Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Directories of ARD organisations in Africa

The directory of development organizations, listing 70,000 development organizations, has been prepared to facilitate international cooperation and knowledge sharing in development work, both among civil society organizations, academic and research institutions, governments and the private sector.

The directory aims to promote interaction and active partnerships among governments, private sector and key development organisations in civil society, including NGOs, trade unions, faith-based organizations, indigenous peoples movements, foundations and research centres. In creating opportunities for dialogue with governments and private sector, civil society organizations are helping to amplify the voices of the poorest people in the decisions that affect their lives, improve development effectiveness and sustainability and hold governments and policymakers publicly accountable.

In particular, the directory is intended to provide a comprehensive source of reference for development practitioners, researchers, donor employees, and policymakers who are committed to good governance, sustainable development and poverty reduction, through: the financial sector and microfinance, trade and business development services, rural development and appropriate technology, private sector development and policy reforms, legislation & rule of law and good governance, community development and social protection, gender equality and participation, environment and health, research, training and education.

VOLUME I.A (A - L, 5.1 Mb)
Africa - Afrique - África I.A
VOLUME I.B (M - Z, 6.9 Mb)
Africa - Afrique - África I.B

Volume I Africa provides 135 hits on agriculture
Volume II Africa provides 177 hits on agriculture

A directory of Agricultural Research Institutes was developed by AfDevInfo. The database was designed in the UK with research conducted by London-based African postgraduate students. After three years of development the project failed to reach its aim of becoming a commercially self-sustaining project, and when not-for-profit funding efforts failed, the database was put into hibernation in October 2008. But it can still be accessed on . It was also resuscitated by isiAfrica, a site that tracks public information systems in Africa

ITOCA maintains the portal for Tertiary Agricultural Education (TAE) in Africa. The portal was developed through funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The portal data is available on the public domain. This resource provides free access to up-to-date information on agricultural education and training (AET) for Sub Sahara Africa institutions with the aim to inform development work in the sector. The portal tracks student enrolment, faculty, courses and graduate output at over 400 member universities and technical training colleges awarding degrees, diplomas and certificates in agriculture and related disciplines in the region.

PAEPARD/CSA internal consultation for European NGO and FO

27th of September 2011. The objective of the European NGOs and farmer’s organizations consultation was to provide keys to reorient research towards more demand-driven approach for African family farmers.

The aim of the consultation was to highlight constraints and opportunities for more inclusive and balanced partnerships establishment, and elaborating a common view of what European NGOs and farmer’s organizations should promote into PAEPARD.

Based on results of the previous consultations and of the PAEPARD project, the consultation will allow to discuss about important questions raised by the previous consultations and the first results of the PAEPARD project:

o What role for FOs and what complementarity with others stakeholders for:

  • The translation of farmers needs in research questions (link with the base, formulation ...)
  • The dissemination of research results
  • The indigenous knowledge ‘s capitalization and exchange

o How to formalize partnerships between FOs and others stakeholders inside agricultural research institutions, at level of

  • Funding and governance mechanisms
  • Choice of research topics

The first question was expected to feed Work Package 3 (Communication), WP4 (Capacity building) and WP5 (Brokerage), while the second is expected to feed more specifically the WP6 (Advocacy).

Annick Sezibera

Mariana Wongtwosky

Cheikh Oumar Ba

Djibo Bagna

Marygoretti Kamau

Ann Waters Bayer

Giel Ton

Nicoliene Oudwater

Monday, September 26, 2011

Approaches for achieving farmer entrepreneurship in Uganda : case studies of PELUM Uganda member organisations

Despite several interventions by various agricultural development practitioners and stakeholders to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, farmer entrepreneurship remains a key challenge.

This publication (2011, 28 pages) highlights three approaches that have been effectively employed by some of PELUM Uganda’s member organisations in helping farmers to produce for the market, while maintaining food security. (PPELUM is an acronym for Participatory Ecological Land Use Management).

These approaches include the group approach, market linkages approach and the savings and credit access approach. Also highlighted are ways in which these approaches have been used to empower smallholder farmers to identify and evaluate market opportunities, develop profitable agro-enterprises, and intensify market oriented production.
  1. Chapter 1 presents the Group Approach, with case studies from Send a Cow Uganda (SACU) and Agency for Integrated Rural Development (AFIRD)
  2. Chapter 2 presents the Market Linkages Approach, with case studies from National Organic Agricultural Movement in Uganda (NOGAMU), and Community Integrated Development Initiatives (CIDI)
  3. Chapter 3 presents the Savings and credit Approach, with case studies from Organization for Rural Development (ORUDE) and Agency for Accelerated Regional Development (AFARD).
Each of the above case studies highlights the processes of the approach, what is working well, challenges and lessons, followed by success stories from farmer groups on the use of the given approach. This publication acts as a valuable resource to be used by other development practitioners, farmers’ associations, as well as other agricultural stakeholders in supporting farmer entrepreneurship interventions.

FP7 INSTAPA project releases booklet on Traditional recipes of millet- sorghum- and maize-based dishes and related sauces

Traditional recipes booklet published
A booklet entitled Traditional recipes of millet- sorghum- and maize-based dishes and related sauces frequently consumed by young children in Burkina Faso and Benin has been released by Work Package 4 of the INSTAPA research project which is funded by the EC under the FP7 programme. The booklet can be downloaded in its English or French version.

To order hardcopies of the recipe booklet (bilingual English/French) you are kindly asked to send an email to Lucy Elburg. Price of one booklet: Euro 15 (excl. postage).

Downloads: English version / French version

INSTAPA - Novel staple food-based strategies to improve micronutrient status for better health and development in sub-Saharan Africa
The INSTAPA (FP7 SICA – Specific International Cooperation Action) runs from 01/06/2008 to 31/05/2012 with a total budget of €5 million. The project is coordinated and managed by Inge D. Brouwer of Wageningen Universiteit in the Netherlands. The activities are carried out by a consortium of four European, six African and two international partners based in the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, France, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, Switzerland, UK and the USA.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Major drivers for rural transformation in Africa

14 September 2011. The last CTA Brussels Development Briefing focused on the “Major drivers for rural transformation in Africa”.

The Briefing discussed the main challenges involved in rural transformation processes by sharing different perspectives on rural transformation processes across continents. It also focused on rural employment and rural labour markets needed to create growth and economic development.Among the speakers were the CEO of NEPAD, Dr. Ibrahim Assane MayakiProf. Peter Hazell from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, Paul Dorosh from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Paul Barera from the Rwanda Telecentre Network (RTN). The conference documentation is available here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PAEPARD session @ the FANRPAN Annual High Level Regional Food Security Policy Dialogue

Jonas Mugabe, African co-manager of PAEPARD
19-23 September 2011. Swaziland. FANRPAN Annual High Level Regional Food Security Policy Dialogue. The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) focused on advocating for the active engagement of youth in the agriculture value chain.
PAEPARD session on 19 September 2011
Key Participants
  • FANRPAN focal countries (8) Botswana, DRC, Mozambique, Lesotho, Mauritius, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, South Africa
  • WP 2 partners – EAFF, ROPPA, PROPAC, SACAU
  • Co-Manager (Jonas Mugabe)
  • PAEPARD consortium partners
  • Overview of project progress to date by Co-Managers
  • Effective engagement of research and non-research stakeholders in ARD by Co-Managers
  • Discussion session

PAEPARD supports FP7 proposal writeshop

15-16/09/2011. An FP7 proposal write shop was supported by PAEPARD at the University of Gembloux in Belgium. The European Commission (EC) funding mechanisms, including the FP7 and the EDULINK ACP funding opportunities, constitute a significant proportion of funding for agricultural research in Africa. The FP7 2012 call for proposals on FOOD, AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES, AND BIOTECHNOLOGY (FAFB) was launched on the July 20th.

Topics of particular interest under this KBBE/FAFB for Africa are:
·         Conversion of bio-waste in developing countries [KBBE.2012.3.4-01]
·         Insects as a novel source of proteins [KBBE.2012.2.3-05]

For both themes, PAEPARD faces a particular challenge to ensure that research is demand-led and that there is an improvement in the quality of partnerships being formed to undertake research.

The selected consortium provides guarantees for:

[KBBE.2012.2.3-05] Insects as a novel source of proteins
The objective is to exploit the potential of insects as alternative sources of protein. Several ways of processing the proteins are to be explored in view of their potential incorporation into feed and/or food products. Aspects of insect breeding and processing such as energy use, efficiency and how residual flows develop and can best be dealt with will also be looked into. Issues related to quality, animal health and human safety have to be addressed, for instance, through examining amino acid composition and allergenicity; and quality and safety criteria of the derived proteins should be developed at a European level. Regulatory and consumer aspects should also be looked into. If applicable, an environmental, social and economic lifecycle assessment in line with the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook should be carried out. Dissemination activities and demonstration activities will be required. Funding scheme: Collaborative Project (small or medium-scale focused research project) for Specific Cooperation Actions dedicated to International Cooperation partner countries.

It's time to eat insects for the good of the planet, say experts Euro-observer 14/09/2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Growing a Better Future: Food justice in a resource-constrained world

Growing a Better Future: Food justice in a resource-constrained worldThe global food system works only for the few – for most of us it is broken. It eaves the billions of us who consume food lacking sufficient power and knowledge about what we buy and eat and the majority of small food producers disempowered and unable to fulfil their productive potential. The failure of the system flows from failures of government – failures to regulate, to correct, to protect, to resist, to invest – which mean that companies, interest groups, and elites are able to plunder resources and to redirect flows of finance, knowledge, and food. 
This report describes a new age of growing crisis: food price spikes and oil price hikes, devastating weather events, financial meltdowns, and global contagion. Behind each of these, slow-burn crises smoulder: creeping and insidious climate change, growing inequality, chronic hunger and vulnerability, the erosion of our natural resources. 

Based on the experience and research of Oxfam staff and partners around the world and, Growing a Better Future shows how the food system is at once a driver of this fragility and highly vulnerable to it, and why in the twenty-first century it leaves 925 million people hungry. The report presents new research forecasting price rises for staple grains in the range of 120–180 per cent within the next two decades, as resource pressures mount and climate change takes hold.

Role of food and agriculture research at the UN high level meeting September 19-20

On September 7th, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) hosted a seminar and panel discussion about the role that food and agriculture research can, and should, play in the high level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on September 19-20. It was a continuation of their large “Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health 2020 Conference,” held in New Delhi, India, this past February.
The upcoming United Nations’ high level meeting [19 and 20 September 2011 in New York] is only the second ever to focus on a health issue (the first focused on communicable diseases – HIV/AIDS – in 2001). Many view this as an opportunity to shift focus and funding toward NCDs.  To see videos of all three presentations, follow this link. Click here for more information on the UN high level meeting. Last week’s seminar addressed the alarming escalation of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in developing nations. Once perceived as threats only to developed countries, conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and cancer actually afflict a higher proportion of people in poorer areas of the world. As many as 80 percent of NCD deaths occur in developing countries.

Presentation by Tim Lang, City University London, at the IFPRI Policy Seminar, "Leveraging Agriculture to Tackle Noncommunicable Diseases," Sept. 7, 2011, Washington, DC

The Role of Organic Agriculture in Uganda

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have put together this short video highlighting the important contribution that organic farming is making to rural livelihoods in Uganda.
Uganda has an organic certification program that offers local and international certification services for a variety of fruits and vegetables. The program was developed by the National Organic Agricultural Movement of Uganda (NOGAMU), a body that works across the nation to promote organic agriculture and the export of organic products around the world. And the organization hasn’t forgotten about the importance of staying local, working to sell the produce in cities around the country as well.
Chief executive officer of NOGAMU, Musa K. Muwanga, says forty seconds into the video that the “green economy” is important for Uganda because it allows different actors, such as small farmers and traders, to create wealth in a way that is more sustainable and protects the environment. Ultimately, this holds promise not just for Uganda but other developing countries as well. As the narrator mentions at the beginning, “Organic means many things to many people, but for organic farmer[s in Uganda]… organic simply means a better life.”

The Horizon 2020 Framework Programme

Framework Programme Seven’s (FP7s) successor, the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, will be one of the world’s leading sources of research funding when it begins on 1 January 2014. Horizon 2020’s total budget is expected to be more than 80 billion Euros (about US$ 109 billion), an increase of 46 percent from the 56 billion Euros (about US$ 76 billion) allocated to the FP7 in the period covering 2007 to 2013.

The Horizon 2020 Framework Programme ‘‘will make participation in EU funded research and innovation easier,’’ according to an EU spokesperson in Brussels, Belgium. Consultations on Horizon 2020 ‘‘underlined the importance of a strong involvement of international partner countries,’’ the spokesperson said. He recommended that African researchers establish a relationship with their national contact points in government, who can offer guidance in writing successful proposals and assist in linking them up with European researchers.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European commissioner for research, science and innovation, announced the new name for the next funding programme in June and said that:
Horizon 2020 will bring together different types of funding provided through the FP7 in a coherent and flexible manner. It is the name for the new, integrated funding system that will cover all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development. In future, research and innovation funding will focus more clearly on addressing global challenges. Needless red tape will be cut out and participation made simpler.
Horizon 2020 will only become fully operational in 2013. A new website includes the outcome of the consultation: Green Paper on a Common Strategic Framework for future EU Research and Innovation Funding, a summary analysis of over 750 written responses and around 1300 online questionnaires submitted by companies, research institutes, associations and citizens, as well as the individual responses.  The new initiative will be presented by the Commission by the end of 2011, for decisions of the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

G20 Conference on Agricultural Research for Development

G20 Conference on Agricultural Research for Development

September 12-13, 2011. The French Presidency of the G20 convened in Montpellier a conference on Agriculture Research for Development, promoting scientific partnerships for food security.

This Conference provided a timely opportunity to consider how G20 Agricultural Research Systems can achieve a step-change in supporting development and to consider which actions to take forward in specific regional and inter-regional initiatives.

The main purpose of the first G20 Conference on ARD was to mobilise the G20 capacities in this field to meet the global challenges of scientific partnership for development and food security, with 4 specific objectives:
  • To build a mutual knowledge between the G20 agricultural research systems, in order to improve policy coherence through enhanced cooperation and coordination of research policies and programmes on food security.
  • To mobilise the G20 agricultural research and knowledge systems to develop effective and innovative research partnerships for development, leverage innovative research results-based mechanisms and enhance the impact of the CGIAR Research Programme (CRP) outcomes.
  • To strengthen capacities in agriculture technologies and productive systems for developing countries optimising complementarities and synergies between the G20 agricultural research systems.
  • To better involve the G20 agricultural research systems in the design of and participation in the 2nd Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) scheduled in Uruguay in 2012.

Carlos Perez Del Castillo (CGIAR Board Chair), Monty Jones (GFAR Board Chair), David Nabarro (Special Representative of the UN SG on Food Security and Nutrition), Philippe Petithuguenin (European Union, DGRTD), Feng Dongxin (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, CAAS)

Session 2

How to establish effective multi-stakeholder research partnerships to capitalise on the knowledge and expertise of diverse research actors (e.g. North-South, South-South and trilateral cooperation) and leverage the private sector for additional investments in agricultural research (e.g. pull mechanisms)?

Session 3

How to improve effectiveness and efficiency in capacity-building programmes to generate, share and make use of agricultural knowledge for developing countries through new and existing tools?

Andrew Westby, Tim Chancellor, Paolo Sarfatti and Didier Pillot

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ruralweb helps people apply ICT for development

Ruralweb tries to help people to make the most of the ICT available to them. It wants to help people apply ICT for development. To do that, you must first know how to use ICT (1st time online). Then you can use all the e-learning that is available online, or find and use resources that will foster development.

1st time online

This section of Rural Web is aimed at people who have never or barely ever used the internet and who do not have many people in their offline network who have done so either. In other words, it is aimed at people who will have to learn to use the internet pretty much on their own.

dev resources

This section aims at improving access to useful information that will improve the livelyhoods of rural and poor communities. It is up to them (and their development partners) to implement it.
For example, by which simple techniques can a small farmer get a larger yield? How can a mother improve hygiene or prevent malaria? How can markets be reached?


There are tons of things you can learn online. From large amounts of tutorials on youtube to online university courses. What are the most useful resources for developing communities?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Larvae could become a protein source for a large [human] population

The man loves to eat meat. At the point where it does not change its regime, global production must double to meet the demand by 2050. Deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions: the addition will be priceless in terms of pollution. This excess of meat, the world can not digest. Transgenic pig to skewer larvae or fried grasshoppers, this video reviews the menus which are being prepared now to avoid the indigestion tomorrow.

Global Steak: Demain nos enfants mangeront des criquets is a 2010 French documentary film directed by Anthony Orliange. The film explores the problem of human meat consumption and suggests that the increasing demand of meat in the world could lead to a catastrophe.

Entomophagy section

The FP7 2012 call for proposals on FOOD, AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES, AND BIOTECHNOLOGY (FAFB) launched on the July 20th a research call on Insects as a novel source of proteins [KBBE.2012.2.3-05]

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New release! Platform study on policy coherence for ARD

Bonn, 8 Sep 2011. New release! Platform study on policy coherence for ARD (106 pages).

The international community is increasing efforts to foster coherence and institutional reform in the global policy and institutional framework for food security, agriculture and rural development. The UN HLTF, CFA and G8 / G20 work on the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative and on excessive global food price volatility, along with the upcoming 4th DAC High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, are all part of this process.

This study is unique, with potential to enrich these processes with a wealth of analysis and concrete examples, including 16 case studies fromthree continents in development – Africa, Latin America and Asia.

It pulls together important evidence-based lessons from policy and practice distilled skilfully by the ODI research team from an extensive review of the literature, interviews with experts and agency staff in head office and country contexts. It provides practical recommendations to donors to identify best practices and improve policy coherence for agriculture and rural development.

Rightly, the authors point out that the current range of global initiatives in agriculture, food and nutrition security and climate change could all complicate policy coherence still further, and the attainment of our ultimate objectives.
Quote on page 42: It is to the credit of most development agencies that they have recognised the merit of CAADP as an example of regional leadership that reflects the spirit of the Paris Declaration.
The challenge now for development partners and international agencies involved in agriculture and rural development policy and practice is to seriously address the key conclusions and recommendations.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Value Chains, Donor Interventions and Poverty Reduction: A Review of Donor Practice

Value Chains, Donor Interventions and Poverty Reduction: A Review of Donor Practice IDS Research Reports March 2010 108 pages.

Value chain interventions are increasingly popular amongst donors aiming to promote market-oriented growth and poverty reduction. Based on the reflections of the community of practice itself and extensive desk research, this review critically examines the causal models underlying value chain interventions and asks how and to what extent their poverty alleviation impacts have been systematically investigated.

Concentrating on a selection of 30 donor-led value chain interventions, the review finds two main patterns of engagement: (a) one which funnels assistance by partnering with lead firms in the value chain – lead firm projects; and (b) one which works with chains without a lead firm – value chain linkage projects.

Targeting of the poor seems more effective in value chain linkage projects and in those lead firm projects where beneficiaries are identified in both the chain’s suppliers and distributors.
Controversially, despite a wealth of positive anecdotal evidence, the vast majority of projects did not carry out an impact assessment of their poverty alleviation objectives and it is therefore unclear whether the value chain intervention: (a) is responsible for the improvements observed; (b) benefits the poor disproportionately; and (c) is more cost effective than other alternative approaches.

Assessing the poverty alleviation effects of individual interventions in a rigorous way is costly and challenging but necessary to ensure long term effectiveness of the interventions as well as optimising the use of public funds.

There is a need to carry out systematic impact assessment at the programme level to develop a strong evidence base. Finally, this review provides some guidelines for designing and managing value chain interventions, particularly regarding the identification of situations in which the value chain approach is most appropriate and those where other private sector-oriented approaches (such as Business Development Services and Making Markets Work for the Poor) may be more suitable or complementary.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The World Council of Credit Unions supports small farmers to produce stevia, a natural sugar substitute

Credit unions in Kenya have introduced financing for a new cash crop well-suited for production in small farm plots characteristic of rural poor farmers in Kenya. Recent years have seen the reduction of demand for tea as younger generations consume more soft drinks and less tea. Small farmers who used to harvest tea have found it harder to support their families by selling the tea leaves. Finlay Tea introduced new crops that could be grown on small plots of land by poor farmers in western Kenya. The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) introduced, with Ndege Chai SACCO Ltd a Medium size Society based in Kericho, financing for small farmers to produce stevia, a natural sugar substitute.
The majority of poor people in Kenya are still in the rural areas; small landholders are producing for subsistence and trying to find a crop to sell for additional household income. Stevia has a strong demand. It is also simple; the poorest and least trained farmers can produce it sustainably and profitably on their small landholdings. The challenge is reaching the scale that the market offers to these farmers. The largest purchasers on the worldwide sugar market are soft drink producers, such as Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola. Consequently, they are also the largest interested purchasers of stevia. But to respond to their demand requires the delivery of very large amounts of the crop. Stevia has also an aftertaste similar to artificial sweeteners (even though it is all-natural). So you may need to get used to this. When combined with real sugar, the aftertaste is minimized.

Antimicrobial Activity of Stevia Rebaudian. Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin,  Benin City, Nigeria