Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bioscience should underpin African agriculture

Seyoum Leta, Bio-Innovate Program Manager
(photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).
25-27 February. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Agricultural and biosciences scientists who met at the 1st Bio-Innovate Regional Scientific Research Conference, last month, say that using bioscience in East Africa could bring about socioeconomic transformation. (source: SciDev 26 March 2013)

For instance, in Uganda, tannery and slaughter wastes are being turned into manure for crop production and clean water. Other innovations include the production of drought-resistant seed varieties that are suitable to specific agriecological areas.


  • Bioscience is essential to building agricultural resilience to climate change
  • The Bio-Innovate network is working with 57 East African partners
  • BWaste management and seed development are key projects
The Bio-resources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate) Program was established in 2010 to support multidisciplinary biosciences and product-based innovation activities in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

It currently supports nine biosciences innovation and policy consortium projects, bringing together 57 partnering institutions from across the six countries and outside the region.

A Growing opportunity: measuring investments in African Agriculture

March 27, 2013. A new report from the ONE Campaign shows that Africa is making gains in farming and food security, but can only achieve its goals if the developed world delivers promised funds. African countries are making promising agricultural gains, but the progress remains in the balance due to a $4.4 billion funding shortfall. That is in addition to $11 billion in agriculture funding pledged by G8 nations that has yet to be disbursed.

The ONE report cites 2013 as an important year for agriculture in Africa because it is a time when international and domestic funding agreements come to an end.

“African leaders have the opportunity to deliver on their goals of lifting millions from extreme poverty and hunger and preventing chronic malnutrition by meeting these commitments,” write the report’s authors.

Edward Carr of the University of South Carolina was general supportive of the report, but noted that the problem of agriculture may be one that is about markets rather than production.
“There is no discussion on the massive rate of loss between farm gate and market in this region,” Mr. Carr says. “The report raises further questions. Is there really a production shortfall or a marketable crop shortfall?”

Duke University researcher Marc Bellemare pointed out that trade is missing from the report. He says that development gains will be made through policy changes as opposed to simply increasing aid.
“For 60 years, we have been telling developing countries to open themselves up to international trade, that trade is not a zero-sum game. But international trade only helps a country if it can tap into its comparative advantage, which for developing countries is agriculture,” says Mr. Bellemare. “We are undermining the comparative advantage and constraining the economic development of the developing world by refusing to liberalize agricultural trade and heavily subsidizing our own agriculture,” he adds.

Reviving Nigeria's Agriculture Sector

Published on 28 Mar 2013. (
Small farmers in Nigeria have endured decades of neglect and corruption. As the country produced more and more crude oil in the 1960s and 70s, the agriculture sector that provided food for Nigeria's people and accounted for the lion's share of foreign exchange earnings took a back seat. Subsequent attempts to turn around the sector have been frustrated by endemic corruption in the supply of key ingredients like fertilizers and seedlings but a new approach to reviving the sector has provided a lifeline to farmers across the country.

Making links from small farms to markets in Africa

Published on 13 Mar 2013.  This event - Making links from small farms to markets in Africa: lessons from villages and supply chains - was held on 25 February 2013 at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) offices, London.

Steve Wiggins: small holder farmers and commercialisation

Gem Argwings-Kodhek: what's really happening in African agriculture?

Bill Vorley: how can we make better links between smallholders and others in the supply chain?

Christine Okali: small holder farmers and commercialisation

Andrew Dorward: small holder famers and commercialisation

 This event - Making links from small farms to markets in Africa: lessons from villages and supply chains - was held on 25 February 2013 at ODI offices, London.

Capacity development for Natural Resources management

Launch of the third Africa Capacity Indicators 
Report (ACIR 2013), Accra 22nd March 2013
25 March 2013. The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) has officially launched its third Africa Capacity Indicators Report (ACIR 2013) focusing of capacity development for Natural Resources.

The 2013 edition focuses on the capacity development for Natural resources Management in 44 Africa countries. The report outlines that, “If countries are to better address the nexus of fragility, agricultural transformation and food security and natural resource management, then more countries need to invest in strategy, training and innovation.” The previous two reports of 2011 and 2012 focussed on Fragile States and Agricultural Transformation and Food Security respectively.

The 2013 Report focuses on what African countries need to do individually and collectively to achieve effective management and good governance of the continent’s natural resource wealth. It covers both renewable and non-renewable endowments, with specific reference to forests, land, water, solid minerals, and petroleum resources and offers analysis of the critical perspectives and contemporary academic and policy debates on the natural resource value chain, including emerging issues such as climate change and green economy. The Report highlights many positive country experiences that include among others:
  • Liberia’s achievements in the forest sector—utilizing policy formulation, institution building, and operational responses to curb corruption and insecurity and reducing transnational illicit timber trade;
  • Sierra Leone’s remarkable progress by putting in place relatively effective institutions and realizing economic growth, which has been driven by natural resources, including iron ore;
  • Mozambique’s transformation of its forestry sector, including canceling or reducing the land area of 1500 investor contracts due to non-compliance with their investment plan;
  • Ethiopia’s laudable efforts at building capacity for the staff of higher education institutions in the area of natural resource management and eco-tourism; and
  • Angola’s and Nigeria’s launching of Sovereign Wealth Funds.
Published on 22 Mar 2013 This video interview was filmed at the EuropeAid Infopoint where Frannie Léautier gave a presentation on the role of African think tanks in policy and transformation in Africa. Ms. Léautier is the Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). In this interview she speaks about how the ACBF is involved in agriculture and what they are doing to support women in agriculture.


The ACIR’s are produced by the Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), which has for the past 22 years being supports academic institutions such as Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), the University of Ghana and in others across Africa to train a critical mass of skilled civil servants who now constitute over 30% of East and West Africa’s skilled human resource in public administration and policy management.

ACBF also sponsors 39 think tanks across Africa, including Centre for Economic Policy Analysis (CEPA), Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), GhanaNet all in Ghana, and also the African Women’s Development Fund, and the African Association of Universities, which are both regional bodies headquartered in Ghana.

ACBF, with headquarters based in Harare, Zimbabwe, was set up by 39 (now 45) African countries in 1991 to help African countries transform their economies through effective policy making, analysis, monitoring, evaluation and tracking to ensure that the various economies draw optimum benefits.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A review of monitoring initiatives in agriculture

25 March 2013. A new review examines 20 years of monitoring initiatives in sustainable agriculture. It provides insights and tools to help stakeholders prioritise investments and manage competing development goals.

A new report (2013, 94 pages) has just been released on the Review of the Evidence on Indicators, Metrics and Monitoring Systems. Led by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) under the auspices of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystem (WLE), the review examined monitoring initiatives related to the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Designed to inform future DFID research investments, the review assessed both biophysical and socioeconomic related monitoring efforts.

With the aim of generating insights to improve such systems, the report focuses upon key questions facing stakeholders today:
  • How to evaluate alternative research and development strategies in terms of their potential impact on productivity, environmental services and welfare goals, including trade-offs among these goals?
  • How to cost-effectively measure and monitor actual effectiveness of interventions and general progress towards achieving sustainable development objectives?
The first step in the review process was to identify key initiatives in data monitoring systems relating to agriculture, paying particular attention to those that also acknowledge the impact on ecosystem health, and/or poverty and well-being. A total of 103 monitoring initiatives were identified.

The second step was to review the identified initiatives with respect to their degree of achievement in meeting a set of 34 criteria that had been established from a general literature review. All initiatives were evaluated with respect to their conceptual framework and a subset of 24 initiatives was screened against the full set of criteria. Based on this information a gap-analysis of the systems, indicators and metrics was conducted identifying strengths and weaknesses in methodology and use. Experience with monitoring in other fields, including public health surveillance, systems thinking in industry and public services, and decision sciences was also reviewed. Insights, lessons and recommendations were then drawn.

Farmer rice varieties can grow without fertilisers

25 March 2013. SciDev. Local rice makes the grade in West Africa. New research from West Africa challenges the widely held view that African and Asian 'farmer rice' varieties have only local value owing to their poor ability to adapt to adverse environmental conditions.

Researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and AfricaRice in Benin studied 26 varieties of rice developed and cultivated locally by farmers in five West African countries between 2006 and 2012. They were varieties of both African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and Asian rice (Oryza sativa).


  • Previously, local rice varieties were thought to be unable to adapt — making them useful only in local conditions
  • New research suggests that they are in fact hardy and adaptable
  • The researchers suggest they should be disseminated and used alongside improved varieties
Their findings suggest that farmer rice varieties can grow without fertilisers, require no special maintenance and can develop ways of coping with stress. This makes them highly adaptable to a wide range of environments.

An additional benefit of the varieties, say the researchers, is that they produce higher and sometimes superior yields to imported varieties — around 660 kilograms per hectare from upland, lowland and irrigated rice farms.

"Farmer varieties adapt better to unfavorable conditions than improved varieties," says study author Béla Teeken, a researcher in the Technology and Agrarian Development group at Wageningen University.

"Because of the long trajectories of selection by farmers in dynamic conditions — [both] ecological and social (climate change, political isolation and war and other insurgencies) — these conditions have been 'inscribed' into these varieties and therefore they are better adapted to unfavorable conditions," he says.

Florent Okry, regional coordinator for West and Central Africa at Access Agriculture, and another author of the study, tells SciDev.Net that farmer rice varieties should now be considered for wider distribution across Africa, though not at the cost of improved varieties, which should remain available despite their need for expensive fertilisers and insecticides.

Brics summit in South Africa and support to agriculture

26 - 27 March 2013Guardian Professional. The Brics summit in South Africa  in Durban is the fifth time that the unlikely club of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have met to discuss international development – completing the first cycle of these meetings. The agenda under the banner 'Brics and Africa – Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation', includes the creation of a Brics Development Bank, the international monetary and financial system, opportunities for business and scientific collaboration, and south-south cooperation, particularly in Africa.

The questions of how Africa can feed itself, and how the agricultural sector can be a more effective engine for growth and development, have long been a target of international development efforts from western donors, and regained momentum following the 2007/08 food price crisis. But the emergence of the Brics as major players has raised hopes that innovative agricultural models and experiments from Brazil or China can be transferred or adapted to African countries. New development practices, as well as new partnerships, are on the scene.

(...) How is Brazil interacting with African agriculture? So far, primarily through the transfer of research and technology, weighted towards a particular model of development focused on high-value export crops – such as cotton in Sudan and soya in Mozambique – and linked to global value chains. Meanwhile, Brazilian large farmers and agro-industrial corporations have been flirting with the prospect of accessingcheap land in the African savannahs for agribusiness development. A private fund has already been established to attract capital from Brazil and Japan for large-scale investments in soya and other cash crops in the Nacala corridor in northern Mozambique, a region with similar geographical features to the Brazilian Cerrado.

(...)  As the Brazilian academic Arilson Favareto remarked at a recent conference on politics and African agricultural development, Brazil's family farming sector includes not only modernised and state-supported small farmers, but also poorer farmers who remain at the margins of Brazil's current public policy framework. Which of these categories would be the most relevant benchmark for Africa's average smallholder and severely resource constrained farmer?

Contextualising the 5th BRICS Summit in Durban - Part 1 + 2
BRICS Summit: How India and Brazil can help Africa to get ahead in agriculture

Workshop of the Global Soil Partnership in Eastern and Southern Africa

25 - 27 Mar 2013. Nairobi, Kenya. Launch workshop of the Global Soil Partnership in Eastern-Southern Africa: "Towards an African Soil Partnership”. 

The objectives of this workshop were to:
  • launch the Global Soil Partnership in the region;
  • Stocktaking on the status, needs and priorities of soil activities in the region;
  • jointly define a roadmap for the establishment of the African Soil Partnership. 
Apart from the establishment of the Regional Soil Partnership, a joint report will be produced portraying the main needs and priorities towards sustainable soil management in the different countries as an input for a plan of action to be implemented by the partnership.

Biocontrol product developed by IITA reduces mortality in poultry by 43.9%

Aflatoxins © IITA
26 February 2013. Feeding poultry with maize treated with a biocontrol product for controlling aflatoxins - aflasafe™ - reduced mortality rates by 43.9 per cent, according to a new study by scientists from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the University of Ibadan. Results also revealed that the use of aflasafe™-treated maize reduced feed intake by 10.4 per cent and improved the feed conversion ratio by 3.3 per cent. 
Mr Kola Masha, the Managing Director of investment firm Doreo Partners, which is commercialising production of aflasafe™ in Nigeria, added that the result of the feeding trial translates into an estimated increase in profitability of over 500,000 naira (US$3,200) for every 10,000 birds.

"We are excited with these results because the use of aflasafe™ is a cheaper and safer solution for the poultry sector," says Dr Emmanuel Ewuola of the Department of Animal Science, University of Ibadan, who supervised the animal feeding experiment. He added that with aflasafe™ grains, poultry farmers would not need aflatoxin binders in feeds. Produced by toxigenic strains of Aspergillus flavus, aflatoxins have become a menace in developing countries, contaminating about 25 per cent of grains produced in the region. As well as reducing productivity in livestock, the effects on human health of consuming aflatoxin-contaminated grains include stunting in children, liver cancer and even death in cases of acute poisoning.

9th CAADP Partnership Platform

25 – 26 March 2013, African Union Conference Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The African Union Commission (AUC) and the NEPAD Agency held the 9th Comprehensive African Agriculture Development (CAADP) Partnership Platform (PP) to evaluate progress and achievements made in implementing CAADP.

About 200 delegates from Africa and outside the Continent attended the meeting. Theme: ‘Sustaining the CAADP Momentum - from Decisions and Commitments to Implementation for Results for Impact’

The following meetings were also  held during the same period:
  • AUC/NPCA/RECs Meeting: 23 March 2013
  • EU Ambassador Gary QUINCE (right)
    with President of the African Union
    Commission, Dr Jean PING (left)
  • CAADP PP Business Meeting: 27 March 2013
The Head of the European Union (EU) delegation to the AU, Ambassador Gary Quince, said:
CAADP had become an important instrument for the transformation of the continent. Africa, with 5% economic growth, huge population that will double in the next five years, sixty per cent arable land and a strong labour force, should use agriculture to transform its economy. Africa has the opportunity to feed the world with most of the land suitable for the cultivation of various crops. CAADP is very important in all these, because it helps government to take the right decision. Agriculture will figure more on the agenda of the European Union-African Union relations. I can assure you that we will take CAADP forward.
In the context of sustaining the CAADP Momentum, the sub-themes of the 9th CAADP PP were:
  1. Subtheme 1: Harnessing alternative and emerging financing models for effective agricultural Investment 
  2. Subtheme 2: Strengthening country leadership, ownership, and commitment
  3. Subtheme 3: Establishing instruments and mechanisms for strengthening accountability
  4. Subtheme 4: Fostering policy reforms, institutional change and structural transformation for increased investment in agriculture
Public and Private Financing: How do Lessons and Experiences from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) shape Future Donor support to CAADP? 
Moderator: Prof Monty Jones, FARA
Dr Ousmane Badiane, IFPRI, Director for Africa

Plenary: CAADP's Results, Performance and Impact -Are results being Achieved? A civil society "Bird Eyes View" - “ONE’s 2013 Agriculture. Accountability Report: Is Africa Holding Back or Leaping Forward?

Moderator: Prof Monty Jones, FARA
  • Presentation 1: The Non State Actors (NSA) and enhancing accountability in agriculture -Dr Kalilou Sylla, Executive Secretary ROPPA
  • Presentation 2: The ONE’s 2013 Agriculture Accountability Report; Nachilala Nkombo, ONE
  • Presentation 3: Africa’s Agriculture Development Agenda and commitment to fight hunger and eradicate poverty Haile Gebrselassie 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture

20-22 March 2013. University of California, Davis, US. The Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture brought together over 300 participants to discuss science-based solutions that use knowledge systems in new ways to increase the resilience of food systems and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes in the context of future uncertainty on climate change and extreme events.

At the Conference, a number of representatives from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) presented their work. 

Describing climate change in agriculture as a "wicked problem," Andy Jarvis of the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Program called for "translating complexity into actionable and understandable options" by developing robust processes for large investments in climate-smart agriculture.

Prior to the Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture, CCAFS held its 2013 Science Meeting, bringing together approximately 70 scientists from the program to discuss approaches to scale up the impact of their research and pilot initiatives. The meeting, which was held from 18-19 March 2013, in Bodega Bay, US, examined approaches to achieve larger impacts on climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture sector, particularly through social learning approaches and participatory work.
Tina Monica Joemat-Pettersson

Participants stressed the need to reach the hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers globally, and highlighted the importance of considering farmers as collaborators, as opposed to recipients in development work. They shared experiences of working with agro-pastoralists in East Africa to develop a framework of community facilitator-researchers working on bridging the gap between research and action. Other scientists shared stories on the use of crowdsourcing, social media and traditional media to share messages for transformational change.

  • Tina Monica Joemat-Pettersson (Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa): Climate change and small-holder farms in South Africa (Video presentation)
  • FAO and IFAD work on Climate Smart Agriculture: recent experience and lessons learned

PAEPARD: ARD funding opportunities


Grants Program 2013.
Youth for International Development (YFID) invites applications from youth-based and community-based organizations worldwide for grassroots projects in agriculture and agribusiness, environmental initiatives, capacity building, and other themes. The proposal deadline is 08 April 2013.

Proposals regarding one of the following thematic fields can be submitted.
● Renewable Energies specific call text RE
● Interfacing Challenges specific call text IC
● New Ideas specific call text NI
Participanting countries: Afrique du Sud, Allemagne, Autriche, Belgique, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypte, Finlande, France, Kenya, Pays-Bas, Norvège, Portugal, Suisse et Turquie. 
Deadline 15 April 2013.

Basic Research to Enable Agricultural Development
This is a partnership of the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support research that addresses key constraints to smallholder agriculture in the developing world. BREAD announces an Ideas Challenge of up to 25 prizes of US$10 thousand each for ideas on potentially transformative research. The competition is open worldwide to individuals at universities, non-profit research institutes, and other organizations associated with education and research. The winning ideas will determine the focus of proposals in a subsequent phase of the program. Submissions to the Ideas Challenge will be accepted from 01 April 2013 through 30 April 2013.

Research on Economic Growth, Call 2.
DFID-ESRC announced a second call of the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Program. The program is open to researchers in the UK and other countries. Research themes include one on Agriculture and Growth. The minimum funding is £100 thousand for projects of one to three years. Outline proposals are due no later than 25 April 2013

The EC funds technical and financial assistance to help banana-producing countries that export bananas to the EU, including Cameroon. The EC will make grants for increased productivity of dessert bananas to producers and exporters established in Cameroon. Grants are €500 thousand to €1 million, subject to co-financing requirements. Reference EuropeAid/134022/L/ACT/CM. The application deadline is 27 May 2013.

Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) -- 3rd Call, Public Sector. 
GAFSP announces its third call for proposals in the Public Sector Window for programs and projects that strengthen agriculture and lessen food insecurity in low-income countries. GAFSP intends to fund 4-5 proposals for a total of US$175 million. Applications (English and French) are invited from governments in 18 eligible countries of which following African countries: Burundi ; Ethiopia ; The Gambia ; Liberia ; Malawi
Niger ; Rwanda ; Senegal ; Sierra Leone ; Tanzania ; Togo. The closing date for applications is 05 June 2013.

B I O D I V E R S I T Y 
Energy Business Plans
WAFCEF is a partnership of several organizations to support entrepreneurs, start-up companies, and existing companies to invest in projects of clean energy for West Africa. WAFCEF invites business plans from relevant applicants to compete for the West African Clean Energy Financing Awards. Three projects will be chosen for financing. The deadline for applications (English or French) is 30 April 2013.

C L I M A T E   C H A N G E 

Climate Change Adaptation in Africa and Asia
Canada's IDRC, jointly with the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), will fund three research consortia under the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA). The goal is to increase the resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the climate "hot spots" of CARIAA's eligible countries, drawing on regional and inter-regional collaboration. The program is open to research teams from academic institutions; private sector organizations that have a research mandate; NGOs and other civil society organizations; and research-based organizations. Grants are up to CAN$15 million per consortium. The deadline for concept notes is 04 April 2013.

ACP-EU II Energy Facility, 2nd Call for Proposals
The EC will make grants to expand and improve renewable energy and energy efficiency in the African countries of the ACP (African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries). The grants will focus on scaling-up already proven successful actions. The program is open to state and non-state organizations in the EU (and its acceding and candidate countries); the European Economic Area; the ACP countries; and other least-developed countries. Grants will range from €4 million to €8 million, subject to cost shares. Reference EuropeAid/133481/C/ACT/Multi. The deadline for proposals is 03 June 2013.

Research on Climate Change 2013. 
The Research Council of Norway funds research to increase knowledge about natural and anthropogenic climate change. Grant proposals should address one or more specific research questions identified in the call for proposals. The Research Council particularly welcomes proposals that promote the internationalization of the research, including professional exchanges. Applications are invited from universities, university colleges, independent research institutes, and other research groups. The deadline for proposals is 10 April 2013.

CTI's Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN) seeks to identify promising projects for adapting to climate change which have the capability of raising private financing. Projects can be proposed in agriculture and agribusiness; water and sanitation; energy; forests and ecosystem services; and other subject areas. Selected projects will be offered free professional advice on project development and structuring, and will be connected with investment networks. The program is open to private companies and individuals, public-private partnerships, local governments, and NGOs. Applications from all Sub-Saharan African countries will be considered, with priority for projects in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda. The closing date for applications is 30 April 2013.

O T H E R  

The third Call for Proposals under the Intra-ACP academic mobility scheme 
The intra-ACP academic mobility scheme promotes cooperation between higher education institutions (HEIs) and supports mobility in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) regions. Deadline of 10 June 2013

Learning together transforms agriculture and lives

Published on 17 Mar 2013. Learning together transforms agriculture and lives. Narrated by food policy leader Lindiwe Majele Sibanda.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Technical Assistance Facility or the African Agriculture Fund

Gilles Peltier, siégea au Conseil de 
surveillance du AAF jusqu’en juin 2012 
au titre de l’Agence française de 
développement (AFD), un des 
promoteurs initiaux du Fonds.

The Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) is a grant based facility, that supports capacity building for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) invested in by the African Agriculture Fund (AAF) and its SME Fund, improve linkages between outgrower, smallholders and the companies invested in by the AAF and enhance rural financing opportunities in areas where AAF invests.

TAF was innovated to support AAF, a private equity fund, managed by Phatisa, to address food security challenges across the African continent. The purpose of this facility is to provide technical assistance to agri and food related businesses that receive investment through the AAF, allowing them to create new opportunities for smallholder farmers, farmer business groups and rural communities.

  • The TAF is funded primarily by the European Commission and overseen by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and co-sponsored by the Italian Development Cooperation, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the AAF.
  • TechnoServe was appointed in October 2011 by IFAD to manage this facility. TechnoServe is a US headquartered not-for-profit organization with over 40 years of experience catalysing private-sector led inclusive economic growth in Africa.
  • As the TAF Manager, TechnoServe will work with the Phatisa team to identify technical assistance (TA) needs of AAF portfolio companies, develop recommendations for TA support, identify and contract TA providers to deliver this support, and manage the delivery of TA projects to address these needs.
  • The TAF team is led by the TAF Senior Advisor, Sarah Holmes, who is a senior manager and business development specialist with nearly 10-years of experience spanning both the private and development sectors.
  • See more at Technoserve

Market Research and Marketing Strategy
Sector: Food processing
Project size: €22,000 (excl. company match funding)
Country: Ethiopia
Project description: Two month project to assess local market, create a marketing strategy for the company and build the capacity of the company sales and marketing teams to implement the strategy
Status: Project dcommenced early June 2013

Agronomic Technical Assistance
Sector: Cereal farming
Country: Cameroon
AAF Portfolio Company: West End Farms
Project size: €100,000 (including match funding from portfolio company)
Project description: Twelve month project providing agronomic technical assistance including soil analysis, on the job coaching for farm labourers and farm development expertise for an SME cereal farm in Cameroon
Status: In progress
 Smallholder Oil Palm Support Program
Sector: Oil Palm
Country: Sierra Leone
AAF Portfolio Company:
 Goldtree Holdings
Project size: €250,000
Project description: A two-year support program for smallholder oil palm farmers supplying Goldtree, focused on training and organizing farmers as well as facilitating finance/inputs
Status: TA Provider selected and project will commence July 2013
 Outgrower Replanting Strategy
Sector: Oil Palm
Country: Sierra Leone
Company: Goldtree Holdings
Project size: €40,0000
Project description: Three month consulting assignment to develop financial product relevant for smallholder oil palm tree replanting in Sierra Leone and identify potential funders
Status: Complete
 Road Development Plan
Sector: Oil Palm
Country: Sierra Leone
Company: Goldtree Holdings
Project size: €40,0000
Project description: Five month project to put together development and maintenance plan for roads linking smallholder outgrower farms to Goldtree buying stations
Status: In progress
 Capacity Building in Management Information System
Sector: Cereal farming
Country: Cameroon
Company: West End Farms
Project size: €32,000 (incl. company match funding)
Project description: Two month project to assist the farm to select and implement the optimal management information system (MIS), as well as build capacity of the local team to operate the MIS effectively and efficiently
Status: Project due to commence id June 2013
 Outgrower scheme feasibility study
Sector: Oil palm
Country: DRC
Project size: €40,000
Project description: The TA Provider would asses whether or not it is feasible to put in place a smallholder oil palm outgrower scheme in DRC and if so, what it should look like. In particular, the study would evaluate the environmental impact of establishing such a scheme.
Status: To be approved

Evaluation of Bottom of the Pyramid Egg Distribution Opportunities
Sector: Poultry (layer)
Country: Zambia
Company: Golden Lay Limited
Project size: €40,000
Project description: 
Two month project to identify initiatives whereby TAF could support local egg distributors ("ntembas") to increase incomes by selling higher volumes of eggs
 In progress
 Outgrower Scheme Strategy and Implementation
Sector: Horticulture
Country: Zimbabwe
Project size: €160,000
Project description: Six week phase to design an outgrower scheme for smallholder farmers to supplement supply of horticultural produce to integrator company followed by a two year program to implement the scheme that will focus on leadership, business and agrononomic training as well as facilitating finance for inputs for smallholder outgrowers

Status: Tender to be released soon
 Smallholder Soya Support Program
Sector: Poultry (layer)
Country: Zambia
Company: Golden Lay Limited
Project size: €200,000
Project description: The TA Provider will establish community-based agents/dealers to facilitate inputs and extension for smallholder soya farmers and aggregate smallholder soya for sale to the company.
Status: Due to commence June/July 2013

L’African Agriculture Fund achève sa seconde capitalisation

La surconsommation / Overconsumption

La surconsommation désigne un niveau de consommation situé au-dessus de celui des besoins normaux ou d'une consommation moyenne. Image provenant du film Samsara : Samsara est un mot tibétain qui signifie la roue de la vie, un concept à la fois intime et vaste, qui définit l'âme de chacun.

Overconsumption means a consumption level located above the normal requirements or average consumption. Image from the movie Samsara. Samsara is a Tibetan word which means wheel of life, a concept both intimate and vast, which defines the soul of everyone.

Market-oriented development innovations in the smallholder goat value chain in southwestern Zimbabwe

15 Mar 2013. ICRISAT, ESA (2012) Crop-livestock intensification in Zimbabwe: Closing the loop to sustainability.

[img]PDF (Report) - Published Version
Download (515Kb) | Preview

    This research report describes inclusive market-oriented development innovations in the smallholder goat value chain in southwestern Zimbabwe. The key actors in the value chain - goat keepers, feed suppliers, meat processors, government animal health agencies, and development organizations - decided to form an association called an 'innovation platform' to improve the functioning of the value chain.

    One innovation was for the feed suppliers to increase the supply of feed to rural areas during the feed-short dry season, which improved improved goat health and survival. Another was to build pens where the animals could be safely kept while being sold, reducing theft and streamlining the sales process.

    Auctions were also established to enable small-scale goat keepers to obtain market-competitive prices for their animals instead of losing out to middlemen at the farm gate. Today more than 85% of sales of goats take place at auctions. As a result of these innovations, the amount of money received by goat keepers for each animal has approximately doubled.

    Reference: 19/03/2013. Innovate to Include
    Related: The Inclusive market-oriented development of ICRISAT

    Markets provide the ‘pull’ or demand for goods that increases the income of farmers who provide those goods. But wealthier farmers often capture these market opportunities first, because they have the resources and knowledge to respond quickly. A central challenge is to include the poor in market opportunities. This requires doing research and development in different and innovative ways. ICRISAT calls this strategy to address this challenge ‘Inclusive Market Oriented Development’ (IMOD).

    IMOD is illustrated in the diagram below. The large arrow denotes progress from subsistence agriculture (growing crops only to feed the family – and often falling short of that objective) towards market-oriented agriculture (selling some or all of the farm’s produce for higher income). The wheel represents innovation, which improves the productivity, reliability and sustainability of smallholder farming. These steady improvements allow a farmer to generate increasing surpluses of food and cash, some of which is reinvested in improving the resilience of the farm, thus reducing the need for social assistance such as emergency food aid (the lower triangular elements of the diagram).

     IMOD graph

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in Africa

    18-20 March 2013, Pretoria, South Africa. This Future Agricultures conference brought together key figures from research, politics, donor organisations and civil society to ask:
    • What motivates African governments to invest in different kinds of agricultural development?
    • What influence do domestic politics, external donors and pan-African networks have?
    • How successful can civil society and social movements be in pushing for more pro-poor agricultural policy in Africa?
    The programme contains links to Conference Papers where they are available for particular panels.
    For an overview of the papers, grouped by panel, see the main Conference Papers list

    Keynote address by Adebayo Olukoshi (African Institute for Economic Development and Planning). The chair was Blessings Chinsinga (Future Agricultures, Malawi).

    Speakers: Arilson Favareto (Cebrap/UFABC, Brazil), Sachin Chaturvedi (RIS, India), Li Xiaoyun (CAU, China), Ruth Hall (PLAAS, South Africa). Chair: Ian Scoones (Future Agricultures, UK)

    Speakers: Mandivamba Rukuni (Mandi Rukuni Seminar Group), Ousmane Djibo (CAADP/NEPAD), Buba Khan (ActionAid International), Colin Poulton (Future Agricultures, Ghana). Chair: Samuel Asuming-Brempong (Future Agricultures, Ghana)

    Speakers: Fatima Shabodien (ActionAid International), Tamani Nkhono Mvula (CISANET, Malawi), Augustin Loada (Future Agricultures, Burkina Faso), Arilson Favareto (Cebrap/UFABC, Brazil). Chair: Blessings Chinsinga (Future Agricultures, Malawi)


    Panellists: Lindiwe Sibanda (FANRPAN), Kojo Amanor (Institute of African Studies, Ghana), Per Pinstrup-Andersen (UNU-WIDER / Cornell University), Ruth K. Oniang'o (Rural Outreach Program Africa). Chair: Colin Poulton

    IDS 20/03/2013 "Donors go home!" Money and politics in African agriculture

    About the organisers
    The conference is co-hosted by the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) and the Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS).

    FAC is a multidisciplinary and independent learning alliance of academic researchers and practitioners involved in African agriculture. With a network of over 90 researchers in Africa and beyond, it aims to encourage dialogue and the sharing of good practice by policy makers and opinion formers in Africa on the role of agriculture in broad based growth.

    With funding from the UK’s Department for International Development the consortium is active in fourteen countries across East, South and West Africa, as well as Europe, Brazil and China.

    PLAAS was founded in 1995 as a specialist unit in the School of Government, Economic and Management Sciences Faculty at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town. Since then, PLAAS has developed a proven track record of undertaking high-quality research on land and agrarian reform, poverty, and natural resource management in South Africa and the southern African region. Besides research and postgraduate teaching,

    PLAAS undertakes training, provides advisory, facilitation and evaluation services and is active in the field of national policy development. Through these activities, and by seeking to apply the tools of critical scholarship to questions of policy and practice, it seeks to develop new knowledge and fresh approaches to the transformation of society in southern Africa.

    Launch of the Support to Farmer Organizations of Africa Project (SFOAP) Africa

    11 - 15 March, 2013. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Pan African Farmers Organization (PAFO) - a network comprising ALL farmers of Africa under their sub-regional umbrellas namely EAFF (Eastern Africa); PROPAC (Central Africa); ROPPA (West Africa); SACAU (Southern Africa) and UMAGRI (North Africa) convened a workshop to launch the SFOAP II program.

    The SFOAP I has already been concluded which, was a pilot phase for 3 years and whose results tremendously provided organizational strengthening; enhanced cohesion and governance; capacity on policy process; advocacy and the necessary human resources needed to professionalize Farmer organizations at national and regional level. This five-year programme (2013-2017) supporting farmers' organisations in Africa is supported by the European Union (€15 million) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the French Agency for Development (AFD - Agence Française de Développement) to the tune of €19.9 million.

    SFOAP II shall target the national; sub-regional and continental levels with a majority of the funding going to support national activities.

    The head of delegation and special representative of the EU to the African Union, Gary Quince, noted on this occasion that "the pilot phase of the SFOAP had helped improve governance, leadership and financial management.

    It has thus allowed regional farmers' organisations to become credible interlocutors in the eyes of public authorities and to start to be taken into account in the shaping of farming policy in Africa".

    The main phase aims to strengthen the Pan-African Farmers Organisation, its five regional organisations and their 68 national organisations in 49 countries.

    It aims to improve their institutional, organisational and influencing capacities, to develop their economic services in favour of small producers and to promote the sharing of knowledge and experience. SFOAP is part of the biggest EU support programme for farming organisations, Farmers Africa.
    Africa-EU in Partnership 19/03/2013 : EU steps up its support for African farmers’ organisations

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Announcement: Monitoring management and performance of small scale farming systems

    17-21 June 2013 , Wageningen, The Netherlands. A new basic version of the MonQI Toolbox will be launched in June 2013. Alterra and Envista Consultancy offer a 5-day basic course on the MonQI Toolbox.

    MonQI is is a methodology and software package edicated to the monitoring of agricultural systems in the tropics with the aim to improve the quality of farm management, crop production, quality of produce, living standards and environment. Monitoring helps to understand those farming systems and paves the way for improvements in social, economic, agricultural and environmental conditions.

    Costs: € 1995,- (excl. VAT)
    Download folder MonQI Training June 2013

    Le financement de la recherche par les acteurs de la chaîne de valeur

    11 Mars 2013. Dakar. Une approche novatrice de financement de l'ARD est le financement de la recherche par les acteurs de la chaîne de valeur.

    Certaines structures naissent qui offrent des possibilités de financement aux structures de vulgarisation, d’appui-conseil ou a la recherche. Les exemples sont le FIRCA en Côte d’Ivoire, le (FNRAAau Sénégal, le FONRID au Burkina Faso (voir e.a. p.22: Analyse des mécanismes de diffusion des technologies agricoles améliorées et innovations dans l'espace CEDEAO)

    Certains pays ont réussi à mettre en place des structures servant de plateformes opérationnelles d’utilisation des résultats de recherche par les producteurs et ont pris une option sérieuse de résolution du problème de financement du système:
    1. Le Fond Interprofessionnelle de la Recherche et du Conseil Agricole (FIRCA) en Côte d’Ivoire permet le financement endogène de la recherche agricole par le privé à travers les cotisations des différentes filières
    2. Le Fonds National de Recherches Agricoles et Agro-alimentaires (FNRAA) au Sénégal permet par un systeme de fonds compétitifs une recherche ciblant les besoins réels des producteurs. Dans le cadre du projet PAEPARD, le CSA a chargé l’IPAR et le CNCR de réaliser une étude sur le FNRAA. Le FNRAA est un mécanisme public de financement de la recherche agricole innovant puisqu’il implique directement les organisations paysannes, via le CNCR, dans ses instances de décision et d’évaluation. Par-là, il permet une orientation de la recherche vers les demandes exprimées par les producteurs.
    3. Au Burkina Faso, des crédits importants ont été contractés auprès de la Banque Mondiale au profit des recherches agricoles, par une nouvelle structure: le Fonds National de la Recherche et de l'Innovation pour le Développement (FONRID).
    Lors d'un atelier PAEPARD à Dakar, deux exemples ont été présentés.
    1. En Côte-d'Ivoire 18 chaînes de valeur travaillent avec le Fond Interprofessionnelle de la Recherche et du Conseil Agricole (FIRCAet 13 à 14 font la perception des taxes. Les acteurs de la filière identifient les projets que le FIRCA finances. Les projets sont la recherche appliquée, le conseil agricole, la formation technique et le renforcement des capacités.
    2. Au Burkina Faso, le Ministère de la Recherche Scientifique et de l'Innovation a créé en Janvier 2011 le Fonds National de la Recherche et de l'Innovation pour le Développement (FONRID). Dans le souci d’affirmer sa souveraineté dans le domaine de la recherche scientifique et de l’innovation, l’Etat Burkinabè a pris les options ci-après: (a) l’orientation de la recherche vers la demande et les priorités nationales ; (b) l’amélioration de la qualité de la recherche scientifique ; (c) la promotion de l’invention et de l’innovation ; (d) la diversification du partenariat scientifique, technique et financier.
    Ci-dessous suivent deux interviews sur ces mechanismes nationaux de financement de la RAD (Recherche en Agriculture pour le Developpement):
    1. Interview avec Adolphe OUYA, Fond Interprofessionnelle  de la Recherche et du Conseil Agricole  (FIRCA) - Cote d’Ivoire.
    2. Interview avec Denis Depommier, Directeur Regional du CIRAD pour l'Afrique de l'Ouest Cotiere.
    Interview avec Adolphe OUYA, Fond Interprofessionnelle  de la Recherche et du Conseil Agricole  (FIRCA) - Cote d’Ivoire.
    Atelier multi-acteurs PAEPARD/ColeACP - La valorisation non alimentaire des dérivés de la mangue en Afrique de l’Ouest. Dakar du 11 au 14 mars 2013.

    Comment est-ce que le thème de recherche des acteurs de la filière est sélectionné par la  FIRCA?
    Evidemment nos thèmes de recherché sont identifiés par des ateliers avec les tous acteurs de la filière, pas seulement les producteurs. Nous identifions alors les projets que nous allons exécuter sur une période de trois années. Au niveau du plan d’action du FIRCA nous évaluons chaque année les projets.
    Comment est-ce que la filière peut-elle financer la recherche?
    FIRCA en Côte d’Ivoire – par exemple - négocie avec les acteurs de la filière mangue la cotisation de la filiere. Apres concertation nous nous sommes mis d’accord sur une cotisation de 2,5 CFA par kg de mangue exportée. Avec cette cotisation nous finançons le fond de recherche, de la formation technique, du renforcement des capacités et du conseil agricole. Evidement ces projets sont arretes par une consultation entre la FIRCA et les acteurs de la filière. La filière identifie les projets qui seront finances a travers la FIRCA. Les projets sont la recherche appliquée, le conseil agricole, la formation technique, et le renforcement des capacités
    La FIRCA fait une mise a jour tous les trois mois et c’est la filière qui avec ses propres ressources qui finance les projets, evidement avec le soutien de l’Etat Ivoirien.
    Combien de filières ont suivi cette approche?
    18 filières travaillent avec la FIRCA et 13 a 14 filières récoltent des contributions : hévéa , l’huile de palme, café, cacao, la filière cochon, la filière avicole, la filière fruit-agrume, et d’autres filières ont intégré ce système pour financer de la recherche.
    Est-ce qu’une recherche résidu de mangue peut-elle être finance par le FIRCA ?
    Oui, évidemment puisque c’est un souci et un besoin des acteurs de la filière, a la fois en Côte d’Ivoire, au Burkina Faso au Sénégal et au Mali. Nous avons les mêmes problèmes dans notre filière. Et si nous identifions un thème spécifique, il est certain que c’est également un souci pour la Côte d’Ivoire.
    En Côte d’Ivoire nous allons déjà étudier comment nous pouvons démarrer le projet en tenant compte des financements disponibles. Ce qui serait intéressant est également avoir un bailleur qui est prêt a investir et de collaborer afin de mettre le projet en opération.
    Quelle est l’origine du financement de la recherche par la filière ?
    En Côte d’Ivoire nous nous sommes rendus compte que beaucoup de projets étaient financés et que les résultats étaient parfois déplorant. Parfois la raison était que le meme projet était finance : ou bien par le bailleur ou par l’Etat. Il était donc necessaire de federer toutes ces energies dans une structure centrale.
    Est-ce que cela n’est pas le scenario idéal pour financer la recherché menee par les utilisateurs de la recherche?
    Je crois en effet que ceci serait le scenario idéal. Parce-que vous connaissez le mieux ce que sont vos besoins. Vous orientez la recherche selon vos intérêts. Je ne dis pas que les bailleurs imposent leurs volonté, mais vous avez la capacité d’aller dans la direction que vous désirez. Il est par consequent important que les gouvernements africains mobilisent leurs ressources et demandent ensuite un complément des bailleurs qui sont prêts a les accompagner afin de réaliser le projet.
    Interview avec Denis Depommier, Directeur Regional du CIRAD Afrique de l'Ouest Cotiere.
    Atelier multi-acteurs PAEPARD/ColeACP - La valorisation non alimentaire des dérivés de la mangue en Afrique de l’Ouest. Dakar du 11 au 14 mars 2013.

    Denis Depommier reponds aux questions suivantes:
    1. Quels fonds faut-il exploiter pour la recherche sur valorisation non-alimentaire de la mangue? 
    2. Quelle est la collaboration du CIRAD avec la FIRCA? 
    3. Quel est le Fond complementaire Australien au CORAF?