Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Smart Farming Tech Symposium

15-17 August 2018. Arc Api Irene Centurion, South Africa. Smart Farming Tech Symposium ‘Innovation and Tech use for betterAgriculture’

The following topics were discussed: 
  • Internet of Agricultural Things 
  • Digitization in Agriculture – Insight into the networked World 
  • Utilizing intelligent 
  • Sensors and Advancements in Robotics for Smart Farming 
  • The Value of Farm Data – The Benefits of collecting and processing agronomic Data 
  • Practical Applications of UAV in South African/AfricanAgriculture 
  • Smart Farming Success Stories and Real World Examples for the Agricultural IoT 
  • Opportunities for new Business Models
Extract of the programmeDrones in Agriculture 
The fast development of drones within the last years offers interesting new opportunities. This workshop provided an extensive overview of the „state of the art“ and future developments of the application of drones in agriculture. It aimed to highlight the requirements and technical developments of the drones and the employed sensors. Their potential and limitations for different applications in agriculture, such as monitoring plant health and yield forecast, detecting malnutrition, diseases, pest, water stress, and much more, were presented and discussed. An important topic was the integration of the information gathered by drones in the general farm management. Further, the cost/benefit relation of the use of drones in comparison to standard techniques was discussed. Additionally, attention was given to legal issues associated with the use of drones

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Obituary Kofi Annan 1938 - 2018

18 August 2018. It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness.

Kofi Annan, the soft-spoken and patrician diplomat from Ghana who became the seventh secretary general of the United Nations, projecting himself and his organization as the world’s conscience and moral arbiter despite bloody debacles that stained his record as a peacekeeper, died on Saturday in Bern, Switzerland. He was 80.

His death, at a hospital there, was confirmed by his family in a statement released by the Kofi Annan Foundation, which is based in Switzerland. It said he died after a short illness but did not specify the cause.

Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, Mr. Annan was the first black African to head the United Nations, doing so for two successive five-year terms beginning in 1997.
He was particularly committed to African development and deeply engaged in many initiatives, including his chairmanship of the Africa Progress Panel and his early leadership of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
“I am saddened by the death of Kofi Annan, my elder brother and friend. Africa has lost one if its gallant soldiers. We express our heartfelt condolences to his wife Nane, his children, and the entire family. Mr. Annan has left a lasting legacy in the quest for a food self-sufficient continent. We will keep his dream and vision alive.” Mr. Strive Masiyiwa, AGRA Board Chair.

Veterinarians and traditional animal health care

19 August 2018. Veterinarians and traditional animal health care

Dr. Nitya Ghotge along with a team of women veterinarians founded Anthra in 1992 to address the problems faced by communities who reared animals, particularly peasants, pastoralists, adivasis (indigenous peoples of South Asia), dalits (formerly known as untouchables – people outside the caste system), women and others who remained hidden from the gaze of mainstream development.

In their encyclopaedia Plants Used in Animal Care, Anthra has compiled an impressive list of plants used for veterinary purposes and fodder.

To ensure that local communities across the global south benefit from this indigenous knowledge, Anthra started collaborating with one of Access Agriculture’s trained video partners (Atul Pagar) to gradually develop a series of farmer-to-farmer training videos on herbal medicines (see: the Access Agriculture video category on animal health).

To keep costs down, many herders and farmers administer drugs to their own animals, to avoid
spending money on a veterinary doctor. Perhaps even more worrying: few people are aware of the risks that modern drugs pose to human health, whether it be from developing resistance to antibiotics or drug residues in food. In organisations like Anthra, socially engaged veterinary doctors merge local knowledge with scientific information, thus playing an undervalued role that deserve more attention. The training videos made with these veterinarians and their farmer allies will hopefully show more people that it is important to bring the best of both worlds together.

Related training videos

Saturday, August 18, 2018

African universities urged to focus on farming technology

5 - 7 August 2018. Washington Over 1,600 participants attended the 2018 AAEA Annual Meeting
The Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is a not-for-profit association serving the professional interests of members working in agricultural and broadly related fields of applied economics. AAEA members are primarily employed by academic departments and government agencies in the field of agricultural and applied economics. Their work focuses on a combination of teaching, research, and cooperative extension programs. Their research covers a broad range of topics, including commercial agriculture, natural resource and environmental economics, and economic and rural development.

The Keynote Address was made by Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina of the African Development Bank. According to the bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, the rapid pace of growth in the use of drones, automated tractors, artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain technology, will transform agriculture. He said technology transfer was needed immediately and evidence from countries such as Nigeria had demonstrated that technology coupled with strong government backing was already yielding positive results.
"Technologies to achieve Africa’s green revolution exist, but are mostly just sitting on the shelves. The challenge is a lack of supportive policies to ensure that they are scaled up to reach millions of farmers. It is more likely that the future farmers will be sitting in their homes with computer applications using drones to determine the size of their farms, monitor and guide the applications of farm inputs, and with driverless combine harvesters bringing in the harvest."
Extracts of the programme:
Food Fraud, Food Safety, and Public Policy
In the Track – Lightning Session “Food Fraud, Food Safety, and Public Policy,” organized by the AAEA Food Safety and Nutrition Section and the AAEA Senior Section, six researchers looked at the impacts of food fraud, the value of trust in the safety of food traded internationally, the impacts of foodborne illness on the U.S. population, and the global impact of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Presenters in this session said that “Rulemaking in general is under greater scrutiny, and stakeholders, both public and private, care about food safety. You don’t have to look further than recent headlines on foodborne outbreaks in things like romaine lettuce, cut vegetables and melons, and dry cereal to understand that these things are having an impact, and regulations designed to prevent them from occurring can have a substantial impact on human health.”

Is Agriculture and Food Becoming CRISPR?In an Invited Paper Session “Gene Editing: Economic Issues for CRISPR in Food and Agriculture”, three presentations will explain the economic value of gene editing, explore implications of intellectual property control, and review the regulatory situation in Europe.
  • Justus Wesseler from Wageningen University, and author of “Gene Editing Technologies: What to Expect from the Institutional and Legal Battles in the EU” said, “on average about one unit of additional costs in research, approval, and ex-post liability requires between 7 and 14 more units of benefit. The possibility to substitute approval costs with ex-post liability exist. Ex-post liability has much lower effect on the incentives to invest without necessarily reducing the safety of the product being developed.”
  • According to Gregory Graff from Colorado State University “Even through CRISPR technology is heavily patented, efforts are underway to provide broad access to the technology for commercial use in agriculture through a collaborative licensing platform. Success in these efforts could preempt serious controversies within industry and make CRISPR edits a fairly routine matter in crops and livestock. This in turn could have major implications for consumer familiarity and acceptance.”
According to a recent report "The future of the Western Cape agricultural sector in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution" (Synthesis report, 56 pages) by the University of Stellenbosch Business School, which was commissioned by the Western Cape provincial government, agriculture could benefit from digital technology, such as blockchain, to provide product traceability, which is increasingly important for consumers.
  • The report recommends that producers turn to blockchain technology to provide verifiable information to track food origins.
  • Blockchain, or the distributed ledger system, has given rise to cryptocurrencies. The system uses independent computers to synchronise transactions online without the need for validation.
  • The report says tertiary institutions will need to strengthen their courses with the theory, skills and knowledge related to the fourth industrial revolution, which will in turn attract new students to the sector.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Bottling Mali’s wild plants for nutritious drinks

In 2016, Aïssata Diakité launched Zabbaan Holding – a company that makes juices from plants grown locally in central Mali by over 5,000 farmers.

Zabbaan Holding was launched, with initial capital of €200,000 – built up from her own savings and funding from a Malian State investment fund (Fonds de garantie du secteur privé du Mali) – selling a limited selection of juices. Diakité then secured funding from a British investment fund, as well as support from Mali’s private sector guarantee fund, allowing her company to develop a new range of fruit, leaf, flower and stem-based juice products, including ‘The Prince’s Secret’ (kinkéliba, ginger, hibiscus and baobab),‘The Duke’s Secret’ (zaban and baobab) and ‘The Queen’s Secret’ (hibiscus, mango and baobab).

All of the juices are made from wild plants from the African savannah, most of which have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. “Zabbaan Holding operates throughout the agricultural value chain,” explains Diakité. 
“We have more than 5,000 farmers across Mali supplying us, and we currently employ 65 part-time staff, including 35 women, to bolster our workforce during the fruit-growing season.”
Upstream of the value chain, the company guarantees product traceability by working with Afnor, which ensures that farmers’ cooperatives and the company’s suppliers are compliant with EU standards. In 2018, Diakité set up Zabbaan Equity to help farmers become better organised to reduce loss, and to deliver training in fruit picking and storage. The organisation spans farmers’ cooperatives, federations and partner consortia within the company’s supplier network. Its ultimate purpose is to help farmers ensure their produce is not rejected due to issues of non-compliance with required quality requirements, for instance.

The company’s factory in Bamako produces between 10,000 and 20,000 bottles a day, selling its output across the Economic Community of West African States and Europe. “We work with delicatessens and restaurants in France,” adds Diakité.

The company’s success has not come easily. Other than the fruit, almost everything else – including bottles and labels – is imported from Europe. But it would take a lot more than that to discourage Diakité.
 “Difficulty is part and parcel of being an entrepreneur. Knowing how to grasp opportunities and surround yourself with the right people is vital.”

Using soy recipes to earn money.

6 August 2018. The Tasty! Mozambique Project has just released a new training video for Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) partners and extension agents to use to promote the women-led enterprise. SIL researcher and University of Missouri scientist Dr. Nina Furstenau has been working with women in rural villages in Mozambique to develop the income generation project that involves using soy recipes to earn money.

Using a prototype hand grinder and strainer, the women entrepreneurs are making soy-enhanced biscuits called “spare change” and selling them at roadside stands to passersby, children, etc. Adding soy to the biscuits provides the customers with a delicious and high-quality source of protein and the entrepreneurs are able to earn money to reinvest in their baking enterprises. A small amount of the profits are held back from each sale to raise funds to purchase other materials and tools to continue the enterprise. The women also become trainers for the next group of women entrepreneurs.

As profits grow, other women have been inspired to form new working groups, and the process becomes self-sustaining. The soy-enhanced food products the women produce and sell also help to bring better nutrition into home kitchens to alleviate malnutrition common in the area.

The video is designed to be used by the women in the group, along with the recipe cards and cookbook from the Tasty! Mozambique project.

Access the Tasty! Mozambique cookbook (In Portuguese) 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Endogenous livestock development

11 August 2018. Community Protocols-Guidelines – finalized and online available
Community protocols for pastoralists and livestock keepers
Claiming rights under the Convention on Biological Diversity

A community protocol is a document, produced by a local community, about the biological diversity it creates and conserves. Community protocols are an important way for local people to claim their rights under national and international law, especially through the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

This manual shows how pastoralists and other livestock-keeping communities can draw up a community protocol about their animal breed or production system. It describes why they should consider producing a community protocol, walks through the steps of doing so, and advices how to use the finished document. It explains in easy language the complex concepts of access and benefit sharing and how the community protocol can be used within the legal system.

This manual is aimed at community leaders and organizations, nongovernment organizations and all those concerned with managing and conserving animal breeds and production systems.

Download the Community Protocols by clicking here.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Evaluation of the Dutch Food & Business Knowledge Platform 2013-2018

19 July 2018. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs reviewed the first phase of the Food and Business Knowledge Platform (F and BKP), 2013 – 2018.

The Platform has effectively managed a very complicated agenda, with many different stakeholders, and very many different subsectors, and (sub) objectives. Compared to the period before the Platform started, the chaotic and unconnected food security agencies and projects have become more aligned.

The effectiveness of the Platform so far has been a result of a consortium, where each partner brought (and brings) specific strengths: Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation (WCDI) its knowledge, prestige and convening power in the food sector, AgriProFocus its local networks, and The Broker its expertise as a knowledge broker, and facilitator of online and offline multi-stakeholder dialogues. Evaluators mention that it is amazing how much has been done by a relatively small group of people in the Office of the F&BKP, and with relatively limited funding for KMF and Office activities. In that sense the “efficiency” (value for money) is clearly high.

The effectiveness can (and should) further be enhanced in five directions: (1) more alignment with the Dutch food security initiatives/projects; (2) more involvement of the major business players in the food and agriculture sector in the Netherlands; (3) better and more effective connections with the two relevant top sectors and their sector associations; (4) better connections with major European and global and Dutch players; and (5) alignment with the relevant think tanks in the South.

You can download the full Evaluation of the Food and Business Knowledge Platform 2013-2018 “Co-creating (Dutch) diamonds, gold (standards) and silver (bullets) in the food security and agricultural business maze”.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

USAID Investments in Developing Country Agriculture and Food Security

8 August 2018. Webinar. BIFAD Public Meeting: US Benefits and Capabilities Leveraged from Strategic USAID Investments in Developing Country Agriculture and Food Security.

A new study being commissioned by BIFAD will analyze US benefits and capabilities leveraged from strategic USAID investments in developing country agriculture and food security.

A team led by Dr. Joseph Glauber will implement the study. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and served over 30 years at the US Department of Agriculture, including as Chief Economist from 2008 to 2014. He was elected Fellow of AAEA in 2012.
At this web streamed meeting (video forthcoming), participants: 
  1. reviewed and provided feedback on a draft conceptual framework characterizing the channels by which USAID food and agricultural development investments in developing countries affect the American economy; 
  2. identified the types and assess the quality of evidence available to estimate the importance of the channels; and 
  3. suggested other data sources for consideration in the study.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Access to Healthy Food in Metropolitan Cities in Africa

23 June 2018. ILRI, Addis Ababa. On the occasion of its 100th birthday (1918-2018), the Wageningen University andWorldwide Alumni Day. With the support of Ethiopian WUR alumni, The Netherlands Embassy and the WUR-‘Bilateral Ethiopian-Netherlands Effort for Food, Income and Trade (BENEFIT) Partnership’, the AgriProFocus Network in Ethiopia organized this Alumni Day.

Since WUR has a unique understanding of the entire food chain, the central theme of the Alumni Day was ‘Access to Healthy Food in Mega Cities’.
Research (WUR) in The Netherlands invited its alumni around the world to organize a

All the ideas exchanged by the participants during the day were used as an input for the online worldwide dialogue organized to invite prominent alumni from Africa, Asia, South America, the US and Europe, to discuss the challenges and opportunities around access to healthy food in metropolitan cities worldwide.

From a nutrition-sensitive agriculture platform with the EU Delegation in Ethiopia to a 3-day workshop with the Food and Business Knowledge Platform (Fand BKP) to identify how to make Ethiopia’s agrofood value chains more nutrition-sensitive, AgriProFocus has already built a large reputation and will continue to explore how to use the power of its multi-stakeholder network to support its network members to increase their individual and collective impact to ensure sustainable food & nutrition security in Ethiopia.

Please find hereafter the link to the Wageningen University – “Access to Healthy Food in Metropolitan Cities in Africa” report.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Multi-stakeholder partnerships to finance and improve food security and nutrition

Multi-stakeholder partnerships to finance and improve food security and nutrition 
A report by The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition
June 2018, 144 pages

This report highlights transparency and accountability as key conditions: to align MSPs’ work with the progressive realization of the right to adequate food; to better use existing resources for FSN and sustainable development; and to potentially attract new resources.

This report also suggests a set of criteria to enable governments and non-state actors to perform their own assessments of MSPs following a common methodology.

27 June 2018. Launch of the HLPE report 

  • Introduction of the HLPE Report Patrick Caron (see picture), HLPE Steering Committee Chair
    For sure, MSPs should not be considered as a silver-bullet solution to any type of problem, as a panacea. Their emerging importance as part of a new approach to governance for food security and nutrition does not take place without controversy. Scientists are still debating on the exact definition of “stakeholders” vs. “actors” or “partnerships” vs. “platforms”. They question the potential benefits and limitations, the performance and even the relevance of MSPs as a suitable institutional mechanism to finance and improve food security and nutrition. 
  • HLPE Report 
  • Main findings - Moraka Makhura, HLPE Project Team Leader 
  • Recommendations - Muhammad Azeem Khan, HLPE Convener for the study

Opportunities and challenges for researchon food and nutrition security andagriculture in Africa

Opportunities and challenges for researchon food and nutrition security andagriculture in Africa
May 2018. © The Network of African Science Academies 2018.
72 pages

National academies of science have a long tradition of engaging widely in strengthening the evidence base to underpin the delivery of enhanced food and nutrition security at regional and national levels. 

NASAC, the Network of African Science Academies, has developed a food nutrition and agriculture (FNSA) report for audiences in Africa as a contribution to the project worldwide initiated by IAP, the InterAcademy Partnership, the global network of science academies. 

The IAP work brings together regional perspectives in parallel from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe on the opportunities for the science–policy interface, identifying how research can contribute to resolving challenges for agriculture, food systems and nutrition. The messages in the report are aimed at national policymakers, member academies, the scientific community and other stakeholders in Africa.

PAEPARD blog posts - July 2018

Please find hereunder the blog posts related to ARD activities in July 2018. To view the whole blog instead of separate postings click on 

Veuillez trouver ci-dessous les ressources du blog se relatant à la RAD pour le mois de juillet 2018. Pour consulter le blog dans son entièreté au lieu de nouvelles distinctes cliquez sur la traduction en français cliquez dans la colonne de droite du blog sur « automatic translation » et choisissez votre langue !

Por favor, encontre aqui os posts do blog relacionados à ARD atividades. Para visualizar todo o blog, em vez de postagens em separado clique em Para a versão em Português, clique na coluna da direita do blog "tradução automática" e escolha o seu idioma!

31 July 2018. The USAID funded Assessing Sustainability and Effectiveness of Climate Information Services (Sustainable CIS) project is developing a financial planning tool that enables African National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS)
26 July 2018. Soybean Innovation Lab Webinar. The introduction of low-cost, locally-produced mechanized threshing systems in smallholder agriculture can significantly reduce post-harvest loss in staple food grains.
25 July 2018. This Africa AFOLU Community of Practice (CoP) session focused on approaches to link small-scale energy and agriculture in the Africa region.
24 July 2018. The Peanut Innovation Lab hosted a webinar to highlight gender considerations in peanut research

17 July 2018. This video shows what three of these countries, Uganda, Thailand and Colombia, are doing to tackle climate change and integrate agriculture in their planning and budgeting processes.
10 July 2018. This webinar was co-organised by TAP and GFAR to raise awareness among the francophone community of the role of TAPipedia in disseminating innovative and systemic approaches for capacity development.
9.       Clôture du Projet Soja aftitin-milk (ProSam) PAEPARD support
9 - 10 Juillet 2018. Bohicon, Benin. Une variété de produits du Soja aux valeurs nutritionnelles lors d’une visite de terrain effectuée au Centre de stockage de graines de néré de Saclo, dans le cadre la clôture du Projet Soja aftitin-milk (ProSam).
5 July 2018. Uganda. End of project dissemination workshop for the PAEPARD project “Enhancing nutrition security and incomes through adding value to indigenous vegetables in East and Central Uganda”.
11.   Webinar Agriculture, Food and Jobs in West Africa new resource ***+ video
28 June 2018. Webinar "Food Employment in West Africa". Based on the SWAC West African Paper, ‘Agriculture, Food and Jobs in West Africa’ published last April.
27 June 2018. CTA Brussels Development Briefing. Including the presentation by the PAEPARD supported consortium in Burundi:  Farmers’ Organisations: a social and economic force in a context of chronic instability - Annick Sezibera, Executive Secretary, CAPAD, Burundi
13.   2nd African Symposium on Mycotoxicology PAEPARD participation
24 - 27 June 2018. Mombasa (Kenya). The 2nd African Symposium on Mycotoxicology entitled “Mitigating mycotoxin contamination in the African food and feed chain”
Jointly funded by IDRC and Global Affairs Canada, CIFSRF addresses the critical challenge of global hunger through applied research in 25 countries.
25 – 29 June 2018. Accra, Ghana. The Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy.

Total number of page views in the month of July 2018: 26,522
Most viewed pages on PAEPARD blog over the past month:

Page views


Clôture du Projet Soja aftitin-milk (ProSam)

9 - 10 Juillet 2018. Bohicon, Benin. Une variété de produits du Soja aux valeurs nutritionnelleslors d’une visite de terrain effectuée au Centre de stockage de graines de néré de Saclo, dans le cadre la clôture du Projet Soja aftitin-milk (ProSam) mis en exécution au Bénin, depuis le 29 Octobre 2014.
exceptionnelles est mise à la disposition des populations béninoises. Ceci grâce à une pratique d’utilisation des technologies apprises aux femmes transformatrices du produit. Le constat des dérivés a été fait avec les femmes transformatrices de Saclo dans la commune de Bohicon. C’était, ce lundi 09 Juillet 2018,

Projet s’inscrivant dans le cadre des 4 composantes de la Plateforme pour un partenariat Afrique-Europe pour la recherche agricole pour le développement (PAEPARD) financé par l’Union européenne (UE) et conduit par le Forum pour la recherche agricole en Afrique (FARA). Il a émerveillé par les conseils adressés aux femmes.
« Chaque fois qu’on vient, on trouve qu’il y a toujours de changement dans les pratiques. C’est un grand défi que vous avez relevé dans la mise en œuvre du projet   la clôture du projet ne doit pas signifier la fin des activités. Vous avez pu développer des technologies que vous avez mises sur le marché et nous souhaitons que vous vous développer davantage. Ne vous découragez pas parce qu’il n’y a plus d’appui » Je souhaite revenir voir un groupe de transformatrices plus fort et plus complétive sur le marché national et international. » Dr Jonas Mugabé, coordonnateur du projet PAEPARD
« Nous sommes venus témoigner de votre disponibilité et le dialogue que vous avez eu avec la recherche pour obtenir cette amélioration des conditions de vie et de travail. (...) Une bonne documentation qui capitalise l’exécution du projet est nécessaire. Ce processus devra être facilité par les deux étudiants de l’ISTOM mobilisés par le CIRAD dans le cadre de PAEPARD pour la capitalisation du ProSAM avec le avec une méthodologie appelée « ImpresS » pour l’analyse d’impacts des projets Ex-post. » Remi Kahané du CIRAD

Gender Considerations in Peanuts Webinar

24 July 2018. The Peanut Innovation Lab hosted a webinar to highlight gender considerations in peanut research. Gender is important in peanut production, marketing, processing and consumption, so it's included as a cross-cutting issue in all Peanut Innovation Lab projects. Gender and youth also are the primary areas of focus for a group of project proposals under consideration.

Researcher Carol Tyroler talks about findings of a recent report on gender in peanut production, processing and marketing internationally, while Helga Recke, a long-time facilitator of programs to empower women in agricultural roles in Africa, discuss gender considerations in peanuts.

Linking Small-Scale Energy and Agriculture to Support Development and Climate Goals

25 July 2018This Africa AFOLU Community of Practice (CoP) session focused on approaches to link small-scale energy and agriculture in the Africa region. The session began with an overview of approaches and then dive into the use of solar pumps for irrigation at the global level and in Mozambique and use of rice husk briquettes for cooking fuel in Cote D’Ivoire.

The session concluded with a discussion across CoP participants including experiences and lessons from other countries and ideas for further support and engagement on this topic.
  • Alain Kouadio - Environmental Economist, Director of Green Economy and Social Responsibility, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Cote D'Ivoire
  • Prof. Almeida A. Sitoe - Professor, Silviculture and Ecology of Tropical Forests, Center for Agriculture and Natural Resource Studies (CEAGRE) and Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique
  • Jennifer Holthaus - Senior Program Officer, Winrock International, LEDS Global Partnership AFOLU Working Group Winrock International
  • Bikash Pandey - Director of Clean Energy for the Clean Energy, Environment and Water group, Winrock International, LEDS Global Partnership AFOLU Working Group

Climate change and African National Meteorological and Hydrological Services

31 July, 2018. Future Climate for Africa Webinar. The USAID funded Assessing Sustainability and Effectiveness of Climate Information Services (Sustainable CIS) project is developing a financial planning tool that enables African National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) to: build the business case for increased investment from government and donors; identify new sources of revenue and partnerships;
and demonstrate financial good practice.

The speakers demonstrated the tool and showcase an application by an NMHS - Meteo Rwanda.
  • Cathy Phiri (Winrock International) - Introduction to Sustainable CIS project and background to financial planning tool. Skip to Cathy's presentation 8:44 
  • Rémi Alquier (Consultant) - Demonstration of NMHS Financial Planning Tool. Skip to Rémi's presentation 16:54 
  • Floribert Vuguziga (Meteo Rwanda) - Application of the tool in the Rwandan context. Skip to Floribert's presentation 48:08 
  • Robert O'Sullivan (Winrock International) - Q&A session Skip to Q&A 59:13 
  • Tegan Blaine (USAID) - Closing remarks on the application and positioning of the tool within diverse contexts. Skip to Tegan's presentation 1:25:27

Low-Cost, Locally-Produced and Locally-Serviced Thresher Webinar

26 July 2018. Soybean Innovation Lab Webinar. On many smallholder farms, mechanical threshers can replace manual threshing by hand beating, a practice that often results in grain spillage, grain breakage, and incomplete separation of the grain from the chaff. Manual threshing is also a very labor and time intensive process that results in high human energy expenditure and a high rate of drudgery in the agricultural system. The introduction of low-cost, locally-produced mechanized threshing systems in smallholder agriculture can significantly reduce post-harvest loss in staple food grains.

  • SIL collaborated with Ghanaian thresher manufacturers to develop a larger-scale multi-crop thresher with zero machine loss that can shell maize and thresh soybean, rice, beans, sorghum and other crops. 
  • The thresher is 40 times faster than manual beating when harvesting soybean, produces almost no dust, has near zero machine loss, does not split seeds, winnows out chaff, and requires only two people to feed and operate it efficiently. 
  • Commercially available multi-crop threshers that were also tested had from 5-50% machine loss of grain, required more people to operate, and produced large amounts of dust. 
  • The SIL thresher, which has different threshing concaves for different crops, sells in Ghana for approximately $2,000 U.S. and is designed for middle-sized farmers or for-hire service providers who can also provide threshing services to groups of smallholder farmers.