Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, April 30, 2012

New international land deals database reveals rush to buy up Africa

27 April 2012. New international land deals database reveals rush to buy up Africa. World's largest public database lifts lid on the extent and secretive nature of the global demand for land.

Almost 5% of Africa's agricultural land has been bought or leased by investors since 2000, according to an international coalition of researchers and NGOs that has released the world's largest public database of international land deals.
The database, lifts the lid on a decade of secretive deals struck by governments, investors and speculators seeking large tracts of fertile land in developing countries around the world.
The past five years have seen a flood of reports of investors snapping up land at rock-bottom prices in some of the world's poorest countries. But, despite growing concern about the local impacts of so-called "land grabs", the lack of reliable data has made it difficult to pin down the real extent and nature of the global rush for land.
Researchers estimate that more than 200m hectares (495m acres) of land – roughly eight times the size of the UK – were sold or leased between 2000 and 2010. Details of 1,006 deals covering 70.2m hectares mostly in Africa, Asia and Latin America were published by the Land Matrix project, an international partnership involving five major European research centres and 40 civil society and research groups from around the world.
It is the first time a comprehensive list of international land deals has been collected and made public. The database relies on a wide variety of sources – including media reports, academic research and field-based investigations – to add detail to a global phenomenon notoriously shrouded in secrecy.

separate report published on 25 April 2012 by the International Land Coalition, the NGO Global Witness, and the US-based Oakland Institute, denounced the "secretive culture" around large-scale land deals, and demanded governments and businesses disclose contracts and detailed information about potential risks and impacts of land-based investments.
"Far too many people are being kept in the dark about massive land deals that could destroy their homes and livelihoods," says Megan MacInnes, senior land campaigner at Global Witness. "Companies should have to prove they are doing no harm, rather than communities with little information or power having to prove that a land deal is negatively affecting them."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Second Stakeholders' Conference "Steps to Innovation"

April 24th to April 25th in Dakar, Sénégal. The second CAAST-Net Stakeholders' Conference on Africa-Europe S&T Cooperation was hosted by the Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur, des Universités et des Centres Universitaires Régionaux et de la Recherche Scientifique (Ministry of Higher Education and Regional Academic Centres and Scientific Research).

The purpose of the CAAST.Net Stakeholders' conferences was to support science and technology (S&T) policy engagements between Europe and Africa by facilitating a stakeholder dialogue around policy topics of mutual interest that are considered important for the enhancement of S&T collaboration between Africa and Europe. 

Concurrent conference workshops took place on promoting industry-academia relationships and entrepreneurship; commercialisation of different sources of knowledge; protecting knowledge and innovations; and securing financing to foster innovation projects.

Approximately one hundred experts and stakeholders from Europe and Africa attended the conference. Participants included policy stakeholders, academics and research scientists, implementing governmental agencies, civil society and international organisations, among others.

Le ministre de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, porte-parole du gouvernement, Serigne Mbaye Thiam, présidait l’ouverture de la 2-ème Conférence des parties prenantes du Réseau pour la coordination et l’avancement de la coopération scientifique et technologique entre l’Afrique sub-saharienne et l’Union européenne (CAAST-NET)

Businesses in Agric Sector Get Funding Boost

April 15, 2012. The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) has launched a new competition for agri-business and rural financial services for Liberia and Sierra Leone, DR. Congo, and Somalia. The competition allows privately-owned businesses involved in the agriculture sector in the post-conflict economies of Liberia, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, and Somalia to compete for its matching grant funds, which range from US$250,000 to US$1.5 million per project.

 The AECF runs competitions open only to for-profit companies, and has to date funded over 80 projects in Africa including three in Sierra Leone. KPMG is the Fund Manager of the AECF. The competition seeks innovative business ideas in agri-business, financial services and value chains that combine commercial viability with development.

The West Africa Director of the Fund, Dr. George Manu, told reporters during the launch in Monrovia on Wednesday, April 19, 2012 that:
A project must be commercially viable and have a positive impact on the rural poor in Africa in order to qualify for funding. Furthermore, as the AECF operates on a risk sharing basis, companies applying would need to match our funding or make significant contribution to the projects.

IFPRI 2011 Global Food Policy Report

23 April 2012. The 2011 Global Food Policy Report, a new flagship publication recently launched by the International Food Policy Research Institute, presents a broad picture of the year’s food policy issues as well as areas that require future attention.

Based on rigorous research, the Global Food Policy Report is designed specifically to provide an overview of 2011 and an outlook for 2012 for non-technical audiences. For the international community, the 2011 Global Food Policy Report makes a number of specific recommendations:

  • The G20 should do more to reduce competition between biofuel and food production and discourage trade restrictions that exacerbate price swings. 
  • The international community should consolidate global and regional agricultural growth strategies and create or strengthen the institutions needed to make these strategies work. 
  • Rio+20 conference participants should integrate economic, social, and environmental sustainability in their discussions and commit to concrete action on long-term development challenges, including poor nutrition, degraded soils, and scarce water. 
  • A broad intersectoral coalition should work together to address nutrition, food, and health issues.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Second Annual Ministerial Dialogue on Integrating Research, Extension and Education in the CAADP Country Process for Increased Agricultural Productivity in Africa

18-19 April 2012. FARA Secretariat, Accra, Ghana.

The purpose of the dialogue was to provide a platform for Ministers of Agriculture; Science &; Technology; Education; and other agriculture-related Ministries to examine the topical issues relating to integrating research, extension and education into the CAADP country process for increased agricultural productivity in Africa.

Participants at the 2nd Annual Dialogue included: representatives of the Governments of Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Also in attendance were the African Union/NEPAD, the ECOWAS Parliament, the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), ECOBank, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP/EU (CTA), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Kuffuor Foundation, the First Bank International, the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), Tertiary Education for Agriculture Mechanism (TEAM Africa) and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).

The specific objectives were to:
  • Identify issues of strategic importance to integrating research, extension and education in the CAADP country process, stimulate dialogue on them. 
  • Identify how to develop strategies for integrating research, extension and education in the CAADP country process. 
  • Raise awareness among Ministers and parliamentarians of the need for increased investments in research, extension and education. 
See: ommuniqué

  1. Enhancing agricultural development in Africa. Key note address by Pro. Monty P. Jones (FARA) 
  2. Integrating research, extension and education in the CAADP country process for increased agricultural productivity. (Ms. Idowu Ejere- FARA)
  3. Contribution of pillar IV to the CAADP country process. (Dr. Emmanuel Tambi- FARA)
  4. CAADP country process. (Dr. Marcel Nwalozie- AU-NPCA) 
  5. Innovation systems for enhancing the value of research, extension and education. (Dr. Adewale Adekunle- FARA) 
  6. Funding of agricultural research, extension and education: private sector perspectives. (Mr. Dauda Lawal- First Bank International) 
  7. Developing capacities for improving agricultural productivity. (Dr. Irene Annor-Frempong- FARA) Improving agricultural productivity through direct access to knowledge resources. (Dr. Stephen Rudgard- FAO)
  8. CAADP Pillar IV strategy and operational plan. (Dr. Emmanuel Tambi - FARA) 
  9. Agricultural Advisory Services (AAS) strategy and operational plan. (Dr. Silim Nahdy - AFAAS) Tertiary Agricultural Education (TAE) mechanism. (Prof. Hamidou Boly - TEAM Africa) 
  10. Systems for knowledge management. (Mrs. Myra Wopereis - FARA) 
  11. Emerging and cross-cutting issues affecting agriculture in Africa. (Dr. Ramadjita Tabo - FARA)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pilot for protecting against counterfeit crop protection products

Anecdotal evidence collected across all agribusiness sectors in 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa indicates that counterfeit agricultural inputs account for more than 30 percent of all retail agro-input purchases. 
Unscrupulous entrepreneurs produce counterfeit pesticide packaging and fill it with inert product, sell inferior grain as quality seed and palm gravel off as fertilizer.  Neither law enforcement agencies nor Ministries of Agriculture nor the private sector have been able to make any real headway in reducing this illegal trading which, according to Felix Jumbe, Executive Director of the Seed Trade Association of Malawi, “makes the poor poorer.”
Felix Jumbe
With support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through theCommon Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), IFDC is helping eliminate counterfeit crop protection products (CPPs). IFDC staff members have designed a simple counter-measure and, in partnership with CropLife Africa Middle East (CLAME) and CropLife Uganda, IFDC is launching a pilot program to scientifically test the effectiveness of the methodology. CLAME, a member of CropLife International, is a regional federation representing the plant science industry and a network of national associations in 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Read more

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovations

1-3 April 2012, Nairobi. The first Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovations highlighted the need to invest in this key sector to foster sustainable growth and development and provide job opportunities for youth and women.

The event was organized by the Government of Kenya, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the African Union Commission (AU), and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), in collaboration with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). It featured a two-day Experts’ Meeting, followed by a day-long Ministerial Conference.

The ministerial conference concluded with the signing of the Nairobi Ministerial Declaration on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). The declaration includes a range of measures to harness STI for sustainable development.  [Nairobi Ministerial Declaration on Science, Technology and Innovation] [African Union Announcement] [AfDB Announcement] [AfDB Press Release] [UNESCO Event Announcement] [UNESCO Press Release]

Success stories

Kenya’s young to digitalize farming

A group of young graduates in Kenya have introduced a mobile-phone enabled technology which will help farmers in rural Africa to link up with crop researchers, meteorological departments and veterinary scientists to better their farm yields.
Calvins Okello, a science graduate from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and a colleague, Gordon Owiti, have developed the new technology that seeks to digitalize Africa’s agriculture and enable the government agencies to solve the crisis of
poor food distribution. read more

Parallel session 4: Agriculture and Food Security

Chair: Mary Abukutsa, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya
Provocateur: Moses Osiru, Deputy Executive Secretary, RUFORUM
Rapporteur: Abdou Chakour CHADHOULIATI (Bioscience) Directrice Générale Adjointe de l'Institut National de Recherche pour l'Agriculture, la Pèche et l'Environnement (INRAPE), Ministère de l'Agriculture, Pèche, Environnement, Energie, Industrie et Artisanat, Comoros
Facilitator : Christina Golubski, Program Associate, The Global Knowledge Initiative
Interactive Participants:
  • Benedict Kanu, Lead Specialist, Agriculture & Agro Industry Dept, AfDB
  • El Tayeb Alhag Ali Ahmed, UNESCO Chair in Desertification, the University of Khartoum, Sudan
  • Damien Conaré, Secretary- General UNESCO Chair "alimentations du monde", Institut des régions chaudes, Montpellier SupAgro, France
  • Ray Elliot, Strategic Project Leader, Syngenta, London, United Kingdom
  • Prof Esther Murugi, Deputy Vice Chancellor, JKUAT, Kenya

Interview of Lidia Brito, Director of Science Policy and Capacity Building, UNESCO Science, technology and innovation (STI) are important issues for Africa, an increasingly dynamic continent. On the occasion of the First African Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for Youth Employment, Human Capital Development and Inclusive Growth, from 1 to 3 April in Nairobi, Kenya, Lidia Brito talks about the importance of STI in the African context and how it will contribute to sustainable development in Africa in the run up to the Rio + 20 conference in June 2012.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Les Ressources Phytogénétiques pour l'Agriculture et l'Alimention

Les Ressources Phytogénétiques pour l'Agriculture et l'Alimentation
Cadre général
Le programme national de conservation des ressources phytogénétiques est placé sous l’autorité de la Direction Générale de l’Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU). Son financement est conjointement assuré par les subventions du gouvernement et des organisations régionales et internationales jusqu'en 2011. [Le Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) à travers EAPGREN (Eastern Africa Plant Genetic Resources Network) comprenant le Burundi, l’Eritrée, l’Ethiopie, le Kenya, le Madagascar, le Rwanda, le Soudan,  l’Ouganda]. Il travaille en étroite collaboration avec Nordgen (Banque de Gènes des Pays Nordiques en Suède) qui est un institut d’appui scientifique et technique du réseau ; Bioversity International, SSA Kenya ; de Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT) ; de la Faculté des Sciences et la Faculté d’Agronomie de l’Université du Burundi ; de l’Institut National de l’Environnement et la Conservation de la Nature (INECN) ainsi que des organisations multidisciplinaires locales impliquées dans la protection des composantes de l’environnement.
 Les objectifs prioritaires sont :
collecter et conserver les ressources phytogénétiques des espèces agricoles vivrières 
   traditionnellement cultivées ;
-  renforcer les capacités scientifiques et  techniques en gestion durable de la diversité  génétique  
   agricole des espèces localement  cultivées ;
-  méliorer l’exploitation des ressources  phytogénétiques agricoles traditionnelles ;
sensibiliser les pouvoirs publics à la prise en  compte de l’importance des ressources  
   phytogénétiques dans le développement agricole du pays.
Ces activités contribuent au le renforcement des capacités des gestionnaires de la diversité agricole et de l’environnement . Des stages de courte durée pour le renforcement des compétences des cadres et techniciens en matière de la gestion des banques de gènes sont  organisées dans les pays membres du programme à l’échelle internationale.
Activités clés
1. Collecte du Germoplasme
2. Régénération et duplication
3. Caractérisation des accessions
4. Conservation à long terme dans la banque des gènes
5. Partage des données sur les RPG avec les institutions partenaires en cas de besoin

Au Burundi, depuis sa mise en place en 2005, il y a des avancées significatives sur l’inventaire et la collecte des accessions des espèces vivrières traditionnelles à travers tout le pays. Ces activités ont abouti à la collecte de 1670 accessions dont 676 accessions de haricot et 142 accessions de sorgho qui sont les deux espèces à grande richesse de pool génétique traditionnel; 160 accessions de maïs ; 121 accessions de manioc et 63 accessions d’arachide, 41 accessions d’éleusine (Eleusina corocana) et 182 accessions pour les autres espèces. Elles sont conservées à moyen terme dans les congélateurs sous -18°C à l’exception des boutures de manioc qui sont gardées dans les parcs à bois. Ces accessions ont été enregistrées dans le format Excel et identifiées par des coordonnées géographiques avant de le mettre dans la base des données sur le site des ressources phytogénétiques "SESTO" mis en place par la Banque des gènes mondiale située à Svalbard Global Seed vault en Océan Norvégien. 

Documentation et partage des données
La banque de gènes dispose d’un réseau de documentation électronique. Les coordonnées géographiques et l’identité des accessions conservées sont facilement accessibles pour diverses utilisations scientifiques et aux fins de développement agricole. Elles sont échangeables entre les autres banques de gènes régionales et internationales.
La banque de gènes envisage de  renforcer les activités de caractérisation des accessions pour constituer et disponibiliser les sources de gènes locales à incorporer dans les activités d’amélioration variétale. Elle compte aussi conserver le germoplasme performant en cours de manipulation dans les différents programmes de recherche nationaux pour   éviter leur déperdition et leur détérioration. 
Les défis à relever 
Le défis principal est de pouvoir accroître la production alimentaire et améliorer les moyens de subsistance des agriculteurs et en même temps améliorer  la conservation des RPG et leur utilisation. La faible collaboration entre les programmes nationales des RPG  les chercheurs, la faible implications des institutions/organisations internationales à caractère agricole, la faible sensibilisation des décideurs sur l'importance des RPG, le manque d'infrastructures appropriées et le budget pour les activités clé sont en outre un "challenge" moteur. 
Source: BIGIRIMANA Jean Claude, ISABU Av. de la Cathédrale, B.P : 795 Bujumbura ,Tél : (257) 22223390 / 22227349-50-51, 
Fax : (257) 22225798, Télex :5147BDI, E-mail



This partnership seeks to address the critical issues of high cost and poor quality feeds in the Nigerian livestock industry. Feed cost constitutes 75% of input cost of commercial poultry production in Nigeria. Thus, feed cost and quality are the critical issues of production in the industry. Quality being a factor of production, good quality ensures that the farmer derives full benefit of the fund invested in the enterprise.

Composition of the consortium
1. Department of Animal Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria
2. Poultry Association of Nigeria, Imo State Branch, Nigeria
3. Feedmillers Association of Nigeria, Imo State Branch
4. University of Ghent, Belgium
5. Faculte D’Agronomie, Universite De Parakou, Republique Du Benin
6. Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Development Studies, Nyankpala Campus, Tamale, Ghana.
7. Bureau d’Analyses Macro-economiques, Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles, Dakar, Senegal

Facilitators: David Suale & Dr Tunji Babatunde with the participation of Dr Jonas Mugabe, the Africa co-Manager of PAEPARD 

Farmer organisations (small-scale poultry farmers and feedmillers), research organisations in the field of poultry science, policy makers in the field of poultry production, feed raw materials producers, consumers of poultry products, financial houses and donor organisations

  1. Researchers in poultry science - Gain knowledge in recent advance in poultry feed production and fulfilment that comes from validation of his ideas and theory 
  2. Small-scale poultry farmers and feed-millers - Increased knowledge - Increased and improved productivity - Increased income - Improved livelihood 
  3. Policy makers in poultry production - Better information to formulate policies to guide poultry production and feed manufacturing 
  4. Consumers of poultry products - Improved quality of poultry products and protein intake - Better products at better prices - Readily available products for consumers - Improved nutritional status of poultry products consumers 
  5. Feed raw materials Producers - Increase in production of feed raw materials due to increase in demand - Increased sales and income for raw materials producers 
  6. Financial Houses - Assurance of return on interest due to farmers ability to fulfills credit demands on time as a result of increased profitability 
  7. Donor agencies - Will have access to the research reports increasing its database of information - The success of the partnership fulfills the vision/mission of the donor organization(s)

Small scale farmers on the priorities and governance of agricultural research for development in West Africa


High level policy dialogue between the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and small scale farmers on the priorities and governance of agricultural research for development in West Africa

16 Apr 2012 - IIED 
This photo story highlights key moments in a policy dialogue on agricultural research for development that involved small scale farmers and representatives of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Over one hundred people participated in the policy dialogue. This unprecedented event was chaired by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and took place on 1st to 3rd February 2012 in Accra (Ghana).

What works when scaling inclusive agri-food markets

11-13 April 2012. Scheveningen, the Netherlands. From Islands of Success to Seas of Change
“What works when scaling inclusive agri-food markets?”

The last decade has seen an explosion in value chain initiatives, and sustainable and ethical sourcing has become an accepted aspect of business strategy. Non-governmental organisations are working with businesses to link small producers to markets; round tables on global commodity chains are focusing on sector-wide approaches; a broad range of certification schemes are in place; and ‘bottom of the pyramid’ concepts are emerging. Experience is developing rapidly but insights often remain fragmented and the lessons that need to be learned are only slowly being taken on board.

The big question for the next few decades is how to build on these developments to achieve the measure of change that is needed, and quickly. It is necessary to assess when, where and why some efforts remain islands of success while others indicate a sea change. The inspirational examples that are emerging need to be scrutinised, and we need to assess which ideas can be adapted, mutated and cross-pollinated. It is necessary to consult with those who have most experience to see where they believe the opportunities lie for putting good ideas into practice.

100 international partners attended this learning workshop. Coordinated by the Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation, this was the first step in an initiative to scale up the agri-food market – in a way that includes all players. The aim of the workshop was to take a step back and look at the range of promising efforts that have emerged as a result of the last decade’s experience in establishing sustainable and equitable agri-food value chains. It looked to the future, shared innovative approaches and identify high-potential options.

  1. Case study Uganda, soya – Seba Foods Malawi Ltd. and Export Trading (U) Limited from Uganda jointly took the initiative for the establishment of a soybean..
  2. Case study Uganda, cocoa & vanilla – ESCO put forward a good field organisation and extension reaching 1,791 certified organic farmers by March 2005.The project..
  3. Case study Dar Es Salaam, cashew  - Premier Cashew Industries Ltd., based in Dar Es Salaam, approached EPOPA with the interest to explore the opportunity in exports of..
  4. Case study West-African, cotton – The outreach of the cotton sub-sector in West Africa is huge: in countries like Benin, Burkina and Mali it has encompassed over..
  5. Case study Ethiopia, honey  - Ethiopia exported its first consignment of honey to the European Union (EU) in 2008 after a three year period of preparations towards..
  6. Case study Burkina Faso, shea butter – The Nununa Federation brings together 4,000 women shea producers in Burkina Faso. Shea is traditionally collected and processed by..
  7. Case study South-Sudan, cassava  - SABMiller case. This project aims to empower farmers associations and the commercialize cassava production. As a result, strong..
  8. Case study Uganda, oil seeds – IFAD case. Uganda is a very poor country with a low per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a predominantly rural population, and..
  9. Case study Tanzania, marketing systems  - IFAD case. The project’s objective is to increase rural poor people’s food security and incomes by improving the structure and..
  10. Case study Egypt, land reclamation – IFAD case. The project is considered one of the better integrated developmental poverty reduction oriented project

Commodities background review: Trend of agri-food commodities and the need to invest in inclusive markets
This background study conducted by the Seas of Change Initiative has the objective of exploring how business, with the right support from government, donors, NGOs and research can scale up inclusive agri-food market development to ensure food security for 9 billion people and help to tackle poverty. After highlighting the current trends in the main agrifood commodities in terms of production, trade and consumption, this study looks at current unbalances in supply and demand of food, focusing on the region most reliant on food import, Africa.
The study also answers the questions: Which commodities exhibit the greatest growth potential in Africa? Which agri-food commodities will remain dependent on large numbers of producers for the production base and which will be dominated by large-scale, industrialised agriculture? Which is the rationale and incentive behind investing in inclusive markets? The study builds on a review of successful experiences in the literature, on case studies received by SoC partners and on insights emerged from ongoing interviews with experts and key players in the sector (IDH,  IIED, SFL, Bunga, CGIAR, Cargill, Armajaro, Rabo Bank, Rabo foundation, Oxfam Novib, Nestlé, etc.).
A first overview is published by the Seas of Change Initiative on key lessons emerging in terms of what works when scaling up inclusive markets. The key lessons are based on findings from case studies and interviews from different commodities and can be found below. Another document is published on questions of scale, to understand inclusive business in agri-food markets. A third paper is prepared about the underlying dynamics of inclusive agri-food markets. It compiles some key data about the dynamics of global food systems and sets the scene for the commodity studies.  A fourth paper, called ‘Raising the bar’ elaborates on what global food and agri-business are saying about their sustainability goals. The four papers can be downloaded through the links below.
Background study                      Questions on scale                   Underlying dynamics                   Raising the bar