Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa

22-24 November 2017. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. AU Conference Centre. Regional Meeting on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa

Extracts of the programme:
The state of application, capacities and the enabling environment for agricultural biotechnologies in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Chair: Chike Mba, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy 
  • Edward Rege, PICO-Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya State of agricultural biotechnology applications, capacities and enabling environment in sub-Saharan Africa 
Panellists presented their perspectives on the state of application, capacities and the enabling environment for agricultural biotechnologies in Sub-Saharan Africa:
  • Yebchaye Degefa, Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Center of the African Union (AUPANVAC), Debre Zeit, Ethiopia The state and application of biotechnology for the production of veterinary vaccines and diagnostic tools 
  • Abdourahamane Sangaré, Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA), Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire 
  • Roger Pelle, Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa (BecA) Hub, International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
Biotechnologies for the characterisation, conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture 
  • Chair: Siboniso Moyo, International Livestock Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 
  • Firew Mekbib, Haramaya University, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Molecular genetic diversity of African orphan crops: The case of Ethiopia 
  • Marius Ekué, Bioversity International, Yaoundé, Cameroon DNA timber tracking tools and a conservation strategy for African mahogany (Khaya sp.) 
  • Emmanuel Kaunda, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lilongwe, Malawi A review of the use of biotechnology in aquaculture and fisheries (PAEPARD supported consortium)

Food safety, post-harvest and agro-processing: The role of biotechnologies 
  • Chair: Ali Mohammed, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia 
  • Alejandro Ortega-Beltran, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria The Aflasafe Initiative, developing biocontrol products to reduce aflatoxin contamination in maize and groundnuts across Sub-Saharan Africa 
  • Ruby Asmah, Water Research Institute (CSIR-WRI), Accra, Ghana The use of biotechnologies in post-harvest handling and management in the fishery sector 
  • Ikhide Imumorin, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria; African Biosciences Ltd, Lagos, Nigeria; and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA. Public and private sector perspectives regarding the role of biotechnologies in food safety, post-harvest and agro-processing 
  • Silvia Alonso, International Livestock Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Metagenomics in food safety: what’s the added value? Case studies from the livestock sector in Tanzania and Uganda 
Biotechnologies to enable smallholders to adapt to climate change 
  • Chair: Janet Edeme, African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 
  • Stephen Muchiri, Eastern Africa Farmers Federation, Nairobi, Kenya Perspectives from a farmer organization on climate change and the role that biotechnologies can play in enabling smallholders to adapt 
  • Yoseph Beyene, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Nairobi, Kenya Development and deployment of climate resilient maize in sub-Saharan Africa through integration of novel tools and technologies 
  • Maxwell Barson, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe Africa in a changing global climate: The need for rapid diagnostic tests to deal with emerging fish disease challenges 
  • Djingdia Lompo, Centre National de Semences Forestières, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso Analysis of genetic diversity of the African Locust Bean (Parkia biglobosa) to improve its strategy of conservation and breeding in the face of climate change 
  • Baptiste Dungu, MCI Santé Animale, Mohammedia, Morocco Use of biotechnology tools to combat Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Africa
Resourcing for agriculture and agricultural biotechnologies 
  • Chair: Margaret Gill, CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council, Rome, Italy 
  • Malu Ndavi, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome, Italy Investors in agricultural biotechnologies and priorities 
  • Musa Sowe, National Coordinating Organization for Farmers Associations of The Gambia (NACOFAG), Banjul, The Gambia How to ensure the resources allocated to agricultural biotechnologies are used to meet the needs of farmers
  • Siyabulela Ntutela, AfricaBio, Pretoria, South Africa The importance of private sector investments in agricultural biotechnologies in SubSaharan Africa
Public-private partnerships and south-south cooperation involving biotechnologies 
  • Chair: Melaku Gedil, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria 
  • Prasad Hendre, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi, Kenya African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC): A public-private partnership for enablement of African plant scientists through development of open source genomics resources for promoting food and nutritional security in Africa through orphan crops 
  • Emmanuel Okogbenin, African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Nairobi, Kenya Public-private partnerships for effective and efficient agricultural technology transfer to smallholders in SSA: The AATF experience 
  • Benjamin D.K. Ahiabor, CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, Tamale, Ghana A case study of cooperation between Brazil and Ghana in the development of biofertilisers for grain legumes in northern Ghana 
  • Ndjido A. Kane, Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles, Dakar, Senegal A regional research and training platform for innovative plant breeding in West Africa
FAO is organizing four regional meetings worldwide throughout 2017-2018. On 15-17 February 2016, FAO convened the international symposium on The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition at FAO Headquarters, Rome. The aim of the symposium was to explore the application of biotechnologies for the benefit of smallholders in developing sustainable food systems and improving nutrition in the context of climate change.

Participants in the meeting were representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations and
non-state actors in the region. The term ‘non-state actors’ refers to civil society organizations; private sector entities (including philanthropic foundations); academia and research institutions as well as cooperatives and producer organizations.

'The question is not to use or not to use biotechnologies but how we can use opportunities that modern biotechnologies offers for African farmers'  Dr Jeremy Ouédraogo, Director @NEPAD_ABNE -(see picture)

  • Producing clean planting materials to improve sweet potato, plantain and banana in Ghana 
  • Improving African rice by breeding with Asian rice 
  • Improving soil in Kenya 
  • Generating resilient sorghum in Africa 
  • Boosting cassava yields in Africa using molecular markers and tissue culture 
  • Protecting Namaqua Afrikaner sheep in South Africa using genetic characterization 
  • Early diagnosis of peste des petits ruminants in Cameroon 
  • Eradicating tsetse flies in Zanzibar using the sterile insect technique 
  • The global rinderpest eradication campaign 
  • Processing fish using fermentation in West Africa 

  • Using DNA markers to conserve forest trees in Gabon
Call for partner facilitated training and capacity building
Regional Stakeholders – Round 3

The objective of this call is to assist NEPAD SANBio with the support of the BioFISA II Programme in achieving the key result area: “Human capacity and infrastructure strengthened in areas of the biosciences innovation value chain that will result in more end-user impact and innovation”.

The main aim of this support is to enhance capacity among NEPAD SANBio member states and to improve capability within organisations to enhance Biosciences in the region and to promote knowledge sharing.

This call is open to regional stakeholders who currently offer training or have the capacity to offer training which will have the potential to improve recipient organisations in SANBio member states, including various thematic areas in health, nutrition and commercialisation of products and services in biosciences.

It is anticipated that the training courses will take place between April and June 2018 .

BioFISA II will fund up to 8 proposals, for a maximum of R300 000 each. This call will be open until all 8 have been selected.

For more information, click here.

Grants and Awards
Special call for applications: Ten RUFORUM Community-Based Field Attachment Programme Awards. For MSc and PhD students who have recently graduated or who have submitted their theses and are awaiting results. Deadline: 30 November 2017

Hult Prize 2018. Students from any college or university in the world are invited to form teams and apply. The winning team will be awarded US$1 million in seed capital. Deadline: 23 December 2017

Call for establishment of Agribusiness Incubation Hubs 2017/2018: RUFORUM Entrepreneurship Challenge Program (RECAP). Open to all RUFORUM member universities. Deadline: 30 December 2017

IFS Individual Research Grants for promising young developing country researchers. Research areas include water resources research and food security. Deadline: 31 December 2017 

IAAE 2018 Carl K. Eicher Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation in agricultural economics in Africa. Dissertations must have been completed during 2015, 2016 or 2017. Nomination deadline: 26 January 2018

Erasmus+ call for proposals for capacity building in the field of higher education 2018. Deadline: 8 February 2018

WIOMSA Marine Research Grants Programme. Supports young scientists to present research results at various fora. Applications for travel grants can be submitted anytime.

Nestlé Foundation grants for research in human nutrition in low-income and lower middle-income countries. Support includes grants for Masters and PhD projects. Applications accepted all year round.

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