Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, May 24, 2019

4TH World Congress on agroforestry

20-24 May 2019. Montpellier, France. 4TH WORLD CONGRESS ON AGROFORESTRY

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This international event was organized in Europe for the first time, by CIRAD and INRA, in partnership with World Agroforestry, Agropolis International and Montpellier University of Excellence.

The 4th World Agroforestry Congress bridged the gap between agroforestry science and its practical implementation worldwide. Over 1,200 attendees from all over the world presentied new research and sharing ideas for implementation of this agricultural technique that is good for food security, biodiversity, the climate, and more.

One topic gaining extra attention at this Congress was the involvement of the private sector in boosting agroforestry’s implementation worldwide, because it can be quite profitable to do so while also supporting people and planet. 

Agroforestry combines trees alongside shrubs, crops and livestock in systems that produce food, support biodiversity, build soil horizons and water tables, and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

1,200 plus attendees streamed into workshops and swirled among some 600+ posters hanging in the halls which outline new agroforestry research, underpinning the notion of agroforestry seeming a rather academic topic, yet this group is exploring many angles to advance this climate- and biodiversity-positive agricultural practice.
“There are journalists here from 30+ media outlets from many countries here, and French TV produced four stories about it last week. Also, we had 1,850 people attending the public event on Sunday we organized with the French Association for Agroforestry. These facts are proof that the Congress is bridging the gap between science, society and policy, which is the event’s goal.” Emmanuel Torquebiau, Congress organizer and senior scientist CIRAD 

Because agroforestry is seen as a solution for this issue while boosting food security levels and biodiversity in the agricultural landscape due to its incorporation of useful trees and shrubs with annual crops, Mongabay has been producing a series highlighting its global implementation for the last year.

Extract of the programme:
Plenary session 2: Agroforestry and climate change
  • Cheikh Mbow, Executive Director of START-International → Download abstract
  • Seydou Kaboré, Manager of the Guié Agroforestry farm, Burkina Faso → Download abstract in French ; → Download abstract in English
  • Margaret Muchanga, Farmer, Kenya
  • Chad Frischmann, Vice President and; Research Director, Drawdown
  • Sarah Magida Toumi, Tunisian Entrepreneur, Desertification and Tree planting
    Video witness @3:35:00
    "Acacias for All" is the name of a Tunesian Social Enterprise started by Sarah and Khalil Toumi in 2012. Its aim is to encourage farmers to plant Acacias (lat: Acacia Senegal) against desertifacation of their land and in order to give them a new source of income: the arabic gum harvested from the trees.

    "70 % of the European consumers want to make ethical food purchases"
    "We need communicators and the media to be intrested in what we do about agro forestry and allow all the agro-forestry projects to develop. If you don't know that those projects exist they can not develop. And we remain in a vicious cirle"

    "Today we have already planned 500,000 trees (acacia, muringa, 
    Citrus sinensis {=orange tree - ear de fleur d'oranger/orange flower water)" 

Plenary Session 3: Agroforestry, Food security and Nutrition
  • H.E Dr.Eyasu Abraha Alle, State Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resource of Ethiopia
  • Saul Morris, Director of Programme Services, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) → Download abstract
  • Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research → Download abstract
  • Catherine Muthuri, World Agroforestry
  • Kami Melvani, Charles Darwin University
  • Rowan Reid, Farmer, Author of “Heartwood: the art and science of growing trees for profit” → Download abstract
  • Gary S. May, Chancellor, University of California Davis
  • Patrick Caron, Chairperson, High Level Panel of Experts of the UN Committee on world Food Security, Vice President, University of Montpellier

Plenary Session 6: A road map for agroforestry
  • Roger Leakey, International Tree Foundation, UK → Download abstract

    "We need to challenge donors, development agencies and agribusiness and emphasize that the so-called "Inevitable Trade-offs" are not acceptable in modern agriculture and that agro-forestry can deliver sustainanle intensification without those Trade-offs"

    "Trade-Ons instead of Trade-offs"

    "One type of research we need most is impact assessment"
"We don't need more research but more agro-forestors"
"Research needs to catch up on innovation on the ground by farmers"

"Reading is not believing but seeing is believing"
"Research needs to be presented in a pallatable form where  farmers can see it, touch it, belief it".
  • Gilles Delaunay, Farmer, France
  • Emmanuel Petel and José Ruiz Espi, European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Development → Download abstract
  • Tony Rinaudo, Laureate of the Right Livelihood Award (video presented by Dennis Garrity)
  • Fergus Sinclair, World Agroforestry / School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Wales, UK → Download abstract

    "We are currently embedding research in development practices"

Africa Shared Value Summit: Scaling Up Innovation in Agriculture

22-23 May 2019. Nairobi  Kenya. 2019 Africa Shared Value Summit. The Africa Shared Value Summit raised awareness and advocated for the success of the strategic implementation of the Shared Value business model – profit with purpose – in Africa.

Track 3: Strengthening Food Systems: Partnering for Food Security
  • Scaling Up Innovation in Agriculture - Fredrick Kiio, HOD: m-Agri Business, Safaricom (Kenya)
  • Women in Agriculture: Strengthening Food Security - Elizabeth Thande, Managing Director, WetFarms (Kenya)
Panel Discussion – Food Security: An Ecosystems Approach

  • Moderator: Antonio Salort-Pons, Head: Government & Private Sector Partnerships and Public Information, World Food Programme Regional Bureau (Kenya)
  • Fredrick Kiio, HOD: m-Agri Business, Safaricom (Kenya)
  • Elizabeth Thande (see picture), Managing Director, WetFarms (Kenya).
    Elizabeth Thande is the MD of PJ Flowers, a subsidiary of Wetfarm Ltd. She has created a network of small-scale farmers and assisted them in the growing and marketing of their products.

    Her company has just signed a contract with Farm Concern International to grow indigenous vegetables for the company and this will benefit many of the out growers. She has improved her skills by attending several short courses in Horticulture, Entrepreneurship and Business Management in the Netherlands, Sweden, Texas, and has attended many seminars in the EAC Region.

    She has sat on the Board of Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Kenya Horticulture Directorate, Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), and Past Chairperson- African Women Agribusiness Network – Kenya Chapter (AWAN-KE). Currently she sits on the Board of East Africa Women in Business Platform.
  • Eric Muthomi, Founder & CEO, Stawi Foods and Fruits Limited (Kenya)

Measuring Resilience in the CAADP 2nd Biennial Review

22 May 2019Webinar.  Measuring Resilience – Understanding The Resilience indicators in the Biennial Review

The 2014 Malabo Declaration was a watershed moment in African Agricultural Transformation. It redefined agricultural development in broader, holistic and multifaceted terms, bringing in topics like resilience to fore. Additionally, the Malabo Declaration required Member States to monitor and collect data across a range of result areas every two years, in what has come to be referred to as the CAADP Biennial Review.

This webinar, hosted by the CAADP Peer2Peer Network, focused on how resilience is addressed in the Malabo declaration and, specifically how it is measured in the CAADP Biennial Review. More specifically, the webinar considered:
  • Why is Resilience an important topic in CAADP?
  • How is Resilience addressed in the Malabo Declaration?
  • What are the measures of Resilience contained in the Biennial Review?
  • What is the RIMA model and how can countries use it to measure progress on Resilience?
  • What are the next steps and how can one learn more about this topic?
18-22 March 2019. Accra, Ghana. To advance member state performance and participation in the 2nd Biennial Review process, the African Union (AU) Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUC DREA) in partnership with Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) hosted a continental reporting training and workshop.

The purpose of the workshop was to train member state representatives on new CAADP Biennial Review (BR) technical guidelines, orient participants on the new online data entry tool for the “e-BR”, and to agree on the Coordination Mechanism and Continental Roadmap for submitting the second Biennial Report to the AU Assembly in January 2020. The training covered various technical details of the BR indicators, data entry processes, review of in-country roadmaps towards the final BR report, and country-REC consultations on validation processes.

The Future of Food - How to talk to consumers?

21-22 May 2019. Chicago The Future of Food.

This two-day business conference identified the main areas of opportunity and innovation within the food and beverage industry. It assessed how business can react to consumer trends and expectations, whilst building sustainable, resilient agricultural supply chains.

Extract of the programme:

Consumers: How do we talk to consumers about choices using labels and packaging?
Are labels an efficient communication tool or do consumers simply glaze over when faced with multiple signs on their packaging?
How do we take packaging and labels beyond certification stamps?
Hear about successful programmes that communicate sustainability standards to consumers
  • DAVE STANGIS, Campbell Soup Company, Chief Sustainability Officer
  • ROBIN AVERBECK (see picture), Rainforest Action Network, Agribusiness Director
  • IAN LIFSHITZ, Asia Pulp and Paper, Vice President of Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations
Can brands and agri-business partner with advocacy groups more effectively on consumer education?
The everyday consumer cannot be expected to understand the intricate nuances of different sustainability issues. However, some issues (such as palm oil for example) have been over simplified and resulted in misguided consumers believing that these topics are black and white. It is important to give consumers enough information to make informed decisions.
Is it possible to have a more concerted effort between food businesses and advocacy groups to educate consumers? This debate discussed how it can be done and showcased a few examples.
  • BILL SHIREMAN, Future 500, President and CEO
  • ROBIN AVERBECK , Rainforest Action Network, Agribusiness Director
  • SHAWNA LEMKE (see picture), Bayer, Vice President of Food Safety, Health and Nutrition Stakeholder Affairs
Meat substitutes, organic options, clean eating: The consumer trends that will shape the future of foodIn this closing session, leading food companies will predict which key trends and shifts are likely to stick over the next ten years and explain what changes they will bring about within their business.
There is a lot of momentum behind alternative protein sources such as cellular meat or plant-based alternatives. Will big meat producers turn to these avenues to keep their market share or is the answer simply to improve the sustainability of current animal production systems?
Clean and healthy eating is another consumer trend that big business will want to stay on top of. We will evaluate just how drastically business models will need to change to adapt to these demands.
  • UDI LAZIMY JUST Global Plant Sourcing and Sustainability Lead 
  • ROB MORASCO Sodexo Senior Director Culinary Development
  • NICK HALLA Impossible Foods Senior Vice President, International

Food-Based Dietary Guidelines in Ethiopia

21 May 2019Webinar. Food-Based Dietary Guidelines in Ethiopia and 90 other countries.

Hashtags for this Webinar : #Ag2Nut ; #FBDG
Ethiopia is developing food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) for the first time ever, slated to be released later next year (2020).

Tesfaye Hailu Bekele, (Ethiopian Public Health Institute and Wageningen University and Research) who is involved in leading that process, gave an inside view into how it began, the types of data that are used, which stakeholders are at the table, and how guidance on "what to eat" is operationalized. He presented how agricultural data are brought to bear, to design guidelines that account for agricultural production systems.

Dr. Anna Herforth (Independent and Harvard School of Public Health) provided broader context by sharing insights from a newly published global review of food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG), looking at the similarities and differences in FBDG-across 90 countries that have them.

29 May 2019.  IFPRI Policy Seminar. Changing Access to Nutritious Diets in Africa and South Asia (CANDASA)
24-29 June 2019. Hyderabad, India. The 2019 ANH Academy Week 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

New Course on “Innovation & Youth Entrepreneurship In the Mediterranean Agro-Food Sector”

16 September–23 November, 2019. CIHEAM Bari is launching a new high-level stand-alone specialised Training Programme on “Innovation & Youth Entrepreneurship In The Mediterranean Agro-Food Sector”, in collaboration with The Mediterranean Innovation Partnership (MIP).
Course program : The course is due to start on September 16, 2019 and will last for 10 weeks.
  • It aims to empower the younger generation and improve their employability opportunities by promoting their active involvement in the economic development of their regions.
  • Students will be able to improve entrepreneurial culture, to contribute to the design, development and implementation of innovative projects, to launch new business initiatives (start-ups), to provide consultancy services for innovation processes and methods (innovation brokers).
Startup and Business management, Agro-food innovation, Social Innovation in agribusiness,

12 participants will be selected from graduate students, young researchers, extension agents, civil servants, professionals in agriculture and rural development coming from the Mediterranean region (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey,) and from some Sub-Saharan countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea).

The master course will balance face-to-face lectures, teamwork and practical work oriented to the elaboration of innovative and entrepreneurial projects, from the design to the validation of innovative solutions, prototyping and market testing, using the technological facilities available at MEDAB (experimental fields, laboratories, fablab) and in close collaboration with agro-food enterprises.

Start-up creation in the agro-food sector will be the major areas developed in the course. Students will use the most innovative techniques and tools that are used in the fields of service design, design thinking, trend-watching, lean start-up, growth hacking and brand identity, which are capable of creating memorable and successful experiences and start-ups.

Combating Desertification In Sahel, Horn Of Africa

15-16 May 2019. Nairobi. 3rd AI-CD Regional Meeting in the Horn of Africa. About 50 participants from the Horn of Africa region and several international donors attended the meeting and discussed various topics including, but not limited to, access to finance for combating desertification.

The participating countries, including Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan, agreed to move forward to become global leaders on combating desertification. Outputs of each country under AI-CD will be shared Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) 7 and the UNCCD COP 14.

The main topic of the 2nd day of the 3rd AI-CD regional meeting in Horn of Africa was the access to finance. Concept notes from each AI-CD participating country
were presented and vividly discussed with different donors.

30 April 2019. A new Knowledge Hub was launched in collaboration with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas - ICARDA

Behind the platform are partners engaged in the AI-CD - an initiative co-organized by the Government of Kenya, the Government of Senegal, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) - namely the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).
  • The new collaboration between AI-CD partners and the CGIAR will facilitate the systematic transfer of valuable knowledge to the target African countries. 
  • The knowledge will also be made available through Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL), the collaborative online platform for knowledge employed by six CGIAR Research Centers and three Research Programs to manage their activities and results: ICARDA, International Potato Center (CIP), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), WorldFish, Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC), Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB), FISH.
11-12 April 2019.  A two-day national workshop on the African Initiative for Combating Desertification (AI-CD) was previously held in Abuja.  It convened over 70 stakeholders who actively presented, deliberated, and discussed matters on desertification and the focal areas of the initiative, namely: (1) Best Practices for Combating Desertification, (2) Access to Funds, and (3) Networking and Knowledge Sharing.

Related PAEPARD blogpost
Highlight: African Initiative for Combating Desertification
28-30 August 2018. Call for proposals ‘Voices from the Field’

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

FARA receives CSIR Award

Left to right: Prof. Kingsford-Adaboh (CSIR Council Chair),
Dr Agrey Agumya (FARA) and dr Wilhelmina Quaye
(Director CSIR-STEPRI)

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) was among the recipients of Ghana’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Awards, during a ceremony to honour scientists, champions of science and research and  industry players who have made outstanding contributions to Ghana’s scientific and industrial development over the past 60 years. Held on Friday, 17th May 2019 at the Coconut Grove Hotel in Accra, the event was one of the activities organised to mark the 60th anniversary of the CSIR. It was graced by, among others, Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo, Senior Minister who was the special guest of honour; Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Honourable Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation; and Professor Robert Kingsford-Adaboh, the Chairman of CSIR’s Governing Council.
FARA’s award was received by Dr. Aggrey Agumya, Director for Stakeholder Engagement and Communication on behalf of the Executive Director, Dr Yemi Akinbamijo. 
Among the awardees was the 94-year-old Dr. Leticia Obeng, a heroine scientist in Water and Environment, the first Research staff to be recruited by the CSIR and the first Female President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Obeng is also a recipient of Ghana's highest national award, the Order of the Star of Ghana (2006).  Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng received a citation for scientific excellence in medicine.

Mr. Osafo Marfo commended CSIR for its immense contributions towards the socio-economic development of the nation, especially, for producing improved varieties of the country’s main staples. He urged it to ensure these varieties become easily accessible to farmers and industry players. He announced that Cabinet had approved an increase in spending on science and technological research from 0.3 per cent of GDP to one per cent. 
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng acknowledged the distinguished scientists, stakeholders and former staff of CSIR for contributing substantially to the growth of the country over the past 60 years. He underscored the instrumental role of science and technology to the attainment of the President’s vision of an industrialized nation that is also beyond aid.  He pointed out that this will require stronger coordination among the relevant sectors and actors.
Professor Victor Kwame Agyeman, Director-General of CSIR, welcomed the strong support the government has extended to scientists and suggested the introduction of a “Science Day” to commemorate and increase the visibility of the work of scientists in the country.

Sourced from: FARA Africa 

Research Cooperation for Food Security and Nutrition

16 - 17 May 2019. Bonn, Germany. “Shaping the nutritional environment to promote a balanced diet ("Food environments for improved nutrition".

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)  organized a workshop to further specify the topics of its third call for proposals and to clarify the research needs in the area of “food environments for improved nutrition”.

The overall goal is to improve nutrition in the face of the double burden of malnutrition in the partner countries.

The aim of the workshop was to identify research gaps, research areas which are already sufficiently addressed and essential subsets of research questions to be considered.
  • Consumer markets: access to markets in rural and urban regions, the characteristics of the direct sales environment, questions of supply; the increasing importance of supermarkets.
  • Influence of nutrition education on consumer buying decisions and opportunities to optimise both in terms of a healthy diet in the target regions.
  • Influence of the structure and shape of food systems on nutrition.
  • Importance and use of information and communication technology (ICT) in "food environments"; Is there room for target-group-specific improvements using ICT?
  • What are the limits? Under what circumstances do consumer markets fail?
  • Which feasible, practical Government interventions to influence food markets and to improve diets (combat the double burden of malnutrition: overweight and obesity as well as stunting and lack of micronutrients) are already implemented? What are their weaknesses and successes with a view to promoting healthy nutrition?
Download here the Overview of the Agricultural Research Sector in Gemany

Upcoming call for proposals: (July 2019) Food environments for improved nutrition

As the food environment approach has so far predominantly been used in highincome countries, translating the concepts to address the specific needs and challenges in sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia requires a regional adaptation. 

The adaptation needs to reflect the co-existence of formal and informal markets and the dynamic and complex nature of how food is acquired. The goal should be to create food environments that provide nutritious food to people across a variety of urban and rural settings and to facilitate healthy food choices. 

In order to reduce the individual, social and economic burdens caused by all forms of malnutrition, research should address nutrition-sensitive policies, measures and their implementation. To reach this goal and to implement effective research projects, the following key areas need further specification: 
  • Government interventions to influence and improve diets
  • (Non)functionality of consumer markets
  • The existing global and local food systems
  • The role of nutrition education, for example in families, schools, peer groups or media, as well as consumer buying decisions
  • The relevance of information and communication technology Furthermore, your input is required to clarify:
  • Who are the relevant actors and stakeholders that need to be included for linking food systems and food environment research in the BMEL partner countries?
  • What are state-of-the art and important lessons learned that need to be considered in future research projects? 
  • What are the particular constraints, limiting factors and bottlenecks ? 
  • What are research priorities?
Proposals will need:
  • to take a holistic perspective and consider the role of markets, trade, governance and regulating policies for value chains and food systems. They influence the quality of available food and peoples’ diets. 
  • to allow to better understand the socio-cultural and socio-economic dimensions of peoples consumption choices.

Urban Food Systems for Better Diets, Nutrition, and Health

17 May 2019Urban Food Systems for Better Diets, Nutrition, and Health

Click here to watch online.

The explosive growth of cities all over the world has led to major shifts in diets, with serious consequences for the health and nutrition of the urban poor, especially in rapidly urbanizing low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia.

To reverse this trend, we must take into account the realities of urban life and understand what role urban food systems and environments play in shaping food choices. For example, what are the urban poor eating, and where do they source their food—from informal markets, supermarkets, or urban gardens? And how do gender, household structure, time constraints, and personal preferences, among other things, shape these patterns?

Designing effective urban food systems policies for healthier diets and optimal nutrition among the urban poor requires answers to these and many other questions. Building this evidence base—in addition to documenting, evaluating, and learning from current and past initiatives and policies—will enrich the dialogue and enhance our efforts to improve the well-being of poor urban dwellers.

IFPRI speakers presented the Institute’s new research program, Urban Food Systems for Better Diets, Nutrition, and Health. Invited guests shared experiences and provide examples of ongoing initiatives, policies, and partnerships that are successfully tackling issues of urban diets, nutrition, and health among the urban poor.
  • Marie Ruel, Director of Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division, IFPRI
  • Jef Leroy, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI
  • Danielle Resnick, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI
  • James Thurlow, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI
  • Corinna Hawkes, Professor of Food Policy; Director, Centre for Food Policy, City University, London (video message)
  • Aira Htenas, Agriculture Economist, Food and Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank Group

Opportunities of blockchain for agriculture

15 June 2019. Brussels. The latest Brussels Development Briefing n. 55 on Opportunities of blockchain for agriculture was organised by CTA, the European Commission/EuropeAid, the ACP Secretariat, Concord and BMZ.

Twitter: @ctabrussels and @brubriefings #BBBlockchain

Introductory remarks: Patrick Gomes, Secretary-General, ACP Secretariat ; Wim Olthof, Deputy Head of Unit, Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition, Europeaid, European Commission; Andreas Pletziger, Senior Policy Officer, BMZ  (see picture), ; Michael Hailu, Director, CTA

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.
  • Opportunities and challenges for blockchain in the agri-food industry - Mischa Tripoli, Economist, Trade and Markets Division, FAO [presentation|video]
  • Blockchain applications for ACP sustainable agriculture - Chris Addison, Senior Expert, Data4Ag, CTA [presentation|video]
  • Blockchain supporting food systems: private sector perspective - Louis de Bruin, Blockchain Thought Leader Europe, IBM Global Business Services [presentation|video]
  • Blockchain legislation: the case of Uganda - Alice Namuli Blazevic, Expert Blockchain and AI, KATS, Uganda [presentation|video]
  • Critical views on blockchain development: control and sovereignty - Pat Roy Mooney (see picture), Founder, ETC Group
Panel 2: Best practices in blockchain technology adoptionThis 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 [presentation|video]
  • Opportunities of blockchain for famers in Africa - Theo de Jager, President, World Farmer’s Organisation (WFO) [presentation|video]
  • Increasing price transparency through blockchain in the coffee chain in Ethiopia - Sander Govers, Moyee Coffee “FairChain”, Ethiopia [presentation|video]
  • IBISA: Inclusive Blockchain Insurance using Space Assets - Annette Houtekamer, Expert in Inclusive Insurance, Ibisa [presentation|video]
  • Blockchain applications in food safety - Erik Árokszállási, CEO, TE-FOOD International [presentation|video]

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)

  • 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. The Share Fair was a side event to the 8th CGIAR System Council Meeting (SC8). The objective of the Share Fair was to demonstrate how CGIAR is working in an integrated manner to tackle local challenges of global importance with a diverse range of partners and stakeholders.

Social media:
The Share Fair focused on five global challenges:
  1. Living within planetary boundaries
  2. Sustaining food availability
  3. Promoting equality of opportunity
  4. Securing public health
  5. Creating jobs and growth
With over 35 displays, researchers from 11 CGIAR Research Centers present in Ethiopia showcased how they work together in partnership with the Ethiopian government and key partners from the private sector, civil society and funders, to transform local food systems.
Despite the rain, there was an incredible enthusiasm generated because of what was demonstrated. For many members of the systems council it was the first time they saw how centers, CRPs and partners are working in an integrated fashion around the grand challenges in a specific country. Siboniso (Boni) Moyo ILRI Director General’s Representative in Ethiopia
The event gave CGIAR funders a unique chance to learn more about the partnerships and innovations that make CGIAR a unique contributor to development in Ethiopia. Jurgen Voegele, Chair of the CGIAR System Council

Global Challenge 1: Living within planetary boundaries
WLE / @ICRISAT’s simple but powerful flood
capturing weir system in pastoralist Ethiopia,
@IWMI_ Director Gen Claudia Sadoff notes that
@CGIAR’s “Simple proven strategies are
being shared across centers and locations.”
  • 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 multi functional landscapes - WLE, FTA (See picture)
  • 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 and 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 ?
  • Key Achievements from CultiAF Phase 1 - Video 
  • The Insect for Food and Feed Project Dr. Subbi Sevgan, International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology, icipe 
  • Overview of the CultiAF Phase 2 and Project Portfolio
    Ms Mellissa Wood, General Manager for Global Programs, ACIAR
    Dr Renaud DePlaen, Program Leader for Agriculture and Food Security, IDRC