Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, April 18, 2019

FARA collaborates with YPARD to build capacities of Africa Youth in Agri-preneurship for Technology Adoption


The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) in December last year (2018) launched an essay competition to have youth articulate their experiences in youth engagement initiatives across the Africa region, including the context of agri-preneurship.

From the twenty-six (26) countries where responses were amassed, the one hundred and fifty (150) essays submitted recounting the experiences of youth as beneficiaries of various initiatives of diverse agricultural institutions in their respective countries and across Africa. Forty (40) of these were written in French and a hundred and ten (110) in English. Also notable among the entries were illustrations of youth’s experiences being directly involved in the implementation of youth-targeted initiatives in which the participants themselves had the opportunity to engage other youth. The themes of engagement described included entrepreneurship, food security, sustainable agriculture and natural resources, advocacy towards agricultural policy formulation, ecological agriculture, agricultural extension, women empowerment, climate change, sustainable development among others.

 The top thirty-five (35) among the participants of the FARA-YPARD Africa Essay Competition #AgriYouthEngagement have been selected to participate in the Youth Workshop: Strategic Engagement and Capacity Development of Youth in Agri-preneurship for Technology Adoption.

In this three-day workshop which takes place from 2nd to 4th May 2019 in Accra, Ghana, participants will get the opportunity to build their writing & communication skills to share knowledge and experiences apply the concepts of Innovation Platforms for agri-preneurship development and validate the framework for agri-preneurship capacity development interventions among youth. A few YPARD Africa representatives from the sub-regions (West and Central, Eastern and Southern Africa) will also partake in the workshop to share their experiences on expanding their country chapters. Also, among the collaborators are the TAAT ENABLE Youth compact, African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) and several Agricultural Incubators Networks.
Ultimately, the participants will constitute an expanded network of practitioners of experience capitalization who will assist in capturing experiences on the implementation of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) within the in-country TAAT commodity compacts. 

We profoundly express our appreciation to all the youth across the continent who conscientiously responded to our call for entries to the FARA-YPARD Africa Essay Competition #AgriYouthEngagement. We look forward to our continued engagement together as we advance the involvement of youth in Africa’s Agri-food systems.

#AgriYouthEngagement


Story also available at: YPARDAfrica


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Agroecology Infopool website now launched

An extensive new resource on agroecology has just been made available by Biovision, following the first phase of the Advocacy for Agroecology (A4A) project, of which IPES-Food is a key partner.

The “Agroecology Info Pool” (www.agroecology-pool.org) was launched last month at the 2nd Global Conference of the Sustainable Food Systems Programme - One Planet Network.

The Agroecology Info Pool contains convincing cases, a criteria tool to assess projects or policies, and an assessment of the impacts of various agroecological interventions on all Sustainable Development Goals.

This website serves as a platform to provide evidence, knowledge, and experiences on the impacts and multiple benefits of agroecology.

Through the A4A project, Biovision, IPES-Food, and other partners are assessing how current funding for agricultural research, development, and extension services is allocated, and to what extent it supports conventional systems versus sustainable (and particularly agroecological production).

Forum for the Future of Agriculture

9 April 2019. Brussels. FFA2019 : The next generation. The Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) has been contributing to the debate on agriculture and the environment in Brussels since 2008. The FFA is now firmly established as the premier event where agriculture and environment meet each year for an open dialogue.
"There is no more time to waste. It is often said that tomorrow belongs to the next generation. Unfortunately, we have made the world in which the tomorrow is already predetermined by us – for all of them, around the world. Make no mistake, the next generation is already out there. There are hundreds of millions of them, and the vast majority lives in the developing world. They have as much right as anyone in this room to a sustainable, just, and happy life." Janez Potočnik Chair FFA2019, Chairman RISE Foundation Read full speech

OPENING ADDRESS 
  • Ertharin Cousin, 12th Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme (2012-2017) Dialogue & discussion 
  • Moderator: Femi Oke, Journalist 


Climate change: Are we doing enough? 
  • Keynote speaker: Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, European Commission Discussants:
  • Lesley Rankin, Researcher, Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament, Co-chair of the Greens/EFA group
  • Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General DG ENVI, European Commission
  • Jean-Marc Bournigal, General Manager of the Wheat Producers Association (AGPB), France
  • Moderator: Fiona Harvey, Journalist



The next generation of consumers - Video forthcoming
  • Mette Lykke, CEO, Too Good To Go 
  •  Professor Andreas Hensel, President, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung) 
  • Stefan Goethaert, Managing Director, Colruyt Group Fine Food & Retail Services 
  • Rob Hamer, Vice President Agrifood External Affairs, Unilever Dialogue & discussion 
  • Moderator: Femi Oke, Journalist
Related:
IRP (2019). Global Resources Outlook 2019: Natural Resources for the Future We Want.
A Report of the International Resource Panel. United Nations Environment Programme. Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The analysis and modelling presented in this report are a first attempt to understand the impacts of our growing resource use, and to develop coherent scenario projections for resource efficiency and sustainable production and consumption that decouple economic growth from environmental degradation. 
  •  A Historical Trends scenario shows that the current trajectory of natural resource use and management is unsustainable, while a Towards Sustainability scenario shows that implementing resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production policies promotes stronger economic growth, improves well-being, helps to support more equal distribution of income and reduces resource use across countries.
  • The final message of this report is one of hope and optimism. While additional research is needed, an extensive knowledge base from the International Resource Panel about natural resources use and their impacts exists. 
  • Well-chosen and coordinated sustainability actions can achieve our international ambitions for prosperity within planetary boundaries. Using the results from this report, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and innovative solutions, we can resource the future we want.
Global Resources Outlook 2019 summary policymakers EN - 36 pages pdf, 8.35 MB
Global Resources Outlook 2019 summary business - 44 pages pdf, 1.57 MB
Global Resources Outlook 2019 factsheet - 2 pages pdf, 1.75 MB
Global Resources Outlook 2019 infographic 1 - 2 pages pdf, 333.59 KB
Global Resources Outlook 2019 Methods Annex - 64 pages pdf, 2.07 MB
Global Resources Outlook 2019 press release - 2 pages pdf, 188.32 KB
Global Resources Outlook 2019 - 162 pages pdf, 13.8 MB
Global Resources Outlook 2019 Scenarios infographic - 2 pages pdf, 176.1 KB



Related:
26 March 2019A new Afrobarometer data from 34 national surveys explores the perceptions and preferences of ordinary Africans when it comes to international migration.

Findings show that more than one-third of Africans have considered emigrating, though far fewer are making actual plans to leave. The data support concerns about human-resource drain: The young and the educated are most likely to consider going abroad.

But researchers found some interesting differences.
People in southern African indicate the strongest preference for staying in the region (58%) while this feeling was weakest in North Africa (8%).
Finding work and escaping economic hardship are the most frequently cited reasons to consider emigrating – fully in line with our earlier findings that unemployment is the most important problem that Africans want their governments to address.

The most preferred destination for potential emigrants is neither Europe nor the United States, but another African country.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Linking research to private sector research priorities

7-9 April 2019. Cairo. Africa Food Manufacturing conference.

ICARDA video interview with Atef Wafic Idriss 
MENA Food Safety Associates (MEFOSA) was formed to assist companies hone their competitive edge by establishing and verifying procedures and practices that ensure quality, wholesome and safe products. It provides consulting, auditing and training services in HACCP, GMPs, Hygiene and more. MEFOSA can help move businesses into a leadership position through science-based food safety.

Atef Wafic Idriss pf MEFOSA responds to following questions on Public Private Partnerships and Linking research to private sector research priorities:
  • What is the impact of ICARDA's fusarium resistant chickpea in Lebanon?(Note: Some fusarium species produce mycotoxins in cereal crops that can affect human and animal health if they enter the food chain)
  • Was this variety up-scaled?(Note: there is no seed multiplication system in Lebanon except for wheat which is done by the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute LARI)
  • How difficult is it to convince researchers to do research based on private sector priorities?
  • What is your main message for donors?

Climate Smart Seed Systems Research

GCRF-AFRICAP is a major programme to make agriculture and food production in Sub-Saharan Africa more productive, sustainable and resilient to climate change.

Working with local organisations and governments in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, if is creating an evidence base to underpin new country-specific policies in agriculture and food production.

Through the GCRF-AFRICAP programme, FANRPAN and the University of Leeds are conducting research into Climate Smart Seed Systems.
  • As part of the research, the survey is seeking responses to this short survey from those involved in seed system activity (e.g. gene/seed banks, crop breeders, regulators, seed companies, agro-dealers, extension officers, farmers) across Africa.
  • GCRF-AFRICAP is particularly interested in the priorities and activities that direct seed systems in Africa, and evaluating the importance of and responses to climate variability and change within these systems.
  • The survey takes 5-10 minutes to complete. Your answers will be anonymous, although if you would be willing to be contacted for follow up information or would like to receive updates on the research, there will be a space to provide your contact details.
Background:
The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. The GCRF delivery partners are: UK Research and Innovation, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Higher Education Division Northern Ireland, Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and UK Space Agency.

Objectives:
  • promote challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, including the participation of researchers who may not previously have considered the applicability of their work to development issues
  • strengthen capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in the UK and developing countries through partnership with excellent UK research and researchers
  • provide an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.
Latest call for proposals:
A Combined Food Systems Approach to Scaling-up Interventions to Address the Double Burden of Malnutrition Deadline 7 May 2019

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Africa Food Manufacturing


7-9 April 2019. Cairo. Africa Food Manufacturing conference. The conference hosted professors from various universities, food scientists, industries, and students, local and international. It was organised by MEFOSA (Middle East North Africa Food Associates) and INFORMA / Food Ingredients Africa

Distinguished international speakers, professionals, scientists from different countries met, thought, collaborated and shared their ideas, new releases and scientific research on Food Science and Technological solving problem solutions. 

Extract of the programme:
It included the following tracks:

Track 1: Food science and technology: Preharvest factors, tools, techniques and instrumentation.


Atef Wafic.Idriss MEFOSA (Middle East North Africa Food Associates) Food Industries

MENA Food Safety Associates (MEFOSA) was formed to assist companies hone their competitive edge by establishing and verifying procedures and practices that ensure quality, wholesome and safe products. It provides consulting, auditing and training services in HACCP, GMPs, Hygiene and more. MEFOSA can help move businesses into a leadership position through science-based food safety.

MEFOSA assures that food safety system meets current regulations and is being operated correctly. From HACCP plans to GMPs, MEFOSA enables SMEs to comply with government regulations quickly, economically and get the job done right the first time.


MEFOSA believes that safe food and feed are a prerequisite for sustainable development, and that the Arab Middle East should develop its own food safety prerequisites in full recognition with its own socio-economic priorities, and in harmony with international standards and norms, while respecting the culture, family values and quality of life throughout the MENA region.





He responded to following questions:
  • What is the impact of ICARDA's fusarium resistant chickpea in Lebanon?(Some fusarium species produce mycotoxins in cereal crops that can affect human and animal health if they enter the food chain)
  • Was this variety up-scaled?
  • How difficult is it to convince researchers to do research based on private sector priorities?
  • What is your main message for donors?
Dr. Marc Abu Zeidan Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon, The development of indegenous sourdoughs with potential applications in the baking industries

ICARDA video interview with Dr. Marc Abu Zeidan (forthcoming)

Track 2: Food security: Risk analysis and management, value chain analysis, public health and hygiene.
Dr. Hussein Mansour, National Food Safe Authority
The Egyptian Parliament has approved the law number 1/2017 establishing the National Food Safety Authority on Monday 2, January 2017. the main functions are:
  • Supervising the handling of food and making sure all specifications and requirements set out by relevant legislation are fulfilled.
  • Setting the rules and conditions for granting validity certificates necessary for the exportation of locally produced food as well as supervising the granting of these certificates and their compliance with the aforementioned rules and conditions.
  • Licensing, inspecting and supervising food handling and the workers in these facilities to insure the compliance with the relevant laws and decrees.
  • Supervising imported and locally produced food, prohibiting the handling of food unfit for human consumption and preventing fraud and deception in food.
  • Setting the regulations and rules for food advertising and the mandatory labeling criteria.
  • Regulating the cases of approval or rejection of genetically-modified foods or foods containing components that are genetically modified or irradiated where they relate to food safety and setting the rules regulating the use of food additives, treatment catalysts and other ingredients of which food is composed and which affect its safety according to Codex Commission criteria and standards adopted by international bodies.
Track 3: Impact of environmental pollution on food industries.
Dr. Ing. Zahra S. Ahmed Technical University Munich - Africa's food security and emerging technology - challenges and opportunities

Dr. Patrick Vincent Hegarty (see picture)Importance of Codes Alimentarus for food manufacturers



Track 4: Food Adulteration: Laws, policy and governance.
Dr. Patrick Vincent Hegarty (see picture), Important new developments in food packaging





Track 5: Food Economy, Marketing, Trade, and Market Access.
Mohamed Wageih, The future of empowering the EU-North Africa Research and Innovation Cooperation on Agro-Food under the PRIMA Initiative (2018-2028)


Track 6: Food and Water Testing.

Track 7: Public health and Food hygiene practices/sanitation.

Related:
The institute, which forms part of Nestlé’s global research organisation, will be based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The company says it will employ around 50 people, including around 20 new positions, and include a state-of-the-art laboratory complex as well as facilities for rapid prototyping. It will be working closely with academic partners, start-ups and suppliers, testing new materials in various product categories before they are rolled out across Nestlé’s global portfolio.

One of the key issues Nestlé says the Institute will be facing is that of plastic waste, for which it will be delivering “highly-performing environmentally friendly packaging solutions.” Focus areas for research will include recyclable, biodegradable or compostable polymers, functional paper, as well as new packaging concepts and technologies to increase the recyclability of plastic packaging.



Related:
Webinar: Sicker Fatter Poorer: The Urgent Threat of Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals to Our Health and Future ... and What We Can Do About It

Dr. Trasande exposes the chemicals that disrupt our hormonal systems and damage our health in irreparable ways. He shows us where these chemicals hide—in our homes, our schools, at work, in our food, and countless other places we can’t control—as well as the workings of policy that protects the continued use of these chemicals in our lives. Drawing on extensive research and expertise, he outlines dramatic studies and emerging evidence about the rapid increases in neurodevelopmental, metabolic, reproductive, and immunological diseases directly related to the hundreds of thousands of chemicals that we are exposed to every day. Unfortunately, nowhere is safe.



A Conversation with Author and Leader in Children's Environmental Health, Dr. Leo Trasande. In his new book, Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a pediatrician, professor, and world-renowned researcher, tells the story of how our everyday surroundings are making us sicker, fatter, and poorer. Through a blend of narrative, scientific detective work, and concrete information about the connections between chemicals and disease, he shows us what we can do to protect ourselves and our families from hormone-disrupting chemicals in the short-term, and how we can help bring about the large-scale change that limits this threat to our health. In this webinar 

Dr. Jerry Heindel, director of Commonweal’s Program in Endocrine Disruption Strategies, interviews Dr. Trasande about his research, his commitment to effecting change, and how his new book can help. February 20, 2019.

Related:
Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Land O'Lakkes is leading a five-year $6.25 million F2F program focused on food quality and safety (FSQ). 

Bangladesh, Egypt and Lebanon face considerable food safety and quality challenges. To increase productivity and profitability in the agriculture sectors, Land O’Lakes International Development is implementing F2F FSQ to address the important issues of food safety and quality with highly qualified volunteers. Volunteers assist and train others on good agricultural, veterinary and manufacturing practices in order to improve the local food safety protocols and quality assurance systems from “field-to-fork.”

This project is USAID funded project and the implementation party is Land O’ Lakes.

With a history of food safety issues in the country, the Government of Egypt (GOE) has established the National Food Safety Authority (NFSA) to control and regulate food in Egypt. TAIB will work in close collaboration with NFSA and other key stakeholders to ensure a successful transition to a modern food safety system. 

It will provide technical support to NFSA to regulate food across Egypt and promote greater U.S. export and investment opportunities. The three main objectives are to: enhance organizational capacity of NFSA, develop workforce training for NFSA and promote improved policy and regulatory frameworks.

Forecasting the weather with an app

Published 8 April 2019. Combined with local knowledge, modern tools help to predict the weather in the short term.

Sharing local knowledge to predict the weather with the community and plan farming activities. 

Watch and download the full video in different languages at: https://www.accessagriculture.org/

 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Creating value chains for resilient, underutilized crops

6 April 2019. Marrakesh, Morocco. Value chains for super crops key to fighting poverty, hunger in IsDB member countries

@ICBAAgriculture
Creating value chains for resilient, underutilized crops like quinoa, sorghum and Salicornia should form the cornerstone of food security and poverty reduction strategies in the face of climate change and other threats to agricultural production and rural livelihoods in member countries of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

This was the consensus of leaders, policymakers, scientists and experts attending a high-level event on sustainable agricultural value chains on the sidelines of IsDB’s 44th Annual Meeting held from 3 to 6 April. More than 100 delegates from around 30 countries looked at how climate-smart crops can help to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 and 2 on no poverty and zero hunger.
“The IsDB’s recognition that effective engagement of the private sector through commodity value chains that have national, regional and global markets is critical to commercializing the sector. This will enhance the sustainable delivery of production inputs (improved seeds, fertilizers, mechanization, among others) and link farmers better to output markets. This is the way out for growing smallholder agriculture that dominates the rural economies of our countries.” Dr. Mansur Muhtar, Vice President, Sector Operations, IsDB
Organized by the IsDB, the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and the OCP Phousboucraa Foundation, the side event discussed at length the potential of super crops for food production and income generation in marginal environments, characterized by high levels of soil and water salinity, water scarcity and drought, among other things. The panelists included:
  • Mr. Mohamad Jamal Alsaati, Director, Office of the IsDB President and ICBA Board Member;
     
  • H.E. Gilbert F. Houngbo, President, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD);
    “At IFAD, we believe that any process of rural transformation has to be undertaken in partnership with indigenous and local populations to ensure rural transformation is inclusive and based on consent. We look forward to furthering our partnership with the Islamic Development Bank in this area, specifically through IFAD's Indigenous People Assistance facility, which is governed by a board composed of indigenous peoples’ leaders and channels funds directly to projects that are designed and managed by indigenous communities themselves.”
  • Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General, ICBA;
    “Over the years, ICBA has been working towards achieving sustainable livelihoods and food security in marginal environments. Our center has been working in partnership to provide smallholder farmers in such environments with holistic solutions that can improve agricultural productivity while conserving and improving the natural resource base.”
  • Mr. Aly Abousabaa, Director General, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA); 
  • Ms. Hajbouha Zoubeir, President of OCP Phousboucraa Foundation.
    “As for value chain addition, Phosboucraa Foundation has supported special projects on production of a new brand of couscous based on quinoa thanks to our partnership with ICBA and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests of Morocco, vocational training on camel meat transformation, and transformation of vegetable by-products to produce a new type of silage, allowing healthy and good quality milk and meat.”
Sucess story: The Rehamna quinoa project, Morocco
  • Funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC/CRDI), the project is implemented by ICBA in collaboration with Mohammed VI Polytechnic University and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests of Morocco.
  • Under the project, several associations have started producing value-added quinoa-based products such as couscous
  • One of the associations is the 3ème millénaire (3rd millennium) cooperative, which is managed by over 30 rural women. The association produces several products from quinoa and other crops, and provides incomes to rural women and young girls. 
  • The project is also working with farmers’ associations such as Chabab M'khalif who have benefited from the introduction of best cropping practices and mechanized tools. 
  • The project is also trying to support start-up agri-businesses such as Amendy Food to
    promote quinoa at the national level. 
  • The project has established a seed production system and developed processing tools in collaboration with Ben Rim Farm to produce and commercialize ICBA quinoa varieties.

Related Sucess story:
The MENA region is home to an estimated 380 million people and is rapidly becoming one of the most urbanized areas of the world, adding pressure on an already fraught agricultural system. Approximately one third of land in the region is forecast to face constraints to crop production as a result of climate change. As a result, rural livelihoods are threatened, which could drive even higher migration rates to urban centers.

The Faculty Of Environmental Agricultural Sciences - Suez University has been Screening Egyptian Wheat Genotypes for Salt Tolerance at Early Growth Stages. Trials will be conducted with the support of ICARDA using the raised bed mechanisation.

Research on water management to achieve higher productivity in irrigated agriculture has identified raised-bed systems as an important component of improved wheat production package. Through this farmers in Egypt have successfully achieved higher yields while ensuring savings in irrigation water. This technology was disseminated for sustainable agricultural intensification on a large scale in 22 governorates, as part of a nation-wide campaign by the Egyptian Government on self-sufficiency in wheat production.

 A multi-partner project on ‘Enhancing Food Security in Arab Countries’, funded by AFESD, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and OFID, further helped in disseminating this technology to farmers in Al-Sharkia province. The use of raised-bed techniques in farmers’ fields resulted in 25% saving in irrigation water, 30% increase in wheat yield and 74% improvement in water use efficiency (average of four years 2011-2014).

Saturday, April 6, 2019

EC High-level event on food and agriculture in times of crisis

2-3 April 2019. Brussels.  The European Commission in Brussels – on behalf of the Global Network against Food Crises – hosted the high-level event on food and agriculture in times of crisis.

#FightFoodCrises

The high-level event:
  • Set the scene of the current and projected situation with respect to food crises and related trends and drivers based on solid and consensus-based evidence.
  • Highlight current and future challenges and opportunities to reduce the risks of food crises, focusing on the role of agricultural livelihoods and related agri-food systems in the framework of social, environmental, economic and security dynamics.
  • Review policies, initiatives, tools, and coordination mechanisms currently in place to address food crises, exploring whether emerging and recurrent challenges require changes and adaptive strategies, and defining areas for improvement and innovative solutions and partnerships.
  • Draw political, strategic and operational conclusions and define a roadmap to address food crises, ensure food security and eradicate hunger by 2030.
Speakers included:
  • Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development
  • Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management
  • Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
  • José Graziano Da Silva, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme
  • Yves Daccord, Director General, International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Shenggen Fan, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Djimé Adoum, Executive Secretary, Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel
  • Mahboub Maalim, Executive-Secretary, Intergovernmental Authority on Development
Related:
This year’s Global Report on Food Crises highlights the plight of millions of people who must fight every day against acute hunger and malnutrition. More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced acute hunger requiring urgent food, nutrition and livelihoods assistance (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) in 2018.

The worst food crises in 2018, in order of severity, were: Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Sudan, South Sudan and northern Nigeria. These eight countries accounted for two thirds of the total number of people facing acute food insecurity – amounting to nearly 72 million people.

Related:
FAO and Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT) partnership focuses on links between migration, agriculture and rural development.

The agreement, signed in Brussels on the side-lines of the high-level event on Food and Agriculture in Times of Crises, marks the beginning of a formal collaboration in the areas of migration and rural development, with a focus on diaspora-related issues and agribusiness.
"We tend to underestimate the power of the diaspora in peace, development, humanitarian and, of course, around migration issues. We are signing this Memmorandum of Understanding with ADEPT today to work more closely together and give visibility to the potential diaspora holds, but also to what is already happening with diaspora communities," FAO Deputy Director-General Daniel Gustafson.
 "Migration is a development driver generating positive change at the local and
international level. The African diaspora is one of the key actors of this process, bringing about financial, intellectual and social contribution. We hope the FAO-ADEPT cooperation will enable us to join energies, knowledge, networks and expertise in two interlinked areas, migration and agriculture, for the benefit of the African people and continent." ADEPT President Khady Sakho Niang
ADEPT, an international non-profit based in Belgium, supports and empowers African diaspora
development organizations based within the European Union, Norway and Switzerland. While helping to formally involve African diaspora groups in development processes in Africa, it also serves as a point of reference for those interested in African development issues, migration and development policy.

Related:
The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), which will celebrate its 5th year anniversary in 2019, has announced the dates for its prestigious annual conference and awards, which will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), 29-30 October 2019.

The conference theme this year is, Enhancing Impact: Digitalisation, Investment and Intra-African Trade. The two-day event aims to promote and accelerate the growth of women-owned and women-led businesses for Africa’s inclusive economic growth.

Sudan could be one of the world’s great breadbaskets

Ailafoun Dairy Farm, owned by
Sudan’s Dal Group
and the country’s largest such facility,
has in the past brought in
foreign cows to increase production.
2 April 2019. Bloomberg Businessweek.

Arab policymakers have been touting Sudan’s ability to feed the populous and water-scarce Middle East since the 1970s.

The country features as much as 200 million acres of arable land, a strategic location less than a day’s sail across the Red Sea to the Saudi port of Jeddah, and a roughly 25 percent share of the Nile’s waters under regional agreements, much of it unused.

In the Middle East and North Africa, by contrast, World Bank and United Nations statistics show that the number of chronically undernourished people has doubled, to 33 million, since 1990, and that water availability has tumbled on average to a sixth of the global mean.
Abdellatif, chairman of Dal Group,
beside a statue of Taharqa, a Nubian king,
in the lobby of his office in Khartoum
.

The benefits for both parties would seem obvious. And yet little of the 5 million acres the agriculture ministry estimates are in foreign hands—perhaps less than 1 in 20 acres—has been cultivated. “Nothing’s happened! Really almost nothing’s happened,” says Osama Daoud Abdellatif, chairman of the Dal Group, the country’s largest conglomerate. “Someone got this land, and someone got that land. But few have done much.”

Operating in Sudan has never been easy. Coordination between local and federal officials is often negligible. Rules and regulations are subject to sudden change—recently, one state government doubled tolls on its section of the road to Port Sudan overnight, throwing corporate budgets into disarray. Key portfolios such as pastureland, desertification, and forestry are frequently tossed from one ministry to another and back again.
“There is no stability in agricultural policy. Experts come and go. Not even the minister knows what budget he’s getting,” Abdellatif Ujeimi, the third of at least six agriculture ministers since 2014. (His tenure lasted about a year, until May 2018.)

Friday, April 5, 2019

UPCOMING EVENTS IN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPMENT (AR4D) - April - December 2019


9 April 2019. Brussels, Belgium. The Forum for the Future of Agriculture 2019




17-18 April 2019. The Hague, Netherlands. Agricultural Innovation Seminar

17-18 April 2019. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Regional Conference on ICT and geodata for agriculture and water

22-24 April 2019. Athens Greece. 3rd Euroscicon Conference on Food Technology

23-24 April 2019. Geneva, Switzerland. The FAO/WHO/WTO International Forum on Food Safety and Trade. 

24-26 April 2019. Lome, Togo. West Africa Fertilizer Forum


14 May 2019. Paris, 75007 France. SCAR Food Systems: Diversity workshop

20-22 May 2019. Montpellier, France. CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: 4TH WORLD CONGRESS ON AGROFORESTRY

21-22 May 2019. Chicago The Future of Food

29–31 May 2019 Arusha, TanzaniaCfP Conference: Pesticide Politics in Africa

05-13 June 2019. Nairobi, Kenya. CHINA TRADE WEEK KENYA

12-13 June 2019. Stockholm, SwedenEAT Stockholm Food Forum 2019


23 - 26 June, 2019. Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue, Nigeria. International Workshop on Climate-SMART Organic Agriculture in a Changing World. 


24 June, 2019. Nairobi Athi River, Kenya. Start international course: Gender and food systems

25-27 June, 2019. Nairobi, Kenya. Eastern Africa Conference on Scaling Up Agro-Ecology and Ecological Organic Trade

26-28 June  2019. Poznań, Poland, The 3rd International Forum on Agri-Food Logistics: ‘Towards the Sustainability of Logistics in the Agri-Food Supply Chains’

4-5 July 2019. Utrecht, Netherlands. LANDac Annual International Conference 2019

7-11 July 2019. Madrid Spain. RURAL COMMUNICATION WORKING GROUP: ‘’ The Rural Communication Working Group of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites the submission of abstracts of papers and proposals for panels for the 2019 Congress of the Association. The deadline for submission is 8 February 2019’’.

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


15-19 July 2019. Brighton, United Kingdom. Transforming Nutrition: Ideas, Policies and Outcomes

22 July to 9 August 2019. London. Summer School on Food and Nutrition

7 to 22 August 2019. Herrsching, Germany. International Leadership Workshop for Rural Youth

12-15 August 2019. Kigali, Rwanda. 4th FANUS Conference

25 August 2019. Wageningen, Netherlands. Start Summer School Greenhouse Horticulture

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

7-9 October 2019. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. African Climate Risks Conference 2019. ''Submissions for abstracts, supporting sessions, and exhibitors are open. Deadline for submissions is 28 April 2019.'' 

14-15 October 2019. Abu Dhabi, UAE. Food Chemistry and Food Microbiology

29-30 October 2019. Cape Town. The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) will celebrate its 5th year anniversary in 2019

28-31 October, 2019. Cairo, Egypt. 8th Africa Agriculture Science Week and FARA General AssemblyThis 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.



19 - 21 February 2020. Cape Town, South Africa. The 11th annual Argus Africa Fertilizer conference 

2-4 March 2020 Moroto, Karamoja – Uganda. ECHO East Africa Symposium on Improving Nutrition and Livelihoods in Pastoralist Areas.