Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Saturday, May 30, 2015

African bank joins in push to encourage young farmers

24 May 2015. Kampala, Uganda - The African Development Bank, Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Alliance for a Green Revolution Africa (AGRA) have joined efforts to combat increasing youth unemployment in Africa through agribusiness incubation.

The joint initiative is coordinated by African Development bank under the theme ‘Enabling Youth for employment. The purpose of the programme is to create options for youth engagement in agribusiness, increase financing mechanisms and networking opportunities for youth engagement in agribusiness, trade and investment along agriculture value chains

The vice President of Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Mr. A. Abou-Sabaa and Director Agriculture and agro industry Mr. C. Ojukwu in a preess statement said the bank’is committed to support private sector engagement in agribusiness and their interest to explore all options for youth focused job creation in partnership with national, regional and international development partners.

FARA UniBRAIN model was identified as one of the successful agribusiness incubation models in Africa and the World with practical options for sustainability, wealth and job creation in Africa

But the Bank called upon FARA to work closely with other partners in up scaling and sustaining the initiative in the 54 African countries under its new programme-African Agribusiness Incubation Programme (AAIP) 2016- 2020.

FARA will work closely with African Development bank during the implementation of Agriculture and agribusiness strategy 2015 to 2019 in Africa and UniBRAIN model will leverage other continental initiatives propelling agriculture transformation forward.

“FARA will join efforts with AGRA and IITA in delivering ENABLE programme in 20 African countries. In the partnership, FARA UniBRAIN will focus on incubating incubators and linking them to African Agribusiness Incubators Network and other global platforms for mutual benefits and synergy building,” said Dr Yemi Akinbamijo the Executive Director of FARA in the statement.

12th May 2015. Accra, Ghana. FARA UniBRAIN has unveiled a gender mainstreaming toolkit in agribusiness incubation as a blueprint that will guide the process of value chain mapping, analysis and selection across Africa.

This tool kit will come in handy in helping incubators and incubatees across Africa invest resources in value chains that promise gender inclusion and optimal returns in agribusiness incubation.

The toolkit was unveiled by Mr Gerald Sendaula (chairman CURAD board of governors) who hailed the initiative to develop the toolkit while emphasizing the need for gender mainstreaming in value chain development and agribusiness incubation. In his brief, he noted that the incubators and incubates had a powerful tool that if well utilized would help enhance equity and strategic investment along the value chains in agribusiness incubation. He challenged incubators to ensure they carried out elaborate sensitization to incubates to enable them embrace the tenets espoused in the gender mainstreaming toolkit for agribusiness incubation.

On his part, the UniBRAIN facility coordinator Mr Ariho acknowledged the role that the incubators had played towards development of the toolkit and called upon the managers to put it into use moving forward. Further, he impressed upon the incubators to take a lead in using the toolkit as well as train their incubatees on how to use it. This, he reiterated, would help realise the envisaged results of gender inclusion and maximization of benefits derived from agribusiness incubation. He promised that the toolkit would be e-published for access by all to help build gender inclusive agribusinesses.

Gender in Value Chain Toolkit published by Agri-ProFocus.
Download the full color pdf here
  • This version is adjusted based on experiences in using the first toolkit in Agri-ProFocus gender in value chain coaching tracks in Eastern Africa. The chapter on intervention strategies is complemented and contains many interesting and practical tools and approaches ready for use by you as a practitioner.
  • The toolkit provides an overview of material available on gender and value chains. The tools are selected from manuals produced by USAID, SNV, GIZ, ILO, CARE and other organizations in the Agri-ProFocus ‘Gender in Value Chains’ network. Most resources can be found on the World Wide Web; links can be found on the resources page of the online version of the toolkit.
  • The Gender in Value Chains Practical Toolkit that you are currently holding is closely linked to another publication that resulted from collaboration within the Agri-ProFocus Gender in Value Chains network, namely ‘Challenging Chains to Change: Gender Equity in Agricultural Value Chain Development’ (2012). This publication was produced by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in cooperation with IIRR and Agri-ProFocus and sponsored by ICCO, Hivos, Cordaid and Oxfam Novib.

Friday, May 29, 2015

1st African Symposium on Mycotoxicology

26th – 28th May 2015. Livingstone, Zambia. The 1st African Symposium on Mycotoxicology (ASM) was held  under the auspices of the International Society on Mycotoxicology (ISM).

The conference theme “Reducing mycotoxins in African food and feed” aimed to create awareness on the importance of mycotoxins in food and feed safety, human and animal health and the economic impact of mycotoxins on the African continent.

The symposium provide an ideal platform for information exchange amongst African and international participants and create an environment for role-players to meet and interact in the hope of forming successful partnerships and collaborations. 
The objectives of this meeting were:
  • Assess the occurrence and importance of mycotoxins in crops in Africa;
  • Present research findings on mycotoxins on the continent;
  • To strengthen continental and international collaboration and networking;
  • Share information on mycotoxin management, and
  • Establish an African Society of Mycotoxicology (ASM)
Extract of the programme:
  • A. Ayalew: The Economic Impact of Aflatoxins to Africa: The Case of Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda.
  • PACA secretariat, Voices from Africa - Holistic Approaches to Aflatoxin mitigation on the Continent.
  • V. Kagot, S. Okoth, E. Kangethe, J. Odhiambo and C. Kunyanga: Evaluation of plant crude extracts for activity against aflatoxin producing fungi in maize.
  • J. Harvey, R. Darnell, J. Karanja, A. Gichangi, A. Mushongi, D. Lwezaura, S. Massomo, D. Kriticos, M. Fletcher, G. Fox, Y. Chauhan, R. Nelson, B. Gnonlonfin, S. Mutiga, P. Fernandez, D. Priest, M. Milgroom, P. Pardey, J. Beddow, F. Liebenberg, A. Hall, A. Ayelew and M. Kimanya: Towards a sustainable approach to understanding and reducing aflatoxin contamination in East Africa.
  • N.A. Phiri, C. Chowa, W. Otieno, D. Onyango, H. Msatilomo, J. Crozier and L. Karanja: Aflatoxin management through plant clinics: the case of Malawi.
  • M. Matimelo from CABI: The role of Plantwise in combating food and nutritional insecurity: A Zambia perspective.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

AGCO Future Farm 2015

27 May 2015. Lusaka, Zambia. Official opening of the Future Farm. the vision of this project is to ‘develop a sustainable food production system and increase farm output by using Africa’s agricultural resources more effectively’. A state-of-the-art facility has now been built which has been designed to accommodate both small-scale and large commercial farmers as well as AGCO Dealers and Distributors.

The fully operational the Future Farm will help to:
  • Educate and train farmers, dealers and distributors
  • Provide hands-on experiences with new technology
  • Develop a sustainable food production system
  • Establish new agricultural standards
  • Utilize Africa’s agricultural resources more efficiently
  • Increase farm output

The sanitation value chain

25 - 27 May 2015. Dakar, Senegal. The conference is attracted about 40 Ministers responsible for sanitation from across Africa, along with about 1000 participants drawn from government agencies, civil society, donors and development banks, multilaterals, research organizations and the private sector.

The theme of AfricaSan 4 “Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa” not only concerns itself with sanitation access. It seeked to address the full sanitation value chain (containment, emptying, transport, treatment, disposal and reuse). Moreover it also focuses on a full sanitation ladder of access, including making Africa open-defecation free. By sanitation is also implied hygiene: AfricaSan 4 hosted a specific discussion on how to accelerate good hygiene behaviour change.

The specific objectives of AfricaSan 4 were to:
  • Launch a new pan-African, ministerial endorsed commitment to reach universal access to sanitation and eliminate open defecation: the meeting reviewed progress on implementing the eThekwini Declaration and extended the eThekwini targets and refined indicators based on experience thus far and to reflect these new political commitments.
  • Provide country peer support: Africasan 4 enabled participating African countries to share experiences in implementing country action plans and achieve the eThekwini and Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) high-level meeting commitments. The meeting gave an opportunity for countries to present reviews of country sanitation and hygiene action plans, in order to improve their quality, realism and potential for impact. Peer support enabled countries that have made progress to support those lagging behind. 
  • Track progress: Taking stock of progress made by African countries since AfricaSan 3 in 2008 and the progress needed to meet the MDG on sanitation by 2015 and to work towards the post 2015 development agenda, so that no-one in Africa is denied their right to sanitation.
  • Promote a stronger evidence-base and learning exchange across Africa: Increase the evidence base on sanitation and hygiene in Africa and exchange knowledge on strategies to overcome key blockages to assist decision-makers in implementing large-scale sanitation and hygiene programs.
  • Advocate for sanitation and hygiene: Raise the profile of sanitation and hygiene as a determinant to sustainable development in the region; and strengthen leadership and advocacy for sustained sanitation and behavior changes in order to ensure that the most excluded groups are reached. AfricaSan re-affirmed its alignment with the UNSGAB 5 year Drive for Sanitation and the recent UN Secretary General’s Call to Action for sanitation.
Download Final ngor declaration 27 05 for ministers - english 2 (MSWORD) in English
ou en Français

Cover illustration of the special GLAAS report on AfricaGLAAS 2014 findings. Special report for Africa
WHO on behalf of UN-Water in collaboration with the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) and the African Development Bank (AfDB)
Publication details
Number of pages: 28
Publication date: 2015
Languages: English, French
WHO reference number:WHO/FWC/WSH/15.05
Download the GLAAS 2014 special report for Africa
pdf, 1.14Mb

Special report - in French
The report highlights progress made such as in governance and increased investments in 39 African countries, and the external support agencies (ESAs) role and support in the region. It also highlights the remaining challenges such as monitoring, and the need to better target funds to reach vulnerable groups to ultimately reach universal access. These challenges, among others, are central to ongoing discussions around the proposed post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. This report is intended to serve as a resource for leaders and policy-makers in Africa as they define priorities in WASH for the next decade and beyond.

Manuel des bonnes PratiquesOn-farm practices for the safe use of wastewater in urban and peri-urban horticultureGrowing Greener Cities in Africa

Towards a Data-driven Agricultural Sector

28 May 2015. This session at the World Summit of the Information Society examined the contribution of e-agriculture to address the Sustainable Development Goals’ challenges. The WSIS Forum represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ICT for development community, co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, in collaboration with the Action Line facilitators, such as e-agriculture.

It provided examples of approaches and included some of the factors affecting the free flow of information, the development of applications, ownership and inclusiveness, as well as the government policies to encourage solutions.

Speakers / panellists
You can watch the webcast archive here. (1:48:20)

27 - 29 May 2015. Chicago, US. ICT4D Conference. This year's conference bought together leaders and experienced professionals from around the world to share and explore methods for systematically integrating information and communications technology innovations into relief and development programs –
innovations that enhance program quality, improve decision making, and increase impact.

The conference was organized into four tracks:
  1. Scaling Organizational ICT4D Capacity. 
  2. Improving the use of Data in Decision Making. 
  3. Sustaining the Value of ICT4D Solutions. 
  4.  Fostering Innovation.

Presentations related to Agricultural livelihoods of last year (Nairobi, March 25–28, 2014)

West African Workshop on Farmer-Led Research & West Africa Farmer Innovation Fair

Une vue des participants à la cérémonie d’ouverture
de la Foire de l’innovation paysanne en Afrique de l’Ouest
12-16 May 2015. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. West African Workshop on Farmer-Led Research and West Africa Farmer Innovation Fair / Foire de l’Innovation Paysanne en l’Afrique de l’Ouest) FIPAO website (in French). Countries involved: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Niger, north Benin, north Togo and north Cameroon.

Continuing in the spirit of the International Year of Family Farming (2014), the workshop and fair has put the spotlight on farmers’ creativity and their roles in participatory research. It  intensified linkages and learning among all actors involved in agricultural research and development related to smallholder family farming. 

The FIPAO followed the example of the Eastern Africa Farmer Innovation Fair held in Nairobi,
Kenya, in May 2013 and provided a showcase for about 50 West African farmer innovators to exhibit their achievements.The learning-and-sharing workshop on farmer-led research (12–14 May)  involved primarily staff from field-based organisations that are facilitating such approaches in francophone West Africa. 

From their various experiences, the workshop distilled key messages about research and development by smallholders and will share these messages with farmer innovators, development practitioners, formal scientists, policymakers
and the general public visiting the fair (15–16 May).

Des représentants de cinq (05) pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest, d’organisations de producteurs, d’institutions de recherche nationales et internationales, d’organisations nationales et internationales de développement, de partenaires techniques et financiers, ont tenu un atelier du 12 au 14 mai 2015 à Ouagadougou, en prélude à la tenue de la Foire de l’Innovation Paysanne en Afrique de l’Ouest (FIPAO).

A cette occasion, les participants se sont penchés sur les Approches de la Recherche et du Développement Agricole par et avec les Producteurs et Productrices. Au terme de l’atelier, ils ont formulé des recommandations à travers une déclaration à l’endroit des Gouvernants (décideurs), des Chercheurs et des Organisations Paysannes.

Nous proposons ici de découvrir cette La Déclaration de Ouagadougou.

Some innovations:
The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) has sponsored a special contest for video documentation of farmer innovation in the face of climate change, in addition to the many other farmer innovations being exhibited at the fair. Video-makers from Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso have been discussing video scenarios together with farmer innovators, community-based organisations, policymakers and other stakeholders. The videoshave been screened at the fair to show the added value of farmers’ innovativeness to cope with climate change.

La mangue. Ce fruit très prisé au Sénégal et en Afrique de l’Ouest contribue à la sécurité alimentaire et constitue une source importante de revenue pour les producteurs. Seulement, il est de plus en plus difficile de planter des manguiers dans les régions du Sahel où des sécheresses récurrentes sont observées. Mais c’est sans compter avec l’ingéniosité des paysans de Keur Ndiogou Ndiaye une localité située à une centaine de kilomètres de Dakar, la capitale du Sénégal. Pour accroitre les chances de survie de leurs manguiers, les paysans les associent à un arbuste localement appelé Nguiguis, de son nom scientifique « Pilostigma reticulatum ». « L’idée est née car nous étions épuisé du manque d’eau dans notre zone », confie Cheikh Babou, l’un des paysans innovateurs. Découvrez plus sur cette innovation dans ce film de 15 minutes.

PROFEIS : Promouvoir l’expérimentation et l’innovation paysannes au Sahel
PROFEIS est un programme de recherche action de quatre ans, pour promouvoir l’innovation paysanne et contribuer ainsi à la sécurité alimentaire et à la conservation des ressources.

MALI : LA COUVEUSE EN BANCO AMÉLIORE LES REVENUES DES PAYSANSS’inspirant d’une couveuse en bois qu’il a hérité de son père, Nouhoun Traoré met en place une couveuse en banco, beaucoup plus grande. D’une capacité de 400 à 500 œufs, la couveuse en banco lui permet d’avoir plus de pintadeaux. Construite avec des matériaux locaux, facile a construire par le paysan lui-même et nécessite peu d’investissement, la couveuse en banco séduit de nombreux paysans qui s’en sont très vite appropriée. En plus, le paysan a aussi la flexibilité de construire sa couveuse selon la capacité qu’il souhaite. Découvrez l’histoire de Nouhoun Traoré et de son innovation à travers ce film de 13 minutes.

Association pour le Développement des Activités de production et de Formation
ADAF/Galle est une ONG malienne ayant pour but de participer à la promotion et à la valorisation des activités de production et de formation de la femme. Elle intervient dans les domaines de l’agriculture, de l’élevage, des technologies appropriées, de l’éducation, de la santé de la mère et de l’enfant. AFAF/Galle collabore étroitement avec les populations rurales féminines et les autres partenaires au développement.

Tani Lankoandé ne peut s’empêcher d’afficher un sourire quand elle parcourt son champ à maturité. C’est presque inespéré de produire autant de sorgho, de nimbé et d’arachides sur cette terre aussi dégradée, à Sagadou dans l’une des régions les plus hostiles du Burkina Faso, l’Est du pays. Les récoltes s’annoncent bonnes. Mais cette prouesse, Tani Lankoandé la doit à son imagination créative d’où est sortie la technique des feuilles mortes pour régénérer le sol et amortir les effets néfastes des changements climatiques.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cooking with panadol

27 May 2015. Kampala, Uganda. The National Drug Authority has warned restaurants to refrain from using paracetamol, commonly known as Panadol, as a meat tenderiser because of the health effects on the consumers.Mr Frederick Sekyana, the authority’s head of public relations, told the Daily Monitor of Uganda that they have been receiving complaints since last year about food vendors and restaurants that use paracetamol to tenderise legumes like beans.
“The common complaint is that some unscrupulous people are using paracetamol to soften meat, molokony and legumes such as beans to cook in order to save charcoal. We are glad that the public is now vigilant and we ask them to report these cases to us,” Mr Sekyana said in a telephone interview yesterday.
In a notice NDA also warned that while consumers of food tenderised with paracetamol may not experience immediate discomfort, the possibility of long-term side effects cannot be ruled out such as liver and kidney damage.

CTA wins international prize for youth and ICTs project

Ken Lohento, Programme Coordinator, Information
and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and in charge
of ARDYIS at CTA, collected the prestigious award
26 May 2015.
Geneva, Switzerland. CTA’s Agriculture, Rural Development and Youth in the Information Society (ARDYIS) project has won an international award in the 2015 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Project Prizes. After being shortlisted earlier this year, the ARDYIS entry was proclaimed winner of the e-agriculture category following a round of online voting and a review by a panel of experts of the three projects receiving the most votes.

The WSIS Forum 2015 represents the world's largest gathering of the ICTs for Development community. The WSIS Project Prize, an award scheme set up in 2011 by the United Nations, rewards contestants for their efforts in implementing development-oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs. With 18 categories, the contest provides a platform to showcase success stories and models that can be easily replicated.

The CTA ARDYIS project is a group of activities aimed at increasing opportunities for youth (18–35 years) in agriculture through ICTs in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and boosting their capacities in using these tools. Key activities include:
So far, the project’s activities have reached more than 40 ACP countries and have favoured the development of dozens of agricultural ICT prototypes (with 17 “finalist” prototypes) targeting different segments of agricultural value chains. 
  • A total of 296 youth agricultural blogs have been submitted to the YoBloCo Awards, 
  • about 4300 people are following the project on Facebook and an external evaluation found that 80% of participants have declared an increase in their professional perspectives.
  •  Awareness-raising activities (e-debates, workshops, information dissemination etc.) have developed youth understanding of issues relating to the use of ICTs in agriculture and favoured the creation of a great number of youth entrepreneurial initiatives. 
  • The Strengthening Rural Youth Employment Opportunities in ICTs and Agriculture in Southern Africa (SOFIA) project was supported in southern Africa in 2013 and other youth-focused projects are being selected for implementation after a call for proposals was launched some months ago.

ARCH: European Agricultural Research towards greater impact on global CHallenges

26 May 2015. Brussels. DG RTD. 8th Meeting of the Joint EIARD-SCAR Strategic Working Group.

High Level Policy Dialogue Roadmap for a EU-AU partnership in Agricultural Research and Innovation : current development and next steps.

As a follow-up in the HLPD process two working-groups were set up, which are mandated to further develop:
  1. The landscape and instruments for the short-to medium-term, with a specific focus on Member States bilateral activities, as the main ideas in the current paper build on existing EC funded instruments (UK/South Africa in the lead) and 
  2. Monitoring and Evaluation (Portugal /Burkina Faso in the lead). 
A third working-group is likely to be set addressing the long-term model for cooperation, but this depends on internal consultations and discussions that are taking place in the EC, the AUC and Member States.

To support the HLPD process an ERA-Net Cofund action is envisaged with a Commission contribution of 10 m. euro, and 20 m. euro from EU and AU member states. Some discussion is on-going regarding the best timing. If the call for an ERA-Net Cofund is launched in work programme 2016 a proposal should be submitted by EU/AU funding agencies by mid-February 2016. A successful ERA-Net Cofund would launch its call most likely at the end of 2016, with projects being selected and funded in 2017. Further potential topics are on the Role of innovation, Earth observation and Infrastructure.

Local innovation needs and an EU-African Research and Innovation agenda - The role of COLEACP in Food Safety and Sustainability in the African Fruit and Vegetable Sector.
  • COLEACP is a private sector not for profit association of ACP/EU producers and exporters of Fruit and Vegetables in between ACP countries and Europe. It was established in 1973. Basically they do not do research themselves, but scale up and adapt and facilitate uptake. They are also good at creating links with companies and capturing research needs. . 
  • Examples were given where companies acted as a key factor for market demands such as food safety and sustainability. COLEACP is a knowledge provider to ACP farmers, by technical assistance and training, using existing knowledge to scale up. They face a lack of public support to extension services, which is partly taken over by the private sector. 
  • Since COLEACP has a long-term record, they are enabled to impact. Local innovation is addressed, but the inclusion of the private sector needs to be much improved. At the same time, the European research expertise for 'the tropics' is being eroded, due to fund restrictions, but even more so to a lack of researchers and students.

National developments in bridging AR and ARD: MoU between Teagasc and Irish Aid.
  • Irish Aid works through national agriculture systems in 9 partner countries. The policy emphasises the need for a whole-of-government approach with other Irish institutions focus areas, hence bringing in national coherence.
  • Hunger Committee brings together a number of government departments meeting four times a year, at director's level. This is really whole of government approach in practice.
  • Ireland takes research seriously and is very much knowledge and research driven. They also engage with research organisations including CGIAR, Universities and Teagasc, and the private sector. Teagasc is very committed to supporting Irish aid activities. More recently, there has been renewed emphasis on role of Agriculture in tackling food and nutrition security and overall economic development.
  • There is a growing expectation at national policy level that Teagasc and other State agencies should use their expertise in support of the national overseas development programme
  • Teagasc is aligned with Irish Aid’s development programme 
  • Teagasc ran a large foresight study from 2006-2008 identifying Food Security as a central theme.
  • TEAGASC benefits from this MoU as a basis to be leader in certain sectors (like livestock). The MoU also promotes new linkages with significant international partners. The partnership will be reviewed in 2016.

The EU DG Research strategy on food and nutrition security
The development of the EU DG Research strategy on food and nutrition security (started Milan 8 May) See for online consultation. The consultation will remain open for contributions until the 1st September 2015.
  • This is an expert paper, not a Commission paper and as such will not end up as a Communication from the Commission. 
  • The HLPD dialogue is another element that addresses the European vision on Food and Nutrition Security. These could come together on 15th October when two Commissioners will attend the final presentation of the expert paper. 
  • The Commission is thinking of working closer to food industry as food lacks a big flagship even though it is the biggest employer in the EU. There has been a problem that innovation has often been very secretive due to economic interests. Could there be something relevant for the public domain? Complicating factor is that SMEs are not well represented in Brussels. 
  • The European Commission is organising a workshop on 19th June in Milan to launch the discussion on how we see the future of European agricultural research and innovation until 2020 and, beyond, for the following decade. A agricultural research and innovation conference to be held in Brussels on 26th – 28th January 2016 in Brussels will close the process. 
Related Documents:

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

CTA Brussels' briefing on Improving nutrition

20th May 2015. Brussels. ACP Secretariat. The Brussels Development Briefing n.41 was held on the subject of “Improving nutrition through accountability, ownership and partnerships”.

Background Note and Programme
Biodata of Speakers
Resources & Glossary

Panel 1: Enhancing nutrition: a multi-sectoral approach

This panel reviewrd the key challenges and opportunities for enhanced nutrition of relevance to the agricultural sector in ACP countries and the lessons learned from research and practice.

  • Overview of undernutrition and malnutrition: what do we know, what have we learned? Marie Ruel, Director, Division Poverty, Health and Nutrition, IFPRI [Presentation|Video]
  • Initiatives at international level: The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Tom Arnold, Interim SUN Movement Coordinator a.i., Ireland [Presentation|Video]
  • Support partner countries in attaining their nutrition goals: the National Information Platforms for Nutrition Initiative Jean-Pierre Halkin, Head of Unit, Rural Development, Food & Nutrition Security, EC [Presentation|Video]
  • Key findings of the global nutrition report: improved accountability and ownership Lawrence Haddad, Senior Researcher, IFPRI [Presentation|Video]
  • The role of CSOs in support of nutrition: field experience Stineke Oenema, Co-chair of the working group on food security, Concord[Presentation|Video]
Panel 2: Best practices in addressing nutrition challenges

This panel looked at examples and drivers of successes in nutrition programmes at national level. It will also highlight successes in sustainable partnerships and PPPs and the key role of the private sector.

  • Successes in country leadership and ownership in addressing nutrition challenges Robinah Mulenga Kwofie, Executive Director, National Food and Nutrition Commission, Zambia [Presentation|Video]
  • Successes in PPPs and the role of the private sector in support of nutrition Fokko Wientjes, Vice-President Corporate Sustainability & Public Private Partnerships, DSM [Presentation|Video]
  • Drivers of success in biortification: the case of Iron-biofortified beans in Rwanda Lister Katsvairo, Country Manager, HarvestPlus, Rwanda [Presentation|Video]
  • Examples of nutrition support through community participation and action Rose Ndolo, Senior Child Nutrition & FS Programmes Adviser, World VisionUK [Presentation|Video]
  • Best practices in measuring impact of agriculture on nutrition Boitshepo Giyose, Senior Nutrition Officer, ESNP, FAO [Presentation|Video]

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Breaking the Mold: Impacts of Mycotoxins

20th May 201. Washington, DC United States. USAID. This month’s agrilinks seminar was an opportunity for agronomists, nutritionists, sociologists and field staff to share their background and experiences on the science behind mycotoxins and their health impacts and shifted towards integrating mycotoxin responses into agricultural development programming.

Agrilinks and the Agriculture Sector Council Seminar Series are products of the USAID Bureau for Food Security under the Feed the Future Knowledge-Driven Agricultural Development (KDAD) project. Watch the power point presentation (37 slides)

  • John Bowman, USAID Bureau for Food Security 
  • John Leslie, Kansas State University 
  • Felicia Wu, Michigan State University 
Nothing represents the interface between agriculture and nutrition as appropriately as the aflatoxin issue. 
Elimination/mitigation of aflatoxin in the ag value chain will have a significant positive nutrition/health outcomes This is the perfect type of subject matter that FTF was conceptually designed to work on – a new breed of agriculture that is intimately tied to health outcomes.
Aflatoxin free staple foods would be an agricultural result with a huge nutritional outcome - so why are the funding levels so low for such a pervasive problem? The Global Health Community is not convinced it is a priority equal to MCH, diarrheal and pulmonary diseases. It is not a primary killer but an an “accelerator” – requiring a more convincing “evidence base.

Overview of Feed the Future Investments in Aflatoxin Research and Development: 
  1. Feed the Future (FTF) has, conservatively, tripled or quadrupled investments in mycotoxin-related areas since inception 
  2. The total pool of investments is relatively low considering the potentially high levels of damage to health and productivity 
  3. The current mix of investments may be “off” – with possible need for strategic re-alignment – in order to bring in more funds
Johanna Lindahl (ILRI, Kenya) commented: We are not having any USAID funded project at the moment, but we are very interested in future projects aiming at looking at alternative uses of contaminated crops, especially the potential of using it as animal feeds, either with higher levels to less sensitive species, or in combination with binders or biological control measuresWe have been discussing nixtamilisation in our group, but we have not found a way in adopting it to the African problem at a large scale. Nixtamalization can actually be reversed in the digestive system, thus reactivating the aflatoxin. This may be the case with many of the biological binders as well, such as Lactic acid bacteria, and I think this would be worth studying further. 
Bryan Sobel (Cornell University, Institut Senegelaise de Recherche Agricole (ISRA) quoted: Aflatoxin‐detoxification achieved with Mexican traditional nixtamalization process (MTNP) is reversibleby Méndez‐Albores, JA; Villa, GA; Del Rio‐ García, JC; Martínez, EMJurnal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, ISSN 0022-5142, 09/2004, Volume 84, Issue 12, pp. 1611 - 1614  
Conclusion for discussion:
Fund much more work on the evidence base and less on ag best practice, (eg. breeding, storage structures, biological control) - As a result, more donor/ministerial funding that is “health sensitive” will roll in at a much higher levels of magnitude – which can ultimately be “re-applied” to ag best practice interventions. Thus the problem now may be poor “balance” in the limited funding pool – too little funding in ag/health linkage areas which have the potential to build the evidence base, possibly enabling higher levels of overall donor commitment in the future.

Mapping and assessment of soils

18 - 22 May 2015. ISRIC - World Soil Information organised a Spring School on mapping and  assessment of soils for soil and environmental scientists, experts and professionals in natural resources management. This spring school is a contribution to the Global Soil Partnership implementation. The Spring School took place on the Wageningen Campus in the Netherlands. It consisted of two five-day courses that ran in parallel:
  1. Hands-on Global Soil Information Facilities (GSIF): The aim of this course was to introduce methods and software for the management, analysis and modelling of soil data within the R environment for statistical computing. 
  2. World Soils and their Assessment (WSA): This is a course on international standards for soils assessment. It provided an introduction to the soils of the world and their diversity, their main forming factors, their classification (according to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources 2014), and their management. 

Agricultural Machinery and sustainable agriculture and food security

19 May 2015. Under the auspices of EXPO Milan 2015 “Feeding the planet, Energy for life”, CEMA (CEMA - European Agricultural Machinery) and the European Commission’s Directorate General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) organised a 1-day conference on: “The role and contribution of Europe’s Agricultural Machinery Industry in promoting sustainable agriculture and food security

Bringing together EU decision-makers, business leaders, industry experts and stakeholder groups, the event was an occasion to explore the role of advanced machine technology in helping farmers to make agriculture more productive and sustainable and ensure sufficient food production for an expected world population of 9.6 billion people by 2050 and discussed key issues such as:
  • How can smart machines and precision farming make agriculture more productive and sustainable?
  • How can the EU support the innovative power and competitiveness of Europe’s agricultural machinery industry?
  • How can mechanization efforts advance food security and rural development in Africa?
Read the whole agenda and find more information here.

Featured speakers included: 
  • Richard Markwell – CEMA President: Europe’s agricultural machinery industry – a global leader in production and innovation
  • Luis Filipe Girao – European Commission: The EU’s industrial policy as a promoter of growth, jobs, and competitiveness  
  • Prof. Simon Blackmore – Harper Adams University: The potential of smart machines and precision farming technologies in making agriculture more productive and sustainable
  • Philippe Jean – European Commission
  • Gian-Gherardo Calini – European GNSS Agency: Supporting smart machinery and better farm management – GNSS and complementary technology
  • Christoph Wigger – John Deere: How can the EU best promote research, innovation, production, and uptake of advanced agricultural machine technology? The industry’s point of view
  • Joseph Kienzle – FAO: Mechanization for rural development – patterns and progress in Africa
  • Gianpietro de Cao – European Commission: The role of private sector engagement and Public Private Partnerships in EU Development Policy
  • Franz Georg Von Busse – German Agribusiness Alliance: Advancing sustainable agricultural mechanization in Africa – industry efforts and inititatives
  • Dr Thomas Breuer – GIZ: Public Private Partnerships as the way forward in mechanization in Africa?

Africa Climate-Smart Agriculture Alliance Launched

Mrs Estherine Fotabong NEPAD Programmes Director
with H.E Ato Sileshi Getahum ( Ethiopian State Minister for Agriculture)
Hon Zenevu Tadesse, Minister for Women, Children & Youth Affairs;
Minister Councillor Ms Tove Stub, Norwegian Embassy, Addis Ababa
13 - 15 May 2015. Addis Ababa. Launched as Africa’s Strategic Approach for Food Security and Nutrition in the Face of Climate Change, the Africa CSA Alliance was attended by about 150 representatives and participants from Governments, Regional Economic Communities, Farmers’ Organisations, Private Sector, Civil Society, specialised agencies and development partners.

To achieve this, Africa is leading a country-driven and regionally-integrated Initiative that will provide the tools for action and platform for partnerships that will deliver results. Centred on NEPAD, the initiative will be fully aligned with and an integral part of the CAADP framework, as well as cultivating the necessary multi-sectorial engagements, including the environment, natural resources and climate change policies and programmes.

To support countries, a virtual and physical African Alliance was established where knowledge is exchanged to identify best practice and partnerships across stakeholder groups are catalysed. The Alliance will also foster a coherent African CSA Agenda as well as sustaining the collective power and urge for action. It will also facilitate assessment of individual (country, region, sector, etc.) performance against continental and even global benchmarks.

SAVE FOOD Annual General Meeting

12 May 2015. Vevey, Switzerland. In collaboration with Messe Düsseldorf, the  SAVE FOOD Annual General Meeting focused on “Raised interest for private sector project support”. The meeting present cases of successful private sector projects, and show opportunities for collaboration with the public sector in the framework of the Save Food Initiative. The expected outcome of the meeting was increased commitment of private companies to support projects on FLW.
Session 1: SAVE FOOD – Public private sector collaborations
  • Review of SAVE FOOD and related FAO initiatives – Robert van Otterdijk, SAVE FOOD Project Coordinator, FAO [Download presentation]
  • UNEP “Think Eat Save” guidelines and synergies with SAVE FOOD – James Lomax, Food Programme Officer in UNEP’s Division of Trade, Industry and Economics [Download presentation]
  • The mango project in Kenya: Reduction of food loss across the value chain. How a market based approach is creating benefits to suppliers, farmers, processors and consumers. Showing that multi-party collaboration can reduce Mango losses and build a sustainable business while doing so –Marc-Peter Zander, Partner & CEO, XCOM Africa GmbH [Download presentation]
  • Improved Food Packaging for SMAEs in Developing Regions
    - Improving food packaging for Small and Medium Agro-Enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa –Daniele Vacchi, IMA Director of CorporateCommunication [Download presentation]
    - Proposals for a Center Focused on Appropriate Food Packaging Development – Alberto Vacchi, IMA Charman [Download presentation]
  • Mainstreaming Food Loss Reduction Initiatives for Smallholders in Food-Deficit Areas
    - FAO/IFAD/WFP joint project funded by Swiss government – Mireille Totobesola-Barbier, Project Leader, FAO [Download presentation]
    - Business models for improved postharvest management – Philippe Monteil, Thematic Advisor, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation [Download presentation]
  • The community of practice
    on food loss reduction
  • The Role of Packaging in reducing food waste and ensuring resource efficient food consumption globally – Stefan Glimm, Executive Director, EAFA und FPE [Download presentation]
Session 2: Entrepreneurial and innovative initiatives
  • Nestlé path towards zero food wastage – Hélène Lanctuit, Sustainability and novel packaging senior specialist, Nestlé
  • Making food safe and available in emerging markets – Products and Projects – Tetra Pak –Hemant Krashak, Product Director, Tetra Pak [Download presentation]
  • Surplus food distribution with the GFN – Jeff Klein, President and CEO, The Global FoodBanking Network [Download presentation]
  • BON et Bien – A new social business to support local employment and combat food waste –François Tasmowski, Corporate Social Responsibility & Communications Director, McCain Foods Continental Europe [Download presentation]
  • Initiatives to reduce food waste by E.Leclerc, a big European retailer chain –Thomas Pocher, independent store owner, member of the E.Leclerc organization in northern France
  • Startups using surplus food in Europe – Michael Minch Dixon, Co-founder of Snact and founding member of the European Food Surplus Entrepreneurs Network [Download presentation]

Second European Climate Change Adaptation conference (ECCA2015)

12 - 14 May 2015. Copenhagen, Denmark. The second biennial ‘European Climate Change Adaptation Conference’ attracted more than 1000 participants.

The European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (ECCA) 2015 was the second of its kind, following the first ECCA held in Hamburg 2013 which was attended by more than 700 participants. The conference covered a broad range of issues related to climate change adaptation and follows international adaptation conferences in Australia (Gold Coast, Queensland) in 2010 and in the United States (Tucson, Arizona) in 2012.

This European conference placed a greater emphasis on understanding and assessing adaptation in action under the theme: Integrating climate adaptation action in science, policy, practitioners and business.

Nature-based solutions for Climate Change Adaptation: Research and Innovation Opportunities for Europe 
  • Chair: Eleni Manoli, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation 
  • de Boissezon, B.: A new EU Research and Innovation policy perspective on Nature-Based Solutions for climate change adaptation 
  • Berry, P.: Research abd Innovation perspectives towards the development of Nature-Based Solutions for climate change adaptation 
  • Ruijs, A.: Experiences and lessons learnt from nature based solutions for safeguarding water safety Perini, L.: Coastal threats in the Emilia-Romagna region and potential measures 
  • Robrecht, H : Resilient cities: Opportunities for nature-based solutions Discussion
Sylvia is a mangrove 
carbon scientists, 
originally from Madagascar, 
with experience 
working on conservation projects 
in Indonesia and Thailand
Local community and citizen knowledge – how can it steam up the adaptation process and move science-practice-interaction to a new quality? 
  • Chair: Birgit Kuna, Andreas Baumgärtner 
  • Paulot, Sylvia: Experiences from Madagascar 
  • Born, M.: Climate Change Adaptation within regions in Germany (KLIMZUG) 
  • Vogel, K., Schmidt, A.: The social dimensions of climate change: Interand transdisciplinary research on regional perceptions and actions 
  • Riaz, B. K.: Climate Change and local health issues 
  • Suthhof, A.: Toolbox for local knowledge integration in Europe and developing countries

Published on 16 Apr 2015
In this video, the Skoll Foundation visits Alasdair Harris of Blue Ventures in Madagascar, where he is building sustainable coastal communities. This video debuted on the big screen at the 2015 Skoll Awards Ceremony, April 16, 2015, before Alasdair went on stage to receive his award from Skoll Foundation Founder and Chairman Jeff Skoll and President and CEO Sally Osberg.

Ten years ago, in a coastal village in Madagascar, Alasdair tested an elegantly simple model that put Blue Ventures on the map. He encouraged residents to take charge of their local fishery by cordoning off a small section of their octopus-fishing area for a designated period of time. When the area was re-opened, the community saw huge increases in their catch and incomes. In this video, you'll see one woman's reaction and how this drastically changed her family's life.

Building on this success, local communities created Madagascar’s first local committee to manage and conserve marine resources. Since that auspicious start, Blue Ventures has helped replicate this model along thousands of miles of coastline along the Indian Ocean. Beyond managing fisheries, Blue Ventures has integrated family planning and health services into its livelihoods and conservation work, showing the world that protecting the ocean can and should go hand-in-hand with improving lives.

Land and Water Resources Management in the Dry Areas under Climate Change

La séance d’ouverture en présence de 
l' IRESAet les directions de l’ACSAD, l’ICARDA et l’IRD.
11 to 14 May 2015. Djerba Island, Tunisia. The Institut des Regions Arides (IRA) and its partners ILDAC2015 International Conference on: “Integrated Land  and Water Resources Management in the Dry Areas under Climate Change”.

  • Updates on climate change and projections.
  • Present recent development in land and water resources management in the drylands.
  • Provide forum for debate and exchange among all stakeholders working for drylands development.
  • Learn from the local experiences in combating land degradation and desertification.
Theme 1: Climate change- UNFCC and IPCC reports
- CC projections/scenarios and downscaling
- CC adaptation strategies
Theme 2: Water resources mobilization and management- Surface and groundwater mobilization
- Non-conventional resources (desalination, treated wastewater, gray water, etc.)
- Water use efficiency/productivity and irrigation methods
- Water resources modeling
- Extremes: drought, flooding, etc.
- CC impacts on water resources
Theme 3: Land and vegetation cover degradation and remediation- Process and indicators of land/vegetation degradation
- Carbon sequestration
- Ecosystem services
- Remediation practices and strategies to combat land degradation and desertification
- CC impacts
Theme 4: Geo-information and Remote Sensing technologies- Change detection of land degradation
- Land Use/Land Cover mapping
- Databases and information sharing
- Telemetry
- Geo-information based decision making systems
Theme 5: Socio-economic aspects and integrated approaches- Valuation of land degradation
- Land degradation impacts on livelihood
- Cost benefit analysis of remediation practices
- Mainstreaming CC in planning strategies
- Integrated participatory approaches for sustainable development