Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Climate Analogues: Finding Tomorrow’s Agriculture Today

Scientists have issued an analysis of East Africa’s future climate as the first step in a new programme that will help farmers grow crops that will best thrive in the changed weather conditions 20 years from now, a new study has shown.

“Climate change will significantly alter growing conditions, but in most places the new farming environment will not be novel in the global context,” said Julian Ramirez, a scientist based at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia and a lead author of the study.

The report is compiled by the Consultative Group on International on International Agricultural Research programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

Titled, Climate Analogues: Finding Tomorrow’s Agriculture Today, the report forms the platform of a global programme to exchange knowledge between communities on current agriculture practices that can help maintain productivity in the future, despite potentially dramatic shifts in growing conditions.

Under Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), researchers have developed a software-based tool that offer farmers a glimpse into their future by identifying places where growing conditions today match those expected in their fields in two to five decades’ time. The tool can be used to link climate and crop models with agricultural technologies, including improved varieties and agronomic practices, by matching sites that could offer ideas for adaptation to shifting climate patterns.

The software offers two interfaces developed for different user groups. The first, known as an R-library - a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics - is targeted at those with some background in programming and statistics. The second is an online interface that draws from the R-library, built for scientists working in agriculture but with more limited technical skills.

The tool uses a series of statistical functions applied onto future and current climate data, as well as input from the user (target-site location and some tool-specific parameters) to find out where the analogue areas of a particular site’s future or current conditions are located. Hence it answers the very important question: how will my site look in 30 or 50 years?

The CCAFS programme will also fund a series of farmer exchanges between South Asia (involving India, Nepal, and Bangladesh) and East Africa (covering Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya). This initiative, called “Farms of the Future”, is being coordinated by social and agro-climate scientists, and aims to evaluate farmers’ responses to changing climatic conditions. The key idea is to use the climate analogue tool to acquaint farmers with their possible climate futures via physical farm visits in different regions of the world. 

China's food security challenge: what role for Africa?

Africa will in the next decade increasingly play an important role in China’s long-term food security agenda as demand for food in the world’s most populous nation threatens to outstrip its supply, according to Standard Bank research analysts Simon Freemantle and Jeremy Stevens.

In their latest paper “China’s Food security challenge: What role for Africa?” published in November 2011 (13 pages), Mr Freemantle and Mr Stevens write that China is facing serious strains on both the demand and supply side of its agricultural sector and will in the next few years have to look externally to supplement its sources of food supply.

  • Who will feed China? Malthusian concerns around the world’s ability to provide sustenance for a rising population have often, as now, centered on China. With unrivalled agricultural potential, Africa too has been thrust to centre stage. Emotionally-fuelled estimations of China’s agricultural ambitions in Africa too often miss the mark. This paper assesses where (if at all) Africa fits into Beijing’s long-term food security agenda.
  • Food demand is rising rapidly in China. Rising incomes and urbanisation are leading to dramatic increases in food consumption in China. China now consumes the second most food in the world, behind the United States. It is expected that, by 2015, China’s total food expenditure will double to over USD1 trillion (tr).
  • Meanwhile, China is facing increasing strains on agricultural supply.  Urbanisation and industrialisation are swallowing up farmland, and diminishing water tables. Between 1996 and 2006, China lost 9 million (mn) hectares (ha) of farmland.
  • Boosting domestic sources of supply will be Beijing’s core response to these challenges. Agriculture’s broader role in maintaining social harmony in China is profound. Fortunately, China has the propensity and ability to boost domestic production. China is a net exporter of food and has enormous stockpiles of most soft commodities. Given pointed state support, China’s agricultural output is expected to swell by 26% to 2019. 
  • However, clear demand overhangs exist, meaning that China will have to seek external sources of nutrition. Two principle channels exist:
  • First, China will look to enhance trade ties with food exporting nations. Between 2001 and 2010 China’s imports of soybeans rose ten-fold, from USD2.8 billion (bn) to over USD25 bn, and rubber imports from USD2 bn to USD17 bn.
  • Africa is a bit player in China’s agricultural trade prospectus. 99% of China’s soybean imports come from the Americas, and three-quarters of rubber imports from the rest of Asia. In 2009, China-Africa agricultural trade was just USD4 bn, less than 4% of total trade. A disconnect exists between African agricultural export and Chinese agricultural import dynamics. That said, recent trade growth in certain commodities, such as cotton, has been impressive.
  • Second, China will align aid and outward investment in agriculture to access new opportunities. Here, Africa’s role is pronounced.  While cooperation remains developmental, signs of commercialism and strategic intent are clear. In general, state-owned farming groups carry out Beijing’s agricultural investments in Africa. As of 2009, China had carried out over 200 agricultural projects in Africa. Increasingly, these projects are run on a for-profit basis.
  • Estimations of Chinese “land grabs” in Africa are overstated. Gulf States, as well as private investors from throughout the developing and advanced world have led the thrust of recent land acquisitions in Africa. Beijing, alarmed by local sensitivities, has remained cautious.
  • Africa desperately requires capital and skills to elevate food security. Managed well, partnerships with China can be meaningful. However, domestic food security must be placed first. Then, and leveraging Chinese aid, crops suited for China’s demand dynamics can and should be emphasised. Increasingly, green technology will provide cogent opportunities.

AFR-Brazil Ag Innovation Marketplace - third call for proposals

The Marketplace aims to benefit primarily smallholder producers. The objective of this initiative is to enhance agricultural innovation for development on the African continent through the establishment and strengthening of partnerships between African and Brazilian organizations.

The Marketplace focus on agricultural innovation thus potentially engaging the full range of actors involved in the generation of agricultural knowledge (research, academia, extension, private sector, NGOs, producers, policy makers.

This initiative lead to the generation of concrete and productive partnerships between agricultural research and development organizations in Africa and Brazil, initially through Embrapa, supporting smallholders. Ultimately, it will support the development of a mutually agreed framework for sustainable Africa-Brazil collaborations. The Marketplace will open a new source of expertise to Africa to identify and target pro-poor, smallholder-based projects utilizing Brazilian innovation research.

Key dates
Dec 12th 2011 - Feb 29th 2012 - Call for pre-proposals
Mar 01st 2012 - Mar 12th 2012 - Pre-proposal evaluation and selection
Mar 12th 2012 - Mar 15th 2012 - Announcement and invitation of selected pre-proposals for submission of full proposals
Mar 15th 2012 - Apr 09th 2012 - Submission of full proposals
Apr 09th 2012 - Apr 16th 2012 - Full proposal evaluation and selection

Technology and Innovation Report 2011: Powering Development with Renewable Energy Technologies

The Technology and Innovation Report (TIR) 2011 [PDF, 179 Pages, 2360Kb] analyses the important role of technology and innovation policies in expanding the application and wider acceptance of renewable energy technologies (RETs), particularly in the context of developing countries. Technology and innovation policies can promote and facilitate the development, acquisition, adaptation and deployment of RETs to support sustainable development and poverty reduction in developing countries and LDCs.

Four current trends lend a new urgency to the need to explore how far and how easily RETs could serve energy needs worldwide.
  1. First, ensuring universal access to conventional energy sources using grids entails high costs, which means that developing countries are unlikely to be able to afford the costs of linking additional households, especially those in rural areas, to existing grids. 
  2. Second, the climate change debate has injected a greater sense of urgency into searching for newer energy options, as a result of both ongoing policy negotiations and the greater incidence of environmental catastrophes worldwide. 
  3. Third, from a development perspective, the recent inancial and environmental crises have caused major setbacks in a large number of developing countries and LDCs, resulting in their further marginalization from the global economy. The LDCs and many developing countries suffer from severe structural vulnerabilities that are a result of their patterns of integration into the global economy. The international community needs to promote low-carbon, climate-friendly development while fostering inclusive economic growth in these economies as a matter of urgency. 
  4. Lastly, there are extreme inequalities within developing countries themselves, and lack of access to energy affects the poorest of the poor worldwide, impeding their ability to enjoy the basic amenities of modern life that are available to others at the same level of development.

Friday, December 23, 2011

European Development Days 2011

15-16 December.Warsaw. Seminar "Preventing a New Famine in the Horn of Africa: The role of the EU in building resilience"

This seminar aimed at casting the spotlight on the globally malfunctioning food system that does not respect the right to food of millions of people. To address this systematic failure, the panelists, compounded of practitioners and policy-makers, discussed how to prevent another crisis of this scale and the role that the EU can play in reaching long lasting sustainable solutions.
Panel composition:
  • Mark Breusers, Project officer responsible for food security development programmes in the Horn of Africa with Caritas Belgium International and lecturer at Leuven University, on economic anthropology, cultures and development  representing Caritas Europa via Caritas Belgium
  • Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
  • Fran Equiza, Regional Director - Horn, East and Central Africa, Oxfam GB
  • Ann Waters-Bayer, Senior advisor, ETC EcoCulture
  • Nazanine Moshiri, Moderator of the panel, Al Jazeera English
  • Ricardo Cortés Lastra MEP, discussant and opener of the debate 

Watch the replay video of the panel: "How to Prevent Another Famine in the Horn of Africa"

Inventory of African and European CSOs involved in agricultural research for development (ARD) in sub-Saharan Africa.

19 November 2011. Nairobi. An international consultation meeting was held to discuss the findings of the inventory of African and European CSOs involved in agricultural research for development (ARD) in sub-Saharan Africa. The meeting was attended by about 30 people from research institutions, NGOs and FOs.

The study identified the formal and informal linkages between CSOs and other stakeholders involved in ARD, as well as potentials and blockages in the ARD system to realising a greater participation of CSOs in prioritising, formulating and carrying out ARD. The study also looked into resource allocation for ARD in sub-Saharan Africa, and how and where and by whom the decisions for such allocation are made.

This study was planned to contribute to:
  • Designing and implementing a consultative mechanism that allows various CSO representatives to participate meaningfully in African, European and international deliberations on ARD;
  • Triggering the necessary change in direction of the ARD system toward a more demand-led, grounded and smallholder-focused research and innovation system; and
  •  Stimulating greater resource flows to research involving small-scale farmers.
Next steps: 
  • INSARD will finalise the “CSO-in-ARD” mapping study report and make it widely available. INSARD will develop a short strategy paper on possible CSO consultation and coordination mechanisms. 
  • INSARD will develop a policy paper to provide a basis for engaging with the GCARD (Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development) roadmap, including issues of governance reforms and alternative approaches to ARD.
  • INSARD will contribute to the regional consultations for GCARD in Africa and Europe in early 2012 by informing NGOs and FOs in these regions about the international ARD process, so that they understand how they can engage in ARD decision-making, in a similar way as was done during the time of the NGO Committee (NGOC) of the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research).
Mapping EU-SSA Agricultural Research for Development, CSO Engagement and Resource-Allocation Processes, Mutizwa Mukute and Tafadzwa Marange, 7 December 2011, 77 pages.

Boosting Agricultural Higher education into CAADP

28th to 30th November 2011. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resource Education (ANAFE), ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development Cooperation (CTA), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the NEPAD Coordinating Agency, CORAF-WECARD and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) held a Sensitization workshop for Engaging French Speaking African Higher Agricultural Education Institutions into CAADP.

Other key partners of the organization are the University of Ouagadougou, University of Abomey Calavi (Benin), the Association of African Universities (AAU), the African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education (CAMES), the Conference of rectors of Universities of Francophone West Africa, Central and Indian Ocean (CRUFAOCI), the Network of Institutions of higher Education in
Fishing (Afri-FishNet), the European Alliance on Agricultural Knowledge for development (Agrinatura) and the French consortium Agreenium.

During the three days conference, a number of papers were presented, followed by debates and discussions, and propositions made. This led to the following results:
  • An increased awareness about the objectives, the constants and the expected outputs of the CAADP;
  • A better understanding of the role to be played by Universities and other agricultural higher education institutions in cooperation with their supervisory ministries and those in charge of agriculture;
  • The massive presence at the meeting of Universities, other higher education institutions and technical and financial partners, is a testimony of their willingness to be involved in actions undertaken for the attainment of the CAADP objectives;
  • Important activities were formulated which will lead to a stronger involvement of agricultural training institutions;
  • Concertation frameworks were proposed with CAADP, ANAFE, RUFORUM and FARA which will be able to serve for interaction between Universities and Agricultural training institutions.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Interview with Agricultural Innovation Facilitators

Interview with GLINX Laurent, General Secretary of the National Platform for Innovation in the Agricultural Sector in Benin (PNISA-Bénin). GLINX Laurent participated previously at the first European multi stakeholder consultation of PAEPARD (7-8 March 2011), Florence, Italy. He participated at the Workshop for Agricultural Innovation Facilitators which was held in Entebbe (28/11-02/12/2012).

Transcript of the interview:
I'm currently secretary general of the platform for agricultural innovation in Benin. This platform wants to create trust between research, universities, the private sector, NGOs and Farmer Organisations to create innovation with multiple actors and perspectives. This involves the technical aspects with the institutional, organisational and political aspects. The workshop which just ended is important because I could update myself on the role of a facilitator. What are the required competencies to play an efficient role? An important aspectfor me is the self-reflection. This means: asking if we are in the right direction? Content-wise and process-wise: what worked and what could be improve? As General Secretary of the National Platform for Innovation in the Agricultural Sector in Benin I will be able to add value to all what I learned here for the benefit of multi stakeholders partnerships. As potential facilitator for the Concept Note on Soja for Benin, I will immediately be able to put my knowledge and acquired capacities into practice. Not only for this consortium but eventually also for other actors in Benin.

David Suale is Country Coordinator of the DFID-UK Research Into Use Sierra Leone Programme. He participated at the Workshop for Agricultural Innovation Facilitators which was held in Entebbe (28/11-02/12/2012). As Country Coordinator, he facilitated the establishment of a platform called Partnership in Agricultural Innovation for Development in Sierra Leone – a self-organizing network for planning, policy and practice. He participated in several partnership building or multi-stakeholder training courses including, design and management of interactive learning rural innovation; and facilitating pro-poor value chain development and actor empowerment facilitated by ICRA and KIT respectively.

Interview with Sylvie Mbog from ODECO, a non governmental organisation in Cameroon. Sylvie Mbog was nominated by PROPAC to be part a the training of Agricultural Innovation Facilitators.
Transcript of the interview:

My name is Sylvie Mbog. I'm coming from Cameroon. I work for an ong in Cameroon and I was nominated by PROPAC to participate in this AIF workshop in Uganda. During 5 days we have reviewed all the processed of PAEPARD which has allowed me to better understand PAEPARD and in particular the role of facilitators from farmer organisations: myself and 3 colleagues. At the end of this workshop I'm very satisfied because I know what I have to do, with whom I have to do it, how I have to do it and when I have to do it. I will have a technical meeting next Monday with the representatives of PROPAC to give a feedback of the workshop, to tell them what I expect from them, their responsibility in the process and what are my responsibilities and how we can join our effort to improve partnerships and have a significant role in PAEPARD

Farmers’ organizations and agricultural research for development in Africa: roles, complementarity with others stakeholders and partnerships institutionalization

In the frame of the PAEPARD project , the CSA organized on September 27, 2011 a workshop in Brussels about: « Farmers’ organizations and agricultural research for development in Africa: roles, complementarity with others stakeholders and partnerships institutionalization ». The workshop report is now available on the CSA website in ENGLISH and in FRENCH.

This workshop gathered European NGOs and agri-agencies, African farmers ‘organizations, researchers and private sector’s representatives. It included presentation of experiences and debates.

The workshop was organized around two main questions:
1. What role for FOs and what complementarity with others stakeholders for:
2. How to formalize partnerships between FOs and others stakeholders inside agricultural research institutions, at level of
funding and governance mechanisms and the choice of research topics.

Related blog post: PAEPARD/CSA internal consultation for European NGO and FO

Agriculture innovation systems: An investment sourcebook

Forthcoming on February 17, 2012.
Agriculture and Rural Development Series
English; Paperback; 696 pages; 8.5x11
Published February 17, 2012 by World Bank
ISBN: 978-0-8213-8684-2; SKU: 18684
Price: $49.95
Book ordering information

The long-awaited agriculture innovation systems sourcebook is going to be published by the World Bank early in 2012.

According to some pre-materials, “the agricultural innovation system (AIS) approach has evolved from a concept into an entire subdiscipline, with principles of analysis and action, yet no detailed blueprint exists for making agricultural innovation happen at a given time, in a given place, for a given result. This sourcebook draws on the emerging principles of AIS analysis and action to help identify, design, and implement the investments, approaches, and complementary interventions that appear most likely to strengthen innovation system and promote agricultural innovation and equitable growth.”

It is “targeted to the key operational staff in international and regional development agencies and national governments who design and implement lending projects and to the practitioners who design thematic programs and technical assistance packages. The sourcebook is also an important resource for the research community and NGOs and may be a useful reference for the private sector, farmer organizations, and individuals with an interest in agricultural innovation.”

Key messages of the sourcebook are:
  • Agricultural development depends on innovation. Innovation is a major source of improvedproductivity, competitiveness, and economic growth throughout advanced and emerging economies, and plays an important role in creating jobs, generating income, alleviating poverty, and driving social development.
  • If farmers, agribusinesses, and even nations are to cope, compete, and thrive in the midstof changes in agriculture and economy, they must innovate continuously.
  • Investments in science and technology are a key component of most strategies to improve and maintain agricultural productivity and innovate.
  • Research, education, and extension investments are necessary components but have not been sufficient for agricultural innovation to occur. Other conditions and complementary interventions are needed.
  • In addition to a strong capacity in R&D, components of effective agricultural innovation are collective action and coordination, the exchange of knowledge among diverse actors, the skills, incentives and resources available to form partnerships and develop businesses, and enabling conditions that make it possible for actors to innovate. These conditions and complementary interventions have not been consistently addressed to date.
  • Innovation and business development by different stakeholders does not occur without complementary investments to create a supportive environment. Enabling conditions in a given context depend on a (innovation) policy mix, innovation governance, a diverse set of regulatory matters and other investments with synergistic effects.
  • The agricultural innovation system (AIS) investments must be context specific and respond to the stage of and vision for development in a particular country and agricultural sector. Given the resource limitations, investments need to be assessed, prioritized, sequenced, and tailored to the needs, challenges, and resources that are present.


This paper (40 pages) traces the evolution of the innovation systems framework within the agricultural sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, and presents a conceptual framework for agricultural innovation systems. The difference between innovation ecology/ecosystems and intervention-based innovations systems is highlighted, given that these two concepts are used at different levels in promoting and sustaining agricultural innovations. The role of open innovation, innovation platforms, and innovation intermediaries in catalyzing, enhancing, and facilitating the innovation process are discussed, as is the role of R&D in the innovation process.

The paper goes on to consider the interconnectedness of the innovation systems perspective and value-chain analysis in agricultural R&D processes, before summarizing the current status of agricultural R&D in Sub-Saharan Africa, lessons from past experience, and implications and key challenges confronting development practitioners in institutionalizing the agricultural innovation systems concept within the agricultural R&D in the region. Finally, some key conclusions and areas for investment are presented.

Related blog post:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Scaling up impact in smallholder agriculture

Small farmers, big change: Scaling up impact in smallholder agriculture

Small farmers big change
Edited by David Wilson, Kirsty Wilson and Claire Harvey 
Published by Practical Action publishing 
2011, 140pp, ISBN 978 1 85339 712 7(Pb), £14.95
Taking agricultural projects from the research or pilot phase to the next level, to achieve substantial gains for a large number of people, is an exciting and often complex challenge. The eight case studies in this collection, compiled through a partnership between Practical Action and Oxfam, demonstrate the central importance of bottom up processes in influencing policy and investment decisions.
For example, until five years ago, the region of Western Honduras was the most isolated and least supported in the country, with no civil society representation at national level. But a ten year programme of building civil society institutions, as well as training and credit support to smallscale farmers, has enabled the area to develop its own Poverty Reduction Strategy, and successfully bid for millions of dollars to implement it. As a result, the contribution of women to household income has doubled, and in five years the percentage of women in the region engaged in agricultural businesses has risen from 1 per cent to 31 per cent.
Other studies in the collection include joint action by fishing communities in India to regain control over pond resources, strengthened links between farmers and city markets in Colombia, and new systems of cooperation by cotton producer groups in Mali. Each study is concisely and clearly presented, pulling out key lessons from the scaling up activities and offering considerable food for thought for development practitioners and policymakers.

Land Rights and the Land Rush: Findings of the Global Commercial Pressures on Land Research Project

Land Rights and the Rush for Land
Findings of the Global Commercial Pressures on Land Research Project
Land Rights and the Rush for Land
Ward Anseeuw, Liz Alden Wily, Lorenzo Cotula, and Michael Taylor
This report, authored by leading land experts, is the culmination of a three-year research project that brought together forty members and partners of ILC, CIRAD and IIED to examine the characteristics, drivers and impacts and trends of rapidly increasing commercial pressures on land.
The report strongly urges models of investment that do not involve large-scale land acquisitions, but rather work together with local land users, respecting their land rights and the ability of small-scale farmers themselves to play a key role in investing to meet the food and resource demands of the future.
The conclusions of the report are based on case studies that provide indicative evidence of local and national realities, and on the ongoing global monitoring of large-scale land deals for which data are subject to a continuous process of verification.
But while research and monitoring will continue, this report draws some conclusions and policy implications from the evidence there is already.

Online forums to further develop the “ICT in Agriculture” Sourcebook

The World Bank and the e-Agriculture Community are collaborating in a series of online forums to further develop resources for the recently launched “ICT in Agriculture” Sourcebook (

These discussion forums, available to all e-Agriculture community members, will be vehicles to inform the World Bank of other projects/programmes that e-Agriculture members are carrying out and that could complement the research of the World Bank.
The ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook offers practical examples and case studies from around the world. A compilation of modules related to 14 agricultural subsectors, each module covers the challenges, lessons learned, and enabling factors associated with using ICT to improve smallholder livelihoods. Its aim is to support development practitioners in exploring the use of or designing, implementing, and investing in ICT enabled agriculture interventions.

Resources and the forum archives for these discussions are brought together in one convenient location.

A first discussion is ending today about Strengthening Agricultural Marketing with ICT
5-16 December 2011
This forum followed module 9, beginning with the need for and impact of ICT in agricultural marketing from the perspectives of producers, consumers, and traders. It continues to look at mobile phones as a marketing tool; evidence that ICT is changing logistics and transaction costs; the use of ICTs for market research (both for acquiring immediate market information and acquiring market intelligence over time); and the use of ICT to make input supply and use more effective. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nutrition Advocacy Landscape in Europe

In September 2010 the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation commissioned the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to conduct a landscaping study focused on European stakeholders engaged in addressing undernutrition. Developing an understanding of the European donor and partner landscape for nutrition is needed to inform an evolving nutrition advocacy agenda and identify potential opportunities to scale investments and develop new and effective partnerships.

Project Aims

This report aims to map the landscape of European actors that are engaged in addressing undernutrition in low- and middle-income countries, and to provide a high-level roadmap for scaling-up advocacy activity around the issue. The research objectives of this project are:
  • To understand how a range of European organisations/institutions address undernutrition;
  • To assess the strengths and challenges facing organisations and sectors to address undernutrition;
  • To assess stakeholder receptivity to engage, scale-up activities and work with others; and,
  • To analyse the enablers and barriers to engagement across sectors and stakeholders.

Key Findings

  • Multilateral Organisations are making nutrition a strategic priority. Many agencies are increasing their financial commitments and strategic focus on improved nutrition outcomes. There is also a growing emphasis on integration and understanding how food security and rural development initiatives can best support nutrition outcomes. The European Commission represents a significant source of funding and has been increasingly operational in its nutrition programming across development priorities, although there remains a need to increase and protect these investments within institutional policy. In general, there is still a need for stronger leadership and coordination across multilateral organisations and the wider nutrition community.
  • Nutrition is becoming a more prominent focus on the European bilateral donor agenda. A common emerging pattern is the extent that bilateral donors are integrating nutrition across programmes and placing high priority on results-based frameworks. France, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom emerge as leaders in terms of strategic focus on nutrition. At present it is difficult to gain a clear picture of financial flows for nutrition given that nutrition funding sits within and across several development sectors. Mechanisms to maintain or increase nutrition programming and funding from bilaterals can come through harnessing existing high-level momentum around food security and maternal and child health and necessitates working within political parameters.
  • NGOs are increasingly engaged in nutrition advocacy. NGOs have strong commitment to addressing undernutrition and bring valuable technical expertise and field knowledge into informing evidence-based policies at both national and international levels. NGOs can be constrained by funding parameters, which can deter collaboration and comprehensive strategic planning.
  • Private sector industry is increasingly interested in its role in addressing undernutrition. Preferred mechanisms for engagement are through core business and expanded market presence and through public-private partnerships. The private sector brings a diversified functional and technical expertise and an inherently entrepreneurial approach. Private sector involvement in addressing undernutrition is enhanced if there is a sustainable business model which is often challenging given variable return on investment metrics. Although, broadly speaking, the private sector is aware and interested in solutions to undernutrition; there remains a level of distrust between private and public sectors and a sentiment that the private sector is often not considered as part of the response to undernutrition. There remains a need to clarify goals and understanding of where the private sector can add value and also a need for robust evaluation of health and nutrition impacts of private sector initiatives.
  • Private funders for nutrition in Europe are few. Funders are generally inhibited by a perceived complexity of the nutrition problem and a lack of understanding of how and where their funds may achieve impact. There is potential to increase funding from this sector through developing targeted, clarified advocacy messages and utilising the convening power of membership bodies.
  • Several interrelated themes are evident across sectors. These include an awareness of industry as an important partner coupled with simultaneous distrust between public and private sectors, a growing interest in integrating responses to undernutrition across the spectrum of agriculture, health, food security and direct nutrition interventions, an acknowledgement of the need for further impact evaluation and a broad sentiment that the nutrition agenda needs stronger messaging and goals.

Click here to see the final public report
Click here to see the quantitative analysis of funding flows conducted by Development Initiatives
Click here to see a summary report of the joint European and LSHTM landscape prepared by LSHTM and CCS

Masset E, Haddad L, Cornelius A and Isaza-Castro J (2011),
A systematic review of agricultural interventions that aim to improve nutritional status of children. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.

The review is based on a systematic search of the published and unpublished literature. The search was broken down by interventions of the following types: biofortification interventions; home gardens; aquaculture and small fisheries; dairy development; and animal source food promotion. During the search we found more than 7,000 studies, but only 23 qualified for final inclusion based on the exclusion criteria set.

For a summary in a policy brief, see: Evidence Matters

EFARD Steering Committee Meeting

8th December– 9th December 2011. Agropolis International. Montpellier, France. EFARD held it's Steering Committee Meeting during two days. EFARD’s main aim is to meet the following strategic objectives, referring to European, global and inter-regional perspectives:
  1. To encourage dialogue between European ARD stakeholder groups promoting awareness, innovative approaches, and partnerships in order to build a more efficient and impact focused ARD.
  2. To support global ARD initiatives within the framework of GFAR and the GCARD process
  3. To promote inter-regional partnerships and collaborative ARD activities for joint research initiatives, capacity strengthening and greater impact, particularly in developing countries.
Action 1 Europe: Encourage dialogue between European ARD Stakeholder groups promoting awareness, innovative approaches and partnerships
a. Development of a new strategy
b. Development of a new EFARD Website
c. Development of publicity material
d. Broaden & strengthen EFARD’s stakeholder base

Action 2: Global. Support Global initiatives within the framework of GFAR and GCARD
a. Support the planning and implementation of GCARD II
b. Coherence in Information in ARD (CIARD & CIARD RING)
c. Strengthening RAIS/RAILS
d. Support the implementation of the GCARD Road Map
e. Support and participation to other initiatives e.g. European Rural Development Forum

Action 3 Inter-regional. Promote inter-regional partnerships and collaborative ARD activities for joint initiatives, capacity strengthening and greater impact
a. Partnership Platforms - PAEPARD
b. Partnership Platforms – FORAGRO and APAARI
c. Partnership Platforms - AARINENA
d. Partnership Platforms - CACAARI
e. Collective Foresight actions

Action 4 Management and Coordination. 
a. Management Team meetings
b. Steering Committee meetings
c. Maintenance of the new website
d. Advocacy

Action 5 Representation
a. GFAR activities
b. Representation at various meetings

Thursday, December 8, 2011

PAEPARD 5th Management Team Meeting (MTM)

6 and 7th December 2011 in Montpellier (France). PAEPARD 5th Management Team Meeting (MTM)

The MTM was set up during the Brussels inception meeting of 11-12 February 2010 and is composed of work package leaders, co-leaders and the two co-managers. The periodicity of MTM meetings was fixed at six months with the possibility of extraordinary meetings whenever the need arose. So far, four MTMs have taken place.

  • The first meeting was held in Accra 27-28 May 2010.
  • The second (an extraordinary meeting) was held during the FARA General Assembly in Ouagadougou on 20 July 2010 to validate the Guidelines for Innovation Partnerships formation.
  • The third meeting was held in Dakar 2-3 December 2010 to validate the first year report and plan for the Year 2 activities.
  • The fourth meeting took place in Accra on 5-7 October 2011 to agree on the innovation partnerships process and other bottlenecks. The meeting did not deeply discuss the planning and financial issues. Members decided to call another meeting in December. Participants agreed on the dates of 6 and 7th December 2011 in Montpellier (France).

The main objective of the MTM is to validate a common planning for year3 and the related budget of the Project. This comprises:
• Administrative issues
- Implementation of the Year 3 work plan and the budget
- Amendment/revision of the budget
- The reports for year2 (deadline for report and supporting documents)
• Next Steering Committee meeting: time and venue?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


05-Dec-2011 to 07-Dec-2011. ASTI, together with the International Food Policy Report Institute (IFPRI), where ASTI is based, and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), convened a conference on agricultural R&D in Africa.

The conference focused on the following themes:

Brussels Briefing: Food price volatility

30 November 2011. CTA in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the European Commission (DG DEVCO) the ACP Secretariat, Concord and various other partners discussed the main challenges in food price volatility and give a summary of the key policy issues discussed at the G20 meeting which have implications for ACP countries.

It focused on the effects of food price volatility on the ground by bringing various experiences from different actors. The new Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) was one of the key items discussed

Among the speakers were Hafez Ghanem, deputy director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Máximo Torero, Director of the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division in the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Mamadou Cissokho from the Réseau des Organisations paysannes et de Producteurs de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA), Chris Moore from United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), representatives of the French and Mexican governments and others.