Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Saturday, July 4, 2015

China Investing in Africa Forum

30 June-1 July 2015. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Investing in Africa Forum: Partnering to Accelerate Investment, Industrialization, and Results, was co-organized by the Government of Ethiopia, the China Development Bank, the China-Africa Development Fund, the World Bank Group, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

It brought together representatives of the public and private sector from China and African countries. Regional institutions, development partners and think tanks also attended. Participants exchanged views on how African countries could attract greater investment, accelerate industrialization, create jobs and sustain development. The Chinese and African experiences were shared in order to provide information and lessons learned, and identify opportunities for enhanced partnerships, according to the World Bank.The Forum was an opportunity for pragmatic, candid and constructive discussions on practical steps to accelerate industrialization and manufacturing; Special Economic Zones and ideas for how to make them work better in Africa; accelerating improvements in infrastructure and trade logistics; creating conditions to attract development-oriented investment; skills development for private-sector led growth; and on scaled up agriculture and agribusiness investments that also benefit rural populations.

There was agreement that African countries could benefit from elements of China’s experience, although the situation in each country must determine the strategies to be followed. When it began its process of industrialization, conditions in China were very similar to those pertaining in many African countries today. Key priorities of China’s development strategy was pragmatic and long term. It included an emphasis on education and training, expansion of infrastructure, increased agricultural productivity, incomes of smallholder farmers and food security, and labor intensive light manufacturing as the basis for industrialization. It established Special Economic Zones as vehicles to pilot economic reforms before adopting them nationally, and to open the economy to foreign investment, technology and skills.

Agriculture Should Be Driven By Standards

25 June 2015. At the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) Presidents’ Forum participants have suggested that afrifood system should be driven by standards, hence the need for standards bodies to strengthen the continent’s agriculture value chains.

Commenting on the theme of the conference, “The Role of Standards in Promoting Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Africa,” they stated that Africa was yet to meet its ever rising demand for food products due to poor conformity assessment which has made it lag behind in the agro-world stage even though it remains a primary producer of cash crops and raw materials.

The ARSO president and the director-general of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu, maintained that those at the receiving end of these lapses in standardisation remain small enterprises and producers.

To this end, he explained that the advantage of adopting good standardisation and conformity

He stressed that the use of standards, regulations and conformity assessment regimes for trade facilitation interventions would in no small way boost intra-inter-regional trade. Part of the take-away from the conference, he added, is that national standardisation bodies in the continent must begin to engage all the participants along the agriculture value chain.
assessment regimes is that they would lead to creation of new cost-efficient technologies in post-harvest processing and storage that improves products’ safety and avoid harvest glut and spoilage. Odumodu argued that a formal legal metrology system which complies with internationally accepted requirements promotes confidence and clarity of measurement and this reduces barriers to trade while also safeguarding fair competition, especially for small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises. This, he maintained, would improve products’ marketability while addressing demands for quality and safety attributes.

ARSO THC 02 (Agriculture and Food Products) Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya » 5th - 7th August 2015 Draft Documents...

Building Resilient Agro-forestry Pastoral Systems through Participatory Action Research

26 June 2015. Scidev. Accra Ghana. A large-scale project that seeks to help smallholders adapt to climate change by practising agricultural systems that integrate tree planting, rearing of livestock and crop production has begun in West Africa.

The Building Resilient Agro-forestry Pastoral Systems through Participatory Action Research (BRAS-PAR) project aims to improve the understanding of farmers’ perceptions and demands by addressing barriers to technology adoption while taking into consideration gender and social differentiation.

Robert B. Zougmoré, who leads CGIAR’s Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in West Africa, says the project’s work plans include assessment of needs to build the capacity of stakeholders in adaptation planning.
“The CGIAR system through the [Research Program on] CCAFS is willing through these kind of projects to generate the scientific knowledge and evidence about agricultural options that can work well in West Africa.”
According to Zougmoré, the objectives of the project include engaging rural communities and other stakeholders to test and validate scalable climate-smart models of integrated crop-livestock-tree systems, and the dominant farming systems in the region.

The BRAS-PAR projectis led by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), with US$2 million funding from CCAFS, Zougmoré adds.

The four-year project, launched last month (4 May) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, is being implemented by

  1. the Environment and Agricultural Research Institute, Burkina Faso; 
  2. Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, Ghana; 
  3. National Institute for Agricultural Research, 
  4. Niger and the Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute, Senegal.

Two startups win funding in FinTech for Agriculture 2015

26 June 2015. Nairobi ​. Village Capital announced the first winners of its innovative program, East the DOEN Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation, and Duncan Goldie-Scot.
Africa: FinTech for Agriculture 2015. The program supports entrepreneurs in making financial services more affordable and accessible for smallholder farmers and other underbanked individuals in East Africa. The program is supported by

Village Capital East Africa: FinTech for Agriculture 2015 provided resources to 12 high-potential, early-stage entrepreneurs from across East Africa. The program also supported them through business development training, mentorship, and opportunities to meet potential customers and pitch to investors.

At the end of the 12-week program, the entrepreneur-participants ranked each other on six criteria, and chose two companies to each receive a 50,000 USD investment. The two top peer-ranked companies are:
  1. Atikus Insurance (Rwanda) expands access to credit by increasing the capacity of MSME lenders via reimagined insurance and technology risk solutions.
  2. Farmerline (Ghana, expanding to East Africa) provides accurate and timely agricultural information to farmers and also provides technology to stakeholders to work better
The other companies selected for the program were:
  • Chamasoft (Kenya) is a web and mobile app to automate record-keeping for investment groups.
  • FarmDrive (Kenya) is transforming how smallholder farmers access financial services.
  • M-Shamba (Kenya) is an interactive platform for smallholder farmers and traders.
  • Mobipay (Kenya) provides technology solutions to various economic sectors to drive commerce and trade.
  • nanoCredit Technologies (South Africa, expanding to Kenya) offers a series of lending and de-risking engines, providing structured digital finance for small farms.
  • Mifugo.Trade/Rangerland Solutions (Kenya) is an online livestock marketing platform that directly connects buyers and sellers, reducing marketing costs.
  • Redcore Interactive (Uganda) has developed, which is a platform for online international money transfers to mobile money in Africa.
  • YieldUganda (Uganda) sources high quality, traceable food products for local and export markets.
Related PAEPARD blog posts:
Jan 27, 2015
18 January 2015. Village Capital, in partnership with MasterCard Foundation and Duncan Goldie-Scot, has announced the launch of its accelerator program, Village Capital FinTech for Agriculture: East Africa 2015.
Apr 25, 2015
The Village Capital flagship accelerator programme returns to East Africa for the third time; with over 125 applications received for the 2015 programme from nine African countries. Village Capital's investment committee ...

Friday, July 3, 2015

First Pacific Community Agritourism Week

29 June - 3 July 2015. Denarau, Nadi, Fiji. The first Pacific Community Agritourism Week was attended by farmers, chefs, government officials, national, regional and private sector representatives.

The Pacific Community Agritourism Week is a joint collaborative effort of the European Union funded Pacific Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP) implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union funded Pacific Regional Capacity Building Programme implemented by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) as well as the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management, University of the South Pacific (USP).

The week's objective was exploring an innovative way to reduce poverty through linking smallholder agriculture to the tourism industry. This goal is consistent with the European Union Year of Development theme "Sustainable growth, decent jobs and businesses" and the Small Island Developing States policies on improving economic growth and inclusive development.

More here:

CTA is also a partner to this event and organised side events/meetings, including an Agribusiness forum from 1-3 July 2015. A team of young social reporters, supported by CTA and SPC were covering the event live in Fiji. You can follow the updates on Twitter with the hashtag #PacAgriTo.

Blog posts from the event will also be published on CTA's blog throughout the week

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

ICT uptake and usage in agricultural value chains in the Caribbean

17 June 2015. This 200-page report, supported by CTA, has recently been made public. It can be of interest to all stakeholders interested in ICT4Ag generally, and in agricultural development in the Caribbean region in particular. 

It offers a good detailed knowledge on ICT in agriculture issues and stakeholders in the Caribbean. Apart from the full report that you can download, a “Policy Pointers” highlighting key recommendations is also available from the page.

The report includes case studies and analyses of the use of ICT platforms and solutions such as:
  • Ministries of Agriculture and Marine Resources websites
  • Procurement management systems for the hospitality industry
  • Text messaging system for wholesale prices
  • National agricultural market information systems
  • National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) BBM usage
  • Mobile messaging apps for agricultural activities
  • Livestock management mobile apps
  • Christiana Potato Growers Association platforms
  • Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA)
  • Extension ICT Services
  • CaFAN Agri-food Talkshow
  • Marketing and National Imports Boards
  • mFisheries
  • D’Market movers 

Horizon 2020 – first projects funded involving African researchers

June 2015. Brussels. All signed Horizon 2020 projects have now been published. You can view all project details, such as total cost, who is the coordinator and who are the participants, on the CORDIS website. Select "Programmes" in the left navigation and then choose "Horizon 2020". You can filter by Horizon 2020 sections or by country.

Among the first Horizon 2020 projects funded, there are now 38 projects involving 80 participants from 20 African countries, including some international organisations based in Africa (AUC, ILRI, UN agencies, etc), who will receive a total EU contribution of €12.2m (i.e. € 153,000 per participant).

These projects include Research and Innovation actions, Coordination and Support Actions and other measures in a wide range of areas, including health, agriculture and food production, environment, energy, transport, space, peace and security, disaster resilience, and science and society issues.

EU-Africa Cooperation through Horizon 2020 – focusing on Agriculture and food production 

Examples from the agriculture and food production area can now be found in the Cordis database.

PROIntensAfrica - Towards a long-term Africa-EU partnership to raise sustainable food and nutrition security in Africa
Ref.: 652671 Start date: 2015-04-01, End date: 2017-04-01 (African partners: Senegal, Botswana, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Burkina Faso)
PROIntensAfrica intends to develop a proposal for a long term research and innovation partnership between Europe and Africa, focusing on the improvement of the food and nutrition security and the livelihoods of African farmers

PROTEIN2FOOD - Development of high quality food protein through sustainable production and processing
Ref.: 635727 Start date: 2015-03-01, End date: 2020-03-01 (African partner: Uganda)
PROTEIN2FOOD’s aim is to develop innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient plant proteins –rich food sources with positive impact on human health, the environment and biodiversity.

Other relevant Horizon 2020 projects for Africa
MycoQuest Rapid on-site detection of Mycotoxin in wheat
Ref.: 684135 Start date: 2015-07-01, End date: 2015-10-01
The business of our company is agricultural trading. We realized that our sector lacks a reliable, fast, on-site detection method of Mycotoxins, in particular of deoxynivalenol (DON) in wheat grains, which is one of the major threats to the food and feed sector.

TRICHO T-18 Environmental friendly fungicide based on new endophytic Biological Control Agent Trichoderma asperellum strain T18
Ref.: 684567 Start date: 2015-07-01, End date: 2016-01-01
Biocontrol has been the fastest growing segment of the global plant protection business over the last few years. Its market is estimated at about 2,3 billion $, and within biologicals, the microbial products have been the fastest growing product type segment of biocontrol

OK-Net Arable - Organic Knowledge Network Arable
Ref.: 652654 Start date: 2015-03-01, End date: 2018-03-01
The overall aim of the thematic network ‘OK-Net Arable’ is to improve the exchange of innovative and traditional knowledge among farmers, farm advisers and scientists to increase productivity and quality in organic arable cropping all over Europe

Pathogens detection - Antibiotics reduction with early mastitis pathogens detection for @ point of animal care usages
Ref.: 663649 Start date: 2015-03-01, End date: 2015-09-01
Blue4Green will develop a portable sample handling/sensing system for DNA and/or RNA fragments. The input to such a system is a raw sample of milk, containing the bacteria to be analysed that causes mastitis.

LacDetect - A truly-rapid, one-minute test system for the dairy industry to assess raw milk quality, detect sub-clinical mastitis and monitor udder health, reducing antibiotic usage and environmental impact
Ref.: 662446 Start date: 2015-03-01, End date: 2015-09-01
Mastitis is an infection of the udder in dairy cattle. It is a major problem in the dairy industry, costing European farmers tens of millions of Euros annually.

Ref.: 652612 Start date: 2015-03-01, End date: 2020-03-01
The Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI), launched in October 2010 by the European Council, brings together 21 countries committed to “building an integrated European Research Area addressing the challenges of agriculture

FACCE SURPLUS - SUstainable and Resilient agriculture for food and non-food systems
Ref.: 652615 Start date: 2015-03-01, End date: 2020-03-01
The objective of FACCE SURPLUS is to strengthen the European Research Area in support of different integrated food and non-food biomass production and transformation systems, especially by organising, implementing and cofunding with the EU a joint call for transnational research

Ref.: 652637 Start date: 2015-03-01, End date: 2019-03-01
The overall idea of the BioHorizon proposal is to establish innovative and mutually learning pan-European platform for transnational activities of NCPs involved in the SC2 and KET-B. The aim is also to create a network of NCPs.

EU-Africa Cooperation through Horizon 2020 – focusing on health research

TBVAC2020Advancing novel and promising TB vaccine candidates from discovery to preclinical and early clinical development. Led by TBVI (The Netherlands), with 40 partners, including 3 from Africa: Stellenbosch University (SA) KwaZulu Natal Research Institute for TB & HIV (K-RITH) (SA) and University of Cape Town (SA).

EMI-TBEliciting Mucosal Immunity to Tuberculosis.  Led by St George's Hospital Medical School (UK), with 14 partners, including 1 from Africa: Instituto Nacional de Saúde (Mozambique).

SMART2DSelf-Management and Reciprocal learning for prevention & management of Type-2-Diabetes. Led by Karolinska Intitute (Sweden), with 6 partners, including 2 from Africa: Makerere University (Uganda) and University of the Western Cape (South Africa).

VIROGENESISVirus discovery and epidemic tracing from high throughput metagenomic sequencing.  Led by Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), with 8 partners, including 1 from Africa: University of KwaZulu Natal (South Africa).

B3AfricaBridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa. Led by Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, with 11 partners, including 5 from Africa: ILRI (Kenya), Institute of Virology (Nigeria), Makerere University (Uganda), University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University (South Africa).

28-29 May 2015. Accra. Horizon 2020 Regional training workshop for African National Contact Points. A training workshop for National Contact Points (NCPs) from Central and West Africa brought together NCPs from a dozen countries to learn more about the EU's Horizon 2020 programme and the role of NCPs in facilitating participation of researchers from their countries, thereby boosting preparations for the second set of Horizon 2020 calls for proposals to be published later this year. 
In a brief statement, the Head of Infrastructure
and Sustainable Development at the EU in Ghana,
Mr. Bart Missinne, said the EU research programmes,
although intending to promote EU's competitiveness,
strive to address global challenges.

Many African countries have no NCPs or only one person to cover the broad range of Horizon 2020 themes and opportunities, which puts their researchers at a relative disadvantage when trying to access EU funding. African researchers can identify NCPs for their countries on the Participant Portal. See the Participant Portal

For more information consult the agenda [503 KB]

Web-based policy tool on small-scale farmer innovation

23 - 25 June, 2015. Geneva, Switzerland. Seminar on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions: The Regional and International Dimensions. The issue of genetic resources or traditional knowledge that are shared among different countries was discussed at a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) seminar.

Susan Bragdon, the Food and Sustainability Representative of the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) , was asked to talk about other international legal instruments that relate to genetic resources and intellectual property, in particular to discuss the story behind the treaties; how they came to be, what they say and the challenges presented by the regime complex.

Last year the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)  called on negotiators at the World Intellectual Property Organization to include innovation by small-scale farmers and asked for complementarity of several international instruments dealing with this issue.

In May 2015, Joe Ouko, chair of the Farmer Innovators Association of Kenya, and three other members of the Prolinnova international network took part in a consultation in Geneva, Switzerland, on small-scale farmer innovation in agrobiodiverse systems. They were invited by the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO). 

During two days, the 19 participants from 12 countries explored what drives local innovation, what supports it and what impedes it. QUNO is engaged in policy dialogue at international level and plans to develop an interactive web-based policy tool on small-scale farmer innovation. As a member of the advisory group for the meeting, Ann stayed on for a third day to strategise about follow-up to the consultation.

Through his participation in the consultation meeting as the sole Kenyan and the sole farmer, Joe was reinforced in his conviction that “if we really want sustainable food security, research and small-scale farmers should not work in their own cocoons but need to work together and complement one another”. He was also encouraged to devote even more efforts to promote farmer-led joint innovation together with researchers though the farmer innovators association in Kenya.

Related: May Policy brief (6 Pages) of Prolinnova: Creating a Space for Local Innovation in Agriculture
A project called Strengthening Community Resilience to Change: Combining LocalInnovative Capacity with ScientificResearch (CLIC-SR) has provided an opportunity for a group of research and development players in the country to learn more about farmers’ innovative responses to local changes, more in particular:
1. Homemade bio-pesticides
2. Sub surface drainage
3. Sex of chicken determined by shape of egg
4. Irrigation development —

Focus on: Smallholder Innovation for Resilience (SIFOR)

This five-year project (2012-2017) aims to strengthen biocultural innovation for food security in the face of climate change, in China, India, Kenya and Peru.

This five-year project aims to strengthen biocultural innovation for food security in the face of climate change. It will improve the food security and resilience of small-scale farmers by supporting their innovation systems and traditional knowledge to thrive, and by linking farmers with scientists, in four focal countries.

Case studies and partners
In each country, coordinating organisations are supporting participatory action-research led by indigenous farmers.
Project advisory committee
A European project advisory committee has been set up to provide strategic advice and to strengthen European developing country research partnerships. It brings together five leading experts:

Agri-Food Chain Coalition holds event at EXPO Milano

29 June 2015. Milan, Italy. EXPO Milano. The Agri-Food Chain Coalition (AFCC) organised an event as part of the European Food and Drink Week at the EU Pavilion.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and
Rural Development, Phil Hogan delivered the keynote address of the event.

The keynote address was followed by a panel debate which which brought together experts from across the agri-food chain, namely 
  1. David Caffal (AIC Chief Executive), 
  2. Klaus Schumacher (BayWa Ag), 
  3. Ian Piggott (LEAF Demonstration Farmer) and 
  4. Wilberforce K. Tushemereirwe (Director of the National Agricultural Research Laboratories). Chair of the AFCC, 
  5. FEFAC Secretary General Alexander Döring, presented the “Food for Thought” vision which
    looks at unlocking the potential of agriculture and the food industry in the EU. 
The AFCC is a joint initiative representing 11 leading industry associations across the agri-food chain, united in their call for sustainable, solution-orientated and innovative EU policies that contribute to the "jobs & growth" and "innovation "objectives of the new EU Commission.

Women’s Forum: food and nutrition from the perspective of gender

29-30 June 2015. Milan, Italy Women’s Forum. Coincide with the 2015 Universal Exhibition in Milan, the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, together with Valore D and WE – Women for Expo, organised the Women’s Forum as part of Expo Milano 2015.

Emma Bonino and Ertharin Cousin on

empowering women in rural areas
This one-and-a-half day event kick started the Women’s Weeks series of conferences which will last until 15 July. Under the theme Nurturing a sustainable future, Women’s Forum Italy examines issues surrounding food and nutrition from the perspective of gender.

Women farmers produce more than half of the all food worldwide, and women typically bear a greater responsibility for buying and preparing meals. Women and girls suffer more from food insecurity than do boys and men.They are also more vulnerable to obesity and far more exposed to eating disorders.

Women leaders from varying sectors and geographies spoke along with their male counterparts on topics relating to feeding the planet in a sustainable future.

Women’s Equality and Empowerment – The first step to Zero Hunger
Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, WORLD FOOD PROGRAM
Emma Bonino, Former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs , PARTITO RADICALE
Our visions for a better agricultural value chain
  • Guido Maria Barilla, Chairman, BARILLA G. & R. F.LLI S.P.A.
  • Laura Safer Espinoza, Executive Director, Fair Food Standards Council, FAIR FOOD STANDARDS COUNCIL
  • Lars Sorensen, CNH Industrial about 
    the evolution of farming and precision land management
  • Fiona Dawson, President Mars Food, MARS INC.
Farmers and finance – the missing link

Food safety and risk: How to restore consumers’ trust?
  • Michèle Lees, Director Collaborative Research, EUROFINS
  • Ilaria Capua, Member of the Italian Parliament, ITALY'S LOWER CHAMBER
  • Beate Kettlitz, Director, Food Policy, Science and R&D, FOODDRINKEUROPE
Innovations to give us hope for the future
  • Julie Hamilton, Global Chief Customer & Commercial Officer, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY
  • Lars Skjoldager Sorensen, Product Marketing Director, New Holland, CNH INDUSTRIAL

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

University of Abomey-Calavi wins Grants to Implement Applied Research

Part of the project Team from Benin at 

Write-shop in Entebbe, Uganda
30 June 2015. The Regional Universities Forum for capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) acting under the auspices of the Platform for African European Partnerships in Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) mobilized Research teams to prepare applications to respond to the Food & Business Applied Research Fund (ARF) Call for proposals.

As part of this effort, a write-shop was help in Entebbe, Uganda in November 2014. The ARF Call was particularly of interest because it provides for multi-stakeholder consortia engagements in integrated agricultural research for development and is an opportunity to promote linkages in research for development between knowledge centres (universities), public and private practitioners as well as research organisations to address aspects of applied research for innovation.

The Benin Consortia has won two projects in which the Dean of Faculty of Agronomic Sciences at the University of Abomey-Calavi (Prof Joseph Hounhouigan) will engage faculty members to work closely with stakeholders in the multi-stakeholder platform, particularly (SOJAGNON-NGO, led by Mr. Patrice Sewade) to implement two projects, described below:

  1. Matching grain quality attributes to the requirements of soybean processors in Benin (ProSeSS): In Benin, soy farmers hardly have access to quality seeds. Harvest shares are used as sowing seeds. Moreover, it is difficult to differentiate soy varieties, due to sale of mixtures. This project aims at improving the quality of soy seeds and soybeans. SOJAGNON-NGO, UAC/FSA, IITA. WU/MCB and REDAD will collaborate in this interdisciplinary and participatory project, and expect to deliver: a strategic plan for certified soy seed production; nine viable soy seed production enterprises; two master students; four scientific publications; a selection of end-product oriented and adapted soybean varieties; and guidelines for soybean varieties identification at farm and market level.The project activities and results will be disseminated through workshops, publications, technical manuals, and leaflets. The total Project budget is Euros 321.983 and it will last 36 months.
  2. Designing appropriate agronomic and processing practices for pineapple supply chains in Benin: Pineapple producers, fresh pineapple exporters, traders and processors face challenges in sale and export of fresh pineapple or derived products. The current project aims at improving the quality of fresh pineapple and pasteurised pineapple juice for local, regional and international markets. The project will combine crop sciences and food sciences to (i) determine appropriate agronomic practices to meet market requirements and (ii) determine appropriate processing technologies delivering stable pasteurised pineapple juice for local and regional markets. The Project Consortium include 2 research institutes, 1 private organisation and 1 public organisation. Budget is Euros 299,950 for 36 months.

The ARF is a subsidy scheme of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs created to improve the use of knowledge and encouraging innovation for development impact in the 15 partner countries of Dutch development cooperation. RUFORUM leads Work Package Capacities under the EU supported Project ‘Platform for African European Partnerships in Agricultural Research for Development’ (PAEPARD).

RUFORUM has under the auspices of PAEPARD also in addition to the Benin Consortia engaged and support other consortia in the ARF Call Round 1 to successfully win ARF projects. These include:

  1. More potatoes – Secure food in Burundi: Potato in sub-Saharan countries is rapidly becoming a crop that substantially contributes to food security and well balanced diets. As ‘seed’, potato tubers are planted that need special care to make sure they are well sprouted and avoid diseases. Research, development and knowledge transfer involving growers are aimed at this and is being implemented by a consortium of partners including the National University of Burundi. Budget is Euros 295,886 for 36 months.
  2. Indigenous African Vegetable systems for better livelihoods: Indigenous vegetables have unique production and nutritional characteristics that can solve a myriad of problems in sub-Saharan Africa. This project seeks to establish a robust Indigenous Vegetables value chain and incentive system that responds to the smallholder farmer conditions to increase production and access to the local, national and international markets. The University of Eldoret is actively engaged in implementation of this project.The total project budget is Euro 348,856 and it will last for 36 months.

Focus on ACDI/VOCA

ACDI/VOCA is an economic development organization that fosters broad-based economic growth, raises living standards, and creates vibrant communities.

The name ACDI/VOCA dates back to the 1997 merger of Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance. Both were nonprofit international economic development organizations founded by the U.S. cooperative community.

Based in Washington, D.C., ACDI/VOCA has worked in 146 countries since 1963. Its practice areas are agribusiness, food security, enterprise development, financial services, and community development.

ACDI/VOCA is a leading implementing partner of USAID’s Feed the Future programming.

Many of these projects are task orders under the Support for Food Security Activities (SFSA) Indefinite Quantity Contract, an effort to reduce hunger and improve nutrition in eastern and southern Africa. This five-year IQC provides USAID an efficient, rapid-response mechanism to fund bilateral and regional agricultural development and food security programs in countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa as well as Tanzania.

Current Projects
F2F volunteer, Paul Wojtkowski, at a meeting with 
banana producers in northern Dominican Republic
19 June 2015. PAEPARD meets Dr. Paul Wojtkowski in Accra on his return of his support to the Advance II project in Ghana.

As a leading proponent and analyst, Dr. Paul Wojtkowski shared with PAEPARD his vision of agroecology; both as an academic discipline and in how agriculture is practiced. A number of his books have affirmed the underlying motives, theories, and concepts. They have also proposed a large tally of quintessentially nature-friendly, farming practices. Although these efforts are deep in outlook, e.g., encompassing agriculture, forestry, and agroforestry, and broad in geographic scope, more insight is needed.

His book of 2007 - Agroecological economics - not only expresses important differences between human-directed agroecology and natural ecology, it also holds key acceptance standards.

Having observed agriculture in six continents and over 70 countries, Dr. Wojtkowski has seen what works and what doesn't. As a trained economist with advanced degrees in both agricultural and forest economics, he is able to take the next step; that of presenting agroecology as a fully-fledged science complete with its own economic underpinnings.

Investment Contracts for Agriculture: practical guidelines

Investment Contracts for Agriculture: Maximizing gains and minimizing risks
Carin Smaller, William Speller, Hafiz Mirza, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Grahame Dixie

Download English (556 kb)
Download French (1.66 MB)

23 June 2015. This joint IISD, World Bank and UNCTAD discussion paper marries two substantial bodies of research to show how investment contracts can be set up to promote sustainable development.

This is derived from empirical evidence gathered by UNCATD and the World Bank after visiting large-scale agricultural projects. The paper then proposes legal options to maximizing the main positive outcomes and minimizing the main downsides through better drafting of contracts between investors and governments for the lease of farmland. This is derived from work conducted by the IISD, which studied almost 80 contracts and produced a guide to negotiating contracts for farmland and water, including a model contract.

World Food System Conference 2015

21-26 June 2015. Zurich, Switzerland. This conference highlighted solution-focused, interdisciplinary, and system-oriented research and practice addressing how to feed the world while considering human health, the environment, and social well-being.

The aim was to bring together researchers and other food system stakeholders to exchange ideas, methodologies, success stories, and lessons learned. The conference

Sessions highlighted innovative research both within and at the intersections of four thematic focus areas (Sustainable Production Systems, Food for Health, Resilient Food Markets, and Whole Food System Approaches) offered a space for professional, empirically-driven dialogue that encouraged experts to interact across disciplinary and institutional boundaries.

The conference incorporated a workshop in which the participants explored how collaborative work on different aspects of the food system can be integrated under a comprehensive framework.

The conference was organized around the following thematic focus areas and their intersections:
  1. Sustainable Production Systems (establishing sustainable food production systems that are resilient in the face of increasing perturbations)
  2. Food for Health (design and processing for safe, accessible, high quality and healthy food and food products)
  3. Resilient Food Markets (creating and connecting to effective food markets that create value for all stakeholders)
  4. Whole Food System Approaches (tools, methods, frameworks designed to take a systems approach)
  • Gunda Zuellich, Millennium Institute Competing agricultural paradigms to feed a growing population in Kenya – An integrated system approach
  • Jonas Jörin, ETH Zurich and Ruthie Musker , ETH Zurich / UC Davis Framing resilience in the context of tef in Ethiopia
  • Jessica Agnew, University of Guelph The role of business in sustainably improving the nutritional status of the poor Kalpana Beesabathuni, Sight and Life Agricultural value chain analysis for developing affordable nutritious foods for women in Ghana
  • Emmanuel Frossard, ETH Zurich Biophysical, institutional and economic drivers of sustainable soil use in yam systems for improved food security in West Africa (YAMSYS)
  • Feriha Mugisha Mukuve, University of Cambridge Scale variability of water, land, and energy resource interactions in the food system in Uganda
  • Silas Okech-Ongudi, Egerton University Determinants of consumers’ choice and potential willingness to pay higher prices for biofortified pearl millet products in Kenya Conrd Murendo, Georg August University Göttingen Impact of mobile money technology on household food security in Uganda
  • Irene Kadzere, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) Postharvest Management: Potential challenges for smallholder organic farmers in Kenya
  • Kate Scow, University of California, Davis Participatory research to identify irrigation technologies for horticulture for women and smallholder farmers in Eastern Uganda 
  • Christian Schader, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) The role of human-edible components in livestock feed for future food security, the environment and human diets
  • Gurbir Bhullar, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) Securing the food system together: Innovation development with the farmer, for the farmer, by the farmer
  • Beth Hoffman, University of San Francisco Driving sustainability or producing anxiety: The use of media in mobilizing consumers Gail Feenstra, University of California, Davis Using values-based supply chains to engage communities
Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (factsheet: PDF, 91 KB). The overall goal of the programme is to support excellent scientific research that contributes towards the solution of global problems.

Funded Food Security research: (28 May 2013 Call for proposals ; January 2014 Invitation to submit full proposals ; October 2014 Earliest start of research ; 2020 Completion of research projects). The emphasis of this thematic research module is therefore on the improvement of agricultural production and innovation systems in view of fostering a political, economic and societal framework for global food security.
  1. Building soil fertility: Farmer-driven organic resource management to build soil fertility: Ghana, Mali, Kenya, Zambia
  2. Sustainable yam cropping Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso
  3. Insects as feed Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso
  4. Gender and the right to food Cambodia, Ghana
  5. Food sustainability Kenya, Bolivia
Funded Ecosystems research: (28 May 2013 Call for proposals ; January 2014 Invitation to submit full proposals ; October 2014 Earliest start of research ; 2020 Completion of research projects)
  1. Oil Palm Adaptive Landscapes Cameroon, Colombia, Indonesia
  2. Telecoupled landscapes Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Madagascar
  3. Invasive species Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania

Monday, June 29, 2015

Echanges sur les partenariats OP-recherche-Etat

24-26 juin 2015. Dakar, Senegal. Le ROPPA, le CNCR et le CSA ont co-organisé dans le cadre du PAEPARD un atelier d’échange sur le thème du suivi des exploitations familiales.

C’est en particulier le thème du partenariat entre OP, recherche et Etat qui a été exploré, puisque ces acteurs partagent tous l’enjeu de mieux connaitre les exploitations familiales et leurs transformations.

Comment créer des synergies entre ces initiatives « paysannes » et « scientifiques », notamment pour éviter de dupliquer les efforts et de mieux valoriser les moyens disponibles, tout en renforçant le rôle des OP dans l’atteinte de la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique ? C’était la principale question posée par cet atelier.

Pour y répondre, l’atelier s'est basé sur plusieurs initiatives existantes (décrites ci-dessous) :
  • L’observatoire régional des exploitations familiales du ROPPA ; 
  • L’Observatoire des Agricultures du Monde (WAW : World Agriculture Watch) ; 
  • Les dispositifs paysans de suivi des exploitations familiales, notamment au Burkina, Mali, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire et avec un focus particulier sur le dispositif mis en place au Sénégal par le CNCR et le projet multi-pays PAMEF ; 
  • Les dispositifs étatiques de recensement agricole, en particulier celui mis en place au Sénégal par la Direction de l’Analyse, de la Prévision et des Statistiques Agricoles (DAPSA).
L’atelier a rassemblé des représentants d’OP, de la recherche et des services étatiques autour de trois
sessions d’échanges :
  • Bilan des activités de l’observatoire régional du ROPPA
  • Enjeux et méthodes de suivi des exploitations familiales pour les OP, la recherche et l’Etat
  • Mécanismes de collaboration entre OP, recherche et Etat sur le suivi des exploitations familiales
Les échanges entre parties prenantes ont permis d’envisager un partenariat entre Etat, OP et Recherche visant à suivre et comprendre conjointement les transformations de l’agriculture en cours et à venir, en nourrissant un
dialogue informé nécessaire au pilotage stratégique et servant aux OP dans le suivi et le conseil aux exploitations familiales.

Voir: Programme atelier 24-25-26 juin 2014-Comprendre les EF et leurs transformations(PDF - 434.9 ko)

Quels apports de la recherche et des services des statistiques agricoles aux dispositifs de suivi des EF ? A quelles conditions ?

  • présentation des expériences et des attentes des OP 
  • discussions/échanges
  • présentation des expériences et des attentes de la recherche et des services statistiques 
  • discussions/échanges

Potential of GMO for emerging and developing economies

19 June 2015. Gent, Belgium. Towards a generic market for genetically modified crops - Potential for emerging and developing economies.

Genetically Modified (GM) crops were commercially cultivated on over 180 M Ha in 2014, by both small and large-scale farmers. Since 2012, over half of the GM crops are cultivated in emerging and developing countries. Commercialized GM crops are protected by Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and governed by comprehensive (inter)national biosafety regulations.

The US patent on one of the first and most widely used GM crops, Roundup Ready soybean, recently expired. IPR on additional GM crop products will expire in the (near) future, thus opening the prospect of a GM crop generics industry. Similar to the pharmaceutical industry, the development of a generic market for GM crops could become a game-changer in the agricultural sector by providing GM crop products at reduced cost and by creating new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. This, in turn, could help address concerns by public interest groups related to GM crops and seed/food sovereignty.

The 2015 IIBN Forum brought together leading experts in the area of agricultural biotechnology to assess the opportunity and conditions for establishing a generic market for GM crops, in particular to support sustainable agricultural development in emerging and developing economies.
This international e-learning course is organized in cooperation with UNIDO as part of their e-Biosafety network and aims at training scientists and law specialists in biosafety expertise and evaluation both at governmental and industrial level. The course combines distance learning with on campus training at Ghent University.

The one year program, consisting of 8 modules, offers a solid base to set up and implement regulatory biosafety frameworks related to plant biotechnology, and assist in legislation and interpretation of biosafety risk assessment, risk management and communication to policymakers or the public.
Applications for the academic year 2015-2016 are open till August 31st 2015.

Future of European agricultural research and innovation

19 June 2015. Milan, Italy. The European Commission organised a workshop to launch the discussion on how it sees the future of European agricultural research and innovation until 2020 and, beyond, for the following decade.

The objective of this workshop was two-fold:
  • kick-start the discussion on a long-term strategy for the future of EU agriculture research and innovation, which is highly needed to address the challenges of tomorrow in a consistent and efficient way.
  • contribute to the discussion on the outcomes of EXPO Milan 2015 'Feeding the planet - energy for life' by providing views on agricultural research and innovation priorities.
View the final programme and the list of speakers.

Opening session
Session 1: A research agenda to produce more sustainably
Session 2: A research agenda for innovative rural areas
  • "New openings for rural growth" [2 MB] Richard Wakeford, Professor of Environment, Land Use and Rural Strategy, Birmingham City University; Director of Kazan Centre for Land Use and Sustainable Rural Development, former chair of the OECD working Party on Rural development
  • "Developing the human and social capital" [255 KB] Krijn Poppe, Senior Economist & Research Manager at the Agricultural Economics Research Institute LEI WUR; Chair of the SCAR working group on AKIS Discussion with the audience
Round table discussion: 
How to build a long-term strategy for EU agricultural research and innovation by 2020 and beyond? 
  • Claudia Sorlini, Chair of the department of food, environmental and nutritional science at University of studies of Milan, Member of the Steering Committee of the EU scientific programme for Expo Milano 2015 
  • Hans Herren, President and CEO at Millenium Institute – Former co-chair of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) 
  • Albert Jan Maat, President of Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations (COPA) – Former Member of the European Parliament 
  • Anička Grosmanová, Leader of the international Slow Food Youth Network in Prague, Head of the Food Hub, Master Student at the Prague University of Life sciences 
  • Hervé Guyomard, Scientific Director for agriculture at the French national Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) 
  • Janny Vos, Director for Strategic Partnerships at CABI, manager of CABI office for Netherlands
Closing remarks: what are the next steps? – Aldo Longo, Director at European Commission, Directorate General for Agriculture and rural development

>> Watch the video recording of the workshop (move forward to 1:23:00 to watch the workshop from the start)

An agricultural research and innovation conference to be held in Brussels on 26th – 28th January 2016 in Brussels will close the process.

The EU DG Research strategy on food and nutrition security
The development of the EU DG Research strategy on food and nutrition security (started Milan 8 May) See for online consultation. The consultation will remain open for contributions until the 1st September 2015.
  • This is an expert paper, not a Commission paper and as such will not end up as a Communication from the Commission. 
  • The HLPD dialogue is another element that addresses the European vision on Food and Nutrition Security. These could come together on 15th October when two Commissioners will attend the final presentation of the expert paper. 
  • The Commission is thinking of working closer to food industry as food lacks a big flagship even though it is the biggest employer in the EU. There has been a problem that innovation has often been very secretive due to economic interests. Could there be something relevant for the public domain? Complicating factor is that SMEs are not well represented in Brussels. 
Other forthcoming events:
CAP-related events at Expo Milano 2015
  • 6 July 2015: "Geographical Indications in a globalised world: a win-win for producers and consumers"
  • 7-8 August 2015: "Global Food Security challenges" - Pre-conference event of the ICAE co-organised with the European Association for Agricultural Economists (EAAE) and the International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium (IATRC)
  • 7 September 2015: "The Common Agricultural Policy and Young farmers" (title to be confirmed)
  • 7-15 September 2015: Week of DG Agriculture and Rural Development stakeholders: List of events [27 KB]
  • 24 September 2015: Workshop of the European Network for Rural Development (title to be confirmed)
  • 25 September 2015: Conference of the European Network for Rural Development (title to be confirmed)
  • 1 October 2015: Seminar on Quality policy and controls (title to be confirmed)
  • 2 October 2015: Seminar on Olive oil (title to be confirmed)
  • 14-15 October 2015: "Responsible EU agribusiness investments in ACP Countries" (title to be confirmed)
  • 20 October 2015: Seminar on the future of the CAP (title to be confirmed)