Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A One Health approach for the dairy chain development in Sub Saharan Africa

29 March 2017. Liege, Belgium. Theme: A One Health approach for the dairy chain development in Sub Saharan Africa (Une approche One Health pour le développement de la filière laitière en Afrique subsaharienne)

  • « Revue des expériences en développement des systèmes laitiers dans une perspective One Health (Mali, Sénégal, Côte d’Ivoire) » Assessment of dairy chain development systems following a One Health approach (Mali, Sénégal, Ivory Coast). Bassirou Bonfoh, Docteur en Médecine Vétérinaire, Directeur du Centre Suisse des Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire, Directeur de l’initiative Afrique One DVM, Director Swiss Centre for Scientific Research in Ivory Coast, Director of the One Africa Initiative 
  • « Défis et opportunités pour la production laitière familiale en zone périurbaine en Afrique subsaharienne, cas de Niamey au Niger » Challenges and opportunities for the household milk production in peri-urban zone in Sub Sahara Africa, case report for Niamey, Niger. Ousseini Ganda. ONG Karkara, Partenaire de Vétérinaires Sans Frontières au Niger.

The annual Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA)

28 March 2017. Brussels. The annual Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) stimulated debate on the future of European and world agriculture. FFA2017 (with more than 1,700 participants) extended a broad-based call to action to businesses, politicians, farmers and civil society. 

A call to focus on the practical issues of implementation; a call for leadership from all stakeholder groups, including a commitment to cooperation and collaboration, which will deliver comprehensive benefits throughout the value chain, from the farm to the dinner table.
“If we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the time for solutions is now. There is no time and no need to wait for others to move. At the FFA, we aim to inspire the leadership and on the ground changes that are needed.” Janez Potočnik, Chair FFA2017, Chairman RISE Foundation. 
“Shifting to sustainable food systems and agriculture to feed the world and deliver wider goals of development demands sustained and bold leadership from every sector.” Kofi Annan, Founder and Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, 7th Secretary General of the United Nations (1997-2006), opening keynote address. 
“Current food systems are inherently wasteful, and increasingly challenged by rising demand and loss of soil productivity. Moving towards regenerative practices, underpinned by circular economy principles, would help create more value and rebuild natural capital.” Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, afternoon keynote address.
The three questions this year were
  • Question 1 - Time for solutions: Rebooting the system?
    We need global actions that break through these silos so that we can tackle global problems that will have as much impact on you and me as it will on a farmer in Haiti or a factory worker in China. Unless we become fully aware of the interconnected nature of our lives in the 21st century, and get the governance structures to match, we have no hope of achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and of living within the planetary boundaries.

    The SDGs, which were ratified in 2015 and represent seventeen major policy areas, range from affordable and clean energy to ending hunger to sustainable use of our oceans. The SDGs recognize that today we are all connected in a kind of a global village, and that everybody must play their part. Under the SDG agreement, the EU and your government have committed to one hundred and sixty-nine targets to guide them; a list set out by the world’s best thinkers and scientists. If that sounds very long and complicated, it is because the challenges we face today are not simple to solve.
  • Question 2 - Time for solutions: Is the CAP fit for delivering the SDGs? 
    The Common Agricultural Policy is the EU’s most developed sectoral policy which provides crucial support for agriculture and the rural environment in Europe. The CAP has always adapted to the changing challenges faced in Europe. For the next decade or two one of the most critical challenges is climate change which threatens agriculture. We must equip farmers with the knowledge and capacity to reduce emissions, to contribute to sustainable renewable energy production, and to adapt to whatever climatic conditions they encounter whilst continuing to supply our food. The technical challenge faced by our farmers is immense. Europe rightly demands reasonably-priced, high quality food, with world-leading ambitions for environmental protection and animal welfare. In addition, we want our farmers to carefully steward natural resources, offer flood protection, maintain and even enhance biodiversity, and provide the cultural landscapes for our rural holidays. All this whilst remaining reasonably competitive in supplying food in highly volatile market conditions. This are tough demands, and farmers can reasonably expect that the generously-funded Common Agricultural Policy should help them rise to these challenges.

    The RISE Foundation invited a small group of experienced CAP analysts to think about how the CAP can be further modified to better help farmers rise to these multiple challenges. The report of the RISE CAP Reform group will be presented as part of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture at a launch event on March 27 in Brussels and as part of the conference on March 28. The RISE report tries to suggest how this complex jigsaw of land and risk management supports can be combined with the best of the existing rural development supports and perhaps new ways of encouraging and supporting transition. It also considers if the current policy decision making procedures could be better structured to maximise the chance of constructive dialogue between the main stakeholders in agricultural policy to work together.
  • Question 3 - Time for solutions: Is the circular economy an answer?
    With more than half of the global population living in urban areas, the role of cities in food production is becoming more important. Consequently, so is urban food waste and nutrient recovery. In the urban context, nutrient recovery from municipal solid waste and wastewater systems is a typical feature of circular economy solutions that offers huge potential. After collection and treatment, nutrients could be returned to the agricultural system and therefore also contribute to displacing a proportion of synthetic fertilisers, while at the same time producing energy through anaerobic digestion or biorefinery (see the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's scoping paper, "The Urban Biocycle", March 2017). “This would provide clear benefits of up to 5% CO2 reduction and a 10% decrease in synthetic fertiliser use by 2030” states the Achieving Growth Within report.

    Combining these different approaches with the best of traditional farming shapes a coherent circular food system that has the significant potential to revitalise ecosystems, reduce CO2 emissions and produce healthy and nutritious food.

    These sets of opportunities could also make a substantial contribution to job creation, and if successfully applied, could generate an economic benefit of hundreds of billions of euros. The time is right to initiate such a shift, which will need concerted stakeholder action, regulatory adjustments, innovation and dedicated investment strategies.
Background:
  • The annual conference of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture takes place every spring and it has a program of activity focused on the food and environmental security agenda. The FFA Brussels is accompanied every year by regional conferences across Europe.
  • The Forum is now established as the premier meeting place for those who have a stake in the future of agriculture and has been addressed by European Commissioners, MEPs, National Government Ministers, Industry Leaders, Academics, NGOs, International Organisations, including OECD and FAO.
  • The purpose of the FFA is to stimulate open discussions on the future of European and world agriculture and assess what should and what can be achieved over time, attaching equal weight to two challenges: food security and environmental security.
About RISE Foundation 
The Rural Investment Support for Europe (RISE) Foundation is an independent foundation which strives to support a sustainable and internationally competitive rural economy across Europe, looking for ways to preserve the European countryside, its environment and biodiversity, and its cultural heritage and traditions. Chaired by Janez Potočnik, it deals with policy analysis and project financing. Find studies and more information at www.risefoundation.eu Follow on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/RISE_Fnd

GFAR webinar on ARD Internal Communications

28 March 2017. GFAR. This webinar covered different parts of “internal communications”, specked with ample examples on internal communications within a team, an organisation or a consortium of many organisations? How can we work with a geographically disbursed project team?
  • Simone Staiger-Rivas is leader of Knowledge Management at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) where she works on data and information management, knowledge management in research processes and internal communications (Check out their blog).
  • Carina Carrasco is currently the communications and knowledge management adviser for
    FONTAGRO, administered by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
  • Cavin Mugarura is an I.T. Professor, with international experience as a consultant for the World Bank, and the United States Department of Health. He is also the Founder / Technical Director of Blue Node Media, an I.T. Consulting firm based in Uganda and the United States.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Agrobiodiversity Index

27 March 2017. Syngenta and the RISE foundation organised a pre-event to the Forum for the Future of Agriculture 2017 conference.

PART I — New Trends and Opportunities in Agriculture and Biodiversity

The panel of this event's first part created a space for constructive dialogue with a focus on strengthening the relationships among the private sector, development organizations, governments and other stakeholders directly or indirectly involved in responding to food and nutrition security and environmental restoration. It showcased the rationale for new initiatives such as an Agrobiodiversity Index or a Landscape Connectivity Alliance and how these can be tools for countries and corporations to increase private and public investment in sustainable food and agriculture.
  • Ann Tutwiler (see picture), Director, Bioversity International – Improving Food Systems Through an Agrobiodiversity Index
  • Jurgen TACK, Scientific Director, ELO – Biodiversity from the Landowners’ Perspective
  • Juan GONZÁLEZ-VALERO, Head Public Policy and Sustainability, Syngenta –Business and Landscape Connectivity
  • Johan LAMMERANT, Lead Natural Capital and Biodiversity Expert, Arcadis –Benefits of Natural Capital in Agricultural Landscapes
PART II — Rise Foundation Report Launch – CAP – Thinking out of the box (2017, 22 pp) 

Released on March 27th 2017, this report shows how the current CAP does not make best use of the considerable resources deployed to support land managers through the necessary transition and suggests some procedural changes to kick-start a more effective reform process which brings together more constructively the conflicting interests in agricultural policy.

CAP Executive Summary (26 pages)
CAP Full report: executive summary + appendixes (82 pages)

Appendixes:
Appendix 1: Why further reform?
Appendix 2: Integrating environmental land management into a streamlined CAP
Appendix 3: Managing volatility and risk in the CAP

The analysis laid out in this RISE Foundation report shows how the current CAP does not make best use of the considerable resources deployed to support land managers through the necessary transition. The largest instruments of the CAP, the pillar 1 direct payments, which account for over 70% of CAP funds are ineffective, inefficient and inequitable. It is suggested that these direct payments should be systematically reduced and resources switched to provide targeted assistance, including transitional adjustment assistance to help farmers adapt and rise to the specific challenges of improving productivity, resource efficiency and risk management and to pay farmers to provide specific environmental and other public goods.

The report argues that the two principal aspects of the CAP requiring the most attention are land management and risk management. Where land management is concerned, the greatest worry is that the current environmental standards are not being met. The report therefore proposes a redesigned, more integrated tiered structure of supports with clearer targets on the environmental outcomes sought. The core issue concerning risk management is that the present approach in the CAP towards market orientation has not gone far enough. Indeed the sheer scale of direct payment inhibits farmers from better mitigating the risks they face. The report outlines the full range of instruments that are most appropriate for managing risk at the farm level, market level and nationally at times of catastrophic risk.

Finally, following the lessons that have been learnt from previous successful reforms, the report suggests some procedural changes to kick-start a more effective reform process which brings together more constructively the conflicting interests in agricultural policy. The report can be freely downloaded from the publications section.

Related:
Mainstreaming agrobiodiversity in sustainable food systems: scientific foundations for an agrobiodiversity index - Summary
Bailey, A. (ed.) Bioversity International 2016, 32 pp.

This (upcoming) book is the first step in the process of creating an index to help monitor the conservation and use of agrobiodiversity across different dimensions.
Agricultural biodiversity is a source of interacting elements of different species, varieties of species and different land uses in mosaic landscapes  (fields, forest patches, waterways, etc.). These interactions, if managed using agroecological approaches and principles (e.g. intercropping, natural pest control), can lead to food grown both more intensively and more sustainably on the available land. (page 14)
From the 391,000 documented plant species, 5,538 have been counted as human food (8). Out of these, just three – rice, wheat and maize – provide more than 50% of the world’s plant-derived calories (page 6) From the pool of 40 animal species and 5,538 plant species documented as human food, only 12 crops and five animal species provide 75% of the world’s food. (page 22) 
Greater investment in agricultural research is key to make a wider diversity of fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds and other healthy foods available and more affordable to consumers. (page 12)
There is a need to measure and understand biodiversity in rapid, cost-efficient ways, to connect also with policy decisions by countries and companies on best practices to foster diversity. There is a huge, and growing, number of existing datasets related to agricultural biodiversity, collected at different scales across different dimensions. This book summarizes evidence on the contribution of agricultural biodiversity to four interconnected dimensions:
  • Diverse, healthy diets
  • Multiple benefits in sustainable farming systems
  • Seed systems delivering crop diversity for sustainable food systems
  • Conserving agricultural biodiversity for use in sustainable food systems.
Download flier to find out more
The Agrobiodiversity Index
The challenge: To secure adequate food that is healthy, safe and of high quality for all, in an environmentally sustainable manner. Today’s food systems are failing on both the consumption and production sides:
  • Malnutrition is affecting one in three people on the planet
  • Production of fruit and vegetables provides only 78% of the world population’s nutritional needs
  • Planetary boundaries are being pushed beyond safe limits – agriculture contributes around 24% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and is the single largest user of fresh water on the planet.
The solution: Mainstream agrobiodiversity in sustainable food systems

What is the Agrobiodiversity Index?
  • It is a consistent long-term tool to measure and manage agrobiodiversity across four dimensions: nutrition, production, seed systems and conservation.
  • It will help decision-makers – governments, investors, companies, farmers and consumers – ensure that food systems are more diverse and sustainable.
Why do we need the Agrobiodiversity Index?

  • Up to now there has been no consistent way for governments, private sector and other decision-makers to assess and track agrobiodiversity in sustainable food systems, track change, or measure the influence it has on other issues and sectors. 
  • Such knowledge gaps also extend to measuring how agrobiodiversity is delivering progress to meet multiple interconnected global targets including the Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Who is it for?
  • Companies implementing sustainable business practices that increase long-term shareholder value both by reducing risks in the supply chain and enhancing attractiveness to consumers.
  • Governments pursuing sustainable development by investing in progressive food, agriculture and conservation actions and monitoring country progress towards global goals.
  • Investors in Green Bonds contributing capital to sustainable environmental and climate-focused development projects.
  • Farmers, consumer groups and local organizations wanting information to inform their decisions about sustainable practices and purchases.
Examples: (p. 11-12)
  • In Benin, better access to markets was linked with higher availability of on-farm biodiversity and facilitated the purchase and sales of food biodiversity, contributing to diet diversity of mothers
  • In rural South Africa, for instance, a typical household would need to increase food expenditures by more than 30% of total income to eat a healthier diet
  • There has been a striking shift towards increased demand for convenience, often highly processed, foods. In East and Southern Africa, the market share of such foods has risen to one-third of the purchased food market, with little differentiation between rural and urban areas (31% vs 35%)
  • 45.2% of households in Kenya which had participated in awareness-raising activities about the nutrient content of some 40 different species of traditional leafy vegetables still reported an increase in consumption 10 years later.
  • Households growing higher numbers of varieties of common bean in Uganda experienced less frequent and less severe damage to crops from weevils and other pests (page 16)
  • In Ethiopia, community seedbanks have been found to increase the number of varieties grown by participating households. (page 19)
Related:
The Forum for the Future of Agriculture takes place on Tuesday, March 28.

Global forum for innovations in agriculture

20-21 March 2017. Abu Dhabi. Global forum for innovations in agriculture is an event to present solutions and inspire debate across all types of food production.

Held in strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority and supported by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the GFIA conference featured speakers from around the world tackling five key challenges: climate-resilient crops; growing the aquaculture industry; future-proofing animal health; smallholder farmer development; and sustainable animal production.

GFIA featured an exhibition hosting some 250 companies, and an Innovations Program, showcasing a series of 15-minute talks from companies who think they have a next-generation solution that could shape the future of farming around the world.

Extracts of the programme:
  • Precision irrigation for smarter decisions ; André Laperrière, Executive Director, Global Open
    Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Click here to view the presentation
  • Latest updates and innovation in algae industry ; Vítor Verdelho Vieira (see picture), President, European Algae Biomass Association, Board member and Chief Development Officer, A4F-AlgaFuel and President, Necton Click here to view the presentation 
  • Financing Agricultural Innovations: The US Model ; Quintin Gray, Former Agriculture Counselor, U.S. Consulate in the UAE Click here to view the presentation
  • Small farmers and big business: an unlikely marriage? Dr Christof Walter, Christof Walter Associates Click here to view the presentation
  • Integrating smallholder farmers in the commercial value chain for sustainable food systems ; David Neven, Enterprise Development Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Click here to view the presentation
  • Reducing the need for and use of antimicrobials on the farm ; Dr. Hetty van Beers-Schreurs  (see picture),Managing Director, The Netherlands Veterinary Medicines Authority (SDa) Click here to view the presentation
Announcement: 
The GFIA-Europe will be held from 9-10 May 2017 at the Jaarbeurs Expo Centre in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The event will focus on practical applications and knowledge on Future Farming in horticulture, crops and livestock. The event is organised by Turret Media in cooperation with Proagrica (publisher of All About Feed, Farmers Weekly, Boerderij amongst others).

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Agriculture familiale et agribusiness Afrique Centrale

22-24 March 2017. Yaoundé-Cameroun. Cette conférence avait pour objectif de montrer l’importance de l’agriculture familiale dans un contexte d’émergence de l’agri- business en Afrique Centrale, en vue d’un soutien plus accru des gouvernements et des partenaires en faveur des organisations paysannes, en particulier des jeunes entrepreneurs agricoles.

Objectifs spécifiques

  • Analyser les politiques publiques nationales et régionales en matière de développement agricole en Afrique centrale ; 
  • Identifier les enjeux, les défis, les besoins d’accompagnement à l’insertion socio professionnelle des jeunes pour la modernisation et le développement concerté d’une l’agriculture familiale entreprenante et durable en Afrique centrale; 
  • Identifier les opportunités de soutien aux jeunes pour la dynamisation de l’agriculture familiale en Afrique centrale ; 
  • Identifier les besoins spécifiques d’accompagnement des jeunes femmes exploitantes agroalimentaires en Afrique centrale ; 
  • Analyser les inter- relations entre l’agriculture familiale et l’agri- business en Afrique Centrale 
  • Renforcer ses relations avec les décideurs politiques 
  • Renforcer son système de partenariat pour le développement durable ; 
  • Présenter et valider son nouveau Plan Stratégique (2016-2020).
Participants

  • Les représentants des OP nationales de dix pays de l’Afrique centrale intégrant les femmes, les jeunes et les minorités (…) 
  • Les représentants des organisations des jeunes entrepreneurs agricoles en Afrique centrale ; Les représentants de l’organisation panafricaine des organisations paysannes et des producteurs agricoles (PAFO) 
  • Les représentants des organisations paysannes régionales (EAFF, ROPPA, SACAU, UMNAGRI) ; Les représentants des institutions publiques régionales et nationales
  • Des représentants des institutions publiques nationales camerounaises ; Les représentants des réseaux parlementaires 
  • Les représentants des partenaires techniques et financiers ; Les représentants des ONG et OSC internationales, nationales 
  • Les représentants des collectivités décentralisées
Autres:
Célébration des 12 ans d'existence de la PROPAC,
3e Assemblée Générale Ordinaire de la PROPAC en marge de la Conférence régionale sur l’agriculture familiale et l’agri business en Afrique
President Elu du PROPAC : NATHANAEL BUKA MUPUNGA, La Confédération paysanne du Congo, ou Copaco-PRP, RDC.
Forte de 292.000 familles paysannes structurées en plus de 450 organisations à travers toute l'étendue du territoire national de la République Démocratique du Congo, la Copaco-PRP est le fruit d’une histoire longue et mouvementée

Public Spending Priorities for Africa Agriculture Productivity Growth

23 March 2017. WASHINGTON. Enhancing the productivity of agriculture is vital for Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic future and is one of the most important tools to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity in the region. How governments choose to spend public resources has significant development impact in this regard.

The new Africa regional flagship study, Reaping Richer Returns: Public Spending Priorities for Africa Agriculture Productivity Growth, explores how effective, efficient and climate resilient public spending in and for agriculture can be the foundation for transformation and reducing poverty in Sub-Saharan African countries.

According to the study, the challenge is not only that agricultural public spending in Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind other developing regions but its impact is vitiated by programs and transfers that tend to benefit the better off, with insignificant gains for agriculture, or for the poor.
“Sub-Saharan African countries tend to underfund high-return public good investments related to technology generation and adoption, strengthening markets, and rural infrastructure. The study recommends areas where African governments can prioritize spending to reap richer returns, including implementing smart subsidies, boosting spending on research and development and eliminating barriers that impede rapid uptake of new technologies, and investing in market access and land governance.” Aparajita Goyal, World Bank senior economist and task team leader of the Africa regional flagship study.
Conditions are ripe for boosting the productivity of African agriculture, the study says. African regional markets are growing rapidly, driven by population, urbanization, and income growth, and are forecast to reach a trillion dollars by 2030. Prospects are also promising on the supply side, according to the study, since Africa’s potential for agricultural prosperity is enhanced by an abundance of vital components.
“To make a significant dent on poverty, enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of African agriculture must become a priority. Reforming the design and implementation of public spending programs while rebalancing in favor of high-return public goods could produce significant gains.”
The study uses the successes of African and other developing countries around the world to provide lessons for African agriculture, the quality of public spending and the efficiency of resource use. For example, input promotion during high agricultural productivity periods in Asian and South American countries addressed systemic constraints to productivity through integrated investments in improved technologies, extension services, water and soil management, and market linkages.

Related:

Interview with Aparajita Goyal, Economist, Agricultural and Environment Services, Worldbank 

Africa-EU climate change research and human health

22-24 March 2017, Kampala, Uganda. Africa-EU climate change research and human health. The
Uganda National Council for Science and Technology hosted a 2.5 day workshop (two days’ workshop followed by half a day field trip). The selected proposals received a round of feedback in advance of the workshop from staff at UNEP DTU Partnership.

The workshop provided targeted information and guidance for early-career African researchers with a professional interest in the implications of
climate change for human health. The workshop pursued a predominantly training/workshop style and structure, with opportunities for researchers to work alone and in small groups to develop their research ideas, proposal and strategies. The workshop contained a mixed agenda with speakers from the public, private and academic sectors to provide guidance on:
  • Identifying current research/knowledge priorities and gaps/needs regarding applied research into human health and climate change, as identified by speakers representing private sector, academia, civil society and local or regional policy-makers 
  • How to access relevant funding sources, where invited speakers introduced both private and public funding sources and provide practical recommendations on how to access such funding 
  • Group-based sessions where participants seeked advice and received coaching from the speakers on specific research ideas/proposals

Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture

22-23 March 2017, Washington DC. Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture. How science and technology can help business meet sustainable agriculture objectives. This two-day forum was designed to provide leading discussion and debate on how business can most efficiently improve sustainable agriculture production, raise yields and deliver against company objectives.

It covered important questions around sustainability and agriculture, taking a practical look at the big issues, from emissions to water, and will go on to look into the potential solutions that companies can explore to sustainably improve efficiencies.

Extractof the programme

Can industrial agriculture be sustainable? 
The world’s largest agri-businesses, producers, processors and retailers have increasingly tough sustainability targets to meet, yet for consumer groups, industrial agriculture is controversial. There’s evidence that shows that intensification of agriculture can deliver significant environmental benefits. But there are ‘social acceptance’ and reputational challenges. In this session,  both the science and impact of scaled up industrial agriculture was discussed, and whether the concerns about it can be met by the industry successfully. 
  • David Rosenberg, CEO, AeroFarms Dawn Rittenhouse, director, Sustainable Development, DuPont 
  • Christine Daugherty, VP of sustainable food production, Tyson Foods
Corporate financing for sustainable agriculture: How far should it go and what should be the expected returns? 
Investment in agriculture will play an important role in increasing resilience to climate change and improving food security. With more and more large companies trying to help suppliers become more sustainable, this session discussed how companies determine the success of such programs, how economic and sustainability returns are measured, and if these funds are actually sustainable long-term. 
  • Stefani Millie Grant, senior manager, Unilever 
  • Bruce Wise, global product specialist, sustainable business advisory, IFC 
  • Dan Zook, director of investments, Initiative for Smallholder Finance 
  • Stephanie Potter, VP, sustainable business development, Rabobank
Collaboration to meet your business targets: where is the evidence? 
Collaboration is often hailed as the answer to scaling up projects and increasing impacts on the ground. However, there are a number of challenges involved. The panelists will take a look at the practicalities and different hurdles that arise with collaboration. Looking at lessons that can be learned so collaboration can deliver on the potential it promises, and be effectively scaled to meet your targets. 
  • Suzy Friedman, senior director of agricultural sustainability, Environmental Defense Fund 
  • Rod Snyder, president, Field to Market

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Guidelines for organising a Farmer Innovation Fair

Amsterdam: Prolinnova International Secretariat / Royal Tropical Institute (KIT). 12 pp.

In order to stimulate policymakers and practitioners to recognise farmer innovation in agricultural research and development (ARD), partners in the Prolinnova network have been developing and using various methods and tools for advocacy and lobbying. One of these is the Farmer Innovation Fair. The following guidelines reflect the network’s experiences in organising and hosting such fairs, with a focus on the experiences gained from the West African Farmer Innovation Fair held in Ouagadougou in May 2015, hosted by Inades Formation Burkina and the PROFEIS (Promoting Farmer Experimentation and Innovation in the Sahel) multistakeholder platform in Burkina Faso:

Click here for the French and Spanish versions.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue Bureau Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture Working Group

15 - 16 March 2017. Addis Ababa. This Kick-Off meeting was organized alongside a cluster of meetings on the FNSSA theme taking place in Addis Ababa to initiate the Working Group’s activities. (One of those meeting was the PROIntensAfrica final seminar (Addis Ababa, 13 - 15 March 2017) on effective and Efficient Research and Innovation Partnerships).

The meeting brought together the members of the Working Group and external experts with the aim of developing a report to be presented to the next plenary meeting of the senior officials of the EU-Africa HLPD (October 2017, tbc) and the Africa-EU Summit in November 2017.

Background:
Background documents
Related:
22 - 23 February 2017. Brussels. Developing a future EU-Africa Research & Innovation Partnership
on climate change and energy
In view of the Africa-EU Summit 2017, the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on science, technology and innovation is focusing its work on developing a R and I Partnership in a second priority area: climate change and sustainable energy. Scientists, program owners and stakeholders from Africa and Europe gathered in an expert meeting on Climate Change and Renewable Energy organized by RINEA in Brussels. The meeting aimed at further identifying joint research and innovation needs in the area of climate change, renewable energy and sustainability, thereby building on existing collaborative initiatives.


Related:
23-24 January 2017. Brussels. European Commission, DG Research and Innovation. A workshop was held on on EU-Africa R and I Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture.

GFAR webinar: Challenging Development and Research Communications

22 March 2017. This webinar covered communications as a “process for change” rather than for promotion or awareness-raising communications: using communications for knowledge creation and sharing, participatory or social learning, creative participatory project synthesis and writeshops or learning briefs. How to work with multi-stakeholder platforms, or use tools like participatory video or farm radio..?

Speakers:
  • Michael Victor (CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems): Introduction/teaser into the topic
  • Meredith Giordano (Principal Researcher and U.S. Representative for the International Water Management Institute - IWMI).): Project synthesis (and its
    communications) from a researcher’s point of view
  • Peter Ballantyne (head of communications and knowledge management at the International Livestock Research Institute - ILRI): Social learning, participatory comms, tools and processes to create and share knowledge (with some of ILRI’s
    examples)
  • Julian Gonsalves (Senior Advisor for Asia at the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) Philippines): Repackaging research, using 'write shops' as an example 
  • Fisher Qua (Principal Practitioner at Back Loop Consulting): How to use multi-stakeholder
    platforms (with the Mekong dialogue as example)
  • Juliet Braslow (ex-CIAT, has worked with farmers and rural communities internationally for
    the past 10 years): Video to engage farmers as a learning, empowering, and farmer to farmer exchange tool.
  • Karen Hampson ( (Regional Program Manager, ESA, Farm Radio International): Using farm radio and mobile phones as a way to reach farmers with research
    outcomes
  • Beatrice Makwenda, Head of Policy and Communication for the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) presented:
    The uptake and communications 
    of aflatoxin research findings in Malawi and Zambia
    (replaced by Fancois Stepman (PAEPARD) due to technical issues)
    This last presentation of 10 minutes runs from 2:07 to 2:17 in below video




Related:
Management of Aflatoxin in Australian Peanut Industry

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

2017 AWARD GAIA Agricultural Technology (Ag Tech) Innovations

The 2017 AWARD AgTech Innovation Challenge for Southern and Central Africa (GAIA) was launched in March by the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) to increase agribusiness investments in technological and business model innovations that help bridge the gender gap in African agriculture and particularly those that enhance the positive participation of African women in agricultural value chains across the continent.
The AWARD GAIA (Deadline 16th of March) was looking for enterprises that:
  • Serve the agriculture or allied sectors;
  • Demonstrate clear benefits to groups that are often marginalized in agriculture including women smallholder farmers and other women value chain actors;
  • Have an innovative technology or business model;
  • Have a clear for-profit business model with high potential for scale;
  • Have some proof of concept on the ground, conducted pilots and are preferably generating revenues;
  • Are seeking funding to commercialize or scale.
The Benin Agribusiness Incubation Hub-SARL (BAIH-SARL) has been selected selected out of over 200 applicants as a high potential enterprise working in Agriculture Technology, while also working to close the gender gap.

BAIH-SARL is invited to Accra, Ghana to participate in an intensive 2-day boot camp (April 3-5) to further refine and develop their business model. AWARD GAIA will then showcase the selected enterprises to present their pitch at a public showcase where incubators, agriculture experts, investors, and the entrepreneurship community will be present.

Related PAEPARD blog posts:

PAEPARD Soja project receives Ministerial attention
26 July 2016. Cotonou.
FARA visit to SOJAGNON project
14 - 16 aout 2016. Benin.