Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Free resource to help farmers fight crop pests and diseases

The Knowledge Bank provides clear, actionable treatment advice on the most prevalent pests and diseases (© CABI)
The Knowledge Bank provides clear, actionable treatment advice on the most prevalent pests and diseases
The science and agriculture organisation, CABI, has launched a free online resource designed to help extension workers, government organisations, researchers and farmers in developing countries diagnose, treat and prevent plant pests and diseases.

"The right information really can change people's lives," explains Roger Day, CABI's Regional Coordinator for Plantwise in Africa. "The Plantwise Knowledge Bank provides this information, helping people lose less of their crops to pests and diseases, and enabling them better to support themselves, their families and their communities. With the support of the Knowledge Bank, Plantwise can benefit food security, support farmers and ultimately, improve lives."

The Knowledge Bank provides clear, actionable treatment advice on the most prevalent pests and diseases. In Kenya for example, Black Aphids, or 'ume' in Kikuyu, feed on field beans and have had a devastating effect on yields. The Knowledge Bank provides a simple factsheet giving diagnosis and treatment advice for the Aphids. It suggests spraying the plants with soap - a simple, but remarkably effective treatment which kills off the Aphids and leaves the crop unharmed. The Knowledge Bank also contains information on 22 different pests and diseases that attack coffee in Rwanda and 58 pests and diseases that attack cocoa in Ghana, providing country specific advice on diagnosis, treatment and prevention in order to mitigate crop losses that can devastate farms and ruin livelihoods.

Diagnostic tools enable users to diagnose plant problems based on pictures of symptoms, and country specific homepages mean that information shown is tailored to the user's location. The Knowledge Bank is already being used to support Plantwise 'Plant Clinics', where 'plant doctors', trained by CABI, provide diagnosis and treatment support to farmers from their local area.

Groundbreaking Report on Zoonotic Diseases and Poverty

Some 60 percent of all human diseases, and 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases, are zoonotic (human-animal transmitted infectious diseases). In light of these staggering figures, the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), released beginning of July a report mapping the top 20 geographical hotspots of emerging zoonotic diseases and emerging disease outbreaks. 

Among the study’s findings, the report reveals the heavy disease burden of zoonoses for one billion of the world’s poor livestock holders, in addition to surprising new data on emerging diseases in industrialized countries, many of which have never been mapped. Report on zoonoses shows the disproportionate affect of zoonotic diseases on the world’s one billion poorest livestock holders (Photo credit: International Livestock Research Institute).

The study identifies three classifications of high-priority zoonoses, the first of which, endemic zoonoses, causes the vast majority of illness and death in poor countries. Endemic zoonoses, such as brucellosis, are present in many places and are usually transmitted as food-borne illnesses. Given its widespread nature, the review suggests that endemic zoonoses are of greatest concern where the objective is reducing the burden of human illness and enhancing the profitability of livestock for poor small-scale livestock farmers in the developing world.

Other zoonotic diseases include epidemic zoonoses, such as anthrax and Rift Valley fever, which typically occur as outbreaks and are sporadic in temporal and geographical distribution. And the report examines emerging zoonoses, which are relatively rare and are characterized by rapidly increasing rates of incidence or expanding geographic ranges. Emerging zoonoses, such as bird flu and HIV-AIDS, can spread to cause global cataclysms. While zoonotic diseases can be transmitted to humans by any animal, most human infections are transmitted from the world’s 24 billion livestock.

KARI to develop new maize varieties

16 July 2012. The Kenya agricultural research institute has said it is developing maize varieties for all ecological zones in Kenya.

According to principal scientist Dr. Stephen Mugo the new varieties will increase farmers' yields as well as withstand the changes in climatic conditions.

The same research is being carried out by regional states namely Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ethiopia and South Africa.

The research under the water efficient maize for Africa project focuses on developing maize which is disease resistant and that can easily adapt to climate change.

The research is being carried out jointly by the international maize and wheat improvement center-Kenya and the Kenya agricultural training institute and will result to increased farmer earnings once seeds are introduced to the market late this year.

The WEMA project - The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is leading a public-private partnership (Water Efficient Maize for Africa -WEMA) to develop drought-tolerant African maize using conventional breeding, marker-assisted breeding, and biotechnology.

Angola and Brazili boost bilateral cooperation in agriculture

Imagen activa22 July 2012. Luanda. The Ministry of Agriculture of Angola and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa), boost bilateral cooperation in agriculture.

According to the Public Television of Angola, Brazilian Ambassador to Angola, Nelson Cosme, and Embrapa´s president, Pedro Arraes met in Brasilia to further enhance this cooperation, which will reorganize the Angolan agricultural research system.

The meeting´s objective was to find appropriate ways and resources to implement the Technical Cooperation Project between both countries, said the source.

The Technical Cooperation Project will have more than two million dollars that will be used in creating the institutional basis of the Integrated Agricultural Research System of Angola.

Sino-Africa poverty reduction forum focused on agriculture modernization

July 28. DAR ES SALAAM. This one-day forum held in White Sand hotel in the outskirt of Dar es Salaam was aimed at reviewing anti-poverty policies in China for over three decades and providing inspirations for some 120 participants, including policy makers, researchers, activists and investors on the continent.
"Holding this meeting soon after the conclusion of the fifth Sino-Africa ministerial forum is very opportune indeed, it presents a unique opportunity to follow up of some of the decisions made in that conference. It also underlines excellent relations between china and Africa," said Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete while opening the forum. 
The forum on poverty reduction, initiated by International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC), in partnership with United Nations Development Program, has become an important platform of exchanging experiences on development between China and Africa.

The first forum on poverty reduction was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November, 2010 and the second was held in Shenzhen, China in January, 2012 with focus on Special Economic Zone.

Delegates attend the opening ceremony in Beijing 
The Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was held on 19-20/07/2012 for Chinese and African leaders to discuss measures to deepen China-Africa ties. China will provide 20 billion U.S. dollars of credit line to African countries to assist them in developing infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, and small and medium-sized enterprises. 

China will build more agricultural technology demonstration centers as necessary to help African countries increase production capacity. It will implement the "African Talents Program" to train 30,000 personnel in various sectors for Africa, offer 18,000 government scholarships, and build cultural and vocational skills training facilities in African countries. China will also help African countries enhance capacity building in meteorological infrastructure and forest protection and management, and will continue to carry out well-drilling and water supply projects in Africa to provide safe drinking water for the African people.

The main agenda of the two-day ministerial conference was to review the implementation of follow-up activities from the fourth ministerial conference of the FOCAC in 2009. The conference also plans to examine and adopt the "Beijing Declaration" and "Beijing Action Plan (2013-2015)" to define new cooperative programs to be undertaken over the next three years.

African Nations to step up access to climate change financing

23-27 July 2012. Nairobi,Kenya. A workshop was held for boosting the capacity of 11 African countries to access and mobilize financial resources associated with climate change.

The purpose was to enhance the implementation of sustainable land management and climate change adaptation and mitigation for the Member States. COMESA, EAC and SADC together with the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification have organised the five-day meeting to highlight potential climate change related domestic and international funding sources for agriculture, energy, mining and other natural resources from the private sector and bilateral and multi lateral sources.

The second in a series of three, the workshop focused on the opportunities and new directions presented by climate change financing mechanisms from domestic, innovative and multilateral funds such as the Adaptation Fund, Climate Investment Funds, Green Climate Fund, Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation(REDD+) Financing Mechanisms, Renewal Energy Funds and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).

Additionally, the workshop explored strategic options and engagement with the business sector. The Nairobi meeting followed one held in Lusaka, Zambia in June 2012. Participants are from Botswana, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya,Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa and Sudan.

EU Seeks Private Funding to Share Burden of Climate Adaptation. The European Union (EU) is seeking funding from private sectors to share the burden of climate change adaptation due to its member states' inability to provide sufficient public resources because of the economic crisis.

After the Informal Meeting of EU Ministers for Environment and Climate Change concluded 8 July, the Cyprus Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Sofoclis Aletraris said at a press conference the EU countries are not willing to invest a lot in adaptation of climate change due to the economic crisis.

It was emphasized that reliable funding, both public and private, is crucial for effective implementation of national adaptation strategies. There was also a broad understanding that the proposed Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, should aim for an increase and facilitation of public investment for adaptation and provide added value to the implementation of the EU and national strategies. The European Commission is expected to present the European Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change on March 2013.

The CAADP National Multi - Stakeholder Dialogue for Tanzania

A group photo of CAADP Dialogue participants
July 26th,2012. Dar es Salaam. Organized By: The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), The Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) and Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and cooperative (MAFSC)

M. Futakamba- Deputy Permanent Secretary – MAFSC 
and Dr. Donatila Kaino
The main purpose of CAADP dialogue was to ensure multi-stakeholder participation in the development and implementation of agricultural policy This includes Non-State Actors (NSA) such as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), farmer and producer organisations, researchers, parliamentarians, the private sector and the media.

In his opening remarks, an official in the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperatives Mr Mbogo Futakamba said the meeting stems from the fact that Non-State Actors have inadequate awareness of the CAADP process in the country. "The government values and embraces participation of non state actors in the country's development and agricultural sector in particular as a way to ending the woes of poverty in the society," he said.

Ms. M. Ndaba - Principal Economist in the Ministry of Agriculture Food 

Security and Cooperatives and head of Development Assistance and 
International Coordination in agriculture sector presenting CAADP 
Country status report for Tanzania
The main purpose of CAADP dialogue is to ensure multi-stakeholder participation in the development and implementation of agricultural policy. Some of the Non-State Actors (NSA) are like Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), farmer and producer organisations, researchers, parliamentarians, the private sector and the media.

Mr Futakamba mentioned Kilimo Kwanza and the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) as significant initiatives which aim at greater involvement of private sector in the agriculture activities. For example, SAGCOT's objective is to foster inclusive, commercially successful agribusinesses that will benefit the region's small-scale farmers, thus improving food security, reduce rural poverty and ensure environmental sustainability.

The PPP has emerged as a key vehicle to diversify economies, grow agribusiness, ensure food security and thrive. It also stimulates access to finance, inputs and markets for smallholder farmers. (source: All Africa 30 July: Tanzania: Experts Tout for PPP in Agriculture)

11 July 2012. Cameroon Embraces Africa's Comprehensive Agricultural Framework.  Cameroon has officially adhered to the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme. It was officially launched in Yaounde in a ceremony chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Essimi Menye, representing the Prime Minister.

An update on CGIAR reform: reinvigorating global research on agriculture

July 25, 2012. Washington, DC. An update on CGIAR reform by Frank Rijsberman, CEO of CGIAR Consortium at the International Food Policy Research Institute.

The CGIAR has been transformed through a reorganization over the last three years. What has been achieved? What is still left to be done? Securing a food secure future without wrecking the planet is the greatest challenge facing humanity in coming decades. Is the new CGIAR ready to face this challenge? The new CEO of the CGIAR Consortium discussed his priorities to ensure that the reform delivers on its promise.


In May 2012, Frank Rijsberman was appointed CEO of the CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food secure future. He will be responsible for driving the implementation of the ongoing CGIAR reform, which is transforming the world’s largest system of publicly-funded research on agriculture. There will be a new focus on a coherent portfolio of CGIAR Research Programs to improve food security and reduce rural poverty and malnutrition while protecting the environment. IFPRI is one of 15 international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.


World Congress of Rural Sociology

29 July - 4 August 2012. FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva challenged academics to get involved in essential and politically important research into rural poverty and the food and agriculture business as it pertains to small-scale producers, in a speech in Lisbon to the World Congress of Rural Sociology.

"One of the great challenges we have today is to use academic knowledge to understand and improve the life of rural populations throughout the world," said Graziano da Silva. "To do so, we need to look at the reality outside of university walls."

After detailing what FAO sees as the most pressing issues in the fight against hunger and rural underdevelopment - from food insecurity, nutrient deficiencies and unsafe food to unequal competition between small-scale and large food producers - the FAO chief, a former academic and author himself, called for academics to play their part.
  1. He singled out large-scale investments in agriculture or "land-grabbing" as a politically important area where universities could conduct research into principles for responsible agricultural investments. Such research could feed into the work of the Committee on World Food Security, the leading global forum for discussions on food security issues, he said. 
  2. How to integrate small-scale farmers into the agricultural and food chains should be another area of academic concern, he said, adding that "there is a growing concentration in the agricultural and food chain, and this has an impact on small-scale farmers." 
  3. Academics should look into the issue of governance of the food and agriculture sector, both at global and local levels, and how to achieve a fair distribution of benefits, he said. "If we want more people eating healthy diets, based on fresh foods, we will need to reduce transportation and storage costs, but also food waste and loss," he said. Graziano da Silva said rural labor markets and working conditions were often extremely poor, labor legislation poorly enforced and access to social protection limited. 

"All these issues need better conceptual clarification and practical proposals from academics and policy makers," he concluded. (source Academia Has Role in Fight Against Hunger, Says FAODirector-General

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Economics of Sustainable Fisheries, Aquaculture and Seafood Trade

16th – 20th July 2012. Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. IIFET Conference.16th meeting of International Institute of Fisheries Economic and Trade.

The general theme of the conference was revealing the hidden possibilities of fisheries in all areas of the world, with particular emphasis on Africa and developing regions.

Participants were encouraged to reflect on the goods and services fisheries and aquaculture provide to human society and on the objective that fishery management and aquaculture development should provide contributions to human wellbeing – whether through macro-economic growth (resource rents, trade revenues), small-business profits, wage labor, or nutritious food. These “goods” needed to be weighed against the costs inherent in utilizing fish resources. Participants were also encouraged to examine – and suggest solutions for resolving – those aspects of fisheries management and aquaculture development that can hamper our ability to fulfill this objective, helping to avoid worsening poverty traps, ecosystem damage, and inequities amongst fishery and aquaculture stakeholders.

Winner of ASAKUA/SARNISSA Travel Award to IIFET Conference
Abudala Napuru Fish Farm Manager SON Fish Farm nr Jinja Uganda.
  • Socio-economic assessment of Management Measures of the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) ? Challenges and Methodological Background
  • An International Instrument on securing sustainable Small-scale Fisheries: Implementation strategies
  • Markets and Value Chains for Small Aquaculture Enterprises (in Fisheries, Aquaculture and Food Security)
  • Decision Support Models for Aquaculture Development: Lessons from Sea Lice Research in Norway
  • A Fisheries Management Synthesis: A Facilitated Discussion to Identify the Attributes of Successful Fisheries Management
  • Coupled Economic-Ecological Models for Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management: Exploration of Tradeoffs Between Model Complexity and Management Needs
  • Fisheries Games and Experiments: Applications for Education, Outreach and Science
  • Too Big to Ignore: Enhancing Visibility and Possibilities in Small-Scale Fisheries
  • Potential for Marine Aquaculture in the Western Indian Ocean
  • Well-Being and Fishery Governance
  • The economics of genetic development in aquaculture
  • Climate change impacts on the economics of world fisheries


Workshops on linking farmers to markets

Accra workshop participants
9 July 2012. Johannesburg. 11 July 2012 Nairobi. 13 July 2012, Accra. A4I, ODI and FANRPAN hosted three regional African workshops as part of their 'Leaping and Learning: Taking Agricultural Successes to Scale' project.

In partnership with the Food Agriculture Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network [FANRPAN], the one-day workshops compared experiences of linking farmers to markets. Provisional results of a comparative analysis of cases of linking small farmers to markets were presented, drawing on the wealth of practical experience seen in the field.
Nairobi workshop participants

The aim was to compare these to the insights of participants, most of whom worked actively in the region on linking small farmers to markets.

How best can small-scale family farms in Africa be linked to markets, get access to inputs, finance and know-how to stimulate agricultural growth and reduce poverty? How can this be done both effectively and equitably? How can successes be scaled up and replicated?
Johannesburg workshop participants

form the focus of ‘Leaping and Learning: Strategies for Taking Agricultural Successes to Scale’ being carried out by the Agriculture for Impact team based at Imperial College London working together with the Overseas Development Institute

Check out the blog at for further details on all three workshops.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

PAFO Continental Briefing

On June 28th, 2012, a meeting was held in Brussels to outline the structure of the next Pan-African Farmers Organization (PAFO) Continental Briefing, which will focus on defining the future of African agriculture and the renewed role of farmers’ organizations with the support of CTA and the African Union Commission. 

The PAFO Continental Briefing will aim to expand knowledge on key areas; promote the exchange of expertise and experience; facilitate networking; provide a platform for policy dialogue and strengthen the PAFO as the continental farmers’ platform.

Around 150 participants representing the five African regions are expected to attend the Continental Briefing, one-third of which will be representing farmers’ organizations. Other stakeholders will include: decentralized local communities, policy makers, researchers, agri-business sector representatives, financial institutions and insurance providers, as well as international organizations and RECs. Updates will follow on the Continental Briefing to be held in January 2013.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Impressions of the African participants to the Biocircle Infoday of FP7

18th July 2012, Brussels. Info Day and Brokerage Event on Call FP7-KBBE-2013-7.

Interview with Dr I.Charles Okoli at Infoday FP7 Cooperation Theme 2: Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and Biotechnologies (FAFB), Brussels, 18th July. This event was organised by Biocircle. Dr I.Charles Okoli is a researcher with the Tropical Animal Health and Production Research Lab. Department of Animal Science and Technology in Nigeria. Dr I.Charles Okoli s a member of the PAEPARD supported consortium: Low cost and high quality livestock feed production knowledge delivery to Nigerian poultry industry (NIPOFERD)

Working visits to European researchers in Belgium

The preparation for the working visit resulted in scheduled meetings with two Belgium scientists in their laboratories. These were,

  1. Prof. Patrick Van Damme, Department of plant production, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering University of Ghent 
  2. Dr. Didier Stilmant, Head, Production and Sector Department, Walloon Agricultural Research Center (CRA), Gembloux 

The visit to University of Ghent was very fruitful. We were able to explain our research needs and areas of possible collaboration with the host professor. We agreed to collaborate on the study of various aspects of the useful plants of West Africa, while laboratory needs that could not be met at Ghent will be linked to other institutions in Europe. Collaborative research on bio plastics was also discussed and highlighted as a viable field.

We also had discussions with Dr Simbarashe Samapundo an African Post doc scientist working at the Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, University of Ghent. The value of research collaborations between African scientists and their counterparts in Diaspora was discussed and it was agreed that there is the need to pursue such collaborations. Dr Simba showed interest in collaborative work on mycotoxin control in food products.

Scientific tour of Africa Museum, Tervuren, near Brussels, hosted by Dr Patricia Mergen, Head of Unit, Cybertaxonomy and Biodiversity Information of the Museum.
This visit was scheduled for the morning of 18th July. Dr Patricia Mergen gave us a tour of the museum and explained many interesting highlights of the museum. We were informed that the museum has a well equipped laboratory for genetic, molecular and biodiversity studies. The museum is willing to collaborate with African institutions on trainings and research in ornithology, mammalogy, genetics and biodiversity. The museum also serves as a reference center for taxonomic studies and trainings. We were informed about a forthcoming conference on biodiversity planned by the museum and were invited to participate.

Agricultural Research Center (CRA), Gembloux: The visit to CRA took place in the afternoon of 18th July and in my opinion was the most detailed and planned. Dr Stilmant invited two other scientists to the meeting and power point presentations were made on research activities and possible areas of collaboration.

It was agreed that collaborations between CRA and African institutions were possible in the study areas of alternative animal feeds resources, medicinal plants, African cane rat and development of nutritional supplements. CRA scientists were also interested in joint development of doctoral and masters’ degree research protocols and participation in the actual studies through provision of laboratory space, equipment and linkage with local universities in Belgium.

Even though Africa was not targeted in the current KBBE call, it is clear that the need to collaborate with African scientists as expressed by many European scientists during this trip was not properly captured by the policies of the concerned EU organs.

There is the need to create a forum for exchange between African scientists as exemplified by the activities of the EU. FARA could broker such a forum.

Interview with Dr. Samuel Adjei Nsiah from Ghana at Infoday FP7 Cooperation Theme 2: Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and Biotechnologies (FAFB), Brussels, 18th July. This event was organised by Biocircle. Dr. Samuel Adjei Nsiah is a Senior Research Fellow, Forest and Horticultural Crops Research Centre. Kade College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences University of Ghana. He is a member of the PAEPARD supported consortium: Improving food security and income for smallholder farmers through improved post harvest technology and he was an agricultural innovation facilitator trained by PAEPARD for the consortium around Ghana - Control of Angular leaf spot disease of Citrus.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Redesigning dietary education

Habiba Hassan-Wassef, Redesigning dietary education. MediTERRA 2012 (english) 2012, Chapter 19. Page 399-422.

The purpose of dietary education (DE) is to help populations make the right food choices so as to consume a diet that enables them to lead a healthy, productive and socially active life. The changes that have taken place in the practice of DE are reviewed in this article against the factors that have influenced this evolution. 

As dietary education has evolved, implementation modalities have changed and innovative initiatives have been introduced adopting creative approaches to the formulation and communication of educational messages

The latter, in turn, build on the newly discovered relations and processes that are based on the outcome of the current understanding of biological knowledge systems. The evolution in food production systems, scientific discoveries, changes in life-supporting ecosystems, and the introduction of novel food-processing techniques are some of the factors that influence the food production and consumption continuum, from the producer to the consumer. 

In facing the challenges of the multi-layered, complex causal web of interdependent factors for diet-related disorders, dietary education programmes necessarily had to integrate approaches involving a wide developmental base that brought in other partners and stakeholders from the various sectors concerned.

The participation of African researchers to FP7 comes under stress

Participation of two African researchers to the Biocircle Info Day of 16th of July (second row):
Dr I.Charles Okoli (Tropical Animal Health and Production Research Lab. Department of Animal Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, Nigeria. PAEPARD supported consortium: Low cost and high quality livestock feed production knowledge delivery to Nigerian poultry industry (NIPOFERD)
Dr. Samuel Adjei Nsiah from Ghana. PAEPARD supported consortium: Improving food security and income for smallholder farmers through improved post harvest technology
16th July 2012. Brussels. Contrary to previous years none of the themes of the Work Programme 2013 - Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology (FAFB)  is mentioning as mandatory the participation of an ICPC (International Cooperation Partner Country) from Africa.

But African countries are free to join any consortium.

PAEPARD made an public intervention on this issue during the plenary of the FP7 Infoday. See the video sreaming of INFO DAY 2012 - FOOD AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES AND BIOTECHNOLOGY - CALL 7It starts at 27 minutes. 

In the previous years (2010, 2011, 2012) a number of themes related to the FP7-FAFB call had as requirement: mandatory ICPC  (International Cooperation Partner Country)/ with at least 1 African country or  SICA (Specific International Cooperation Actions) with at least 1 African country .  SICA means that non EU members are mandatory.

Past experience with the mobilisation of African researchers to participate in FP7, has demonstrated that when themes do not mention specifically the participation of an African ICPC (International Cooperation Partner Country) European consortia are less inclined to involve African research groups. For the FP7-FAFB call of 2013, not a single theme mentions ICPC or SICA Africa. 

This concern was already raised in the response of PAPEARD to the Public consultation of the EC on the Green Paper: From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic, Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding [COM (2011) 48 ]. This response was submitted on behalf of the partner organizations in the EC-funded ‘PAEPARD’ initiative. PAEPARD was supported in the first phase through the 7th Framework Programme, and is currently supported by the Food Security Programme (FSTP) of DevCo. The project is led by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa with support from the European Alliance on Agricultural Knowledge for Development (Agrinatura) and several other research and development organizations in Africa and Europe.
We recommend that international cooperation, including partnership with developing countries, is systematically integrated into all funding instruments in the Common Strategic Framework. (page 3) 
The green paper on development convincingly shows that inclusive, demand-led approaches are essential if agricultural research is to deliver benefits for rural households. Therefore, it is crucial that EU research and development policy are suitably aligned. During the early stages of the project, PAEPARD partners made a significant input to a workshop that was organized jointly by the EU Research and Development Directorates. The results of the workshop helped to shape a special ‘Africa’ Call for Proposals under the 7th Framework programme by identifying and describing a set of priority research topics. We recommend that mechanisms to facilitate the convergence between the development and research strands of EU policy are built into the Common Strategic Framework. (page 4) 
The ‘Africa’ Call for proposals under the 7th Framework programme generated considerable interest and over one hundred proposals were submitted. However, only a small number of proposals were funded and the role of African organizations in the partnership teams tended to be quite limited. This reflects the findings from the early stages of PAEPARD which showed that there are serious barriers to the participation of African organizations in the framework programmes. (page 4)
On the other hand it has to be noted that the last two years has seen a remarkable increase of interest for collaborative research projects with Africa in the field of agriculture, namely with countries like (in alphabetic order) Australia; BRICS countries; China; Canada, Japan, and the United Sates.


14-16 April 2008.  DGDEV Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium. FARA & EFARD Consultation on Agricultural Research Programming for FP7-FAB and FSTP.

Organised by European Commission in collaboration with CTA, forty experts from African and European institutions including the European Commission met during 3 days, to decide on and define ARD priority research topics and activities for enhancing S&T cooperation between Africa and Europe within the framework of 10 broad priority areas under two EU instruments; FP7-FAB and FSTP.

The objective was to increase the impact of agricultural research and knowledge systems on rural productivity, poverty reduction, food security and sustainable management of natural resources through the delivery of global public goods. The face to face meeting was preceded by an e-consultation which provided a wealth of information on targeted research areas and identified modalities and policies for ensuring synergy, coherence between FP7-FAB and FSTP.

The experts produced a 26 page document which provides a brief description of 2-3 research priorities and related activities for each of the 10 broad priority areas including climate change, bioenergy and traditional knowledge.

10th July 2009. The FP7-KBBE-2010 CALL [AFRICA CALL] launched in July 2009 was a targeted research effort of the European Commission to meet the challenges for Water, Food Security and Better Health for Africa. A cross-thematic call brought together three funding Themes under FP7: (a) Health; (b) Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology; (c) Environment (including climate change).

The topics of the call under Theme 2: Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology were:
  • KBBE.-2010.1.-2-03: Sustainable water resources management (WRM) and Soil fertility conservation for food production in Africa - SICA  (Specific International Cooperation Actions) Africa
  • KBBE.2010.2.2-03: Identifying research needs on malnutrition in Africa – Mandatory Africa 
  • KBBE.2010.3.5-02: Coping with water scarcity in developing countries: Role of biotechnology in water treatment – Mandatory ICPC Africa
  • KBBE.2010.4-02: Networking of non-governmental organisations involved in agricultural research for development
10th July 2010.  The FP7-KBBE-2011 CALL launched in July 2010. Following themes targeted more explicitely the African continent:

  • KBBE.2011.2.5-02 Reducing post-harvest losses for increased food security — SICA, Mandatory 3 different ICPC
  • KBBE.2011.1.3-01 New/next generation of researchers for Neglected Zoonoses at the animal-human interface – Mandatory 3 different ICPC (of which at least 2 from Africa
  • KBBE.2011.1.4-08 Role of aquaculture in improving food security and eradicating poverty worldwide - Mandatory 3 different ICPC
10th July 2011.  The FP7-KBBE-2012 CALL  launched in July 2011. 
Topics of particular interest for Africa were:
  • KBBE.2012.1.4-03 Advocacy and informational material for different media targeting decision makers at different levels and end-users in Africa in the fight against neglected zoonotic diseases 
  • KBBE.2012.3.4-01 Conversion of bio-waste in developing countries - SICA, 3 different ICPC from African, ACP and Mediterranean Partner Countries
Other topics in areas of mutual interest between Africa and Europe included: 
  • KBBE.2012.1.4-05 Volatility of agricultural commodity markets 
  • KBBE.2012.2.3-05 Insects as a novel source of proteins - SICA, 3 different ICPC.
  • KBBE.2012.1.3-0 Development and evaluation of scientific methodologies for costeffective risk-based animal health surveillance
  • KBBE.2012.3.3-02 Support to standardisation for bio-based products
10th July 2012.  The FP7-KBBE-2013 CALL  launched in July 2012. 

Only 1 theme mentions as mandatory the inclusion of ICPC countries.
  • KBBE.2013.3.1-02: EU-Latin America Partnering Initiative on sustainable biodiversity in agriculture. 3 different ICPC countries from Latin America.
The FP7-KBBE-2013 CALL has no SICA  (Specific International Cooperation Actions) nor a Mandatory ICPC from Africa.

Topics in areas of mutual interest between Africa and Europe may be: 
  • KBBE.2013.2.3-02: Network for the transfer of knowledge on traditional foods to SMEs
  • KBBE.2013.1.2-02: Legume breeding and management for sustainable agriculture as well as protein supply for food and feed 
  • KBBE.2013.1.2-04: Control of pests and pathogens affecting fruit crops 
  • KBBE.2013.1.2-05: Biological control agents in agriculture and forestry for effective pest and pathogen control 
  • KBBE.2013.1.3-02: Sustainable apiculture and conservation of honey bee genetic diversity 


The FP7-KBBE-2010 CALL [AFRICA CALL] launched in July 2009 resulted in following consortia which have been highlighted in the past on the PAEPARD and FARA blog:

EAU4Food    European Union and African Union cooperative research to increase Food production in irrigated farming systems in Africa
Start date:2011-07-01 
End date:2015-06-30 
Duration:48 months 
Total cost:4,943,245 EURO 
EU contribution3,994,856 EURO 
Subprogramme Area:Sustainable water resources management (WRM) and Soil fertility conservation for food production in Africa - SICA (Africa) 
EAU4Food seeks to address the need for new approaches to increase food production in irrigated areas in Africa, while ensuring healthy and resilient environments. Potential pitfalls of introducing innovations in local farming systems, like limited adoption by farmers and trade-off effects to other (environmental) systems are overcome by, respectively, i) utilizing a true trans-disciplinary approach, which involves the active participation of all stakeholders in all relevant disciplines, and ii) by determining and respecting so called sustainable production thresholds. EAU4Food is executed in four irrigated areas in Africa, viz. Southern Africa (Mozambique and South-Africa), Tunisia, Mali and Ethiopia to fully benefit from the potential of cross distributing promising strategies and innovations.

SUNRAY  Sustainable Nutrition Research for Africa in the Years to come 
Start date: 2011-01-01 
End date: 2012-12-31 
Duration: 24 months 
Total cost: 1,088,201 EURO 
EU contribution: 968,463 EURO 
Subprogramme Area:Identifying research needs on malnutrition in Africa - Mandatory Africa 
SUNRAY has seven work packages: WP1 optimises communication and coordination within the Consortium. WP2 maps current nutrition research activities in sub-Saharan Africa, and examines the operating environment. WP3 analyses the views of stakeholders. WP4 examines the impact of environmental changes on nutrition. WP5 builds consensus on research priorities through workshops in three African regions. WP6 develops a strategic framework for future research in the form of a roadmap. WP7 disseminates project outputs. The SUNRAY Consortium has four African and five European institutions and an Advisory Group of six external experts with complementary expertise. 

Waterbiotech Biotechnology for Africa's sustainable water supply   
Start date: 2011-08-01 
End date: 2014-01-31 
Duration: 30 months 
Project cost: 1,264,465 EURO 
EU contribution 999,528 EURO 
Subprogramme Area: Coping with water scarcity in developing countries: Role of biotechnology in water treatment - Mandatory ICPC (Africa) 
Natural biological treatment systems include lagooning, land treatment, phytodepuration, or constructed wetlands systems. They can be applied as secondary or tertiary purification treatment, allowing the removal of pathogenic microorganisms and the degradation of the organic pollutants, so that waste water can be recycled for irrigation and domestic use and hence reduce the pressure on the hydric resources. Other biotechnological techniques to be taken into account within this proposal are bio-filtration, membrane bioreactors and algae and other aquatic crops application for wastewater purification.

INSARD  Including Smallholders in Agricultural Research for Development
Start date: 2011-01-01 
End date: 2013-12-31 
Total cost: EUR 536,940
EU contribution: EUR 498,330 

Subprogramme area: 
KBBE.2010.4-02 Networking of non-governmental organisations involved in agricultural research for development 

The main aim of this project is to facilitate the participation of a broader range of European and African civil society organizations in the formulation and implementation of ARD. It will do so by:
1. Designing a structure for coordination and communication between European and African CSO’s involved in influencing policies and practices around ARD.
2. Define policy influencing strategies, including thematic priorities, target groups/individuals and tools.
3. Lobby key African and European research organizations and donors.
4. Working towards defining research priorities which draw on interaction between researchers and CSOs.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Highlight: Waterbiotech, a consortium of the Africa Call 2010

01.08.2011 – 01.02.2014.Biotechnology for Africa’s sustainable water supply: WATERBIOTECH is EU funded project under the European Framework (FP 7) with the theme: Coping with water scarcity in developing countries: Role of Biotechnology in water treatment – Mandatory ICPC (AFRICA). The project has 30 months duration started from 1 August, 2011 with a kick-off meeting in Tunis, Tunisia and a consortium of 20 partners from 17different African and European countries.

The purification and reuse of wastewater in combination with efficient use of water is the only sustainable way to solve the problem in water scarce region in Africa and all over the world. The high costs of conventional treatment processes have lead experts and authorities to search for creative, efficient and environmentally sound ways to control water pollution. The development of simple and cost effective Biotechnological water treatment technologies is particularly interesting for African countries.

The Biotechnological water treatment methods proposed in this project include Membrane bioreactor (MBR), Bio-desalination, neutralization and heavy metal removal, the nutrient film techniques and the tricking filter.

The First International WATERBIOTECH Conference

October 09-11, 2012 , National Research Center (NRC) Cairo, Egypt.
The Conference will provide an opportunity to bring environmentalist, water specialist, professors, scientists,engineers, and technicians’ from all the corners of Africa, Europe, Asia, and USA under one roof and discuss the major challenges of Water Biotechnology and sustainable water supply in Africa. This will also provide an opportunity for the international partners in the field to share their experiences and develop networking with regional scientists.


Infoday FP7 Cooperation Theme 2: Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and Biotechnologies

16th July 2012. Info Day and Brokerage Event on Call FP7-KBBE-2013-7. This information day was for everyone interested in taking part in call 2013 of FP7 Cooperation Theme 2: Food, griculture and Fisheries and Biotechnologies.

The objective of the event was to bring together research stakeholders, from both the public and private sectors from the EU and Third Countries, together with Commission officers and provide information and ground for discussion and networking.

FARA under the Biocircle project gave the opportunity to two members of PAEPARD supported consortia to participate in this event:
  1. Dr I.Charles Okoli (Tropical Animal Health and Production Research Lab. Department of Animal Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, Nigeria to discuss the collaboration on the research proposal Nigeria - Low cost and high quality livestock feed production knowledge delivery to Nigerian poultry industry (NIPOFERD)
  2. Dr. Samuel Adjei Nsiah Ghana - Improving food security and income for smallholder farmers through improved post harvest technology
The event included in the morning a general introduction with presentations of the main features and areas addressed by the 2013 call. (see programme)

During the afternoon session: parallel sessions were organised with group discussions by thematic areas:
  1. Parallel Session 1: Sustainable production and management of biological resources from land, forest and aquatic environment
  2. Parallel Session 2: Fork to farm: Food (including seafood), health and well being Consumers, nutrition, food processing, food quality and safety, environmental impact and total food chain, European research area 
  3. Parallel Session 3: Life sciences, biotechnology and bio-chemistry for sustainable non-food products and processes
The official Call was published on the 9th of July 2012.

Contrary to previous years none of the themes of the Work Programme 2013 - Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology  is mentioning as mandatory the participation of an ICPC (International Cooperation Partner Country) from Africa. But African countries are free to join any consortium.

Contrary to previous years none of the themes of the Work Programme 2013 - Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology (FAFB)  is mentioning as mandatory the participation of an ICPC (International Cooperation Partner Country) from Africa.

But African countries are free to join any consortium.

PAEPARD made an public intervention on this issue during the plenary of the FP7 Infoday. See the video sreaming of INFO DAY 2012 - FOOD AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES AND BIOTECHNOLOGY - CALL 7It starts at 27 minutes. 

On Tuesday 17th of July, a meeting was organised for the national contact points: 7th Bio-NCP meeting for theme 2.

On Wednesday 18th of July, Biocircle organised its Third Country BIO-NCPs of the BIOCIRCLE 2 project. The objective of this training was to show options, ways and means to enhance the visibility of Third Country researchers within the European research areas.

A keynote presentation was made by Daan du Toit, Senior S&T Rep. of South Africa to EU on South Africa’s S&T partnership with the European Union: Visibility and Networking – key for success.

Two principles: 
  1. Answer calls & Find partners 
  2. Create enabling national environment for researchers to participate: 
Early identification of : 
  • FP7 topics relevant to SA priorities and strengths SA researchers best placed to respond 
  • Support SA links to leading European groups with best chances of success, bearing in mind: Lead in proposal preparation coming for Europe 
  • Highly competitive – excellence key criteria Networking and visibility essential