Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, December 13, 2018

World Resources Institute: Creating a Sustainable Food Future

Creating a Sustainable Food Future
A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050
by Tim Searchinger, Richard Waite, Craig Hanson, Janet Ranganathan, Patrice Dumas and Emily Matthews - December 2018, 96 pages

The World Resources Institute (WRI) published a new report, Creating a Sustainable Food Future, that states the world must prepare to feed the planet’s growing population sustainably, reducing agricultural land and greenhouse gas emissions, and suggests that genetically modified organisms and gene editing may be useful tools in achieving this goal. According to a summary of the report by ISAAA, population is set to rise to 10 billion people worldwide by 2050, while food demand is projected to rise by 50 per cent.

The report offers several approaches to feeding the world sustainably, including reducing food loss and waste, changing diets to consume less beef and lamb, reducing population growth, increasing harvests on the same land area, stopping deforestation, restoring peatlands, improving aquaculture and better management of wild fisheries, and use of innovative technologies and farming methods to lower agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

To read WRI's recap of the report, visit "How to sustainably feed 10 billion people by 2050, in 21 charts", and to read the original report in full, visit WRI.

Drones for Agriculture: potentials and challenges on the African continent

11 December 2018. The e-Agriculture and The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA)'s Unmanned Aerial Systems Community (UAV4Ag) held this webinar "Drones for Agriculture: potentials and challenges on the African continent".
  • There is a general consensus that smallholder farming needs to become more productive, sustainable and profitable. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) – or drone-based systems – services can help make this possible by bringing some of the tools of precision agriculture to producers, which include large and medium-scale holdings and associations of small-scale farmers growing the same crop in contiguous areas. 
  • UAS can help increase the returns to farmers and create knowledge-intensive new employment opportunities in rural areas, offering educated youth an alternative to migrating to the cities.
  • UAS services are increasingly adopted in developed countries. On the other hand, the deployment of the technology in Africa faces a number challenges which the speaker will present together with enabling environments which are progressively materializing.
Presentation delivered by Giacomo Rambaldi of CTA.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Strategic foresight in CGIAR : Agriculture & Food Systems to 2050

13 November 2018. Seattle, United States. University of Washington. Foresight @CGIAR One-day pre-SC-7 event on horizon scanning and foresight in CGIAR 
The aim of this event was to inform the development of a process for strategic foresight in CGIAR drawing on the outcomes of the two foresight workshops—specifically, the reflections related to key drivers of change and trends that will influence the agri-food system.

  • Synthesize results of ISPC foresight exercise on drivers of change and future trends affecting the global agri-food systems, and their implications for CGIAR research agenda.
  • Consider options for the development of future Independent Science and Development Council (ISDC) work on foresight and horizon scanning.
The book Agriculture and Food Systems to 2050 (World Scientific, published 20 November 2018, 678 pages) was launched during the event. 
  • This book features a comprehensive foresight assessment, exploring the pressures — threats as well as opportunities — on the global agriculture & food systems between now and 2050.
  • Pdfs of individual chapters are also available on the Publisher website
  • The overarching aim of this book is to help readers understand the context, by analyzing global trends and anticipating change for better planning and constructing pathways from the present to the future by focusing on the right questions and problems. 
  • The book contextualizes the role of international agricultural research in addressing the complex challenges posed by UN 2030 Agenda and beyond, and identifies the decisions that scientific leaders, donors and policy makers need to take today, and in the years ahead, to ensure that a global population rising to nine billion or more combined with rising incomes and changing diets can be fed sustainably and equitably, in the face of the growing climate threats.

Session 1. Introduction - Synthesis of IPSC Foresight
Panel 1: International Ag Research 4 Development – The changing roles
Panel 2: A new green revolution without mineral fertilizer? New pathways towards sustainable intensification
Panel 3: Disruptive technologies & innovation; Leapfrogging for development – opportunities for CGIAR?
  • Patrick van der Duin (STT) – Disruptive technology in agriculture
  • Bruce Friedrich (Good Food Institute) – Futures of food systems
  • Jonathan Wadsworth (World Bank) – Leapfrogging for development in S.S. Africa
Interactive session

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Role of Local Governance in Urban Food Security

11 December 2018. For 25 years, the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte has been an unsung hero in the fight against food insecurity. As Dr. M. Jahi Chappell put it, “The course to universal food security will never run smooth[ly], but steps forward have and can be made. Belo Horizonte has walked a bit farther down the path than most.”

This webinar explored a number of issues:
  • What special role can municipal governments play in food security, compared to regional, national, and international governments?
  • What enables government institutions to maintain their commitments to food security over the long-term?
  • How can U.S. development policymakers best support local governance?
  • Olivier de Schutter Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Secretary 
  • Maíra Colares Secretary for Social Assistance, Food Security and Citizenship, Belo Horizonte 
  • Chris Shepherd-Pratt Policy Team Lead, Bureau for Food Security, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition

The Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Initiative shares a new open-access guide that collects lessons learned from four partner countries to help others harness agricultural biodiversity to transform the food system for development, food security and nutrition.

At the recent 2018 UN Biodiversity Conference COP14 in Sharm El-Sheikh (COP14 of the CBD), the BFN team hosted a side event in which it launched an open-access toolkit entitled “Biodiversity Mainstreaming for Healthy ; Sustainable Food Systems”. This guide compiles case studies from all four countries, key resources and methodologies to share the knowledge accumulated by the BFN Partners, promoting the conservation and sustainable use of local biodiversity.

It is free to view and download from the BFN website and CGIAR CGSpace Repository.

Throughout its six years of experience in Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey, the Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Initiative (BFN Project) has pioneered a partner-based methodology using indigenous food biodiversity as a lens to address malnutrition, farmer livelihood resilience, and sustainability. To date, the initiative has documented and shared knowledge on 195 nutrient-rich, locally-adapted species that range from African leafy vegetables to Amazonian fruits

The Intra-African Trade Fair 2018

11-17 December2018. Cairo. The Intra-African Trade Fair 2018 is providing a platform for sharing trade, investment and market information.

The Intra-African Trade Fair is the first of its kind in Africa, consisting of a 7-day trade show that provides a platform for sharing trade, investment and market information and enabling buyers and sellers, investors and countries to meet, discuss and conclude business deals. It provides an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their goods and services, engage in Business to Business (B2B) exchanges and conclude business deals.

#Egypt's PrimeMinister at #IATF2018
Analysis by the African Export- Import Bank (Afreximbank) shows that one of the main reasons why intra-African trade is low at around 15% compared to Europe (59%), Asia (51%), and North America (37%) is because of lack of access to trade and market information. To address this challenge, Afreximbank decided to, among other initiatives, convene the Intra-African Trade Fair every two years to provide trade and market information and connect buyers and sellers from across the continent.

  • To bring together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services, and to explore business and investment opportunities in Africa
  • To serve as a marketplace where buyers and sellers of goods and services meet and explore business opportunities
  • To provide a platform for B2B exchanges and development of business opportunities
  • To share trade, investment and market information with stakeholders including investors, SMEs, the informal sector, Africans in Diaspora, and to identify solutions to address the challenges affecting intra-African trade
  • For Afreximbank and other financial institutions, to share information about their trade finance and trade facilitation interventions that will support intra-African trade
  • To discuss topical issues affecting intra-African trade and provide practical and effective solutions
  • To deploy multi-country and multi-company pavilions that will serve as one-stop shop for intra-African trade and investment opportunities in Africa

11 December 2018Life streamed. Aligning the interests of Governments and Industry on Trade and Investment in Africa

12 December 2018Life streamed. The Experience of China’s industrial park development and its implications on the industrialisation development of Africa for export manufacturing
Hosted by China EximBank and Afreximbank

12 December 2018Life streamed. Pulling Together Intra-African Trade Promotion Initiatives of African Multilateral Financial Institutions

13 December 2018Life streamed. Strategies for promotion of the Steel Value Chain in Africa

13 December 2018Life streamed. Strategies for promotion of the Agro-processing value chain in Africa.

15 December 2018Life streamed. Market Access Support for Smallholders (farmers) and SMEs

15 December 2018Life streamed. Enhancing Investment in the Agriculture Sector and Agriculture Trade

16 December 2018Life streamed. African Diaspora – Mobilising Diaspora Resources to Support Intra-African Trade

16 December 2018Life streamed. Youth Entrepreneurship and Empowerment

16 December 2018Life streamed. Trade and Gender, Youth Participation in Intra-African Trade


2-14 December 2018. Katowice, Poland. UN climate change talks (COP24)

10-12 December 2018. Center of Congress Rennes, France.  DIVERSIFOOD Final Congress ‘Cultivating Diversity and Food Quality’

11 December 2018. Webinar. Drones for Agriculture: potentials and challenges on the African continent

11 December 2018. Webinar. The Role of Local Governance in Urban Food Security

11-17 December 2018. Cairo. The Intra-African Trade Fair 2018 is providing a platform for sharing trade, investment and market information.

12 December 2018. Webinar. The impact of Farmer Filed Schools

12 December 2018. Katowice, Poland. Agriculture Advantage 2.0 - Closing session: Stepping up food systems transformation under a changing climate - COP 24 side event.

12 December 2018. Vienna. Workshop on women, the food economy and networks in West Africa. organised by the Austrian Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the Austrian Development Agency and the OECD ‘Sahel and West Africa Club’ Secretariat

13 December 2018. Webinar. This second AgriFoSe2030 policy briefs webinar focuses on how to profile your target audience, and then how to formulate and deliver compelling messages about your research.

13 December 2018. Webinar. Innovative financing opportunities for inclusive agri-business

13 December 2018. Webinar. The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development organises a webinar on aligning policies and programmes on agriculture and Aid for Trade.

13 December 2018. Life streamed.  Releasing the Underground Forest. This infopoint conference will provide a brief description of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration, a low-cost agroecological approach used to combat poverty and hunger

13 December 2018Life streamed. Strategies for promotion of the Agro-processing value chain in Africa. 11-17 December 2018. Cairo. The Intra-African Trade Fair 2018 is providing a platform for sharing trade, investment and market information.

14 December 2018Webinar. Conservation Agriculture for Commercial Vegetable Home Gardens: Field Experiences on Yield, Labor, Pests, Diseases and Water Management.
18 December 2018Life streamed. Brussels, Belgium. InfoPoint Lunchtime Conference: Coffee: Behind the success story" 

10-12 January 2019International Conference on Aquatic Resource and Aquaculture for Sustainable Development, ICAR-AQUAS-2019.

17-19 January 2019. Berlin. 11th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA).  "Agriculture Goes Digital – Smart Solutions for Future Farming”.Realising trends, insights and predictions from large agricultural data sets, and using digital tools for advisory services have huge potential for smallholder farmers.

12-13 February 2019. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. First FAO/WHO/AU International Food Safety Conference

20-21 March 2019. Washington, DC. Global Food Security Symposium 2019

25 - 30 March 2019. VI GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON FAMILY FARMING: A Decade to improve the life of family farmers
1-2 April 2019. Abu Dhabi. Agricultural Innovation for agriculture summit. Conference Theme: Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture.

23-24 April 2019. Geneva, Switzerland. The FAO/WHO/WTO International Forum on Food Safety and Trade. 
21-22 May 2019, Chicago The Future of Food

29 – 31 May 2019 Arusha, Tanzania. CfP Conference: Pesticide Politics in Africa

18-20 June, 2019. Safari Park Hotel & Casino Nairobi, Kenya. 1st All Africa Congress On Synthetic Pesticides, Environment, Human And Animal Health.

9 - 12 July 2019. Accra, Ghana. Evidence to Action Conference 2019. Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, University of Ghana

29 September - 5 October 2019. Curitiba, Brazil. XXV IUFRO World Congress 2019. "Forest Research and Cooperation for Sustainable Development"

28-31 October, 2019. Cairo, Egypt. 8th Africa Agriculture Science Week and FARA General Assembly. This the biggest assembly of actors in Agricultural Research for Development organized every three (3) Years by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and Partners at the regional (ASARECA, CCARDESA, CORAF, NAASRO and AFAAS) and country levels (NARES). The 2019 edition is hosted by the Egyptian Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) and the North Africa Agricultural Sub-Regional Research Organization (NAASRO). You don'y want to miss this.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Announcement AflaZ

Africa’s Nutrition Action Plan

5 December 2018. The African Development Bank (AfDB) launched a Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Action Plan, which aims to expand the bank’s primary focus on infrastructure into the realm of nutrition. 

The Bank has adopted the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Action Plan to guide and coordinate the implementation of the nutrition dimension encapsulated in its strategy documents, particularly the Feed Africa Strategy (2016, 74 pages) and the Human Capital Strategy.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, 53.7 million children are currently stunted, but the AfDB predicts that new investments could reduce that number by 24 million people. The bank will scale up nutrition-smart investments in education, agriculture, and health.
  • Through its 2018-2025 action plan, AfDB has committed to scaling up the proportion of nutrition-smart investments in five sectors that account for more than 30 percent of government spending: education and skills; WASH; social protection; health; and agriculture. 
  • One example is a $38.5 million project in The Gambia designed to improve the socioeconomic and environmental conditions of rural populations through rehabilitation of water resource management systems, to increase access to safe water by 17 percent.
  • In partnership with Big Win Philanthropy and the Aliko Dangote Foundation, AfDB hopes its investments will reduce stunting by 40 percent in African children under age 5 by 2025.
Earlier this year, an African Leaders for Nutrition initiative was launched by AfDB and African Union. The network of high-level political leaders and other high-profile figures aims to spur investment in nutrition across the continent.

AfDB also plans to mainstream nutrition into the bank’s portfolio and pipeline, including in lending and country/regional strategies. It has committed to including nutrition-smart investments in half of its health and agriculture investments, 15 percent of its WASH lending, and 10 percent of social protection funding.

Another component of the action plan aims to increase the production and consumption of safe and nutritious foods.

Friday, December 7, 2018

ECHO International Agriculture Conference

13 - 15 November 2018. Fort Myers, Florida, US. This year marked the 25th Anniversary of the US based Christian faith organisation ECHO International Agriculture Conference.

The event brought together influential voices dedicated to eradicating hunger and improving lives. The ECHOcommunity is a membership community that provides access to nearly all of ECHO’s resources online, as well as communications tools to help development workers connect with each other.

Extracts of the program: the videos of the plenary sessions are available now for everyone.

15 underutilized crops for improving the lives of smallholder farm families
The presentation will explore proven options for different climatic zones and the basics of cultivating and utilizing these crops. Through embracing a model of diversity and year-round production, communities can move towards abundance and flourishing.

Investing in African women and thriving food markets through post-harvest innovation Compatible Technology International (CTI) is working to increase food supply and to empower women farmers and rural communities with postharvest tools and services that are greatly needed in the efforts to eradicate hunger.

Anthropology as a tool for facilitating agricultural development
Human perception of reality is mediated through assumptions, beliefs, and mental habits, most of which are products of our culture. Typically, this does not present a problem until we find ourselves trying to function in an unfamiliar environment. Thus, Northern facilitators trying to function in an unfamiliar environment in Southern contexts report that their greatest challenges are not technical, but cultural. This presentation introduces basic tools of social science, and encourages participants to apply these tools to improve the outcome of development facilitation in unfamiliar contexts.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Agriculture Advantage event series @ the COP24

2-14 December 2019. Katowice, Poland. COP24 is the informal name for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

At COP23 in Bonn, the Agriculture Advantage event series was initiated by likeminded
organizations, which brought together over 400 diverse stakeholders to put forward a vision and action agenda for transforming agriculture under climate change. In its second year at COP24, the series will focus on implementing the action agenda and realizing the vision for transformation.

The event series will link multiple side events held during the 2 weeks of COP24 into a single theme, “Agriculture Advantage 2.0: Transforming food systems under a changing climate”, with the effect of a day-long conference, spread out over multiple days. The aim of the event series will be to step up actions to drive a transformation within global food systems that will help to achieve food security, adaptation to climate change, and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from the sector.

  • Showcase opportunities and emerging examples of transformative actions in food systems in response to climate change.
  • Create a collective case for investment in transformative climate actions in agriculture.
  • Chart a path for bringing expanded partnerships to scale up transformative climate actions in agriculture.
  • Inform the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture under the UNFCCC.

3 December 2019. Africa Day, a joint initiative of the African Development Bank (AFDB), African Union Commission UN Economic Commission for Africa and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), was organized, this year, around the theme, "The Africa Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Hub: Going further and faster with NDC implementation in support of Agenda 2063."
  • Four Pan-African institutions along with the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of Gabon. The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the African Risk Capacity (ARC) co-organized the day.
  • Africa Day 2018 focused on how to ensure that all development partners deepen their partnerships and commitments to deliver concrete actions and resources for African countries to deliver their NDC targets and enable the imlpementation of the Paris Agreement.
  • Highlights of the event included a high-level statement by Gabon’s Minister of Foreign affairs, Regis Immongault, on behalf of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Coordinator of the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC).
    Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture represented the chair Person of the African Union commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
  • A high level Ministerial panel and a Parliamentary dialogue provided a platform for detailed discussions on this year’s theme and Africa’s position at COP24. The last segment of the Africa Day was an expert panel discussion from various technical institutions on the theme of the day.
“Countries in Africa continue to suffer from the adverse impacts of climate change with the costs of climate change threatening the realization of the aspirations of Agenda 2063 the Africa we want. Climate change is also partially to blame for increased migration of African youths to Europe through the deadly Mediterranean Sea due to shrinking livelihood opportunities. There is a link between climate change and conflicts in Africa as demonstrated by the Boko Haram’ insurgency in Western and Central Africa partly as a result of the shrinking of Lake Chad.” Josefa Sacko Africa Union Commissioner Sacko 
“As Parliamentarians we carry the hopes, aspirations and concerns of the peoples of Africa. The Africa Day accords us an opportunty to emphasize the need for parties to adopt concrete actions towards effective and adequate implementation of the Paris Agreement, especially in the context of the African Climate Legislation Initiative (ACLI),” Kone Dognon, Chairperson of the Pan-African Parliament Committee for Rural Economy, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.
“African countries require significant resources to meet their commitments to the Paris Agreement.. The Africa NDC Hub hosted at the African Development Bank, represents a concerted effort by development partner institutions to leverage each other’s comparative advantage in mobilizing resources necessary for Africa to embark on a low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathway.” Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth, representing the President of the African Development Bank Group
4 December 2019.  Transforming food systems under a changing climate: From priorities to action
Related publications:

5 December 2019.  Policy advantage: Enablers for food systems transformation
Related publications: CCAFS briefing: A 6-part action plan to transform food systems under climate change, available in 2 formats: Exposure story with animated graphics | downloadable Info Note
5 December 2019. CSA investment advantage: Climate-smart agriculture - identifying the best bets
Related publication: 

6 December 2019. Technology advantage: Next generation technologies to tackle climate challenges
in agriculture
Related publications:

10 December 2019. Food systems finance advantage: Leveraging finance to create opportunities for scaled climate action

How can the EU scale up climate action: Climate Action Tracker report

  • Durign this conference Cornell’s Alliance for Science interviewed experts on the role of agricultural biotechnology in conserving biodiversity. Dr Margaret Karembu, director of ISAAA AfriCenter Kenya, noted that agricultural biotech can increase productivity per unit of land and reduce the release of chemicals harmful to pollinators. Biotechnologist Dr Manuela Campa of Stellenbosch University in South Africa reduces food waste, making land use more efficient. Both experts noted that biodiversity is the source of genes on which biotechnological innovation depends.
  • It is therefore a surprise that Tanzania’s decided not only to ban all GM crop trials but also to order the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI) – which has been conducting field trials of GE drought- and insect-resistant maize and whitefly- and virus-resistant cassava crops – to immediately destroy all evidence of its research thus far. Dismayed Tanzanian scientists say that this represents a setback of a decade’s worth of biotech advancement in the country.

Strengthening Rural-Urban Linkages in Africa to achieve food security

3 December 2018. This was the forth event in the series ‘Frontiers in Development Policy’ and it  analyzed the importance of the link between both the rural and urban dimension. In particular the focus was on recognizing the role of small towns and enhancing rural-urban linkages in making food systems more effective and inclusive.

You will find below the link to watch the video of the conference
  1. Firstly, the session explored the urban-rural dynamic in Africa and implication for food systems, presenting some cases of agro-food sector development in small-medium sized towns. 
  2. Finally, it discussed concrete approaches that build, transform or strengthen urban-rural linkages to achieve food security for all.
  • Introduction: Leonard Mizzi, Head of UNIT C – DG DEVCO
  • Francesco Rampa, Head of Programme Sustainable Food Systems and Economic and Agricultural Transformation Programme at ECDPM
  • Olivier De Schutter, Co-Chair, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food)

  • Guido Santini, Technical Coordinator of the “Food for the Cities” Programme at FAO

  • Discussant: Daniele Fattibene, Research Fellow at IAI
  • Moderator: Giulia Maci, ETTG Coordinator