Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, May 17, 2024

World bank land conference

13-17 May 2024. World Bank Land Conference 2024: Securing Land Tenure and Access for Climate

The Conference is the premier forum for the land sector, bringing together participants from governments, development partners, civil society, academia, and the private sector to showcase research, discuss issues and good practice, and inform policy dialogue.

The theme of the 2024 Conference was "Securing Land Tenure and Access for Climate Action." 

While land tenure and governance underpin climate change adaptation and mitigation, their foundational role is often overlooked. Insecure or unregistered land tenure undermines the ability and interest of landholders to invest in climate change adaptation and mitigation, including by limiting their access to climate finance and reducing their incentives to adopt sustainable land management practices. 

Poor land governance—including unclear or overlapping laws and institutions for administering land rights and managing land use trade-offs—limits land access for mitigation, adaptation, and disaster risk management investments. 

Competition for land and its resources will require strategic decisions on how much land is used, for what purpose, and by whom. These trade-offs will only become more complex to manage over time, since land resources suitable for productive uses are expected to become scarcer as urbanization accelerates and climate impacts become more severe.

Scaling up clean cooking in Africa

14 May 2024
.  Paris, France. Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa - Mobilising Greater Commitment to Advance the Global Clean Cooking Agenda

Close to 60 countries, as well as companies and development institutions, gather in Paris to channel unprecedented resources towards addressing a challenge affecting huge numbers of women and children

The first ever high-level Summit focused on providing clean cooking access to the more than 1 billion people in Africa who currently lack it has delivered a breakthrough financial commitment for addressing one of the world’s most persistent and deep-seated inequalities.

Co-chaired by the leaders of the governments of Tanzania and Norway, and the African Development Bank and the International Energy Agency, the Summit on Clean Cooking in Africa has mobilised USD 2.2 billion in financial pledges from governments and the private sector. Close to 60 countries took part in the Summit, with over 1,000 delegates in attendance. President Emmanuel Macron of France hosted a special session for heads of state and other leaders at the Elysée Palace on the occasion of the Summit.

Make 2024 a Turning Point for Clean Cooking


Making Clean Cooking an African Policy Priority


Scaling up Finance for Clean Cooking in Africa


Catalysing Multi-stakeholder Partnerships


Evidence-Based Approaches to Building Small-Scale Farmers’ Climate Resiliency

17 May 2024
Evidence-Based Approaches to Building Small-Scale Farmers’ Climate Resiliency

A key component of USAID’s approach to climate adaptation and resilience for food and water security is centered on support for small-scale farmers in low- and middle-income countries. More frequent extreme weather events, like rainfall shocks, and slow-onset change, like warmer and drier conditions, are reducing farmers’ crop harvest stability. Global food production exacerbates these impacts, emitting approximately one quarter of greenhouse gas emissions annually. 

Building small-scale farmers’ resilience is complex, and stewarding environmental health and enhancing agricultural productivity have often been seen as at odds with each other in policy decisions. J-PAL will present findings from twenty rigorous and policy-relevant randomized and quasi-experimental evaluations of risk-reducing, climate-resilient agricultural technologies and practices from around the world. 

The presentation will share examples of findings from specific studies, and identify lessons across evaluations in multiple contexts that can inform USAID’s approach to supporting small-scale farmers in adapting to the evolving challenges of climate change.


The Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, in the southeast, and Gujarat, in the west, have large rural populations, drought-prone areas, and a high reliance on rain-fed agriculture. Gujarat is wealthier and more fertile than Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh: Among households that received a visit from an insurance educator, take-up of the rainfall insurance product increased by 11 percentage points, relative to the comparison group take-up rate of 28.2 percent. Receiving a large cash reward (Rs. 100) for participating in the survey increased take-up by approximately 40 percentage points. 

Research papers:

Designing and Implementing AgTech Innovation challenges and Competitions (AICC)

16 May 2024. Designing and Implementing AgTech Innovation challenges and Competitions (AICC)

Investing in agricultural innovation is crucial to address global challenges, such as improving food security and combating climate change. The World Bank is a pivotal resource in this effort and the Innovation Challenges and Competitions are a useful mechanism for driving transformational changes in the agri-food sector.

The AgTech Innovation Challenges and Competitions (AICC) is a tool to generate and/or reward AgTech innovative ideas or solutions to address a specific and pre-specified problem or take advantage of an opportunity within the agri-food sector. The AICC guidebook brings together a wealth of knowledge, including lessons learned and strategic insights, providing a practical framework for stakeholders interested in designing or implementing operations in the agri-food innovation space.

The webinar on AgTech Innovation Challenges and Competitions for Agriculture Operations served to introduce this guide to a broad audience. Attendees learned first-hand about various applications of the model, such as the experiences of ongoing WB projects in Argentina (INTA), Kenya and Uganda, as well as regional initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean promoted by innovation experts and partners (Fontagro). This event was an opportunity to engage with a community that is actively pushing agri-food innovation and to discover how to contribute to this transformative movement.
  • Chair and Moderation: Diego Arias, Practice Manager, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
  • Maria Victoria Traverso, Agriculture Analyst, The World BankMartin Gurria, Senior Consultant in Technology and Entrepreneurship, Black Sea Economic Community (BSEC)
  • Páez, Roxana Beatriz, Director of INCUVA, the Innovation Node of Santa Fe of INTA
  • Jeehye Kim, Senior Agriculture Economist, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
  • Eugenia Saini, Executive Secretary, Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology (FONTAGRO) cooperation 


Kosmos Innovation Center (Ghana)

  • Kosmos Innovation Center programs are structured to allow young entrepreneurs to create opportunities for themselves, by fine-tuning their ideas into a business focused on solving key problems in the agricultural sector.
  • Through a mix of training, mentoring, and seed-funding, young graduates in Ghana, Senegal, and Mauritania have the opportunity to bring their business ideas to life through the Senegal Startup Accelerator, AgriTech Challenge and Mauritania Innovation Challenge.

Ahead of the AgriTech Challenge Pro Final pitch event, some of the business share their learning experience so far. Relive the action 35 teams from 10 universities across Ghana presented their innovative solutions to revolutionise agriculture and promote sustainability. From climate-smart practices to eco-friendly innovations, these young entrepreneurs are determined to make a difference!


Thursday, May 16, 2024

Long-term study finds organic farming leads to adaptations in the genetic material in plants

13 May 2024. Long-term study finds organic farming leads to adaptations in the genetic material in plants

At the end of the 1990s, Prof. Dr. Jens Léon started an experiment at the University of Bonn that he knew would run for a long period of time. His research group wanted to investigate the effects that farming conditions have on genetic material in plants.

To this end, they carried out a complex long-term study over a period of 23 years at the Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation (INRES). 
"We first crossed high-yield barley with a wild form to increase genetic variation," says Léon. "We then planted these populations on two neighboring fields so that the barley grew in the same soil and under the same climatic conditions."
The only difference was the farming method. Conventional farming was used in one of the fields where the researchers used pesticides to combat pests, chemical agents to eliminate weeds and mineral fertilizers to help ensure a good supply of nutrients.
The variability of the environmental forces acting on the plants seems to lead to greater genetic heterogeneity. "As a result, the plants are better able to adapt to these types of changes. Overall, the results demonstrate the importance of cultivating varieties optimized for organic farming. As their genetic makeup has adapted to these conditions, they will be more robust and deliver higher yields. Furthermore, it seems to make sense when cultivating plants to cross breed them with older or even wild varieties. Our data also indicate that this could even benefit conventional high-yield varieties.

Launch of Landscape Restoration Guidebook for Planners and Practitioners

16 May 2024
. World Resources Institute (WRI) is organizing a virtual webinar to launch the Guidebook titled ‘Step-by-Step Guide for Restoration Planners and Practitioners’ that presents a step-by-step process for planning and implementing a landscape approach to restoration projects. 

The Guidebook identifies five essential stages of restoration projects - Scope, Design, Finance, Implement, and Monitor - each outlined with key steps and a checklist to help planners and practitioners to track their progress and ensure that each topic has been taken into consideration before launching into a new project. 

These checklists can be adapted and implemented by planners and practitioners in a variety of ecosystems, including grasslands, pasturelands, farmlands, coastal zones, wetlands, and peatlands.


WRI (2024) The Restoration Launchpad: A Step-by-Step Guide for Restoration Planners and Practitioners

This guidebook presents a step-by-step process for planning and implementing a landscape approach to restoration projects. It identifies five essential stages - Scope, Design, Finance, Implement, and Monitor - each outlined with key steps and a checklist to help project developers track their progress and plan properly before launching into a new project.


This WRI report offers a four-pronged “Produce, Protect, Reduce and Restore” framework as a potential solution to land use in both our consumption and production practices.

This includes prescriptions to ‘protect’ remaining natural and semi-natural ecosystems; to ‘reduce’ food waste and land-hungry consumption practices; and to ‘restore’ forests and wetlands on areas of land where carbon and biodiversity benefits are exceptional, or where food production potential is low.

The ‘produce’ message from the WRI report is equally clear. The world needs to accelerate gains in agricultural productivity to avoid further loss of natural ecosystems. Meeting a projected 56% growth in crop calorie demand between 2010 and 2050 would mean increasing crop yields by 1.2 times the historical yield growth rate from 1960 to 2010 (a 50-year period which included Norman Borlaug’s ‘Green Revolution’).

Friday, May 10, 2024

Indian agrifoodtech investment report 2024

30 April 2024
. In some ways, Indian agrifoodtech investment in 2023 tells a familiar and, at this point, unsurprising tale. Investment to Indian agrifoodtech startups dropped 60% from 2022 levels, landing at just under $1 billion in 2023, according to AgFunder’s 2024 India AgriFoodTech Investment report released today in partnership with Indian agrifoodtech investor Omnivore.

The drop is in line with global agrifoodtech investment, which nosedived 50% year-over-year thanks to fewer and smaller deals.

However, Indian agrifoodtech differs from the global scene in that its deal activity remained relatively flat: Startups raised 129 deals in 2023, just four fewer than in 2022. What’s more, the $940 million raised in 2023 is not drastically lower than the $1.3 billion raised in 2019, before valuations went wild in the wake of Covid-19.

As the report notes, 2023 was something of “a reversion to the mean for Indian agrifood startups.”

To be sure, the report highlights some less-positive highlights, too, like Omnivore being the only dedicated agrifood investor in the top investor list alongside generalist investors; since specialist funds like Omnivore and AgFunder tend to fund earlier-stage startups, a lack of them in India poses a potentially worrisome future for younger companies and ideas.

Second Members Forum meeting of the Transformative Partnership Platform on Agroecology

12-13 March 2024. The second Members Forum meeting of the Transformative Partnership Platform on Agroecology – or Agroecology TPP – was held in Nairobi and online

Related article: 06/05 Expanding agroecology’s reach from CIFOR/ICRAF Forest News

The Agroecology TPP works to accelerate and co-ordinate work on agroecology across international, national and local scales and contexts, towards transitions to more sustainable agricultural and food systems.

Its annual Members Forum meeting was open to all institutions that formally engage in TPP projects, are active in the TPP’s science-policy or science-development interface, are represented in the governance and advisory bodies, or have submitted an application form and agree to the membership charter.

Not only did the 2024 meeting provide an opportunity to share progress and assess key achievements, but it also helped to identify successful strategies, pinpoint existing challenges, and, collectively, determine priorities for the future, all the while enhancing synergies.

Extracts of the agenda

12/03 Key events, major outputs, portfolio growth: TPP Co-Convenors Bernard Triomphe (CIRAD) and Fergus Sinclair (CIFOR-ICRAF)

12/03 Voices from the Agroecology TPP’s Community of Practice (CoP)

12/03 Key elements of the Agroecology TPP communication and engagement strategies

12/04 Enhancing membership engagement

  • Key elements of the TPP communication and engagement strategies- Fabio Ricci, TPP Secretariat and Sandhya Kumar, TPP Secretariat
  • Joint prioritization of topics and definition of modalities: guided discussion on co-creation of bimonthly TPP webinars/workshops

12/03 CGIAR Agroecology Initiative: an overview and a reflective panel discussion with local partners

  • Overview of achievements, challenges and lessons learned: Initiative Co-Leads Marcela Quintero (ABC) and Chris Dickens (IWMI)
  • Highlights from the five work packages: Work package Leads Bernard Triomphe (CIRAD), Chris Dickens (IWMI), Carolina Gonzalez (ABC), Frank Place (IFPRI), Anne Rietveld (ABC) [Video]
  • Reflective panel discussion with local partners: Partner organization representatives from Burkina Faso, Kenya, India, Lao PDR, Peru, Senegal, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe

12/03 Transformative Land Investment TLI : an overview and Q&A

  • Overview of TLI and how it relates to agroecology: TLI Co-Leads Anne Larson and George Schoneveld (CIFOR-ICRAF)

12/03 TRANSITIONS programme: an introduction and reflection on its three projects

TRANSITIONS: Agroecological transition programme for building 

resilient and inclusive agricultural food systems 

Objectives :  Facilitate agroecological transitions that are informed by climate considerations among farmers in low- and medium-income countries (LMICs) by creating comprehensive metrics to measure the performance of food and agricultural systems, implementing inclusive digital tools, and fostering transparent private sector participation and engagement.

Implementing organisation : CGIAR

Location :  Asia: India and Vietnam;  Africa: Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Burkina Faso;  Latin America: Brazil and Peru

Funding :  EUR 6 700 607 funded by the European Union and managed by IFAD

Duration : 2022 - 2025

Website :

  • Introduction to the Programme: Viviane Filippi (IFAD)
  • Reflections on the three projects: Metrics Project - Matthias Geck (CIFOR-ICRAF); Digital Tools Project - Lini Wollenberg (UVM and ABC)
  • Private Sector Incentives and Investments - Jonathan Mockshell (ABC)
  • Panel discussion: Project partners, IFAD and European Commission representatives 

  • This document  puts forward general steps for developing a holistic agrifood system assessment, as well as principles to guide decision making at each step of the design process, intended to support metrics-users in navigating the jungle of available approaches and selecting something that meets their needs. 
  • This guiding framework for the design of holistic assessment and metrics aims to support their wider use, levelling the playing field for sustainable agrifood systems.
Dittmer, K.M.; Burns, S.; Shelton, S.; Wollenberg, E. (2022) Principles for socially inclusive digital
tools for smallholder farmers: A guide.
Agroecological TRANSITIONS: Inclusive Digital Tools to Enable Climate-informed Agroecological Transitions (ATDT). Cali, Colombia: Alliance of Bioversity & CIAT #18 p.
  • The co-creation of farm practices with farmers is framed as an element of social inclusion that ensures relevance to farmers’ livelihoods and development of robust technical solutions. 
  • The principles aim to support digital developers and managers using digital tools with farmers and help funders, farmers’ organizations or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) hold tool developers or managers accountable to social inclusion principles.

12/03 Viability project: key elements and synthesis of case studies and cross-case analyses

  • Presentation of the key elements of the synthesis across case studies and cross-case analyses: Viability Co-Lead, Ric Coe (CIFOR-ICRAF)

12/03 Tracking the CFS policy recommendations on agroecology

  • Overview of achievement so far and plan for the near future: Alex Awiti (CIFOR-ICRAF)

13/03 An overview of the Agroecology TPP domains and project portfolio

Overview of the TPP domains and project portfolio: Matthias Geck, TPP Secretariat

13/03 Panel discussion on research priorities for agroecological transitions

  • Monica Yator, Co-Chair, Agroecology Coalition and Founder of the Indigenous Women and Girls Initiative; 
  • Esther Penunia, Secretary, General Asian Farmers’ Association; 
  • David Amudavi, African Union, Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative; 
  • Oliver Oliveros, Coordinator, Agroecology Coalition

13/03 Co-designing future projects

Interactive prioritization of topics to be addressed in future TPP projects: plenary discussion on domains and portfolio vis-à-vis research priorities; voting on which domains or other topics novel TPP projects should prioritize; break out group composition according to prioritized research topics.

13/03 Enhancing synergies between projects 

  • Introduction of options for strengthening synergies: Sandhya Kumar, TPP Secretariat
  • Joint definition of modalities & participation: guided discussion on proposed modalities

13/03 Closing panel : reflections on the 2024 Agroecology TPP Members Forum meeting and way forward

  • TPP Co-Convenors Bernard Triomphe (CIRAD) 
  • and Fergus Sinclair (CIFOR-ICRAF)

Thursday, May 9, 2024

East Africa Carbon Markets Forum,

9-10 May 2024. East Africa Carbon Markets Forum, a premier event bringing together key stakeholders in the region's carbon markets.

The East Africa Carbon Markets Forum - a premier event bringing together key stakeholders in the region's carbon markets.

This forum serves as a dynamic platform for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and actionable discussions aimed at advancing sustainable development goals through carbon market initiatives.

Session: Carbon Credit Regulations Landscape in East Africa

  • Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development  Uganda's Preparedness for Climate Finance and Urgency to Expand Clean Energy Access.
  • Marc Baker, CEO, Carbon Tanzania
  • Mahlon Walo, Chairman of CAMAK, CEO Afrinet Carbon
  • Daniel James, Founder & CEO, REGID International
  • Anete Garoza, Co-founder & Chief Climate Officer, 1MTN
  • Lily Ginsberg-Keig, Policy Manager, BeZero Carbon - A Credible and Transparent Carbon Market. 
  • Margaret Athieno Mwebesa, Commissioner for Climate Change, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda - Green Horizons: Charting Uganda's Journey Toward Climate Resilience 

Session: Exploring Article 6 and its Implications for East African Nations

  • Rehema Mbalamwezi, Vice president of UpEnergy’s Africa operations - The view from the ground: practical implementation of Article 6 Framework in Tanzania.
  • Sam Davies, CEO, FLUX
  • Kenneth Muhangi, Partner, KTA advocates
  • Ely Sandler, Policy Advisor, Seagrass
  • Molly Brown, Head of Carbon Strategy, BURN Manufacturing
  • Heather McEwan, Senior Manager, Africa and the Middle East, Verra - VIDEO: Opportunities for Africa

Session: How can voluntary carbon markets overcome credibility questions?\

  • William Otieno, Regional Lead, UNFCCC RCC East and Southern Africa (RCC EAS Africa) - Translating Policy into Action: Advancing Article 6 Implementation in East Africa.
  • Dr Max Graham, CEO, Space For Giants - VIDEO: Building Africa’s Carbon Economy
  • Ann Maina, Project Lead East Africa, Boomitra, 2024 Earthshot prize winner
  • Olya Grovel, Chief Growth Officer, Orbify
  • Molly Brown, Head of Carbon Strategy, BURN Manufacturing
  • Frederick Leuschner, co-founder and CEO Greentrade Tech

Panel Discussion: Sustainable Approaches to Carbon Dioxide Removal: A Long-lasting Perspective

  • Lily Ginsberg-Keig, Policy Manager, BeZero Carbon
  • Peter BenHur Nyeko, Co-founder and Managing Director, Mandulis Energy
  • Yifan Powers, Senior Research Manager, Climate Precision Development
  • Bhagyan Kekal, Director, Bukona Agro Processors Ltd.
  • Calvin Jodisi, President, African Summit on Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ASENTI)
  • Bryan Adkins, Co-Chair, Carbon Markets Association of Kenya (and NCN) - Convening a movement on carbon markets: experiences from the Nairobi Climate Network
  • Mahlon Walo, Chairman of CAMAK, CEO Afrinet Carbon
  • Dr. Sami Divleli, CEO of Net Zero Climate Investments - Harnessing Water Projects for Sustainable Development.

Panel Discussion: Road from COP28 to COP29 and what we need to achieve

  • Andrew Ocama, Climate Finance Advisor, Ethiopia Tony Blair Institute
  • Max William Matter, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
  • Robert Mukiza, Director General, Uganda Investment Authority
  • Kristjan Raude, CEO and co-founder, 1MTN
  • Anete Garoza, Co-founder & Chief Climate Officer, 1MTN

Session: Impact Investing

Case Studies: Successful Impact Investing in East African Carbon Projects

  • Sivan Yaari, Founder & CEO of Innovation: Africa. From Sun to Water: Carbon Credits as a Pathway for Sustainable Water Projects in Africa
  • Bryan Adkins, CEO, Eden Reforestation Projects. Project and Policy Development in East Africa: Lessons and Areas for Improvement
  • Bianca Gichangi, Regional Lead for Africa, VCMI - Accelerating Green Growth in East Africa through Carbon Finance from High-Integrity Markets.
  • Lawrence Cole-Morgan, Global Markets: Lead, Carbon Credit Trading, Standard Bank - State of Carbon Markets in Africa and Climate Finance
Panel Discussion: COP28 Follow-up: How East Africa Can Unlock Billions for Nature-Based Carbon Solutions
  • Nikita Parfeniouk, Originator, Offset8 Capital Limited
  • Daniel Yin, CEO, Spouts International
  • Denis Mugagga, Climate Finance Unit, Ministry of Finance
  • Canary Mugume, News anchor at NBS Television and investigative journalist
Panel Discussion: Investing for the Planet: Strategies in Carbon Markets and Beyond
  • Ilkay Demirdag, Impact & Investment Strategist
  • Anete Garoza, Co-founder & Chief Climate Officer, 1MTN
  • Andreas Reger, Head of Project Development, Volkswagen ClimatePartner GmbH
  • Roy Kahangwe, Business Lead and Managing Director, Khala Labs

Session: Unleashing Africa's Potential

  • Patrick Ayota, Managing Director, NSSF - Navigating Corporate Climate Action.
  • Dr. Sophie Flack-Prain, Reporting & Insights Lead, Space Intelligence - Ecosystem Insights: Kenya’s Nature-based Opportunities
    • Reporting & Insights Lead at Space Intelligence, to explore Kenya through the lens of our national-level land cover data set, diving into key insights about the country’s natural capital, the challenges in mapping certain regions of the landscape via remote sensing, and how project developers and investors can use these data to maximise and showcase nature impact from forest carbon projects.
  • Kanyinke Sena, Governing Board Member, Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) - VIDEO: How the work of the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market impacts East Africa
Panel discussion: How Carbon Credits are Driving Sustainable Agriculture, Agroforestry
  • Caroline Kimani, Carbon Technical Expert, Climate Action Platform for Africa (CAP-A)
  • Alek Pillay, Senior Underwriter, Kita.Earth
  • Vincent Mainga, Country Director, Trees for the future
  • Carolina Fernandes, Global Head of Origination, Seagrass
Panel Discussion: Decarbonisation: Accelerating e-mobility in East Africa
  • Allan Muhumuza, Team Leader, Mobility Bureau at the Science, Technology and Innovation Secretariat – Office of the President
  • Rikki Verma, Founder, Nexus Green
  • Ivan Kwikiriza, Founder, Safelori
  • Asmahaney Saad, Partner, KTA Advocates

Session: Carbon Market Digitalisation

Einars Garoza, Partner, - From Data to Decisions: Tech Solutions for Climate Investment in Africa

Panel Discussion: Tech-Driven Resilience: Revolutionizing Climate Finance in Africa

  • Alexey Shadrin, CEO & Co-founder,
  • Hania Othman, Director Sustainable Impact EU/Africa, The HBAR Foundation
  • John Robert Turyakira, Deputy Executive Director, The Environment Shield
  • Nicholas Katongole, Co-Founder & Director, NileOrbital Aerospace

Panel discussion: Carbon Markets: Innovating Finance, Promoting Health, and Leading Consciously into the Future
  • Deniz Erkus, International Consultant for UNDP, CIO Sustainability at HealthSum
  • Kandia Milton, Government Affairs Director,
  • Julius Magala, Energy Access Coordinator at UNCDF
  • Ron Kawamara, Vice Chairperson, Uganda Tourism Board - Green Horizons: Exploring the Synergy Between Sustainable Tourism and Carbon Markets for a Greener Future.
Panel Discussion: The View from a Top: Strategies of Visionary Leadership in Dynamic World
  • Dr. Sami Divleli, Co-Founder & Chair of Net Zero Climate Investments
  • Victoria Joy Sibiya, Sustainability Business Manager, Next Media
  • Irene Mugisha, CEO of Presidential CEO Forum
  • Kristjan Raude, 1MT Nation

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Shortcomings of current ultra-processed food (UPF)regulatory approaches in Africa

The African Centre for Biodiversity (2024) Shortcomings of current ultra-processed food (UPF)regulatory approaches in Africa # 20 pp.

This 9th factsheet in the series on ultra-processed food (UPF) in Africa, discusses the current approaches to regulate the UPF industry by outlining the limitations of this approach and underscoring that these are only stop-gap measures.

Tackling UPF consumption has primarily been in the arena of health and nutrition policies and dietary guidelines, linked to nutrition-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) globally, and in Africa in particular. 

The main types of interventions include fiscal measures (primarily taxes); regulations to reduce or ban the marketing of UPFs, especially to children; front-of-package (FOP) labelling to warn consumers; limits on certain ingredients permitted in processed foods; and regulations controlling access to and promotion of UPFs in schools.
  • Overwhelming attention has been on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), which is only one – albeit significant – element of the UPF industry. This reflects the main regulatory approach, namely, the targeting of nutrients such as salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. 
  • While these are important steps to begin to address the unnecessary harms of UPF consumption, they fail to consider the scope and multidimensionality, the uniqueness of UPF, and their unique role in driving the triple burden of malnutrition and associated NCDs. 
  • The narrow focus on certain nutrients, in particular salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats does not address the particular health impacts of the series of industrial processing involved in the formulation of UPFs and fails to address the grave health and environmental implications throughout the lifecycle of products, including their associated industries.

AI for Climate Resilience in Rural Areas

9 May 2024
. IFAD-M4D Open Innovation Challenge Winners Session.

The call focused on three main areas: (i) agriculture, (ii) natural resource management, and (iii) disaster risk reduction. In addition to finding solutions to climate challenges in rural areas, the competition aimed to encourage a responsible and ethical use of AI and to foster co-financing and collaboration among investors, innovators, development practitioners, and rural people to nurture long-term climate resilience. 

Throughout the programme, 237 startups applied, and nine of them were selected to receive training and establish essential network connections to enhance the chances at scalability of their innovative projects.

  1. Agpreneur and Farmer Lifeline Technologies were awarded IFAD funding of USD50,000, with tailored-made coaching sessions on lean innovation and behavioural design. Furthermore, CGIAR will match these two teams with CGIAR scientists for further technical support and an opportunity to receive $10,000 in equity-free grant funding.
  2. Boomitra (India) will be receiving USD50,000 from ADB for piloting their proposed solution as part of ADB’s operations in the member countries. 
  3. Viamo will be sponsored by the WFP Innovation Accelerator for participating in its SprintProgramme, and was awarded IFAD funding of USD50,000, plus access to the same personalized coaching programme that IFAD will be offering to Agpreneur and Farmer Lifeline Technologies. 

Incentives for banks to invest in agricultural SMEs

8 May 2024
. 14:00 CET. Nudging the local financial market place
Financial service providers like commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions, cooperatives and microfinance institutions are front-line couriers of loans in local currencies to agricultural SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa. 

See Key insights from the rich discussion here.

Given their wide coverage in local markets, financial incentives such as guarantees or first loss facilities that are meant to entice them to extend more loans to these enterprises are growing in popularity.
  • But what level and types of incentives work best for banks in Africa? 
  • Which other incentives have worked elsewhere that may be applied in the region? 
  • Will financial incentives change their behaviour in the long term?
The third and final session of ‘Backing the Middle’ unpacked these questions.
  • Andrew Ahiaku, Director and Head of Financial Sector, Aceli Africa Moderator
  • Phyllis Wanjiku Kimani, Chief Retail Officer, Family Bank
  • Evans Martin Nakhokho, Chief Manager, Centenary Bank
  • Henry Bwogi, Director of Retail and Business Banking, Tanzania Commercial Bank


SAFIN (2024) AnnualProgressReport2023 # 33 pp.
  • As 282 million people faced acute hunger in 2023, global agri-finance players joined hands to unlock the growth potential of agricultural enterprises and farmers through the Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN). 
  • The SAFIN Annual Progress Report 2023 captures the network’s achievements in fostering collaboration with the agricultural finance ecosystem, sharing new market intelligence, advocating for small businesses and farmers, and building regional partnerships.

GDPRD (2024) Unleashing the Catalytic Power of Donor Financing to
Achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 # 48 p.
  • This report is dedicated to bilateral and multilateral donors engaging in blended finance, who aim to boost access to commercial finance by agrifood small and medium enterprises (SMEs). 
  • The investigation included a series of interviews which explored how donors, philanthropic organizations, public funds and blended capital funds can make their funding effective and act as an incentive for achieving SDG 2.
  • The report shows the risk appetite of donors and DFIs is on the rise. This is a unique opportunity for donors, DFIs and their beneficiaries in developing countries to make widespread changes by implementing the recommendations of this report.
  • See PAEPARD blogpost 9 April 2024

Article: Agritech funding in LMICs: How did it go in 1Q24?

Throughout the year ArisTechia tracks data on agritech funding by startups that provide digital solutions for smallholder agriculture across low-and middle income countries (LMICs). We focus on four regions: Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia. This article, looks at how the sector has performed on a quarterly basis, comparing 1Q24 VS 1Q23.

Most of the activity was in South Asia (India), and that of course applies this year as much as last year. If we just look at the largest deals by Indian agritechs in the table above, we will see that they made for ∼59% of the total amount of funding going to the sector, globally, in 1Q24.

In this last quarter two Africa-focused agritechs, Hatch Africa and Apollo, took the second and the third spots in the table of the largest agritech deals. This is quite significant. Hatch, which operates in the poultry sector, raised $9.5 million to scale up in Kenya, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire. Apollo received a $10 million investment to grow its product and financing platform for smallholders. With this raise, Apollo reached $67.8 million cumulative funding since it started operations in 2016.

Training on the Implementation of Upcycling and Waste Management

8 May 2024
. Arusha, Tanzania. Implementation of upcycling and waste management programs Training

The Agriculture Sector Network (ASNET) from Kenya, in partnership with the East African Business Council (EABC) and with support from GIZ Program Agency for Business and Economic Development, organized a training on the Implementation of Upcycling and Waste Management.

The Agriculture Sector Network (ASNET) is the umbrella body of the agriculture sector in Kenya formed through a partnership of KEPSA, KNCCI, SDG partnership.

Through the Agency for Business and Economic Development (AWE), BMZ intends to improve the structural foundations for interaction between development cooperation and the German and European private sector.

AWE addresses key topics of development cooperation: food and agriculture, energy, trade, education, construction, tourism, health care, international organisations, mobility, textiles, social entrepreneurship, environmental and social standards, finance, information and communications technology, mechanical and plant engineering, water and waste management, and municipal companies.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) implement AWE as an equal partner.  

Globalization of the Bioeconomy: Recent Trends and Drivers of Bioeconomy Programs and Policies

7 May 2024 
 Hybrid Policy Seminar, Globalization of the Bioeconomy: Recent Trends and Drivers of Bioeconomy Programs and Policies by IFPRI

Multilateral organizations have intensified their engagement in, and for, the bioeconomy. Under India’s lead in 2023, the G20 drew attention to the bioeconomy and, in 2024, Brazil put the bioeconomy prominently on the G20 agenda. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) included bioeconomy in its most recent science strategy. At the same time, national bioeconomy strategies are emerging to shape multisectoral approaches to climate neutrality, food and nutrition security, improved health, economic growth, and other objectives aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.

In April 2024, the International Advisory Council on Global Bioeconomy (IACGB) released a new policy review in preparation for the Global Bioeconomy Summit in October 2024. 

This seminar discussed findings from the IACBG report and explored the role of the bioeconomy in addressing food security, nutrition and diets, and poverty reduction in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Joachim von Braun, Distinguished Professor for Economic and Technological Change, Center for Development Research (ZEF), Bonn University
  • Julius Ecuru, Principal Scientist and Manager, Research Innovation Coordination Units, BioInnovate Africa Programme, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology
  • Hugo Alexander Chavarría Miranda, Program Manager for Innovation and Bioeconomy, and Executive Secretary Latin American Bioeconomy Network, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) (Video Remarks)
  • Mary E. Maxon, Executive Director, BioFutures
  • Ismahane Elouafi, Executive Managing Director, CGIAR (Video Remarks)
  • Moderator: David Spielman, Director, Innovation Policy, and Scaling (IPS), IFPRI


  • This report analyzes bioeconomy policy trends and their determinants, and highlights the growing importance of the bioeconomy as a key enabler and solution provider to global sustainability challenges across various sectors and dimensions of society. Importantly, the report identifies international and multilateral cooperation as a key building block.
  • The report—and the growing body of research on the bioeconomy—emphasizes the opportunities to advance innovation and facilitate the rise of a bio-based industry and manufacturing, sustainable and regenerative agriculture, human health, and circular bio-based economies

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit (AFSH24)


Extracts Side events AFSH24

7  May. Side event 4. 14:00 – 15:30. (13:00 - 14:30 CET) Reflections on Donors and Development Webinar

  • Partner Coordination Mechanism for SIA and AFSH-Action Plan 

7  May. 14:00–15:30 (13:00 - 14:30 CET)  African Agroecological Fertilizers for Healthy Soils & Healthy Communities Webinar

  • AFSA Side event 
  • The event will highlight the benefits of agroecological practices and biofertilizer innovations happening across Africa will feature presentations from Kenyan agroecology centres and a government official
  • Anne Maina - Biodiversity and Biosafety Association of Kenya
  • Bridget Mugambe - Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa
  • Esther Bett - RODI Kenya, David Karanja - Organic Agriculture Centre of Kenya, 
  • Ferdinand Wafula - Bio Gardening Innovations
  • Daniel Gitahi - Director of Agriculture Strategy, Murang’a County Government

7  May. Side Event 7:  14:00 - 15:30 (13:00 - 14:30 CET) What Business and Industry can do to help Implement the 10-YearAction Plan Webinar 

by AFAP-IFA Side Event (see program in the link)

Panel 1. What do business and industry intend to do to support the implementation of the 10-Year Action Plan? 
  • Innocent Okuku, CEO, WAFA,
  • William Ngeno, Country Manager for Kenya & Uganda, Yara 
  • Mehdi Filali, SVP West Africa, OCP Africa
  • Ashish Lakhotia, CEO, Fertilizer and Agri-Inputs, ETG
Panel 2. What type of enabling environment would facilitate this increased private sector investment and engagement?
  • François Visagie, Managing Director, Manufacturing, Omnia 
  • Malolan Sampath, Chief Marketing Officer, Indorama 
  • Adriaan de Lange, CEO, Ma’aden Africa 
  • Lilian Mbuthia, CEO, Fertilizer Association of Kenya

  • by DeSIRA-Lift and IFAD
  • Fergus Sinclair (CIFOR-ICRAF)
  • James Wangu (WRI)
  • Annick Sezibera (CAPAD)
  • Talash Huijbers (Insecti Pro) 
  • Kishero Oliver (coffee farmer)

7  May. Side Event 8: 15:30 (14:30 CET) Upscaling the Promises of Agroecology to deliver Sustained Soil Health in Africa Webinar

  • Lead Organizer: CCARDESA Co-organizer: ASARECA, CORAF, AFAAS, FARA and IFAD (CAADP XP4 Institutions)

7  May. Side event 31: Importance and benefits of integrated landscape soil and water management to optimize fertilizer use and soil health across agricultural land uses. 


7  May. Side event 34: 15:30 - 17:15 (14:30 CET)  Achieving Resilient Agri-Food Systems through Regenerative Agriculture in the Wake of Global Fertilizer Crises and Climate Change: Innovations and approaches for Improving Soil Health and Sustainable Intensification 

by: Sasakawa Africa Association. See zoom link 
  • Prof. Ruth Oniang’o (picture)/ Honorary Advisor, Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), Editor in Chief, AJFAND Journal, and 2017 Africa Food Prize Recipient
  • The Soil Initiative for Africa - Reversing Decades of Decline in Soil Health in Africa - Dr. David Nielson, Senior Advisor to the North American Agricultural Advisory Network (NAAAN), Senior Advisor to the African Agricultural Research, Innovation, and Education Institutions (AARIEI); Former Lead Agriculture Economist at the World Bank Group.
  • Achieving Food Security through Regenerative Agriculture in the Wake of Global Fertilizer CrisesDr. Amit Roy (picture) / Board Chair, Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) & former Chief Executive Officer, IFDC
  • Disseminating Regenerative Agriculture (RA) for Africa and Enhancing Livelihoods: SAA’s experience in promoting RA - Dr. Stella Kabiri / Lead Regenerative Agriculture, Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA)
  • Decreased dependency on imported fertilizer through utilization of locally produced substitutes for phosphate in Sahelian ecosystems - Dr. Andre Bationo, Chief of Party for SAPEP, 2020 Recipient of the Africa Food Prize
  • Dr. Martin Fregene, Director, Agriculture and Agro-Industry, African Development Bank
  • African Extension Framework for Improving and integrating Soil Health and Sustainable Intensification, - Dr. Silim Nahdy, Executive Director, AFAAS
Panel Discussion Translating the Vision of Regenerative Agriculture (RA) into Practical Innovations: Addressing Fertilizer Cost Challenges for African Smallholders

7  May. Side event 17.00-18.30 (16:00-17:30 CET) Soil Health and Water Management Innovations for Sustainable Agricultural Landscape in Africa

Maintaining healthy soil under climate change is a pressing concern, and this session offers a unique opportunity for sharing and learning. Organized by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT (ABC), and the CGIAR Initiatives on Nature Positive Solutions, Excellence in Agronomy, and West and Central African Food Systems Transformation, it will present integrated landscape soil and water management innovations for optimizing fertilizer use and enhancing soil health across various agricultural land uses.
  • Beyond Fertilizer: The water dimension of soil health. Dr. Noah Adamtey (IWMI)
  • Nature-positive solution for building soil health and strengthening smallholder farming systems in sub–Saharan Africa. Dr. Kaushal Manoj (ABC)
  • Maximizing landscape health: Integrated soil & water management solutions at scale. Dr. Birhanu Zemadim (IWMI)

8 May. Side event 37: 14:00 – 15:30 (13:00 - 14:30 CET) Monitoring soil health and soil health investments at different scales. 


8 May. Side event 39: 14:00 – 15:30 (13:00 - 14:30 CET) Using mineral fertilizers in agroecological approaches in Africa 

Organization: CIRAD + Agrinatura partners. This side event is proposed as part of the SASi-SPi Science-Policy Interface project with the European Union.

8 May. Side event 49. 14:00 – 15:30 (13:00 - 14:30 CET) Agroecological and Organic Farming Systems in Africa– transformation towards System Resilience and Sustainable Production and Consumption 

  • Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) through The Knowledge Hub for Organic Agriculture and Agroecology in Eastern Africa (KHEA) and the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOA-I), in partnership with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) 
  • The Knowledge Hub for Organic Agriculture and Agroecology in Eastern Africa (KHEA) is one of the five Knowledge Hubs under the The Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture and Agroeocology in Africa (KCOA) Project. This KHEA Hub is being coordinated by Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) in Kenya as the lead agency with a co-hosting arrangement with Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Uganda. KHEA is currently being implemented in five Eastern Africa countries with Country Implementing Partners (CIPs) as follows: Kenya; PELUM Kenya, Uganda; PELUM Uganda, Rwanda; ROAM, Tanzania; TOAM and Madagascar; GSDM and SYMABIO. The main goal of the KHEA Hub is to integrate Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) into the participating countries’ agricultural systems by generating, capturing, and sharing information know-how and integrating these into agricultural practices and decision-making for improved livelihood.
  • FiBL presented the report: FIBL (2024) Cultivating change with agroecology and organic agriculture in the tropics Bridging science and policy for sustainable production systems #48 pp.
    This policy dossier aims to present decision and policymakers and experts in the context of international cooperation with scientific evidence on how AE/O approaches can contribute to a beneficial transformation of production systems in the Tropics.

8 May. Side event 59: 14:00 – 15:30. Envisioning the Role of African Research and Training  Institutions in Shaping PolicyReforms for Fertilizer and Soil Health Programmes Across Africa 

This side was event organized by the Africa Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ANAPRI), in partnership with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP), African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), and Michigan State University (MSU) through the Innovation Lab for Food Security, Policy Research, Capacity, and Influence (PRCI).

This panel identified opportunities for partnership and positioning African Research and Training Institutions to contribute more effectively in the domestication and implementation of the Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plans across the African continent. 

This event brought together policy makers, development practitioners, local and international development partners, and research institutions and policy think tanks to identify how African-led institutions can take a lead in driving fertilizer use soil health in Africa.

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research, Capacity, and
 is a new innovation lab supported by USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS). It's a collaborative effort among consortium partners that seeks to enhance the ability of local policy research organizations to conduct high-quality food security policy research and influence food security policy more effectively while becoming increasingly self-reliant.
The Global Change Learning Lab in Sub-Saharan Africa is an integrative website that facilitates agroecology research and information sharing by MSU Global Change Science researchers and partners collaborating on action research in Sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of its research takes place in Malawi. Additional research is starting up in Tanzania, supported by SIIL, and is also on-going in Ghana, Mali, and Zambia. Use the arrow below to open the legend to view locations of Africa RISING Mother Trials, weather stations, and LUANAR (Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources). See in particular its web pages on Soil Quality, Soil Fertility & Low Productivity
  • Dr. Bernard Vanlauwe (IITA) 
  • Dr. Anne Muriuki (KALRO/AfSP) 
  • Dr. Leigh Ann Winowiecki (ICRAF/CA4SH) 
  • Dr. Shamie Zingore African Plant Nutrition Institute (APNI) Benguérir, Morocco
  • Dr. Tilahun Amede (AGRA)
  • Rapporteur: Dr Liesl Wiese-Rozanov (FARA) 

8 May. 11:30. 1:00 pm CET. Parallel Session H: Emerging opportunities with organic and biofertilizers for soil health in Africa 

  • Facilitator: Dr. Nelida Ale (IFAD) 
  • Prof. Bernhard Freyer (Institute of Organic Farming, BOKU University of Natural Resources) 
  • Ms. Carla Montesi (EU DG/INTPA) 
  • Dr. Abdou Tenkouano (ICIPE)
  • IFAD Representative, ESA 
  • Dr. D. Amundavi (Biovision Africa Trust) Representative SME operator in organic/ biofertilizers – Real IPM Company Kenya 
  • Mr. Ibrahima Coulibaly (PAFO)