Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Agriculture at the The New York Forum AFRICA 2014

23-25 May 2014. Libreville, Gabon. The New York Forum AFRICA 2014 focused on transformation: unlocking the competitiveness of the African economy through building value chains around the transformation of the continent’s natural resources, including its human capital. In knowledge economies, such as those in the western world, education is the foundation of economic competitiveness and global prosperity – and is inseparable from the development of human capital.

The New York Forum AFRICA was organized around a number of major debates that examine the key economic and business issues for Africa today. One panel discussed agriculture around the theme: DYNAMIC AGRICULTURE MARKETS: A PIPE DREAM OR A GRAIN OF TRUTH? 

The African vision for agriculture has been laid out as follows: dynamic markets within regions and countries, and farmers active in the market economy, while the continent becomes a net exporter of agricultural projects. Following from this would be a fairer distribution of wealth for rural populations, and environmentally sound agricultural production and sustainable land management. 

Is this an agricultural pipe dream – or is Africa close to achieving this? Are government, the private sector and the farmers delivering – and are they accountable?
  • How do we build value-added sectors to keep more revenues at home?
  • How do we integrate and support small farmers?
  • What can be done to protect from price hikes, and against environmental disasters?
  • How do we increase capacity and storage of water?
  • What needs to be done to improve access to market (financial and infrastructure/transport)?
  • Can we ensure food security?

Moussa SECK
Pan African Agribusiness and Agro-Industry Consortium

Moussa is a renowned expert in the field of agricultural science and planning. He is the architect for Senegal’s national policy on agriculture, known as “Senegal Agricole” a Comprehensive Multisectorial Rural Development Program. In the late 1990s he created Agraria Africa, a concept for developing agriculture on a Pan African scale, based on the geophysical and climatic specificities of the African continent. Moussa is also President of Agrina Senegal, an organic, highly mechanised irrigated agribusiness farm that he founded in 1996. He is the Chairman of PanAAC, the Pan-African Agriculture and Agribusiness Consortium, a platform intended to mobilize and engage the private sector involved in the African Agribusiness and Agro-industry value chain. Moussa was recently appointed as the Chairman of Lead Africa, a leadership-training program for Anglophone and Francophone Africa. He has acted as a consultant on agricultural policy to FAO, UNDP, World Bank, and the Swiss Government. Moussa managed the SYSPRO think-tank of ENDA, the international environmental and development organisation for 20 years since its formation in 1986. He built SYSPRO into one of Africa’s most highly respected think-tanks. Moussa graduated from the University of Minnesota Borlaug Hall, USA and the Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II in Morocco.

Chief Investment Officer
Amatheon Agri Holding N.V.

Frank Braeken is the Chief Investment Officer of Amatheon Agri Holding, a Berlin-based company committed to building a leading Agro Foods company operating across Africa. He has an FMCG background - a true global operator. After an early stint with P and G, Frank spent 26 years with Unilever, living and working in nine countries on four continents. His last role up to 2013 was Executive Vice President for the Africa region, with overall responsibility for its €2.5bln operations. Prior roles include Business Group President for the China Region, Managing Director of Unilever Foods France, and Chairman of Unilever Andina. After obtaining a law and MBA degree, his early career began in finance. His industries expertise lies in FMCG and African agriculture. His specific operational expertise is in developing markets sales and distribution strategies and systems, FMCG value chain analysis, multi-tier brand strategies for straddling the income pyramid, and talent and organisational strategies that cater to fast growing, developing organisations.

Call for Best Sustainable Development Practices on Food Security

May 1 to October 31, 2015. Expo Milano 2015 has launched a call aimed at the recognition and promotion of “Best Sustainable Development Practices on Food Security” (BSDP).

The Best Practices collection and recognition is supported by the Feeding Knowledge Program which aims to establish an international scientific network for research and innovation to promote and transfer knowledge on food security. The call is intended to collect experiences that have produced ameliorative effects in the specific thematic areas:
  • Sustainable management of natural resources
  • Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop growing products
  • Socio-economic dynamics and global markets.
  • Sustainable development of small rural communities
  • Food consumption patterns: diet, environment, society, economy and health
The initiatives can be submitted until September 15th, 2014 by filling out the online application form in English, Italian, or French here or through the offline form that you can download in italian | french | english.

Related: African countries at the Expo Milano 2015

SACAU's 2014 Policy Conference and AGM

26-29 May 2014, Lesotho. The Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU), based in Pretoria and to which the Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU) is a member, held its annual policy conference and Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lesotho at the Maseru Sun International.

The central theme of the conference focused on livestock issues in the region; the main objective being to identify solutions and growth opportunities for producers and other stakeholders. Key areas in the dialogue covered:
  • an overview on regional and global trends, 
  • scientific and technological advances, 
  • livestock and climate changes, 
  • livestock value chains and 
  • African socio-cultural aspects of livestock production.
Participants at the conference included several continental and global stakeholders, government leaders, policy-makers, prominent agribusiness leaders and representative leaders from national farmer’s organization such as:
  • Botswana Agricultural Union (BAU)
  • Lesotho National Farmers Union (LENAFU)
  • Coalition paysanne de Madagascar (CPM) and Confederation des Agriculteurs Malagasy (FERRITAMA)
  • Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) and National smallholders Famers Association of Malawi (NASFAM)
  • Uniao Nacional de Camponeses (UNAC) Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) and Namibia Natioanal Farmers Union (NNFU)
  • Seychelles Farmers Association (SEYFA) Agri South Africa (AgriSA) and African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (AFASA).
  • Swaziland National Agricultural Union (SNAU),
  • Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT).
  • Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU),
  • Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe (CFU) and Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU).

Joint ARCH AKIS Workshop

26 - 27 May 2014. Brussels. DG RTD. This workshop focused on closing the divide between research and innovation and was a mutual learning event on innovation pathways in the international (outside EU) domain.The title of this Joint Workshop was: Best strategies for intercontinental research and innovation partnerships: Local needs and research networks for impact on global challenges

Outline of the workshop:
  1. Opportunities to align research themes for AR and ARD • What are the global challenges? • What are the benefits of bringing the two worlds together? 
  2. Innovation Partnership Approaches • Intercontinental public-private partnerships using Interactive innovation approaches • Linking local innovation needs with global efforts • Lessons learnt from Innovation Partnership Approaches 
  3. Strategies for aligning funding for research and innovation • Summary of Case Studies • Funding strategies 
  4. Towards advice from the workshop • HLPD • IntensAfrica 
The workshop was chaired by the four co-chairs of ARCH and Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS). A template with preparatory issues will be sent out prior to the workshop. 

The workshop outcomes will provide inputs for the Expert Group which is supporting the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation which has identified food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture as a main focus. Outcomes will also feed into the SCAR Plenary in June and the EIARD WG meeting.


Small scale cold storage for dairy products in Ethiopia.
In this pilot, Mueller bv (cooling unit production company) is working with Wageningen University and ResearchSNV and a local Ethiopian entrepreneur to develop a small cooling unit for small-scale dairy farmers. This enables producers to preserve the quality of their fresh dairy during storage and transport. It enables them to sell their produce to higher value maker segments, such as local processors or retailers in urban areas. For the farmers this means higher income opportunities. For retailers and processors this means access to local quality products. It also means less dairy waste and may generate new job opportunities for local entrepreneurs.
Theme: Sustainable foodPartners: MuellerSNVWageningen University and Research, local partners
BoP region: Africa (Ethiopia)
Role of the BoP Innovation Center: support and facilitate the project, capture and share learnings
Roger Leakey on the role of agroforestry on poverty alleviation.
  • Lessons already learnt from preparation of IntensAfrica by Philippe Petithuguenin, CIRAD (related PAEPARD blog post 08/04/2013Pathways to sustainable intensification of agriculture)
  • Information from the Commission on Expert Group which will support the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation by Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer and Nienke Buisman, DG RTD
Published on 14 Mar 2014. Paulus Verschuren, Special Envoy Food and Nutrition Security for Development at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides insights from the 'Feeding the World 2014' conference in London (13/02/2014) on how the Dutch government goes about in bringing stakeholders together in the field of food and nutrition security. He discusses in particular the role of the private sector, the role of the multi nationals, the role of social corporate responsibility, the Feed the Future Initiative. The colleagues from Germany (Donor Platform Secretariat), USA (USAID +  World Vision), the Netherlands and Finland (Embassy of Finland in Nairobi) contributed to the discussion.

Food, farmers and markets. Inclusive, competitive and sustainable food systems
May 2014, 24 pages

Conference on Deforestation and Forest Degradation

26 - 27 May 2014. Brussels, Belgium. Deforestation, forest degradation and their socio-economic drivers are global challenges which can put at risk the global environment as well as economic and social development. This Conference aimed at taking stock of what we know, at identifying new synergies and at informing future work, in our common fight against global deforestation and forest degradation.

  • Increase visibility of challenges and possible solutions related to forest loss and degradation at global level, identify possible areas of convergence/agreement between stakeholders, outline possible new actions in support of existing targets;
  • Build synergies between key players from public and private sectors, as well as civil society, both from EU and developing countries with a view to help future climate negotiations;
  • Inform further (EU) work on REDD+, Sustainable Development Goals, CBD Biodiversity Strategy, FLEGT Action Plan, Resource Efficiency Roadmap and the fight against deforestation move generally.
Mr Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment, opened the Conference and Mrs Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, closed it.
In the coming weeks I will present a package of initiatives that will further pave the way
in this direction and help close existing loops. We want to develop an enabling framework for the circular economy in the EU, with measures combining smart regulation, research and innovation, encouraging investment and attracting financing. The package will also include a Communication on food waste, which is particularly relevant to some of the issues you will discuss today and tomorrow: What is the role of demand for and consumption of commodities and products in the loss of forest cover and biodiversity at global level? Or on a more positive note: how can collective action in these areas contribute to solutions?

EU has launched Biodiversity for Life (B4Life)

22 May 2014: The EU has launched Biodiversity for Life (B4Life), a EuropeAid's flagship initiative meant to forge cross-sector partnerships to tackle biodiversity-related issues.

What sort of activities might be eligible for B4Life funding?

B4Life will include projects with biodiversity as their main objective. This will include, for example:
  • projects to support the sustainable management of protected areas, 
  • projects to develop trade in biodiversity-related products for sustainable livelihoods, 
  • projects to reduce deforestation and degradation of mangroves for the protection of coasts and nursery habitats for fish, and 
  • projects to increase monitoring and information sharing to fight wildlife crime.
B4Life will focus on those developing countries most in need and with the greatest potential, by paying particular attention to Least Developed Countries and countries containing “biodiversity hotspots”, the places where ecosystems and their services are the richest but also the most threatened, like the Congo Basin, Madagascar, the West African forests, Tropical Andes, Mesoamerica, Indian Western Ghats, Kalimantan

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Increasing the engagement of farmers in research

22/05/2014. The April 2014 issue of the CTA and S and T Knowledge for Development (K4D) e-newsletter features:

  1. the new K4D dossier “Research Collaboration in a Globalised World”, 
  2. the impact survey on Africa-EU food security research cooperation and 
  3. extension policy.
The 1st lead article is by EU researchers, T. Chancellor, M. Hauser, and P. Sarfatti. They address research and capacity-building partnerships on joint priorities and emerging agricultural issues and increasing the engagement of farmers in research to achieve greater impact at local level.
PAEPARD seeks to provide evidence to support its advocacy activities, whilst also aiming to influence the orientation and content of various calls for research proposals including the open Calls issued by the Africa Union itself.
To date, PAEPARD has revealed that current funding mechanisms are not adequately oriented towards demand-led ARD, despite the growing body of evidence that it can bring benefits to rural communities. PAEPARD is using the lessons learned to advocate for mainstreaming demand-led ARD in the programmes of national governments and donor agencies.

Many researchers in Europe and elsewhere want to engage in development-oriented research, but have little incentive to participate. Career progression depends on publishing scientific papers in journals with high impact factors. Multi-disciplinary studies are generally rated less highly than research in individual disciplinary areas. There are signs in some European countries that greater value is now being attached for recognizing that research for development impact should be seen as a key measure of research success.
In the 2nd lead article, African researcher, Moses Osiru calls on African governments and financial institutions to work in collaboration with development partners and support targeted programmes and favourable funding mechanisms that allow African institutions to build capacity and negotiate for greater leverage in north-south and south-south research partnerships.
Multi-stakeholder interaction is key to innovation and is now widely accepted in Africa and beyond. It contrasts with the traditional vertical research to the innovation pipeline in which researchers generate new knowledge, and extension actors ‘pass on’ knowledge products to end-users, usually farmers.
Funders (governments and development partners) are drivers of multi-stakeholder partnerships, particularly for fostering alliances with advanced institutions and other actors including the private sector.
Diverse stakeholders (government, producers, agro-industry, the broader scientific community should be actively involved in setting the research agenda. When research is controlled and managed directly by public institutions, many stakeholders tend to be marginalised from these processes.

Friday, May 23, 2014

IFDC Agribusiness Clusters

22 May 2014. IFDC released it 2013 Annual Report. IFDC commemorates its 40th anniversary in 2014. Five new projects were launched during 2013, including the Walmart Foundation component of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

IFDC training in business management is helping farmers reshape their small farms into profitable businesses. Projects like AIMS III in Mozambique, AVCMP in Ghana, USAID KAED in Kyrgyzstan and 2SCALE, among others, are connecting farmers with one another as well as financial institutions, dealers and markets. As a result, farmers have a stronger collective voice in the market.

To foster farm competitiveness, 2SCALE, for example, is developing a portfolio of 500 agribusiness groups and product value chains in 12 African countries. The project will ultimately link 1.15 million farms and double their productivity. Similarly, the CFC-KIT project in Mali is improving sesame production and processing.

Toward Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness through Learning in Entrepreneurship (2SCALE)
2012-2017 (page 17 of the annual report)

Overview2SCALE is improving rural livelihoods, nutrition and food security in 12 countries across Africa, aiming to help 1.15 million smallholder families ultimately increase their productivity by 100 percent and their net incomes by 30 percent.
A key component is the development of a portfolio of 500 robust and viable agribusiness clusters and value chains targeting regional, national and local markets, including commodity and food product markets for base-of-the-pyramid consumers. 2SCALE focuses on the development of competitive rural agricultural systems, viable agro-enterprises and PPPs to meet its goals.
Implementing Partners – Base of the Pyramid Innovation Center (BoP) Inc. and International
Centre for development oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA)
Donors – DGIS (50 percent) and private sector enterprises (50 percent)
Locations – Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, South
Sudan, Togo and Uganda

Grassroots Development of Agribusiness Clusters in Mali (DEBPEA) 2009-2014
Overview – An extension of the completed From Thousands to Millions (1000s+) project, DEBPEA is reinforcing and expanding agricultural development in Mali. The project is increasing the number of agribusiness clusters in Mali and making agribusinesses sustainable and accessible – economically, organizationally and environmentally. DEBPEA is achieving this goal by designing and testing innovative instruments in rural finance such as contract financing, the inventory credit system and harvest insurance. To improve agribusiness clusters’ competitiveness and sustainability, DEBPEA is prompting agribusiness cluster participants to determine effective strategies to promote their product value chains by creating synergies and developing multi-participant action plans.
Donor – Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Mali
Location – Mali

FARA Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Linking Technical Options, Policy and Market Access for Improved Land Productivity in the Northern Guinea Savanna Zone 2012-2014
Overview – The project implements the Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D)
approach using four innovation platforms for rice, vegetables, livestock and maize-legume. IFDC is leading the project’s work in the Northern Guinea Savannah Zone of Nigeria.
Collaborator – Sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Program
Donor – Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
Location – Nigeria

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Advancing Global Food Security in the Face of Weather Volatility and Climate Change

May 22, 2014. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs released a report (PDF) urging the US government to take action to curb the risks climate change poses to global food security. It explains how higher temperatures, changes in rainfall and natural disasters caused by climate change could undermine food production and put food supplies at risk. In total, climate change could reduce food production growth by 2 percent each decade for the rest of this century. The report was released at The Chicago Council’s Global Food Security Symposium 2014.

The report, Advancing Global Food Security in the Face of a Changing Climate, calls on the US government to integrate climate change adaptation into its global food security strategy. Recommendations include:
  • Passing legislation for a long-term global food and nutrition security strategy. 
  • Increasing funding for agricultural research on climate change adaptation. Research priorities should include improving crop and livestock tolerance to higher temperatures and volatile weather, combating pests and disease and reducing food waste.
  • Collecting better data and making information on weather more widely available to farmers. There are significant global data gaps right now on weather; water availability, quality, and future requirements; crop performance; land use; and consumer preferences.
  • Increasing funding for partnerships between US universities and universities and research institutions in low-income countries, to train the next generation of agricultural leaders.
  • Advancing international action through urging that food security be addressed through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
Scheduled for 22 May 2014
Global leaders convened to chart a course for how the US government - in partnership with business, civil society, and international organizations - can advance global food security in the face of weather volatility and climate change.

Speakers include:
* Susan E. Rice, U.S. National Security Advisor
* Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
* Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
* Pamela K. Anderson, Director, Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
* Dan Glickman, Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
* John F. Ginascol, Vice President, Supply Chain, Abbott Nutrition
* Many more

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Processing and Post-Harvest Handling was announced by United States Agency for International Development administrator Rajiv Shah on Thursday (May 22) at the Chicago Council's Global Food Security Symposium.

It is funded by Feed the Future, the U.S. government's Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative led by USAID. Purdue University researchers will lead a $5 million, five-year effort to improve drying and storage of cereal grains (corn, rice, sorghum and millet) and grain legumes (cowpea, soybean and peanut), specifically in Kenya and Senegal.

The researchers have expertise in drying technologies to decrease grain loss from mold and in processing grain to generate market-competitive products with enhanced nutrition. The project also aims to help develop markets for smallholder farmers, thereby providing more food while also improving their livelihoods, said James "Jess" Lowenberg-DeBoer, associate dean of Purdue's College of Agriculture and director of its International Programs in Agriculture.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Quality standards and control in the fertilizer value chain

14 - 15 Mai 2014. Accra. A two-day workshop to discuss issues relating to quality standards and control in the fertilizer value chain across Sub-Saharan African countries was organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and brought together 50 participants from 13 African countries to share experiences and lessons learnt in the roll out of country-level fertilizer quality control regulations.

It would also provide opportunities for cross projects and country partnerships to enhance the development of good fertilizer quality control systems within and across countries.

Mr Bashir Jama, the Director of Soil Health Program at AGRA, said the outcome of the workshop was
expected to bring relief to farmers who over the years been subjected to sub-standard fertilizer products by some fertilizer producers, importers and sellers across the continent.

Mr Jama said participants would share lessons on issues arising from fertilizer quality control implementation strategies across the 13 AGRA focal countries and deliberate on the way forward among stakeholders. He said promoting soil health through various technologies and practices is critical to sustaining and improving agricultural productivity.

Mr Jama said through Integrated Soil Fertility Management technologies, it is imperative that fertilizer products need to be of required quality standards in order not to destroy the soil that sustains the life of plants but improves it quality to safeguard the environment.

Mobile Phones for Agricultural Extension

Mobile Phones for Agricultural Extension: Worldwide mAgri Innovations and Promise for Future"
2014, 380 pages
by Saravanan Raj

Mobile phones have revolutionised the communication process and have become all-in-one magical devices for communicating at anytime and anywhere. The last decade has seen a flourish in the number of mobile based agro-advisory service initiatives in the developing countries and more are being added regularly in some parts of the world. Services that started with farmers’ help-lines accessed through landlines and messages (SMS) have evolved slowly to multimodal and multimedia based delivery of advisory and to m-agriculture applications for smartphones.

In this rapidly changing m-Agriculture scenario, this book is an attempt to document the evolution of mobile phone based agro-advisory services around the world. The content of the book comprises of country chapters on mobile phone applications for agricultural extension from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe along with chapters on global review on m-agriculture initiatives, content generation process and socio-economic impact of mobile phone based agro-advisory services. This book delves into the development of mobile phone based agro-advisory and their content, delivery mode, business model and utility and provides an insight into the evolution of mobile phones as an extension tool in different countries across the globe.

9. Mobile Phone Applications for Agricultural Extension in Nigeria………………291
Bolarinwa, K .K., Oyeyinka, R.A., and Banmeke, T.O.
11. Mobile Phone Applications for Agricultural Extension in Tanzania……………327
Alfred S. Sife
12. Mobile Phone Applications for Agriculture Extension in Uganda………………343
 Nabireeba James, F., Tenywa Moses and Kasule Ronald

The book will provide valuable insights on m-agriculture initiatives for agricultural extension around the world to agricultural students, extension professionals, researchers and policy makers both for understanding them and working on them. The lessons from the m-agriculture initiatives can guide the mode of implementation and evolution of mobile based advisory services in agriculture.

Strengthening FAO’s partnerships with the AU, RECs, other UN agencies and development partners in Eastern Africa

19 - 21 May 2014. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This three-day meeting focused on ways of strengthening FAO’s partnerships with the African Union (AU), regional economic communities (REC), other UN agencies and development partners in Eastern Africa in order to achieve the goal of eradicating hunger in Africa by 2025. The meeting was held under the theme “Partnerships for Addressing Food Insecurity in Eastern Africa.”

The meeting focused on how to improve support to Eastern African countries to deliver the Country Programming Frameworks (CPF). The meeting  identified areas of partnership and collaboration to end hunger in Eastern Africa in line with the outcomes of the AU Declaration on Ending Hunger from Africa by 2025. It also prioritized areas of partnership in Eastern Africa and share information on FAO’s work in eastern Africa with Governments, Regional Economic Commissions and development partners.

In his opening remarks, Modibo Traore, FAO Sub-Regional Representative for Eastern Africa, noted that
the meeting provides opportunity to explore ways for strengthening collaboration and finds new areas of partnership to accelerate hunger eradication in the sub-region.

The FAO Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa (SFE), an advisory and technical unit for the Eastern Africa sub-region comprises Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda.

Impacts des actions d’influence politiques par les OP

13 et 14 mai 2014. Ouagadougou. La Confédération Paysanne du Faso (CPF) a tenu les  un atelier sur la mise en place d’un dispositif de suivi des effets et impacts des actions d’influence politiques par les OP. 

Cet atelier se situe dans le cadre du partenariat entre la CPF, le ROPPA et AFDI qui vise à appuyer les OP dans la définition d’un dispositif de suivi des effets et de l’impact de la contribution des OP à l’élaboration, la mise en œuvre et le suivi des politiques sectorielles. 

Le but visé, etait la création d’un espace d’échange entre les différents participants et le partage au moins de deux des nombreuses expériences de la CPF sur l’élaboration de politiques agricoles. A cet effet une session de concertation a été organisée par les participants afin d’identifier des indicateurs de suivi des effets et impacts des politiques en se basant sur les deux expériences prédéfinies par la CPF à savoir celle sur la sécurisation foncière et le PNSR. 

A l’issu de cette concertation treize (13) indicateurs ont été identifiés par la CPF comme pouvant permettre d’atteindre un changement. Aussi un plan d’actions a été mis en place en fonction de trois étapes que sont avant, pendant et après la formulation de la politique. La CPF veut ainsi participer au processus d’élaboration des politiques agricoles

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Land, Territorial Development and Family Farming in Angola

Land, Territorial Development and Family Farming in Angola
A holistic approach to community-based natural resource governance: 
The cases of Bie, Huambo, and Huila Provinces
Francisco Carranza ; Jordan Treakle , FAO, 52 pages

This paper describes Angola's family farming sector, with an emphasis on land tenure and natural resources management. Challenges faced by Angolan family farmers include climate change impacts, food insecurity and land tenure conflicts from foreign agricultural investment. The paper also highlights rural development challenges that affect family farming, including: the need to improve institutional capacity, physical planning and infrastructure; and insufficient knowledge on land tenure and management alongside limited data exchange among public institutions and departments.

The paper highlights two tendencies in land issues over the three decades since Angola's independence: 
  1. the de-legitimization of the role of traditional authorities; 
  2. and government challenges in service provision and support to decentralized institutions. 
It argues that these trends contributed to insecure land rights. Further, “significant gaps remain” between legal frameworks that protect and guarantee rural community land rights and their implementation, according to the paper, which states that these implementation gaps exacerbate land conflicts and contribute to the marginalization of under-represented groups.

The paper includes chapters on: 
  1. an overview of Angola, including its natural resources and agriculture; 
  2. land issues in Angola; 
  3. FAO's involvement in land issues, including support to provincial land and natural resources management institutions; 
  4. family farming in Angola, including cropping and production systems; 
  5. participatory and negotiated approaches to land and natural resources management; 
  6. pilot experiences in the highland plateau; 
  7. and conclusions.

Consultation on Open Agricultural Knowledge for Development

22-24 April 2104 Rome, Italy. Consultation on Open Agricultural Knowledge for Development. The G8 countries organized a conference on Open Data in Agriculture, which brought together expert working groups and specialist expertise across aspects of agriculture and related fields including documents, genetic resources, statistics, spatial data etc. In fact, many international and regional organizations are actively supporting a variety of initiatives around the context of open data and knowledge.

One such initiative is the CIARD Movement which was established in 2008, and the partners have developed a set of practical tools including a Check listof good practices, a set of Pathways, and a global registry of open data sources CIARD-RING, and the AIMS global community of practice. The founding partners undertook a review of the Movement in early 2013, and the vision was widened to encompass contributions to agricultural development in general with a focus on small producers. CIARD is currently being rebranded to address this new mandate.

Apart from CIARD, several other initiatives exist around the context of open data and knowledge in agriculture. Amongst these is the global Research Data Alliance has developed an Agriculture Interest Group, which has strong links to CIARD. Leading on from the G8 conference, the GODAN (Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition) initiative was launched in October 2013 to build high-level policy and institutional support for open data across the public and private sector.The GODAN partners include many of the same actors that already support CIARD so the two will be highly complementary to each other.

The objectives of the Consultation were:
  • review progress, achievements and future prospects of all international initiatives related to open data and knowledge in agriculture, including especially CIARD and GODAN;
  • consider experiences of selected national systems and international/regional agencies in development of effective policies and practices in opening agricultural knowledge and data;
  • discuss and agree structure and governance for CIARD and GODAN;
  • define a programme of action for the next 2 years in relation to strengthening advocacy, policy frameworks and mandates, and institutional/human capacities.
14/05/2014 SciDev G8 and FAO's open-agriculture projects set to join forces
Some participants expressed fears about merging CIARD into a G8-led initiative that could be less sensitive to the views of developing countries. Others proposed that the secretariat be hosted by a neutral body such as the FAO or global agricultural research partnership CGIAR.
In any case, creating a secretariat should ensure that developing — as well as developed — countries drive GODAN, Kerry Albright, senior agricultural research analyst at the UK government’s Department for International Development and another GODAN organiser, toldSciDev.Net.
The initiative is doing an excellent job in engaging the scientific community, Catherine
Woteki, chief scientist at the US Department of Agriculture. But it is failing to influence senior policymakers and businesses, according to Woteki. “Open data for agriculture is much broader than the scientific data,” she said, adding that there are many other types of data, including information on resources and production held by government agencies or by local institutions. “And the private sector has a crucial role in taking these data sets and creating useful applications.”

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mise en place de la plateforme d’innovation des acteurs de la filière avicole au Niger

15 et 16 mai 2014. Niamey, Niger. Atelier en place de la plateforme d’innovation des acteurs de la filière avicole au titre de la région de Niamey.

Ont pris part à cet atelier les acteurs suivants :les représentants du Ministère de l’Elevage, les représentants des professionnels la filière avicole de la région de Niamey, les représentants de l’INRAN, de l’Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey, les ONGs et projets, les fournisseurs de biens et services et les personnes ressources.  

Recommandations :
  • Inciter le repreneur de la station avicole de Goudel de rendre fonctionnel le couvoir afin de subvenir aux besoins d’approvisionnement des aviculteurs en poussin d’un jour ; 
  • Appuyer la création de la MAISON DE L’AVICULTURE à Niamey; 
  • Appuyer la mise en place d’une interprofession avicole ; 
  • Appuyer la réalisation d’un diagnostic organisationnel de la filière avicole et l’actualisation du répertoire des acteurs.

The case for climate smart agriculture

15th May 2014. Brown bag presentation in the WorldBank by Andy Jarvis from the CCAFS program of the CGIAR. Presentation on success stories and challenges ahead to make global agriculture more climate smart.

Can we feed the world and address climate change? The case for climate smart agriculture from Decision and Policy Analysis Program

12th to 14th May 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. CCAFS East Africa Workshop on Theories of Change and
Impact Pathway. The meeting entailed developing research problems on climate smart agriculture based on four flagships namely CSA, climate information, low emissions and policies.
1 - 5 April 2014. Segovia, Spain. CCAFS Moves towards Demand-Driven Research Approach. The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has embarked on an internal transformation process, which will move it towards a demand-driven, research for development approach. The CCAFS Program, as well as other CGIAR Challenge Programmes, is developing impact pathways and theories of change to guide programming across projects and regions. The process was facilitated through a workshop , which brought together a newly established Working Group on Impact Pathways and Monitoring and Evaluation.

Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)

14 to 16 May 2014. Sweden hosted the 7th Forum Meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).

The objectives of the GFMD are:
  • To provide a venue for policy-makers and high-level policy practitioners to informally discuss relevant policies and practical challenges and opportunities of the migration-development nexus, and engage with other stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, experts and migrant organizations to foster practical and action-oriented outcomes at national, bilateral and international level;
  • To exchange good practices and experiences, which can be duplicated or adapted in other circumstances, in order to maximize the development benefits of migration and migration flows;
  • To identify information, policy and institutional gaps necessary to foster synergies and greater policy coherence at national, regional and international levels between the migration and development policy areas;
  • To establish partnerships and cooperation between countries, and between countries and other stakeholders, such as international organizations, diaspora, migrants, academia etc., on migration and development;
  • To structure the international priorities and agenda on migration and development.

Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security

15-17 May, 2014. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Together with partners, IFPRI and its 2020 Vision Initiative, organized an international conference on “Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security” . The conference was the centerpiece of a two-year global consultative process that :
  • Evaluated emerging shocks that pose significant threats to food and nutrition security;
  • Assess experiences and draw lessons for using programs, policies, institutions, and investments to build resilience;
  • Determined key approaches and tools for building resilience to shocks of varying levels;
  • Identified knowledge and action gaps in research, policy, and programming;
  • Set priorities for action by different actors and in different regions.

Published on 15 May 2014
Kanayo Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) addresses the inaugural session.

Published on 18 May 2014: Moving forward Shenggen Fan, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Electronic posters highlight innovative resilience initiatives, concepts, and tools. Posters were submitted by colleagues from organizations from around the world.

  • BioMass Web(FARA - Center for Development Research Bonn) slide 12 + slide 14 
  • FP7 - Grace project: socio-economic impact of GMO slide 28 
  • The small-scale agricultural producers are potential actors to the food security in Western Africa. CRGB, Cotonou, Benin Slide 52
16/05/2014 - In the News African smallholders ‘need techs to spur food security'

Resilience of social & ecological systems

4-8, 2014 May 2014. Montpellier, France. This conference was organized by the “French node” of the Resilience Alliance network (CIRAD - CNRS - IRSTEA- INRA), Agropolis International and their partners of the campus of Montpellier.

Building on the highly successful first two conferences (in Stockholm & in Phoenix), Resilience 2014 created an arena for exchanges and discussions articulating concepts & practices of adaptation, transformation and development.

Partnerships between smallholder farmers and private sector investors for land rights

24 April 2014. Rome, Italy. IFAD organised a technical workshop to share some of IFAD’s and our partner’s experiences in developing partnerships between smallholder farmers and private sector investors and in particular some of the implications for land and natural resource rights. 

Speakers from UNCTAD, OXFAM, the private sector-led Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform, and Land Policy Initiative highlighting status and early results from the leading land and responsible agriculture investment guidelines. Namely, the Principles for Responsible Agriculture Investment (PRAI), the Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments (in Africa), an SAI’s industry aligned Farmer Self-Assessment of sustainable agriculture practices.

During the workshop a range of business models that are being used by IFAD to structure agricultural investments in lower- and middle-income countries were showcased at the workshop. The following five experiences were presented and revealed what has worked – and what has not – in inclusive business models currently in practice: 
  1. commercial oil palm farming in Uganda; 
  2. integrating smallholder farmers in Swaziland’s sugar industry; 
  3. building farmer’s income and safety nets while securing the local energy supply in Burkina Faso and Mali; 
  4. organic and Fairtrade cocoa production in São Tomé; and, 
  5. smallholder tea production in Rwanda.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Another green revolution is stirring in the world’s paddy fields

10 May 2014. The Economist. Flood-resistant rice is now spreading as fast as the waters themselves. Five years after the first field trials, 5m farmers across the world are planting more than a dozen varieties of rice with flood-resistant genes, collectively called “Sub 1”.

They are proliferating even faster than new rice varieties during the heady early days of the first green revolution in the 1960s. “And Sub 1 is the first of a new generation of seeds,” says Mr Zeigler. If all goes well, over the next few years plants that tolerate drought, salinity and extreme heat will revolutionise the cultivation of mankind’s most important source of calories.

But that will depend on the technology working as promised and, in particular, on public policies that support a second green revolution. Neither is guaranteed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The solutions to all our problems may be buried in PDFs that nobody reads

8 May 2014. Washington Post. What if someone had already figured out the answers to the world's most pressing policy problems, but those solutions were buried deep in a PDF, somewhere nobody will ever read them?

According to a recent report by the World Bank, that scenario is not so far-fetched. The bank is one of those high-minded organizations -- Washington is full of them -- that release hundreds, maybe thousands, of reports a year on policy issues big and small. Many of these reports are long and highly technical, and just about all of them get released to the world as a PDF report posted to the organization's Web site.

The World Bank recently decided to ask an important question: Is anyone actually reading these things? They dug into their Web site traffic data and came to the following conclusions: Nearly one-third of their PDF reports had never been downloaded, not even once. Another 40 percent of their reports had been downloaded fewer than 100 times. Only 13 percent had seen more than 250 downloads in their lifetimes. Since most World Bank reports have a stated objective of informing public debate or government policy, this seems like a pretty lousy track record.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Opportunities for Dairy Sector Development Collaboration in East Africa

8 May 2014. Kampala, Uganda. The Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program supported the Global Knowledge Initiative’s (GKI) dairy value chain collaboration colloquium.

The Collaboration Colloquium brought together participants representing research, business, development organizations, and government to share knowledge, build skills, and explore opportunities for partnership.

These activities were aimed at addressing challenges offered by seven individuals or “Challengers” working in the dairy value chain:
  1. Clayton Arinanye of the Uganda Crane Creameries Cooperative Union; 
  2. Fred Kabi of Makerere University; 
  3. James Lwerimba of World Wide Sires; 
  4. Billy Butamanya of the Uganda Cooperative Alliance; 
  5. Henry Njakoi of Heifer International; 
  6. Tom Sillayo of Faida Market Link (Faida MaLi); and 
  7. Mayasa Simba of the Tanzania Dairy Board. 
The event featured four facilitated steps designed to reveal possible pathways to partnership: (1) identifying shared goals; (2) mapping key aspects of the challenge; (3) identifying resources for strategic action; and (4) testing and strengthening ideas.

Challenges like poor access to veterinary care, inadequate knowledge of breeding practices, and insufficient market access make it difficult for farmers, processors, and other stakeholders to capture the full benefits of dairy production in East Africa.

Overcoming these multi-faceted challenges requires integrated solutions that maximize the expertise and engagement of stakeholders all along the dairy value chain. The Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) designed the Dairy Value Chain Collaboration Colloquium to spur the creation of such solutions.

The Tanzania dairy value chain partners were able to refine the challenges they are addressing in Tanzania dairy, increase the networks for solving common problems and access to seed money USD 20,000, a challenge prize organized by GKI, that would be available to crystallize action for concepts around the challenges that win.


“White Gold: Opportunities for Dairy Sector Development Collaboration in East Africa”
March 2014, 138 pages

This report presents findings from desk studies and country visits on the six East African countries (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda) made on request of the Inter-Agency Donor Group on Pro-poor Livestock Development, as per study terms of reference. It includes recommendations on areas of donor support and collaboration, a regional dairy sector analysis, country dairy profiles, and current donor programs in the dairy sector.

The main emerging regional dairy issue is the recent interest in investment in the dairy sector by regional (e.g., Brookside of Kenya) and international milk processors (e.g., Friesland Campina, Nestle and TetraPak). This interest is a reflection of the confidence the processors have in adequacy of milk supply or potential for increased milk supply. This is likely to change the nature of dairy business in the region in that it will promote milk quality improvement and a commercial orientation along the whole dairy value chain.

To this end, lead milk processors in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda are currently exploring quality based milk payment systems. Also, the entry of international dairy companies such as Friesland Campina is a game changer as it forces East Africa operators to develop efficient and competitive supply chains and create supplier loyalty and traceability as opposed to random milk buying. It would lead to milk quality improvements and stability in milk supply chains through introduced incentives. Since all this is just initiating, the logistics for this integration and time frame to impact smallholder dairy remain speculative.

1-3 April 2014. Masaka-Mbarara, Uganda. IADG East Africa dairy expert consultation. The Inter-Agency Donor Group on pro-poor livestock research and development recently completed a successful dairy expert consultation in Uganda. The three-day event gathered over 50 dairy experts from six East African countries and beyond.. Within the purpose of coordination of dairy sector development investments in East Africa, the expert consultation aimed to offer an opportunity to reflect with stakeholders on the finding of a recent study carried out on behalf of IADG, and to define and prioritise actions to capitalize on the opportunities in the East African dairy sector. The roles of various partners in this endeavour (public sector, private sector, farmers, civil society actors, and knowledge institutes) were subject of discussions as well.

The study and the consultation were a follow up to the 14th IADG annual meeting on pro-poor livestock research and development in May 2013 that recommended that better coordination by development agencies on dairy development in East Africa would be good for all parties. The consultation proved to offer a unique opportunity for exchange on current issues in the dairy sector in East Africa. 

The presentation of the results of the study “White Gold: Opportunities for Dairy Sector Development Collaboration in East Africa” by the lead consultant Nathaniel Makoni kicked off discussions on key issues in dairy sector development in Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Field visits to farms, milk collection centres, a processing plant, and a breeding centre gave additional impetus to discussions.
  1. Increasing the availability and quality of feed and fodder. This was highlighted as the key factor to increase production and productivity of dairy in the region. Public roles include research, development and enforcement of regulations and certification; private roles include expansion of feed business, fodder farming & trade, and creating linkages with processors and farmers to shape extension; farmers may see feed and fodder cropping as a business opportunity as would service providers.
  2. Other production-related factors. Requires due attention including i) quality of milk from cow to consumer; ii) availability of and access to land for production of feed & fodder; iii) breeding – country specific needs vary from increasing the availability of crossbred heifers to effectiveness of the public & private AI services; and iv) animal health - attention is warranted by the threat of zoonoses like tuberculosis, brucellosis, and food & mouth disease; threats to human health and trans-boundary trade call for effective national and regional public responses.
  3. Large scale farms can play a larger role in linking smallholders to commercial value chains, as nucleus farms that provide inputs (like heifers and feed) and services (like bulking and extension); inclusion of smallholders is a chain-wide necessity (bulk supply and livelihood) in which processors, input suppliers, governments and NGOs can all play a role; smallholder inclusion and growth does not happen by itself however, and requires adequate incentives.
  4. Informal marketing (which has to be stratified in categories like cottage industry, licensed traders, petty traders, etc.) was acknowledged for its crucial role in the current situations of wide market diversity, weak chain linkages, lack of infrastructure like roads and electricity, and sub-optimal enforcement of regulations. Licensing of traders is a hotly debated issue. Privatization, (self-) regulation, and enforcement are required for improvement of input- and outputs markets, including issues like quality of feed, veterinary services, and milk quality assurance. Slow formal value chain growth calls for diversified approach to development of informal sector. Also the crucial role of cooperatives and the governance and management of cooperatives as from a business perspective was underscored.
  5. Market development has to be achieved through measures like school milk feeding programs and milk consumption campaigns, but especially through product diversification that increase demand, and hence stimulate supply while contributing to improved human nutrition. Prices may decrease when milk quality improves, milk losses decline and processing capacity is utilized. The milk consumption increase may also come naturally with the growth in the urban population and a middle class with disposable income that is evident in cities across the region.
  6. Increasing women and youth participation in the value chain and increasing the benefits they derive from participation (e.g. in starting dairy farms, assisting farmers in fodder production, milk transportation and testing) was highlighted as a key sustainability concern, as were profitability and shared value along the dairy value chain, and the ecological footprint of dairy production - manure management and water use are growing concerns.
  7. Capacity development requires major efforts at different levels: from practical training to graduate level; from the input supply and farming to processing and retail; from farm/firm level to value chain services at sector level; capacity needs include the capacity to supply industry data on farm/business levels, value chain/market level, and sector level, which is notoriously weak and hampering sector development.

    A range of possible activities where identified in these areas, be it for private, public or civil society actors. In all areas a better balance is required between public funding (national and international governments) and private investments. While no blue print can be given for the widely varying political contexts in these countries, donor agencies were recommended to improve coordination between themselves and national governments, and to avoid funding that distorts markets, like provision of equipment or temporary management capacity.

Published on 22 Apr 2014
Through development collaboration within the East African dairy sector will this commodity truly become the 'white gold' resource of the region?

Geert Westenbrink, Policy Coordinator at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation of the Netherlands postulates this notion.