Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, June 2, 2014

First outcome of the selection of Swiss Innovation in Agricultural and Food Systems for Food Security Programme

21 May 2014. Last year, funding decisions for three out of six research modules of the "Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development" (r4d programme) were taken. With a budget of CHF 97.6 million for the duration of the entire programme from 2012 to 2022, the r4d programme aims to foster sustainable global development.The six modules are Thematically Open Research ; Social Conflicts ; Employment ; Food Security ; Ecosystems ; Public Health

The programme "Innovation in Agricultural and Food Systems for Food Security" investigates how the production of agricultural goods could be improved and food security increased within the context of sustainable development. The call for proposals was launched on 28 May 2013.
  • Food Security: From a total of 37 submitted pre-proposals, nine project teams consisting of Swiss researchers and their research partners coming from the global south received an invitation to submit a full proposal. The total funding requested in the nine pre-proposals amounts to CHF 27.6 million, whereas the thematic module has a budget of approximately 14 million for six years of research.
  • Ecosystems: From a total of 25 submitted pre-proposals, six project teams received an invitation to submit a full proposal. The total funding requested in the six pre-proposals amounts to CHF 18.7 million, whereas the thematic module has a budget of approximately 14 million for six years of research.
  • Final decision on full proposals July 2014. Start of research August 2014 
Under the Thematically Open Research program, the first 17 transnational research partnerships have initiated their work, addressing a wide range of issues. The module for thematically open research involves funding of high-quality research that contributes to the solution of global problems in poor countries and is not covered in the thematic programmes. The topics in this programme are not pre-defined. It is up to the research groups themselves to determine the areas to be studied. The first call for proposals has been issued on 6 June, 2012. The next call is planned for October 2014. Hereunder are the projects related to agriculture in Africa under the Thematically Open Research. The projects are co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) (75%)  and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) (25%).

The research seeks to increase household outcomes and preserve at the same time the primary forest in the 
Menabe region, Madagascar. In the medium and long-term, it seeks to lower the impact of slash and burn practices on biodiversity as well as to develop means for facing the impacts of climate change on ecosystems.
Funding: CHF 297'450
Project Duration: 36 months
Project Start: November 2013
Geographic scope
  • Menabe region, Madagascar
Swiss Applicants and coordinators
  • Alexandre Buttler, Professeur associé EPFL/Directeur WSL Lausanne
  • Claude Garcia, Scientifique du CIRAD et leader du groupe ForDEV, EPFZ
Applicants Partner Country
  • Jean Chrysotôme Randriamboavonjy, Professeur et responsable de la Diversion de Formation et Recherche en "Gestion Conservatoire des Eaux et des Sols (GCES)", ESSA-Forêts
  • Samuel Razanaka, Directeur de recherche, Centre National de Recherche sur l'Environnement, IRD Madagascar
  • Dominique Hervé, Chargé de recherche, IRD Madagascar
  • Bruno Ramamonjisoa, Chef du Département Eaux et Forêt ESSA, Université d'Antananarivo Madagascar
Strengthening adaptive capacity of the Socio-Ecological System of Alaotra-Mangoro in Madagascar to better cope with change and future shocks allowing local communities and decision makers to better balance conservation and development.
Funding: CHF 475'812Project duration: 36 monthsProject Start: November 2013
Geographic Scope
  • Alaotra, Madagascar
Swiss Applicants and coordinators
  • Dr. Claude Garcia, Ökosystemmanagement, ETH Zürich
  • Prof. Jaboury Ghazoul, Institut für Terrestrische Ökosysteme, ETH Zürich
  • Dr. Patrick Olivier Waeber, Ökosystemmanagement, ETH Zürich
Applicants Partner Country
  • Prof. Bruno Ramamonjisoa, Département des Eaux et Forêts de l'Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Agronomiques, Madagascar
Biomass energy value chains
Identify, promote, and scale out improved biomass energy technologies and promising value chains, and to identify sustainable regional potentials for biomass fuels. Research will be conducted in two case study sites in Kenya and Tanzania.
Funding: CHF 493'450
Project duration: 36 months
Project Start: December 2013
Geographic Scope
  • East Africa (two case study sites: one in Tanzania and one in Kenya)
Swiss Applicants and coordinators
  • Albrecht Ehrensperger, Centre for Development and Environment University of Bern
  • Rainer Zah, Quantis Switzerland/Germany, Dübendorf
Applicants Partner Country
  • Boniface Kiteme, Centre for Training and Integrated Research for ASAL Development (CETRAD), Nanyuki, Kenya
  • Paul Gacheru Chege, Practical Action Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Estomih N. Sawe, Tanzania Traditional Energy Development and Environment Organization (TaTEDO), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
To develop economically viable and socio-culturally accepted composting technology and practices that will transform organic fractions of municipal solid waste into high quality hygienically safe fertilizers and nutritionally rich feed components by using larvae of the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) species Hermetia illucens. To achieve the above objective four sub projects will be conducted in Accra, Ghana.

Sub project 1 aims at technological development, production and designing of guidelines for BSF-biochar composting of MSW, at coincidental development of insect larvae meal for use in fish feeds. Sub project 2 aims at assessing the impact of the use of BSF-biochar based compost on crop productivity and the environment. Sub project 3 aims at assessing the effect of the use of BSF-meal on fish productivity and quality. Sub project 4 aims at determining the economic feasibility, farmers perception and willingness to use BSF-composting and insect-meal production technologies.
Funding: CHF 464'937
Project duration: 36 months
Project Start: December 2013

Geographic Scope
  • Greater Accra Region of Ghana
Swiss Applicants and coordinators
  • Dr. Andreas Fliessbach, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)
  • Dr. Noah Adamtey, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)
  • Dr. Andreas Stamer, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)
Applicants Partner Country
  • Ato Ewusie Ebenezer, Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute, Accra, Ghana
  • Agyakwah Seth Koranteng, CSIR-Water Research Institute, Akosombo, Ghana
  • Prof. Dr. Kwabena Godfred Ofosu-Budu, Forest and Horticultural Crops Research Centre, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana 

2 - 6 June 2014. Thun, Switzerland FACE-2-FACE Event of the Agriculture & Food Security Network 
Smallholder family farms - What is their future? 

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