Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pioneering project estimates nutritional losses

The two-year project, led by the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) at the University of Greenwich, is being carried out in partnership with scientists from the University of Zimbabwe, the National Agricultural Research Laboratories in Kawanda, Uganda (NARL), the International Potato Center (CIP), and Purdue University and Iowa State University in the United States.
“The team’s first step was to hold an open consultation on nutritional losses. Over four hundred agriculture and nutrition experts from more than 50 countries were invited to take part in a survey focussing on key nutrients. The data gathered from this survey will be used to shape the research and will be integrated into the design of a predictive tool being developed through the project.” NRI’s Dr. Aurélie Bechoff Food and Nutrition Specialist, who is leading the project. 
Nutri-P-Loss will work alongside APHLIS, the African Postharvest Losses Information System, created in 2010 by NRI and partners. APHLIS is a scientific model producing calculated estimates of postharvest losses of food crops across sub-Saharan Africa. Through APHLIS+, a project led by Dr Bruno Tran (AfricaRice and NRI), a new and improved version of the information system is being developed, covering more crops and types of data, including nutritional loss.

The project comes under the research initiative known as ‘IMMANA’ or ‘Innovative Metrics and
Methods for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions’, funded with UK Aid from the UK government through the Department for International Development (DFID) and coordinated by the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH).

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mobile application developed to address post-harvest losses

3 July 2017. A mobile application has been developed to assist farmers to address the issue of high post-harvest losses from their produce.

The application, called Chains of Human Intelligence towards Efficiency and Equity in Agro-Food Trade along the Trans-Africa Highway (CHEETAH), addresses losses when farmers are crossing borders.

  • The mobile app, CHEETAH Smartphone Application, works by crowdsourcing trade barriers by value-chain players whiles transporting the goods.
  • It provides information flow between road users and helps one to determine the duration of transport and duration since harvest, and how the crops have been decaying.
Executive Director for Ujuizi Labs, developers of the app, Valentijn Venus (see picture extreme left), said the innovation will augment government's effort to institute non-tariff barriers on the road.
“There is so much lost to post-harvest but till date, there is no information about the gap and how to partition this gap. It makes the transporter aware of where these losses are incurred the most and how bad deteriorating is at what point in the journey. It makes the driver aware of what is happening and also inform traders who want to use the same corridors to prevent same challenges because maybe the issue is still not solved.
Ministry 0f Dutch Foreign Aid and Development, and Borderless Alliance are collaborating to support the project with funding from Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs is funding.

The group has been engaging traders, transporters, and journalist to test whether the landscape of human and social interactions are ready is ready to adopt the technology.

Why people believe the myth of 'plastic rice'

5 July 2017. BBC. Why people believe the myth of 'plastic rice'
A video which falsely claims to "prove"
the existence of fake plastic rice in the food supply

Despite little evidence that it's a widespread problem, rumours of "plastic" rice being sold in Africa and elsewhere persist on social media - driven in particular by viral videos which show bouncing rice balls.

The rumours spread over the last few weeks in Senegal, The Gambia and Ghana - and reached such a pitch that the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority decided to carry out an investigation.

They invited consumers and traders to submit samples of any rice brands they suspected of being made of plastic - and eventually concluded that there was no plastic rice being sold on the Ghanaian market.

Work with farmers to innovate, attract entrepreneurs

3 July 2017. SciDev. Work with farmers to innovate, attract entrepreneurs. Innovators need to work closely with farmers to create data and technologies that will boost sustainable agricultural growth in the global South, nutrition and data experts say.

The experts noted during the Ministerial Conference on Agriculture and Nutrition Data and 4th Agritec Africa International Exhibition in Kenya last month (14-16 June) that agricultural technologies could spur economic growth in the global South to benefit the people through rapid job creation, improved food security, nutrition and health.

“There is a need for a shift in new service delivery to producers through a new technological knowledge.” Dhairya Pujara (picture), Ycenter.

The meeting that was organised by Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition discussed how to effect positive changes in agriculture in the global South.


Related: 
30 June 2017. A Cambridge company aiming to lift sub-Saharan farmers out of poverty by creating a market for their surplus was one of two winners in Agri-Tech East’s GROW agri-tech business plan competition. Farming Data’s mobile trading platform uses mobile money and SMS texting on a basic phone to allow smallholders and buyers to communicate and trade more effectively. Smallholders grow 50 per cent of the world’s food and 40 per cent of global food production relies on irrigation. 

GROW is the UK’s only agri-tech business plan competition, established by Agri-Tech East to
stimulate entrepreneurship in the industry. GROW was developed by Agri-Tech East to stimulate and support entrepreneurship in agriculture and horticulture.


The GROW finalists were:

  1. Agronomex – a trading platform which addresses the 4m tonnes of edible food lost before it reaches the farm gate in the UK. The London-based company considered the buy-side issues and have built logistics into the offering.
  2. DataGranary – a data management service that rewards farmers for providing data and cleans and prepares data ready for use.
  3. Farming Data – a Cambridge-start-up developing a software system that allows farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to communicate with potential buyers using SMS messaging on a basic mobile phone, creating a market for their produce.
  4. Soil for Life – a specialist soil health system which helps farmers prioritise interventions and is compatible with existing farm management packages.
  5. SoilSense – a Bristol based company developing an aerial soil moisture sensor that can provide a detailed map of the water status of a whole field in minutes.

Why fertiliser subsidies in Africa have not worked

1 July 2017. The Economist. Print edition | Middle East and Africa Jul 1st 2017| LUSAKALost in the maize. Why fertiliser subsidies in Africa have not worked. Good intentions, poor results

ASK Anesi Chishiko about fertiliser, and she points to her goats and her trees. Manure and leaves are all that she folds into the earth on her family farm in Zambia. Inorganic fertiliser is too costly: the government offers subsidies, but only “clever people” know how to get them, she explains. Her maize sucks up nutrients more quickly than she can replace them. Each year, she says, the soil gets worse.

Farmers in sub-Saharan Africa use little fertiliser: the region accounts for just 1.5% of the world’s consumption of nitrogen, a crucial nutrient. Governments, who want them to use more, spend nearly $1bn annually on subsidies. That is good business for traders, and good politics for leaders chasing rural votes. But it is not the best way to help small farmers like Ms Chishiko. Fertiliser often reaches them late, or not at all. And the cost saps budgets as surely as overcropping saps the soil.

Farming: a cornerstone of Angola's economic diversification

3 July 2017. In the Seventies, Angola was one of Africa’s leading farming nations. But years of civil war took its toll on the sector which only represents 10% of the country’s GDP today.

Since the end of conflict fifteen years ago, a major effort has been made to boost agriculture – a vital necessity when you consider that Angola needs to import 80% of its consumer goods.

According to economic experts, Angola has the potential to become one of the leading agricultural countries in Africa. It boasts 58 million hectares of arable land – the equivalent of a country the size of France. The problem is that only 10% of it is exploited. This is mainly due to poor irrigation.

For this edition of Focus, the team visited Angola’s largest farm. Located 1,400 metres in altitude, on the highlands of South Kwanza province, it covers 10 000 hectares. Only one third of that is being used for now, but the fifty varieties of goods produced – ranging from fruit and vegetables to milk products – yield an annual turnover of 5 million dollars.

Large, privately-owned farms like this one only represent 15% percent of Angola’s agribusiness, but half of its farmed land.
“Angola has excellent conditions for agriculture. There are many different micro-climates, there is a lot of arable land, a lot of water. We have some of the best conditions in the world for farming… Our big problem today is the workforce,” João Macedo, Grupolider administrator.


Delegates visit Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

5 July 2017. Coimbatore. India. An eight-member team from African nations visited Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) to explore areas of collaboration in agriculture and research.

At a meeting held at the TNAU campus, delegates from Mali, Seychelles, Uganda, Ethiopia and Botswana spoke about the importance of agriculture in making nations self-sufficient in food production and sought to focus on technology transfer.

Ambassador of Mali Niankoro Yeah Samake in his opening remarks, indicated that irrigation, farm mechanisation, quality seeds, market linkage, post-harvest, ICT tools and farmers co-operatives were some of the technological areas of collaboration, wherein TNAU can be roped in.

The High Commissioner of Seychelles expressed interest on seeking TNAU help on food related imports for Seychelles and to make it become self-sufficient in food production, a varsity release said.

The delegates expressed interest in sending students from their countries and requested TNAU to open up more admissions on agricultural education and research.
TNAU had collaborations with more than 150 institutions across the world and was is ready to work with Africa on transfer of technologies. (...) Nutritional security through multi- cropping system aided by integrated farming system can help nutritional security in Africa, for which undergraduate gricultural education is pivotal along with transfer of technologies. Industry associations like CII, which arranged the visit, can help agriculture by bridging producers and end users, Ramasamy said. NVM SS. TNAU vice-chancellor Dr K Ramasamy 

Nestlé S.A.: Planting Seeds for the Future of Food


6-7 July 2017. Lausanne/Vevey, Switzerland. Nestle. As the world’s largest food company, and one that connects farmers to consumers, how can Nestlé help shape the future of food systems?

The company hosted an extraordinary gathering of industry and civil society experts. The 'Planting the Seeds for the Future of Food' conference brought together farmers, academics, industry representatives, NGOs and intergovernmental organisations to explore the issues. The Better Business show was there to record this exclusive podcast.


Biodiversity for the planet and for food
  • Bev Postma HarvestPlus, 
  • Stefano Padulosi Bioversity, 
  • Urs Schenker, Nestlé 
  • Tony Juniper
Microbes for healthy soils and healthy guts 
  • John Crawford Rothamsted, 
  • Joachim Lammel Yara, 
  • Doug Cook UC Davis, 
  • Maurice Moloney GIFS
Water conservation and stewardship for agriculture
  • Wouter Wolters, University Wageningen, 
  • Adrian Sym AWS, 
  • Frank Eyhorn Helvetas, 
  • James Lomax UN Environment
Voices of our Farmers 
  • Robert Craig, Ambrose Kirobi CMS, 
  • Peter Froelich Agricircle, 
  • Martin Mwangi University Wageningen
Organic. Costing the Earth 
  • Hans Herren, Biovison, 
  • Samuel Vionnet, Valuing Nature, 
  • Urs Niggli, FIBL, 
  • Vanja Westerberg, Altus Impact
Modelling of the food system 
  • Gerald Nelson ex-IFPRI, 
  • Joost Vervoort, IFPRI, 
  • Natalia Brzezina, KU Leuven, 
  • Karen Cooper, Nestlé Leman
Productivity, transparency and proximity through technology, 
  • Aileen Ionesco-Somers, Business School Lausanne, 
  • Michiel Bakker Google, 
  • Sara Roversi Future Food institute, 
  • Rob Skidmore, ITC
Animal Proteins, Plant Proteins 
  • Ian Roberts Buhler
  • Duncan Williamson WWF, 
  • Aarti Ramachandran, FAIRR, 
  • Patrick Holden, Sustainable Food Trust, 
  • Leonidas Karagounis Nestlé
Urban and rural nutrition challenges 
  • Frank Mechielsen Hivos, 
  • Ruth Oniang’o Rural Outreach Africa, 
  • Hernan Manson ITC, Wilbert Sybesma, Nestlé
Responsible sourcing 
  • Rob Cameron SustainAbility, 
  • Joost Oorthuizen, IDH, 
  • Christina Nyhus Dhillon, GAIN, 
  • Benjamin Ware, Nancy Madigu, Nestlé
Food loss and food waste 
  • Richard Swannell WRAP, 
  • Franziska Staubli, Migros, 
  • Clementine O'Connor, Achim Drewes, Nestlé
Nutrition & Climate Change 
  • Josette Lewis, Env. Defense Fund, 
  • Doug Cook, UC Davis, 
  • Gerald Nelson ex-IFPRI, 
  • Pierre Herben Yara

Transforming Kenyan Agribusiness through innovation

7 July 2017. The World Bank and venture capital firm Nest have announced a call for applications for the AgriTech Challenge 2017 in Kenya.

The initiative is the first open innovation program of its kind in Kenya, and it is aimed at connecting promising startups and innovators with one of the region’s leading agribusiness corporates. The AgriTech Challenge, which is sponsored by the World Bank, aims to spur collaborative innovation within the agricultural sector in Kenya. It forms part of a program to test open innovation mechanisms in the country for a potential future scale up by the government of Kenya, according to KenyaNews.

Starting in August this year, high-calibre teams of innovators and entrepreneurs will work closely with agribusiness industry veterans to conceptualise and co-develop solutions around some of the most pressing challenges in the local value chains. As one of the largest contributors to Kenya’s economy, there is tremendous opportunity to drive value creation and create a sustainable impact through agribusiness innovation.

The World Bank AgriTech Challenge aims to collaboratively prototype solutions that drive productivity, accountability and operational insight in the agribusiness value chain, according to Nest.

  • * Note: The programme is open only to Kenya-based teams
  • Applications close July 25, 2017. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so the sooner you submit the better!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

EAT STOCKHOLM FOOD FORUM 2017

12–13 June 2017. Stockholm. The EAT forum gathered 500 of the brightest minds from science, politics, business and civil society. They discussed progress on transforming the food system to solve the interconnected challenges of climate, sustainable development and health.

This year’s topics ranged from innovation and biotechnology to the economics of food systems. Exciting speakers included Caleb Harper from MIT Media Lab, who shared the innovative ways that biotech is revolutionizing the urban food system, and policy advocate Yolanda Kakabadse, WWFs International President and former Ecuadorian Minister of Environment, who looked at sustainable consumption and production in the context of food waste.

Rapid political and environmental changes are having drastic impact on societies across the globe. How can we move from intention to action, from commitments to systemic change?
How can we solve climate, sustainability and health challenges? Which food system triggers could bring about the most transformative change? Cut through the background noise using clear, science-based guidelines for food system transformation. #Foodcanfixit
The EAT Lancet Commission on Food Planet Health

  • Professor Walter Willett, 
  • Dr. Sunita Narain, 
  • Dr. Juan Rivera Dommarco, 
  • Dr. Sonja Vermeulen, 
  • Dr. Tara Garnett and 
  • Professor Jessica Fanzo. 


Panel moderated by Marie Haga (Executive Director, Global Crop Diversity Trust) with

  • President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (Republic of Mauritius), 
  • Nicholas Moreau (Deutsche Bank Management Board, Head of Deutsche Asset Management), 
  • Ruben Echeverria (Director General, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)) 
  • Alejandro Argumedo (Program Director, ANDES) 



Moderator Jeremy Oppenheim (Program Director, Business and Sustainable Development Commission) with

  • Naoko Ishii (CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility), 
  • Guido Schmidt-Traub (Executive Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network), 
  • Svein Tore Holsether (CEO, Tara International), 
  • Gunhild A. Stordalen (Founder and President, EAT Foundation), 
  • Peter Bakker (President, WBCSD) and 
  • Per Fredrik Ilsaas Pharo (Director, Norway´s International Climate and Forest Initiative, Ministry of Climate and Environment) 
  • Craig Hanson (Global Director of Food, Forests & Water, World Resources Institute) 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

LANDac Annual International Conference 2017

29-30 June 2017. Utrecht, the Netherlands. LANDac’s Annual International Conference 2017 looked back over the decade since the land grab “hype” began, analysing the processes of transformations that have taken place in those locations where investments have been made and revisiting our understanding of the implications of these investment flows for food security, rural livelihoods and local development.

Topics highlighted during the conference included: food security; infrastructure development; displacement, migration and mobility; compensation and resettlement; cities and urban expansion; inclusive development; conflict and competing claims; natural resources and environmental protection; gender and generation; and administration and technologies; and climate change and resilience, among others.
Extract of the programme:
  • Good practices in investments in Liquid Natural Gas investments in Northern Mozambique Chairs: Griet Steel, LANDac and Utrecht University & Karin van Boxtel, Both ENDS
  • Scaling up women’s land rights in Africa6 Chair: Michelle Nuijen, LANDac and Utrecht University
  • Authorizing expropriation effectively: lessons from South Africa Ernst Marais. University of Johannesburg
  • Improving the positive impacts of investments on smallholder livelihoods and the landscapes they live in Herman Savenije, Tropenbos International, Gerard Baltissen, KIT, Marleen van Ruijven, FMO, Hugo Verkuijl, HIVOS, Kees van Dijk and Maryse Hazelzet, the Rock Group
  • Land occupation models and its implications on rural development in Mozambique Natacha Bruna, Observatorio do Meio Rural (OMR) Mozambique
  • A good practice on the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Lands, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) - The multi-actor and multi-sector approach in Sierra Leone Christian Schulze, FAO
Scaling up women’s land rights in Africa 
Panel Chair: Michelle Nuijen, LANDac 
  • El Hadji Faye Enda Pronat Senegal 
  • Clemente Ntauazi ADECRU Mozambique 
  • Nzira Razao de Deus Forum Mulher Mozambique 
  • Esther Mwaura GROOTS Kenya 
  • Alice Siema GROOTS Kenya 
  • Philip Kilonzo ActionAid International Kenya 
  • Catherine Gatundu ActionAid International 
  • Andrew T.D. Mkandawire Oxfam Malawi
Local livelihoods and customary land governance 
Chair: Jur Schuurman, LANDac 
  • The recognition of customary land rights: lessons from the Province of Bie in Angola Marco Orani, World Vision 
  • Inclusive development of tenure security and economic growth for Namibia’s communal areas 15 Winnie Mwilima and Rose-Mary Kashululu, Namibia Ministry of Land Reform 
  • Impacts of Large Scale Foreign Land Acquisitions on Rural Households: Evidence from Ethiopia Emma Aisbett, Hamburg University; Giulia Barbanente, Erasmus University 
  • Chiefs, Farmers, Businessmen and Officials: On-the-ground Processes of Land Privatization in Burkina Faso Elizabeth Gardiner, The Ohio State University 
Book launches
  • Inclusive businesses in Agriculture. What, how and for whom? Critical insights based on South African cases Authors: Wytske Chamberlain and Ward Anseeuw Published by: SUN MeDIA Metro, South Africa Year: 2017
    Copyright © 2017 AFRICAN SUN MeDIA and the authors, 282 pages
  • Land Law and Governance: African Perspectives on Land Tenure and Title Editors: Hanri Mostert, Leon Verstappen and Jaap Zevenbergen Published by: Juta, South Africa Year: 2017 
  • Contract farming in Ethiopia Editor: Gerrit Holtland Published by: AgriProFocus, the Netherlands Year: 2017 
  • Documentary screening Desert Paradise (Impacts of large scale land acquisition in Gambella region, Ethiopia) Azeb Degife, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich Screening: Friday, lunch break in the Brouwerskamer
Related:
13 Jun 2017. LANDac announced the release of a themed special issue, based on contributions from the LANDac Annual International Conference 2015, in the journal Geoforum.

The themed issue explores the “elusiveness of inclusive development” through analyses of empirical evidence on land grabbing ten years after the hype began. The cases collected show different types of investment flows into food and biofuel crops, wildlife, mining and city development in various developing regions, and analyse how different types of marginalized groups actually experience the flows of global capital in their local places – and search for a deeper understanding of the new and complex situations created under the banner of inclusive development in the context of landscape transformations triggered by large-scale land investment projects.

World Aquaculture 2017

26-30 June 2017. Cape Town, South Africa. Themed “Sustainable Aquaculture – New Frontiers for Economic Growth – Spotlight on Africa”, World Aquaculture 2017 brought together some 3,000 industry, academic and government delegates from the 100 member countries of the World Aquaculture Society (WAS).

 The conference was hosted by the Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa and the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The meeting was attended by 11 SADC Member States, viz. Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Other countries which participated in the meeting include Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda

Development partners in attendance included the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development in Southern Africa (CCARDESA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD), Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) SmartFish Programme, NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and WorldFish.
The World Aquaculture Society took its annual conference to Africa for the first time in 2017 – turning the spotlight on the potential of aquaculture production to support economic development and investment opportunities in the world’s second-fastest growing regional economy. 

Aquaculture is increasingly important as an environmentally sustainable way to meet global demand for fisheries products, while Sub-Saharan Africa’s vast inland waters and coastlines – home to a small but rapidly growing aquaculture sector – present a largely untapped opportunity to contribute to the nutrition and socio-economic development needs of the region. 

Key programmes which were discussed and adopted include:
  • an “Environmental Management Framework for Sustainable Aquaculture Development in Southern Africa” that provides the basis for sectoral policy and management, which is a collaboration with the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR). The framework will enable Member States to i) apply the principles of ecosystems approach to aquaculture (EAA) at the sectoral level; and ii) identify key components to develop and implement appropriate mechanisms for specific regional and national environmental management of aquatic animal production systems; and
  • Secondly, drawing lessons from key success factors on growth of the aquaculture sector in a number of SADC countries, including Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, a “Science-Based Aquaculture Development Model” together with a mechanism for a regional “Aquaculture Scientific Mentorship Scheme” for young scientists were proposed, which will involve collaboration with WorldFish, and also between universities and research institutions, governments, private sector and communities in the region.
Keynote Speaker profiles
African Extrusion Seminar Aquatic Feeds
Discussions on African Aquaculture, Extrusion Cooking, Drying, Coating and related functions for production for all styles of aquatic feeds centered on profitability. Feed ingredient selection, grinding, methods of producing floating, sinking and slow sinking feeds. Related products include pet foods, ingredient creation, breadcrumbs for fish coating before frying giving a full review of extrusion possibilities.
Aquaponics workshop
Biofloc Technology Short Coures
Explore Sideways Catalogue 2017
Biosecurity Sessions Workshop
A special session has been organized for the WAS Annual Meeting in Cape Town, RSA to review the status, growth potential and risk profiles of African aquaculture investments, with a focus on the amounts and types of capital needed to help the sector produce revenues, jobs and fish for a growing continent. The session will feature presentations from aquaculture specialists from a range of financial and development institutions interested in African aquaculture, and plenty of time for questions and discussion with a view to helping farmers better understand the constraints for bankers, and helping bankers understand the opportunities in the aquaculture sector.

Sustainable Aquaculture - New Frontiers for Economic Growth.
The African Union – Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) chaired this session.,The transformation in the continent’s aquaculture development approach is enshrined in the ‘Policy Framework and Reform Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa’. This strategy that is currently under implementation serves as the continent’s blue print for aquaculture development. The strategic objective for aquaculture under this strategy is to jump-start market-led sustainable aquaculture based upon sound scientific principles and evidence-based strategies and implementation plans.

Related:
AQUA Spark, the Dutch based aquaculture investors, announced a $15 million Africa fund on the first day of the World Aquaculture Society conference in Cape Town. In a partnership with Msingi, an East African economic organisation, the fund will focus on tilapia and catfish producers, and will invest in all farming aspects.

Aqua Spark’s Amy Novogratz, launching the fund during a seminar on financing African aquaculture, said she and her partner Mike Velings were looking for additional investors to come on board.
The aim is to build infrastructure ‘for a thriving sub-Saharan aquaculture sector’, and help provide farmers access to global markets and to Aqua Spark’s portfolio of companies, which includes feed manufacturers. Aqua Spark is the only investment fund in the world dedicated to aquaculture, said Novogratz, and it considers thousands of applications before deciding which companies to support.
It already backs a tilapia farm in Mozambique and has interests in Indonesia and in an Indian Ocean sea cucumber farm, among others.

Highlight:
Impact of Mycotoxins on Aquaculture Fish Species: A Review
As the use of ingredients of plant origin has increased in aquaculture, the potential for mycotoxin poisoning in fish has increased accordingly. Feeding fish with mycotoxin-contaminated feed can lead to a breakdown in health, manifested as tissue damage or through immunosuppression. Both effects can lead to an increase in mortality. To date, however, there have been few reports of mycotoxins in feed at toxic concentrations. The aim of this study was to describe the effects of those toxic mycotoxins most commonly found as contaminants in fish feed. In terms of fish health, the most harmful mycotoxins are aflatoxin B1 and Fusarium mycotoxins. The most sensitive fish species was rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Future research in the field of mycotoxicosis in fish should be focused on the effects of combinations of mycotoxins.

The Fusarium Laboratory Workshop

25-30 June 2017. Kansas City, MO, USA. The Fusarium Laboratory Workshop was taught by
international Fusarium experts. Participants are introduced to standard morphological, genetic and molecular biological techniques used to identify and characterize strains of Fusarium.

Participants learned to use morphological characters to identify the most common Fusarium species, how to make tests for vegetative compatibility groups (VCGs) and cross-fertility, and how to extract, PCR amplify DNA, and analyze DNA sequences. More than half of the time will be spent in the laboratory working with standard strains. Students may bring some of their own strains (please contact Dr. Leslie to arrange for proper USDA permits).

Topics covered in this workshop included:
  • Laboratory Strain Identification
  • Molecular Identification
  • Species Concepts
  • Mating Types and Crosses
  • VCG Analysis
  • Strain Preservation
  • Mycotoxins

Global Aid for Trade Review

11 - 13 July 2017. Geneva. Global Review 2017 of Aid for Trade, “Promoting Trade, Inclusiveness and Connectivity For Sustainable Development”.

Underpinning the Review is a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) exercise. The aim of the M&E exercise is to survey: Aid-for-Trade priorities and how these have changed; the status of Trade Facilitation Agreement implementation and support; engagement in, and support to, the development of e-commerce; and infrastructure investment, the development of related services markets and related investment climate reforms.

The Aid for Trade Global Review 2015 highlighted how high trade costs slow growth and development by pricing many suppliers in developing and least developed countries out of global markets. The 2017 Global Review develops this theme further by extending analysis of trade costs into the area of digital connectivity. The Review will discuss the economic consequences of the digital divide and strategies to help policymakers, firms, women and SMEs to bridge this divide.

One tool at the disposal of trade policymakers to reduce logistics trade costs is the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that entered into force on 22 February2015 World Trade Report outlined the inclusive trade outcomes that may be achieved though trade facilitation reforms. This issue will be further examined during the 2017 Global Review.
2017. The

Discussions will be informed by the Aid for Trade at a Glance report, published jointly by the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, with contributions from Business for eTrade Development, the Enhanced Integrated Framework, the International Telecommunications Union, the International Trade Centre, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the World Bank Group. Additional analysis will be contributed by regional development banks and other stakeholders.

Below video starts @ the 40th min'





SESSION 11 : REGIONAL FOCUS
Promoting Connectivity In Africa – The Role of Aid for Trade in Boosting Intra-African Trade
This regionally focused plenary session will launch the United National Economic Commission for Africa report on "Promoting Connectivity in Africa – the Role of Aid for Trade in Boosting Intra-African Trade". Discussions shall be based on how promoting connectivity can contribute to the implementation of Africa’s regional integration, notably in the context of the Action Plan for Boosting-intra African Trade.

Moderator: Uzo Madu, Founder, What's in it for Africa?

Panel discussion:

Gender features strongly as a cross-cutting theme in the "Aid for Trade at a Glance 2017" report. It highlights that developing countries and their development partners increasingly recognize the economic growth potential that can be tapped through women's economic empowerment. Among the 40 donors surveyed, 87% indicated that they now integrate women's economic empowerment into their Aid for Trade programming. And with good reason. The report also underscores a series of divides that hamper women and women-owned firms from fully reaping the benefits of international trade.

Divides in terms of access to information and skills needed to export; access and use of technology that helps integrate into global and regional value chains; and ownership or management of firms still exist. Research shows that the productivity premium that firms derive from exporting is actually lower for women-owned firms. When women-owned firms face the same barriers to trade as men-owned firms, they find them more costly to overcome. As firm size increases, obstacles grow, keeping the exporting firms owned or managed by women small. New technology, online platforms and e-commerce can help, but women entrepreneurs still run up against gender-based barriers that reduce their productivity and often their commercial viability.

Progress has been made in integrating gender into Aid for Trade programming. But there is still much room for improvement. Only 38% of developing countries felt that Aid for Trade could contribute to the gender equality target found in SDG 5 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – as compared to 50% of donor respondents.

The session WAS organized around the following themes:

  • How can Aid for Trade help developing countries integrate gender into their development policies? How should the trade dimension be captured?
  • How best should development partners align their support with the national and regional frameworks of the governments they seek to support so as to achieve maximum impact, notably in terms women's economic empowerment?
  • What is the role of the private sector? How can it be involved through advocacy, action and adherence to globally agreed rules?
  • How can gender empowerment action pursued through the Aid for Trade address broader issues of poverty and inequality, without losing sight of the trade dimension?
Keynote speaker: Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, World Trade Organization

Moderator: Vanessa Erogbogbo, Head of Women and Trade Programme, International Trade Centre

Panel discussion:

  • Ann Linde, Minister for European Union Affairs and Trade, Sweden
  • Armand Tazafy, Minister of Commerce, Madagascar
  • Isatou Touray, Minister of Trade, The Gambia
  • Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Deputy to the Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization
  • Anabel Gonzalez, Senior Director, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, Trade & Competitiveness, World Bank Group
  • Candace Nkoth Bisseck, Founder, Digital for Development, and Consultant, Stanford Seed West Africa



SESSION 32 : SIDE EVENT
Connecting Trade and Agricultural Development in the LDCs 
Agriculture is a critical component of Aid for Trade and the largest contributor within productive capacity, contributing on average between 15% and 20% of all Aid-for-Trade flows. This should not be surprising given the importance of agriculture to trade in LDCs, a sector providing 69% of total employment, with half being women (UNCTAD).

Despite the synergic linkages between trade and agriculture in development, clear opportunities exist to better link agriculture and trade policy, processes and programmes in LDCs. For instance, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of the African Union and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) provide institutional, policy and programming mechanisms for both agriculture and trade in African LDCs.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has recently started a project in conjunction with the EIF and the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) to pilot an approach to better connect the CAADP and EIF processes and improve the cross-sectoral linkages in four countries Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.

This workshop on "Connecting trade and agricultural development in LDCs" therefore aims to share the initial results of the project, and open the discussion to participants to explore the connections between agriculture and trade in development. The key themes will focus on collaboration, connecting siloes in agriculture and trade.

Moderator: Sean Woolfrey, The European Centre for Development Policy Management

Opening address:

  • José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 
  • François Kanimba, Minister of Trade, Industry and Economic Affairs, Rwanda 
  • Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director, Enhanced Integrated Framework Secretariat 
Panel discussion:
  • Komla Bissi, The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, African Union Commission 
  • What is the role of trade within CAADP? 
  • Patterson Brown, USAID, Chair of the CAADP Donor Partners Coordination Group (DPCG): Enhancing connection with trade within the CAADP structure. 
  • What is being done to support better coordination amongst donor programming supporting trade and agriculture? 
  • Kayula Siame, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Zambia. 
  • What gaps have you identified (results of the analysis), and how are you planning to address them (results of dialogue) 
SESSION 38 : THEMATIC FOCUS
Trade and Food Standards: Joint FAO-WTO Publication Launch
Trade in food is difficult to imagine without standards. Food standards give confidence to consumers about the safety, quality and authenticity of what they eat. By setting out a common understanding on different aspects of food for consumers, producers and governments, harmonization on the basis of international standards makes trade less costly and more inclusive. Food standards and trade go hand in hand in ensuring safe, nutritious and sufficient food for a growing world population.

Together, FAO and the WTO provide governments with the means to establish a framework to facilitate trade on the basis of internationally agreed food standards. Through the joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission, governments establish global science-based food standards that provide the foundation for achieving public health objectives such as food safety and nutrition. Since standards are essential for smooth trade, the WTO SPS and TBT Agreements strongly encourage governments to harmonize their requirements on the basis of international standards.

This publication emphasizes the importance of participation and engagement of governments in standards development in Codex and in resolving trade concerns in the WTO SPS and TBT Committees, as well as the importance of capacity development, which together contribute to the dynamism and robustness of the global system of food standards and trade.

Keynote addresses:

Moderator: Edwini Kessie, Director, Agriculture and Commodities Division, World Trade Organization
The recently agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are expected to guide development through the 2030 time horizon. The 17 SDGs cover many areas, such as poverty, health, sustainable development, and the environment; however, there is no specific SDG trade goal. The objective of this book is to demonstrate to the international development community, including policymakers in developing countries, the contribution that international trade can make to achieving the SDGs. This book maps out a triple-win scenario: when good trade policy spurs international trade, contributes to development-friendly outcomes, and supports achieving the SDGs.

Presentations:

  • Matthias Helble, Senior Economist, Asian Development Bank Institute
  • Frans Lammersen, Principal Administrator, Development and Co-operation Directorate, Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development 
  • Aik Hoe Lim, Director, Trade and Environment Division, World Trade Organization
  • Ben Shepherd, Principal, Developing Trade Consultants

Monday, July 10, 2017

G20 launches Africa Partnership with renewable energy, rural employment initiatives

7-9 July 2017. Hamburg. The G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, ended with a much-anticipated focus on Africa championed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The G20 Leaders’ Declaration included the launch of the G20 Africa Partnership, listing rural employment and renewable energy initiatives as well as priorities for the first seven countries participating in the “Investment Compacts” with G20 nations.

The G20 Africa Partnership builds on existing regional and international strategies in order to ensure alignment, coherence and ownership, including the efforts of the G20 Initiative on Supporting Industrialisation in Africa and LDCs launched in 2016. 

As a core element of the G20 Africa Partnership, the G20 launches the initiative Compact with Africa. in the finance track. The initiative aims at creating a favorable business envi- 3 ronment and supporting private investment, including in infrastructure, through investment Compacts with interested African countries. The country-specific investment Compacts combine individually agreed commitments by the bilateral and multilateral partners, forming a comprehensive and effective package to improve the framework for sustainable private investment.
  • Compact partners comprise individual African countries, the involved International Organisations (African Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group), as well as interested G20 members and other partner countries and institutions. The initiative is demand-driven and focuses on country-specific circumstances and priorities. Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Ruanda, Senegal and Tunisia have presented their commitments and visions for investment Compacts at recent G20 meetings. Further countries have already indicated their interest in joining the initiative.  
  • The Compacts aim at improving the macroeconomic, business and financing frameworks for private investment (both domestic and foreign) through national and concerted action of all stakeholders on the priorities of the African countries, including in the form of capacity building measures.
The G20 leaders needed to “walk the talk” on Africa, particularly in the areas of health, technology, and the financial commitments necessary to truly deliver on a “Compact with Africa.” India’s Narendra Modi 
Related:
12-13 June 2017.  Berlin. The German Federal Ministry of Finance hosted the “G20 Africa Partnership – Investing in a Common Future” conference which provided backing for the G20 Africa Partnership and the Compact with Africa and presented Africa in all its modernity and variety to policy-makers and private investors.

A total of 800 guests, including 11 heads of state and government as well as more than 30 ministers, accompanied by 178 journalists present, were involved in the deliberations. At the center of the conference was the G20 Compact with Africa" initiative aimed at improving the conditions for investment in Africa.
  • The G20 Africa Partnership Conference provided a platform for Government representatives as well as experts and private sector stakeholders to emphasize their commitment and exchange views on possible measures to support private investment. 
  • The conference brought together a wide variety of high-level stakeholders including the Heads of State and Government of Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Italy, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia. Participants emphasized that the G20 Africa Partnership and its related initiatives can be of importance in supporting African leadership and responsibility in national development efforts to achieve sustainable economic 5 development and inclusive growth. 
  • Much attention was given in particular to the “Compact with Africa” initiative as finance ministers from all Compact countries, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia attended the meeting. We welcome the announcement of additional bilateral contributions in support of the reform programs by several G20 countries and other partners, as well as strong interest shown by investors in particular countries and sectors. 
B20 Compact with Africa Recommendations
B20 Compact with Africa Factsheet EN

Video documentation:
G20 Compact with Africa
A key focus of the German G20 presidency in the financial sector is the deepening of global partnerships. A particular focus is on the African continent. Investment partnerships on the same level and better networked initiatives of the G20, international organizations and the African countries themselves should contribute to sustainable development and improved employment opportunities on the ground. to watch video

G20 Africa conference
On 12 and 13 June 2017, the Africa Conference of the German G20 Presidency took place in Berlin. A total of 800 guests, including 11 heads of state and government as well as more than 30 ministers, accompanied by 178 journalists present, were involved in the deliberations. At the center of the conference was the G20 " Compact with Africa " initiative aimed at improving the conditions for investment in Africa. to watch video

G20 African Conference - Day 1
The G20 African Conference " Investing in a Common Future " marks a reorientation of international development cooperation. The conference was opened by Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, the President of the African Union Alpha Condé as well as Federal Minister of Finance Dr. German politician. to watch video

G20 African Conference - Day 2
The second day of the G20 African Conference is marked by parallel dialogues. The key issues focus on improved framework and financing conditions for investments and the promotion of energy investments, which contribute to more climate protection and sustainable development. The introductory symposium was opened by Bundesbank President Dr. Jens Weidmann. to watch video

G20 discussion forums
The second day of the G20 African Conference was marked by various discussions. In numerous formats the conference participants were able to discuss possible forms of cooperation. Within the scope of a structured dialogue, high-ranking experts met private investors at Roundtable. to watch video

Related:
Think Big for Small Small and Medium Enterprises as Pillar for Future-oriented, Sustainable Growth B20 CROSS-THEMATIC GROUPSMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (SMEs)POLICY PAPER 2017

The paper is the outcome of eight months of intense discussions and hard work among 129 CTG members from 23 countries and diverse economic sectors. In five teleconferences and physical meetings in Berlin and Paris the SME CTG under the leadership of Chair Rudolf Staudigl, CEO Wacker Chemie AG, developed three highly relevant recommendations to the G20:
  1. Facilitating SME Participation in Cross-Border Trade – G20 members should facilitate SME access to cross-border trade and global value chains (GVCs) by systematically including their voice and needs in trade agreements, by capacity building, and by easing business travel.
  2. Building Digital Capacities and Capabilities – G20 members should facilitate SME access to the digital economy by strengthening digital infrastructure outside industrial centers, leveraging support for international multi-stakeholder initiatives on ecommerce, and enhancing the knowledge base on SME needs.
  3. Advancing Financial Inclusion – G20 members should ensure the implementation of the G20/OECD High Level Principles on SME Financing, the G20 Action Plan on SME Financing and the G20 High Level Principles on Digital Financial Inclusion, in particular by strengthening financial market infrastructure, enhancing access to diversified financial instruments, and advancing digital financial technologies.
You can download the full SME policy paper here.
You can access the SME Factsheet here.