Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, October 2, 2015

First Food & Business Applied Research ARF and CRF projects workshop

1-3 October 2015. Entebbe, Uganda. The Foood and Business Knowledge Platform, NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development, the Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD), AgriProFocus (APF) Uganda, and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) are organizing a workshop for applied research projects in food security.

You can read the Executive summary on the website of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F and BKP). Please note that you can download the PDF file with links to all PowerPoint presentations of the learning workshop and public seminar.

See also the full report
The central theme was knowledge co-creation and research uptake.
  • One part of the workshop consists of two learning sessions organized around research projects of the Applied Research Fund (ARF, fund of NWO-WOTRO) and the Competitive Research Fund (CRF, fund of PAEPARD).The two learning sessions are entitled: 'Co-creation of knowledge' and 'Knowledge sharing and enhancing research uptake'.
  • On October 2, back to back to the ARF/CRF workshop, a public seminar was organized about the contribution of SMEs in economic development and food and nutrition security. An extra 25 external participants were invited to discuss the commercialization of knowledge, innovation through incubators and challenges faced by SMEs. 
  • Examples included the production and commercialization of juices and dried fruit (Jakana Foods) and chili peppers (North East Chilli Producers Association). 
  • A video was presented about good practices of farming as a business, supported by the Dutch Embassy. Special attention was given to the increase of the organization and institutionalization of SMEs in the food sector by initiatives like the Africa Agribusiness Academy. One of the main research issues identified in support of SMEs’ was the desired impact of policy implementations on the food businesses, a topic also shown in the Dutch Embassy video.
The key messages that emerged from the workshop included the following:
  1. It is high time that research teams engage in research that ultimately translates into action than just focusing on the number of scientific publications. 
  2. It is not always necessary to engage in research that requires re-inventing the wheel but rather through by sharing of experiences, project teams in different consortia  can adopt and/or adapt already proven research findings to suit their local context or resolve their innovation challenge. 
  3. It is important for all project teams to conduct a stakeholder analysis to improve stakeholder engagement in the research process. One of the most commonly used tools for conducting stakeholder analysis is the Alignment, Interest and Influence Matrix (AIIM) that enables the categorization of stakeholders into the ultimate and intermediate target groups. 
  4. There is no blue print for dealing with knowledge co-creation but rather partners in projects/consortia need to document the process and share their experiences of what worked and what did not work and the reasons why. 
  5. SMEs have a huge role to play in the food security and commercialization of knowledge. 
  6. The slow transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture remains a big challenge to commercializing research outputs in Africa. 
During the field visits on the last afternoon, students from the Consortium for enhancing University Responsiveness to Agribusiness Development Limited (CURAD) shared their interesting experiences of how they are supported in setting up a business and starting careers as entrepreneurs.

The examples especially included the development of new value adding products, such as folders, badges, bags and clocks from the banana plant, and juices and liquor from coffee. This will contribute to economic development as a prerequisite for increasing food security.The workshop was organised together with the Food and Business Knowledge Platform fifteen projects are to be represented by two to three people involved.

06/10/2015: Successful workshop in Uganda on knowledge co-creation and research uptake for food security

Background to the Food and Business Knowledge platform:

The Food and Business Knowledge Platform (Fand BKP) is the gateway to knowledge for food and nutrition security. It is one of the five knowledge platforms initiated by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The F and BKP is an open and independent initiative where representatives from international networks and organisations of business, science, civil society and policy makers come together. Knowledge is generated and shared between main stakeholders, and stronger and new partnerships are established, with the aim of improving relevance (focus and coherence) as well as efficient use of Dutch, local and international knowledge and research capacity for policy and practice.

The strategic goals of the F& and BKP to increase food and nutrition security are to contribute to:
  1. Coherent policy development and programmes supported by efficient knowledge and research systems;
  2. Increased investments and collaborations from the Dutch private sector and local entrepreneurs, traders and investors in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs); and,
  3. Relevance (focus and coherence) and efficient use of Dutch, local and international knowledge and research capacity
PAEPARD participation:
  1. Pierre Claver Nahayo (CAPAD/Burundi), Development of potato seed quality based innovations for small scale farmers in the three provinces surrounding Bujambura town in Burundi 
  2. Elizabeth Kizito, Improving productivity and market of indigenous vegetables/Uganda + Kenya
  3. John Jagwe, Improving productivity and market of indigenous vegetables/Uganda + Kenya
  4. Apollo Kasharu, Improving productivity and market of indigenous vegetables/Uganda + Kenya
  5. Anderson K. Kipkoeh (Univ. of Eldoret) , Margaret Komen (MACE fruit) Improving productivity and market of indigenous vegetables/Uganda + Kenya
  6. Dr. Matumba Limbikani, LUNUAR/Malawi, Aflatoxin in Groundnut value chain
  7. Claude Arsene Sewado (due to the political sitituation in Burkina Faso he could not attend) Trichoderma in vegetables production
  8. Joseph Hounhouigan  (Univeristy of Abomey-Calavi, Faculty of Agronomics Sciences), Soy-beans processing, Benin
  9. Patrice Sewade, Soy-beans processing, Benin
  10. Francois Stepman, Communication and Knowledge Management Officer
  11. Remi Kahane Deputy Project Manager
  12. Jonas Mugabe, Project Manager
  13. Paul Nampala, RUFORUM, WP Capacities Leader
  14. Henri Massa, RUFORUM
  15. Julia Ekong, WP Capacities co-leader

Harmony Banana Juice in Uganda
Harmony Nutrifoods Ltd specialises in adding value to the banana chain by processing and packaging natural clear banana juice. It also manufacture natural organic gas from the banana waste as a cheap and sustainable way to provide cheap energy to rural households

Entrepreneur Dr. Jessica Nanyunja explains in the video below the banana Juice processing in Uganda of Harmony Banana.
Jessica handles most of the procurement and sales in her company. She now buys Kayinja (banana for juice) directly from farmers as far as Buwaya-Kasanje.Just like any entrepreneur, Jessica has faced many challenges while trying to achieve her dreams. Some of the hurdles include lack of enough supply of the raw material “Kayinja” bananas as most of the banana plantations have been whipped out by the banana weevil and banana wilt bacteria making many farmers to shy away from banana growing especially in Central Uganda Sub-region. However, Jessica and her team have not given up, they are trying to combat this challenge by training farmers in banana pest and disease control and then contracting these trained farmers to grow Kayinja bananas for her company (see: article: The Nutitionist: Squeezing Millions Out of Banana Juice)

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