Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, May 2, 2016

Innovative Ways for Sustainable Nutrition, Food Security and Inclusive Agricultural Growth

25 April 2016. Brussels, Belgium. Food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture are among
the EU’s top development priorities for the period of 2015–2020. In this regard, research and innovation are fundamental pieces to achieve food and nutrition security goals.

Objectives
The main purpose of this high-level dialogue was to collectively consider opportunities for innovation in food security, nutrition and agriculture to secure inclusive human development. Four specific panels: resilience, nutrition, research and financing shared insights and enable creative dialogue between participants structured around three
key questions:
  1. Challenges: What has been learned from experience with regard to the challenges to inclusive and equitable development and what do we know about how can they be creatively overcome in the post 2015 era? 
  2. Synergies: How best can synergies and strategic coherence be promoted between various initiatives - such as those show-cased as well as others? 
  3. Partnerships: What are the opportunities for new partnerships to be forged to reverse trends of widening inequalities, accelerate impact and reinforce accountability? 
Background:
Neven Mimica, EC Commissioner (2014-2019)

International Cooperation and Development
The EU launched four major initiatives to support partner countries in food security and agriculture specifically addressing the key areas of innovation, nutrition, resilience and financing:
  1. In 2016, the European Commission launched an innovative process, promoting a "Joint global food insecurity analysis" with the support of key international partners dealing with food and nutrition insecurity, namely FAO and WFP. The joint analysis allowed agreeing upon the following figures regarding the global situation of food insecurity
  2. The EU has designed programmes and new partnerships that specifically address institutional and capacity constraints to effective nutrition governance: The National Information Platforms for Nutrition, the Food Fortification Facility and the FIRST initiative and is supporting global governance initiative for nutrition such as the SUN movement. 
  3. The EU supports global and regional Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) initiatives, including the CGIAR, the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR), and African research organisations supporting the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) process, both through funding and engagement with governance bodies.
  4. The EU acts as a catalyst for private financing through greater use of financial instruments such as guarantees, equity and other risk-sharing instruments for investments. The EU’s new Agriculture Finance Initiative (AgriFI) aims to increase investment in smallholder agriculture and agribusiness. Private sector engagement should result in improving the inclusiveness and sustainability of value chains in agriculture, and food security for the particular benefit of farmers currently left behind by economic opportunities.  

Download the Concept note in PDF format
Download the Agenda in PDF format


Panel members: Part 1 :
  • David Nabarro – UNSG Special Adviser on 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development introducing the Nutrition Discussion 
  • Monique Pariat - Director-General, EC Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection 
  • Tom Arnold – Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Coordinator 
  • Djimé Adoum - Executive Secretary, CILSS 

Part 2 :
  • Rudolf Strohmeier - Deputy Director-General, EC Directorate-General for Research and Innovation 
  • María de los Ángeles Benítez Salas - Deputy Director-General, EC DirectorateGeneral for Agriculture and Rural Development 
  • Charles Brand – Executive Vice President Product Management & Commercial Operations, Tetra Pak  Didier Hoffschir – Scientific director, Ministry of Superior Education and Research, France 
  • Patrick Caron – President of the UN High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition introducing the Research Discussion 
  • Monty Jones – Minister of Agriculture of Sierra Leone 

Parallel session 2
Addressing governance and accountability gap in nutrition 
  • Tom Arnold – Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Coordinator Panel members: 
  • Mike Penrose – CEO of Action Against Hunger, France 
  • Robinah Mulenga Kwofie - Executive Director, National Food and Nutrition Commission, Zambia 
  • Judith Kimiywe - Associate Professor, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, Kenyatta University 
  • Stineke Oenema – Coordinator of UN Standing Committee on Nutrition 
  • Jean-Pierre Halkin – Head of Unit for Rural Development, Food and Nutrition Security - EuropeAid
Other parallel sessions:
Session 3: Connecting innovation and research to development 
  • Gerda Verburg - Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the FAO and future Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Coordinator Panel members: 
  • Mamadou Cissokho – Honorary Chairman of the "West African Network of Farmers Organisations" 
  • John Bell - Director Sustainable Bioeconomy, Director-General for Research and Innovation 
  • Albert Schram - Vice Chancellor of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology 
  • Gerd Fleischer - Head of the Agricultural Innovation, Sustainability Standards' section, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) 
  • Jean-Luc François - Head of the Agriculture, Rural Development and Biodiversity Division, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) 
  • Monty Jones – Minister of Agriculture of Sierra Leone
Session 4: Promoting innovative financing for agriculture 
  • Thomas Duve – Director KfW Bankengruppe Panel members: 
  • Charles Brand – Executive Vice President Product Management & Commercial Operations, Tetra Pak 
  • Roberto Ridolfi – Director for Sustainable Growth and Development, EC Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development 
  • Marie Konate - Côte d'Ivoire Entrepreneur and African Business Woman of the year 
  • Ishmael Sunga – CEO of Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions 
  • Jérôme Bertrand-Hardy - Deputy Director of operations, Proparco 

Food Tank’s second annual summit

20-21 April 2016. Washington DC. This year’s Food Tank Summit brought together more than 70+ expert speakers who are among the top leaders across all sectors of the food industry, including business, government, and elected officials; nonprofit groups; farmers’ organizations; unions; funders; chefs; and more. 

Researchers, farmers, chefs, policy makers, government officials, and students came together for interactive panels on topics that included:
  • Uncommon Collaborations, 
  • Improving Nutrient Density, 
  • Protein for the Planet, 
  • Investing in the Food Movement, 
  • Legislating Change in Agriculture, 
  • Chefs Leading the Food Movement, 
  • Innovating and Adapting to a Changing Food System, 
  • Food Security and Conflict, among other topics. 
The entire two-day event was live streamed on www.FoodTank.com.
Download Program

Innovative approaches of food processing in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia

14-15 April 2016. Bonn, Germany. The German Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and The Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) are planning to launch a call (June 2016) on:

“Innovative approaches of food processing in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia to improve nutrition and to reduce food losses in quality and quantity”


For this reason the BLE organised an international expert workshop to identify the actual research needs and to evaluate the state of the art in this field.

Aims of the workshop
The German Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) promotes the development of “Research Cooperation for Food Security and Nutrition” with agricultural and nutritional research institutions in partner countries and in Germany. Programme administrator is the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE). The objective of this funding programme is to build long lasting international research partnerships between German and respective partner countries' research organizations. The funded research seeks to contribute to innovative and reasonable approaches, adapted to the requirements of the partner
countries, to improve food security and nutrition.

In preparation for the upcoming call under this programme, the BLE organized a workshop to clarify the research needs in the areas of food processing, preservation, packaging, and distribution (marketing, transport). The overall goal is to improve nutrition, reduce seasonal food insecurity as well as food and nutrient losses and further develop supply chains in the partner countries.

Key issues that required clarification were:

  • Who are the actors working in the field of food processing, preservation, packaging and distribution? What is the state of the art regarding research in this area?
  • What are the restrictions and limiting factors and bottle necks for developing countries?
  • What are the research priorities?

Meeting of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA)

13-15 April 2016. Paris. Some 150 participants attended the Restricted Meeting of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA).

It brought together representatives of Sahelian and West African governments, intergovernmental organisations, agricultural producers, civil society and private sector organisations, technical and financial partners, regional and international banks and NGOs. They validated the final results of the 2015-16 agro-pastoral campaign and made recommendations on how to protect the most vulnerable populations.

The RPCA also hosted a session of the Senior Experts Group of the Global Alliance for Resilience (SEG-AGIR) that took stock of progress made in defining National Resilience Priorities (NRP) process. Focal points in charge of the resilience pillars of Sahel strategies participated in the debate.

Summary of Conclusions | Agenda | Recommendations | Statements

Bioeconomy Stakeholder Conference 2016

12 - 13 April 2016. Rabo Nederland, Utrecht, the Netherlands.  The fourth BioEconomy Stakeholders’ Conference, was held under the auspices of the Dutch EU Presidency. This high – level European meeting was co-organised by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and by the European Commission. The conference was a part of the European Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan, and serves as an important input to the future orientation of the European Bioeconomy Strategy.

At this two-day conference the results of previous high-level events, in particular the SCAR Foresight Conference, the Bioeconomy Investment Summit and the Global Bioeconomy Summit, converged in a ‘Stakeholders’ Manifesto for the Bioeconomy in Europe’.

The development of the Bioeconomy has a close link to the European discussion about circular economy. The European Commission published the Circular Package last December. The link between the Circular Package and the Bioeconomy will be discussed at the agricultural council on 15 May and further steps will be taken in the environmental council.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Food Safety and Aflatoxins in Africa

12 April 2016. Accra, Ghana. Together with the African Unions’s Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition hosted a high-level roundtable meeting to launch the Panel’s new brief on food safety and to highlight the impact of aflatoxins on healthy diets and nutrition. This meeting was organised alongside the 12th Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme Partnership Platform meeting in Accra, Ghana.

In his opening remarks, H.E. John Kufuor, Former President of the Republic of Ghana, called for collective action to address the challenges presented by aflatoxins and contaminated foods. He emphasised the far-reaching consequences of unsafe foods on trade and livelihoods, particularly for the poor. He urged leaders to promote appropriate policies and incentives that would lead to the reduction of food-borne threats to nutrition and health.

Professor Sandy Thomas, Director of Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition launched the Panel’s new policy brief: "Assuring Safe Food Systems: Policy Options for a Healthier Food Supply". It stresses the importance of taking a systems approach to tackling the threats posed by contaminated food. Each year, around 420,000 people die as a result of unsafe food, the most vulnerable being children under 5. To ensure access for all to safe, healthy food, Professor Thomas highlighted the need for integrated policy action throughout the food chain, from production and processing to trade and consumption (to view Prof. Thomas’s presentation, please click here).

Professor Monty Jones, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security of Sierra Leone, highlighted the importance of agriculture and nutrition for development in Africa, and called for African countries to lead by example to address this very critical issue.

Dr Janet Edeme, Acting Director, Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission moderated a rich discussion of the food safety challenge in Africa and its threat to the achievement of the Malabo Declaration. Engaged participants from the FAO, USAID, Kenya’s Ministry of Health, Tanzania’s Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives, and others affirmed their commitment to tackling food safety and aflatoxin threats through the use of smart policy interventions, community engagement and empowerment, new technology, and investment.

On behalf of H.E. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture for the African Union Commission, Dr Edeme then closed the meeting. She applauded partners committed to research and investment in this area but called for strengthened commitments and further action to ensure that individuals, communities, and nations can achieve their full potential by guaranteeing the rights of all humans, especially children and women, to aflatoxin safe food.


Download a copy of the Global Panel’s new food safety brief
Photo gallery:
Image: CAADP

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

12th CAADP Partnership Platform Meeting Meeting

12-15 April 2016. Accra, Ghana. The 12th CAADP Partnership Platform Meeting is organised under the theme “Innovative Financing and Renewed Partnerships to accelerate CAADP Implementation”.

Its objective is to discuss on the ways of accelerating the CAADP implementation to transform African agriculture in the face of emerging trends that have a direct bearing on our abilities to deliver results and impact. The 12th CAADP PP comes 20 months after the Malabo declaration and the overriding assumption for this year’s event is that the issues that are really key in transforming agriculture are better known and understood today because they have been extensively reviewed by the previous CAADP PPs.

The theme reflects the urgency being placed on implementation by the African Union and its members. The PP meeting will serve as an important platform to take stock of success, how best this can be replicated and how existing gaps in the continent’s capabilities to attain the goals and targets as set in the Malabo Declaration can be filled. The PP meeting will generate a number of key actionable activities that will have to be addressed by AUC and NEPAD Agency.

H. E. Fmr Pres. Of Nigeria, 
Olusegun Obasanjo launching
the Africa Food Prize
Sub-themes:
  1. Sub-theme 1: Funding the African Agricultural Investment to attain Malabo commitments
  2. Sub-theme 2: Agricultural Finance Landscape and Policy Environment
  3. Sub-theme 3: Inclusive Access to Finance to empower women and Youth
  4. Sub-theme 4: Innovative Delivery of Financial Services
  5. Sub-theme 5: Value Chain Finance
  6. Sub-theme 6: Agriculture and Food Insecurity Risk Management
  7. Sub-theme 7: Renewing Partnership for Accelerated Development
Click here to download the meeting brief + Meeting brief in French:
FARA will be promoting the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A) at the PP meeting and also provide information towards its implementation and that of Science Technonolgy and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) 2024. More so, a side event on the Operationalization of S3A will hold on the 11th of April.

The strategic thrusts of the S3A in the short to medium term are; the implementation of CAADP; increase domestic public and private sector investment; creating the enabling environment for sustainable application of science for agriculture; and to double current level of Agricultural Total Factor Productivity (ATFP) by 2025 through application of science for agriculture. In the medium to long-term, the science agenda is to build systemic science capacity at national and regional levels, capable of addressing evolving needs for farmers, producers, entrepreneurs and consumers, especially given strategic and foresight issues such as climate change and urbanization.

Published on 4 Apr 2016. Video interview with Dr. Janet Edeme, Acting Director, DREA, African Union Commission.

African Sustainability Agriculture Summit 2016


6 - 7 April 2016. Johannesburg, South Africa. The African Sustainable Agriculture Summit 2016 is a pan-African platform tailored to focus on driving sustainability and profit through infrastructure development, value chain finance and technological innovation in African agriculture.

Extract of the programme:
Panel discussion: Tackling infrastructure challenges for a sustainable future: policies, droughts, finance, import and export pitfalls and local production capacity

Panellists:

  •  Jacqueline Mkindi, Board Member and Executive Director, Horticultural Association and Agricultural Council of Tanzania. Tanzania 
  • Gerald Masila, Executive Director, East African Grain Council (EAGC). Kenya 
  • Dr. Kala Fleming, Water, Agriculture & Healthcare Manager, IBM Research – Africa. Kenya
Panel discussion: Scaling up the adoption of safe and sustainable farming through innovative public-private financing structures – opportunities and pitfalls Moderator: Lucy Muchoki, Chief Executive Officer, Pan African Agribusiness and Agro Industry Consortium (PANAAC). Kenya

Panellists
  • Dr. Theo De Jager, President, Pan African Farmers Organisation (PAFO). South Africa 
  • Dr. Jemina K. Moeng, Director: Small Holder Development - Directorate: Small Holder Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the Republic of South Africa. South Africa
  • Abrie Rautenbach, Head of Agriculture Africa, Standard Bank Group. South Africa
Renewable water saving and energy solutions – from scarcity to sustainability through technological innovation Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa – FARA. Ghana

Is Africa ready for predictive technology in agriculture – transforming the future of agriculture through data analytics Dr. Kala Fleming, Water, Agriculture & Healthcare Manager, IBM Research – Africa. Kenya

Africa Biogas and Clean Cooking Conference

5 - 7 April 2016. Addis Ababa. Ethiopia. The Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP), financially supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been implementing national biogas programmes in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burkina Faso since 2009.

Biogas activities have been present in Rwanda, Cameroon and Benin, and more recently, biogas projects have kicked-off in Zimbabwe and Zambia. ABPP supported the installation of nearly 60,000 biodigesters.

A growing number of enterprises are delivering quality products and services to meet the increasing demand for sustainable biogas solutions; national markets are emerging. There is a lot to share and to learn from these developments. Against this background, Hivos, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity in Ethiopia are organising, in cooperation with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The conference had three specific objectives:
  1. To share knowledge on maximising the benefits of biodigesters (use of biogas and application of bioslurry), and other clean cooking solutions;
  2. To offer opportunities to become involved in market development programmes as a policy maker, donor organisation or investor;
  3. To improve implementation practice and speeding up market and sector development for biodigesters and other clean cooking solutions.
A total of two hundred persons participated. The conference included one day of field visits to biodigester households, construction companies, bioslurry application sites, improved cook stoves producers and appliance producers.
For a flyer about the event, click here.

Accompagner l'intensification écologique : le choix de l’UGCPA/BM au Burkina Faso

11 avril 2016. Accompagner l'intensification écologique : le choix de l’UGCPA/BM au Burkina Faso

Ce nouveau Champs d’acteurs relate une expérience-pilote mise en oeuvre par l’Union des groupements pour la commercialisation des produits agricoles de la Boucle du Mouhoun (UGCPA/BM) pour accompagner ses membres vers l’intensification écologique. 

Issu d’une collaboration entre l’UGCPA/BM, le Cirad, Jade Productions et FARM, ce document expose les réalités de l’intensification écologique au Burkina Faso et nourrit le débat sur les outils de communication que les organisations de producteurs peuvent utiliser pour conduire le changement chez les agriculteurs.

Dans l’ouest du Burkina Faso, l’Union des groupements pour la commercialisation des produits agricoles de la Boucle du Mouhoun (UGCPA/BM) s’interroge sur la durabilité des pratiques agricoles de ses membres. On y voit trois raisons : 
  1. le constat de dégradations environnementales qui menacent la production, 
  2. les incitations de marché (par exemple avec le développement de l’agriculture biologique) 
  3. ou encore les suggestions de ses partenaires techniques et financiers à anticiper des problèmes de production à moyen ou long terme. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

EU and FAO are partnering for sustainable rural development and global food and nutrition security

8 April 2016EU and FAO are partnering for sustainable rural development and global food and nutrition security. The main areas of cooperation are:

Also Available in: French
  • Global Governance for Food and nutrition security for sustainable and inclusive economic growth;
  • Agriculture combined with social protection and resilience-building as engine for employment and growth in rural areas, and a contribution to address the root causes of migration;
  • Climate-smart agriculture, forestry and fisheries for the sustainable management of natural resources and conservation of biodiversity;
  • Food safety and reduction of food waste in the context of a circular economy;
  • Agricultural research and innovation at the service of sustainable rural and agri-business development;
  • Statistical cooperation and information exchange for sound policies
Extract: 
Building capacity for agricultural innovation in the tropics Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS) is a partnership between FAO and AGRINATURAEEIG, benefiting from EU financial support. 
  • CDAIS works in support of the Tropical Agriculture Platform set up in 2012 at the initiative of the G20 to promote agricultural innovation in tropical countries, with a particular focus on small- and medium-scale producers and enterprises in the agribusiness sector. 
  • It aims to establish a mechanism that promotes, coordinates and evaluates capacity development activities to strengthen demand-oriented agricultural innovation systems for the purpose of driving sustainable agricultural growth. 
  • CDAIS is helping tropical countries create more productive and sustainable agricultural sectors by promoting the development of national capacities in agricultural innovation. Activities are under way in Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Rwanda. 
  • In these countries, key partners from public institutions, the private sector, farmers’ organizations and civil society are working together to formulate national capacity development plans based on the needs of small-scale farmers, agri-businesses and consumers.

Stakeholder Forum to implement the Africa‐EU R&I Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture


5-6 April 2016. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Bureau of the Africa‐EU High Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation (HLPD Bureau on STI) in collaboration with a group of Africa‐EU STI projects and initiatives in support of this policy dialogue organised a stakeholder forum in Addis Ababa, in association with the Senior Officials' meeting of the HLPD and the College‐to‐College meeting on 7 April 2016, in order to discuss the implementation of the Africa‐EU Research and Innovation (R and I) Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA).

In 2014 the HLPD Bureau commissioned a balanced group of African and European experts to prepare an input to a roadmap towards this Africa‐EU R and I Partnership on FNSSA, with mutual priorities in the FNSSA domain for collaborative research and innovation, taking the whole value chain into consideration. The completed roadmap has now been placed before the Senior Officials for endorsement.

Objectives
  • Foster the engagement of actors across the whole FNSSA value chain, and essential for
  • innovations: government, industry, civil society and research organisations.
  • Present the short‐ to medium‐ term investments made towards the implementation of the
  • Africa‐EU R&I Partnership on FNSSA.
  • Presentation by prof. Linus Opara
  • Explore concrete long‐term options for the implementation of the Africa‐EU R&I Partnership on FNSSA.
Outputs and outcomes
  • Stimulating engagement of existing and new national, regional, philanthropic and private funders with their programmes/schemes for supporting the Africa‐EU R&I Partnership on FNSSA.
  • Developing a concrete approach for a long‐term collaboration platform including all relevant actors and existing initiatives along the whole FNSSA value chain from knowledge to innovations.
  • Gaining further stakeholder recommendations on modalities like organisational structure,
  • funding and communication for the implementation of the R&I Partnership on FNSSA for
  • particular attention of funding institutions and policy makers.
  • Initiating a discourse on Common research agendas
Extract of the programme:
Harnessing local and international partnerships for research and capacity development African Union Commission (AUC) | by Mr Prof. Umezuruike Linus Opara

Background information
Co-organising Projects:
Related:
7 April 2016. Addis Ababa. The roadmap was endorsed at the highest level by both commissions at their yearly (8th) College to College meeting.

Workshop on 3rd Call for Proposals Applied Research Fund (ARF)

7 April 2016. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The third Call for Proposal of the Applied Research Fund (ARF) is open for applications, and a workshop on ARF took place in Global Hotel, Addis Ababa.

The workshop was organized by Food and Business Knowledge Platform, in collaboration with AgriProFocus Ethiopia.

More than 20 participants from organizations and institutions such as Addis Ababa University, Samara University, Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), Best Practice Association, Mercy Corps, Soil and More, Grain Health, and so on attended the workshop.

Mr. Frans Verberne, from Food and Business Knowledge Platform, gave a detail presentation about ARF, its objective and application process. He also responded several questions from the participants.

In this call, fifteen projects can be granted. ARF aims at promoting research supported innovations that are readily applicable and contribute to the enhancement of sustainable food security for the most vulnerable populations in the fifteen partner countries of Dutch development cooperation, which Ethiopia is one of them.

For more information about the Call, deadlines and application criteria, please visit HERE.

[presentation of Frans Verberne is forthcoming]

Related:
Some Examples of Best Practices by Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia Book 1
Hailu Araya, Yohannes Gebremichael & Sue Edwards
© The Church of Sweden, BPA and ISD, 2012, 117 pages
Published by: Best Practice Association (BPA) and Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
This publication is a first collection of “stories of change” brought about by different actors, mostly farmers, supported by grassroots- based organizations and their friends both within and outside of Ethiopia.

© The Church of Sweden, BPA and ISD, 2015, 81 pages
Published by: Best Practice Association (BPA) and Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
This publication is the second edition on the “stories of change at the grass-root” brought about through the contribution of different actors, mostly farmers. 

Research and Development (R&D) organizations can also make use of the information in formulating agricultural research programs, development strategies and policies required to ensure sustainable development.



Friday, April 8, 2016

PAEPARD side event at GCARD 3

Participants are adressed by Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, Chief Executive, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) at the Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) campus for the start of plenary
5-8 April 2016. Johannesburg, South Africa. PAEPARD organised a side event at the Third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3) Global Event.

CGIAR, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Agricultural Research Council
of South Africa hosted the event. The overall title of GCARD3 was "No One Left Behind: Agri–food Innovation and Research for a Sustainable World".  

Some 500 GCARD3 delegates participated in this event from 83 countries.

Mark Holderness, Executive Secretary, GFAR, 

noted that the Conference has shaped a package 

of tangible actions that “we can proudly take 

to the SDGs review process.”
This event represents the culmination of a two-year regional and national consultation process, which aims to realign research priorities with countries' development needs and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • One outcome of this consultation process is the development of the CGIAR Consortium's Strategic Results Framework. 
  • The event brought together stakeholders to confirm commitments to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to discuss emerging applications in agri-food research and innovation. 
  • The event  resulted in an understanding of how to achieve sustainable agricultural development in which no one is left behind. 
The Program is based on five key themes which pick up on many issues raised at the national and regional GCARD3 meetings through 2015 and 2016:
  1. Scaling up: from research to impact; 
  2. Demonstrating results and attracting investment; 
  3. Keeping science relevant and future-focused;
  4. Sustaining the business of farming, and
  5. Ensuring better rural futures
Discussions under the first theme were chaired by Patrick Caron, French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and co-chaired by Judith Francis, Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA). These addressed how to scale up research through improved linkages and learning across the local, national, regional and global levels. Presentations highlighted strategies for achieving scale in research for impact drawing on theories, case studies and tools to facilitate and evaluate impact.

The PAEPARD boot
The second theme was chaired by Thomas Price, GFAR and co-chaired by Dhanush Dinesh, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and focused on experiences from different organizations involved in agricultural research and innovation in showcasing their research results and demonstrating impact.

Under the third theme, which was chaired by Aissétou Yayé, African Network for Agriculture,
Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE), and co-chaired by Wayne Powell and Shoba Sivasankar, CGIAR, the discussions highlighted challenges, perspectives, strategies, solutions and collective actions needed to scale-out individual and institutional capacity development.

The fourth theme, chaired by Jethro Greene, Caribbean Farmers’ Network (CaFAN) and co-chaired by Pamella Thomas, CaFAN, and Naledi Magowe, Brastorne Enterprises, explored how agri-food research and innovation partners across the spectrum of research, education, extension and business
can support each link in the value chain.

Under the fifth theme, which was chaired by Iman El-Kaffass, Independent Consultant, and co-chaired by Courtney Paisley, YPARD, the discussions addressed grassroots and regional perspectives in ensuring better rural futures, with a focus on: milestones, outputs and outcomes; and partnerships and resources needed towards collective action.

On the last day of the Conference, participants adopted the GCARD3 Outcomes Statement, based on key messages and commitments to collective action agreed during the thematic discussions. 

Rémi Kahane (PAEPARD)
Containing 17 collective actions, the Outcomes Statement provides the basis for further action by all GCARD stakeholders in developing their agri-food research and innovations programs and activities to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda). 

Specific commitments include: 
  • creating 1,000 additional PhD positions per year in “next-generation, future-relevant agricultural research”; 
  • promoting higher-education reform across 100 universities in five continents, combining multi-disciplinary training in agriculture-related sciences with skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, interpersonal relations and team building; 
  • developing “culture of impact”; creating a platform to harmonize agriculture-related indicators linked to the SDGs; 
  • clustering smallholder farmers to participate more effectively in research and development, and access finance and markets; and establishing foresight platforms to bring together farmers’ organizations in the five regions with research and innovation actors from around the world.
A major outcome of meeting was the GCARD3 Pledge to Sustainable Development. Like the GCARD1 Road Map, it will provide a touchstone for partners across public, private, and civil society sectors in developing their agri-food research and innovations programs and activities to 2030.

The summary of this meeting is now available in PDF format at  and in HTML format 

Side event by PAEPARD
8 April 2016. Side event. The African-European multi-stakeholder demand-driven process in agricultural research for development: Case studies from PAEPARD.
Objectives:
  • Profile PAEPARD-supervised projects from the Users Led Process (ULP), the competitive research funds (CRF) and the incentive funds (IF) instruments, and the communication and advocacy strategy (C&A), 
  • Advocate for multi-stakeholder partnership funding by using lessons drawn from PAEPARD, 
  • Raise the visibility of PAEPARD, the EC and all PAEPARD partners during CGARD3.
Programme:
  • Welcome remarks and Side Event introduction, Yemi Akimbamidjo, FARA 
  • Originality and overview of the main activities of PAEPARD II ; Jonas Mugabe and Remi Kahane, FARA and and Agrinatura/Cirad 
  • Panel discussion on the brokerage role for initiating and boosting ARD between Africa and Europe ; Agrinatura, EAFF, FANRPAN, Nasfam 
  • Key lessons learned and messages for donors ; FARA and Agrinatura 
Some comments of the panelists:
The Users' led process (ULP) came to give a direction to PAEPARD after the consultations which were just meetings without much results. Didier Pillot - Agrinatura 
PAEPARD has leveraged the leadership of farmers to sit with research as equal partners and to define a common research agenda based on ours needs. Philip Kiriro - EAFF
PAEPARD a permis aux non-chercheurs de s’approprier le processus de RAD et d’engager les differents acteurs dans un dialogue. Elisabeth Atangana - PROPAC
A lot of lessons on capacity needs have come out from PAEPARD. My hope is that those lessons will influence the university curriculum which should be developed from the needs of the users. Moses Osiru - RUFORUM
PAEPARD is the project that is doing what we have trying to move to: demand driven research by promoting the concept of ULP. It is an applied project of demand driven research. Also PAEPARD has demystified research by integrating the knowledge of users. In the past the knowledge was the monopoly of scientists ignoring the indigenous knowledge which PAEPARD has integrated in the ULP. Irene Frempong - FARA


Related:
Published on 6 Apr 2016. What is #GCARD3, how did we get here, and where are we going?


Published on 9 Apr 2016 A look behind the social reporting and social media bootcamp project at #GCARD3.

 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

How Digital Finance is Transforming Agriculture

6 April 2016This report offers new and interesting insights on the role that digital finance can play in providing a more cost-effective and secure method for financial transactions in the agricultural sector, particularly for rural smallholder farms.

In doing so, it offers a three-step approach for replacing cash payments being made by large buyers (e.g. lead firms, cooperatives) to smallholder farmers, with mobile payments:
  • Cash usage behavioural research (CUBeR)
  • Strategic alliance formation (StAF)
  • Embedding mobile finance (EMoFi) into the value chain knowledge exchange and other interventions.
Complementing these recommendations, the initiatives profiled in this report offer compelling cases of how three different organisations approached the agri-digital finance opportunity and the solutions they crafted to successfully reach smallholder farmers:
  • smartMoney in Uganda
  • nwK agri-services in Zambia
  • rice mobile finance (riMFin) in Ghana
Increasing access to agri-digital finance not only creates new market opportunities for business, but also provides a vital service to smallholder farmers. This report highlights how digital finance can bring more financial service options to the smallholder farmers, thus providing rural farmers with increased access to finance and enhanced opportunities for value creation.

Monday, April 4, 2016

EU preparing 4 EU Africa High level dialogue on Sci & technology

4 April 2016. Addis Abeba. Preparatory meeting between AUC and AU Member States (closed meeting).

  • Opening remarks by the African Union Commission, H.E. Martial De-Paul Ikounga, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology
  • Opening by the AU and EU Co-Chairs, AU co-chair Wolfgang Burtscher, Deputy Director-General; DG Research and Innovation European Commission 

Keynote speeches: ‘The Sustainable Development Goals' and the role of international cooperation in science, technology and innovation

  • Kasirim Nwuke, Chief New Technologies and Innovation, Special Initiatives Division United Nations Economic Commission for Africa 
  • Aldrik Gierveld Deputy Director General Agro and Nature, Netherlands, Ministry of Economic Affairs (EU Presidency) 

The Joint Africa EU Strategy (JAES) and EU-Africa cooperation on STI: Roberto Ridolfi, Director
Sustainable Growth and Development, DG International Cooperation and Development, European Commission

The roadmap towards an EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture'. Presentation on the thematic pillars: (a) Sustainable Intensification ; (b) Nutrition ; (c) Trade ; (d) Cross-cutting.

  • Irene Annor-Frempong, Director, Research and Innovation FARA-Ghana 
  • Rob Peters, Head of Unit Research and Innovation, DG Agriculture and Rural Development European Commission

Presentation on implementation: (a) Short-to-medium term actions ; (b) Long-term model of implementation ; (c) Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Phillipe Mawoko, Ag Director African Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation, African Union Commission
  • Cristina Russo, Director International Cooperation , DG Research and Innovation
    European Commission
To close the meeting the Delegations indicated how they intend to commit to the implementation of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable
Agriculture.

Workshop on the EC Framework Conditions Food and Nutrition Security

30-31 March 2016. Montpellier: Workshop on the Framework Conditions to foster Europe-Africa collaborations in Science, Technology and Innovation for Food and Nutrition Security. This workshop was organised by the EU funded CAASTNet+ project.

It has been timed after a survey on the role of research in Food and Nutrition Security (FNS), which involved various research actors or beneficiaries, from the private and public sectors, in Burkina Faso, Kenya, and Senegal.

The objective of this workshop was to make suggestions and recommend practical designs aimed at improving the level of international collaboration between Europe and Africa in ST&I, by merging the results of the survey on framework conditions (FWC) and practical recommendations to feed the HLPD.

Transforming Potato Value Chains for Improved Food Security and Agri-businesses

31 March, 2016. KALRO HQ-LORESHO. The main objectives of this conference were to showcase business opportunities for the investors and facilitate business to business linkages, to share information on potato value chain issues, technologies and innovations, to enable exhibitors in the sub-sector to display their products and services.

The thematic areas for the conference under which action plans were discussed are:
  1. Production-How do we improve production? (suitable fertilizer, small-scale mechanization, good agricultural practices etc)
  2. Seed systems and variety development-How do we improve production and distribution of high quality seed potato and new varieties?
  3. Marketing and processing- How do we improve potato marketing and processing? (post-harvest handling, storage, consumption, linkages, contract farming etc)
  4. Policy and regulatory framework- How can the regulation on 50 kg packing bag be implemented? How do we go about other regulations?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Engaging the health and nutrition sectors in aflatoxin control in Africa

23 - 24 March 2016. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A two-day workshop under the theme “Mitigating the Health and Nutrition Impacts of Aflatoxins in Africa through Uncommon Partnerships” was held at the African Union Commission (AUC).

The workshop brought together stakeholders from the health and nutrition sectors; including representatives from member states, Partnership for Aflatoxin control in Africa (PACA), AMERF Health Africa, African union Commission (AUC) and, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) also recognizing the need for engagement with other sectors affected by Aflatoxins in order to identify synergies.

The objective of the workshop was to foster and reinforce multi-sectorial engagements for Aflatoxin control, particularly addressing health and nutritional hazards in Africa. The workshop is expected to increase awareness among health and nutrition professionals on the burden of Aflatoxins in Africa.

During the opening session Dr. Janet Edeme, Ag. Director of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the AUC emphasized that Aflatoxins pause a threat to food security health and natural trade as well as broad developmental efforts. She noted that the impact of Aflatoxins weigh heavily on human health and the evidence is widely spread on the continent as seen on the outbreak acute Aflatoxins recorded in Kenya and the chronic exposure data
in other countries like Benin, Ghana, Cameron, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Gambia and Uganda. This exposure cases have been linked to nutrition consumption of law grade Aflatoxins contaminated food stuffs.

She further added that the Aflatoxins are ravaging the continent and our women who are most vulnerable tend to be the most affected, as children are exposed while carried in the womb and the maternal diets. It also continues through their
weaning diets which increases their chance of being malnourished and developing anemia or having impaired growth.

Dr. Amare Ayalew, Program Manager of Partnership for Aflatoxin control in Africa (PACA-AUC) stated that that Africa loses trade due to Aflatoxins which also undermine food security both in terms of the quantum of food rendered unfit and the low-grade contaminated food regularly consumed by millions of Africans. He underscored the bottom line to all these problems is the adverse health effects of Aflatoxins.

He further elaborated that recommendations that emerge from this workshop will forge a way for the
whole continent to mitigate the health impacts of Aflatoxins. Therefore, he urged to focus more on the solutions and actions that are necessary to jointly combat the problem.

Dr. Joachim Osur, Director for Regional programs and field officer of Amerf Health state in his remarks stated that as an organization they recognize that by eliminating Aflatoxin contamination they will not only be improving supply of plant foods such as maize and groundnuts but also safer animal foods leading to healthier and productive livestock. This will save governments huge amounts of funds currently being used to treat preventable illnesses. He stressed that tackling Aflatoxin is therefore not just a nutritional and health issue but a great development initiative that will help achieve a number of SDGs.

Speaking at the workshop Prof. J. David Miller professor and NSERC Research chair of Carleton
University gave a presentation on a World Health Organization report on mycotoxin control in low and middle income countries. He focused on child health and pleaded for action for the “benefit of our children”. He further discussed the IARC working group report which has been distributed to 30,000 people worldwide and is a basis for improved health in developing countries with a focus on human exposure to Aflatoxins and fumonisions.

During the press conference that was held on engaging the Health and Nutrition Sectors in Aflatoxin Control in Africa Dr. Edeme of the AUC highlighted that more than 5 billion people in developing countries are chronically exposed by Aflatoxins.

Dr. Joachim Osur, Director for Regional programs and field officer of Amerf Health Africa further added that the problem is at a community level and that partnering is done with communities to improve their health. He expressed that until the district health system is able to come up with an intervention that can be implemented, this will continue to be seen as a problem.

Mr. Greg Garrett, Director of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) stated that 85 countries have mandated some kind of grain fortification and the central vitamins and minerals, and many of those are in Africa. However the bad news is some 25% of crops worldwide are infected with mycotoxin and what needs to be done is work with the PACA, the African Union and the government.

Ms. Martha Byanyima, lead expert of sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Programme of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) reinstated that COMESA is elaborating on action plan where they can take solutions and actions to member states and coordinate collective actions to ensure safe nutritious supplies.

The following workshop materials are available:
  • Two Page Description of the workshop on “Engaging the Health and Nutrition Sectors in Aflatoxin Control in Africa”
  • Program of the workshop on “Engaging the Health and Nutrition Sectors in Aflatoxin Control in Africa”
  • Concept Note for the workshop on “Engaging the Health and Nutrition Sectors in Aflatoxin Control in Africa”
  • Brief bios of speakers and presenters at the workshop on “Engaging the Health and Nutrition Sectors in Aflatoxin Control in Africa”
The following workshop presentations are available for download:

Extract from the programme
Findings of the report on Mycotoxin Control in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.
Prof. David Miller (Carleton University, Canada) Chair of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Working Group


Related PAEPARD blog post
17 February 2016. Action against widespread mycotoxin contamination

Video interview with Prof. David Miller (Carleton University, Canada) Chair of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Working Group
Findings of the report on Mycotoxin Control in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

Prof. David Miller gave in this interview following comments: It is essential

  • to assess the exposure to mycotoxins
  • to develop cheaper bio modeling techniques
  • to develop specific knowledge to better message and translate complex information [related to mycotoxin contamination]
  • European researchers have made notable contributions to bio monitoring in Africa
  • There needs to be a greater European recognition of better functioning and cooperation of our respective skills 
  • The European Union needs to think about how to work better together more critically

Monday, March 21, 2016

African Transformation Forum

14 - 16 March 2016. Kigali, Rwanda. Stakeholder consultation workshop on Africa's Agriculture Transformation.

The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, convened the first African Transformation Forum (ATF).
  1. The first objective of the ATF was to facilitate knowledge sharing and peer learning across global and African luminaries from the public and private sectors. These participants contributed their rich insights, and uncover challenges and solutions for galvanizing economic transformation in Africa. The discussions fell into two categories: i) the coordinated development and implementation of national development plans; and ii) catalyzing transformation within critical sectors, notably: extractives; light manufacturing; agriculture; skills development; entrepreneurship; financial inclusion; infrastructure; and regional integration.
  2. The second objective of the ATF was to launch the Coalition for Transformation in Africa – a new leadership network organized in chapters, each addressing a specific thematic area. These chapters – and the policy makers, business leaders and development partners who constitute their membership – examined and developed implementable solutions for development. 
ACET wserved as the Secretariat for the Coalition, building consensus, coordinating activities and assisting the membership in securing funding to support their agreed initiatives. The chapters also report their progress at subsequent African Transformation Forums.

This part introduced perhaps the most critical component in the African economic transformative process – agriculture and the role it must play in delivering this. It argues that while raising the continent’s low productivity levels is essential, this is a more complex matter than has often been projected.

Issues:
  • How can communal land tenure systems be reformed?
  • How to incentivize educated youth to go into agriculture?
  • What roles should the state play?
  • What is the scope of public-private collaboration?
  • What should be the role of external actors, including donors?