Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Agricultural Transformation by Innovation (AgTraIn)


AgTraIn
- a world-class Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Programme offered by a consortium of internationally recognised European universities:

  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain
  • Montpellier Supagro, France
  • University College of Cork, Ireland
  • Universita Degli Studi di Catania, Italy
  • Wageningen University, The Netherlands




AgTraIn offers

A fully integrated three-year doctoral programme

Focus on the scientific fields of agricultural development, commercialisation and farmer innovation in developing countries

Emphasis on applied research, joint supervision and mobility periods for students and staff

Joint research with leading research and industry organisations in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America

Attractive EU Fellowships
Call for applications by 1 November 2011

The Call for Applications for Category A and Category B scholarships is open. The deadline is 1 November 2011.

 You will find the 2011 Research Topics and the Application Form  here.Topics and the Application Form  here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Goat value chain actors in India and Mozambique hold innovation platform meetings



Small-scale goat production and marketing are important sources of livelihood for poor livestock keepers in the arid and semi-arid regions of India and Mozambique.

The Market Opportunities Theme of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is leading a project in collaboration with BAIF Development Research Foundation in India and CARE International, Mozambique towards increasing incomes and food security in a sustainable manner by enhancing pro-poor small ruminant value chains in India and Mozambique.

The project Small ruminant value chains as platforms for reducing poverty and increasing food security in India and Mozambique (imGoats in short), which is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), got underway in February 2011.

It uses an innovation systems approach aimed at transforming informal subsistence-level goat production to a viable, profitable model while preserving community and national resource systems. In addition to goat keepers, project beneficiaries include small-scale traders and providers of inputs and animal health services.

Project partners in India and Mozambique recently facilitated inaugural innovation platform meetings in Inhassoro, Mozambique (May 2011) and Jhadol, Udaipur, India (July 2011). Innovation platforms offer an opportunity for the different actors in the goat value chain to gather and exchange knowledge and share experiences towards improving goat production and marketing processes for the benefit of all.

During the innovation platform meetings, participants shared the challenges and constraints they face during goat production/marketing and discussed possible solutions and priority areas for action towards addressing the constraints.

For more details about the imGoats project and to read the meeting reports, please visit http://imgoats.org or contact Dr Ranjitha Puskur of ILRI (r.puskur @ cgiar.org).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Guide to making commodity-based projects work

Edited by Paul Mundy et al. 
Published by Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) 
Website: www.kitpublishers.nl 
2011, 150pp, ISBN 978 94 6022 156 9(Pb), €25 or free to download

From sorghum to shrimp is an accessible, sensible and practical, and a very valuable guide to making commodity-based projects work. It draws on the experience of 11 Commonwealth Fund for Commodities projects, from Asia, Africa and Latin America, guiding the reader through a series of key questions. What commodity to choose is the first: there are advantages to choosing a 'privileged' or established commodity like cocoa, cotton or coffee, but for the poorly resourced community, an 'infant' crop, such as bamboo in East Africa, or a neglected, 'orphan' crop like sorghum, will have less competition from big players and is often the best choice.

Working in a single country helps to reduce complications, which is a good idea as most commodity projects need to focus on bottlenecks at various points in the value chain, and not expect to achieve a result from action on just one issue. Being flexible throughout the project implementation, responding to unexpected problems, taking advantage of new opportunities and constantly assessing whether the project goals need to change in light of the evolving situation, are all important ingredients to success. Other chapters focus on the roles of stakeholders and partners, using market opportunities and achieving a lasting impact.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PAEPARD THIRD PARNERSHIP INCEPTION WORKSHOP

Participants at the 3rd Partnership Inception (PI) Workshop


South Africa - Use of Geographic Information Systems,
GMPBasic and existing related information systems
to benchmark and plan the development of
the emerging livestock sector of South Africa
8 – 12th August, 2011. Pretoria, South Africa. This was the Third workshop in a series of three workshops aimed at creating a foundation for effective partnerships by partners of European-African research consortia selected under the 1st PAEPARD call.

Malawi - Partnership for Enhanced Aquaculture
Innovation in Sub Saharan Africa(PEAISSA)
Objective: To create a foundation for effective partnerships by partners of European-African research consortia selected under the 1st PAEPARD call.

Zimbabwe - Improving the incomes
of smallholder farmers through increased
access to livestock markets
Expected workshop outputs:

  1. partnerships understand PAEPARD objectives, process
  2. Partnership teams function effectively, with: a. A common purpose and clear objectives; b. Established working procedures and “ground rules”; and c. Clear understanding of respective roles of different partners
  3. Roles of the partnership “agricultural innovation” facilitator agreed and understood
  4. Draft concept note for each partnership, which can subsequently be developed into a full proposal for funding and directed at specific financing agencies with PAEPARD support
  5. Kenya - Aflatoxin contamination management
    along the maize value chain in Kenya
  6. Action plan for the partnership, to prepare for the full proposal “write-shop”.

This was the 3rd Partnership Inception (PI) Workshop in a series of three was held 6 – 10 June 2011 in Pretoria, South Africa. The other two workshops were held 6 – 10 June 2011 and 4 – 8 July, 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya and Lome, Togo, respectively. Participants at the third PI comprised four Agricultural Innovation projects/consortia.

Information event GlobE - Global Food Security

Venue: dbb forum Berlin
4th of August 2011. Information event GlobE - Global Food SecurityThe Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany has started a new funding initiative within the “National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030” framework programme, which identifies and works on research topics concerning worldwide food security


To ensure global food security it will be necessary to support the regions most concerned in the establishment of an efficient and sustainable agriculture. In particular regions of Africa are to be integrated as partners in research. To take into account regional demands, a joint analysis assessing the local situation together with all concerned partners is desired, calling for cooperative projects between German and African scientists and stakeholders. 
An open-theme competition between network concepts of interdisciplinary research collaborations involving partners from Germany and African countries is to identify topics for research with the aim of increasing and/or securing agricultural production. All research efforts dealing with the overarching “food system” should take the entire system into account.

Presentation during the info day (04.08.2011):

Call for proposalsRichtlinien zur Fördermaßnahme "GlobE - Globale Ernährungssicherung"Français (PDF - 76 KB)English (PDF - 63 KB)
Presentation of PAEPARD: Why does Africa needs innovative agricultural research and innovative fund mechanisms ? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

East African Organization Receives International Library Award For Creating Knowledge Centers in Rural Areas

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation presented on 17/08/2011 its 2011 Access to Learning Award to the Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), which provides knowledge and information through a variety of innovative channels in remote communities throughout Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Members of these communities use the technology and other tools at ALIN’s Knowledge Centers to gain information to improve their health, increase their incomes, and better their lives. Microsoft, a partner of the foundation in its efforts to help public libraries connect people with relevant technology and skills, will provide ALIN with a donation of over US$270,000 worth of software and technology training curriculum to help the organization serve the local community.


The Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) has created 12 Maarifa—or Knowledge—Centers in the most hard-to-reach regions of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania so that these people have the tools they need to improve their health, increase their incomes, and better their lives.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The fuel wood value chain and improved charcoal production

A documentary on the IFDC CATALIST/SEW project's modern charcoal production and agroforestry programs in Burundi, DRC and Rwanda. Run time: 40 minutes.


IFDC has released an educational and inspirational film, “Makala,” that illustrates improved charcoal production (carbonization) techniques that are more environmentally sustainable than traditional methods. “Charcoalers,” farmers and others involved in the fuel wood value chain are learning the improved techniques through training from IFDC’s CATALIST/SEW project. CATALIST/SEW is the “Sustainable Energy Production Through Woodlots and Agroforestry” project in the Albertine Rift of Central Africa’s Great Lakes Region. The 40-minute film will be used extensively in the CATALIST/SEW focus countries – Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – to promote both modern carbonization methods and agroforestry.

“The project brings a group of people together – men and women – for 12 days, at one place, and we give them practical training using participatory learning activities – learning by doing,” said Aimé Kikuru in the film. Kikuru is the CATALIST/SEW national value chain officer in DRC. “We have a goal of training 500 charcoalers. But we cannot train them all ourselves. That is why we developed our ‘peer-to-peer’ training program.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

PAEPARD: ARD funding opportunities

A G R I C U L T U R E

Be Fair award
Belgian Technical Cooperation -- Fair Trade in Developing Countries. Belgium's BTC invites small-scale producers and micro-enterprises in developing countries to compete for the "Be Fair" award of €5 thousand. The award is to help promote fair trade in the domestic market, or in markets of other developing countries (South-South trade). BTC will consider projects to establish new fair trade activities, and to support existing programs. The application deadline is 13 August 2011.

Sustainable Energy Project Support (SEPS) 2011
WISIONS is an initiative of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy to promote practical and sustainable energy projects, with an emphasis on the developing world. The 2011 call for applications invites projects that aim to implement energy solutions for food processing -- including the reduction of post-harvest losses, the improvement of food storage, and other energy-related models for food processing. The total grant fund is €400 thousand to be divided among 8 to 10 projects. The submission deadline is 15 August 2011

Food Security in Zimbabwe
The European Commission invites proposals to address food insecurity in Zimbabwe in three thematic areas: (i) small-scale high value crops for international fair trade; (ii) wildlife and natural resources management; and (iii) intensive vegetable cash crops in peri-urban areas. The program is open to non-profit organizations that include NGOs, local authorities, and inter-governmental organizations. Reference EuropeAid/131700/L/ACT/ZW. The closing date for proposals is 23 August 2011.

The Efico Fund (Fonds Efico) makes grants for the sustainable improvement of poor populations which produce coffee and/or cocoa in developing countries. Projects are funded for one or more years up to a maximum of €20 thousand per year. Grants by the Efico Fund are administered through the King Baudouin Foundation, Belgium. The deadline for applications is 01 September 2011.

Integrated Land and Water Management for Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change
(ILWAC)

The Danish Government facilitated the Dialogue on ILWAC. A Trust Fund (TF) will support innovative approaches for climate-resilient land and water management, which improve the ability of African agricultural land and water users to plan and manage climate change adaptation measures. Deadline for submission of Project Concept Notes (PCN)is 6th September, 2011

Global Poverty Action Fund
UK Department for International Development (DFID) invites proposals for the Impact Window of the Global Poverty Action Fund (GPAF). The GPAF aims for poverty reduction consistent with the Millennium Development Goals, which include themes in agriculture and environment (among others). The current call of the Impact Window is open to nonprofit NGOs in the UK, and to locally registered civil society organizations in 27 developing countries (DFID's focus countries). Grants range from £250 thousand to a maximum of £4 million for projects up to three years. Matching funds of at least 25% are required. The closing date for applications is 19 September 2011

UK ESRC-DFID Joint Program for Research on International Development
The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) announce a third joint call for applications under Phase 2 of their partnership to fund development research. Thematic areas include "Resource Scarcity, Growth, and Poverty Reduction" (among others). Applications are invited for projects between £100 thousand to £500 thousand from UK and non-UK researchers. The closing date is 27 September 2011.

GlobE - Global Food Security
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany has started a new funding initiative within the “National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030” framework programme, which identifies and works on research topics concerning worldwide food security. To ensure global food security it will be necessary to support the regions most concerned in the establishment of an efficient and sustainable agriculture. In particular regions of Africa are to be integrated as partners in research. To take into account regional demands, a joint analysis assessing the local situation together with all concerned partners is desired, calling for cooperative projects between German and African scientists and stakeholders. Deadline 4 October 2011. French + English

EC Erasmus Mundus/PhD Research in Agricultural Development at European Universities, Call 2011.
Six European universities collaborate to offer the program Agricultural Transformation by Innovation (AgTraIn). AgTraIn funds 3-year doctoral programs for study and research in themes of agricultural development, emphasizing the developing countries. Participants are from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The closing date for applications is 01 November 2011

FP7 KBBE 2012.
The European Commission invites research proposals in the theme of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology. All topics are open to third-country (non-EU) participation, including with International Cooperation Partner Countries. Cooperation with developing countries is foreseen for research on zoonotic diseases, biowaste, insect protein, global food safety, etc. (Identifier: FP7-KBBE-2012-6-singlestage.) The closing date for applications is 15 November 2011.

Africa specific slides, aim to provide researchers working in Africa with a brief overview of the content of the FP7 2012 work programme and the current calls, and highlight some specific topics which may be of particular interest.


B I O D I V E R S I T Y

Swiss university research cooperation
The Rectors Conference of the Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences (KHF) announces the 7th call for proposals to fund Swiss university research cooperation with developing and transition countries. Proposals are invited from Swiss universities of applied sciences and teacher education in collaboration with partners in developing countries. Past projects include several in areas such as environmental education, agricultural production, pollution control, supply of drinking water, aquaculture, and others. The deadline for proposals is 10 October 2011.

FP7 ENVIRONMENT 2012.
The European Commission invites research proposals in the theme of Environment (including Climate Change). The emphasis is on research to improve the protection and management of natural resources (land, water, air, and marine resources). All topics are open to third-country (non-EU) participation, including with International Cooperation Partner Countries. The closing date for applications is 15 November 2011


C L I M A T E   C H A N G E
The European Commission invites research proposals in the theme of Energy. Topics of relevance for developing countries include biofuels and biomass, solar energy, and carbon sequestration (among others). All topics are open to third-country (non-EU) participation, including with International Cooperation Partner Countries. The closing dates for applications are 25 October 2011 for Part 1, and 08 March 2012 for Part II.

GLOBMEK programme – a joint call with the India programme
Research Council of Norway -- GLOBMEK invites Norwegian scientists to cooperate with India and additional partners in the developing world to take a global approach in environment, energy, and climate research. Projects are up to NOK 4 million for up to three years. The deadline is 12 October 2011

Livelihoods Fund
The Danone corporation, an international producer and marketer of dairy and food products, has announced a partnership with other business organizations to launch the Livelihoods Fund. The objective of the Fund is to offer carbon offsets for large-scale projects in three thematic areas: (i) restoration and preservation of natural ecosystems; (ii) agroforestry and soil restoration; and (iii) rural energy projects that prevent deforestation. The Fund will have a website.

Monday, August 8, 2011

SEMINAIRE D’INITIATION AUX PARTENARIATS PAEPARD

4-8 JUILLET 2011, LOME, Togo. Au terme du processus de sélection des demandes de soutien envoyées au PAEPARD en réponse au premier apppel qui avait lancé en Décembre 2010, trois consortia francophones de l’Afrique de l’Ouest ont participé au séminaire d’initiation aux partenariats PAEPARD. Il s’agit des consortia ci-dessous :
  1. Consortium 1 : Un partenariat Europe-Afrique pour la création d’un outil de suivi de l’agriculture familiale. Ce partenariat est formé de quatre institutions italiennes dont l’ONG Terra Nuova, trois sénégalaises et deux institutions maliennes. Aucun partenaire italien n’a pu participer à l’atelier alors que toutes les autres institutions partenaires étaient représentées.
  2. Consortium 2 : Agri-business autour du Soja. Ce consortium est formé de 3 institutions togolaises et une institution française (Agriculteurs Français et le développement international-Afdi)
  3. L’atelier comme lieu de choc des idées (brainstorming) d’où  se clarifient 
    les rôles/fonctions du leader et du facilitateur du consortium
  4. Consortium 3: Caractérisation de deux variétés de piment rouge pour améliorer la mise en marché et la transformation semi-industrielle. Ce consortium est constitué de trois institutions togolaises et une institution française (CIRAD).
Les participants et organisateurs de l’atelier avaient pour objectifs:
  • Compréhension des objectifs et des processus de PAEPARD
  • Les fonctions des équipes des partenariats effectives, avec:
  • – un but commun et objectifs clairs,
  • – des procédures de travail établies et des ‘‘règles de fonctionnement’’ [Ground rules-Règles de base],
  • – compréhension claire des rôles respectifs des différents partenaires,
  • Les partenaires des consortiums s’accordent et ont une même compréhension du rôle du facilitateur et du leader.
  • La production du draft de la note conceptuelle de chaque consortium.
  • Un plan d’action du partenariat allant jusqu'à l’élaboration finale de la proposition finale (atelier d’écriture).