). Eligibility extends to non-profit organizations registered in the APC region or the European Union. The deadline for submission of concept notes is 07 June 2019.

Applications are open for the World Bank/ACE II Masters Fellowships for African female scientists. Priority areas include agriculture, among others. Selected fellows will receive financial support that covers tuition fees, living expenses, research, and travel. Eligibility extends to female nationals under 35 years from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, or Burundi. Closing date for applications is 30 June 2019.

The Conservation, Food and Health Foundation supports special projects and programs in the areas of conservation, food, and health in low- and lower-middle-income countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. The foundation supports projects that demonstrate local leadership; develop the capacity of local organizations; and address a particular problem or question in the field. Eligibility extends to NGOs, community-based organizations and academic institutions. There is no maximum grant size. The average grant is approx. US$20 thousand. Grants exceeding US$30 thousand are rarely awarded. The application deadline for concept notes is 01 July 2019.

The U.S. Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund (SSH) is aimed at assisting Beninese community groups to develop lasting, self-sustaining projects with focus on development concerns, including sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and access to clean water and sanitation. Small grants of up to US$10 thousand are made to local community-based groups or organizations. The deadline to submit proposals is 01 July 2019.

The Monsanto Fund makes grants to strengthen agricultural communities in several countries 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. The Fund presents a list of eligible countries. Monsanto accepts international applications during two periods each year. The first period ranges from 01 January through 28 February. The second period ranges from 01 July through 31 August.

TWAS offers postdoc fellowships to young scientists from developing countries (other than Malaysia) who wish to pursue advanced research in the natural sciences at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang, Malaysia. The duration of the fellowships is 12 months to 3 years. Subject areas range across the physical and natural sciences, including agricultural sciences. TWAS-USM will provide a monthly stipend to cover living costs, food, and health insurance. The application deadline is 15 July 2019.

South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and Department of Science and Technology (DST), in collaboration with the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), invite applications for the NRF-TWAS Doctoral Fellowships and the NRF-TWAS African Renaissance Doctoral Fellowships. The programs are open to to scientists from developing countries (other than South Africa) to enable them to pursue PhD research in the natural sciences such as agriculture, biology, and others. The application deadline is 15 July 2019.

The New England Biolabs Foundation makes grants to grassroots and charitable organizations to support conservation of biological diversity; ecosystem services; community food security; and marine environment. The geographical scope focuses on regions (specified on the website) in Central America; South America, and West Africa. Maximum grant size is US$10 thousand. Most grants are US$3 thousand to US$8 thousand. The deadlines for submission of LOIs and proposals are 25 March 2019 and 09 August 2019. 

The flagship Master in Food Systems programme is EIT Food's unique offering to develop top talent for the food sector. The programme is based on a combination of essential skills to become effective innovators and entrepreneurs in the food sector along with key technical skills that are tailored to the individual career pathway for each student. The approach of the programme is unique in how students can select study pathways from a wide range of profiles at different European Universities to suit their career ambitions. The programme will start in September 2019.

The University of Essex invites applications from African students who self fund their postgraduate studies. The university offers a scholarship of £4 thousand to African students that will be paid as a discount on the tuition fee. Available courses include biological sciences, marine biology, and biochemistry, among many others. Applicants that meet all the eligibility criteria and firmly accept the offer of their place by 13 September 2019 will automatically be awarded this scholarship (please read the instructions carefully). 

The Fulbright Scholar Program invites applications from U.S. scholars for research, teaching, and creative arts in an international context. Eligibility criteria include U.S. citizenship and a PhD or equivalent professional degree. The available openings include several in the developing world in subjects related to agriculture, environmental and biological sciences, geography, and others. The deadline for applications is 16 September 2019.

Online Turf offers £500 for full time education of an agricultural or horticultural subject field. Eligibility extends to students enrolled full time in an agricultural or horticultural course in university or college. The scholarship is not restricted to any nationality, but applicants must study and reside in the U.K. The submission deadline is 30 September 2019.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program supports non-degree academic study and related professional experiences in the U.S. for experienced professionals from countries that are undergoing development or political transition. Fellows are hosted at universities in the USA. Program fields include agriculture and rural development; natural resources, environmental policy, and climate change; and many others. Applications are made through the U.S. Embassies or Binational Fulbright Commissions in eligible countries, with varying deadlines. The embassies and commissions submit their nominations before 01 October to the Institute of International Education office in Washington, DC.

Mobility grants allow researchers and students to build personal contacts and relationships for collaborations between institutions. Mobility grants can be awarded to young scientists who hold a Bachelor or Master’s degree and with not more than 6 years of professional research experience. Activities may include field work and/or an internship in relation to the applicant’s research project. The call is open for activities in all scientific disciplines and fields of research. Priority countries under this call are: Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. Mobility visit should have a minimum duration of 4 weeks and not exceed CHF 5 thousand. Applications will be accepted until 31 December 2019. 

AWARDS and O T H E R


The Africa Food Prize honors outstanding contributions to agriculture and food production in the challenge to combat hunger and reduce poverty in Africa. The Prize can be awarded for a specific contribution or achievement, or for a series of efforts and results within the last few years. Nominations are open to qualified candidates irrespective of their nationalities, professions, or locations. The Prize is US$100 thousand (to be shared if there is more than one winner), a diploma, and a trophy. The deadline for nominations (English, French) is 14 May 2019.

The Waislitz Global Citizen Award is an annual cash prize recognizing the excellence of one individual in their work to end extreme poverty. The winner is invited to New York to attend the Global Citizen Live event where they receive $100 thousand. Two Semi-Finalists, the Global Citizen’s Choice Award and the Youth Innovation Award (for applicants under 35) will each receive $50 thousand. Past winners include zero waste, environmental protection and sanitation projects. The deadline for submissions is 19 May 2019.

The Yves Rocher Foundation’s Photography Award shall be awarded to a professional photographer who wishes to make a journalistic study of issues relating to the environment, humanity’s relationship with the planet, or the core challenges to sustainability. Eligibility extends to professional photojournalists who are able to write and speak in French or English. The winner will receive an award of €8 thousand. The closing date for applications is 28 May 2019. 

The Zayed Sustainability Prize recognizes achievements that are driving impact, innovation and inspiration in environmental stewardship and global sustainability. The Prize is awarded across several categories: (i) Health; (ii) Food; (iii) Energy; (iv) Water; and (v) Global high schools (i.e., high schools in five world regions). The prize winners will divide US$3 million. The closing date for applications and nominations is 30 May 2019.

The iF Social Impact Prize aims to publish and support design projects that contribute to solving urgent challenges and help to improve living conditions in the developing world. Solutions should already be established and help to solve well known issues in any category of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The best projects will share a cash prize of €50 thousand in total. Eligibility extends to non-profit organizations, companies and foundations. There is no deadline and projects can be submitted on a continuous basis. The winners will be decided after 05 June and 20 November each year.

The World Food Prize Foundation invites nominations for the Borlaug Field Award. The Award (US$10 thousand) recognizes science-based achievement in international agriculture and food production by an individual under age 40 in the challenge to eliminate global hunger and poverty. The deadline for nominations is 15 June 2019.

The annual St Andrews Prize for the Environment recognizes significant contributions to environmental conservation in the developing world. The subject areas include human-animal conflicts; water and biodiversity; sanitation; air quality; solar power; food supply; waste and recycling; environmental justice; and others. Applications are invited from individuals, multi-disciplinary teams, and community groups. Research projects will not be considered. The Prize consists of an award of US$100 thousand and a medal. Awards of US$25 thousand are presented to each of two other finalists. The deadline for applications is 21 June 2019. 

The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is a global program to mobilize youth-led innovations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Young entrepreneurs (age 15-35) from around the world are invited to submit their innovative ideas and projects. Winners of the competition will be announced at the Entrepreneurship Summit in Berlin in October 2019 and will receive international recognition. The deadline for entries is 31 July 2019.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awards the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award to young promising researchers from abroad in recognition of outstanding academic achievements. The award is designed to enable them to embark on academic careers in Germany by establishing their own junior research groups at research institutions in Germany. The award winner is entitled to funds of up to € 1.65 million which may be used to cover all research expenses (including the necessary equipment and material, personnel, travel expenses, etc.). The deadline for applications is 31 July 2019.