Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, October 28, 2016

Africa's food import bill may increase further

26 October 2016. Nairobi. Experts speaking on at a meeting convened to assess gains of the YieldWise initiative by Rockefeller, said that Africa's food import bill may increase further if the continent does not solve the problem of post-harvest losses. The continent's food import bill could go up to $110 billion (Sh11.15 trillion) by 2025, the forum was told.

They said the bill which stands at $35 billion (Sh3.5 trillion) has been aggravated by food losses in the continent, adding sub-saharan Africa loses 20 per cent of the food harvested in post-harvest practices.

YieldWise empowers smallholder farmers with skills on reducing post harvest losses and aims at cutting global food loss by half through behaviour change campaigns.
“Most of the crops are lost at farm level due to poor handling, lack of storage and lack of market access. Progress has been recorded in specific food value chains in Kenya and Tanzania, as smallholder farmers are taught new technologies on handling harvest. Kenyan farmers in Makueni have increased their volumes to the market to 200 metric tonnes from 100 metric tonnes after applying technologies in pesticide use, crop care, hygienic harvesting techniques and refrigeration of mangoes,” Rockefeller Foundation managing director Africa Mamadou Biteye

How Farmers in Africa are Restoring Degraded Lands & Enhancing Resilience

27 October 2016. Washington. Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration is a low-cost, sustainable land regeneration system that can be used to rapidly and efficiently return degraded croplands and grazing lands to productivity. It also restores biodiversity and increases resilience to severe weather events.

Since its inception in Niger in 1983, FMNR has spread across five million hectares or 50 percent of that country’s farmlands, which is the largest positive environmental transformation in Africa in the last 100 years. Since then, FMNR has been introduced in 18 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Timor-Leste, and most recently India and Haiti.

  • Tony Rinaudo, Principal Natural Resource Advisor, World Vision Australia
  • Robert Winterbottom, Senior Fellow with the Food, Forests and Water Program, World 
Tony Rinaudo, who serves as Natural Resources Management Advisor for World Vision, is considered among the forefathers of FMNR. He has committed his life to reforesting degraded lands and bringing hope to poor communities through FMNR and has often been described as ‘the Tree Whisperer’.
The seminar provided participants with further insight on World Vision’s work to promote FMNR globally and an opportunity to explore strategies for strengthening evidence and scale-up of this proven model.

Related publication
Scaling up Regreening: Six Steps to Success

Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

17 - 21 October 2016. Rome. With approximately 1,200 participants, CFS 43 convened at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN. The session coincided with the 40th anniversary of the CFS plenary, which held its first session in 1976.

The report of CFS 43 will be made available on the CFS Website.

The 43rd session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 43) endorsed policy recommendations on the role of livestock for sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition, and on connecting smallholders to markets. CFS also decided to support country-led

  • On connecting smallholders to markets, the CFS endorsed a set of policy recommendations developed by the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on Connecting Smallholders to Markets.
  • Patrick Caron, Chair,
    HLPE Steering Committee
  • Other issues on the CFS agenda included: sustainable food systems, nutrition and climate change; CFS engagement in advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda); the Report on the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) and the 2030 Agenda; monitoring the implementation of CFS decisions and recommendations; CFS engagement in advancing nutrition; the Multi-Year Programme of Work (MYPoW); the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (GSF); and evaluation of the CFS.
[CFS 43 Website] [CFS 43 Blog] [IISD RS Report of CFS 43] [IISD RS Coverage of CFS 43] [FAO Press Release on the Opening of CFS 43]
implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to provide regular contributions to reviews under the High-level Political Forum (HLPF).

The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition has launched an eConsultation on the Draft V0 on Nutrition and food systems

To participate to the e-consultation:
Contributions are welcome in English, French and Spanish.
The eConsultation will run from 24 October to 5 December 2016
Statement by Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet as head of the U.S. delegation to the 43d Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on "Sustainable Food Systems, Nutrition and Climate Change."

Terry Sunderland of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) participated in the Committee for World Food Security (CFS) 43 held this week at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Sunderland says that it is possible to increase food security and nutrition for millions of people without clearing forests. Sunderland, who has been researching the relationship between forests and diets, says that an integrated approach to agriculture and forestry is important to food security.

Remarks by David Nabarro, Special Representative of the UN SG for Food Security and Nutrition

The sustainable retail summit

27-28 October 2016. Paris, France. The Consumer Goods Forum. THE SUSTAINABLE RETAIL SUMMIT. The topics addressed included Food Waste, Forced Labour and Health and Wellness.

Internationally renowned speakers, round table discussions, workshops and networking opportunities provided applicable learnings from FMCG experts (company CEOs), high level government representatives, international organisations, inspirational health & sustainability leaders and other stakeholders.
Sharla Halvorson 
Nestle Manager R and D 

Extract of the programme:
USSEC: the critical issues behind soy sourcing and sustainable production.
  • This session offered a unique opportunity for The Consumer Goods Forum and the U.S. Soybean Export Council to educate and inform a broader audience of CGF members on the critical issues around soy sourcing and sustainable production. 
  • Within the context of the work done by the CGF on deforestation, this session highlighted the update of the soy sourcing guidelines. USSEC presented the US Sustainable Soy Assurance Protocol (SSAP) and their efforts to gain greater recognition and acceptance by European traders, feed companies, livestock producers and retailers and consumers. 
  • Finally, US soy producers provided their first-hand experience on what sustainability means to them, the soy value chain and American consumers.
ToineTimmermans, WUR
Food waste is an enormous environmental, social and economic challenge. A third of food calories produced are never eaten. It represents an economic cost to the global economy of $940 billion per year and, if food waste were a country, its carbon footprint would be third only to China and the US. Given the magnitude of this challenge, the consumer goods industry is publicly committed to food waste reduction.
  • CEO Chimney Talk 
  • Thierry Cotillard, CEO, Intermarché Alimentaire Internationale 
  • Mike Coupe, CEO, Sainsbury’s 
    Sabine Juelicher
  • Dave Lewis, Group CEO, Tesco StoresExpert Panel 
  • Craig Hanson, Global Director (Food, Forests and Water) World Resources Institute 
  • Sabine Juelicher, Director, DG Health and Food Safety, Directorate E - Food and feed safety Innovation, European Commission 
  • Pierre Galio, Head of the Consumer and Prevention Department, The French Environment and Energy Management Agency, ADEME 
  • Jérôme Bédier, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and General Secretary, Carrefour Group
The 2017 Global Food Safety Conference that will be held February 28 through March 2, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

Members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) have contributed to a new Food Waste booklet, which incorporates real-life examples on how said companies are measuring and reducing food loss and waste.

The booklet (37 pages), which was launched at the Sustainable Retail Summit in Paris, follows on from other
recent successful food waste initiatives involving the CGF and its members, such as the 2015 CGF resolution to halve food waste within the individual operations of its members by 2025, the launch of the Food Loss and Waste (FLW) Standard and participation in Champions 12.3.

According to the Forum, the booklet ‘serves as inspiration and guidance to others wishing to accelerate their food loss and waste measurement and reduction by showcasing an array of successful approaches to food waste from consumer goods companies.’

A new report (September 2016, 18 pages) on behalf of Champions 12.3 assesses global progress toward Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which calls for halving food waste and reducing food loss by 2030. Champions 12.3 is a unique coalition of leaders across government, business and civil society dedicated to achieving Target 12.3.
Actions include:
  • The introduction of our Food Waste Resolution, which asks members to halve food waste within their individual operations by 2025
  • Co-developing the Food Loss & Waste Reporting Standard (FLW), which is the first-ever set of global definitions and reporting requirements for companies, countries and others to consistently and credibly measure, report on and manage food loss and waste
  • Leadership from companies like Tesco, which has rolled out “Community Food Connection” to link unsold yet still safe food with local food charities 
  • Efforts from companies like Nestlé and Unilever to measure their food loss and waste
In 2016, a new storage technology was introduced in Kithithina, Kenya, that can increase the shelf life of potatoes from one to eight months. Known as the Ambient Ware Potato Store, these facilities protect crops from light, heat, humidity, pests, and rodents—enabling potatoes to stay dormant until farmers are ready to sell them. The technology helps farmers to wait for higher off-season market prices while stabilizing market supply.
In 2016, the German Ministry of Agriculture launched a €10 million program to develop “smart packaging” that uses electronic chip sensors to determine how food has aged and communicate to consumers the food’s freshness and safety.
In February 2016, France adopted legislation that requires French supermarkets to donate unsold yet still edible food to charities.
In 2016, Tesco rolled out “Community Food Connection,” which utilizes an online app with FareShare Food Cloud to link unsold yet still safe food with local food charities in real time, reducing the amount of food that goes uneaten. 
In August 2016, the European Commission established the “EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste,” a collaboration to identify food loss and waste prevention measures, share best practice, and evaluate progress over time. Designed to support the delivery of Target 12.3, the platform includes national experts from Member States, intergovernmental organizations, research institutions, and non-governmental organizations.
In January 2016, The Rockefeller Foundation launched YieldWise, a $130 million investment to demonstrate practical approaches to halving food loss and waste by 2030. The initiative is tackling hotspots in food loss and waste generation, including fruits, vegetables, and staple crops in Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania, as well as food waste in North America and Europe. Its approach spans market development, loss prevention technologies, financing models, innovation, and business tools to measure and track food loss and waste across supply chains.
UNECE and FAO are organising a Conference on Food Loss «no time to lose on food loss» 10 November 2016, from 10:00 to 18:00 in Room VIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva. To attend the Seventy-second session of the Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards (WP.7) (9 - 11 November 2016) registration is compulsory. Participants can register online and create their UNECE profile.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Improving Public Health through Mycotoxin Control

Improving Public Health through Mycotoxin Control
IARC Scientific Publication No. 158
Edited by Pitt JI, Wild CP, Baan RA, Gelderblom WCA, Miller JD, Riley RT, Wu F
International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2012, 168 pages

Mycotoxins are fungal toxins that contaminate many of the most frequently consumed foods and feeds worldwide, including staple foods consumed by many of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the world. Therefore, human and animal exposure to one or more of this broad group of toxins is widespread.

Mycotoxins have the potential to contribute to a diversity of adverse health effects in humans, including cancer, even at low concentrations. Economic burdens resulting from crop contamination are added to those on health. Given the ubiquitous nature of exposure in many countries, an urgent need exists for a coordinated international response to the problem of mycotoxin contamination of food. 

This book aims to sensitize the international community to the mycotoxin problem in a format that is accessible to a wide audience and is useful to decision-makers across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including agriculture, public health, marketing, and economics. The editors hope that this book will be a stimulus to governments, nongovernmental and international organizations, and the private sector to initiate measures designed to minimize mycotoxin exposure in high-risk populations. The book not only provides a scientific description of the occurrence and effects of mycotoxins but also goes further by outlining approaches to reduce mycotoxin exposure aimed at improving public health in low-income countries.

The subject of this publication was presented at the international conference MycoRed 2012 held in Ottawa by Dr. John Pitt. It is now available in PDF format.

21 October 2016. Mycotoxigenic Fungi Contamination and Aflatoxin Awareness in Plant-based Chicken Feeds: A Case Study of Western Kenya
Presentation by Owiro, N.O., Ochuodho, J.O., Rachuonyo, H.A., Gohole, L.S., Tarus, J.K., Ooko, L.A., Okello, E.O., Munyasi, J. W. & Omega, J.A.
Fifth African Higher Education Week & RUFORUM Biennial Conference Venue: Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town South Africa | Dates: 17th – 22nd October, 2016

Integrating video mediated learning in higher education in Africa

20 - 21 October 2016. Cape Town. Side event of Access Agriculture at the RUFORUM conference.

Recent research shows that 20% of the about 100,000 visitors to the video sharing platform of Access Agriculture come from African Universities. Hence the Regional Universities for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and Access Agriculture (an international NGO that serves as an independent, not-for-profit global facilitator for the sharing of relevant, quality farmer training videos in support of sustainable agriculture, natural resource management and markets in developing countries) signed, in 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding to further stimulate video use in universities and progressively include video mediated learning into the curricula of universities (extension schools).

This event aimed to: Create awareness for video mediated learning among Higher Education institutions, mainly universities and initiate the inclusion of video mediated learning into the curriculum of universities, especially in the curriculum of schools of extension and rural development

  • Share the experience of pilot universities in video use in extension and teaching 
  • hear research outputs on video mediated learning 
  • Introduce a selection of university lecturers to basic techniques of farmer training videos (fact sheet development, script writing and video production)
This event comprised of a series of presentations to share experiences. There were hands-on training in video production which were split into three parts: a) a session to discuss fact sheet development, script writing and tips for video production; b) a session to allow participants to practice shooting videos and c) another session to edit. The outputs (short videos) of the training will be shared on the conference website.

Agricultural advisory services in developing countries face many challenges, one of which is to respond meaningfully to farmers’ diverse demands for advice on crop, livestock, fish, processing, business, finance and marketing issues. With limited resources, advisors struggle to reach the millions of farmers. 

Across countries, research institutes, universities, NGOs, extension services, companies, radio stations and farmer-based organisations are making considerable efforts to find or develop suitable training materials for their staff and the farmers with whom they work. Farmer to farmer training videos have proven to be an effective method of knowledge sharing and have recently created a momentum in Africa.

Interview with Michael Hauser for the RUFORUM-Access Agriculture side event at the RUFORUM Biennial Meeting Cape Town 2016. The well attended side event was on the subject of video mediated learning where the experience of several universities in the use of video in extension and teaching were shared (University of Abomey Calavi, Benin; University of Parakou, Benin; Egerton University, Kenya; University of Nairobi, Kenya; University of Lilongwe, Malawi; Makerere University, Uganda).

Interview michael hauser | Agtube


Smallholder farmers innovate by blending old ideas with new ones. In this video, we will visit Lester Chizumeni Mpinda on his farm in Mwanza, Malawi. Mr. Mpinda watched a set of videos on how to grow chilli, and then used the information creatively to grow a crop he had never planted before.

A new crop for Mr Mpinda | Agtube

PAEPARD side events @ RUFORUM Biennial Conference

14-16 October 2016. Several pre-conference events were held @ the RUFORUM Biennial
Conference. PAEPARD organised:
  1. A training workshop Processes and Practices in multi-stakeholder partnerships in ARD, 
  2. A workshop on monitoring and evaluation
  3. A workshop on the improvement of the use of the Open Source OSIRIS (Online System to Improve Relationships by Information Sharing
  4. A Side Event on Retrospective and prospective of PAEPARD write-shops under the capacity building strategy of PAEPARD 
  5. A Side Event on Linking African agricultural universities to research-users through the multistakeholder partnerships
Training workshop Processes and Practices in multi-stakeholder partnerships in ARD:
This side-event was part of Work Package Capacities Work Plan for Year 7 under the PAEPARD implementation Plan. The overall aim of the side-event was to enable the members of ULP and consortia funded under CRF and ARF better manage projects and document the change process. The meeting offered the opportunity for ULPs, CRF and ARF project teams to engage and network with other actors engaged in ARD and link to other academia in Africa. Agenda:
  • Forms and Principles of partnerships within PAEPARD
  • Mapping partnership development of consortia – Group Work and review
  • Steps in the change process
  • Analysis, identifying pathways to innovation and markers of change
  • Identifying principles/assumptions of the change process
  • Outlining a learning agenda for documentation of the change process
  • Project cycle management
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Risk management
  • Financial management
  • Designing and implementing a project communication strategy
Workshop on monitoring and evaluation
The structured monitoring of the implementation of PAEPARD-CRF activities started in FY2015.
The first M&E visit to all the projects was at the beginning of 2015, when the FARA M and E Specialist assisted the teams revise their Results Frameworks (RFs) and establish the baseline values and indicator targets for ease tracking implementation progress. Assessment is made from quarterly technical and financial reports and the once-in-a-year Monitoring visit. 

  • CRF projects are aligned with the FARA and overall PAEPARD objectives;
  • Projects teams effectively manage and deliver the projects on time and within budget;
  • Key issues and constraints faced during the implementing period are discussed andappropriately addressed through advice and feedback, and the sharing of templates, best
  • practice and lessons learnt;
  • Lessons learned are well documented to inform other projects and future FARAprogramming; and,
  • Confidence in the projects’ outcomes is maintained and exit strategies are set up early enough.
All the 4 projects have generated (or are likely to generate) impressive outputs. The projects working
with a diverse array of value chain actors have generated high expectations that may neither be satisfied in the current phase, nor achieve a scale that can achieve meaningful impact within the 3-year implementation period within which to generate research technologies and scale them out to end users. Nonetheless,
  • Promising results from these projects are being published to showcase the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships. Also other partners are joining some CRF (e.g. Trichoderma) to use their partnership model to scale out some technologies.
  • The Soy-bean milk and Soy-bean afitin has officially released the technology for milk production
  • The aflatoxin in groundnut in Malawi and Zambia has successfully completed experimental trials and results have been analyzed to be published in peer reviewed papers.
  • The indigenous vegetables project in Uganda has generated knowledge on the morphological diversity, biochemical composition and molecular diversity. The indigenous vegetables have shown a wide range of variation phenotypically and are comparatively rich in nutrients. Progress has also been made on identifying and profiling varieties of indigenous vegetables with longer shelf life and processing potential.
  • All CRFs have utilized the CRFs small funding as seed money to search for more funding and expand their consortium/network. The soy-bean milk & soy-bean Afitin consortium won an ARF (275,000€); the Trichoderma consortium submitted successfully a project to a call launched by the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) and won 185,000€. The Indigenous vegetables team was shortlisted at the first round for a national funding launched by NARO Uganda.

Workshop on the improvement of the use of the Open Source OSIRISall deliverables and consortia agendas have an electronic format and the PAEPARD supported consortia are able to promote their activities on the Web and publish documents or information related to their results.
  • Reminder of OSIRIS functionality 
  • Consortia feedback experience 
  • Practical work from documents provided by consortia 
  • Presentations by consortia of their work and discussion 
  • Presentation of the publication function on the web 
  • Creation of the homepage consortia websites 
  • Consortia progress presentation strategy 
  • Practice and posted the contents of consortia websites 
Retrospective and prospective of PAEPARD write-shops under the capacity building strategy of PAEPARD
One of the means of building the capacity under PAEPARD is the write-shop to develop proposals responding to calls launched by donors. Around 9 write-shops were organized by PAEPARD since 2011. The documentation (process, proposals developed, awarded proposed) of these write-shops has started in order to share with partners lessons learnt. However, there was need of a feedback from those who participated in the write-shops and partners who did not attend. 

Over the past five years, some 55 concept notes and proposals have been submitted by the consortia supported by PAEPARD. Finally, 11 submitted proposals have been selected for a call organized by a diversity of donors.

A lot of energy is put into the writing and submission of proposals. However, only a few proposals are finally selected for funding. But particularly, for the proposals submitted under the Applied Research Fund (ARF) of the Dutch
WOTRO (science division of the Netherlands Organizations of Scientific Research), the time and money invested in consolidating a consortium and improving on the concept note and proposal writing has paid off. Although in terms of numbers: from the 13 proposals submitted to this Dutch funding opportunity, only four were selected (with nine not selected). However, the number of selected ARD projects submitted by PAEPARD supported consortia is not too bad compared to the success rate one would find in some specific calls for proposals.

Linking African agricultural universities to research-users through the multistakeholder partnerships
During the two calls launched by PAEPARD in 2010 and 2011 many African universities joined other
actors to form the MSP around different value chains. Out of 150 concept notes received from the two calls, 21 were led and submitted by universities from which 6 were selected out of a total of 19 that got PAEPARD support.

Here are four examples of African universities playing an active role in PAEPARD supported
  1. The University of Abomey-Calavi is engaged in improving a local soybean spicy known as “Afitin”. It is produced by women in rural area of Benin and especially in South and Central of Benin but in non-hygienic conditions which is source of allergies and gastro-intestinal infections. Five MSc students are working from production to commercialization adding value to the product (Afitin). The University of Abomey-Calavi has mobilized its team of microbiologists and food scientists to carry out the research in collaboration with the University of Wageningen and the University of Lisbon.
  2. The University of Ghana, through the Crop Science Department and its Forest and Horticultural Crops Research Centre based at Kade in East Region, is involved in a consortium
    that in 2011 submitted a concept on Angular Leaf Spot disease of citrus. In 2014, the strategic innovation platform got a support from the Sub-Saharan Challenge Program (SSA CP) to build the capacity of stakeholders in working together. The disease is about to be controlled with the use of the concept of the Innovation Platform (IP) in scaling out the technology developed by scientists of the university of Ghana and other stakeholders including producers. Also the IP has attracted other partners such as
    GIZ who are dealing with marketing of citrus and the Fruit Fly project funded by the World Bank via CORAF.
  3. The Uganda Christian University (UCU) engages with communities of vegetable producers in Jinja (Central Uganda) and Mbale (Eastern Uganda) on ‘Enhancing nutrition security and incomes through adding value to indigenous vegetables in East and Central Uganda’. Beside the improvement of production, UCU with partners that include Makerere University, a private sector and a local NGO, are searching for technologies – affordable and adoptable by famers - that minimize post-harvest losses and prolong the shelf life which are big challenges in vegetable production and marketing.
  4. The Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), a private sector organization (PHYTOLABU) and a European partner (Wallon Centre for Irish Potato Research, Belgian) to create a MSP around «Participatory Development of Irish Potato Technologies and Promotion of Gender and Environmentally-Friendly Innovations in Burundi ». The main activities of the consortium have been the capacity building in high quality potato seeds production, seeds supply and marketing, storage etc.
See further: Mugabe, J.M., Nampala, P. Linking African agricultural universities to research-users through the multistakeholder partnerships: Experience from PAEPARD. RUFORUM Working Document Series (ISSN 1607-9345) No. 14 (1): 421-428.

This side event also had a presentation from: Agrienterprise development as pathway to youth and rural development in sub-Saharan Africa: The case of agrienterprise business prototypes at Egerton University

The Impacts of Private Standards on Producers in Developing Countries

The Impacts of Private Standards on Global Value Chains: Literature review series on the impacts of private standards - Part I
While standards play an increasingly important role in international trade and global value chains, little is known about their actual impacts in these chains. By applying a systematic literature approach, The Impacts of Private Standards on Global Value Chains aims to apply the key research findings to this question. Generally, the research in this area was found to focus on few standards, products and countries. In most cases the case studies do not allow for the identification of correlations between variables. 

A systematic analysis of value chain impacts across standards and products providing quantitative, statistically valid data is lacking. Data is not comprehensive enough to make standard or product specific conclusions. Finally, there is a focus on the production side of the value chain, despite claims made about examining the entire value chain
The Impacts of Private Standards on Producers in Developing Countries - Part II
The question of how standards impact trade is more relevant than ever. Against the background of a world economy that is global in scope and organization with economic activities being spread across national boundaries, the liberalization of trade has been one factor contributing to a policy shift from import substitution to export-led growth strategies. This has resulted in the involvement of a large number of producers in export activities and in global or regional value chains. 

This paper presents the results of a systematic literature review of 47 research papers that assess the evidence regarding socioeconomic and environmental impact at the producer level in developing countries. It provides an overview of the methods used to collect and screen the literature, presents a descriptive analysis of the research, and reviews the findings of selected papers.

The Impacts of Private Standards on Producers in Developing Countries - Part III
The question on how public and private standards interact constitutes relatively new research terrain and has received limited attention. This particularly applies to social and environmental standards where the majority of research focuses on the interplay of private and public forestry standards. Interdependencies between public and private food safety and quality standards have been more closely analyzed, though only in the past decade or so. Overall, there is a multitude of competing public and private standards that are rarely harmonized, and sometimes complement, but often duplicate each other. 

Many regulatory functions are performed by public and private actors creating a situation that is inefficient when it comes to achieving policy goals. Yet again, it is small producers that are hit most by the current situation of a ‘dysfunctional interplay’ of public and private standards. Urgent measures need to be taken to create more complementarities and harmonization among private standards and between private and public standards. This approach would address the root of the problem (multitude of standards) instead of trying to treat the symptoms (exporters’ exclusion from international trade).

The Impacts of Private Standards on Producers in Developing Countries - Part IV
This paper concludes a series of systematic literature reviews on the impacts of private standards. This paper encompasses aspects such as the contextual environment under which the standard was implemented, the standard as an instrument, and the mechanisms that occurred as a result of implementing the standard.  Adoption of private standards tends to be favoured in contexts where (i) the type of product has high requirements regarding traceability, (ii) in extractive businesses, (iii) where commodities are identifiable in end products, or (iv) where there are shorter supply chains with fewer actors

This study discusses the effects of private voluntary standards on market access for selected developing countries. It is based on case studies of selected fruit and vegetables for four countries, Chile, Ghana, Peru and South Africa. (food waste as a consequence of standards is not discussed)

The enhanced engagement of University actors with the private sector

18 October 2016The RUFORUM Annual General Meeting (AGM) noted that RUFORUM is now a continental organisation with the inclusion of the first North African member university – the University of Cairo – which was officially welcomed along with nine other new member institutions. 
Prof. Dr. Hany El-Shemy,
Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University

The RUFORUM Strategic and Business Plan for 2015-2020 envisages an enhanced engagement of University actors along the whole value chain, including sister organizations and the private sector in mutually beneficial research and training to accelerate delivery of agricultural science-based innovations.

PAEPARD interviewed Prof. Dr. Hany El-Shemy of the Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University on the curriculum revision , its challenges and the collaboration with the private sector.

  • What is the purpose of the curriculum revision?
  • What have been the biggest challenges of this curriculum revision?
  • Are farmers and private sector represented in the Faculty Council?
  • How do you attract EC funding and researchers from the European Union?
  • What about the collaboration with Sub Saharan Africa?

This project (2013-2016) is funded with the support of the European Union through the African Caribbean Pacific Group of States EDULINK 11. It is a partnership and collaboration between Egerton University, Kenya, Mekelle University, Ethiopia, Gulu University, Uganda, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, RUFORUM, KENFAP and ICRA.

  • Re-orient agricultural teaching in universities towards entrepreneurship in order to improve on the quality of agricultural science graduates so as to catalyze development and social transformation.
  • Improve the relevance of agricultural science teaching and outreach to the needs of agribusiness.
  • Impart entrepreneurial skills to University agricultural science students in Eastern and West Africa to enable them to be competitive in the job market.
  • Induce rural transformation through smallholder agricultural transformation and agri-enterprise development.