Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, July 22, 2019

Agroecological and other innovative approaches

Panel:
  • Chaired by Ambassador Mario Arvelo, Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). 
  • opening address by FAO’s Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department (AG) Assistant Director-General, Bukar Tijani.
  • Introduction to the HLPE Report Patrick Caron, HLPE Steering Committee Chair 
  • Presentation of the content and conclusions of the HLPE Report Main findings – Fergus Sinclair, HLPE Project Team Leader
Report:
HLPE. 2019. Agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems thatenhance food security and nutrition. A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome. 163 pages
  • In this report, the HLPE explores the nature and potential contributions of agroecological and other innovative approaches to formulating transitions towards sustainable food systems (SFSs) that enhance FSN. 
  • The HLPE adopts a dynamic, multiscale perspective, focusing on the concepts of transition and transformation. 
  • Many transitions need to occur in particular production systems and across the food value chain to achieve major transformation of whole food systems. 
  • Both incremental transitions at small scales and structural changes to institutions and norms at larger scales need to take place in a coordinated and integrated way in order to achieve the desired transformation of the global food system.
States and IGOs, in collaboration with academic institutions, civil society and the private sector should: 
  1. increase investments in public and private research and development, and in national and international research systems to support programmes in agroecological and other innovative approaches, including to improve technologies; 
  2. develop and support transdisciplinary research conducted through innovation platforms that foster co-learning between practitioners and researchers, and horizontal dissemination of experience among practitioners (e.g. farmer-to-farmer networks, communities of practice and agroecological lighthouses)
Related:
24 July 2019. Evaluating the Multidimensional Performance of Agroecology
A tool has been developed to support agroecological transitions, at different scales and in different locations, through informed policy-making processes. 
  • It consolidates information on the impact of agroecological approaches, and aims to produce evidence on the performance of agroecological systems across the environmental, social and cultural, economic, health and nutrition, and governance dimensions of sustainability. 
  • It is complemented by a guidance framework for reviewing policy options for agroecology and to assist policymakers in assessing the multi-dimensional impacts of agroecological production systems.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Tracking progress on food and agriculture-related SDG indicators

18 July 2019, Rome - The world is off-track to meet most of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets linked to hunger, food security and nutrition, according to a FAO report.
"The report paints a grim picture. Four years into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, regression is the norm when it comes to ending hunger and rendering agriculture and the management of natural resources - be that on land or in our oceans - sustainable," said Pietro Gennari, FAO Chief Statistician.
"Being off-track when it comes to reaching core pillars of the SDGs unquestionably puts at risk the achievement of the entire 2030 Agenda, and makes our overarching goal of ensuring an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future for our planet and for present and future generations less attainable," said FAO Deputy Director-General for Climate and Natural Resources Maria Helena Semedo.
In the first report of its kind, FAO analysed, in a visual way, major global trends and data from up to 234 countries and territories on 18 indicators of four SDGs (2, 6, 14 and 15) under the UN agency's custodianship.

The report puts forward a number of recommendations aimed at reversing these worsening trends.
  1. First, many of the problems mentioned above would probably be less acute if there was sufficient investment in the agricultural sector (including fishery and forestry). However, the report finds that public expenditure in agriculture has been declining with respect to its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In particular, the Sub-Saharan African region and Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand) registered the lowest relative values of public investment in agriculture.
  2. Promoting productivity growth and strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of small-scale food producers is also critical to reversing the trend of rising hunger and reducing the number of people living in extreme poverty, the report stresses.
  3. Price anomalies contributed to undermining people's access to food and nutritional status in many developing countries. These could be addressed by improving information on prices and on food supply and demand of basic food stuffs, allowing markets to function more efficiently.
  4. Improvements in water productivity and irrigation in agriculture and reduced losses in municipal distribution networks, industrial and energy cooling processes are among the main issues to be tackled when it comes to water stress.
  5. Finally, all countries need to urgently implement transformational changes in fishery management and governance. This would also have a positive economic impact: overall, rebuilding overfished stocks could increase annual fishery production by 16.5 million tonnes and annual revenues from fishing by $32 billion.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Appointment of Interim Chairperson of FARA

Accra, Ghana 11 July 2019 
The Board of Directors and Management of the Forum forAgricultural Research in Africa (FARA) announce the appointment of Dr. Alioune Fall as the new Chairperson ad interim of FARA, effective July 2, 2019. Dr. Fall was elected the Vice-Chairperson of FARA for a three-year term by the General Assembly of FARA at its 7th sitting in Kigali, Rwanda on 16th June 2016.  He succeeds Dr. Ephraim Amiani Mukisira (MBS, OGW).  The Board and Management of FARA gratefully acknowledge Dr. Mukisira’s inspirational and steadying leadership.  He skillfully steered the organisation through its most testing period.

Dr. Alioune Fall is currently the Director General of Senegal’s national Institute for Agricultural Research (ISRA).  He holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Agriculture from the Sam Houston State University, Texas, United States, and a Doctorate degree (PhD) in Agricultural Engineering from Michigan State University, United States. His specializations are in Technology and Agricultural Innovation Management Systems (modeling, artificial intelligence); Agricultural Research Management; Research Evaluation; Post-harvest Technology and Mechanization.

Dr. Fall’s career in research spans three and a half decades. He joined ISRA in 1984 as a researcher and rose quickly to become Regional Coordinator of Farm Mechanization and Post-harvest Technology projects.  Upon completion of his PhD, he was appointed National Coordinator of the Post-harvest Technology programme.

Between 2000 and 2008, Dr. Fall was the Director of the Agricultural Research Centre of Saint-Louis. In 2002, he became the National Coordinator of the CORAF Research Hub on Irrigation Systems. During that period, he was actively involved in the harmonization of the rating systems and evaluation of researchers and university lecturers, for the entry of ISRA into the African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education (CAMES). He also participated in negotiations with the Government of Senegal on the regulations to make ISRA more effective. He was instrumental in the establishment of a consultation platform for Presidents of Universities and Directors of Research Institutes in West Africa to break down silos at national and international levels. He chaired this platform from 2014 to 2016.

Dr Fall served as the Scientific Director of ISRA from 2008 to 2013 when he was appointed the Director General. He served as the Chairperson of CORAF’s Board of Directors from 2014 to 2018. He has been a member of the CIRAD Scientific Council since August 2016 and was appointed Chairperson of the Council by Decree of the French Minister of Agriculture in February 2018. In 2017, he was elected Chairperson of the Korea-Africa Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (KAFACI) which brings together 23 African countries in bilateral cooperation with South Korea.
In 2009, he was elected President of the Senegalese Association of Agricultural Engineers. Dr. Fall was made Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit of France in 2017. He was also awarded Knight of the National Order of the Lion (Senegal) in 2018.  He is the author and co-author of several publications in the fields of agriculture and agribusiness.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Fall as he takes up this challenging task at a very important phase of the organization’s lifecycle.


Sourced from: FARA Africa 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World.

15 July 2019.  New York. A special side event at the meeting of the high-level political forum on sustainable development in 2019 convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council launched The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 report, presenting the latest estimates for food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition at global and regional levels.

The report’s findings are an important yardstick to measure the world’s progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 Zero Hungry by 2030. The event was co-organized by FAO, IFAD, WFP, WHO and UNICEF.
The report: what’s new?
  • First-time release of the estimates and related findings of the new indicator, the prevalence of food insecurity at moderate and severe levels. Going beyond hunger, this indicator captures more moderate constraints on food access that likely affect the quality of the diet
  • Greater focus on overweight and obesity, including child overweight and adult obesity, to better understand the different dimensions of these big nutrition challenges of our times. 
  • In-depth themed analysis on the impacts of economic slowdowns and downturns on food security and nutrition that unpacks how these impacts are shaped by the root causes of hunger and malnutrition: poverty, inequality and marginalization.
An estimated 820 million people did not have enough to eat in 2018, up from 811 million in the previous year, which is the third year of increase in a row. This underscores the immense challenge of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030, says a new edition of the annual The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report.

The pace of progress in halving the number of children who are stunted and in reducing the number of babies born with low birth weight is too slow, which also puts the SDG 2 nutrition targets further out of reach, according to the report.




Slow progress in Africa and Asia
The situation is most alarming in Africa, as the region has the highest rates of hunger in the world and which are continuing to slowly but steadily rise in almost all subregions.
  • In Eastern Africa in particular, close to a third of the population (30.8 percent) is undernourished. In addition to climate and conflict, economic slowdowns and downturns are driving the rise. Since 2011, almost half the countries where rising hunger occurred due to economic slowdowns or stagnation were in Africa.
  • The largest number of undernourished people (more than 500 million) live in Asia, mostly in southern Asian countries. Together, Africa and Asia bear the greatest share of all forms of malnutrition, accounting for more than nine out of ten of all stunted children and over nine out of ten of all wasted children worldwide. In southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, one child in three is stunted.
  • In addition to the challenges of stunting and wasting, Asia and Africa are also home to nearly three-quarters of all overweight children worldwide, largely driven by consumption of unhealthy diets.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Donor-private sector partnerships (DPPs)

8 July 2019. An Oxfam International Briefing Paper, Faith is not enough: ensuring that aid donor-private sector partnerships contribute to sustainable development assesses donor-private sector partnerships (DPPs) of key donors (USA, France and the EU, pages 26-33) based on a framework with 6 components:
  1. Demonstration of sustainable development objectives;
  2. Demonstration of additionality;
  3. Adherence to aid and development effectiveness principles;
  4. Respecting mandatory and voluntary standards for private sector operations;
  5. Demonstration of due diligence and risk management;
  6. Provision of sound monitoring and evaluation processes.
Although the main focus is not on agricultural partnerships, four agricultural partnerships were assessed (Netherlands' project for roses in Ethiopia, the IDH Cocoa Programme, Tim Horton's Coffee Partnership in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia, and Turning avacado waste into green energy, pages 41-43). The briefing also includes a short review of the agricultural partnerships in a textbox (p. 33):
An Oxfam assessment of DPPs in agriculture found all of the partnerships focus primarily on commercializing value chains to promote food security or support private sector development and growth. The review questioned the extent to which these DPPs define their development objectives in terms of final impacts on poverty reduction, food security, inequality, gender equality and environmental sustainability. All programmes and partnerships looked at the number of jobs created, number of farmers taking credit and so forth (quantitative data), without however looking sufficiently at impacts on poverty, gender or inequality (qualitative data). The most commercially viable small-holders were more likely to attract investment than those operating on the margins, who are unlikely to attract private investors, even with ODA or other public de-risking. These marginalized small-holders, more often women than men, are likely to be left further behind, potentially increasing income and gender inequality.
The paper was written by former Oxfam International Policy Advisor Hilary Jeune, and draws on research carried out for Oxfam in 2016 and 2017 by Shannon Kindornay and Claire Godfrey.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Expert Talk Inclusive transformation of rural Africa

11 July 2019. GIZ Eschborn + Bonn. Key recommendations of the EU Task Force Rural Africa

To strengthen the EU’s partnership with Africa, President Jean-Claude Juncker announced in his 2018 State of the Union speech a new ‘Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs’. To operationalize the suggested actions of this alliance a group of African and European experts - the Task Force Rural Africa (TFRA) – was tasked to propose concrete solutions for a positive rural transformation and an inclusive and sustainable agriculture and agri-food sector.

In March 2019, the Task Force published its landmark report, an agri-food and rural agenda for the new ‘Africa-Europe Alliance’, which proposes four strategic areas of action: job creation, climate action, sustainable transformation of African agriculture and development of the African food industry and markets.

This event discussed the key recommendations of the report with the German TFRA members Prof. Christine Wieck and Albert Engel and reflect on the opportunities for German development cooperation in the implementation of the proposed actions.
  • Marc Nolting, Head of Unit Fundamentals for a Rural Future and Nutrition, Welcome and introductory remarks
  • Tobias Gerster, Head of Department Cross regional & Horn of Africa, GIZ
TFRA expert presentations
  • Insights on the proposed Africa-Europe Agenda for inclusive rural transformation - Albert Engel, member of the Task Force Rural Africa, Head of Evaluation Unit
  • Insights on Agricultural Trade & Finance - Christine Wieck, member of the Task Force Rural Africa, Head of Department Agricultural and Food Policy at the Hohenheim University
Discussion: Relevance of the report - why it is important for our work
  • Inge Baumgarten, Head of GIZ Liaison Office to the African Union, OE 1700 
  • Uli Sabel-Koschella, Head of Unit Agricultural Supply Chains, OE 1720
  • Christel Weller-Molongua, Head of Division Rural Development and Agriculture, G500
More information

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Gates on CGIAR, feeding our future

9 July 2019. By Bill Gates. Never heard of CGIAR? You’re not alone. It’s an organization that defies easy brand recognition. For starters, its name is often mistaken for “cigar,” suggesting a link to the tobacco industry. And it doesn’t help that CGIAR is not a single organization, but a network of 15 independent research centers, most referred to by their own confusing acronyms.

The list includes CIFOR, ICARDA, CIAT, ICRISAT, IFPRI, IITA, ILRI, CIMMYT, CIP, IRRI, IWMI, and ICRAF, leaving the uninitiated feeling as if they’ve fallen into a bowl of alphabet soup.


A great example of a CGIAR innovation helping smallholder farmers adapt to climate change is its drought-tolerant maize program. More than 200 million households in sub-Saharan Africa depend on maize for their livelihoods. Maize productivity in Africa is already the lowest in the world. And as weather patterns have become more erratic, farmers are at greater risk of having smaller maize harvests, and sometimes no harvest at all.

In response to this challenge, CGIAR’s International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center or CIMMYT, with funding from our foundation, USAID and the Howard Buffett Foundation, developed more than 150 new maize varieties that could withstand drought conditions. Each variety is adapted to grow in specific regions of Africa. At first, many smallholder farmers were afraid of trying new crop varieties instead of more commonly planted ones. But as CIMMYT worked with local farmers and seed dealers to share the benefits of these new varieties, more and more farmers adopted drought tolerant maize. The results have been life changing for many farming families.

Related:
3 July 2019. News release from ICARDA. The heat-wave in Europe poses a significant threat to wheat production across the continent. If a heat-wave like the one recorded these days was to occur 1 month earlier, at the end of May, when the Northern European wheats are in full bloom, it could cause up to 50 percent yield loses, a devastating blow to the European agriculture and food sectors that could cost billions of Euros.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Agriculture Nutrition and Health Academy Week

24 - 29 June 2019. Hyderabad, India. The ANH Academy Week is a series of annual events that bring together the community of researchers and users of research (practitioners and policymakers) working at the intersection of agriculture, nutrition and health.

The objectives of the ANH Academy Week series is to foster knowledge exchange, innovation and learning around ANH research.

The ANH Academy Week consists of two interlinked components:
  1. Learning Labs - a series of training sessions in interdisciplinary agriculture, nutrition and health research;
  2. Research Conference - an abstract-driven symposium featuring oral presentations, poster sessions and keynotes speeches, as well as plenary round tables, side events and working group discussions.
The ANH Academy builds on the successful legacy of five agri-health research conferences organised in London by the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH); as well as ongoing events and activities coordinated under the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), which is led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

The first ANH Academy Week took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in June 2016. (Read more and access resources).

Extracts of the programme:
Agri-food Tools for Research
A new modelling tool – Agri-food - for supporting nutrition-sensitive agriculture decision-making has been developed. It applies Multi Criteria Decision Analysis to compare a range of food combinations that could be promoted for consumption and/or production within nutrition or agriculture programmes. 

The tool compares the consequences of promoting these different food combinations across a range of agricultural, gender, gender, nutrition, environmental and economic indicators that are chosen and ranked by stakeholders . 

The analysis identifies options likely to have the most favourable impact across indicators, taking stakeholder priorities into account. Risks that may need to be considered when planning a programme are also identified.



System Dynamics in Researching Markets for Nutrition
System dynamics provides a powerful set of intuitive visually-based modelling tools to capture complex agriculture-nutrition linkages with associated ‘what-if’ scenarios. This lab presented the concepts, terms and rationale of systems dynamics at an introductory level; enabling the participants to develop systems communication tools like “causal-loop” and “stock and flow” diagrams. Inspired by a practical example from the Market Intervention for Nutritional Improvement (MINI) project (BMFG and UK DfID), the second half of the session guided the participants through the construction and simulation of a simple systems model using the online platform ‘InsightMaker’.

Impact of input subsidies on household food availability in rural Zambia: A gendered perspective
To enhance household food security in rural Zambia, it is more beneficial to target households with female primary decision makers. Even better, it is imperative to empower women to participate in agricultural decision-making.

Impact of women’s empowerment policies on nutrition outcomes in Kenya 

The paper provides evidence supporting the importance of achievement and access to opportunities for women on the nutritional status of the mothers and their children. The study also shows the benefit of reducing the gender gap and empowering women for improving the nutritional status of households. The paper reflects on the circumstances under which women’s empowerment policies can deliver on nutrition outcomes.

Understanding empowerment among informal milk traders in peri-urban Nairobi: Informing
an adaptation of the project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index
Examples of the adaptations are including specific assets needed by milk vendors (including licenses), changing questions about productive decisions to focus on those related to the milk business, and adding a module on entrepreneurial psychology.

Implementation of healthy food environment policies in Ghana: Gaps and priorities to prevent nutrition-related non-communicable diseases 
The first such NCD (non-communicable diseases) policy appraisal in West Africa, this study identified important gaps in implementation of key policies to promote healthy FE (food environments), compared with international best practices. These findings support current calls to improve the FE, but also asserts the feasibility of deploying the Food-EPI (Healthy Food-Environment Policy Index ) methodology in Africa.

Does Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) improve dietary diversity? 
The quantitative and qualitative analyses from our surveys, key informant interviews, and focus group discussions suggest no impact of the FISP on food choices and dietary diversity in any significant way. The interviews and focus group discussions raise several issues relating to policy implementation that may help explain this lack of impact.

Has the provision of legume seeds subsidies affected dietary diversity? Evidence from Malawi’s
Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP)
Farming systems in Malawi dominated by maize production are supported with government input subsidies, which translates into consumption of calorie-dense foods associated with nutrient deficiencies. Since 2009, legumes are subsidized to diversify production and consumption of foods available.

Sustainability of community-level approaches to nutrition-sensitive
agriculture: A case study from Cote d’Ivoire
Gardening was found more sustainable than poultry rearing due to building on an activity with which women had expertise and saw as within their domain. In contrast, poultry rearing was poorly suited to collective production due to limited knowledge and mortality problems. Moreover, the lucrative nature of poultry production made it prone to capture by men at women’s expense; this was exacerbated by low literacy that made it difficult for women to manage an enterprise without male support.

Livestock ownership, not maize production, is associated with maternal anemia in malaria endemic rural low-income settings in Ethiopia
Livestock ownership, particularly chicken domestication in the household, was associated with higher mean hemoglobin concentration. Furthermore, maize cultivation could also potentially aggravate malaria transmission, particularly if malaria prevention activities are weak.

Biomarkers of aflatoxin exposure, diet, climate and children’s growth in rural Ethiopia
There has been growing recognition that aflatoxins are associated with impaired linear growth of children. To date, the relationship between aflatoxin (AF) biomarkers in serum and child growth in Ethiopia has not been investigated. We assessed children’s exposure to AF in pre-harvest and post-harvest seasons using serum biomarkers and tested the association of their exposure with the linear growth. Further, the importance of diet is recognized (maize is more prone to aflatoxins than other cereals) as is that of climate, as fungi thrive better under humid and high-temperature conditions.


Seasonality of serum aflatoxin levels (AFB1) in pregnancy and early childhood in a longitudinal cohort study in Banke, Nepal

This study indicates a high occurrence of aflatoxin exposure during pregnancy and in the first year of life in infants from this region of Nepal. Further, seasonality has a significant relationship with higher levels being observed in the winter months in both mothers and infants. We postulate that the level of exposure and its relationship with health outcomes may be modulated by seasonality. This relationship needs to be considered in any analysis to ascertain the role of aflatoxin in modulating health outcomes such as linear growth and/or in strategies aiming to mitigate aflatoxin in the food system.

Smartphone based point-of-use determination of aflatoxin in peanuts to ensure safety


Food Away from Home in Nigeria: Consumption, Drivers and Nutritional Implications of Within-Day Meals
Advancing consumption of FAFH may mean less availability of iron and calcium for households. Taking breakfast or lunch AFH seems to hold little consequence for daily calories, proteins and fat consumed by households while side-dishes and dinner AFH may trigger nontrivial divergence.

Food-based recommendations to improve dietary adequacy of women living in pastoral and
agro-pastoral zones of Turkana, Kenya 
Many developing countries are yet to develop food-based dietary guidelines that can be adopted at local or national level. More research aimed at understanding dietary patterns of different population groups is required to facilitate development of feasible FBRs.



Friday, July 5, 2019

The Seventh All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture (7th AACAA) - Jul 29 - Aug 2, 2019


July 5, 2019; Accra, Ghana:
The All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture (AACAA) is the main mechanism through which the AASAP objective is met – i.e. providing a forum for stakeholders – professionals and other practitioners – to get together and share views on issues germane to animal agriculture. The AACAA is held every four years. The theme of each such conference is chosen based on felt needs at the time. The theme of the 7th AACAA – to be held in Ghana from, July 29 – August 2, 2019 – is: Innovations to Harness the Potential of African Animal Agriculture in a Globalizing World. The key words in this theme are secure future, innovations and globalizing world.

The All Africa Society for Animal Production (AASAP) is an association of individuals, groups and institutions which have interest in the art, science and practice of animal sciences relevant for animal agriculture. These include animal nutrition and feeding, genetics and breeding, health, welfare, and other aspects of husbandry. The AASAP is a member of the World Association of Animal Production (with its secretariat in Rome). The main objective of AASAP is to facilitate the use of technical, policy and institutional innovations to address current and emerging challenges of African animal agriculture through engagement of communities of practitioners in Africa and beyond.

Agriculture in Africa generally, and animal agriculture specifically, is at crossroads. There are persistent food shortages arising from rapidly increasing human population, amidst the inability of the continent to significantly increase productivity. This is being compounded by a host of other trends: globalization, agricultural policy and associated impacts particularly on small producers with limited abilities to compete in input and output markets, urbanization and the ageing farming community, climate change and its complex relationships with crop and animal agriculture, and low investments in agriculture.

With a focus on animal agriculture (including aquaculture), the 7th AACAA will provide an opportunity for research and development stakeholders of animal agriculture in Africa to discuss the current as well as emerging opportunities and challenges arising from these major trends and suggest potential actions to harness the opportunities and to address them.  The conference will also examine how the continent’s animal agriculture can increase its private sector engagement – through public-private sector partnerships. In this context, the conference will examine ways to leverage private sector investments through strategic national, bilateral and multilateral financing of livestock and fisheries/aquaculture research and development that also targets youth and women – whose engagement represents one of the major unexploited opportunities for the continent.



African Union to launch operational phase of the AfCFTA at Summit in Niger


“It goes without saying that the most emblematic of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063 is the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA. The AfCFTA has the ambition…… in the final analysis, to establish a continental market. The idea goes back to 1963, with the establishment of an African Economic Community.”– African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, speaking at the official opening ceremony of the 35th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in Niamey’’.

Niamey, Niger 4 July 2019- The African Union will launch the operational phase of the AfCFTA on the 7th of this month in Niamey, at an Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government. Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat Chairperson of the AUC hailed the upcoming launch as a “remarkable” and “historic” achievement. The launch will be part of a series of statutory and technical meetings were held in the Nigerien capital from the 4th to the 8th, which also includes the 8 July first coordination meeting between the AU and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
The launch of the AfCFTA follows the coming into force of the trade area on the 30th of May, after the deposit of the required minimum of 22 ratifications by member states of the AU. Since then three more instruments of ratification have been deposited, bringing the total number of countries that have ratified the AfCFTA to 25.

With the launch of the operational phase from July 2019, traders across Africa will be able to make use of preferential trading arrangements offered by the AfCFTA, with the understanding that the trade transactions are among the Member States that have deposited the instruments of ratification and those that conform to the provisions on rules of origin governing trade in the AfCFTA.”
It is also expected that at the launch, to be held at Heads of State and Government level, “The Assembly will decide on the location of the Secretariat of the AfCFTA which will have the principal function of implementing the agreement. Seven member states Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar and Senegal have submitted bids to host the secretariat.
During his opening remarks, Mr. Mahamat also reiterated the commitment of the AUC to work in close cooperation with the Permanent Representatives Committee, to strengthen the implementation of programmes, and to take immediate measures to ensure the recommendations of the internal and external auditors are implemented and enforced.

On a broader level, the African Union meeting in Niamey is considering other issues under the institutional reform programme that will allow the Union to achieve the vision and goals of its Agenda 2063 development framework. In its two-day session from 4th to 5th July, the Executive Council will consider and adopt the African Union’s budget for 2020 and the legal instruments pertaining to the African Union Development Agency (formerly known as NEPAD), as well as reviewed the proposed new organisational structure of the AU Commission which is to be finalised by February 2020.

The Council will elect four board members of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC) and prepare the draft agenda and decisions for the 12th Extraordinary Assembly that will launch the AfCFTA. Additionally, it will discuss the scale of contributions to the AU Peace Fund. The Chairperson of the Commission announced that US$120 million out of the expected US$400 million for the Peace Fund has so far been received, and he expressed the Commission’s appreciation to member states for their contributions.

The Executive Council will also review the preparations for the 1st mid-year coordination meeting between the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). In line with the Institutional Reforms agenda which recommended the rationalisation of the number of meetings held by the AU, a decision was made to have one summit per year, and a coordination meeting mid-year, instead of the previous two summits per year, in order to ensure the efficient implementation of AU summit outcomes and decisions. As this will be the first such meeting, discussions will centre on the drafting of the rules of procedure, drafting proposals on the division of labour between the AU, RECs and member states, and revision of the protocol on relations between the AU and the RECs.
Today’s opening ceremony was presided over by Mr Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt in his role as the Chairperson of the Executive Council, and was addressed by Niger’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigeriens Abroad, Mr Kalla Ankourao. Their statements are available at www.au.int.


For additional information on the meeting: Mrs Wynne Musabayana, Head of Communication; African Union Commission; E-mail: MusabayanaW@africa-union.org
For interviews: Mr. Molalet Tsedeke; Directorate of Information and Communication; AU Commission; Tel: 0911- 630631; Email: molalett@africa-union.org

Wheat to beat the heat

3 July 2019. News release from ICARDA. The heat-wave in Europe poses a significant threat to wheat production across the continent. The breeding of heat-tolerant wheat varieties remains one of the most strategic approaches to cope with extremely high temperatures - but Europe is failing to take advantage of the resilient varieties developed and disseminated by the CGIAR and its partners, which offer a robust defense against the warming effects of global climate change.

If a heat-wave like the one recorded these days was to occur 1 month earlier, at the end of May, when the Northern European wheats are in full bloom, it could cause up to 50 percent yield loses, a devastating blow to the European agriculture and food sectors that could cost billions of Euros.

The response of scientists
Breeding of heat-tolerant wheat varieties remains one of the most strategic approach to cope with the risk of unseasonal heat-waves. The International Center for Agricultural research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) has started in 2012 to utilize field stations that experience continuous heat-stress to select new wheat cultivars better primed to tolerate this stress.

In Sudan, the experimental farm of Wad Medani was developed together with the Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC) and CIMMYT (International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement) to test thousands of wheat candidate varieties each year. This station experiences average maximum daily temperatures above 30 °C throughout the growing season, which is less than 100 days long, from planting to harvest. This test was used to identify critical genes controlling heat-tolerant in common wheat, and to release new cultivars of bread wheat and durum wheat (used to make spaghetti) capable of withstanding severe heat.

Similarly, two heat-stresses experimental farms were developed in West Africa to test durum wheat germplasm. In collaboration with Prof Rodomiro Ortiz of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) Department of Plant Breeding, the stations of Kaédi in Mauritania and of Fanaye in Senegal were upgraded in partnership with the Centre National de Recherche Agronomique et de Développement Agricole (CNRADA) and the Institut Sénégalais de Recherche Agricole (ISRA).

Field testing conducted at these stations - with daily temperatures above 32 °C throughout the cycle
Plastic tunnels were placed on the wheat plants
at the time of flowering at the
ICARDA Marchouch station in Morocco
and a season of only 90 days in length - have revealed four new durum wheat cultivars perfectly adapted to tolerate intense heat. The work conducted in West Africa has even resulted in the awarding of the prestigious OLAM Prize for Innovation in Food Security to the team of researchers involved.

Can Europe take advantage of success stories?

In Europe, the situation is more like Australia, and public researchers do not work directly on the commercialization and development of varieties, as this is left as prerogative of the private companies. Instead, public research focus on pre-breeding to develop new breeding techniques and focusing on high-risk, longer-term targets, thereby supporting the private sector and farmers with high-tech innovations.

CGIAR centers like ICARDA and CIMMYT have worked in close collaboration with European Universities and advanced research institutions for a long time to develop and adapt the most novel technologies for pre-breeding. It might also be advantageous for European private sector companies to start taking advantage of CGIAR stress-tolerant wheat varieties and develop a system similar to CAIGE used by Australian breeders (CAIGE= CIMMYT-Australia-ICARDA Germplasm Evaluation project). By taking advantage of similar environments in Morocco and Mediterranean environments in Europe, European breeders can select the promising germplasm of tomorrow and provide the continent’s agricultural sector with a practical defense against future heat-waves.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

AR4D Funding Opportunities - July 2019

A G R I C U L T U R AL 
Research
  
Nuffic invites applications for Joint Proposals on Food and Nutrition in Ethiopia and Bangladesh. The Nuffic’s Orange Knowledge Programme aims to strengthen professionals and organisations through education and training. Proposed projects must contribute to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, promote sustainable agriculture, and ensure availability and sustainable management of water for all. Applicants must be Dutch or from one of the participating countries: Bangladesh‌, Benin, Burundi‌, Colombia‌, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia‌, Kenya‌, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Palestinian Territories, Rwanda‌, South Africa‌, Tanzania, Uganda‌, and Vietnam‌. Maximum funding per collaboration project is €1.4 million. The deadline for Ethiopia is 01 July 2019, and for Bangladesh is 08 July 2019. 


  • Call: Section 1 – Farming Systems 2019 - Topic 1.2.2 Sustainability and competitiveness of Mediterranean greenhouse and intensive Horticulture Deadline Stage 2 Full proposals - 16th July, 2019
  • Call: Section 1 – Agro-food Value Chain 2019 Topic 1.3.1 Implementation of analytical tools and digital technology to achieve traceability, authenticity control of traditional Mediterranean      foods. Deadline Stage 2 Full proposals - 16th July, 2019
  • Call: Section 1 – Nexus 2019 RIA Topic 1.4.1 Assessing social, technical and economic benefits of a cross-sectoral governance of the Water-Ecosystems-Food Nexus Stage 2 Full proposals - 16th July, 2019
  • Deadline Stage 2 Full proposals – 4th September, 2019

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

The CFC calls for proposals that advance commodity development in its member countries. Funding is targeted mainly to for-profit organizations and social enterprises for production, value chains, and marketing across a wide group of commodities (agricultural crops, tree crops, timber, bamboo and rattan, minerals, and others). This 15th call for proposals has a deadline on 15 October 2019.

Agribusiness

Kinaya Ventures is an innovation and investment platform with the mission to connect startups, corporations, and investors. The Spring Fellowship is a 4-month accelerator program, designed for African entrepreneurs and early to growth-stage startups in the areas Agtech, Foodtech, AdTech, MarTech, RetailTech. Selected participants will receive a seed grant of US$15 thousand as well as additional support and product perks. The call for applications closed 07 July 2019.

The European Commission seeks to reduce rural poverty and malnutrition and to improve rural livelihoods in Zambia. Projects under this call should focus on (1) Increasing investments in agriculture (including fish farming), (2) Facilitating the creation and strengthening of smallholder farmer and agribusiness associations, and (3) Generating employment opportunities, in particular for women and youth. The overall amount made available under this call is €26 million. In order to be eligible for a grant, the lead applicant must an established organization in a Member State of the European Union or Zambia. The deadline for submission of concept notes is 22 July 2019. 

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

The European Commission seeks to promote entrepreneurs (startups) with innovative solutions that improve the food and nutritional security in Honduras. Priority areas include mitigating the negative effects of climate change and unsustainable use of energy and natural resources. The grant amount requested under this call must be €826 thousand. Eligibility extends to non-profit organizations, including, but not limited to, scientific and academic institutions. Deadline for submission of concept notes is 02 August 2019.

Cartier supports women entrepreneurs who lead social enterprises in their early phases that have potential to grow significantly. Cartier reviews applications from Latin America, North America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East & North Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region. Previous laureates have included several whose work links to environment and related issues, e.g., product recycling, low-cost energy, water treatment, fair trade, and others. Each of the selected women entrepreneurs receives a cash prize of US$100 thousand, networking and visibility opportunities, and business coaching. 14 finalists will receive US$30 thousand each. The closing date for applications is 14 August 2019.

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

BBSRC seeks collaborative research projects involving collaborative research with at least one company and one research-base partner through the ‘Stand-alone’ LINK scheme. Case Studies from the LINKS scheme include the themes of agriculture, sustainable energy and climate change. Applicants from industry and academia can request a maximum of £1 million per project. Projects must be based in the UK, however, where a suitable company cannot be found in the UK, an overseas company may be used. Applications must be submitted by 02 October 2019. 

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

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

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

Bio-diversity, Environment, Climate change

The MacArthur Foundation seeks applications for the 100&Change competition. The winner will receive US$100 million to develop and implement a project that addresses a critical problem affecting people, places, or the planet. The competition is open to organizations working in any field of endeavor anywhere in the world. Applicants must identify the problem they are trying to solve, as well as their proposed solution. Nonprofit and for-profit organizations can apply. The competition will not accept applications from individuals or government agencies. Participants in the competition must register by 16 July 2019.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in collaboration with the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Program, invites youth ages 18-30 to submit videos about projects or campaigns that showcase actions on climate change. The three categories are (1) Nature-based solutions for food and human health (2) Cities and local action to combat climate change, and (3) Balancing use of land for people and ecosystems. The videos will be posted on a web page, and the winners of the competition will have their expenses paid to attend and participate in the COP25 in Chile (December 2019) as youth reporters. The deadline for video submissions is 27 July 2019. 

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

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

Danida Market Development Partnerships promote the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Focusing on SDG 8, the main objective is to promote sustainable local economic growth and employment in developing countries in agriculture, energy, and other sectors. Applications are invited from consortia that include a business partner and an administrative partner, and possibly including additional partners from civil society, government, universities, etc. The program is available in Denmark’s priority countries for development assistance, and in selected other countries below the World Bank limit of lower-middle income countries that have a Danish representation. DMDP has a budget of DKK 100 million in 2019 for 10-12 partnerships. Danida’s support to the partnership project may cover up to 75% of total project costs. The deadline for concept notes is 09 August 2019. 

The European Commission seeks to support sustainable agricultural development and contribute to the improvement of the food security and the resilience to climatic hazards of rural households in Madagascar. Any grant application under this call must fall between the minimum and maximum amounts of €700 thousand and €3.28 million. Eligibility extends to non-profit organizations established in the European Union, or in one of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States, or in one of the least developed countries. Deadline for submission of concept notes is 11 September 2019.

UNU-WIDER (World Institute for Development Economics Research) invites applications for its PhD research internships program in Helsinki, Finland. Preference is for applicants who live or work in developing countries, and who are in the later stages of their PhD. Program themes in WIDER include the economics of energy, climate change, food security, and others. UNU-WIDER provides a travel grant and a monthly stipend of €1,600 during the period of the fellowship. The application deadlines are 31 March and 30 September each year.

UN Women offers free online courses across many subject areas through the global online platform for training for gender equality. Courses include the  ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Gender Equality’ which is directed to government representatives and public servants, officials from the UN System and other international organizations, Civil Society Organizations representatives, academics and general public. Many of the courses are free to take part. Deadline for the Sustainable Development and Gender Equality course is 31 December 2019.

Fellowships/scholarships/grants

The Jephcott Charitable Trust in the UK makes grants for charitable purposes in the subject areas of population control, natural environment, education, and health. Projects in the theme of Natural Environment include examples in small-scale agriculture, livestock production, horticulture, agricultural training, community water supply, environmental education, tree planting, renewable energy, and others. Grants are made in the range of £2 thousand to £10 thousand (in exceptional cases only, up to £20 thousand). Eligibility for grants extends to registered charities and properly constituted organizations in all parts of the world. There is no application deadline. 

The program Scientific Exchanges is aimed at researchers who want to host their own scientific event in Switzerland; invite colleagues from abroad for a research visit to Switzerland; or visit their colleagues in another country. For events, an important criterion is the participation of women speakers and young researchers. Applicants for scientific exchanges must be employed in Switzerland, and applications must be submitted at least four months before the event or visit. 

The Global Fund for Community Foundation (GFCF) accepts concept notes aimed at strengthening and supporting community philanthropy approaches. Projects may focus on mobilizing local resources and/or foster the growth of local philanthropy for progressive social change. (Note: This may include on or more categories of the Terra Viva Grant directory, including environmental programs.) Grants will be in the range of US$7 thousand to US$20 thousand. Eligibility extends to CPOs based in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, or Latin America and the Caribbean. Eligible applicants are welcome to submit a concept note anytime.

RUFORUM’s program for Graduate Training Assistantships (GTA) grants support for 325 PhD training opportunities during the next four years. The GTA aims to improve the quality of higher education and increase the pool of PhD academic staff in RUFORUM’s member universities by facilitating cross-university PhD studies and teaching. Applicants need to be nominated for PhD training by his/her university. RUFORUM Secretariat assists in facilitating placement of the nominated staff to universities with the appropriate fields of the required training. The GTA accepts rolling applications (no deadline).

The International Foundation makes grants in subject areas that include agriculture, water and sanitation, environment, and several others. Grants are to nonprofit tax-exempt charitable organizations in the USA. Most grant recipients are small and medium NGOs in the USA engaged in international development assistance. Grants are up to US$25 thousand for projects of one year. There are no calendar deadlines for applications.

The Foundation Fiat Panis supports master and doctoral theses during their fieldwork. The main objective of this grant is to promote research projects which are likely to contribute to an improvement in the nutritional situation of people in developing countries. Applications for research support can be submitted by professors, directors, and doctoral supervisors. This program is ongoing and informal. There is no formal calendar deadline.

The Monsanto Fund makes grants to strengthen agricultural communities in several countries around the world. Grants of US$25 thousand and more are available to tax-exempt charitable organizations for activities and projects that address farmers’ education and training; food security; community water and sanitation; and other local needs. Monsanto’s international grants are administered at the country level. The Fund presents a list of eligible countries. Monsanto accepts international applications during two periods each year. The first period ranges from 01 January through 28 February. The second period ranges from 01 July through 31 August.

The Bayer International Fellowship Program consists of five scholarship programs that offer financial support to foreign students and young professionals pursuing a project in Germany. (Note: German students and young professionals can apply to realize a study or research project abroad.) Students in the field of veterinary medicine can apply for the Carl Duisberg Scholarship. Students in the fields of agro sciences, green biotechnology, environmental sciences and sustainability can apply for the Jeff Schell Scholarship. Students in life sciences, including biology, and bio-engineering, among others, can apply for the Otto Bayer Scholarship. The next round of applications must be submitted until 14 July 2019.

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

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

Through this call, the European Commission aims to support the development of coffee, tea and horticulture sectors in Tanzania. Priority areas include the improvement of small-scale farmers’ incomes, gender diversity in agriculture, and climate smart agriculture. Grants made under this call for proposals will be up to €6 million (please refer to the call document for further details). Only non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Deadline for submission of concept notes is 26 July 2019.

The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains seeks digital solutions to improve smallholders’ financial inclusion, livelihood and climate resilience. Projects should be implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia. Funding of up to £220 thousand per project is available, as well as mentoring, and project support. The Fund prioritizes enterprise services targeted at organisations (e.g. agribusiness, cooperatives, etc.). Concept notes have to be submitted by 31 July 2019.

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. The World Food Programme seeks great ideas and bold solutions to solve hunger globally. The Innovation Accelerator offers financial support, training and access to WFP partners and technical experts. Selected teams get an opportunity to develop their projects and receive up to US$ 100 thousand. Applications for the 2019 Cohort III have to be submitted by 31 July 2019.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the specialised UN agency, funds journalists from around Africa to attend the workshop ‘Reporting Rural Poverty and Agricultural Development’. The programme aim is to enable journalists to tell the story of rural development.  Participants will have the opportunity to attend the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Kigali in September 2019. Eligibility extends to full-time journalists from across Africa. Bursaries include air travel expenses (economy class), accommodation, local transfers and meals. The deadline for applications is 31 July 2019.

The Newton Mosharafa PhD Programme supports Egyptian researchers to undertake PhD studies at a UK higher education institution. The program covers all fees and living/travel expenses. The program supports projects in five priority areas, including sustainable water management; renewable energy; and sustainable food production. The application deadline is 08 August 2019.

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

The Newton Fund Researcher Links Travel Grants support early-career researchers to undertake an international research placement to strengthen links for future collaboration. UK’s current partner country for these travel grants is South Africa. Subject areas for the workshops vary by partner country to include agriculture, climate and environment, sustainable energy, water and sanitation, and several others. Researchers that reside in the UK can apply for funding to visit a university or research institution in one of the listed partner countries. Researchers residing in South Africa can apply for funding to come to the UK. The application deadline is 09 August 2019.

Newton Fund Researcher Links Regional Workshops bring together early-career researchers from the UK and other regional partner countries to allow them to make international connections that can improve the quality of their research. The program intends to tackle global challenges – such as climate and environment, sustainable energy, water and sanitation, rural and urban development, and food safety among others. Regional Workshops can be proposed between the UK and Brazil. (Note: Other countries will be available soon.) The application deadline is 09 August 2019.

The Joke Waller-Hunter (JWH) Initiative offers grants to advance the leadership of young individuals working for or affiliated with environmental civil society organizations in developing and emerging countries. JWH especially encourages the nomination of young women and local community leaders. Grants range from €2,500 to €7,000 each. The next nomination deadline is 01 September 2019.

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

In Europe’s research program Horizon 2020, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships provide opportunities to acquire and transfer new knowledge and to work on research in a European context or outside Europe. The scheme particularly supports the return and re-integration of researchers from outside Europe who have previously worked there. It also develops or helps to re-start the careers of individual researchers that show great potential, considering their experience. Applicants in the EU; their overseas territories; countries associated to Horizon 2020; and most developing countries are eligible for consideration. The closing date for applications is 11 September 2019.

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

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

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

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

Grinnell College invites nominations for the 2020 Grinnell Prize. The Grinnell Prize of US$100 thousand will be awarded to individuals who show creativity, commitment, and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Past nominations have spanned a diversity of social issues related to agriculture and hunger relief, conservation and environment, and many other thematic areas. Nominees may be nationals of any country who have earned a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) between 2003 and 2019. The closing date for nominations is 07 October 2019.

The Earth Institute at Columbia University invites applications for 2-year postdoctoral fellowships that contribute to understanding critical scientific and social issues in global sustainable development. Specific areas of research include food security, energy systems, climate change, poverty reduction, disease, and environmental degradation. The multi-disciplinary program is open to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens who received their doctoral degrees within five years of beginning their appointments. The deadline for applications is 30 October 2019.

The Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships aim to promote international exchange and research cooperation between Switzerland and over 180 other countries. Thematic areas for post-graduate scientific research include Agriculture, Biodiversity and Sustainability, and Poverty Reduction, among others. Eligibility extends to young researchers from all around the world who have completed a master’s degree or PhD. Application deadlines vary by country (please check carefully). Prepare your application by 01 November 2019.

The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) invites individuals dedicated to a career in international development to submit an application. Fellows receive training and support CRS’ work in various sectors such as agriculture/livelihoods, health, water and sanitation, emergency response, or micro-financing. CRS offers 20-30 fellowships each year. Each fellow is placed in one of CRS’ overseas country programs for a 12-month fellowship. The application will be open through 01 November 2019.

ETH Zurich makes competitive grants in two programs sponsored by its World Food System Center. They are: (i) Sustainability in Food Value Chains (Cooperative Research Program); and (ii) Organic Production Systems for Food Security (Mercator Research Program). Principal Investigators must be current members of the World Food System Center. Co-applicants can be from other research institutions in Switzerland or other countries. The deadline for proposals is 01 November 2019.

The RGS-IBG makes grants for geographical research, fieldwork, and teaching that include several awards with deadlines in November. The application deadline is 10 November for the Journey of a Lifetime Award. The deadline is 23 November for the Ralph Brown Expedition Award; Thesiger-Oman International Research Fellowships; Walters Kundert Fellowship; Dudley Stamp Memorial Award; Rob Potter Award; Postgraduate Research Awards; and Geographical Club Award. The deadline is 30 November for the Neville Shulman Challenge Award.

DAAD co-fund research grants for qualified applicants from Brazil. The aim of the programme is to s to promote research projects within the context of doctoral studies. The programme accepts doctoral candidates at universities in Brazil, who have been awarded a domestic scholarship from CAPES (Co-funder). Subject areas include natural sciences and agriculture. The domestic doctoral scholarships will be paid by CAPES during the research stay in Germany, and DAAD will co-fund a monthly payment of €650, health, accident and personal liability insurance cover, and travel allowance. The application deadline is 02 December 2019.

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


The Nestlé Foundation supports research in human nutrition in low-income and lower middle-income countries. In relation to agriculture, the Foundation will consider research on food policy, food production, and food technology if the intervention has high potential for improved nutritional status and public health. The Foundation offers training grants, pilot grants, and full project grants. Priority is for proposals submitted by researchers in developing countries, or jointly with partners in developed countries. A Letter of Intent (LOI) can be submitted at any time of the year. The deadlines for full grant applications are 10 January and 10 May 2020.

AWARDS and O T H E R

Each year, the Lipman Family Prize awards a total of US$350 thousand in cash to three social impact organizations. The award recognizes and amplifies the work of organizations devoted to positive social impact and creating sustainable solutions to significant social and economic challenges. Past winners include projects in the field of improved sanitation, energy innovations, and micro-forestry. Eligibility extends to organizations from all around the world addressing social and economic issues. Applications are accepted from 01 July – 01 August 2019.

Shell LiveWIRE, the enterprise development programme of Shell, seeks entrepreneurs with innovations in the theme of Circular Economy. The categories for this years competition are Agriculture & Food, Energy & Mobility, and Sustainable Future. The winners will receive US$20 thousand and runners-up will receive US$10 thousand. The deadline for applications is 10 July 2019.

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

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

The Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge seeks startup from all around the world that use advanced technology to answer a societal or industrial challenge. The challenge includes one category for startups that focus on energy, food, agriculture & environment, among 10 others. The grand prize is €100 thousand for the best early-stage startup. The best early-stage startup in each category will win €10 thousand. The application process closes on 13 September 2019.

The Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC) makes research awards to citizens and permanent residents of Canada, and citizens of developing countries. The award provides for a one-year paid program of research in addition to hands-on experience in research management, grant administration, and the use of knowledge from an international perspective. Program areas include food systems; climate change; and several others. Applicants should be enrolled, or have previously completed, their masters or doctoral degrees at recognized universities. IDRC identifies countries not eligible for awards, as well as countries requiring prior approval. The deadline for applications (English, French) is 18 September 2019. 

The Society of Chemical Industry awards travel bursaries to young PhD students. There are various schemes available, some related to agriculture and life sciences.  Applicants will have preference if they wish to travel outside their country of residence, especially if they wish to work in a laboratory abroad. Next deadline cycle for the AJ Banks Award (Food science), and the Messel Award (Chemical science including all life sciences) is 31 October 2019.

The African Union (AU) honors outstanding African scientists through the Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards. The awards program is implemented at national level for young researchers; regional level for women scientists; and continental level open to all scientists. The current announcement calls for submissions at the African continental level to recognize outstanding science, for which it awards a prize of US$100 thousand. In addition, the AU makes regional awards of US$20 thousand to female scientists. The closing date for submissions is 10 November 2019.

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

Nominations are open for the 2019 Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) International Prize. The Subject of the 2019 Prince Talal International Prize is “Ensure access to water and sanitation for all”. Projects should highlight best practices which aim to improve the living conditions of the poor and disadvantaged with particular emphasis on women and children. (Note: This may include one or more categories of the Terra Viva Grants Directory.) The winners receive between US$400 thousand and US$100 thousand (depending on their category). Eligibility extends to UN Development Agencies, NGOs, government ministries, public institutions, social business enterprises and individuals. There are no geographical restrictions. Nominations are accepted until 30 November 2019.