Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet, Food Security Policy, Livestock-Climate Change

25 July 2013. Washington, DC. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah announced two new Feed the Future Innovation Labs to improve climate resilience in some of Africa's main cereal crops and increase private sector investment that can help smallholder farmers.

  1. The new Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet will be led by Kansas State University and will produce innovations and technologies - such as climate-resilient varieties and new, more profitable market approaches for farmers - for use across sorghum and millet producing areas in Africa. The five-year grant of $13.7 million is aimed at helping end poverty and increase food supplies in semiarid Africa.
  2. The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy, led by a consortium including Michigan State University, the International Food Policy Research Institute and the University of Pretoria, will help increase partner countries’ capacity to identify and implement improved food security policies that can help facilitate greater food security and nutrition. This Innovation Lab will work with and support a wide range of governments, local think tanks, university researchers, private sector associations and civil society groups in building capacity and providing critical information to inform better food, agriculture and nutrition policies.

18 June 2013. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded the Livestock-Climate Change Collaborative Research Support Program (LCC CRSP) to Colorado State University in 2010. The LCC CRSP has its origins in the Global Livestock CRSP (GL CRSP) at UC Davis which ended in 2009. The new Livestock CRSP at CSU supports integrated research that helps small-scale livestock holders adapt to environmental and health impacts of climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.In 2013, USAID mandated a name change for all CRSPs. We are transitioning from a CRSP to a Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research for Adapting Livestock Systems to Climate Change.

Call for proposals: Understanding Parasitic Disease Transmission and Control Strategies to Improve Animal and Human Health
  • Release Date: July 15, 2013
  • Deadline for Proposal Submission: September 15, 2013
  • Funding Decision: Estimated by September 25, 2013
  • Funding Period October 15, 2013-April 15, 2015
  • Submit Inquiries and Full Proposal to:

Utilization of fruit and vegetable wastes as livestock feed

M. Wadhwa and M. P. S. Bakshi 
 © FAO 2013, 56 pages

By 2050 the world will need to feed an additional 2 billion people and will require 70 per cent more meat and milk. The increasing future demand for livestock products, driven by increases in income, population and urbanization will impose a huge demand on feed resources. Sustainability of feed production systems is being challenged due to biophysical factors such as land, soil and water scarcity, food-fuel-feed competition, on going global warming and frequent and drastic climatic vagaries, along with increased competition for arable land and non-renewable resources such as fossil carbon-sources, water and phosphorus. A key to sustainable livestock development is: efficient use of available feed resources including reduction in wastage, and enlargement of the feed resource base through a quest for novel feed resources, particularly those not competing with human food.

A huge quantity of fruit and vegetable wastes (FVW) and by-products from the fruit and vegetable processing industry are available throughout the world. For example fruit and vegetable processing, packing, distribution and consumption in the organized sector in India , the Philippines , China and the United States of America generate a total of approximately 55 million tonnes of FVW. A large proportion of these wastes are dumped in landfills or rivers, causing environmental hazards. Alternatives to such disposal methods could be recycling through livestock as feed resources and/or further processing to extract or develop value-added products.

This publication presents information on the chemical composition, conservation methods, nutritive value and guidelines for incorporation of FVW in animal diets. It also covers aspects related to utilization of such wastes as a substrate for the generation of value-added products. It is expected that this document will promote conversion of wastes to resources and help generate opportunities for development. The recycling of these resources will economise on animal feed and also alleviate the environmental pollution associated with disposal of FVW.

The document is intended for use by extension workers, researchers, feed industries, food processing industries, NGOs, farmers’ associations, producers, policy-makers and science managers.

Announcement: International Workshop on Feed Risk Assessment – Chemical Safety
Utrecht, The Netherlands on 30 September and 1 October 2013. 
  • The workshop is organized by the Government of The Netherlands, supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
  • The workshop aims to explore the state of art in methods and tools for the risk assessment of chemicals in feed for farmed animals, with a focus on possible risks for the consumers of the animal products and for animal health and welfare. It includes scientific topics like composition of feed, animal exposure assessment, modeling of transfer from feed to edible products, and human/consumer safety; the program also explores the regulatory contexts of feed risk assessment activities. We will deal with feed risk assessment issues in interactive case studies and discuss possibilities for further development of the available knowledge and tools.
  • The workshop is aimed at risk assessors and other technical experts dealing with feed, but is also suitable for feed risk managers and other parties involved in the feed sector. Therefore we would kindly request that you to forward this invitation to your colleagues in feed and food safety who might also be interested.
  • For more information , please visit the website

Friday, July 19, 2013

Setting the agenda for Livestock production for Africa

18 Jul 2013. Jimmy Smith, Director General, ILRI - talks of the importance of the AASW6 conference and setting the agenda for Livestock production for Africa.

The challenge is if Africa will be able to produce the amount of animal resource food: produce it for itself or will it have to depend on importation? Our challenge is that Africa can respond to this production and to be sure that small holder producers are a big part in how the continent will respond.

Partnerships for Evergreen Agriculture in Africa

17 July 2013. Dennis Garrity, Drylands Ambassador, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) talks about developing partnerships for Evergreen Agriculture in Africa. He was interview at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) Science week which was organised in collaboration with the Government of Ghana [6th Africa Agriculture Science Week from July 15-19 in Accra, a continental gathering of all stakeholders involved in African agriculture].

The purpose of Evergreen Agriculture in Africa is to integrate trees in the cropping system and to improve soil fertility and provide more fodder and fuel wood and timber for house holds throughout the continent. There is a greater systems perspective in integrating crops, livestock and trees in farming systems in ways that we benefit from the synergies that occur when you think of the whole system rather than one commodity at the time. (...)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Organic Agriculture: African Experiences in Resilience and Sustainability

20 May 2013. This publication (Rome, 2013, 208 pp) demonstrates that organic management can benefit people, the economy and ecosystems and that this can be achieved in Africa, where hunger and degradation stubbornly persist, despite decades of development efforts. The work presented in this volume stems from the conference on Mainstreaming Organic Agriculture in the African Development Agenda, held in Lusaka, Zambia, from 2 to 4 May 2012.

It expands on selected research presented during the Lusaka Conference. The different chapters document sustainability experiences, including: mainstreaming organic agriculture into African development approaches; community-based livestock systems combining holistic range management; indigenous ethno-veterinary practices and new understanding of customary systems of resource management; ecofunctional intensification through management of legumes, systems of rice intensification and integrated farming; and smallholders’ knowledge harnessed through family farmers learning groups and customized information and communication technologies.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora @ the FARA Science Week

15th July in Accra, Ghana. A side event for the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6), was organized by Iowa State University and the and the US and European branches of Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora (AAAPD) on “Mobilizing the Diaspora for agricultural transformation in Africa.” The event highlighted a number of initiatives across the continent that the African Diaspora is carrying out to support agricultural development.

The objectives of the meeting were
  1. to discuss development of a capacity in AAAPD (and in other existing institutions) to encourage and facilitate diaspora investments in African Agribusiness
  2. Identify specific objectives for the short term
  3. building teams for implementation of these specific objectives
the agenda was as follows:
  • Brief introduction and expression of main interests in the meeting
  • Discussion on (potential )role of diaspora in developing agribusiness in Africa
  • Discussion on contributions that AAAPD can make to encourage and facilitate development of Agribusiness in Africa
  • The role you would like to play in African Diaspora Agribusiness Support Unit (ADASU)
  • Planning for the follow up
Notable amongst the contributions made by the Diaspora are remittances, which are indicated to be on the rise according to data from the World Bank. In 2011, remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa alone totaled in excess of $22 billion; in 2012, the sum was $31 billion. Total remittances for the entire continent amounted to about $60 billion. These substantial funds could serve as an alternative source of foreign direct investment and international development aid to Africa.

In addition to remittances, the Diaspora is also playing an active role in bridging skills gap in areas such as education, technical training, business, science and technology.

One of the initiatives presented at the side event was the online database of African agricultural professionals in the Diaspora, hosted by the AAAPD. The database currently has 600 registered members, a number that is steadily on the rise. Many of them are academics, researchers, extension specialists, agricultural economists and development specialists.

According to Dr. Andrew Manu, President of AAAPD, the association is operated purely on volunteer support from the Diaspora. “We want Africa to be the land of milk and honey,” he said, “for Africans and by Africans.” To this end, the association aims to build a strong network of African agricultural professionals including scientists and businessmen to strengthen institutional relationships with African public, private and civil sectors.

The result, they say, will be improved agricultural development thanks to the facilitation of information exchange, knowledge transfers and resource mobilization, to the benefit smallholder farmers and rural businesses. Building strategic partnerships between African agricultural insitutions and organizations across the world is also part of the plan.

The African Diaspora is eager to return and contribute to the continent’s development. Working together to achieve this goal, despite the many challenges likely to stand in the way, will be a sure way for the Diaspora to contribute to the goal of Africans feeding Africa.

Blogpost by Worlali Senyo, a social media reporter for AASW6.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Accelerating the growth of value-adding agribusiness SMEs in Africa

infoDev is engaged in developing a new model for accelerating the growth of value-adding agribusiness SMEs in Africa. Building on the learning outcomes from the report, infoDev is currently carrying outfeasibility assessments for Agribusiness Innovation Centers in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania.

This video was produced as support material for infoDev's Agribusiness Incubation Good Practice Assessment, a branch of our program Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy (CSBKE), with the financial support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

To download the PDF of the report, visit

Growing Food, Products and Businesses
Applying Business Incubation to Agribusiness SMEsAgribusiness incubation is presented as one approach that can contribute to commercialization and modernization of agriculture, as well as the promotion of a competitive indigenous agribusiness industry.

Other approaches include (i) strengthening farmer organizations, (ii) investing in large-scale agribusiness, and (iii) value chain development. Within this spectrum of complementary options,agribusiness incubation specifically aims to facilitate new, indigenous, firm entry by nurturing early-stage innovative enterprises. The goal of the report is to demonstrate that new business models can operate profitably and have a catalytic effect in the sector. Incubation is a very targeted approach, selective in nature, offering growth-oriented entrepreneurs a combination of tailored services.

In the framework of the study, different agribusiness incubator types/models have been explored in the context of real-life examples. The report features 3 types of agribusiness incubators including (i)agribusiness sector/value chain incubators; (ii) agricultural research commercialization incubators; and (iii) technology transfer incubators. Within each type, there are significant differences in terms of forms of public-private partnerships, affiliations, target clients, business models, and organizational design.

5th Global Forum on Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship

May 28-30 May, 2013 in East London, South Africa. “Innovation for Socio-Economic Development’’

infoDev’s Global Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a biennial flagship event convening the global innovation and entrepreneurship community to exchange know-how, establish partnerships and develop innovative approaches. infoDev is a global partnership program in the World Bank Group. Its mission is to enable innovative entrepreneurship for sustainable, inclusive growth and employment in developing countries.

The Forum attracted around 500 business incubator managers, policy-makers, SME entrepreneurs, financiers and development agencies from all continents for a unique south-south and north-south networking and knowledge-sharing experience. The Global Forum contributed to the “know-how” and the “know-who” in the global innovation and entrepreneurship community. Participants came to the event to be exposed to new business models, ideas and methodologies, as well as to meet people with similar interests in other countries and other industries and to explore partnerships and capacity-building opportunities.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Stakeholders workshop in sustainable agricultural intensification in Africa

The Montpellier Panel report

10–13 Jul 2013. Accra, Ghana. Major stakeholders in sustainable agricultural intensification in Africa explore the links between systems research and sustainable intensification to refine and reach a common understandings.

The workshop also aimed to help determine:
  • factors critical for successful sustainable intensification
  • institutional arrangements for integrating sustainable intensification into investment and service delivery programs
  • best mechanisms for sharing and learning across Africa’s major sustainable intensification programs.
About 50 people participate in this sustainable intensification workshop, representing the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA); Africa’s sub-regional and non-governmental organizations, national agricultural research systems, universities and farmer organizations; CGIAR centres and research programs; and major African sustainable intensification programs, financing organizations and investors.

ILRI 08/07/2013 Growing more food using fewer natural resources: Pipe dream or the ‘only’ development pathway possible?

July 16th July 2013. Accra. Science Week side event (back to back with the “Montpellier Panel” side event). With the support of FARA, Cirad and Wageningen University organized a side event to present and debate over IntensAfrica initiative.

Cirad and Wageningen University, along with 12 European research institutions, Fara and Nepad, have started to build a long term, program level research partnership between Africa and Europe on “sustainable intensification pathways” for agriculture. This IntensAfrica initiative is well aligned with the Caadp agenda (especially its 4th pillar) and received positive signals from the European Commission. It could potentially represent a major topic of the current high level discussions between European Union and African Union. 

The overall objective of this initiative is to provide documented knowledge and evidence on the diverse pathways of sustainable intensification of African  griculture and its value chains. It will cover agriculture and ecological sciences, as well as economic, social and policy sciences and will promote transdisciplinary approaches. This initiative will undertake collaborative, world-leading research with a wide range of stakeholders in Africa and Europe on the sustainable intensification of agriculture to meet major societal challenges.


15th of July. Accra, Ghana. Farmer organisations and the private sector have been questioning since long how agricultural research can better benefit their developmental needs

Since the end of year 2011 the Platform on African European partnerships (PAEPARD) has therefore started a Users’ Led Process (ULP). The Users’ Led Process (ULP) allows users of research to steer research. Regional farmer organisations and private sector actors engage African and European researchers to work on their research priorities.

The well attended side event of PAEPARD triggered a lively debate among the persons who are directly involved in the Users’ Led Process and the wider audience who were wondering how innovative the PAEPARD approach is?

Brokerage is a key concept of PAEPARD: an external broker is to facilitate the multi stakeholder collaboration in selected value chains. But the role of a broker is not evident and creates diverse expectations. In Benin an outside broker was important in a consortium around soja because the different players in the soja value chain were not used to collaborate. In Cameroon a broker limited his role to facilitating a meeting between the different actors, while it was expected he would master very different domains like research, rural development and the logic of donors. The coordinator of a livestock feed production consortium from Nigeria said that there is also a need of brokers who can bring Anglophone and Francophone researchers closer, especially as call for proposals ask for sub-regional collaboration.

A facilitator experienced a conflict between the role of the coordinator of the consortium and her role as a broker of agricultural innovation. A lesson for PAEPARD is the need to better understand the tripartite relationship between the PAEPARD project management, the agricultural innovation facilitator and the consortium coordinator : who is performing which role?

PAEPARD was first a top down process but gradually the cry for genuine demand-led research benefiting the end users got stronger. The East African Farmer Forum (EAFF) identified livestock as being close to the concerns of their constituents. A mix of stakeholders were involved and research issues were clustered in a focused way. After listing up research issues at national level, the EAFF looked at how the organizations and institutes who were involved in the Users’ Led Process could access funding windows. It is obvious that researchers are better in writing research proposals while farmer organisations know how to manage their business. It is therefore important to understand and appreciate the respective capacities: “a farmer is not a scientific researcher and a researcher is not a farmer”.

For the West African Farmer Organisation (ROPPA) the collaboration between researchers and research-users is going beyond creating a joint consortium on a specific research issue. A permanent dialogue is needed for two types of very different actors - with different levels of understanding of the importance of research – to collaborate. ROPPA partnered with the West African research organization (CORAF/WECARD) to organize an annual meeting where research users and researchers agree on common research themes. The purpose is not for a farmer organisation to lead research. But it is essential that researchers answer genuine questions of producers. In the process, ROPPA realized that research is incredibly scattered. The example of the Fond Interprofessionnelle de la Recherche et du Conseil Agricole (FIRCA) of Ivory Coast is therefore very interesting because in this case producers of a specific value chain discuss research priorities and the value chain actors are able to commission research (and finance it with the levies on revenues from their production).

In Zambia and Malawi grass root users were actively involved during a consultation to define research needs in the groundnut value chain. Specific attention was given to the inclusion of women and young farmers. Out of 32 participants 14 represented farmers. They were deliberately involved because of the demographic importance of those groups. This was possible because the national farmer organisations of those countries enjoy the trust of their constituents.

Too much energy of the PAEPARD partners went into agreeing on federating themes while at the end funding is crucial to motivate the consortium members to come and remain together. A fund is needed to kick start the process of consortium creation, including a budget line to invite the European partner.

A strong recommendation from the side event of PAEPARD is therefore to first tap on national funding opportunities and complement those with international funding opportunities. There are a number of reasons for that. National funding opportunities may have smaller budgets but are closer to the development activities of the PAEPARD supported consortia. During an inception phase – when trust is to be created among the value chain actors – small budgets can help the actors to refine their innovative research proposal and identify business and market opportunities.

External donors often trusts you more when you have co-funding capacities or when you can demonstrate that the consortium is accompanied by other initiatives. The soja consortium from Benin managed to collaborate with the 2SCALE project (an agribusiness service provider funded by the Dutch Government in collaboration with the International Fertilizer Development Company - IFDC) because of mentorship through other programs - like PAEPARD.

The final conclusion of the side event was that innovative funding opportunities between traditional (external) donors and funding which involve the producers have to be explored and established. This is to benefit the farmer organisations and the small and medium enterprises (agribusiness SMEs) and guarantee sustainable agricultural research funding.

Presentations made during the PAEPARD side event

In 3 consecutive panels PAEPARD reviewed the Users led Process progress: 
  • it's origin in calls for multi stakeholder partnership around innovative ARD
  • the current status of the Users’ Led Process
  • the PAEPARD  advocacy work on innovative funding approaches

Panel 1: The PAEPARD brokerage mechanism in building the multi-stakeholder partnerships
  1. Patrice Sewade, Benin - Appui à la sécurité économique des ménages ruraux par la production, la commercialisation et la transformation du Soja 
  2. Marie Joseph Medzeme EngamaCameroun - Innover pour l’intensification, la diversification et la transformation de l’agriculture familiale en Afrique Centrale à travers la recherche – action en partenariat
  3. Prof Charles Okoli, Nigeria - Low cost and high quality livestock feed production knowledge delivery to Nigerian poultry industry 
  4. Prof Charles Mutisi, Zimbabwe - Improving the incomes of smallholder farmers through increased access to livestock markets and through the engagement of the stakeholders in the livestock production to marketing value chain

  5. Prof Kwame Afreh-Nuamah, Ghana -  Improving food security and income for smallholder farmers through improved post harvest technology

  6. Msekiwa Matsimbe, Malawi - Partnership for Enhanced Aquaculture Innovation in Sub Saharan Africa 
  7. Janet Cox Achora, Uganda - Enhancing soybean and cowpea value chains for increased productivity, incomes and nutritional security of smallholder farmers in East and Central Africa
  8. Epaphrodite Semyampi, Burundi - Développement participatif des technologies  de la culture pomme de terre et promotion  des innovations sensibles au genre et à la conservation de l’environnement
  9. Affo Agoussou, Togo - Caractérisation de deux variétés du piment rouge pour améliorer la mise en marché et transformation semi-industrielle
  10. Samuel ADJEI-NSIAH, Ghana - Control of Angular leaf spot disease of Citrus

Questions for panel 1: 
  • Is there a role for outside brokerage?
  • Can partnerships run without funds or outside support? 
  • Are funding opportunities too competitive (based on scientific excellence) and research driven/supplied?

  1. Steve Muchiri (EAFF, Kenya) - Extensive livestock value chains in Eastern Africa with specific focus on Kenya and Uganda
  2. Marie Joseph Medzeme Engama (PROPAC, Cameroun) - Garden vegetable crops value chains in urban areas with specific focus in Congo Brazzaville, DR Congo and Cameroon
  3. Andre Tioro (ROPPA, Burkina Faso) - Rice value chain in West-Africa with special focus on Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali
  4. Sharon Alfred (FANRPAN/SACAU, South Africa) - Groundnut value chains in Zambia and Malawi
  5. Denis Felicite Zulma (COLEACP, France) - Adding value to mango non-food uses in West Africa (Burkina-Faso, Ivory-cost, Senegal).

Questions for panel 2: 
  • Is there a participation of end-users - at grass root level?
  • What is the role of national and regional Agricultural Innovation Facilitators?
  • Is the process likely to yield impact?  
  • What incentive are needed?

  1. Dr. Adolphe OUYA (FIRCA, Cote d’Ivoire): Le financement national ARD - expérience du FIRCA (Fond Interprofessionnelle de la Recherche et du Conseil Agricole)

  2. Dr Cheikh Oumar BA (IPAR: Initiative prospective agricole et rurale, Senegal): Le Fonds National de Recherches Agricoles et Agroalimentaires du Sénégal (FNRAA)
  3. Aldo Stroebel, Executive Director for International Relations and Cooperation at the National Research Foundation in SA : SA strategy for innovative funding + IDRC and Carnegie Foundation study on 20 African innovation funds 
  4. Mariam Kyotalimye (ASARECA, Uganda) Regional Experience: Competitive Grants of ASARECA

Questions for panel 3:
  • How can we identify innovative research initiatives?
  • Which [financial] support is available for multi stakeholder consortia to get organised (identify a value chain based research priority)?
  • How can we involve African & European Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)?

Related presentations:

Enhancing Food Security in sub-Saharan countries GlobE
The support programme is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Presentation Small and Medium Agribusinesses Development Fund
Delegation of the European Union to Uganda.

Forum on Wetlands for Livelihoods

8-12 July 2013. Kigali, Rwanda. This Forum was co-organized by the UNESCO- Institute for Water Education (IHE) and Rwanda's Environmental Management Authority with financial support from the
Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) to discuss current challenges and solutions to wetland management, and pave a way forward, both regionally and beyond.

  • The Forum explored new perspectives for better wetland management in the face of human needs for development, food and water security. 
  • It provided solutions to ongoing pressures to wetlands, through identifying the means for more comprehensive implementation of existing polices there to safeguard the services that wetlands provide, and improved understanding of the links with multi-sectoral interests and local livelihoods.
  • The forum provided better understanding of wetland services, and links with policies and communication for wetland management. 
Output of the Forum will include new communication strategies, policy briefs, research plans and capacity building for wetlands.

Research-policy state-of-the-art evidence on climate change adaptation in East Africa

8-9 July 2013. Nairobi, Kenya. ASARECA in collaboration with CORAF, FARA and IDRC held a validation workshop focusing on the research-policy state-of-the-art evidence on climate change adaptation in East Africa.

Three sectors have been analyzed - Urban, health and agriculture.

This part of the AfricaInteract Project supported by IDRC through FARA. The project is being coordinated from the CORAF/WECARD headquarters in Dakar, Senegal, and link with various partners in Africa through sub-regional sister organizations (ASARECA – East Africa; CARDESA – Southern Africa; and NASRO – North Africa) under the auspices of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).

The project activities focus on the following four key strategic thrusts, which will allow the delivery of project outputs.
  • Synthesizing and disseminating research results aimed at influencing strategies and practices for adaptation to climate change
  • Strengthening capacity and implementing targeted research on adaptation to climate change
  • Establish a framework for periodic discussions between stakeholders leading to the formulation of strategic recommendations or policy options related to climate change adaptation in Africa
  • Contributing to strategic debates at continental and international meetings to establish an African position on adaptation to climate change
Project period : April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2014

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The East African Organic Conference

2 to 4 July  2013, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The proponents of the IFOAM OSEA II Project in partnership with the Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) organized the third East African Organic Conference under the theme “Sharing achievements made and lessons learned”. The conference brought together organic stakeholders to share experiences learned since the launch of the East African Organic Products Standards six years ago.

In particular, the conference:
  • reported on the implementation of the East Africa Organic Products Standard and the East African Organic Mark and the growth of organic market;
  • presented organic agriculture related project and case studies; 
  • reported on progress made in mainstreaming organic agriculture into relevant national and regional policies; 
  • introduced new aspects of organic production such as aquaculture and Participatory Guarantee Systems;
  • shared successful research initiatives and sector development experiences.
Besides the main conference event, the OSEA Project and key partners organized a number of separate workshops and meetings. At the East African organic exhibition, producers showed the public what organic agriculture has to offer consumers and further afield.

Launch of the Cultivate Africa’s Future (CultiAF) Fund

Dr. Dominique Charron of Canada’s IDRC 
and Ms. Mellissa Wood of the Australian ACIAR

16 July 2013. Accra, Ghana. The Cultivate Africa’s Future (CultiAF) Fund was launched during the 6th African Agriculture Science Week.

Version francaise: 
Le Canada et l’Australie: Unis contre la faim en Afrique
This is an open, competitive call for concept notes, and submissions may come from new or existing partnerships.

Read the Call for Concept Notes document for full details, including:
  • background and rationale of the CultiAF Fund
  • goal and key objectives of the Fund
  • eligibility for the Fund
  • selection process and criteria
  • timelines
  • concept note format and requirements
  • submission deadlines
Target Timelines
  • July 16, 2013: Launch of Call
  • September 20, 2013: Deadline for submission of concept notes
  • Mid-January, 2014: Successful applicants invited to develop full proposals
  • March 28, 2014: Deadline for submission of full proposals
  • June, 2014: Applicants informed of full proposals recommended forfunding
  • September 15, 2014: Projects begin
Eligible countries
Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Instructions for 2013 Call for Concept Notes Application form

Dr. Pascal Sanginga (IDRC Nairobi), Dr. Dominique Charron (IDRC),
Dr. Fina Opio of ASARECA, Prof. Timothy Simalenga 
of CCARDESA and Ms. Mellissa Wood of the Australian ACIAR
Dr. Innocent Butare (IDRC Nairobi)
The principle objective of the CultiAF Fund is to improve food security in 10 countries in east and southern Africa by funding applied research in agricultural development. An expected outcome is an increase in high-quality scientific research with a focus on the adoption of existing and new research results to tackle persistent problems of food insecurity.

The CultiAF Fund aims to address under–researched and under-utilized agricultural activities and research that exhibits high potential for being scaled up in use. By “scale up in use” it is intended that research will identify adoption pathways and actively involve the research end users who are necessary to take research findings to scale. Given the crowded agenda in some areas of agricultural research in Africa, the CultiAF Fund will seek to support complementary exploration and study where there is a solid research base, good absorptive capacity by national and regional African agricultural research systems, a favourable policy environment, and expressed need.

The CultiAF Fund will be managed in Nairobi by a new team established in IDRC.
The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research 
(ACIAR) - CEO Nick Austin, 
The Australian Foreign Minister - Bob Carr, 
The Australian International Food Security Centre (AIFSC) -
Director Mellissa Wood, 
Commissioner Joanna Hewitt, 
Canada’s International Development Research Centre 
(IDRC) President - Jean Lebel.

Related PAEPARD blog post:

The Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) hosted the International Africa Forum, The Power of Partnerships and the AAUN Annual Meeting, on the 8-9 July 2013 at the University of Sydney, Australia. This event has been developed with the Association of Commonwealth Universities, who are celebrating their centenary year in 2013-14. The Forum will bring together Australian and African researchers, policy-makers, officials and other interested parties to discuss areas of mutual interest and agree on an action plan.

28-31/01/2013. Nairobi, Kenya. Innovation Platforms Workshop.

The ACIAR-sponsored Innovation Platforms (IP) workshop was convened by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) to share experiences for people working in the agricultural sector in Africa with the by-line Innovation platforms for enhancing innovation and learning.

The workshop was attended by national research centre scientists, NGO staff, AusAID, CSIRO, and ACIAR staff and other stakeholders from southern, western and eastern Africa. Read more

Coming out of this workshop was a process where a guide (Draft, February 2013, 58 pages) was prepared by a select group and this guide was distributed to all participants and relevant stakeholders.

The guide on Innovation Platforms (IP) was followed up with a Training of Trainers workshop from the 13th to the 17th of May 2013, in Embu, Kenya.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Agricultural Finance

“Financial services that support asset building, investment, and risk management are critical for people of all ages in frontier and post conflict environments. In The New Microfinance Handbook, the authors highlight the importance of understanding client needs and the need for a more inclusive financial sector. This work provides an excellent resource for navigating a diverse and rapidly changing microfinance sector.” 
—President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia

Rural finance refers to financial services provided in rural areas for agricultural as well as non agricultural purposes. Agricultural finance, primarily a subset of rural finance, is dedicated to financing agriculture-related activities such as inputs, production, storage, processing, and marketing of
goods. In addition to funding for working capital, agricultural finance also funds investment and
infrastructure, such as irrigation systems, storage facilities, and machinery. It includes a variety of
products including credit, savings, insurance, and transfer payments.

Agricultural finance is provided in various forms (cash and in-kind) to agro enterprises and farmers operating small, medium, and large farms. It also includes financial services such as warehouse receipts systems, savings or other capitalization mechanisms, as well as insurance and forward contracts that are specific to agriculture.

This chapter (page 231-247) from the book The New Microfinance Handbook. A Financial Market System Perspective [Edited by Joanna Ledgerwood with Julie Earne and Candace Nelson] focuses primarily on credit products for agriculture and will be of interest to practitioners, policy makers, and regulators who want to understand the financial service needs of individuals and businesses working in the agriculture sector and to develop appropriate products for addressing those needs.

Coming soon... Realizing Africa's Rice Promise

Edited by M Wopereis, Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), Benin, D Johnson, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines, N Ahmadi, Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (Cirad), France, E Tollens, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, A Jalloh, West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), Senegal.

Published jointly by the Africa Rice Center and CABI. 
512 pages.

Rice is a strategic and political crop in many African countries. The hikes in rice prices since 2007 have shown the vulnerability of many African countries that depend on the world market for rice imports and the need to boost Africa’s domestic production. 

The purpose of this book is to provide a comprehensive overview of Africa’s rice sector and ongoing 
rice research and development activities, and indicate priorities for action on how to realize Africa’s rice promise, that is, the notion that Africa has sufficient land and water resources to produce enough rice to feed its own population and, in the long term, generate export revenues.

The critical challenge facing the African rice sector is to enhance performance in production, processing, and marketing to respond to a major concern that needs to be turned into an opportunity: the growing demand for rice as a preferred staple. 

Realizing Africa’s Rice Promise discusses challenges and opportunities related to: 
  1. sustainably increasing rice production and rice productivity; 
  2. enhancing rice quality and marketing; 
  3. promoting conducive policies for small-holder and agribusiness development; and 
  4. strengthening impact-oriented rice research, extension, and knowledge management.
The analyses and case studies presented in this book will be a valuable resource for researchers, development agents from public and private sector, rice value chain actors, and policymakers concerned with Realizing Africa’s Rice Promise. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Smallholder integration in changing food markets

Smallholder integration in changing food markets
By Pedro Arias, David Hallam, Ekaterina Krivonos, Jamie Morrison
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome, 2013
48 pages

3 July 2013, Rome - In a new report, FAO is calling for more nuanced policy-making to boost smallholder farm output, requiring better knowledge of individual farm households and the constraints they face, to be able to target investments and policy support where they are needed to ensure that they can sell surpluses from their harvests.

According to the report, the public sector, together with international development partners, should have a strong role as moderator among different public, private and civil society actors, promoting what is in the best interests of the smallholder agricultural sector while encouraging development of markets.

Given the limitations of the public sector in many developing countries and reductions in foreign development aid, foreign direct investment (FDI) is also seen as a potential source of funding.

This sort of investment can take many forms -- not just controversial land acquisitions -- and should ensure sustainable and equitable use of land while strengthening food security for indigenous populations.

  1. Part 1 examines the characteristics of smallholder farming from a market perspective, explaining that different categories of smallholder producer face widely different sets of issues and constraints to market participation, stressing the mutual reinforcement of productivity growth and market integration, and setting this in a dynamic context of the constrained choices facing different producers. It then sets up the policy challenges facing governments in attempting to alleviate the constraints facing these producers.
  2. Part 2 considers the determinants of smallholder participation in rapidly evolving agricultural markets, considering the categories of constraints and risks faced in increasing levels of production for sale in different market outlets and the mechanisms through which the choices made by different market participants shape smallholders’ integration into markets.
  3. Part 3 introduces examples of the types of solutions that may be required to facilitate the participation of smallholders in markets at different levels of formalization, considering arrangements such as producer organizations in aggregating smallholder production to market, and then the potential of mechanisms, or support services, such as market-based risk management instruments, market information systems and extension.
  4. Part 4 then turns to examine how such arrangements and mechanisms might best be delivered to the smallholder sector, with prominence given to the role of the public sector, broadly defined to include government, donors and civil society
Related blog post
Working with Smallholders: A Handbook for Firms Building Sustainable Supply Chains

Working with Smallholders: A Handbook for Firms Building Sustainable Supply Chains

Forthcoming publication (IFC, 2013)

Working with Smallholders is a handbook for firms building sustainable supply chains. It identifies tools firms may use when addressing key issues such as:
  • aggregating farmers, 
  • increasing input use, 
  • implementing standards, 
  • leveraging training, 
  • incorporating gender 
  • and learning from monitoring and evaluation.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

PAEPARD: ARD funding opportunities

This programme provides grants to research that generates insights into the functioning of the global food system.  Proposals should be submitted by consortia of research organisations and various public and private organisations from both the Netherlands and at least one Low and Middle-Income Country (LMIC). Dutch enterprises are especially encouraged to participate. The closing date for submitting preliminary applications is 9 July 2013. 

This Call for proposals invites consortia composed of private and public practitioners organisations and research organisations, from the 15 Dutch development partner countries and from the Netherlands, to submit project proposals for applied research for innovation.
Of the 15 partner countries for Dutch international cooperation, following countries are from Africa: Benin, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan, Uganda. A grant amounts to a minimum of 50,000 euro (for six months) to a maximum of 300,000 euro (for 36 months). Proposals can be submitted continuously during the course of this first Call for proposals. This Call closes at 15 April 2014.

Swiss programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d programme)
Topic 1: Sustainability of agricultural and food systems, natural resources and resilience
Topic 2: Agricultural innovation, extension and research into use
Topic 3: Governance and policies for the future world food system
The pre-proposal should provide an outline of the planned research project and has to cover the entire period of six years with more details of the planned activities for the first three year period. The deadline for submission of Pre‐proposals is 13 September 2013.

This is a grant-making fund that aims to sustainably improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in East Africa by investing in innovative agri-business enterprises that seek to either create or adapt technologies for improving agricultural productivity, increasing profitability and linking smallholder farmers to viable, profitable and sustainable markets. This application is open to applicants operating within the specified regions of East Africa that is Kenya (Central and Nairobi Counties), Uganda (Central and peri-urban Kampala regions) and Tanzania (Morogoro and Pwani Regions). Applicants should have a track record in agricultural development and agri-business in those countries. It will fund project ideas for a period of 12 to 18 months. The funding grant level is GBP13,650. The applications MUST be submitted by 20 July 2013.

The Research Council of Norway funds the HAVBRUK program for research in aquaculture. Proposals that feature international cooperation are a priority. Special priority is given to collaboration with researchers in the USA, Canada, India, China, Japan, Chile, and Brazil. Collaboration with researchers in other countries is also of interest. The closing date for applications is 04 September 2013. 


Topic 1: The drivers of ecosystem change
Topic 2: Appropriating the economic, social and environmental value of ecosystems and ecosystems services
Topic 3: Ecosystems, ecosystem services and climate change
The deadline for submission of Pre‐proposals is 13 September 2013.

The EC will make grants to address the growing shortage of fuel wood in the Sudan-Sahel region of Nigeria. Interventions should aim to increase fuel wood supply and decrease fuel wood demand, focusing on Katsina State. The program is open to nonprofit organizations in EU member states, Nigeria, and other ACP countries and to international organizations. Grants are up to €4.7 million, subject to cost shares. Reference EuropeAid/134597/D/ACT/NG. The closing date for proposals is 28 August 2013.

O T H E R  
The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) and DFID jointly sponsor research on Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL). PEDL encourages proposals which address cross-cutting issues such as climate, environment, and social compliance -- among others. Exploratory Grants range from £10 thousand to £35 thousand. The next application deadline for Exploratory Grants is 31 July 2013. 

Sida supports short-term training in selected development topics for participants from developing countries. The Global Program includes a course on efficient energy use and planning. The course welcomes applications from China, India, Kenya, Mongolia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia -- and other countries with potential and ambition for energy efficiency. The deadline for applications is 01 August 2013.

IDRC offers doctoral research awards twice a year (April and November) in priority themes that include agriculture and environment (among others). The program is open to Canadians, permanent residents of Canada, and nationals of developing countries who are pursuing doctoral studies at Canadian universities. IDRC funds research in all developing countries, with a few exceptions. The award covers expenses for field research up to CA$20 thousand a year. The next deadline is 01 November 2013.