Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, February 25, 2013

People and Planet Report

Working Group member Dr Eliya Zulu, Executive Director, African Institute for Development Policy and President, Union for African Population Studies
Rapid and widespread changes in the world’s human population, coupled with unprecedented levels of consumption present profound challenges to human health and wellbeing, and the natural environment. 
This report gives an overview of how global population and consumption are linked, and the implications for a finite planet.
Working Group chair Sir John Sulston FRS, Chair of the Institute for Science, Ethics & Innovation, University of Manchester.

Key recommendations

Key recommendations include:
  1. The international community must bring the 1.3 billion people living on less than $1.25 per day out of absolute poverty, and reduce the inequality that persists in the world today. This will require focused efforts in key policy areas including economic development, education, family planning and health.
  2. The most developed and the emerging economies must stabilise and then reduce material consumption levelsthrough: dramatic improvements in resource use efficiency, including: reducing waste; investment in sustainable resources, technologies and infrastructures; and systematically decoupling economic activity from environmental impact.
  3. Reproductive health and voluntary family planning programmes urgently require political leadership and financial commitment, both nationally and internationally. This is needed to continue the downward trajectory of fertility rates, especially in countries where the unmet need for contraception is high.
  4. Population and the environment should not be considered as two separate issues. Demographic changes, and the influences on them, should be factored into economic and environmental debate and planning at international meetings, such as the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development and subsequent meetings.
Other recommendations made in the report focus on:
  • the potential for urbanisation to reduce material consumption
  • removing barriers to achieve high-quality primary and secondary education for all
  • undertaking more research into the interactions between consumption, demographic change and environmental impact
  • implementing comprehensive wealth measures
  • developing new socio-economic systems.

Tim Lang's AGA keynote  "Public health needs to feature in agriculture thinking"
See video at 31:40 min: stop thinking about agriculture and farming ... but we need to think more about growing horticulture

Friday, February 22, 2013

36th session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

13-14 February 2013. Rome. 36th session of IFAD's Governing Council. The power of partnerships: Forging alliances for sustainable smallholder agriculture.

Held annually at IFAD headquarters in Rome, the Governing Council consists of all of IFAD's Member States and is its main decision-making body. Against a global backdrop of unprecedented economic and environmental challenges, this year's Governing Council meeting looked towards new and improved forms of partnership with governments and other donors, the private sector and smallholder farmers themselves.

The power of partnerships: Investing in sustainable rural development United Nations Special Representative David Nabarro kicks off this high-level panel in conversation with James Mwangi, CEO and Managing Director of Equity Bank, Kenya. Their dialogue explored potential opportunities for smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs to strengthen food security, reduce poverty and build prosperity by forging alliances with public and private sector entities. Afterwards, a panel of experts discussed the pros and cons of different partnership models in the agribusiness value chain, ways to foster an enabling policy environment for such partnerships, and the circumstances under which they are a viable option for smallholder farmers.

Uploaded Feb 19, 2013 Duration 02:08:25

Secrets of mutually beneficial and successful partnerships Tulio Garcia, Executive Director of Cooperative 4Pinos; Salah Hegazy, Chairman of Agrofood; Mylène Kherallah, Senior Technical Advisor for IFAD on Private Sector Development; Tadesse Meksela, General Manager of Coffee Cooperative Orioma; Lucian Peppelenbos, Director of Learning and Innovation. Moderator: Alex Puissant, international journalist and facilitator. The speakers share their experiences in forging successful partnerships with public/private sector actors and also with and between smallholder producers, discuss the social impact of partnerships at community level, and examine the challenges and opportunities of: organizing smallholder farmers into cooperatives enabling smallholders to expand their operations in a cost-effective manner and gain access to markets providing smallholders access to knowledge, research, technology and finance developing policies that cater to the needs of all stakeholders and partners.

Uploaded Feb 18, 2013 Duration 01:50:02


Keynote speeches and statements delivered at the 36th session of IFAD's Governing Council
Acceptance statement by Kanayo Nwanze, President of IFAD

Governing Council panels, round tables and side events:

1. Measuring impact – Understanding pathways to rural transformation
Concept note: Arabic | English | French | Spanish

Phillip Davies: The importance of measuring the impact of development projects. The perspectives of 3ie
Alessandra Garbero: Challenges of impact evaluation
Gero Carletto: Potential use of the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) for impact evaluation

2. High-level round table with Governors: Partnerships for financing agricultural and rural development
Concept note: Arabic | English | French | Spanish
Opening statement of IFAD President to the high-level round table with Governors: Partnerships for financing agricultural and rural development

First Global meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at IFAD
First global meeting of the Indigenous Peoples' Forum at IFAD
Synthesis of deliberations of the first global meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum at IFAD
Indigenous Peoples' Forum Concept note: English | French | Spanish
Policy brief on IFAD's engagement with indigenous peoples: English | French | Spanish
Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility

Video: Watch the trailer for Black Gold, a documentary about Tadesse Meskela – one of the speakers at the IFAD Governing Council panel on secrets of successful partnerships – and his organization's struggle to protect 74,000 Ethiopian coffee farmers from exploitation. 

The Mozambique Country Team - the living proof of just how powerful a partnership can be, was presented the very first Award of Excellence: Working Together in the Field.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Access Agriculture Videos translated into Arabic

An overview of the African languages can be found 

in the right language scroll and it is possible 
to be syndicated to the latest news 
through the orange news feed icon.
February 20, 2013. Access Agriculture has now translated agricultural training videos into Arabic.

It is possible to view or download Arabic versions of a series of farmer-to-farmer training videos on combatting striga and improving soil fertility on

The videos were developed by ICRISAT and Agro-Insight. The Arabic translation has been supported by the Ministry of Science and Communication in Sudan.

Here under follow a video interview with Florent Okry, Regional coordinator West and Central Africa Access Agriculture and his Presentation which he made during the Atelier de formation des facilitateurs du processus « User Led Process » 10 -12 January 2013, in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Biotechnology: Prospects and Challenges for Africa

Signature of the agreement 

on biotechnology 
(Unesco Nigeria)
4 to 8 February 2013. The International Scientific Advisory Board for the International Institute for Biotechnology, a UNESCO Category II, had its inaugural meeting and its scientific session at the University of Nigeria (Nsukka).

A one-day seminar was devoted to Biotechnology: Prospects and Challenges for Africa.The University of Nigeria (Nsukka) is hosting the International Institute for Biotechnology, a UNESCO Category II facility at Nsukka, Nigeria. This Regional Centre is the first Institute of its kind in Africa and the agreement for its establishment was signed by UNESCO and the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 15 October 2012

The meetings and scientific session on the 7 February brought together stakeholders and experts in Biotechnology from the region and beyond who addressed critical issues of Food Security and Tropical Disease Research in Africa; these being the principal focal areas of the centre.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Global Farms Race

The Global Farms Race


Hardcover $50.00
ISBN: 9781610911863
Published October 2012
248 pages

As we struggle to feed a global population speeding toward 9 billion, we have entered a new phase of the food crisis. Wealthy countries that import much of their food, along with private investors, are racing to buy or lease huge swaths of farmland abroad. The Global Farms Race is the first book to examine this burgeoning trend in all its complexity, considering the implications for investors, host countries, and the world as a whole.

The debate over large-scale land acquisition is typically polarized, with critics lambasting it as a form of “neocolonialism,” and proponents lauding it as an elixir for the poor yields, inefficient technology, and unemployment plaguing global agriculture. The Global Farms Race instead offers diverse perspectives, featuring contributions from agricultural investment consultants, farmers’ organizations, international NGOs, and academics. The book addresses historical context, environmental impacts, and social effects, and covers all the major geographic areas of investment.

Call for proposals from the The Climate Change Adaptation in Africa

The Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) program is a joint initiative of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and IDRC that concluded in 2012. Over the course of the program, from 2006-2012, researchers in 33 African countries produced a wealth of new knowledge on climate change adaptation.

CCAA interactive report: New Pathways to Resilience
IDRC documents the CCAA story in an interactive report, New Pathways to Resilience. The report provides a guided tour of the program’s aims, efforts, and chief contributions. Throughout the report, you will find links to program and project resources, and directions for delving further into its scientific findings.

IDRC and DFID launch a new program on climate change adaptation
IDRC and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) are funding a new program on climate change adaptation. The Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA) began in 2012 and will run until 2019.

CARIAA invites submissions of joint concept notes for the establishment of research consortia in three climate change hot spots: semi-arid regions, deltas, and glacier and snowpack dependent river basins. Find out what we’re looking for and how you can apply by reading the call documents and Frequently Asked Questions on their website.

The call for concept notes on collaborative adaptation research in three hot spots is open until April 4, 2013.

The development of a self- relying research-based agricultural policy in Africa

In an interview with CTA Brussels, Godfrey Bahiigwa, the head of IFPRI’s Eastern and Southern Africa regional office explain the functioning of the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS), and its role in the development of a self- relying research-based agricultural policy in Africa.

‘ReSAKSS’ objective is to provide knowledge, agricultural research, to inform policy making and strategy formulation. It is also intended to build the capacity at regional and national level, to strengthen analysis debate and policy making’ (Godfrey Bahiigwa, IFPRI Eastern & Southern Africa).

Godfrey Bahiigwa, IFPRI Eastern & Southern Africa from CTA on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


©FAO and AfricaRice 2011. African Seed Enterprises (Van Mele et al.)

AFRICAN SEED ENTERPRISES describes an exceptionally wide range of experiences in nine countries. Each of the cases is substantially unique and presents a particular history and set of lessons.

Each of the cases is substantially unique and presents a particular history and set of lessons. The descriptions are accompanied by country profiles that allow the reader to appreciate the agricultural and policy environment that determines the trajectory of these enterprises.

Their experience to date offers an exceptionally rich source of data and insights for understanding seed systems and appreciating the diversity of strategies and resources that have been used to create new seed enterprises.

Pdf versions of all chapters can be downloaded below:

Related: Interview with J. Rakotoarisoana African Seed Trade Association. He was interviewed during the 12th Meeting of the GlobalHort Board of Directors (Brussels, 5 March 2013)

AFSTA’s mission is To promote trade in quality seed and technologies in Africa for the benefit of members and farmer
  • The objectives are:
  • To promote the use of improved quality seed,
  • To strengthen communication with African seed industries and with the world,
  • To facilitate establishment of national seed trade associations in Africa,
  • To provide information to members,
  • To interact with regional governments and NGO’s involved in seed activities in order to promote the interests of the seed industry,
  • To promote activities that lead to regulatory harmonization throughout Africa to facilitate movement of seed, and
  • To develop a statistical database on African seed production and trade.
He answers following questions: 
Why is support to horticulture urgent? What are the research priorities? The type of needed research is not limited to agricultural scientists? How important is public private partnership? Many initiatives are taken in the seed sector?

TIPPING THE BALANCE Policies to shape agricultural investments and markets in favour of small-scale farmers

Tipping the Balance. Policies to shape agricultural investments and markets in favor of small-scale farmers
Published: 6 December 2012
Author: Bill Vorley, Principle Researcher, Sustainable Markets Group, IIED; Lorenzo Cotula, Senior Researcher, Natural Resources Group, IIED; Man-Kwun Chan, Independent consultant

A recent wave of large-scale land acquisitions and other commercial investment in agriculture has raised concerns that small-scale producers are being marginalized.

Oxfam and IIED collaborated on research to take a new look at the role of public policy and market governance at a national level in supporting inclusive sustainable development. This report identifies key policy levers that can tip commercial investments in favor of either small- or large-scale farming. And it shows how policy levers influence market governance to constrain or to support the fair sharing of risk and reward between small-scale producers and the rest of the market.

A key element of the report is the examination of policy elements that can specifically contribute to gender-equitable results. Four country case studies, conducted in Guatemala, Nigeria, Tanzania and the Philippines, supported the research.

A Guide to Inclusive Agribusiness

According to a new report by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), Growing Businesswith Smallholders. A Guide to Inclusive Agribusiness (Christina Gradl, Christina Kükenshöner, Juliane Schmidt, Christiane Ströh de MartínezNovember 2012: 90 pages) small-scale farmers will be crucial in feeding this growing population.

Globally, 500 million small-scale farms currently feed around two billion people. "Integrating these farms into value chains not only promises to provide new sources for agricultural products, but will also enable smallholders to purchase better inputs and raise investment levels, thus creating market opportunities for input providers," argued the report. "Inclusive agribusiness practices thus create business growth opportunities for smallholders and companies alike."

While it would be mutually beneficial for companies and smallholders to do business together, they frequently find it difficult to enter into productive commercial relationships, with both sides often lacking trust and access to the other.

The report has identified five structural challenges that need to be addressed, and understood, in order to improve this business relationship for both parties.

1. Lack of market information

With market research and consulting firms being scarce or non-existent in rural areas in developing countries, it can be difficult to get up-to-date market information. From the company's side, it can be difficult to obtain vital information on smallholder markets, whether they are selling to, or sourcing from, smallholders. Companies selling products to small-scale farmers do not know what they want, how much they are willing to pay or how to market their products to these small-scale farmers. Companies sourcing from smallholders are often also not aware who is selling what, at what price and where.

"Smallholders also face difficulties accessing up-to-date information on issues such as market prices for their products, weather forecasts, potential business partners beyond the local level, available inputs, modern production and marketing technologies, and agricultural practices," added GIZ's report.

With more and more small-scale farmers gaining access to mobile phones, the situation is improving in many African countries. However internet access is still low and many small-scale farmers are illiterate, making access to necessary market information challenging. According to the report, in the world's most underdeveloped countries, only 53% of small-scale farmers over the age of 15 are literate.

2. Lack of skills

Due to the lack of access to market information, small-scale farmers are commonly unaware of up-to-date agricultural practices and post-harvest management techniques. While subsistence agricultural practices are generally passed down from parents, in order to be part of a larger value-chain "certain standards need to be fulfilled in terms of general, and crop specific, agricultural practices, and in terms of management," according to the report.

Small-scale farmers generally lack business skills like cash-flow management, accounting and the ability to engage in strategy development, and typically have minimal formal education, if any. "Companies consequently struggle with the lack of capacities possessed by their smallholder business partners," continued the report. "However, they often lack the skills and resources to provide the required training and education themselves."

3. Insecurity and risk

Typically, the business relationship between a small-scale farmer and a company is drenched in insecurity, making it difficult for one to trust the other, enter into long-term commitments and take additional risks. The income of small-scale farmers is characteristically low, insecure and irregular, and the majority of developing countries usually only offer limited insurance coverage and social safety nets needed to absorb losses of a failed harvest or an unexpected fall in prices.

"Less than 5% of people with low incomes have access to general insurance coverage, and even fewer to agriculture-related policies," the report pointed out. Small-scale farmers also risk theft of livestock and produce.

Markets in rural areas are also mostly informal, and contract-enforcement support systems – like the police or courts – are also generally unavailable, time-consuming or unreliable. Contracts therefore often have to be based on trust.

Companies also lack the formal means to enforce contracts with small-scale farmers, and bureaucratic and formal processes for gaining operating permission usually create long delays. In addition, these companies can also face political risks in some countries. According to the report, "business regulations are often patchy, administrative systems are inefficient, and legal insecurities exist in areas such as the requirements and procedures for exporting agricultural products, or for registering a product for sale on the local market."

4. Insufficient resources

Typically, small-scale farmers in developing countries lack financial resources and assets, making it even more difficult to improve their financial situation. According to GIZ's report, insufficient access to credit is also tied to the lack of formal property titles, as many smallholders cannot show an official document certifying the land's legal ownership to a bank. This means that small-scale farmers are unable to use their land – their main resource – as collateral.

"This capital constraint makes it difficult for smallholder farmers to make investments that don't pay off immediately, as for example in machinery or long-term crops such as trees," added the report. "Even the acquisition of financing for inputs covering a single cultivation period often constitutes a challenge."

In addition, the report stated that 55% of farmers surveyed in sub-Saharan Africa said credit for input purchases was their leading desire.

"Companies are used to suppliers that can invest in order to meet demand, as well as to customers who can finance comparatively large investments. They find it difficult to provide financing for infrastructure that their potential partners lack, such as machinery or storage facilities," the report explained.

5. Gaps in local infrastructure

In many developing countries, and indeed in many rural areas in Africa, small-scale farms are widely dispersed and can be difficult to reach as roads are either in poor condition or non-existent. While Africa is seeing improvements in its infrastructure, ports are often outdated with a limited capacity while railway lines are poorly maintained. The result: companies suffer a long transport time, and often high costs, due to inadequate transport infrastructure.

Lack of electricity is another infrastructural problem that many African small-scale farmers experience. According to the report, sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest electrification rate where only 31% of the overall population has access to electricity. As a result, they rely on candles and kerosene for light and diesel fuel for production-related activities. "The high cost of energy for tasks such as processing is a serious disadvantage in highly competitive markets," continued the report.

Other infrastructural gaps include health care services, training facilities, storage amenities, sanitation and water supply infrastructure.

Monday, February 18, 2013


© FAO 2012, 116 pages.

This report draws the attention of policymakers to urban and peri-urban horticulture, and how it can help to grow greener cities in Africa. Production of fruit and vegetables in and around urban areas
has a clear comparative advantage over rural and other sources in supplying urban residents with fresh, nutritious – but highly perishable – produce all year round. It generates local employment, reduces food
transport costs and pollution, creates urban green belts, and recycles urban waste as a productive resource.

Drawing on surveys and case studies from 31 countries, the report describes the current state of urban and peri-urban horticulture across the African continent. Its major finding is that the commercial
production of fruit and vegetables provides livelihoods for thousands of urban Africans and food for millions more. But market gardening has grown with little official recognition, regulation or support. In some cities, it is becoming unsustainable: to maximize returns, market gardeners are using ever larger quantities of pesticide and polluted water.

Developing sustainable market gardens to serve African cities requires, first, that policymakers recognize the sector’s current contribution to the urban food supply and to urban livelihoods. hen, they will need to zone and protect land and water for market gardens, and encourage growers to adopt eco-friendly “Save and Grow” farming practices that produce more, while reducing food contamination risks and protecting the environment. All stakeholders will need to cooperate in building an efficient
urban fruit and vegetable supply system, one that provides fresh produce at a price all residents can afford.

The 12th Meeting of the GlobalHort Board of Directors gave PAEPARD the opportunity to interview the chair of the editorial board of this publication: NeBambi Lutaladio, Senior officer and Team Leader, Crop Diversification for Improved livelihoods, Plant Production and Protection Division  Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department.

He was also instrumental in the participation of FAO in the Atelier de définition et de validation des questions de recherche relatives à la filière maraîchère en Afrique Centrale23, 24 et 25 Janvier 2013. Brazzaville. Congo.

In a first interview NeBambi Lutaladio explains why this publication has not used a scientific language and on the other hand how it can help re-orient research.

Transcript: Why did you avoid a scientific language?
To make sure policy makers are involved we have to use the same language. The first thing they may say when we talk about urban horticulture is: “It’s illegal”. Those who are involved in agriculture cannot do this in town: they have to go back to their village. Our role is to ask ourselves: how can we accompany those people.  How can we help city councils to understand the importance to support them? Therefore we need to produce a document which addresses policy makers. To demonstrate the contribution of peri and urban horticulture in nutritional and food security; to increase the income of persons who are into poverty; the possibility to improve their livelihood; to contribute to city sanitation like recycling of waste, using and purifying waste water for horticulture. It is to help policy makers to bring horticulture into the pacification of their city.   

Could such a document also re-orient research?
Yes because besides themes which addresses policy making and the management of natural resources, there are themes which are linked to better agricultural practices. In the management of resources we tackle more than land ownership issues but also territorial and agricultural management. How can we better manage soils to avoid erosion, to improve soil health and fertility, to use less chemical products, to use more organic compost, how to reduce the use of pesticides to avoid polluting the soil and water, how to recycle and collect used or rain water. Another research theme is to increase agricultural practice to improve yield and while preserving the natural resources. To improve the quality of the products means to avoid contamination by pesticide residues.  

Another type of research is socio-economic research: the professionalization of the producers. To help them create association for expressing themselves and self-management like: how to manage a credit, how to organize the collection of the horticultural products, the reimbursement of credits, the access to the inputs, and access to  market thought nice markets (products which are not so often found in super markets but for which there is a market). This will allow those groups to create a capital and to reinvest.

In a second interview NeBambi Lutaladio explains how urban horticulture can help mitigate climate change in Africa.

In a third video interview NeBambi Lutaladio expresses his appreciation of the Users-led-process approach of PAEPARD which has led PROPAC to identify Urban horticulture as a federating theme for Cameroon, DRC and the Republic of Congo around which research oriented multi stakeholder consortia can be created.

Appel à projets : Programme d'appui à la recherche en réseau en Afrique (PARRAF)

Appel à projets : Programme d'appui à la recherche en réseau en Afrique (PARRAF)

Date limite de candidature : 18 Mars 2013

Le ministère français des Affaires étrangères (MAE) développe un « Programme d’Appui à la Recherche en Réseau en Afrique (PARRAF), dont la gestion et la coordination sont assurées par l’Agence Inter-établissements de Recherche pour le Développement (AIRD).

L’enjeu du programme est, d’une part, de favoriser l’émergence de réseaux de recherche autour de projets fédératifs et régionaux et, d’autre part, de renforcer les capacités de recherche des pays africains les moins développés. Pour cela, il soutient la recherche selon des modalités différenciées pour répondre à des besoins contrastés et favoriser les synergies et complémentarités régionales.

Friday, February 15, 2013


From 6th to 8th February 2013, more than 2,500 companies from across the entire fresh produce value chain was present in Berlin, Germany – including global players as well as small and medium-sized suppliers from all around the world.

FRUIT LOGISTICA 2013 Countries/Africa – 
Ghana Fairtrade Africa
FRUIT LOGISTICA is the leading international meeting place of the fresh produce trade.

For three whole days, FRUIT LOGISTICA provides: an across-the-board presence of top international exhibitors an excellent platform for initiating business deals excellent opportunities for making worldwide business contacts a unique opportunity to gain a complete overview of the latest trends in the fresh produce business.

Fifth General Meeting of the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD)

5-6 February 2012. Dakar. The Fifth General Meeting of the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) was held  to review progress in a 10 year initiative to double Sub-Sahara Africa’s rice production.

The conference reviewed the progress and challenges of the rice sector development in Sub-Sahara Africa during the past five years and discussed the key activities of the next five years.

The CARD initiative was launched during the 2008 Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) jointly by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to help strengthen overall African agricultural development.

Other CARD members are the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA), the Africa Rice center, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

 The initiative aims to double Sub-Sahara Africa’s rice production to 28 million tons by 2018, through coordination of all the stakeholders including governments, donors, NGOs and private enterprises.

Facilitating Open Knowledge for Agricultural Development

February 5 to 6, 2013. The Facilitating Open Knowledge for Agricultural Development Invitational Convening took place at the Michigan State University.

The convening has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Michigan State University. Participants included practitioners and experts across public and private sector including faculty, researcher organizations and development agencies.

This convening is part of AgShare Phase II, a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with OER Africa, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and Michigan State University.

Topics included
  • Mobile and open knowledge solutions for development
  • Solutions for scientific, technical and production quality OER
  • Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as a new tool for development
  • Improving search and discoverability
  • Methods for measuring impacts on development of open research, open content and open data
  • AgShare Methods and Student Translational Scholars

Announcement: The Agricultural Innovation Systems in Africa or AISA workshop

29-31 May 2013.
Nairobi, Kenya. JOLISAA is co-organizing with KARI, the PROLINNOVA network, CCAFS FSIFS-AusAID a small (80 participants expected) international workshop (the Agricultural Innovation Systems in Africa or AISA workshop) during which selected participants from different horizons will share their experiences and reflect on concepts and results about agricultural innovation processes and systems involving African small holders. Another objective will be to engage with policy-makers and other institutional decision-makers about implications and recommendations for policy, research and practice.


25-31 May 2013. The AISA workshop will as part of an international week devoted to Agricultural innovation in Africa. 

 A four-page announcement about this week of events can be found here  .

The AISA workshop will tackle the following questions:
  • What insights and lessons can be gained from recent experiences and initiatives to promote and support agricultural innovation involving smallholders throughout Africa?
  • How are the AIS concepts and approaches being operationalised in Africa? With what successes and challenges? What added value do they bring compared to earlier or current approaches to agricultural research and development?
  • What are some of the key implications and recommendations for the way forward in terms of policy, research and practice with regard to supporting agricultural innovation in Africa, and how can the recommendations be implemented concretely in the near future?

To address the, the workshop will be structured in 5 sessions:
  • Opening and facilitated participation in the Eastern Africa Farmer Innovation Fair
  • Reflecting on conceptual issues / frameworks / approaches for assessing innovation experiences
  • Sharing main results and lessons about innovation processes/cases (posters, oral papers, facilitated group and plenary sessions)
  • Policy implications and policy-dialogue strategy and messages
  • Identifying the way forward (World Café).

Pls note this is a closed, by invitation only, event. Also note that very limited opportunities exist for sponsorship, as most participants are expected to be self-sponsored through their respective programs and projects.

Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNET) Workshop

5 - 6 February 2013. UNEP headquarters , Nairobi. Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNET) Workshop. This workshop was convened under the theme "Convening Adaptation Knowledge Networks and Platforms in Africa".

The Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network is facilitated by UNEP under the umbrella of the Global Adaptation Network (GAN).

Around 70 representatives from some 20 regional adaptation knowledge platforms and others organizations together endorsed the Africa Adaptation Knowledge Network (AAKNet) as the continental network to be responsible for coordinating, facilitating, harnessing and strengthening the exchange of information and knowledge and fostering and supporting strategic planning and policy processes.

The Network functions as a knowledge hub on adaptation, promoting cooperation and collaboration in seeking robust solutions to climate change impacts using experiences and lessons learnt from the implementation of independent actions in different locations. It also seeks to convene existing adaptation knowledge networks and platforms in Africa to open a window of opportunity for taking stock of the state of adaptation knowledge mobilization on the continent.

The AAKNet website is available at:


UNEP   Global Adaptation NetworK    cdkn               REGATTA  CCDARE project


The AfriCAN Climate Project

AfriCAN Climate is a project co-funded by the European Commission within the 7th FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME. The project was set up by a team of 5 African and 5 European organisations, including research institutes and networks, and runs from October 2011 to September 2014.

The AfriCAN Climate Portal

The AfriCAN Climate Portal is an innovative web-based knowledge platform for the sharing of climate change research and good practices. The portal employs innovative and creative web functionalities to harmonise multilingual, interdisciplinary and pan-continental climate change knowledge and to encourage project developers and stakeholders to learn and benefit from Africa’s challenges and success stories.

The AfriCAN Consortium

The European-African project consortium brings in high profile expertise to cover all thematic climate change research and action areas: Adaption and mitigation research, future climate scenarios, climate policy, applied research in good practices and climate project financing. The consortium gathers the following 10 organisations:

Project coordinator:
WIP Renewable Energies Munich, Germany

Project partners:
  1. ENDA Tiers Monde Dakar, Senegal
  2. FANRPAN - The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network of Southern Africa Pretoria, South Africa
  3. University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, South Africa
  4. World Agroforestry Centre Nairobi, Kenya
  5. ICPAC - IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre Nairobi, Kenya
  1. Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  2. P.A.U. Education Barcelona, Spain
  3. Technical University of Denmark / UNEP Risoe Centre Roskilde, Denmark
  4. Practical Action Rugby, United Kingdom

Global Soil Partnership in Western and Central Africa: Towards an African Soil Partnership

4 - 6 February 2013. Accra, Ghana. The Global Soil Partnership (GSP) was launched in September 2011 to raise awareness among decision makers on the vital role of soil resources for achieving food security, adapting to and mitigating climate change and guaranteeing the provision of other environmental services.

At the core of the GSP is the establishment of Regional Soil Partnerships to contextualize the needs and priorities of soil actions to be implemented in each region. This workshop launched the West and Central African consultation among national soil institutions and regional partners.


Launch of GSP in Western and Central Africa
The Terms of Reference of the GSP were approved in December 2012. The Partnership aims to improve governance of the planet's limited soil resources in order to guarantee healthy and productive soils for a food secure world, as well as support other essential ecosystem services. The five pillars of action of the GSP include:

  1.  the promotion of sustainable management of soil resources; 
  2. the encouragement of investment, technical cooperation, policy, education awareness and extension in soils; 
  3. the promotion of targeted soil research and development focused on identified gaps and priorities; 
  4. the enhancement of the quantity and quality of soil data and information; 
  5. and lastly, the harmonization of methods, measurements and indicators for sustainable soil management, with national validation accounting for the differences of production systems and ecosystems. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


11‐12 February, 2013. CAAST‐Net Plus kick‐off meeting. After five years in operation, the CAAST-Net project came to an end on 31 December 2012. As of 1 January 2013 most CAAST-Net partners, with some new partners, have begun work on a new four year project: CAAST-Net Plus.

CAAST-Net Plus will strengthen cooperation in science and technology between Europe and Africa. Why? To enable both regions to better tackle the global challenges of health, food security, and climate change.

To achieve its goal, CAAST-Net Plus will:

  • Inform the bi-regional policy dialogue on science and technology, in the context of health, food security and climate change global challenges;
  • Build support for innovative and joint approaches to bilateral research funding;
  • Broker the public-private relationship to improve the uptake of research and innovation; and
  • Encourage bi-regional research collaboration and partnerships.

The CAAST-Net Plus website will go live during the month of February 2013. The CAAST-Net website and its contents will soon thereafter be integrated into this new website. Registered CAAST-Net stakeholders will also be contacted to refresh their profiles with CAAST-Net Plus. We look forward to keeping you informed and engaged in 2013.

Hereunder is the presentation of the Work Package on Food security. the CAAST‐Net Plus kick‐off meeting was attended by PAEPARD.

12th Board Meeting of GlobalHort

5-7 February 2013. Brussels, Belgium.

The 12th Meeting of the GlobalHort Board of Directors. GlobalHort is at a crossroads with respect to both management and leadership. Remi Kahane’s term as Executive Secretary finishes at the end of February 2013 and the Board Chair, Norman Looney, representing ISHS, will also be stepping down in 2013. A new Executive Secretary was selected.

The Secretariat will continue to be located in Rome and hosted at FAO such as the secretariat of the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR). Cooperation with CIRAD will continue, likely within the framework of the existing MoU between FAO and CIRAD but with no direct funding of GlobalHort anymore.

Left/front: Jerry Miner
Right/front: Jozef Van Assche & Antonio Monteiro
in front of the impressive collection of the
Acta Horticulturae magazine
Other topics given special attention at this Board meeting included an update on the efforts to gain GlobalHort Secretariat support from the Belgium Directorate General for Development Cooperation;       Coripha [Co-ordinated Innovation Platforms on Horticulture for ACP] – a proposal submitted to S&T Programme II call in February 2013.

A visit was organised on 07/02/2013 to the University of Leuven (Laboratory of Tropical Plants and Banana Research Laboratory) and the + ISHS [International Society for Horticultural Science] Secretariat.

PAEPARD was invited as an observer to this meeting.

Intra-ACP academic mobility scheme

11/02/2013. The third Call for Proposals under the Intra-ACP academic mobility scheme was launched, with a deadline of 10 June 2013.

The intra-ACP academic mobility scheme promotes cooperation between higher education institutions (HEIs) and supports mobility in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) regions. 

The programme aims to increase access to quality education that will encourage and enable ACP students to undertake postgraduate studies, and to promote student retention in the region along with mobility of staff (academic and administrative), while increasing the competitiveness and attractiveness of the institutions themselves.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Estimating the Constraints to Agricultural Trade of Developing Countries

Publication Date 31 Jan 2013Estimating the Constraints to Agricultural Trade of Developing Countries
Evdokia Moïsé, Claire Delpeuch, Silvia Sorescu, Novella Bottini, Arthur Foch
OECD, France
Pages 86

Agricultural trade is widely considered as an important contributor to developing countries‘ economic growth, poverty alleviation and food security. 

This report identifies and analyses some of the most important supply-side constraints to developing countries‘ exports of agricultural products, in order to inform prioritisation and sequencing of domestic policy reforms as well as targeting of donor interventions. The analysis is supplemented by case studies of Aid for Trade programmes supporting agricultural trade expansion in Indonesia, Zambia and Mozambique. 

The report confirms that developing countries‘ agricultural exports are highly responsive to the quality of transport and trade-related infrastructure, while tariffs still have a significant negative impact. The analysis also highlights the importance of complementary policies such as education and political stability on developing countries‘ agricultural trade performance. In the poorest countries of the sample, significant trade expansion could be achieved by easing constraints related to governance and infrastructure quality, as well as by lifting constraints related to the efficient use of existing freshwater resources. 

The case studies illustrate the impact on agricultural exports of constraints related to standards and conformity assessment or access to credit, in particular as regards small and medium agricultural producers, processors and traders. They also show the contribution of donor supported programmes promoting private sector initiatives to poverty reduction through increased employment and the promotion of production adapted to local endowments.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Preliminary Announcement Final Conference for the ERA-ARD II project

5th June 2013
. Egmont Palace, Petit Sablon 8, Brussels, Belgium. Brussels. International Conference – Preliminary Announcement. Better linkages between Agricultural Research and Development for greater impact on Global Challenges.

In recent years, significant progress has been made in improving European coordination of Agricultural Research for Development through ERA-ARD, an EC funded project addressing national programmes for Agricultural Research for Development (ARD) in Europe, as well as EIARD (European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development) targeting European support to global ARD initiatives like the CGIAR and SCAR (Standing Committee on Agricultural Research) targeting research programmes addressing primarily European concerns. 

Future coordination interventions are expected to focus on improved alignment of research and development policies, programmes and instruments both within Europe and between Europe and the South. This conference will bring together policy-makers, donors, programme managers, scientists, the private sector and other stakeholders from Europe and regions of the world concerned with the fields of agriculture, research and international cooperation.

Conference Objectives
This international conference will have a forward looking perspective building on achievements and existing mechanisms to identify concrete ways to improve coordination of agricultural research for development efforts in Europe, emphasising improved synergies between national and bilateral programmes, strengthened linkages between AR and ARD and stronger alignment between national and European programmes with global initiatives in order to address global challenges and to maximise the impact of European investments in AR and ARD, at national, continental and global level.

The outputs of the conference will include proposals for renewed linkages between European AR and ARD, further alignment between member state policies and instruments for a specific dialogue within Europe and between Europe and other regions of world.
Programme Topics

The programme is beginning to take shape, and will include elements of the following:
  • The role of Europe in implementing the GCARD Road Map and addressing Global Challenges 
  • Looking forward with lessons learnt and results from ERA-ARD 
  • European Partnership with the South, including the South’s vision of collaboration with Europe 
  • Linkages between agricultural research and research for development in Europe 
  • The European ARD coordination set-up: possibilities for the future