Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The contrıbutıon of agroecologıcal approaches to realızıng clımate resılıent agrıculture

2019 Global Commission on Adaptation. The contrıbutıon of agroecologıcal approaches to realızıng clımate resılıent agrıculture.

This background paper focuses on the role that agroecological approaches can play in making food systems more agile in adapting to climate change as planetary boundaries are reached and exceeded, with a focus on the field and the farm scales, but recognizing key interactions with the landscape and food system scales. It highlights how agroecological practices on farms can enable adaptation, and what is required to scale these up to levels capable of reconciling the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2), to end hunger, with SDG 15, to do so while enhancing rather than further depleting natural capital.

Environmental and societal drivers have led to an increasing moralization of debates around food. On the one hand, this creates an imperative for policy makers to act and, on the other hand, makes it more difficult for policy to be based on evidence, as opposed to evaluation of competing convictions. Agroecological principles that underpin food system transitions include both normative elements (e.g., they should be equitable) and causative elements (e.g., more diverse farming systems are more resilient). It is necessary to clarify, on the one hand, the normative assertions that should underpin the transition to more resilient farming and, on the other, the causative mechanisms that can bring it about. This background paper explores these issues, highlighting scalable practices that enhance adaptive capacity of farms and the methods required for their successful scaling.

Related: 
Finance to adapt: Making climate funding work for agriculture at the local level, ECDPM, September 2019The Green Climate Fund stands at a crucial point with the beginning of its second resource mobilisation: it must evaluate its progress in delivering adaptation and mitigation finance, and it should increase funding for agriculture.

1st Annual Conference of the Private Sector Development Research Network

12-13 December 2019. The first Annual Conference of the Private Sector Development Research
Network focuses on inclusive firms and markets and considers questions around characteristics of inclusive business, ways to measure impact, and ways to support inclusion by a range of actors.

This conference offered an opportunity to bring together staff of Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and donor agencies involved in private sector development, with academics who study private firms and markets from the fields of economics (such as industrial organization, international trade and investment), finance, business and development studies.

Extract of the programme

Value Chains/Productivity/Growth 

  • Leonardo Iacovone and David McKenzie: Shortening Supply Chains: Experimental Evidence from Fruit and Vegetable Vendors in Bogota 
  • Elvis Avenyo, Maty Konte, and Pierre Mohnen: The employment impact of product innovations in sub Saharan Africa: Firm-level evidence 
  • Yanni Chen and Niraj H. Shah: Evaluating Impact of DFI Private Sector Investments Challenges and Opportunities (Global Agriculture and Food Security Program) 
Case studies/Selected topics on inclusion

  • Sarah Cummings, Bénédicte Gastineau, and Anastasia Seferiadis: Can We Measure Female Social Entrepreneurship?

Soy thresher fabrication workshop

18-25 November 2019. Wolkite, Ethiopia. Wolkite Polytechnic School. The Soybean Innovation Lab Mechanization Team trained 26 local equipment manufacturers and educators in thresher fabrication. The training was organized by the Ethiopian Emerging Technology Center (EETC), a division of the Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute (EBTI), under the leadership of Eyobel Gsenbet.

EETC is a federal agency mandated to research, adopt and transfer appropriate technological solutions to address and enhance the socio-economic development of the country. Their work includes research and development of technologies in manufacturing, electronics, nanotechnology, automation, and robotics. They have identified manufacturing in agricultural tools, such as crop threshers, as a vital technology for the development of the Ethiopian economy.
The thresher fabrication workshop was supported by the Feed the Future Ethiopia Value Chain Activity. Habtamu Tsegaye, Crop Value Chain Advisor for the organization, worked closely with EBTI to recruit participants including vocational skills educators, fabrication trainers, agriculture technology developers, and small and medium-sized technology manufacturing businesses. 

On the final day of the workshop, the Feed the Future Ethiopia Value Chain Activity and EBTI held a seminar involving all participants and interested parties including funders, local NGOs, USAID, media, Government of Ethiopia officials, agro-businesses, and farmer groups. The seminar provided a platform to inform the public of the capacity of Ethiopian businesses to provide thresher fabrication services. The SIL multi-crop thresher can process many crops including soybean, maize, millet, sorghum, rice, wheat, barley, beans, cowpeas, and pigeon peas.


Additional support for the fabrication training workshop came from the US-based ADM Cares, a philanthropic arm of ADM, which seeks to improve food security by reducing post-harvest loss globally. ADM Cares is partnering with the Soybean Innovation Lab to bring improved post-harvest technologies to multiple African countries.

Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food

A major new book that shows the world already has the tools to feed itself, without expanding industrial agriculture or adopting genetically modified seeds, from the Small Planet Institute expert

Few challenges are more daunting than feeding a global population projected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050—at a time when climate change is making it increasingly difficult to successfully grow crops. In response, corporate and philanthropic leaders have called for major investments in industrial agriculture, including genetically modified seed technologies.

Reporting from Africa, Mexico, India, and the United States, Timothy A. Wise’s Eating Tomorrow discovers how in country after country agribusiness and its well-heeled philanthropic promoters have hijacked food policies to feed corporate interests.

Most of the world, Wise reveals, is fed by hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers, people with few resources and simple tools but a keen understanding of what and how to grow food. These same farmers—who already grow more than 70 percent of the food eaten in developing countries—can show the way forward as the world warms and population increases. Wise takes readers to remote villages to see how farmers are rebuilding soils with ecologically sound practices and nourishing a diversity of native crops without chemicals or imported seeds. They are growing more and healthier food; in the process, they are not just victims in the climate drama but protagonists who have much to teach us all.

Related:
13 December 2019. Big Ag and the Small-Scale African Farmer

“A big transition should be focused on soil. Focus on feeding the soil. This should be not a green revolution, but a brown revolution. That would be a climate adaptation and mitigation impact.”

High levels of mycotoxins in corn silage across the United States

Results from the 2019 Alltech Harvest Analysis
indicate high levels of mycotoxins in corn silage
across the United States. Photos courtesy of Alltech.
11 December 2019. The past year has presented some challenging weather in the United States, particularly in the Midwest with heavy rain, which has resulted in delayed and/or prevented planting in many areas. Extreme weather conditions and moisture levels can reduce yields and induce plant stress, and they can also lead to future issues for the crop, according to Alltech’s 2019 harvest analysis.

Some of the issues can include molds and mycotoxins. Increased moisture can allow Fusarium molds to flourish, producing a variety of mycotoxins that include deoxynivalenol (DON), fusaric acid, T-2, HT-2 and zearalenone (ZEN).

Mycotoxins are a concern for livestock producers, as they influence feed quality and animal safety. They are produced by certain species of molds and can have toxic properties that impact animal health and performance.

Mycotoxins are seldom found in isolation, and when multiple mycotoxins are consumed, they may have additive interactions that increase the overall risk to performance and health. As a result, an animal may have a stronger response than what would be expected if it was only experiencing a single mycotoxin challenge.

Related:
13 December 2019. Koppert Biological Systems (K) has won the tender to distribute Aflasafe- a chemical that is used to suppress aflatoxin in grains. The firm, headquartered in Netherlands with a subsidiary in Kenya, won the tender through competitive bidding conducted by Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organisation (Kalro).

It is the first firm to win this tender following the official launch of the Aflasafe manufacturing plant in Machakos.
“We have won the tender and we will be charged with the responsibility of distributing Aflasafe across the country,” said Mr Charles Macharia, General Manager Koppert Biological Systems (Kenya).

@KoppertKenya was represented at the ongoing #Aflasafe4Africa Conference in Arusha, Tanzania. 
@MachaGituku was part of the panel "Scaling Innovations with Economic & Social Impact".

Thursday, December 12, 2019

15th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting (AGM)

2-6 December 2019. The 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) was held at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana . It was the first AGM to be hosted in West Africa following RUFORUM’s strategic geographical expansion in 2014 to include Universities in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Sierra Leone and Senegal. 

The 15th AGM ran under the theme: Delivering on Africa’s Universities Agenda for Higher Agricultural Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (AHESTI): What will it take?

The AGM is one of the key activities under Knowledge Hub programmatic pillar of the RUFORUM Vision 2030 strategy, which is also meant to be a vehicle for facilitating universities, stakeholders and key partners to synthesize emerging lessons and best practices, and to document and disseminate information, knowledge and innovations. The theme for this 15th AGM is “Delivering on Africa’s Universities Agenda for Higher Agricultural Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (AHESTI): What will it take?”. As such, the 15th AGM will highlight and deliberate on key developments within the network whilst exploring what it takes to deliver on the transformation of Africa through strengthening Agricultural Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation. 

The discussion focused on, but not limited to, the following specific objectives:
  1. Examine key issues in regards to Africa’s Universities Agenda for AHESTI
  2. Review and approve minutes of the 14th RUFORUM Annual General Meeting, held on 22 October 2018, at the University of Nairobi towers, Chandaria auditorium.
  3. Receive and approve reports for the Activity Year July 2018 – June 2019 and Annual Work plan and Budget for the Activity Year July 2019 – June 2020
  4. Provide a platform for networking opportunities and facilitate exchange of experiences, lessons and good practices with particular interest for the West African universities (an exhibition display by all West African universities)- making it a West African affairs
  5. Provide opportunity for scientists, researchers and students to present their work
  6. Advocate for policy engagement/ renewing/strengthening partnerships
  7. Recognize the contributions of the Government of Ghana to RUFORUM

Related: 25/11 Agricultural universities need greater investment – RUFORUM

South-South Cooperation, innovative partnerships for tackling food insecurity

25 November, Kampala, Uganda - Through South-South Cooperation, countries across the global South are successfully exchanging technical expertise and building innovative partnerships, which if strengthened, can continue to play a crucial role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This was the message a three-day event marking the 10th Anniversary of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme and Triangular Cooperation.

Supported by China, the programme has benefited more than 70,000 people directly in 12 developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The theme of the 10th Anniversary event is "Inspiration, Inclusion and Innovation" as the programme reflects on its achievements and looks to the future.
"The success of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme is not limited to technical transfer, capacity building and engagement of rural working women and youth through working together hand in hand," "What is even more noteworthy is its catalytic impact - inspiring other countries to join hands with FAO in the fight against food insecurity and malnutrition as well as poverty."Abebe Haile-Gabriel, FAO's Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa.

European Green Deal: COP25 Press conference

12 December 2019. Becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 is the greatest European Green Deal, the most ambitious package of measures that should enable European citizens and businesses to benefit from sustainable green transition. Measures accompanied with an initial roadmap of key policies range from ambitiously cutting emissions, to investing in cutting-edge research and innovation, to preserving Europe’s natural environment.
challenge and opportunity of our times. To achieve this, the European Commission presented the

Supported by investments in green technologies, sustainable solutions and new businesses, the Green Deal can be a new EU growth strategy. Involvement and commitment of the public and of all stakeholders is crucial to its success.

Above all, the European Green Deal sets a path for a transition that is just and socially fair. It is designed in such a way as to leave no individual or region behind in the great transformation ahead.



European Commission video recordings:

Related: CGIAR COP25 side events
See all recorded side events @ COP25
Related: TIME's 2019 Person of the Year





Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Africa-Europe cookbook

Africa-Europe cookbook
A selection of recipes from the two continents

Those who have had the privilege of travelling to our two continents have been struck by the vast diversity that can be observed in the culture and ways of living within Africa and Europe.This diversity is a source of richness. Without it, as human beings our lives would be significantly limited, less meaningful. Those who are engaged daily in the relationship between Africa and Europe see diversity as an attraction, not a challenge. It is our profound belief that diversity is something to celebrate and to build on, and it drives our commitment to this relationship.Culture in general and food in particular are essential elements of this diversity. When we travel, whether for leisure or business, most of us are keen to experience the local food and restaurants. 

If we did not it would almost feel as if our visit never happened.Food also has a unique ability to connect people, to make them feel closer. Complex negotiations and business deals always include a meal. It is on these occasions that trust, friendship and understanding are established. This applies also in our day to day work with our African friends and colleagues from the African Union. A relationship, to be sustainable and productive, requires enjoyment and appreciation of each other’s culture including food.This is the reason for this cookbook. This volume is a celebration of what unites all of us, from Lapland to Cape Agulhas: the necessity and the pleasure of food. Food as an expression of our cultural identities and as the epicentre of our social lives.To prepare this cookbook we have reached out to AU and EU Commissioners, AU and EU Member State Ambassadors and other colleagues involved in building the Europe-Africa relationship, based both in Addis Ababa and across Africa.

Side Events COP25 related to agriculture

CCAFS’ Deissy Martínez Barón @ #COP25: I
n order to #TransformFoodSystems we need to:
reroute our farming practices
+ de-risk farming & value chains
+ reduce emissions through diets & value chains
+ realing policies, finance & innovation.
2nd to the 13th of December. Madrid. Over 25,000 representatives from 200 countries converged in
the Climate Summit from the  to reach agreements and commitments between nations to fight against the effects of climate change.

For more information about the conference, visit the COP25 official webiste.

During COP25, CCAFS co-hosted and participated in over 15 side-events and activities.

Extracts of the programme


3 December. 2019 STATE OF CLIMATE SERVICES REPORT LAUNCH


4 December. Raising ambition for climate action in agriculture: Agro-ecology and other place-based actions' potential

Organisers: FAO; Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development; CGIAR

This side-event drew out the questions of "the why and the how" to operate towards a transformational change of our food systems to more sustainable and resilient ones. The "why" focused on the scientific basis for a transformation in our food systems and outline options available to drive change. Thereafter, the side-event focus on the “how”, show-casing evidence, initiatives and highlighting challenges to scale-up available options.

It launched important findings and initiatives: 
Speakers
  • Welcome by Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General, Bioversity International
  • Ishmael Sunga, Chief Executive Officer, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU)
  • Dhanush Dinesh, Global Policy Engagement Manager, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
  • Rachael McDonnell, Strategic Program Director, Water, Climate Change and Resilience, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
  • Janie Rioux, Senior Agriculture and Food Security Specialist, Green Climate Fund (GCF)
  • Angela Falconer, Associate Director, Climate Policy Initiative (CPI)
  • Jamison Ervin, Manager, Nature for Development Global Programme, UNDP
  • Bruce Campbell, Program Director, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) See @ 1:11 in the Skype webcast

    To achieve the SDGs, we have to reach half a billion farmers. How can we do this in Sub-Saharan Africa? A pitch at #COP25 @FANRPAN event from @bcampbell_CGIAR begins w/ 1. markets for climate resilient practices, 2. cool jobs 4 youth, 3. advisories bundled with insurance.
Resources
If you missed the event you can view the webcast here.

5 December. Action for Adaptation: How We Manage Water for Climate Change Resilience

Organisers: Co-organised by IWMI and the World Water Council (WWC).

This event responsed to the water background paper of the Global Commission on Adaptation report. IWMI and WWC brought together experts to further catalyze actions by highlighting how smarter water management can deliver critical adaptation solutions. For more information, please see the event page.

5 December. Advancing Climate Actions on Resilient and Sustainable Agri-Food Chains

Organisers: Leads: Global Resilience Partnership and FAO with A2R - Full concept note is available here.Supporting Organisations: Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), CGIAR Climate Change and Food Security Research Programme (CCAFS), Earth Security Group, EAT Forum, Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), Huairou Commission, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, iDE, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRRR), Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and World Bank.

This roundtable will addressed the UNCAS Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience and The Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Manifesto and the implementation of the number of specific initiatives on food and agriculture. The purpose is to increase the ambition for climate action in agriculture and food value chains to deliver inclusive, resilient and sustainable systems. The discussion focused on the following 3 questions:
  1. How are new and existing initiatives taking transformative action at scale to deliver resilient and sustainable agriculture food chains?
  2. How are climate actions on building resilient and sustainable agriculture food value chains benefiting all in the system (from farm to fork) – especially smallholder farmers, communities and SMES in countries (LDCs and SIDS) most impacted by climate change?
  3. What are the main challenges and opportunities to implement and track climate actions on building resilient and sustainable agriculture food chains to scale?
As a cross-cutting element, this Roundtable focused on how to engage marginalised groups including women, youth, indigenous people and people living with disabilities thereby achieve inclusion and equitable outcomes.

5 December. HIGH-LEVEL MEETING: LAUNCH OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN PLATFORM FOR CLIMATE ACTION IN AGRICULTURE (PLACA)

5 December. SHAPING CLIMATE SMART FOOD SYSTEMS

6 December Stepping Up Engagement Efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa to Catalyse Investments in Climate Action 

Organisers: The side event was convened by the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) in partnership with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA), the SADC/GIZ Adaptation to Climate Change in Rural Areas in Southern Africa (ACCRA) Programme, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the Initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA), CARE International and the World Bank.


The event showcased how farmers and key stakeholders in SADC experience climate change and have developed solutions that are ready to scale out through a theatre performance. Experience from Sub-Saharan Africa shows that participatory theatre enables community participation in developing CSA solutions, and can inform investment decisions. 

Drawing on the latest scientific evidence in investment prioritization, the performance wqw followed by a SADC-oriented panel discussion with key players in CSA investment planning in Africa, including the AAA initiative, CCAFS, CARE International, FANRPAN, ACCRA and the World Bank, to discuss which and how investments in CSA can be scaled. It will bring together senior officials from the member states, international and intergovernmental organizations, and academia.

Speakers:
  • Mr. Harsen Nyambe - Head, Environment, Climate Change, Water and Land Management, African Union Commission
  • Mr Jahan Chowdhury - Country Engagement Director NDC Partnership
  • Ms Abir Lemseffer, Executive Director - Adaptation for African Agriculture Initiative
  • Dr Evan Girvetz, Africa Team Leader - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  • H.E Sindiso Ngwenya - Former Secretary-General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

6 December. Building a research-for-development partnership for thriving drylands in a changing climate

Organisers: The side event was led by ICARDA with the support of the Indian National Council for Climate Change Sustainable Development and Public Leadership (NCCSD) NCCSD.
  • Dr. Vinay Nangia coordinates ICARDA’s research team on soil, water, and agronomy and chaired the event. Dr. Nangia presented the DryArc Initiative which is a joint CGIAR initiative in the making and involves eight CGIAR centers, national partners, advanced research institutions and farming communities from the dryland countries stretching from China to Morocco.
  • Other presenters included Drs. Kirit Shelat and V. Sadamate of NCCSD who presented on the Indian farmers’ prospective on climate-smart agriculture interventions and the Indian Government’s efforts in trying to double the farmers’ income by 2022.
  • Dr. Eve Crowley, FAO Deputy Regional Representative for South America and the Caribbean region represented the FAO Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) and the Office of South-South Cooperation (OSS). She informed audience of the projected changes in the climate in the dry areas, significance of the dry areas for the global agriculture and the efforts FAO is making in helping develop solutions by providing scientific leadership and financing for research.
  • Dr. Yaosheng Wang of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) made a
    presentation on behalf of CAAS Vice President Prof. Xurong Mei elaborating on the Chinese Government’s efforts in meeting the SDG goals and investing in dryland agriculture research. He informed audience that China has met the SDG goal on zero hunger and expects to meet the goal of zero poverty in coming years. He announced the plan for an international dryland agriculture conference in Beijing in October, 2020.
  • Dr. Rajendra Shende, Chairman, TERRE Policy Center is a former director of UNEP having spent over two decades working there. He presented on the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus and the transformative innovation in dryland management through agro-hydro-voltaic interventions.
  • Dr. Rachael McDonnell is Strategic Program Director on water, climate change and resilience at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), based at Rome. Dr. McDonnell made a presentation on the approaches to smart agricultural water management in the dry areas
  • Dr. Susanta Kundu, Chief Operating Officer of the Excel Innovation Center at Mumbai presented the work of the private sector in the dry areas of India on adapting to climate change and associated problems.

9 December The European Union press conference

The EU Pavilion hosted a broad set of side events to stimulate debate on key thematic areas, engage observers and facilitate dialogue with party delegates and other participants.
An inaugural report on the State of Climate Services
highlights progress, opportunities and challenges
in rolling out climate services such as seasonal forecasts,
drought advisories and fire danger indices.
The report focuses on agriculture and food security,
one of countries’ top climate change adaptation priorities
and given that progress towards tackling
global hunger has recently been reversed.

10 December. Building climate resilience in the most vulnerable countries - The Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) 

The Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) is a European Union flagship initiative helping the world’s most vulnerable countries to address climate change.Since the GCCA was established in 2007 it focused on building climate resilience in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). It expanded in 2015 to include middle-income countries and the new lens of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). So far it has funded over 70 projects of national, regional and worldwide scope in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

11 December. The EU’s external cooperation post-2020: boosting ambitious and coherent climate action

Organisers: DG DEVCO and German Development Institute (DIE); IDDRI (Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales)

More than ever the EU is expected to exert strong leadership on climate action. This event highlights key opportunities for the EU to enhance climate ambition through development cooperation.
  1. The first session will present key features of EU external cooperation for 2021-2027. Highlighting the links between climate and development policies, it will show how EU external cooperation can support the implementation of NDCs in partner countries.
  2. The second session will further specify the climate-development linkages in view of scientific evidence and explore how development cooperation may boost climate ambition in practice, drawing on examples from land use, agriculture and energy with a regional focus on Africa.

Speakers:
  • Carla Montesi (Director for Planet and Prosperity, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission); 
  • Dr. Heike Henn (Commissioner for Climate Policy and Climate Financing, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany) ; 
  • Representative of the ACP Group of States (tbc); 
  • Dr. Zinta Zommers ( Program Officer, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Lead Author of IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land) ; 
  • Dr. Jonathan Mockshell (Agricultural Economist, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, CIAT); 
  • Gabriela Iacobuta (Researcher, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik, DIE)
11-12 December. the European Commission will hold a Citizens’ Dialogue on the European Green Deal in Madrid, inviting young people to share their views and discuss how the EU can help fight climate change. Please note that places are limited.

11 December. Soil for Food Security and Climate

On the sidelines of COP25, the 4 per 1000 Initiative "" organizes, with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, are organizing the 3rd "4 per 1000 Initiative Day". This day, which is now annual and is being organized in conjunction with the UNFCCC COP, will bring together the 5th meeting of the Consortium of Members and the 4th meeting of the Forum of Partners.

At the event, Liesl Wiese-Rozanova, Soil Carbon Consultant with the CCAFS Flagship on Low Emissions Development, will present the findings from her study on soil organic carbon in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The international initiative "4 per 1000", launched by France on 1 December 2015 at the COP 21, consists of federating all voluntary stakeholders of the public and private sectors (national governments, local and regional governments, companies, trade organisations, NGOs, research facilities, etc.) under the framework of the Lima-Paris Action Plan (LPAP). The Executive Secretariat of the "4 per 1000" initiative is hosted by the CGIAR System Organization, an international organization based in Montpellier.




11 December. A science-policy interface on risks of climate and environmental change in the Mediterranean region

Organisers: Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean; European Commission (Climate Action); Ministry of Agriculture; Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus
During this side-event the current state and risks related to climate and environmental change the Mediterranean will be discussed by scientists and decision-makers. An open and independent international network of Mediterranean Experts on Climate and environmental Change (MedECC) has been launched to gather, update and consolidate the best scientific knowledge on these issues and render it accessible to policy-makers and key stakeholders. The dialogue between scientists and decision-makers is facilitated by the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean.

Complementary to this approach, the Cyprus Climate Change Initiative aims at the development of a Regional Action Plan to address the specific needs and challenges countries are facing in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) region, to address and ameliorate the impact of climate change and advance mitigation actions in accordance with the Paris Agreement.


Speakers:
  • Constantinos Kadis; Minister of Agriculture; Rural Development and Environment; Cyprus 
  • Abdalah Mokssit; Secretary; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - TBC

13 December. Challenges and solutions for agricultural adaptation planning in Sub-Saharan Africa 

Organisers: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK); Southern African Science Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL)

In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), smallholder farmers produce the majority of food but their food security is highly vulnerable to climate change. In this region, more than 650 million people work in the agricultural sector and will likely be affected by unfavorable cropping conditions. To enhance resilience against climate change perils, science-informed adaptation planning and capacity building for an effective and tailor-made NDC and NAP implementation is crucial. 

However, this implementation is often limited because of unavailable information about climate change impacts and near-future weather risks. While capacity building has the potential to strengthen the local knowledge and enables informed long-term decision making, early warning systems can reduce short-term risks for investments in adaptation measures. Thus the combination of capacity building and early warning systems can support a successful implementation of adaptation measures in SSA. 

Speakers: 
  • Jane Olwoch (SASSCAL)
  • Christoph Gornott (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research - PIK)
  • Shakwanaande Natai (Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture)
  • Savadogo Moumini (WASCAL)
  • Till Below (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – GIZ)
  • Jorg Helmschrot (SASSCAL), 
  • Gernot Laganda (World Food Programme – WFP)
  • Kira Vinke (PIK)

Related: ECDPM BRIEFING NOTES (SERIES) - Boosting EU climate finance: Mitigate more without neglecting adaptation in poorer countries

As the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) in Madrid calls for the full operationalisation of the Paris Agreement, Europe is committing to green its policies both within and beyond the European Union (EU). Boosting green finance will be critical.

European top financial institutions such as the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which are in a position to advance the European agenda, are joining the battle to curb climate change. This decision follows calls for a Climate Bank at the European level and the recommendation by the High-Level Group of Wise Persons that the EU should adopt a common approach to its external financial architecture and establish a single entity, the so-called European Climate and Sustainable Development Bank.

EU efforts to boost its climate action and finance should encompass not only the vital mitigation endeavour, but also greater attention to climate adaptation, as a means to foster climate justice and to achieve the SDGs also in low-income countries, and in Africa in particular. The new European Green Deal will have to live up to this challenge.

Related: Aligning Development Co-operation and Climate Action - The Only Way Forward

Climate change is altering the ecological and social systems that underpin human well-being and economic activity, and developing countries are particularly vulnerable to its impact on the growth and sustainable development prospects of every sector and community. Being part of the solution requires all providers of development co-operation to align their activities with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. However many still lack the mandates, resources, incentives and strategies to do so. 

This report outlines how providers can make changes at home, in developing countries and in the international development co-operation system, to help create low-emissions, climate-resilient economies, and how they can avoid supporting activities that lock the world into an unsustainable future.

Global Climate Risk Index 2020

4 December 2019. Who suffers Most from Extreme Weather Events? Weather-related Loss Events in 2018 and 1999 to 2018

BRIEFING PAPER GLOBAL CLIMATE RISK INDEX 2020 Who Suffers Most from Extreme Weather Events? Weather-Related Loss Events in 2018 and 1999 to 2018 David Eckstein, Vera Künzel, Laura Schäfer, Maik Winges
This year’s 15th edition of the Climate Risk Index clearly shows: Signs of escalating climate change can no longer be ignored – on any continent or in any region. Impacts from extreme weather events hit the poorest countries hardest as these are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of a hazard and have a lower coping capacity and may need more time to rebuild and recover. 

The Global Climate Risk Index 2020 analyses to what extent countries and regions have been affected by impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heat waves etc.). The most recent data available — for 2018 and from 1999 to 2018 — were taken into account. The countries and territories affected most in 2018 were Japan, the Philippines as well as Germany. For the period from 1999 to 2018 Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti rank highest.

The countries most susceptible to heatwaves and prolonged drought – mainly in the global South – are often in a much more precarious situation as they cannot rely upon government support in the form of financial resources or technologies. Furthermore, many African countries are particularly drought-prone and are already subjected to desertification and other forms of land degradation, which negatively impacts agriculture and frequently spurs conflicts over subsistence crops, thus perpetuating food insecurity and the risk of hunger. (page 18)
The Climate Risk Index may serve as a red flag for already existing vulnerabilities that may further increase as extreme events will become more frequent or more severe due to climate change. The heatwaves in Europe, North America and Japan also confirm: High-income countries are feeling climate impacts more clearly than ever before. Effective climate change mitigation is therefore in the self-interest of all countries worldwide. 

At this year’s Climate Summit in Madrid, the second review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage will investigate whether the body fulfills its mandate to avert, minimise and address loss and damage and whether it is equipped to do so in the future. In that process, COP25 needs to debate the lack of climate finance to address loss and damage. Furthermore, the implementation of measures for adapting to climate change must be strengthened. 

Related: Climate Change in Africa is a Geo-Political Issue. Remarks at a press conference conducted by the African Group of Negotiators on 07 December 2019 during the United Nations Climate Change Conference #COP25 in Madrid, Spain.

Corporate video of MYTOX-SOUTH

MYTOX-SOUTH intends to harness the expertise and infrastructure available at Ghent University to strengthen the capacity of the Southern partners to tackle the mycotoxin problem and the associated food safety and food security issues. MYTOX-SOUTH is a partnership to improve food security & food safety through mitigation of mycotoxins at global level. This well-structured multi-disciplinary partnership, which deals with all known aspects of mycotoxins and toxigenic mould issues, is able to provide the most adequate strategies and solutions for different stakeholders.

MYTOX-SOUTH offers research and expertise that deals with 
  1. the impact of the agro-ecosystem and related agricultural practices on the occurrence of toxigenic moulds, 
  2. physiological consequences of toxin-production of the mould, 
  3. diversity of toxigenic moulds in several crops and matrices and 4. follow-up of new emerging toxigenic moulds in agricultural and horticultural crops.


Thursday, December 5, 2019

One Planet Fellowship


The call for the next cohort of the One Planet Fellowship is now open for applications and will close on March 31, 2020. The One Planet Fellowship seeks to build a vibrant, highly connected, and inter-generational network of African and European scientist leaders equipped to use a gender lens to help Africa's smallholder farmers adapt to a changing climate. The first cohort, consisting of 45 outstanding high-potential scientists selected from a pool of 1523 applicants, was launched in September 2019.

In this call, the Fellowship is expanding into North Africa, targeting applications from young scientists from Morocco and Algeria in addition to the following sub-Saharan African countries; Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, and Zambia.

Inspired by the AWARD Fellowship Model, the five-year, USD 19.2 million initiative seeks to invest in up to 630 competitively selected agricultural scientists. Selected candidates will participate in an intensive, three-year non-residential, career acceleration process aimed at fostering leadership skills, strengthening scientific research skills including integrating gender into their research, and catalyzing research partnerships and networks. Candidates who complete the three-year process will become One Planet Laureates.

Related:
29 November 2019. Casablanca, Morocco. The main objective of the roundtable discussion organised by AWARD was to highlight how the One Planet Fellowship is working toward sustainability of climate research in Africa by investing in enhancing local capacity, building cross continental, intergenerational, and cross-disciplinary networks of scientists. 

The discussion will also spotlight some of the Candidates selected for the first cohort and how their work is helping smallholders cope with the changing climate. Specific objectives were to:
  • highlight the need for strong financing collaboration between the private sector, civil society, public research and private philanthropy to mobilize researchers and young people to work towards climate change
  • highlight the gendered impacts of climate change and why scientists must learn how to use a gender lens as they innovate solutions
  • highlight how the Fellowship is fostering intra and intercontinental cross learning among different players focusing on adaptation to and mitigation of climate change in Africa
Speakers - One Planet Laureate Candidates
  • Austin Tenthani Phiri, a Chief Agricultural Research Scientist at Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Water. Stationed at the Bvumbwe Agricultural Research Center, Phiri’s research focuses on improving soil fertility and nitrogen use efficiency for improved food security in Malawi. He has done extensive research on improving nitrogen use efficiency by maize through the pigeon pea and groundnut intercropping and maize rotation system. He is currently working in nine districts in Southern, Northern and Central Malawi to catalyse processes to improve crop productivity under the Agriculture Sector-Wide Approach-Support Program II.
  • Oliver Kipkogei, a climate scientist at the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) in Kenya. Kipkogei is working on managing climate risks within the smallholder farmers, particularly in rain-fed farming systems, through enhancing access to quality tailored climate services. He is a contributor to the Food Security Nutrition Working Forum and the online ICPAC Maproom, a one-stop-shop for tailored climate information for agriculture and food security applications. Kipkogei is the coordinator of the generation of advisories on climate forecasts for the agriculture and food security sector of the Greater Horn of Africa.
  • Sarah E. Edewor, a researcher and Agricultural Economics from Nigeria who specializes in gender dimensions of land tenure and property rights on the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices among farming households in Nigeria. Her research will try to ascertain how land ownership and registration affect adoption of climate-smart practices for farm production increase, resilience improvement, and removal or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Mevoyon Pamela Karrel AFOKPE, a plant breeder, is a researcher at East-West Seed International in Benin where she is responsible for the implementation of the varietal improvement program for traditional leaf and fruit vegetables for West Africa. East-West Seed International is actively working to improve different indigenous cultures to meet the growing needs of African smallholder farmers. Most of her research has focused on genetic characterization of high yielding bean varieties.
  • Howélé Michaëlle Touré, a PhD student at the University of Science, Technology and Technology of Bamako in Mali. She is attached to the West African Center for Scientific Service on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) Program financed by the German Ministry of Education and Scientific Research. Her research is also funded by the African Excellence on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture (CEA-CCBAD) of Abidjan. Her research focuses on reducing / eliminating cassava bacterial wilt in Côte d'Ivoire in the context of climate change
  • Kueshi Semanou Dahan, is pursuing a second master’s degree in Climate Change and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services at the Doctoral School of the African Center of Excellence for Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Agriculture. Félix Houphouët-Boigny University, Côte d'Ivoire. His research focuses on the control of soil management and biodiversity conservation in the savanna forest of the Toumodi department in central Côte d'Ivoire. A multidisciplinary scientist, Mr. Dahan is a 2019 winner in Risk and Disaster Management at Integrated Research on Disaster Risks (IRDR). 
Implementing partners of the One Planet Fellowship
  • Michèle Mbo’o-Tchouawou, Deputy Director- Programs, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD). She leads the development, management and quality of all AWARD programs. A development economist working in the multidisciplinary framework of capabilities and human development, Dr. Mbo’o-Tchouawou has extensively worked with national partners under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) framework to ensure systematic gender mainstreaming and inclusiveness in agricultural investment plans, programs, and interventions.
  • Donald Onyoni, Senior Manager, Operations, Administration and Finance, AWARD. He provides strategic financial analysis and direction, playing a key role in developing and managing AWARD’s operational strategy for its programs. A financial professional, Mr Onyoni has been instrumental in successful conceptualisation and project management of several international multi-year and multi-million dollar projects covering a variety of sectors such as international wildlife conservation (CITES MIKE Program – Monitoring Illegal Killing of Elephants), public health with a focus on HIV AIDS Care and treatment (Columbia University- ICAP), and gender in agriculture. He is passionate about projects that foster sustainable positive social impact.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

IFC introduces the Last Mile Retailer

3 December 2019. In a “by-invitation-only” launch, AMEA members unveiled the Last Mile Retailer, a new product aimed professionalizing agro-input retailers using a standardized system to measure and train retailers. Hosted by AMEA, the launch was co-organized by the program’s developers: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), and SCOPEInsight; and included panel members from USAID and the IFC.

The Last Mile Retailer is a set of interlinked approaches that combine to form a coherent and effective “package” to build agro-input retailer’s professionalism. The package consists of (a) assessment, (b) training, (c) coaching, and (d) improved market participation. Three AMEA members have jointly developed the LMR package (along with Bayer and Syngenta): SCOPEinsight, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

SCOPEinsight CEO, Lucas Simons, explained that the Last Mile Retailer (LMR) “is a new way to measurably improve the professionalism of agro-input dealers; It has the potential to address the gap in smallholder farmers’ access to critical modern inputs.”
The Last Mile Retailer has benefits for all stakeholders:
  • For agro-input companies: a more stable and professional distribution network for their products. A more professional LMR network could lead to greater retailer loyalty, higher sales volume, a better understanding of market needs, higher levels of product knowledge and awareness in the marketplace, and more oversight of product storage and disposal practices.
  • For agro-input retailers: higher levels of business management capability, business growth, appropriate managerial systems (accounting, inventory management, leadership), improved product knowledge, new contract opportunities, and access to finance.
  • For farmers: improved access to quality inputs can have a meaningful impact on farm productivity, food security, sustainability, and income.
  • For development professionals: a cost-effective way to improve agro-input retailers.
Related:
This webinar is for: 1. agro-businesses wishing to reach the last mile, in a commercially attractive way, in emerging markets, and 2. development practitioners wishing to strengthen input retailers as a means of getting smallholder farmers the input the need.


Youth and Jobs in Rural Africa: Beyond Stylized Facts

Youth and Jobs in Rural Africa: Beyond Stylized Facts
A new Oxford University Press book co-edited by IFPRI researchers Valerie Mueller and James Thurlow challenges several myths around population growth and youth employment in Africa, demonstrating the opportunity Africa's youth bulge presents to spur inclusive growth and rural development. (Read the Book | Read the Synopsis)

In addition to assessing the evidence on continent-wide trends on youth employment the book offers deeply researched case studies into youth employment and structural transformation in five African countries.

FARA Publication: Strategies for Scaling Agricultural Technologies in Africa - NEW for Download


Advances in Africa agriculture is contingent on the volume of technologies that is available for use in the sector. Apparently, the same condition was responsible for the agricultural transformation and food sufficiency in the advanced world. Every development in the history of mankind is orchestrated by technological revolutions; more specifically when technologies meets up with felt needs and social political will for change.  The precarious state of Africa agriculture seems to have attain this threshold of pain more than a decade ago and triggered the action of different organization and pollical structures through the Africa Union Commission. 

The development of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) in 1994. The CAADP ideal proposed a budgetary allocation of 10% at the country level to agricultural sector in order to yield six percent annual growth on the average. 
A key pillar of the earlier days of CAADP subscription by the countries was the pillar four which stood for actions around technology generation, dissemination and adoption. This was led by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa andits stakeholders, FARA thus took the pillar 4 action as its focus for contributing to the transformation of Africa agriculture. The efforts yielded ample attention to technology generations across board, and series of technology testing actions in several pilots. Some of the technologies have potentials and a handful also stood at bay requiring further development to yield the desired outputs.

Despite the efforts into technology generation, introduction, adaptation etc. the agricultural sector development only experiences a slight move and it seems to plateau suggesting that other actions are required to sustain the growth of the sector.   A more recent effort at the continental level is the commitment of the head of state in Malabo, to sustain the CAADP momentum. The Malabo declaration came up with various targets including the doubling of the Total factor productivity by 2025 as well as eradicating hunger among others. Attaining these targets will be elusive without a firm commitment to technology generations, dissemination and adoption in a very systematic way. FARA has developed the Science Agenda for Africa Agriculture (S3A) to fast-track the broad contribution of science to deliver technologies and knowledge to ensure the delivery of agricultural growth and transformation. The S3A has four thematic focus and there cross cutting area, this is currently getting grounded at the country level with the expectation of yielding sustainable broad based socioeconomic benefit from the agricultural sector.

This book aims to bridge this gap In addition to these efforts, the need to bring existing and upcoming technologies to scale has been highlighted broadly by policy makers and development practitioners in Africa. This felt need came along with the mantra that Africa have a lot of technologies on the shelve that are yet to be translated to socio economic benefit for the stakeholders in the sector. Whether this is factual or not, Africa agriculture requires a systematic way of bringing technologies with very high potentials to scale. This book aims to bridge this gap The book contains seven chapters that exhaustively covers the subject matter and make a smart proposition on the plausible pathway to ensure that agricultural technologies delivers a vibrant and economically sustainable agrarian sector.

Download copy: FARA Africa

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

1st Edition FNSSA conference


1 to 3 December 2019. The 1st Edition of the international conference on FNSSA was organized by the Agro-Food Industries Alliance (funded by Academy of Scientific Research and Technology in Egypt), World Food Program, the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT, Alexandria), Alexandria University, Egypt, and IEREK – International Experts for Research Enrichment and Knowledge Exchange in collaboration with Springer as a publishing partner.

The conference was an opportunity to present and discuss the newest researches related to food, nutrition and sustainable agriculture as well as to shed light on their relationships with the industry. The scientific committee welcomes contributions from academics, researchers and interested participants.

Extract of the programme:

Session I: Agro-Food Industries: Management, Security, Safety & Innovation

  • Public private partnerships for agriculture development transformation - Dr. Menghestab Haile, Representative and Country Director, WFP
  • Food Safety - Professor Hussin Mansor, President of Egyptian Food Safety Authority
  • Agro-Food Industries Alliance - Dr. Khaled ElSaadany, Coordinator of Agro-Food Industries Alliance
  • Italian innovation for Blue Economy: improving cooperation between Italy and Egypt - Claudio Margottini, Scientific and Technological Attaché Embassy of Italy in Egypt
  • Public private partnerships for Technology development in Egypt - Dr. Amr Rdwan Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT)

Session 5: Agro-Food Business and Food security

  • Determinants of Smallholder Farmers’ Adoption and Willingness to Pay for Improved Legume Technologies in Tanzania - Charles Lugamara, Tanzania
  • Determinants of Producer’s Participation in Farmers’ Associations. Evidence from Maputo Green Belts Tomas Sitoe, Mozambique
  • Zero Hunger - Zero Emissions: Building Pathways to ZERO-ZERO –a low –carbon, hunger –free Nigeria. OLADIPO ADEMOLA OLUBAYO, Nigeria
  • Marketability levels of pumpkin fruit (Curcubita moschata Duch.) flour and blended products among Kenyan consumers Jedidah Kiharason, Kenya
  • Community-driven Development and Food Security in a Changing Climate: A Case Study of the Nile Delta - AlMoatassem Mostafa, Faculty of Law, Mansoura University, Egypt
  • Blockchain technology in agri-food value chain management: challenges and new trends in Egypt 
  • Ghada Elkady, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Egypt
  • Effect of Population Dynamics on Household Food Security among the Rural Households of Jigawa State, Nigeria RABIU MSJ, Nigeria
  • Effect of Macadamia Husk Compost on Growth and Physiological Performance of Two Amaranthus Cultivars Anovuyo Fakade, Pakistan