Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, June 26, 2017

Harnessing the power of data: data management workshop at the BecA-ILRI Hub

5–16 June 2017. Nairobi. The Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub held a two-week training workshop on Data Management and Genotyping by Sequencing (GBS) analysis. The focus of the workshop was to equip scientists with computational skills needed to manage and analyze GBS data.

The training was offered in response to the needs of national agricultural research systems (NARS) scientists identified through various engagements with the BecA-ILRI Hub including annual workshops on Advanced Genomics and Bioinformatics in and Introduction to Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics.

Twenty participants from nine African countries—Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda—had an opportunity to work through their GBS data under the guidance of facilitators from Earlham Institute, UK; Fathom Labs, Kenya; and Ohio State University, USA as well as bioinformatics research associates from the BecA-ILRI Hub.

In this five-minute video, participants from different countries share how they hope to apply the skills they acquired from the workshop.

Post-Harvest Innovation cluster Roots Tubers and Bananas CRP

8-9 June 2017. Entebbe, Uganda. To launch the Post-Harvest Innovation cluster, more than 20 researchers from 11 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe came together to share experiences and develop a joint vision and research for development agenda that will guide their collaboration over the coming years.

The Roots Tubers and Bananas CRP is structured around five flagship projects, each of which is comprised of a number of research teams, known as ‘clusters’.

The team investigated the myriad technical, environmental, social and economic dimensions to fully understand the opportunities, scope and potential impacts of postharvest interventions. Shared post-harvest challenges for RTB crops, such as post-harvest losses and waste product management, will be approached from a cross-crop perspective. The cluster will also undertake research in post-harvest management, storage, and processing of banana, potato and yam and support research for cassava and sweetpotato that is conducted in collaboration with other research teams.
“Roots, tubers and bananas share several post-harvest challenges, such as their perishability, bulkiness, and comparatively narrow range of utilization. They also share an enormous potential for expanding and diversifying their use in new markets including in urban fresh food markets and in commercial processing. Progress in these areas can be greatly accelerated by researchers and private sector partners working together across different RTB crops that share similar challenges and opportunities,” Simon Heck
Participants came from IITA, the International Potato Center,Bioversity International, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement, Natural Resources Institute and government partners from Uganda and Nigeria, and included food scientists, breeders, market economists, agronomists, nutritionists and social scientists with ongoing research work on banana, cassava, potato, sweetpotato, and yam.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Ministerial Conference and 4th Agritec Africa Exhibition

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bet
14-16 June 2017. Nairobi. This conference focused on “Catalyzing Agricultural Transformation for Inclusive Growth” under the theme “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investment in food and nutrition data.”

The Conference was co-convened by the Government of Kenya, Radeecal Communications and GODAN Secretariat. The conference was attended by some 200 participants, led by Ministers for Agriculture from 100 countries, private sector, academia, think-tanks, civil society, youth organisations, research networks and development practitioners, the United Nations and multilateral institutions especially the African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Economic Commissions for Africa, Asia and Latin America, the African Union Commission, Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and international organizations.

The Ministerial conference mobilized high level political support to ensure availability, accessibility and usability of data for agricultural planning and decision making in the global south.

More specifically, the conference seeked to:
  1. Increase financial, human and technological capacities in the global south for agriculture and nutrition data;
  2. Improve coordination of data for agriculture and nutrition across governments, private sector, and academia in the global south;
  3. Harmonize policies that improve collection, coordination, use, dissemination of agriculture and nutrition data;
  4. Provide a platform for peer-learning, co-creation and sharing of expertise/ practices on proven success on the use of quality data and standards for agriculture and nutrition;
  5. Create opportunities for the adoption of youth driven agricultural innovations within the public sector to catalyse employment and wealth creation.
  6. Facilitate networking and to showcase proven initiatives on open data for agricultural transformation.
The second Ministerial conference on Global Open Data for Agric and Nutrition will be hosted by Uganda in 2018

Forum on Women’s Access to Appropriate Agricultural Technology

A gender sensitive panel
7 to 9 June  2017.Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The Four-Country Cotton Partnership (USAID C4CP) a project implemented by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the African Union (AU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), organized a forum on Women’s Access to Appropriate Agricultural Technology.

Over 100 participants drawn from the West African region attended this forum, with a specific focus on the C-4 countries. Regional organizations such as the African Union (AU), African Development Bank (AfDB), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) as well as members of the Community of Practice on Gender Cotton and Food Security were also present. Coordinators of the ECOWAS agriculture policy (ECOWAP) as well as female producers and processors shared their experiences.

The forum:
  • Reviewed the existing innovative technological initiatives, policies and strategies.
  • Evaluated the existing level of use of farming equipment and technologies by small holder farmers.
  • Facilitated the sharing of experience to improve access and adoption of appropriate technologies and innovations by female farmers and processors.
  • Identified gender-smart technologies and innovations for planned pilot Incubation Centers of the USAID C4CP project in the C4 countries.
  • Made recommendations to government, regional institutions and all stakeholders on effective ways and means of enhancing women’s access and adoption of appropriate agricultural technologies and innovations in order to raise productivity at the farm level.
Other CORAF event
13-14 June 2017. Accra. Stakeholders and Agricultural experts from the West African countries converged for a Two-Day consultative meeting seeking ways to consolidate progress made so far on food security issues in the sub-region.
The Two-Day Learning Event dubbed ‘Catalytic Innovation for Agricultural Transformation’ provided a roadmap to spur the growth of the national and regional seed industry.

The World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported the Sub-regional bloc ECOWAS in implementing two mutually reinforcing flagship programs ; The West African Seed Program (WASP) and the West African Agricultural Productivity Program (WAPP) focusing on seven member states but with regulations throughout all 15 member countries in addition to Mauritania and Chad which are not in the sub-region.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Next Farm Bill: The Future of International Food Aid and Ag Development

7 June 2017. Washington. Full Committee – Public Hearing RE: The Next Farm Bill: The Future of International Food Aid and Agricultural Development

The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on the future of international food aid and agricultural development as a continuation of the committee’s series to examine all aspects of the next farm bill. Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and members of the committee heard from stakeholders on the critical assistance that these programs provide in terms of both global food security and U.S. national security. Following the hearing, Chairman Conaway made the below remarks:
“Americans are big-hearted people and eliminating food aid programs goes against our country’s longstanding philanthropic commitment. For the past 60 years, U.S. foreign assistance has benefitted millions around the world in the form of rice, wheat, and other U.S.-grown commodities. Unlike cash-based assistance, sending commodities overseas through international food aid programs not only benefits recipients, but also contributes to jobs in the U.S. agricultural, manufacturing and maritime sectors – underscoring the role these programs play in an ‘America-first’ approach to helping others. I continue to believe there is an important place for these programs, and I appreciate the input from our witnesses today.”

Written testimony provided by the witnesses from the hearing is linked below. Click here for more information, including Chairman Conaway's opening statement and the archived webcast.

Witnesses Panel I: Testimonies and discussion with the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture
  1. Mr. Ron Suppes, Wheat Producer, Dighton, KS, on behalf of U.S. Wheat Associates
  2. Ms. Margaret Schuler, Senior Vice President of the International Programs Group, World Vision - United States, Washington, DC
  3. Ms. Navyn Salem, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Edesia Nutrition, Kingstown, RI
  4. Mr. Brian W. Schoeneman, Political and Legislative Director, Seafarers International Union (AFL-CIO), Washington, DC, on behalf of USA Maritime
  5. Dr. Thomas S. Jayne (see picture), University Foundation Professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, on behalf of the Farm Journal Foundation
    Promoting US national interests through supporting agricultural development in Africa, by Thomas Jayne. (Jayne Written Testimony and Presentation Video of Dr. Jayne starting @43:00 or click on Presentation

Jayne’s presentation focused on three points that explain why it is in the U.S.’ national interest to support agricultural development in African countries.
  1. First, the main source of growth in the world’s demand for food will be in developing countries. Sub-Saharan Africa’s food imports have risen seven fold over the past 15 years and continue to rise rapidly with this region’s rapid population growth. Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to contain 24 percent of the world’s population by 2050. Income growth in Africa will further accelerate the region’s demand for U.S. food exports and support hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs at home as well as abroad. With 70 percent of the African population engaged in farming, the agricultural sector is the main entry point for improving livelihoods and encouraging the region’s transformation to a more diversified and prosperous economy.
  2. Secondly, agricultural development contributes to economic stability and peace. It is an important source of employment for African youth, when 65 percent of the population is under 25 years of age. Agricultural sector growth and gainful youth employment is one of the most effective ways to avert recruitment of youth into extremist groups.
  3. Thirdly, U.S. development assistance projects “soft power.” It generates good will and influence at all levels. It’s a strategy increasingly employed by China, which educates over 1,000 Africans per year in Mandarin, offers them advanced degree training in China, and supports their integration into influential private and public sector positions in their home countries.
Jayne stated that U.S. efforts have improved African countries’ economies, but much more should be done to develop local agricultural institutions. He reminded the committee of how U.S. agriculture benefited from its own homegrown agricultural institutions, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Systems and land-grant universities. Africa needs similar institutions in their own countries.

For all of these reasons, it’s in the best interest of the U.S. to further support agricultural development in Africa.

See also Jayne’s article in The Conversation (February 1, 2017): “Why the U.S. Has a lot to Gain From Investing in Africa’s Agri-food Systems.” and Recent Research and Policy Presentations of Thomas S. Jayne Michigan State University

11-13 July 2017. Geneva. The Aid for Trade Global Review 2017 will take place at the WTO headquarters. This year's Global Review is dedicated to the theme of “Promoting Trade, Inclusiveness and Connectivity for Sustainable Development”, and will provide an opportunity for stakeholders to look at how Aid for Trade can contribute to the integration of developing countries and least developed countries into the multilateral trading system and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
22 June 2017. Washington, D.C. Full Committee – Public Hearing RE: The Next Farm Bill: University Research
Upon announcing the hearing,  (TX-11) issued the following statement:
“Agricultural research has been essential to U.S. gains in productivity over the past century. With the global population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, U.S. production agriculture will continue to be asked to produce more with fewer resources and the best way to do that will be through strategic investments in agricultural research. I look forward to hearing from university leaders about the opportunities and challenges they face in ensuring American agriculture remains a world leader in cutting-edge technology and research.”Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway
Witnesses: Panel I: University Agricultural Research
  • Mr. Robert Duncan, Chancellor, Texas Tech University System, Lubbock, TX
  • Dr. Jacqueline Burns, Dean for Research and Director, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, FL
  • Dr. Glenda Humiston, Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Oakland, CA
  • Dr. Walter H. Hill, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences and Vice Provost for Land-Grant Affairs, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL
  • Dr. Steven H. Tallant, President, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, Kingsville, TX
  • Ms. Carrie L. Billy, President and CEO, American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Alexandria, VA
Video: Watch Live

Video Mediated Learning and Farmer Field School

Video Mediated Learning is currently promoted as a communication approach to disseminate agricultural information. Since it is an emerging tool, an evaluation to reveal effectiveness is crucial.

Farmer Field School (FFS) is one of the most active extension methods used in Kenya and this study sought to compare and provide evidence on the effectiveness of video Mediated Learning. Rachuonyo Sub-County was purposively selected where a sample of 119 maize farmers selected through Systematic random sampling.

Three farmer groups were established then trained on Striga weed management using video, FFS and a combination of video and FFS approaches. 
  • A survey was conducted to assess the implementation of disseminated Striga control technologies on farmers’ fields. 
  • Results indicated that a combination of Video Mediated Learning and FFS greatly influenced farmers to implement Striga control technologies at 46.2%, 42.5% for video alone and 35% for FFS. 
  • Regression analysis revealed that socioeconomic factors had little influence on uptake of agricultural messages. 
  • From the results, Video Mediated Learning alone could be better than FFS. 
  • However, efforts to promote learning and dissemination of' agricultural messages should target the use of combination of video and FFS to scale up uptake as the two approaches complement each other

You can find other publications that you may find of interest on the subject of using videos in agricultural extension at Publications.

Marketing of Agricultural Commodities and the role of the producer organisations

22 June 2017. The agribusiness academy is providing world class agribusiness education for new entrants as well as professionals in the industry.

AA has more than 50 tailor made courses that addresses different aspects of the entire value chain in agriculture. These courses have been broken into bundles to help the agribusiness professionals really gain the most of the content provided. 5 bundles are currently available: Agribusiness, Food processing, Food retailing, Innovation and Entrepreneurship bundles. Please look here: Any one can choose bundles or even single courses depending on what the needs are.

RVJ Agribusiness academy has designed and delivered a 5-day masterclass : "Food security as a business opportunity" to professionals from the different African and Asian countries. They share their experiences on how the masterclass has changed the perspective and approach to achieving food security within their operational settings.

The courses are delivered online using actionable videos, podcasts, webinars and word content. The academy has developed a special leadership and mentorship program to start Mid-July, 2017.

Agribusiness Academy for Personal Learners
Self-paced Learning in Agribusiness, Food Processing, Entrepreneurship, Retailing and Innovation
Published on 19 May 2017
This micro-course is designed to expose the audience to various activities, institutions and stakeholders involved in marketing of agricultural produce and how best to manage them to create a suitable marketing program for an agribusiness.

To make the learning process immersive, we use the context of Ravi (an agripreneur) who is taking over his father's farming activities and would like to transform it into an agribusiness. This micro-course helps Ravi to take better marketing decisions by understanding the agricultural marketing systems and eventually build a market oriented agribusiness.

Here is the learning products associated with this important theme:

Published on 19 May 2017 
The role of the producer organisations (PO) is critical to the development of inclusive and sustainable supply chains. These organisations can be effective and vital players in the supply chain due to their ability to connect smallholder farmers to markets. In this course the value chain model of Michael Porter, one of the most creative thinkers about competitiveness and development is applied to the context of producer organisations. Applying the Porter's model to the case of producer organisations has led to Six key performance indicators which have been applied to Home grown school feeding situations in three (Kenya, Mali and Ghana) African countries.


Here is the learning products associated with this theme:

Can Tanzania feed itself by 2050?

Can Tanzania feed itself by 2050? Estimating cereal self-sufficiency to 2050
2017, 4 pages

The study reveals the enormous challenge of keeping up with anticipated increases in future cereal demand. Full yield gap closure on existing cereal land is needed to roughly maintain today’s selfsufficiency.

Closing the yield gaps implies an enormous break from observed historic trends in annual yield increases. It requires use of improved cultivars, hybrids, and seed, coupled with increased use of fertilizers, modern pest management practices, and good agronomy.

Accelerated intensification will require greater investment in research and development (R and D) in both public and private sectors. This investment is needed now, and will be even more urgent under future climate change.

  • Investments in agricultural R and D must be matched by supportive policies and public finance for improved transport and communication, market infrastructure, credit, insurance, and improved land entitlements. 
  • In the study’s calculations, rainfed cereal production is the dominant form of production. Tanzania’s government may also opt to invest in irrigation (that is, climate resilient infrastructure), which would lead to higher potential yields and more scope for production increases. 
  • Further, an increase in intensity of cropping systems (growing more than one crop per 12 months) may help Tanzania keep up with the future increase in demand.

This note is based on research performed in the context of the Global Yield Gap Atlas (GYGA) project ( and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska– Lincoln, and Wageningen University & Research (the Netherlands). Research conducted using the International Food Policy Research Institute’s IMPACT model was supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Investing in food processing as women

20 June 2017. Brussels. International Forum on Women and Trade. Event organised by the European Commission and the International Trade Center (ITC).

Interview with Pamela Anyoti Peronaci, Managing Director Sunshine Agro Products Ltd

Pamela’s first efforts to help the less privileged back home began in 1994 while in Japan when she launched an NGO to support her former primary school in Lalle Village – Soroti District. Through her efforts, enrollment grew from 182 to 1200 students, but still, with more than 70% of the rural population depending on farming and living on less than US$2 a day, she felt she could do more.
“That experience and my work at the FAO were critical building blocks for my vision of moving farmers from subsistence and dependency to ‘farming as a business’. I needed to create a complete production value chain so they could have sustainable incomes. As an agricultural economist, I embarked on developing my business skills and I teamed up with an investor and business mentor, Avigdor Hachamoff, [Ex-Director of Interflour Limited] who had 40 years’ experience in the agri-biz sector and together we established Sunshine Agro Products Ltd,” 
That was 2007. Starting with 15 widowed farmers, Sunshine’s goal was to create sustainable farming in rural Uganda by giving farmers farm inputs, seeds, training in good agricultural practices and then buying back their crops for guaranteed resale in international markets. In the decade since, they have signed contracts with 10,000 farmers and have expanded from chilli production to 31 types of healthy herbal teas and cocoa. Probably the biggest achievement for Sunshine has been the creation of its own brand.
“In order to get better prices for our farmers, and respond to the consumer demand for healthy organic, natural and ethical products, we created Asante Mama signature brand to market herbal tea, spices and cocoa products ‘from farm to table’ directly. Asante Mama means ‘thank you mother’ in Swahili. We chose this name because farmers were always telling me ‘thank you mama’, but also because we are all thankful to the land that gives us these wonderful crops.”
Pamela answers following questions:
  • How difficult is it for a women to invest in food processing?
  • How important is it to collaborate with research?
  • Do you need international expertise?
  • What were the main difficulties?

African Business: You must go through the PAIN...before reaping the fruits.
Published on 9 Jun 2017
This is an honest message of Dr. Harnet Bokrezion for those who are hindered by fear, doubts, confusion, pain, and slow progress...
Be empowered: Join !

Diaspora Exploring Business Opportunities in Africa (Rwanda)

Diaspora Doing Business in Ghana: Opportunities in the Cocoa and Chocolate Industry

12 Tip For Starting A Business In Ghana For Expats and Returnees 
Published on 20 Aug 2016. I have put together these 12 TIPs, for starting a business in Ghana. They are based on my experiences and lessons I have learnt since starting my business in Ghana in 2010. The 12 points I make in this video forms part of the philosophies my business is built on and how I manage my relationship with my employees. It is also what affords me the chance to be able to leave my business behind without worrying about how things are so much. These are really the lesson I wish someone had put out for me when I first started on my journey to start a business in Ghana as a returnee.

ARD funding opportunities


International Livestock Research Institute — Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund 2017-2018
The Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub awards research fellowships to African agricultural researchers for short-term projects at the BecA-ILRI Hub in Nairobi. The announcement identifies the priority research themes. Deadline: 30 June 2018

Policies for Agriculture and Nutrition in Burkina Faso
The European Commission will provide funding to collaborate with Burkina Faso on strategies and institutional reforms that improve agricultural sustainability and nutritional security in Burkina Faso. Eligibility for funding extends to nonprofit NGOs in countries of the EU and countries of the ACP agreement (including Burkina Faso). Grants will range from €1.5 million to €2.0 million, varying with cost shares. Reference EuropeAid/155765/DD/ACT/BF. The closing date for applications is 11 July 2017.

Seed funding to expert groups food security and nutrition in low-income countries
Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI) offers seed funding to expert groups that support its vision and mission to understand emerging issues in food security and nutrition in low-income countries. Expert groups comprise a diverse group of stakeholders (academia, NGOs, private business, government, etc.) to prepare publications, organize events, and engage in other activities that strengthen the Swedish resource base and their partners. Expert groups do not need to be geographically located in Sweden. However, if an expert group is established outside Sweden, it needs to have a clear link to the Swedish resource base and Swedish funded activities. The deadline for proposals is 15 July 2017.

Farm Africa — Maendeleo Agricultural Enterprise Fund
The Maendeleo Agricultural Enterprise Fund (MAEF) makes grants and loans to small and medium-sized enterprises along the agricultural value chain in East Africa. MAEF aims to serve the “missing middle” of agricultural finance – businesses that are too big to receive services from NGOs and microfinance institutions, but too small to qualify for commercial loans. MAEF describes eligibility criteria for small and medium enterprises that it will consider for support.

The EC announced funding to promote farming in Malawi using the approach of farmer field schools. The KULIMA program will provide facilitation and coordination to a pool of eight thousand community-based facilitators and over thirteen thousand local farmer groups to address farm productivity and diversification while conserving natural resources. Eligibility for funding of up to €14 million (subject to cost shares) extends to NGOs, public sector operators, local authorities, and inter-governmental organisations. Reference EuropeAid/155474/DD/ACT/MW. The closing date for applications is 17 July 2017.

Improved Nutrition in Senegal
USAID announces funding of a 5-year project through the program Feed the Future to improve diets among the Senegalese population, particularly young children and women of reproductive age in selected zones of the country. Efforts may include expansion of nutrient-dense and bio-fortified crops such as orange-fleshed sweet potato, high-protein maize, iron-rich millet, moringa, mung bean, Sahel apple, and others — in addition to project activities that will improve food governance and increase women’s empowerment on matters of food selection. Deadline: 24 Jul 2017

Building Capacity in Research Teams 2017
Through its program JEAI, France’s Institute for Development Research makes grants of up to €50 thousand for periods of three years to build the capacity of research teams in the developing world. Thematic areas include sustainable energy; water resources; climate change; ecosystems and biodiversity; agriculture and food safety; and several others. The supported teams will work closely with IRD. IRD recommends that applicants communicate with its relevant research units before submitting their applications. The deadline for applications (French, English) is 26 July 2017

Support for Rural Development
The Erbacher Foundation supports rural development in subject areas that include livestock husbandry, crop production, drinking water, and environmental protection. The priority countries are India, Tanzania, and Uganda. Applications are invited from Germany charitable organizations involved in development cooperation. Applying organizations need to have partnerships with local NGOs. The German institution is responsible for project administration and coordination. Next application deadline is 01 August 2017.

Leadership skills in agricultural research management
Australian Center for International Agricultural Research awards the John Dillon Fellowship
to young agricultural scientists and economists in developing countries for professional visits to Australia. The fellowships aim to develop leadership skills in agricultural research management, agricultural policy, and/or extension technologies. Applicants are citizens of ACIAR’s priority partner countries who spend several weeks at one or two host Australian organizations. ACIAR funds eight to ten John Dillon fellowships per year. The deadline for applications is 31 August.

Grants to Strengthen Farming Communities 2017
The Monsanto Fund makes grants to strengthen agricultural communities in several countries around the world. Grants of US$25 thousand and more are available to tax-exempt charitable organizations for activities and projects that address farmers’ education and training; food security; community water and sanitation; and other local needs. Monsanto’s international grants are administered at the country level. The Fund presents a list of eligible countries. Monsanto accepts international applications during two periods each year. The next period ranges from 01 July through 31 August

New Africa fund targets women-led agribusiness
Victus Global Capital and Altree Capital have partnered to launch a US$50mn fund focusing on investment into women-led agribusinesses in Africa. The fund aims to boost African agriculture through the practice of so-called ‘gender lens investing’, which focuses on funding women-owned businesses, companies with a track-record of hiring women, and those that aim to improve the lives of women through their products and services.

Standards and Trade Development Facility
STDF provides support to developing countries through project preparation grants (PPGs) to prepare technically sound and sustainable projects. Funds up to normally US$50,000 are available for PPGs, which can involve the application of SPS-related capacity evaluation tools, prepararation of feasibility studies and/or formulation of project proposals to address specific SPS capacity building needs linked to trade. Next deadline for funding applications: 04 August 2017

Connecting larger agricultural and forestry SMEs to finance
The Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) officially launched Finance Connect, a service created to connect larger agricultural and forestry small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries that have financing need of more than USD 800,000 and up.

Diaspora Investment in Agriculture (DIA) initiative
This major partnership seeks to leverage the contributions of migrant workers and encourage their engagement in sustained economic development through investment in agriculture, particularly in rural areas.

Win investment for your start-up at Pitch AgriHack West Africa 2017!
Pitch AgriHack West Africa 2017 is open for young ICT start-ups from the West African region offering services to the agriculture sector. The entrepreneurs should be owners of an already developed e-agriculture/ICT4Ag application or platform. The final and announcement of winners will be held during an international conference that will be held in Côte d'Ivoire in September 2017!
Deadline: 09 Jul 2017

Innovations Against Poverty
Sida’s program “Innovations Against Poverty” (IAP) invites the private sector to develop products, services, and business models that contribute to the fight against poverty and climate change. The program is designed for companies which are operational or plan to enter the market (with a local partner in case of international companies) in any of energy; water and sanitation; agriculture and food; and ICT. IAP is active for Cambodia, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Zambia. The program provides advisory support and non-reimbursable funding for up to 49% of total investment ranging from €50 thousand to €200 thousand. The application deadline for concept notes is 24 July 2017

SEED is a global partnership founded by UNEP, UNDP, and IUCN to promote eco-enterprises. The program announces its next cohort of replicator and starter workshops in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa. The replicator workshops of one day introduce motivated individuals to proven business models from different sectors, with a follow-up process to match them with existing entrepreneurs. The starter workshops are incubation programs for teams with eco-inclusive business ideas, consisting of five workshop days and a test phase. The application deadlines are 02 July through 22 July 2017 for the starter workshops (also varying by country).

Danida Market Development Partnerships 2017
Danida Market Development Partnerships promote the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Focusing on SDG 8, the main objective is to promote sustainable local economic growth and employment in developing countries in agriculture, energy, and other sectors. Applications are invited from consortia that include a business partner and an administrative partner, and possibly including additional partners from civil society, government, universities, etc. The program is available in Denmark’s priority countries for development assistance, and in selected other countries below the World Bank limit of lower-middle income countries that have a Danish representation. Danida’s support to the partnership project may cover up to 75% of total project costs.The deadline for concept notes is 15 September 2017.

De-risking agricultural value chain financing
1 June 2017. Kampala. 13th CAADP Partnership Platform. Break-out session on de-risking agricultural value chain financing

Business opportunities in the framework of Europe's climate actions outside the EU
18 May 2017 Brussels. The regions of Flanders and Catalonia co-organized a seminar and matchmaking event for te private sector, educational and research organizations and civil society organizations as important partners in reaching the climate objectives.

Bio-diversity, environment, climate change

The Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) funds short-term training in selected development topics for participants from developing countries. The Africa program includes a course on Climate Change – Mitigation and Adaptation for participants from Botswana, Mozambique, and Zambia. This round of the training programme has a special focus on water resources for agriculture, water supply, hydropower, etc. Candidates representing government organisations, private companies, and NGOs are encouraged to apply. The training will be provided in three parts, divided between Sweden and Africa. The closing date for applications is 17 July 2017.

Climate Change Adaptation projects and programs
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Adaptation Fund makes grants for projects and programs that address the adverse impacts of climate change. Eligibility for grants extends to countries which are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, with emphasis on developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Grants are primarily to government organizations such as national ministries, development institutes, local government authorities, and others — sometimes in partnership with civil society organizations. Project proposals are submitted through any of the Fund’s national, regional, or multilateral implementing entities. The next deadline is 07 August 2017.

Grants for Biodiversity and Cultural Diversity
The Christensen Fund makes grants to indigenous-led and community-based organizations for projects that combine biodiversity with cultural diversity. Pre-proposals are accepted for consideration in the following programs: African Rift Valley; Central Asia; Northwest Mexico; Melanesia; Global; and San Francisco Bay Area. Most grants are in the range of US$50 thousand to US$100 thousand for one or two years. The application period for pre-proposals is 01 August through 31 August 2017.

Small Grants for Biodiversity ConservationThe Van Tienhoven Foundation for International Nature Protection promotes the protection, conservation, and sustainable use of ecosystems and their living organisms. The Foundation aims to counter the human-induced causes of threats to biodiversity. Grants are for projects outside of the Netherlands, and they should be initiated and owned or widely supported by local stakeholders. Government organizations are excluded from applying, and academic studies are not supported. The maximum grant is €10 thousand. The next application deadline is 15 August 2017.

Grants for Grassroots Conservation 2017
The New England Biolabs Foundation makes grants to grassroots and charitable organizations to support conservation of biological diversity; ecosystem services; community food security; and marine environment. The geographical scope includes selected and conservation sub-regions of Central America, the Andean region of South America, and West Africa. Grant seekers should review the geographical priorities carefully. Maximum grant size is US$10 thousand, although most grants are smaller. The next periods for letters of inquiry (English, Spanish) is 01 July through 15 August 2017.
Climate and Agriculture in Senegal
The “Program of Development and Adaptation to Climate Change of Irrigated Crops in Senegal” calls for proposals. The program aims to improve the socio‑economic well-being and resilience of farming households, with a particular emphasis on women and young people. Applications are invited from experienced and qualified Canadian organizations and consortia that may include Canadian with non-Canadian organizations. Preference will be given to projects in partnership with one or more Senegalese organizations. Grants are CAD$13 million to CAD$18 million for projects of five years. The deadline for applications (English, French) is 31 August 2017.

Funding for Arboriculture and Urban Forestry
The Jack Kimmel International Grant Program makes grants to researchers in arboriculture and urban forestry worldwide. Projects of one to three years are funded to a maximum of US$10 thousand. The application deadline is 01 October 2017


Graduate Scholarships in Sub-Saharan Africa
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) announces scholarships for qualified Sub-Saharan Africans to pursue masters and doctoral studies at the Regional Studies Center to Ameliorate and Adapt to Drought (CERAAS) in Senegal. The program offers up to three PhD scholarships and four masters’ scholarships. Some of the scholarships are for in-country applicants in Senegal, and others are open to applicants across Sub-Saharan Africa. The fields of study are physiology, genetics, genomics, agronomy, plant breeding, plant health, and agroforestry. The application deadline is 28 July 2017.

Training in Strategic Environmental Assessment
Sida funds short-term training in selected development topics for participants from developing countries. The Africa program includes a course on strategic environmental assessment, with a focus on energy. Participants may be nominated by organizations and agencies within the energy sector that work actively with energy plans, policies, and programmes at national or regional levels. The following countries are invited to nominate candidates: Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia. The training will be provided in two parts, first in Sweden and then to be decided. The closing date for applications is 31 July 2017

Masters Scholarships Integrated Water Management
Australia’s International Water Center announces funding for three international candidates accepted into the Master of Integrated Water Management. Two scholarships will cover full tuition and living expenses, and a third will cover full tuition. Applications are invited from eligible countries in Asia-Pacific; Africa; Latin America and Caribbean; the Middle East; Europe; and North America. The application deadline is 01 August 2017

Fellowships to young agricultural scientists and economists
The Australian Center for International Agricultural Research ACIAR awards the John Dillon Fellowships to young agricultural scientists and economists in developing countries for professional visits to Australia. The fellowships aim to develop leadership skills in agricultural research management, agricultural policy, and/or extension technologies. Applicants are citizens of ACIAR’s priority partner countries who spend several weeks at one or two host Australian organizations. ACIAR funds eight to ten John Dillon fellowships per year. The deadline for applications is 31 August.

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Fellowships
The International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) offers PhD, Postdoctoral and Short-term fellowships in Life Sciences to scientists from ICGEB’s member states. The fellowships are for research at collaborating universities in Trieste, New Delhi, and Cape Town. Application deadlines: Short-term fellowships 30 June, 30 September, 31 December.

International Water Center — International Masters Scholarships 2018
Australia’s International Water Center announces funding for three international candidates accepted into the Master of Integrated Water Management. Two scholarships will cover full tuition and living expenses (Type A Scholarship), and a third will cover full tuition (Type B Scholarship). Applications are invited from eligible countries in Asia-Pacific; Africa; Latin America and Caribbean; the Middle East; Europe; and North America. Note: Eligible countries for Type A are different from Type B. The application deadline is 01 August 2017.

International Cooperation in Aquaculture 2018
The Research Council of Norway funds international cooperation in its HAVBRUK2 program of aquaculture research. Funding is available for project establishment support for international projects; personal visiting researcher grants; and personal overseas research grants. Priority will be given to collaboration with researchers in the EU, USA, Canada, China, Japan, India, Chile, and Brazil. Collaboration with researchers in other countries will also be of interest. The application deadline is 06 September 2017.

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science The RONPAKU fellowships are a program of the JSPS to support students from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to pursue PhD degrees at Japanese universities. Each fellow submits a research dissertation co-supervised by an advisor in Japan and an advisor in the fellow’s home country. The fellows do not pursue doctoral courses in Japan (i.e., dissertation only). RONPAKU will award about 20 fellowships across all subject areas. The application deadline is 25 August 2017.

ARIMNet2 — Call for Young Researchers
The EC’s ARIMNet is a consortium to support integrated and trans-disciplinary research that enhances the contribution of agricultural and food systems for sustainable social and economic development in the Mediterranean Basin. The ARIMNet2 2017 Joint Call is dedicated to young researchers in two topics: promoting sustainable agriculture for socio-economic development; and valorising local products through food value chains improvement. The participating countries are Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, France, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia, and Turkey. A project consortium must include at least three young researchers from three different participating countries (at least one from a northern country and one from a southern country). The submission period is 16 August 2017 until 14 September 2017.

DAAD offers scholarships to qualified individuals from eligible developing countries for post-graduate studies at German universities in development-related subjects. The program (EPOS) is open to individuals who completed their previous academic degrees no longer than six years previously; who have at least two years of professional experience; and who are nationals of countries receiving official development assistance (DAC list of the OECD). The available courses range across water resources; renewable energy; land management and tenure; agricultural sciences; forest sciences; ecology; nature conservation; environmental governance; and many others. Most scholarship deadlines for the 2018-2019 intake fall between August 2017 through December 2017, varying by courses (check carefully)

South-South Research and Advanced Training 2017
TWAS offers fellowships to young scientists in developing countries to enable them to spend three to twelve months at a research institution in a developing country other than their own. Eligibility extends to young scientists in any area of the natural sciences who are citizens of a developing country, and who are employed by a research institution in a developing country. The host institution is expected to provide accommodation and food, as well as research facilities. TWAS provides the airfare and a subsistence allowance. The application deadline is 01 October 2017.

Wageningen UR Center for Development Innovation — Professional Training Courses 2017The Center for Development Innovation (CDI) at Wageningen University in the Netherlands helps build the capacities of individuals and organizations that are addressing the global challenges of sustainability and food security. Services at CDI include professional short courses in subject areas related to agriculture, genetic resources, pest management, water management, climate change, natural disasters, rural entrepreneurship, and others. Funding for most courses can be applied for through the Netherlands Fellowship Program (NFP) and/or the MENA Scholarship Program (MSP). Many courses in 2017 have NFP/MSP scholarships. Next deadlines 16 October 2017.

Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey — Research Fellowships 2017The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) awards research fellowships to international highly qualified PhD students and young postdoctoral researchers. Applicants should be non-Turkish citizens who are age 35 or younger. Preference is for candidates who have the potential to contribute to Turkey’s international cooperation in scientific and technological development. The fields of research collaboration include agricultural sciences, among others. The maximum length of the fellowship is 12 months. The next application deadlines in 2017 are from 05 September through 06 October 2017.

Rothamsted International — International FellowshipsRothamsted International is a nonprofit organization to advance sustainable agriculture in developing countries. The Rothamsted International Fellowship Scheme has supported around 140 scientists from more than 30 different countries. The program seeks to promote the exchange of skills and technologies between scientists from developing countries and Rothamsted Research. Applications are completed jointly by the candidate and a Rothamsted Project Leader. The next deadline for applications is 16 October 2017 

Indian National Academy of Sciences — Visiting Scientists from Developing CountriesIndia’s National Science Academy administers the JRD-Tata Fellowships to support visiting scientists from the developing world and promote South-South cooperation. The program is open to applicants from developing countries (except India) younger than age 45, and who possess doctorate or masters degrees in science or equivalent degrees in engineering/medicine. Past participants have included several in agriculture, biological sciences, and geo-sciences. The fellowship is for three months and includes transportation, maintenance allowance, accommodation, and contingencies. The next application deadline is 31 October 2017

Swiss Forum for International Agricultural Research (SFIAR) Award 2017
SFIAR annually awards a prize to scientists working at or in association with a Swiss institution in agricultural research for development. For 2017, the best team project will be awarded CHF 10 thousand, and the best masters project CHF 1 thousand. To be eligible, research must have been carried out at or in close collaboration with a Swiss institution. The deadline for applications (French, German, English) is 13 July 2017.

Global Development Awards Competition
The Global Development Network (GDN) is offering six finalists the chance to win a prize of up to US$30,000 for their creative proposals under this year’s Global Development Awards Competition, an innovative awards scheme for development practitioners and researchers across the globe. This year, the competition's theme is ‘Skills Development and Employment Generation,’ and adopts a sectoral focus which will reward creative thinking and innovative actions for skilling, technical education and training in the sectors of agriculture, manufacturing and digital technology. APPLICATION DEADLINE: 16 July, 2017

IPNI Science Award 2017
The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) is accepting nominations for its annual Science Award. The purpose of the award is to recognize distinguished contributions by scientists involved with global ecological intensification as related to crop production. Private or public sector agronomists, crop scientists, soil scientists, and food scientists from all countries are eligible. The winner will receive a plaque and a monetary award of USD 5,000. Nomination deadline: 30 September

Global environmental stability
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation makes grants for global environmental stability in themes of climate change, energy, biodiversity, access to water, and the fight against desertification. In each grants cycle, the Foundation defines priority focus areas within these themes. The geographical scope of grant making comprises the Mediterranean Basin, the Polar Regions, and the Least-Developed Countries. Grants do not exceed 50% of a project budget. The next period for submitting pre-proposals (French, English) is 03 July 2017 through 11 August 2017

New ways of design and manufacturing for a circular economy
The LAUNCH Nordic Innovation Challenge 2017 focuses on new ways of design and manufacturing for a circular economy. LAUNCH Nordic aims to select ten innovations to be scaled globally through its international partners, network, and accelerator program. The program is open to innovators worldwide. The deadline for submissions is 01 September 2017.

IDRC Research Awards 2018
IDRC makes research awards to citizens and permanent residents of Canada, and to citizens of developing countries. The award provides for a one-year paid program of research in addition to hands-on experience in research management, grant administration, and the use of knowledge from an international perspective. Positions are available at IDRC’s head office in Ottawa and its regional offices in Nairobi and Montevideo. Program areas include agriculture and food security; climate change and water; and several others. Applicants should be enrolled, or have previously completed, their masters or doctoral degrees at recognized universities. IDRC identifies countries not eligible for awards, as well as countries requiring prior approval. The deadline for applications (English, French) is 06 September 2017

Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew Through the Bentham-Moxon Trust, Kew Gardens (UK) makes grants to botanists and horticulturalists for plant collection and field research; international visits or work at Kew; and travel to and presenting at conferences. The closing date for applications is 30 September 2017.

International Plant Nutrition Institute Science Award 2017
The IPNI Science Award is presented each year to an agricultural scientist for outstanding achievements in research, extension, or education focusing on management of plant nutrients. Eligibility for nominations extends to agronomists, crop scientists, and soil scientists worldwide. The recipient receives a plaque and US$5 thousand. The deadline for nominations is 30 September 2017

King Baudouin Foundation — Ernest du Bois Fund
The Ernest du Bois Fund offers up to €20 thousand for doctoral studies on the theme of water availability. The awards are for young engineers who are carrying out research on the theme of water and its availability to the population of the whole world — including issues of protecting reserves, managing pollution, developing processing techniques, and others. Applicants need to be studying in Belgium. The application deadline is 12 October 2017.

Award for Women in Wheat Research 2017The BGRI offers the Jeanie Borlaug Laube award for the professional development of women working on wheat research during the early stages of their careers. The award is intended to help cover costs associated with attending the BGRI workshop and a training program at CIMMYT in Obregon, Mexico. The application deadline is 30 October 2017.

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) offers sponsorship assistance to individuals wishing to attend a conference, seminar, workshop or field day that directly benefits agricultural research for development. ACIAR also supports organisations seeking sponsorships for this same objective. The priority is for events and sponsorships in ACIAR partner countries and related to ACIAR projects. However, direct involvement in an ACIAR project is not a prerequisite to apply for funding. The next application deadline is 25 October 2017

Award in the field of ecologyThe International Ecology Institute in Germany annually selects top performers worldwide in the field of ecology for the Ecology Institute Prize and the IRPE Prize. The winner of the Ecology Institute Prize will be awarded €6 thousand; the winner of the IRPE Prize will receive €3 thousand. Nominations are invited from research ecologists worldwide. The closing date for nominations is 30 April 2017. Additionally, the Center calls for nominations for the Otto Kinne Foundation Fellowship, with deadline on 31 October 2017

Animal Source Foods and Household Nutrition Learning Series

15 June 2017. Land O’Lakes International Development Livestock, Animal Source Foods and Household Nutrition Learning Series made possible through the USAID TOPS program held in 2016-2017 a Learning Series on Animal Source Foods and Household Nutrition with the participation of the diverse community interested in this important topic.

Along with key event cohosts including SPRING, Agrilinks, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the series reached almost 600 individuals from 52 countries. We covered the following topics across two webinars and two in-person events:
  • Measuring the nutritional impact of livestock programs
  • The importance of ASF in diets
  • Food safety issues with ASF
  • Technical considerations when implementing livestock projects
  • Review of the evidence of livestock programs on nutrition outcomes
  • Best practices when designing nutrition-sensitive livestock programming
A summary report of the series was recently published on our website – check it out HERE.

Resources and links to recordings and presentations from each of the events are available on the series webpage HERE.

The four events included:
  1. Livestock and Livelihoods: Measuring and Promoting Nutrient-Rich Value Chain Commodities (Webinar, June 16, 2016)
  2. Livestock Markets, Animal Source Foods and Human Nutrition: Considering Program Tensions, Maximizing Impact and Avoiding Harm (In person event, October 17, 2016)
  3. Issues and Opportunities: Addressing Food Safety Concerns in Animal Source Foods for Improved Household Nutrition (Webinar, January 25, 2017)
  4. Animal Source Foods for Nutrition Impact: Evidence and Good Practices for Informed Project Design (In person event, May 4, 2017)
Food safety and ASF go hand-in-handIt is estimated that the global burden of food borne illness matches that of illness from the major infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, combined. The most frequent cause of food borne illness are diarrheal disease agents, and children under five years of age disproportionally bear the burden of food borne illness. ASF are one of the primary sources of food borne illnesses.

ASF and food safety are intimately related, and more attention needs to be paid in this space. However, merely increasing regulations does not translate to improvements in food safety; growth in supermarket culture in LMIC also does not translate into improved food safety. As Dr. Delia Grace explained in October, interim solutions are necessary to bridge the food safety gap between informal and formal markets in LMIC. At the Agrilinks webinar in January, ILRI researchers Dr. Hung Nugyen and Dr. Silvia Alonso presented opportunities to improve food safety in formal and informal markets and ways to incentivize producers to produce and consumers to demand safer foods. USAID will continue to explore this subject in the AgExchange online discussion 20-22 June 2017.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

International Forum on Women and Trade

20 June 2017. Brussels. the European Commission and the International Trade Center (ITC). Policymakers, the business community and civil society organisations convened to galvanize support for inclusive trade policy and the ITC SheTrades initiative to connect one million women to market by 2020, using trade as a lever for women’s economic empowerment. This initiative seeks to rally stakeholders around the world to work together on seven global actions to address trade barriers and create greater trade opportunities for women entrepreneurs. It is supported by a web and mobile digital platform.

Participants took stock of current trade policy's contribution to the economic empowerment of women, raise awareness of gender issues in trade, and considered how trade can promote the advancement of gender equality through a combination of multi-stakeholder engagement and a progressive approach to sustainable development.

Extract of The programme

Are EU exports gender-blind? Some key features of women participation in exporting activities in the EU

Women entrepreneurs Participants from African:
  • 25 from Kenya
  • 9 from Nigeria
  • 6 Tanzania
  • 4 from Gambia and Uganda
  • 3 from Ethiopia
  • 2 from DRC, Rwanda and Zambia
  • 1 from Lesotho
Photos and videos of the event.

What does inclusive trade policy look like?
What are the binding constraints that hamper women entrepreneurs from accessing markets and take part in trade? Panelists will discuss opportunities to leverage trade agreements, and highlight policy, legal and regulatory aspects contributing to levelling the playing field to ensure that women-owned and women-powered businesses are able to fully participate in the global economy.
  • Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Kenya
  • François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, Canada
  • Roberto Azevêdo, Director General, World Trade Organization, Switzerland
  • Jennifer Gallegos, Vice President of Development, International Women’s Coffee Alliance, USA

from @88:42 to @88:91:45 Amina Mohamed answers to a question from PAEPARD @ 79:03 on the role of the diaspora and sanitary and phytosanitary issues related to food processing in Africa
"The Diaspora is very critical for the agricultural development" Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Kenya
Financing for growth
Women are more likely to cite access to finance as a major constraint on their business operations. What bold steps can be taken to support the achievement of universal financial access?
  • Maria Shaw-Barragan, Head of Global Partners Operations, European Investment Bank, Luxembourg
    "EIB and AFDB collaborate on Boost Africa: Empowering Young African Entrepreneurs"
    "From a total EIB budget of 125 million Euro for micro finance 45% goes to women"
    "EDD 2017 promoted this year a new global strategy with a particular emphasis on engaging the private sector as a partner in economic development". 
  • Monica Musonda, CEO, Java Foods, Zambia
    "Trade begins with scale"
    "Lease financing is an appropriate financial instrument for agri-SMEs, in particulary for processing machinery"
  • Deniz Duygu, Secretary General, Arya Women Investment Platform, Turkey (TBC)

Addressing supply side constraints
Trade-related technical assistance initiatives and game-changing solutions such as SheTrades are brought to the table by a diverse range of stakeholders building the case of inclusive value chains for a sustainable economic growth.
  • Sanem Oktar, President, KAGIDER, Turkey
  • Chiedza Makonnen, CEO, Afrodisiac Worldwide, Ghana
  • Malini Patel, Vice President of Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship, Vital Voices Global Partnership, USA
  • Klaus Rudischhauser, Deputy Director General, Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission, Belgium