Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

FAO Reduces Farmers’ Use of Toxic Pesticides in Africa

17 February 2014. FAO has released the results of three studies undertaken as part of the ‘Reducing Dependence on Persistent Organic Pollutants and other Agro-Chemicals in the Senegal and Niger River Basins through Integrated Production, Pest and Pollution Management' project. They reveal the extent to which pesticide use in West Africa poses risks to human health and environment.
  1. A first study was conducted in two areas - the Bla region of southern Mali, where FAO established a field school program in 2003, and a second area, Bougouni, where the program was not yet active. Training farmers in alternative methods of pest control is three times more effective than purchasing and using synthetic pesticides, according to FAO. Further, the FAO studies found that, while only 34% of cotton farmers in the Bla area of Mali participated in the training, pesticide use in the area dropped by 92% and resulted in no negative impact on crop yields.
  2. A second study, published by the Royal Society - authored by Oregon State University (OSU) scientists together with researchers in West Africa and at various institutions, including FAO, conducted in 19 different communities in five West African countries, used state-of-the-art risk assessment models to provide the first detailed analysis of pesticide risks for this region. The results highlight a number of specific pesticides that pose widespread and significant threats to human health and terrestrial and aquatic wildlife throughout the region.
  3. The third study reports on the first use in the region of passive sampling devices (PSDs), developed by Oregon State University, which are technologically simple tools that sequester and concentrate a wide variety of pesticides and other chemicals found in the environment. The tool is a major advancement for monitoring pollution in remote areas of less developed regions.
FAO undertakes its work on pesticide management in West Africa through close working partnerships with governments in the region as well as organizations such as the CERES Locustox Laboratory and ENDA-Pronat group in Senegal and Oregon State University's Integrated Plant Protection Center.

Financing for the FAO programme been provided by the European Union, the Government of the Netherlands, and a GEF/UNEP grant.

04/03/2014 Organic fertiliser maker aims to make a difference in Kenya
Kenyan entrepreneur Marion Moon hopes to replenish depleted soils using her organic fertilisers. In 2012, a year after quitting her job, she started Wanda Organic to produce organic fertilisers using animal and plant waste.

Wanda Organic’s fertiliser brand called Plantmate is targeted at smallholder commercial farmers. The for-profit social enterprise has outsourced its production to a Philippines-based company and plans to open a local factory by 2015.

A 50kg bag of Plantmate currently sells for US$35. Moon’s aim is to reduce the price to half when local production begins and sales volumes rise. Her goal is to sell 300,000 bags in Kenya by the end of 2015 and capture 40% of the market in five years.

Moon explains that Plantmate is made by combining organic waste with an activator that has over 20 naturally occurring soil microbes and putting that mix through a rapid decomposition process. The finished product holds more than 20 microbes including bacteria, nitrifiers and fungi, which are beneficial to soil and plant. 

“The idea is to have many factories across the country to be closer to the farmers. We are also considering a franchise model so we can teach farmers’ groups how to build their own factory, then we just sell them the microbes.”

Setting up a basic fertiliser plant would cost about KSh. 1m ($11, 500) and can be a manual or mechanised operation depending on the size. This biotechnology, Moon says, is popular in Southeast Asia and is gaining traction in Australia and Canada.

FARA–UniBRAIN partners’ programme review meeting

12 - 15 February, 2014. Lusaka, Zambia. The meeting was hosted at the Agribusiness incubation Trust (AgBiT), one of the UniBRAIN incubators established and supported by the FARA-UniBRAIN programme.

The AgBiT incubator was established in October 2013. It is part of the African Agribusiness Incubator Network (AAIN), a growing network with six incubators already established in five countries.

This facility is currently supporting fourteen incubatees including seven agribusiness Start ups and seven Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Fourteen students are benefiting from an internship programme on business and entrepreneurship at the
The Agribusiness incubation Trust (AgBiT) in Zambia
facility while four agribusiness technologies are under commercialization, employing more than five hundred people within the vegetables and fruits value chain.

The meeting attracted over thirty-five participants from agribusiness incubators established and supported by the FARA-UniBRAIN programme in five countries namely: Uganda, Kenya, Mali, Ghana and Zambia. Other stakeholders including Zambia National Agriculture Institute, Mulungushi University, University of Zambia and Zambia Private sector forum, also attended the meeting.

Dr Freddie Kwesiga, the country representative of 
the African Development Bank in Zambia hailed 
FARA for its support and contribution 
towards private sector development
UniBRAIN pioneers a new approach to promoting agricultural innovation and improving tertiary agribusiness education in Africa. It promotes innovation by improving the flow of technology and knowledge by removing barriers between actors in the value chains. It is the synergy and linkage between the diverse actors that catalyzes and drives innovations.

FARA’s partners in UniBRAIN are the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA), the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), the Association for strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), the African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE) and the Pan African Agribusiness and Agro Industry Consortium (PanAAC).

Related PAEPARD blogpost:
Inaugural conference of the Universities, Business and Research in Agricultural Innovation (UniBRAIN) initiative 19-20 April 2011. Accra.

EAFF KM Workshop

19 - 21st Feb 2014. Nairobi. EAFF Workshop for Strengthening the Capacity of East African Farmers Organizations through Knowledge Management and Institutional Development.

The objective of this workshop was to support the development of a knowledge management and learning system within national farmer organizations and EAFF that enables: continuous learning and improvement of their organizational capacity; fulfillment of their core functions; and provision to IFAD-funded projects of support in farmer-based learning and knowledge management.

Specifically, the workshop is strengthening EAFF’s organizational capacity and skills to document and manage knowledge. It strengthens the secretariat’s capacity to facilitate learning and institutional development in its member organizations, thus improving their effectiveness and efficiency in mobilizing
and servicing their members. The purpose is to have an
  • Increased membership of national farmer organizations due to enhanced knowledge sharing, learning from each other and access to services, information and innovation. 
  • Improved farmer-based learning and innovation in IFAD-supported projects which enhances the impact at local level.

Fifth global meeting of the Farmers' Forum

8 February 2014. Special session of the Farmers' Forum on Small-scale Fisheries. This special session, organised at the request of the 2012 FAFO meeting, gathered selected IFAD staff and representatives of Fishers’ Organizations involved in the consultations on the Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries Guidelines.

15 and -16 February 2014. Preparatory sessions. These preparatory sessions have been requested by the Farmers and Rural Producers Organisations (FOs) engaged in the Forum to allow them to better prepare their meeting with IFAD. They included a meeting of the Steering Committee on Saturday 15 morning and plenary sessions of all FOs delegates on Sunday.

17 - 18 February 2014. Main sessions of the Farmers' Forum. The main sessions of the Forum were organised as business discussion between FOs representatives and IFAD staff and managers and were focussed on FOs-IFAD operational partnership.  

Thematic Working Groups took place on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. 
  1. Roles of FOs in linking smallholder/family producers to local/regional markets on better terms – Staple crops
  2. Roles of FOs in linking smallholder/family producers to local/regional markets on better terms– Fisheries, livestock & dairy
  3. Building inclusive agricultural policy dialogue platforms at national and regional levels: achieving policy results for smallholders' and family farmers
  4. Regional programmes in support of FOs: sharing the experience of Support to Farmers' Organizations in Africa Programme (SFOAP) , Medium Term Cooperation Programme (MTCP) in Asia and prospects for scaling up  
  5. Theme selected by FO members of the Steering Committee 
EAFF delegation at the fifth global 

meeting of the Farmers's Forum
19 February 2014. Bilateral meetings between FOs and Operational staff and informal working sessions. 
  1. Presentation of “More and better public policies in support of family farming – the experience of REAF Mercosur
  2. Presentation and discussion of draft IFAD toolkit on “How to engage with farmers’ organizations to link smallholders to markets” 
20 February 2014. Informal working sessions between FOs' participants and selected IFAD staff and partners + Side events of the Farmers' Forum 
  1. Side Event 1: “The International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) and the campaigns at national levels“, organized by WRF and the IYFF campaign / 
  2. Side Event 2: “Agriculture Advisory Services and Farmers' Organizations“, organised by GFRAS and FAO
  3. Side Event 3: “Agro-ecological peasant agriculture, food production and fisheries are an answer to the food and climate crisis. Which support is effective?”, organized by La Via Campesina
  4. Side Event 4: “Farmers in the governance of Agriculture Research and Innovation for Development”, organized by AFA and GFAR: Changing agricultural innovation and research for development. The main objectives of this side event was ensure that farmer representatives
    engaged in the IFAD Farmers’ Forum process: (a) Learn about changes in governance of AR4D at national, regional and international levels ; (b) Consider mechanisms to strengthen farmer representation to influence these changes in the governance of agricultural innovation ; (c) Propose ways of working to establish commitments that will effect transformations in institutional governance of AR4D processes 
What should farmers expect as the principal results of this event: from farmers’ organizations, GFAR and the AR4D community? Esther Penunia, Secretary General, Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA)

What is GFAR? What is the evolving landscape for agricultural innovation and research for development? Mark Holderness, Executive Secretary, GFAR
GFAR reform: transforming representation, accountability and programming towards a Constituent Assembly and a renewed Forum, including farmer representation on the GFAR and other AR4D governing bodies. Thomas Price, Senior Officer, Agricultural Innovation and Society, GFAR Secretariat

CGIAR research programmes, national research and other partners: beyond “partnering” to meaningful engagement with farmers and their organizations. Harry Palmier, Senior Officer, Partnerships, GFAR Secretariat

General discussion: 
  1. What are the commitments of the GFAR Secretariat, GFAR Steering Committee, and farmers?
  2. How to proceed with subsequent consultation and decisions on representation (regional events, the GFAR governing bodies, the GFAR Constituent Assembly at the end of 2014)?
  3. How should farmers be represented in GFAR’s governance?
  4. How can farmers’ organizations mobilize actions in partnerships with others groups?

Statement of the 2014 Farmers’ Forum
The International Year of Family Farming 2014 should constitute a significant step forward in improving the quality of life of hundreds of millions of smallholder family farmers, fisherfolk, livestock breeders and indigenous communities.

IFAD should extend its fisheries programmes to more countries and provide an inclusive space for small scale fishers’ organizations. IFAD should ensure the integration of small-scale fishery organizations into its on-going grants programmes. It should support the implementation of the International Guidelines on Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries and facilitate dialogue between small-scale fisher organisations’ and national governments.

More attention to livestock breeders and pastoralists is needed, and we recommend to have a special session on livestock issues and pastoralism at next Farmers Forum. 
Last 24th January 2014, various representatives of La Via Campesina took part in a colloquium organized in The Hague to discuss the concept of Food sovereignty. Elisabeth Mopfu, as general coordinator of La Via Campesina was invited to give a speech at this Yale Conference on Food Sovereignty attended by many academics, researchers and specialists, from universities around the world. You can read the speech of Elisabeth Mopfu here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Innovation for Development of the potato crop: The Papa Andina Experience

Editors: André Devaux, Miguel Ordinola and Douglas Horton
© International Potato Center (CIP), 2011 
416 pages

Over the years, international agricultural research organizations have used a number of approaches to link research more effectively with development and the needs of the poor. These approaches have included extension and outreach programs, cropping and farming systems research, participatory plant breeding, integrated natural resource management, networking, and partnership, among others (Scoones and Thompson, 2009). 

Recently, research centers have experimented with innovation systems approaches that shift attention from increasing the supply of new technology to facilitating innovation processes in which new solutions to technical and institutional problems are co-produced by diverse stakeholders in interactive learning processes.

Various factors can trigger innovation, including changes in policies, markets, and technology. Attitudes, habits, norms, and institutional structures determine how individuals and organizations respond to such triggers. Applying innovation system concepts in practice to link research more effectively with action, has proven challenging (Hall, 2009), and there are few well-documented cases of successful application of innovation system approaches. 

The papers presented in this book show how Papa Andina grappled with fundamental issues of linking research with action, how it interpreted and applied concepts and thinking from innovation systems and such related areas as knowledge management and sustainability science, and the results that were obtained.

African farm mechanization in need of research and development

Mechanization for Rural Development: A review of patterns and progress from around the world
Josef Kienzle1, John E. Ashburner, Brian G. Sims
Integrated Crop Management Vol. 20-2013
FAO, Rome, 2013. 366 pages

Farm mechanization seems to have become, to a certain extent, the neglected waif of agricultural and rural development. As an essential input, mechanization can transform farm family economies by facilitating increased output and reducing the drudgery of hand-powered production. Mechanization, when carefully selected and appropriate to the task, is also capable of protecting natural capital and the environment whilst boosting food production.

However we have seen in recent years that consideration of mechanization as a vital input, in need of research and development, has been frequently neglected. Agricultural engineering departments in the CGIAR’s international research centres have been wound down and closed and the availability of world-class undergraduate training is also in serious decline. Why this should be the case is not clear when careful studies have made it abundantly clear just how crucial an input mechanization is in the pursuit of global sustainable crop production intensification and improved rural livelihoods.

Inputs of mechanization and related services at the appropriate technology level can have a tremendous impact on reducing drudgery which is in itself already a major, socially driven, motivation and reason for increasing support to agricultural mechanization.

This present set of 16 discussion papers provides a world-wide kaleidoscope of farm mechanization issues for developing countries and brings out many site-specific (or rather region-specific) issues which should be of vital interest to policy makers globally.

Agricultural mechanization in Africa. Time for action. Planning investment for enhanced agricultural productivity. Report of an Expert Group Meeting. UNIDO January 2008, Vienna, Austria; 23 pages.

AfricaRice is actively leading major mechanization efforts across Africa especially in its 25 member states (

A quick list of activities:
  • facilitation of a network called the 'Rice taskforce on mechanization'. These are small-medium agricultural manufacturers with established businesses and researches from national research institutes . AfricaRice works with them to adapt the design and functionalities of several rice machineries. It conducts surveys of the needs and requirements of local manufacturers to better provide capacity strengthening initiatives specific in each country. 
  • conduct on-the-site training and construction. We organise intensive training of at least 2 weeks with hands-on construction of equipment. In the end, the trainees can construct and sell equipments locally. An example is the recent workshop in Ilorin, Nigeria, last December 2013. With the support of the Nigerian governments, and major donors (AfDB, Canada- The Ministry of Forein affairs Trade et development). We gathered 29 local equipments fabricators and engineers who worked together to fabricate 5 ASI threshers. In addition, 6 representatives of local manufacturers from Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda and Sierra Leone attended the training. In turn, these countries will train other local fabricators to construct the same equipment in their countries. 
  • listen and adapt equipment to local conditions and socio-economic capacities. An example are the weeders where we worked with local manufacturers and farmers. Once validated, the technical designs of these equipment are shared. At least 7 weeders have been tested and currently produced locally across Africa.
  • - see weeder technical designs
    - Watch ASI thresher introduced by Africa Rice and built by Senegalese local manufacturer, Agritech 

  • Beyond mechanization is quality control of products of these equipment. We intensively monitor and track the performance of the equipment made locally by key manufacturers trained by AfricaRice.
In two year’s time (2012-2013) , AfricaRice has been able to hold trainings and built not just equipment but local capacities;
  • 8 local manufacturers from 8 countries were trained to build the mini-combine harvester in Saint-Louis Senegal 
  • 57 local manufacturers trained on the ASI thresher from 10 countries (Ghana 2, Nigeria 25, Senegal 2, Uganda2 , Sierra Leone 2, Gambia 10 , Cameroon 1, Mali 12 , Ethiopia 1 , Tanzania 1) 
  • 2 threshers light model built and 1 paddy cleaner built (under testing) in Uganda 

  • 3 mini-combine harvester built in Senegal (2 were prototypes sent to Mali and Cameroun). In Mali, the prototype was used to train 12 local manufacturers 
  • 5 ASI threshers called ATAT in Nigeria 
  • 3 parboiling vessel fabricated in Nigeria, Cameron and Mali 
  • 2 stoves for parboiling operations fabricated in Cameroun and Nigeria 
  • 3 Briquetting machine using husks built in Nigeria and Cameroun
In 2014, several similar training of trainers ( at least 23 countries) are scheduled especially for the following equipment: 
  • Rice hullers and grading machine 
  • Thresher and Small Combine harvester 
  • Flat-bed dryers 
  • Parboilers : see the design
  • Weeders 
Related: Rice mechanisation from the private sector - Liberia
ADA/LAP Rice Project in Lofa County, Liberia

The Liberian rice market is dominated by foreign rice imports. Poor quality and lack of alternatives mixed with a culture of great national pride creates a strong favour for Liberian brands. ADA COMMERCIAL tales advantage of this fixed market mood through a marketing strategy that emphasizes patronising Liberian rice. 

ADA COMMERCIAL is a company incorporated under the Laws of the Republic of Liberia to undertake commercial agribusiness and related activities to increase food security in Liberia and the West African sub-region. It is fully owned by the McIntosh family in Liberia. The government heavily relied on it (ADA) to employ jobless citizens of Lofa County, especially ex-fighters but Liberia is looking for another investor to replace the initial Libyan engagement.

With the vision of becoming a global and preferred agribusiness leader in West Africa, ADA COMMERCIAL’s mission is to organise, produce, and market rice and other agricultural commodities to the consumers. Through a concession agreement with the Government of Liberia, ADA COMMERCIAL has gained access to 60,000 hectares which is an area large enough to saturate the demand of Liberia and consequently to start exporting significant volumes of rice to the international market. NERICA rice is the rice of choice for commercial production.

Production takes place in both upland and lowland (swamp) ecologies and is fully mechanized. Three (3) production cycles is envisaged for each production year. ADA COMMERCIAL has a fully developed and sophisticated machine park capable of handling every production stage, from planting, through growth and harvest. The development and integration of an outgrower programme constitutes a significant aspect of ADA COMMERCIAL’s production plan.

Le Cirad et l'AFD au salon international de l'agriculture 2014

22 février au 2 mars 2014, Paris, France. Le Cirad et l’Agence Française de Développement (AFD) partagent un stand de 200 m² au Salon International de l’Agriculture, en partenariat avec France Médias Monde (RFI, France 24, Monte Carlo Doualiya) et dans le cadre de l’Année internationale de l’agriculture familiale.

A l’occasion du Salon International de l’Agriculture, le Cirad et l’AFD s’associent pour promouvoir l’agriculture familiale comme un modèle d’organisation et de production capable de réduire la faim et la pauvreté, d’améliorer la sécurité alimentaire, la gestion des ressources naturelles, la protection de l’environnement, en particulier dans les zones rurales.

Leur objectif est de sensibiliser le grand public sur le rôle stratégique des agricultures familiales dans le développement agricole et rural dans le cadre d’un stand intitulé « Les agricultures familiales, une chance pour la planète … ». Pendant 10 jours, ce stand de 200 m2 accueillera débats, témoignages et dégustations, en partenariat avec les chaînes du groupe France Médias Monde.

Cinq entreprises sénégalaises bénéficieront de l’encadrement de l’Agence sénégalaise de promotion des exportations (ASEPEX) durant le Salon international de l’agriculture (SIA) 2014, qui se tient actuellement à Paris, annonce l’APS. Il s’agira principalement, pour l’agence, de faciliter les contacts que ces entreprises pourraient nouer avec des investisseurs.

Ainsi l’ASEPEX précise dans un communiqué qu’elle vise « la promotion des produits agricoles du Sénégal, sur le marché français, l’identification de la demande et l’établissement des contacts avec des acheteurs/importateurs de ces produits.». Au-delà de cette action de promotion de ces entreprises via son label ‘Sénégal Export’, l’agence entend bien assurer «la collecte d’informations pertinentes sur les potentialités réelles du marché français et européen en général, l’identification de nouveaux circuits de distribution facilitant l’entrée des produits sénégalais en France et en Europe, et le développement de relations de coopération entre l’agence et des institutions d’appui d’intérêt pour le développement des exportations sénégalaises».
Le 22 février 2014, l'Inra a accueilli sur son stand au Salon international de l'Agriculture le Président F. Hollande et le Ministre de l'Agriculture S. Le Foll. La visite s'est poursuivie par une discussion sur les enjeux de la recherche agronomique avec les présidents de l'Inra, du Cirad et de l'Irstea

Un grand débat sera organisé chaque jour au sein d’un espace conférence :
En direct sur RFI
  1. Lundi 24 février 2014 – 11h30 : Agriculture Familiale et droits fonciers
    Intervenants :
    Henri Rouillé d’Orfeuil, CIRAD
    Mamy Rakotondrainibe, collectif Tany, aGter, CTFD
    Frédéric Courleux, Ministère de l’Agriculture
    Emmanuelle Bouquet, CIRAD, CTFD
    Mardi 25 février 2014 – 11h30 : Produire plus et autrement dans le contexte des agricultures familiales
    Intervenants :
    Christophe Du Castel, Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
    Eric Scopel, Cirad
    François. Affholder, Cirad
    Valentin Beauval, Agronome et agriculteur
    Gauthier Ricordeau, Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (AVSF)
    Mercredi 26 février 2014 – 11h30 : Agriculture familiale et signes de qualité
    Intervenants :
    Estelle Bienabe – Cirad
    Christophe Chauveau – AVSF
    Artisans du monde
    René Claude Metomo – Président des producteurs de poivre de Penja- Cameroun
    Kerfalla Camara – Maison guinéenne des entrepreneurs – Guinée
    Said Abdelfatah Ministère de l’agriculture – Tunisie
    Jeudi 27 février 2014 – 11h30 : Des organisations paysannes fortes au Sud : comment et à quelles conditions?
    Intervenants :
    Ibrahima Coulibaly, CNOP Mali
    Nadjirou Sall, FONGS, Sénégal
    Michel Dulcire, CIRAD
    Anne Legile, AFD
    Vendredi 28 Février 2014 – 11h30 : Femmes et jeunesses rurales. Modernité, accès à l’emploi et recomposition des familles agricoles, quelle agriculture familiale pour demain ?
    Intervenants :
    Hélène GUETTAT, Université de Toulouse
    Pierre-Blaise ANGO, Coordonnateur du programme AFOP au Cameroun
Published on 23 Feb 2014
Le Cirad et l'AFD au salon international de l'agriculture 2014
Découvrez le stand du Cirad et de l'AFD au Salon international de l'agriculture de Paris 2014 : Agricultures familiales, une chance pour la planète.... Conférences, dégustations, exposition, animations...
Related: (Agence Ecofin) - La « retraite verte » est un produit de l’Agence Nationale d’Appui au Développement Rural (ANADER) qui aura retenu l’attention au cours du dernier Salon International de l’Agriculture à Paris. Décrivant ce produit, le Dr Sidiki Cissé qui dirige l’agence ivoirienne explique qu’il «consiste à mettre à la disposition du souscripteur, un service conseil pour la mise en place d'une exploitation agricole, génératrice de revenus afin de lui permettre de se prendre en charge une fois à la retraite. » L’officiel fait remarquer que les membres de la diaspora constituent le cœur de cible de la « retraite verte ». « Il s’agit de capter leur attention et leur dire que par rapport aux investissements qu'ils veulent faire, il existe une structure pour les encadrer et qui peut supporter leurs investissements et les accompagner pour pouvoir garantir leurs vieux jours » poursuit l’officiel. Présent au SIA pour la douzième fois, l’ANADER est une structure créée en 1993 qui se charge de l’encadrement et de l’accompagnement des producteurs grâce à la conception et la mise en œuvre de programmes destiné à l’amélioration de l’agriculture ivoirienne.

NEPAD SS African Fish Reports

Partnership for African Fisheries (PAF) Aquaculture Working Group.
This report was commissioned by NEPAD through the University of Stirling UK.
February 2014. 83 pages

Research and Development is ongoing to reduce overall costs of aquafeeds by reducing volumes of expensive often imported raw ingredients and the utilisation of locally sourced raw ingredients which do not compete with and jeopardise SSAs human food demands and food security.

Partnership for African Fisheries (PAF) Aquaculture Working Group.
This report was commissioned by NEPAD through the University of Stirling UK.
February 2014. 73 pages

In SSA there is little up-to-date information regarding domestic capture fisheries, their markets, market structure and marketing, let alone those for aquaculture. Aquaculture producers can only truly take advantage of existing and emerging markets when they know how they work and seek ways to profitably deliver what consumers want. 

Future product supplies will have to come from increased development of foreign/domestically funded large-scale ventures in conjunction with production from well-organized and collectivized small-scale fish farmers; both needing access to current market information, institutional/ NGO support and affordable credit. African aquaculture also needs to learn from and embrace the increasingly stringent global codes of practice and quality assurance practices, many of which are already in place exported capture fishery products. 

This will enable producers to access and thereafter sustainably cater for the rising and inevitably more demanding African markets, as well as instigate wider global trading of potentially high quality, competitively priced and market orientated aquaculture products in the longer term.

NEPAD SS African Strategic Fish Hatchery and Seed Supply
Partnership for African Fisheries (PAF) Aquaculture Working Group.
This report was commissioned by NEPAD through the University of Stirling UK.
February 2014. 78 pages

FAO data for aquaculture production shows Egypt, Nigeria, and Uganda are the leading countries (Table 1). African governments have now recognized the value of aquaculture. Some governments e.g. that of Kenya, are even announcing an unexpected level of investment as a reaction. Similarly, various African states and their various consortia are projecting that they need to promote aquaculture to be able to meet the projected demand of 3 million mt annually, for which aquaculture production has to grow by 10% annually in the next 15 years from its current level of production of about 1 million mt per year. The first and foremost important pre-requisite for any food production sector such as aquaculture to grow at such a rate is the supply of quality seed which has to be available whenever and wherever is necessary. Availability of fish seed stimulates the expansion of aquaculture.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Africa Renewal Magazine Special Edition on Agriculture 2014

  • Africa’s economy grows, but many stomachs are empty 
  • Despite climate change, Africa can feed Africa Denting youth unemployment through agriculture 
  • Zimbabwe’s farmers struggle to feed the nation 
  • What went wrong? Lessons from Malawi’s food crisis Autocracy and aid dependency killed an agriculture success story 
  • Initiatives Fighting African poverty, village by village 
  • In Ghana, agriculture is central to project focused on achieving Millennium Development Goals Boosting African farm yields 
  • More fertilizer, irrigation and other inputs are vital, says NEPAD 
  • Sierra Leone: nursing agriculture back to health Prospects We need more agribusiness in Africa All eyes on $1 trillion African agribusiness is set for a huge leap, according to a World Bank report 
  • Gendering Agriculture Women spearhead efforts to feed the continent Breaking the glass ceiling: Women agricultural scientists 
  • Is Africa’s land up for grabs? Foreign acquisitions: some opportunities, but many see threats ‘
  • A common vision for agriculture-led growth’ NEPAD adds value to Africa’s farming sector, says Glenn Denning

The Egyptian aquaculture innovation platform

A woman asks a question at the Innovation Platform meeting
19 and 20 February 2014. Cairo, Egypt. Stakeholders from Egypt’s $1.5 billion aquaculture industry came together to discuss future development of the sector. It involved around 80 participants including fish farmers, input suppliers, fish retailers, policy makers and researchers.

Organized by WorldFish, the two-day Innovation Platform meeting, was planned in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation under the ‘Improving Employment and Income through Development of Egypt’s Aquaculture Sector (IEIDEAS) project.
“The aim of the meeting is to help participants in Egypt’s highly successful aquaculture industry to become more involved in planning for future growth. There are great opportunities for increased employment, income generation and improving food security,” explained WorldFish Egypt Director, Dr. Gamal El Naggar.
The IEIDEAS project, now entering its third year, is helping to strengthen the aquaculture industry and generate more employment in the sector through initiatives including the Innovation Platform meeting.
It is the next step in an ‘Innovation Platform’ process being implemented by the IEIDEAS project, and follows meetings in the four main project Governorates: Kafr El Sheikh, Fayoum, Sharkia and Behera.

At the regional meetings, stakeholders considered how they would like to see aquaculture develop in their area, identified what needs to be done to make this happen, and selected representatives for the national meeting in Cairo.

Posted: 14 Mar 2014 03:08 AM PDT
A series of high quality aquaculture training videos, designed to teach Egyptian fish farmers the industry’s best management practices, has recently been released.
Produced by WorldFish, an international non-profit research organization, the 10 short videos are being used to train local fish farmers in the most effective ways to boost the production and quality of farmed fish.
Available in Arabic with English subtitles, the videos cover all aspects of aquaculture from pond preparation and fish health care, to how to transport and handle live fish.
These videos are good learning tool for fish farmers to show them the industry’s best management practices in a simplified way – Dr. Diaa Al-Kenawy, WorldFish
The videos are part of the Improving Employment and Income through the Development of Egypt’s Aquaculture Sector (IEIDEAS) project. This project is part of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) led Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program small and medium-scale aquaculture value chain in Egypt.

Uganda pig value chain partnership with private sector

14-15 February 2014. A two-day training was organized by the Pig Production and Marketing Ltd Uganda, to chart the way forward on how to develop the pig industry.

The seminar, which was organized by Pig Production and Marketing Ltd Uganda, was to train farmers in the modern methods of pig farming. It was also to enable them transform from engaging in subsistence to profitable commercial farming systems.

Christopher Mulindwa, the production manager at Pig Production and Marketing Uganda Ltd. noted that the interaction between various actors in the value chain has been limited causing the farmers to sell to exploitative markets, buy counterfeit inputs and have limited access to finance and extension services. 
  • Mulindwa also shared the experiences of his enterprise with participants from Africa, South Asia and Europe, during the Livestock and Fish Value Chains Tools Conference organized by ILRI, and held in Kampala in September 2013. He recently won the ‘The GrowthHub’s 2014 Agribusiness Innovation Incubator’ prize with the support of several ILRI colleagues.
  • Interactions between Mulindwa and the ILRI Uganda team began in 2012 with deliberations on how Pig Production and Marketing Uganda Ltd could partner with ILRI projects in Uganda. ILRI has been providing technical support and information that would make the enterprise even more effective. 
  • Through the enterprise, ILRI has been able to spread out its research outputs to many actors in the pig value chain –including medium size pig farmers, who are not the direct beneficiaries of the project- and offer advice on good farming practices. This kind of partnership is making great contributions towards the value chain approach focus of the Livestock and Fish program that seeks to engage with different partners along the entire value chain.
Danilo Pezo, the ILRI/Uganda value chain country coordinator and coordinator of the Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development (SPVCD) project gave the opening speech for the two-day training. Kristina Roesel, coordinator of the Safe Food Fair Food project conducted a training session on breaking the tape worm cycle at the same event.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New AWARD Director

4 February, 2014. NAIROBI, KENYA —African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) announced the appointment of Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg as the program’s new director.

AWARD is a career-development program that equips top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills, through tailored fellowships.

To date, 325 scientists have benefited from the successful program and are better equipped and empowered to develop agricultural innovations contributing to the prosperity and well-being of African smallholder farmers.

Prior to joining AWARD, Kamau-Rutenberg served as Founder and Executive Directorof Akili Dada, an award-winning leadership incubator that invests in high-achieving young Kenyan women from under-resourced families, who are passionate about driving change in their communities.

She will assume her duties as director on March 24, 2014 and will be honored at a welcome reception on March 27 in Nairobi.

2014 AWARD Fellowship laureates attending the Mentoring Orientation Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya: (left to right): Beatrice Sadina (Uganda), Esperança Tiago Michaque (Mozambique), Prisila Andrea Mkenda (Tanzania), and Jummai Othniel Yila (Nigeria) are among the 70 winners of an AWARD Fellowship this year. These women were selected from among 790 applicants to participate in the prestigious two-year career-development program for top women agricultural scientists from 11 sub-Saharan African countries.