Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Agricultural Research for Development Conference

23 - 24 September 2015. Uppsala, Sweden. This conference was a forum for balanced and science-based discussions about the ways forward, and on how multidisciplinary agricultural sciences can contribute to the discussion on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

This was a two-day event for researchers and professionals who work with and/or interested in agriculture for development. PhD students, senior scientists, experts from social, political, soils, crops, natural resources and animal science, economy, forestry, horticulture, veterinary medicine etc. participated.

Keynote speakers of the conference included John McDermot (Director for CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, IFPRI); Kostas Stamoulis, Director ESA, FAO, Rome; Margaret Kroma, Assistant Director General – Partnerships & Impact, World Agroforestry Centre, ICRAF; Christel Cederberg (Professor at the Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden); and Jim Sumberg (Research fellow, Institute of Development Studies – IDS. University of Sussex, UK).

Download the Conference Booklet

Extract ofthe program:
Transforming subsistence farming into commercial enterprises: The changing face of eastern and southern African agriculture. Session leaders: Ivar Virgin, SEI; Matthew Fielding, SIANI.
  • Commercialisation of Agriculture among Smallholder Farmers Catherine Komugisha Tindiwensi, Makerere University Business School, Uganda 
  • Food Security, Water and Sanitation for Improved Wellbeing of Smallholder Farmers in East and Southern Africa Ngolia Kimanzu, International Development, The Salvation Army, Sweden & Latvia Territory 
  • New Products from Traditional Grains to Create a Market and Improve Food Security. Mats Stading, Structure and Material Design, SP Food and Bioscience, Sweden. 
  • Rapid Ex-ante Environmental Impact Assessment for Livestock Value chains. Ylva Ran, Stockholm Environment Institute(SEI). 
  • From Communal to Private: The Case of Changing Land Tenure and its Implications for Agricultural Practices in West Pokot, Kenya Laura Saxer, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden 
  • The Impact of Large Scale Land Acquisition on the Right to Adequate Food of Small Scale Farmers in Lipokela, Tanzania. Atenchong Talleh Nkoboul, Institute of Social Sciences in Agriculture, University of Hohenheim, Germany 
  • Is Land Tenure Conversion Indispensable for Agricultural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa? Lasse Krantz, Unit of Human Geography, University of Gothenburg, Sweden 
  • Land Use Consolidation in Rwanda: The Experiences of Small-scale Farmers in Musanze District. Emmanuel Muyombano. Unit of Human Geography, University of Gothenburg, Sweden 
  • Large-scale Land Acquisitions and their Implications for Commercialization of Small-farms. Atakilte Beyene, The Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden
Sustainable intensification in agriculture
  • Research-for-Development (R4D) platforms - a multi-stakeholder initiative for integrated farming towards sustainable intensification. Per Hillbur, Malmö University, IITA/Africa 
  • Risisng Biochar as an opportunity for agriculture in small-holder farming systems in Kenya – a win-win-win situation? Cecilia Sundberg, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU 
  • Converting organic waste into valuable animal protein – Business opportunities for improved organic waste management. Cecilia Lalander, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU 
  • Efficiency in small-scale urban dairy production has potential to increase in Uganda. Renee Båge, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU
  • Next Generation Breeding of East African Highland Bananas – The Main Staple of East African Great Lakes. Rodomiro Octavio Ortiz Rios, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU 
  • The role of civil society in assessment of GM crops in Africa (Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda). Ksenia Gerasimova, University of Cambridge 
  • Opportunities and Challenges of ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’ Activities: A Critical Review of Empirical Evidence. Linus Karlsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU
Improving access to markets and developing value chains. Session leader: Kostas Karantininis, SLU
  • Willingness to pay for organic food in Africa. Kostas Karantininis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU 
  • Cooperatives and Farm Gate Prices for Agricultural. Jens Rommel, Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research. 
  • Farmland investment in Africa: What’s the deal? Luca di Corato, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU 
  • Choice of Marketing Channels in the Kenyan Domestic Organic Market. Leah Murimi, University of Nairobi 
  • Value chain governance and its influence on integration: Evidences from the malt-barley value chain in Ethiopia. Mulugeta Watabaji, Ghent University 
  • A model for Prototype Testing, Up-scaling and Commercialization of New Stress tolerant Canning Bean varieties in Eastern Africa. Paul Kimani, University of Nairobi

Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition 7th International Forum

21 - 24 September 2015. Milan, Italy. Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition 7th International Forum.
This is an event which, since 2009, has proposed to promote debates on global topics linked to food, as well as encourage awareness and generate sound proposals for the future of the planet.

The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) Young Earth Solutions (YES) finalists’ projects were presented at the forum, which was hosted within Expo Milano 2015.

The Mbororo are a minority ethnic group in Cameroon with a predominantly semi-nomadic lifestyle making them food insecure. Particularly vulnerable are women who are resource poor and lack access to food physically and economically. This project aims to employ an innovative upland farming approach in establishing an economically viable, eco-friendly gardening system for the Mbororo women; this will be reinforced with the value chain concept. Collective action would ensure higher bargaining power and reduced transaction costs. Higher incomes accruing to the women would improve their economic situation and consequently, their access to food.

The 11th African Dairy Conference and Exhibition in Kenya

23-25 September 2015. Nairobi. The three day conference saw a convergence of 120 local and foreign firms which consisted of 500 delegates from 42 countries.

It was an opportunity for Kenya to exhibit the steps it has taken to have its small scale farmers make a multi billion industry based on milk production. According to Eastern and Southern African Dairy Association (ESADA) who were the organisers, the conference also offered networking opportunities for industry players such as farmers, heads of co-operatives and manufacturers of equipment among others. The conference got more farmers to come together and form Co-operatives to enable farmers process milk directly instead of transporting and storing it as they wait processing.
“Kenya produces five billion litres of milk but only 55 percent to processors. The rest is sold at throw-away away prices to middlemen who sell them from door to door hence affecting the quality of milk,” Chief Executive Officer of ESADA Peter Ngaruiya.
The conference will also give Co-operatives a chance to experience the importance of cooling plants which will be showcased at the conference, which is hoped will lure them into buy the equipment.


Linking African Agri-Business Incubators with Finland

7-11 September 2015. Helsinki, Finland. International Business Incubation, Co-creation and Innovation

This Event was organised by Häme University of Applied Sciences, School of Bio-economy and FARA. The visit was fully financed by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and co-organised by Impact Iglu, Makery, ThinkAfrica, GOInternational, Shalin, UniPID​, LUKE (FoodAfrica) , FIBREPRO.
in Agriculture.

Profiles of the Delegates Profiles of the Incubators and Networks​
Extract of the programme
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and African Agribusiness Incubation Network (AAIN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK), Finland at the just concluded program on Linking African Agri-Business Incubators with the Finnish Social Enterprise and Innovation Ecosystems which until recently have concentrated on capacity building on forestry education institutions, innovative extension methodology and bioenergy.

The MoU states that partners are expected to explore different avenues of collaboration within the agriculture value chain from research and development technology transfer to improving the teaching and learning processes in agribusiness incubation.

In addition to understanding the HAMK innovative ways of encouraging entrepreneurship, the team visited different incubators including the Aalto Start up Center and the Design Factory to benchmark the startup ecosystem in Finland and to engage with innovative start-ups with solutions relevant to Africa.
The MOU will permit HAMK to increase its professional expertise and promote the opportunities for doing business with Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises from Finland to Africa. In exchange, some of the new businesses and start-ups from the incubators will target to provide outlets and marketing network for Finnish SMEs and vice versa and allows for more deepening and enlargement of the work that HAMK has been doing in Africa, which until recently have concentrated on capacity building on forestry education institutions, innovative extension methodology and bioenergy. Mr Ari Mikkola, Dean of HAMK School of Bioeconomy
The African Agribusiness Incubator Network (AAIN) was established by FARA to support the business development within the continental framework. AAIN is a result of the FARA-UniBRAIN program which ​currently hosts 80 incubators, members and partners under AAIN in 54 African countries. Under UniBRAIN, the incubators have collectively commercialized over 75 Agribusiness technologies, created thousands of jobs and produced over 200 incubates. The research networks have supported over 137 SMEs to startup and expanded businesses along selected commodity value chains, while creating business networks of about 24,000 value chain actors engaged in agribusiness.

Southern Africa Peanut Value Chain Meeting in Malawi

28-29 September 2015. Lilongwe, Malawi. Over 50 project partners including researchers, students, and private sector actors from the target countries, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, plus collaborators from the United States and the United Kingdom attended the meeting.

Initial findings and updates from the ongoing projects that span the value chain were presented to improve multidisciplinary and regional cooperation and impact during the completion of the project.

Visit the website for more information about the Southern Africa Peanut Value Chain Intervention project.

Monday, September 28, 2015

1st continental Agri-Business Incubation Conference

Starting small is one inevitable. 
But staying small is inexcusable 
~ Prof. C. Kwesiga
28 -30 September 2015. Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC), Nairobi, Kenya. The African Agribusiness Incubator Network (AAIN) has organised the 1st continental Agri-Business Incubation Conference & Expo in Africa, 2015.

This conference aims to create awareness about the opportunities that are available in agribusiness incubation and agribusiness sector for start-ups, SMEs and established agribusiness ventures.

Conference Themes
  • Agribusiness Incubation for inclusive development in Africa
  • Successful business modules for agribusiness incubation
  • Agro-Technologies for commercialisation/new business prospects
  • Gender mainstreaming in agribusiness incubation
  • Enabling African Agribusiness ecosystem
  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) & Technology Commercialization
  • Agro Value chain and market devpt for agribusiness incubation
  • Fuelling agribusiness through agriculture value chain finance
  • Youth engagement and capacity building for sustainable agribusiness in Africa
29/09/2015 PAEPARD side event.
PAEPARD showcased the multi-stakeholder innovation partnerships it has been facilitating, especially the Users’ Led Process (ULP) in which non-research stakeholders are leading some consortia towards the engagement of key stakeholders in the ARD processes.

Since 2010, PAEPARD has facilitated the creation of 19 African-European multi-stakeholder consortia to which 5 ULPs have been added in the end of 2011 as follows:

1- Extensive Livestock value chain in Eastern Africa with Specific focus on Kenya and Uganda. 
2- Urban horticulture value chain in Central Africa with specific focus on Congo Brazzaville, DR Congo & Cameroon. PROPAC.
Patrice Sewade of Sojagnon
3- Rice value chain in West-Africa with specific focus on Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali. ROPPA.
4- Aflatoxin in groundnut value chain in Zambia & Malawi. FANRPAN.
5- Adding value to mango non-food uses in West Africa with specific focus on Burkina-Faso, Côte d’Ivoire & Senegal. COLEACP.

The AAIN conference in general and side event in particular offers an opportunity to profile the project in general and ULP approach in particular.
SOJAGNON-NGO And ProSAM consortium of Benin 
Exhibition of soybean products.

  • To profile PAEPARD II project in general and the ULP of EAFF in particular; 
  • To discuss and share lessons learnt from PAEPARD and ULP with participants 
  • To discuss issues related to funding the multi-stakeholder partnerships programs: at global, regional and national levels

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Eight new projects on Food & Business in Africa

24 September 2015. Eight projects received a grant under the Food and Business Applied Research Fund. The awarded ARF research proposals are the result of the third round of the second call for proposals.

The new ARF-projects will start in the next few months and will take up to three years. All research teams are led by a practitioner organisation from one of the fifteen partner countries of Dutch development cooperation. Other team members are Dutch or LMIC research or higher education organisations and, in some cases, also other local enterprises. The budget of ARF-projects varies between 50,000 and 300,000 euros, depending on the project duration and excluding co-funding from consortium partners.

Awarded projects
  1. Mr S. Akbar (Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development), 'Ground cover app to drive an irrigation scheduling service in the delta region of Bangladesh'
  2. Mr P.W. Beekman (Resiliência Moçambique), 'Unravelling the potential of Farmer led Irrigation Development in the BAGC, Mozambique'
  3. Ms V. Fumey Nassah (Resource Management Support Centre), 'Improving smallholders' food and income security by introducing non-timber forest products in reforestation schemes and tree-crop farms: A collaborative learning process in Ghana'
  4. Mr P. Kamalingin (Oxfam Novib), 'Cassava Applied Research for Food Security in Northern Uganda'
  5. K.D. Katamba (Makerere University Business School), 'Strengthening agribusiness Ethics, Quality Standards & ICT usage in Uganda's value chains? '
  6. Mr G. Nyang’'ori (Wageningen University & Research Center), 'Innovations for Sustainab and profitable Intensification of Smallholde Dairy in Kenya'
  7. Prof. G.W. Otim-Nape (Africa Innovations Institute), 'Enhancing Rice Markets in Uganda through Smart Micronutrient Fertilization'
  8. Mr M. Regassa Beyene (World Vision Ethiopia), 'Farmer-led Agroforestry Innovation in Ethiopia: Improving livelihoods and food security by utilising Acacia saligna'
In about a week, the project summaries will be published.

Informing Food and Nutrition Security Policy and Practice

21-25 September 2015. Dakar, Senegal. Workshop to determine and agree on entry points for strengthening the agriculture-nutrition nexus in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

This workshop was organised by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and in collaboration with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Agency, the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control (PACA) and the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD).

Lessons were shared from a number of CTA-commissioned case studies in Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Fiji, Mali, Trinidad and Tobago, Togo and other countries as well as from a continent-wide systematic review of aflatoxin contamination of food commodities in Africa.

The majority of the CTA commissioned rapid scans and country case studies were coordinated by universities which are often left out of food and nutrition security discussions, planning and programme implementation. So far for this year, CTA has commissioned 18 ACP rapid scans on the agriculture-nutrition nexus, in addition to the 10 country case studies on the food and nutrition security situation which were commissioned in 2014. This networking event will add to the evidence base that CTA is building along with its partners, including the university community.

This knowledge will subsequently inform key continental, regional and national policy processes including the update of the Framework for African Food Security (FAFS), one of the pillars of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) as well as the PACA initiative and the CORAF/WECARD Strategic Plan.

Story from the field: The Citrus consortium of Ghana molt to three Innovation Platforms

EC reviewers' Field visit on 22nd September 2015
22 September 2015. Kumasi, Ghana. Strategic Review of the EU support to CAADP pillar IV institutions. PAEPARD organised a field visit for two EC reviewers at a citrus farm that uses best practices related to the PAEPARD supported project: Control of Angular leaf spot of citrus in Ghana

In June 2011 the Platform for African-European Partnerships in Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) opened a call for the submission of concept notes. The Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture together with University of Ghana, Pinora (a private company involved in fruit processing), the Citrus Growers
and Marketing Association of Ghana and the Instituto Valencia no de Investigaciones Agrarian, Spain submitted a concept note on Angular Leaf Spot disease of citrus which was selected by the coordination of PAEPARD.

The field visit to the citrus farm 
in Mankranso in August 2014
The consortium then, with the facilitation of PAEPARD, organized an inception workshop in Accra (13-17 February 2012) to develop a strong partnership and design together a framework for engagement in response to targeted calls for proposals.

Since then the consortium has been participating to write-shops organized by PAEPARD with the aim of submitting proposals and gain funds for consortium activities. Unfortunately none of the submissions to external (international) funding opportunities was successful. But a synergy was realised between the SSA CP and PAEPARD.

The synergy between the Sub-Saharan Challenge Program (SSA CP) and PAEPARD
  • The SSA CP is a FARA program funded by the European Commission through IFAD. The program has specialized in Integrated Agricultural Research Development (IAR4D) with the Integrated Innovation Platform (IP) approach where researchers, private sector including banks, NGOs, farmers create/form a forum to reflect and invent solutions to their challenges. 
  • SSA CP has facilitated the creation of IPs across the continent. Through PAEPARD they entered in contact with the Ghana citrus association. After discussion, two members (a researcher and a farmer) of the Citrus consortium were sent to Rwanda to learn the experience of IP. They have developed a proposal that got support from FARA under the SSSA CP funding for a total amount of 100,000 USD. 
  • A big training on IP management involving more than 30 members of the citrus producers association and researchers was organized in Kumasi in August 2014. A field visit was organised and the Mankranso IP was officially launched in the presence of the District Chief Officer, two members of the Parliament of Ghana and many other dignitaries. 
  • The Angular leaf spot disease symptom 
    in Mankranso (Ghana)
  • The IP involves all citrus producers from Ashanti Region. Later the same ceremony was in Kade (120Km from Accra) for Eastern Region citrus producers and Assin Foso (173km from Accra) for Central Region citrus producers. 
Outcomes from the Innovation Platform (IP)
  • Involvement of the policy makers. Two members of the Parliament of Ghana are members of the Mankranso IP. In one field visit organized by PAEPARD, they convinced the chair of the Agriculture sub-committee to work along with them. He was surprised to see that many farms were sold to the local mining companies. But the mining activities don’t last for long time and can’t sustain farmer livelihoods as the citrus activity does. Going back to Accra the issue of support to citrus famers was presented to the parliament. The member of Parliament said that citrus producers should be supported as the cocoa producers. 
  • It is expected that the current momentum created by the IP will 
    increase in the support of the citrus industry by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Also the IP expects members of the Parliament to enforce the law of spraying for all citrus producers because if a neighbor doesn’t spray his farm it is a source of contamination. The spraying should be mandatory to all producers and sanctions should be taken from those who do not comply. 
  • The control of the Angular Leaf Spot. The Angular Leaf Spot disease is managed through the use of a chemical spray that have been tested in other countries according to the EURGAP (European Good Agricultural Practices) and the Global GAP. These are Carbendazim and Mancozeb. The spray and other good practices (weeding the farm) has led to a big reduction of the losses of fruits.
  • The good understanding between the Private Sector and farmers. The fact that the two processing companies are sitting in the IP meetings has brought good atmosphere between the agribusiness and the farmers. In the past there were many misunderstanding between the two buyers and the farmers because they did not have a forum of discussion. But since the IP was created, everything is discussed in the IP and they agree on which type of fruits the farmers should harvest. Also the negotiation on the prices has been facilitated considerably by the IP.   

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Africa Food Security Conference & Agri- Exhibition 2015

22-23 September 2015. Nairobi, Kenya. 3rd Annual – Africa Food Security Conference (AFSC) and Agri- Exhibition 2015. This 2 day conference established monitoring mechanisms to address the needs of a dynamic food security program. Poverty, climate change, food price hikes, water scarcity, land rights, fairer agricultural policies - all of these issues and more were addressed to ensure that better management of natural and financial resources and more strategic investment are implemented.

The Exhibition alongside the event show cased the latest technologies and other innovative products and solutions.

Extract of the program:

Agripreneurship in Africa

With about 65% of the total population of Africa below the age of 35 years, Africa leaders
need to set policies that encourage skills development to train the youth in different aspects
of agribusiness and ‘Agripreneurship’ along agriculture value chains. These strands will look
at opportunities that exist for setting up small industry that will create value-added products
from cereals, grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables and manage food wastage

Key Discussion Points

How best to incorporate smallholders into value chains – A smallholder participation case study
in an processed product value chain using orange-fleshed sweetpotato in Rwanda
Agricultural Mechanization for Africa: The Broad Application and The Missing Middle - The opportunities

  • Temesgen Bocher, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, International Potato Centre (CIP), Nairobi
  • Pascal G Kaumbutho, Founder and CEO, Kenya Network for Dissemination of Agricultural Technologies
  • Ms. Anja Weber, Country Manager, SoilCares Ltd.
Innovative financing: promoting finance in agriculture
Increasing the Involvement of Corporate in Resolving Food Security Challenges
through financial inputs

Key Discussion Points
  • Agri Financing - Financing credits and agricultural subsidies- Where are the opportunities?
  • The role of private capital in sustainable agricultural investment
  • Samuel Ndonga,Head of Agribusiness Banking, Chase Bank Kenya Limited
  • Fred Kiteng'e, Director of Lending , East and Southern Africa Root Capital
  • Yida Kemoli, Senior Partner, Phatisa
  • Anthony Gichini, Senior Investment Manager, Voxtra Foundation
Climate smart agriculture for Africa
Climate changes continue to exacerbate food security in Africa. Because farming is still small
scale in Africa, unsustainable forms of agriculture that are degrading the soil; water and
biological diversity are rampant. What climate change adaptation strategies must be put in
place to support food security and nutrition in Africa?

Key Discussion Points
  • Climate resilient maize for Africa’ -Evolution of the concept of climate-smart agriculture
  • Effective approaches to sustainable and renewable Water Management and Soil Fertility-
  • A necessary complement to the developments and distribution of better and more resilient Seeds.
  • 'Climate-Smart, Sustainable Agriculture for Food Security and Environmental Sustainability for Africa
  • Biswanath Das, Scientist, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
  • Dr. Edidah Ampaire, Scientist, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
  • Zeyaur R. Khan ,Principal Scientist ,International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology
  • (ICIPE)
  • Dr. Anthony O. Esilaba ,Soil Scientist, Senior Principal Research Scientist and Programme,
  • Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)
Enhancing the post harvest processes and marketability

In sub-Saharan Africa, more than a quarter of the food produced rots due to poor harvest
or storage techniques. To improve food security, the prevailing developmental view in
agriculture which focuses mainly on production must be expanded to include processing.
The development of the agro-processing industry is needed to improve fortification, nutrition
and health through better diet. Furthermore, to harness the full potentials of agro-processing
there must be a parallel growth of the other sub-sectors in the agribusiness system that
includes the input, production, marketing and support subsystems for maximum benefit.

Key Discussion Points
  • Regional Trade - is this the perfect antidote?
  • Creating Better Markets and Better Supply Chain and Delivery through regional cooperation
  • Advances and Emerging Technologies for Postharvest Storage Process and Food Handling.
  • Argent Chuula, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern
  • and Southern Africa (ACTESA)COMESA Secretariat
  • Dr. Josphert Kimatu,Lecturer, South Eastern Kenya University

Let’s Build the Future: Family Farming

21-23 September 2015. Bilbao, Spain. The World Rural Forum (WRF) is a network that brings Let’s Build the Future: Family Farming” on is an important step toward guaranteeing continued attention to the IYFF 2014 issues.

It is meant to help keep the subject high on the international agenda and to inspire activities and initiatives to promote family farming over the coming decade.

The objectives of the Fifth Global Conference were
  • Discuss and share characterizations of Family Farming at international, regional and national levels.
  • Identify the main results and impacts of Family Farming policies.
  • Identify policy perspectives for Family Farming in the medium and long term.
  • Promote networking among Family Farming organizations and research centres.
  • Continue fostering National Family Farming Committee action.
  • Establish the major baselines for starting to define global guidelines for public policies that protect Family Farming, with the participation of representatives from the main regional men and women family farmers' organizations on the 5 continents.
  • In all instances, granting particular importance to both women farmers and youth.
Extract of the program:
  • Esther Penunia, General Secretary of the Asian Farmers' Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA): Policy dialogue as a tool to influence public policies at national and regional level. 
  • Gabriela Quiroga, KIT/Prolinnova: Linking FFOs with formal researchers. Her key message was that giving attention to identifying, documenting and facilitating farmer-led innovation processes increases awareness of the relevance of local innovation for meeting the needs of small-scale farming households and communities. Prolinnova does this in such a way as to encourage development agents and formal researchers to interact and support these local innovation processes.

Atelier d'écriture du projet Maraîchage et horticulture pour l'approvisionnement des villes d'Afrique centrale

22-24 septembre 2015. Yaoundé, Cameroun. Un atelier d'écriture financé par PAEPARD dans le cadre de ses activités de renforcement des partenariats (IF-CRF) a finalisé un projet de recherche national et formalisé un projet de recherche régional, dans la perspective
  • d'un appel à projets du Cameroun (2e Contrat de Désendettement et de Développement) et 
  • d'une proposition au 11e FED (Fonds Européens pour le Développement).
Cet atelier visait à traduire en termes de projet de recherche appliquée et de développement autour d'une dynamique d'innovation, une demande technico-économique de gestion et de restauration de la fertilité des sols et des bio agresseurs en horticulture maraîchère en Afrique centrale.

De manière spécifique, il s’agissait d’élaborer un projet national d'une durée maximale de 2 ans qui devra faire partie d'un projet régional d'une durée de 4 ou 5 ans sur la même base de travail : 
  • l'identification de souches locales de Trichoderma efficaces en accélérateur de compost, en protection des cultures maraîchères et horticoles, 
  • le transfert de technologie pour la création d'unités de production et de commercialisation de ces souches, de leurs sous-produits et la diffusion des connaissances techniques associées, 
  • la validation et la mesure d'impact de l'utilisation du Trichoderma en horticulture en matière de fertilité des sols, mais aussi de gestion de l'eau, des déchets/de la matière organique et des bio agresseurs.
Participants: les représentants des membres du consortium ULP PROPAC constitué de : PROPAC, CIRAD, IRAD, BIOPHYTEC, BIOTROPICAL, CARBAP, UY1, UKIN, CNOP CONGO et ADIFASS.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

G20 Roundtable Highlights the Importance of Agricultural Finance

9 September 2015. Antalya, Turkey. The first G20 Round Table on Innovations in Agricultural Finance took place ahead of the G20 GPFI Forum and Plenary.

The agricultural sector is essential for food security, job creation and overall economic growth. However, the potential is largely untapped and agriculture in developing countries is still characterized by low productivity. There is a strong need to sustainably modernize the agricultural sector in developing countries. This, however, comes with a heavy demand for investment capital and providing sustainable financial services for rural areas and agriculture has proven to be extremely difficult.

At the Round Table, 5 new studies on the following subjects were presented:
You can find a list of speakers here.

A central theme of the event was the role of innovative digital technologies in transforming agrifinance. "Digital technologies have helped to lower credit risk, reduce costs and make the delivery of financial services more efficient. This has expanded the range of financial services available to smallholder families in emerging markets," said Michael Tarazi, senior financial sector specialist at the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).

The G20 Agricultural Finance Roundtable was organized in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), BMZ, GIZ and SME Finance Forum. The outcomes of the roundtable will form a G20 synthesis report on new trends and innovations in agricultural finance.

Linking Public Goods with Private Interests to Scale Up Agricultural Innovations and Impact

21 September 2015. The Hague. This workshop was co-organised by the Netherlands Ministries of Foreign and Economic Affairs, CGIAR Consortium, World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), The Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and the Food and Business Knowledge Platform

Objectives of the workshop
  • The workshop was designed to enable the private sector and its partners and CGIAR research leaders to engage more meaningfully through:
  • Sharing best practices from companies and researchers that inspire and create insight;
  • Identifying what the CGIAR needs to bring research and value chain actors more often, more effective and more efficiently, leading to clarity on follow-up;
  • Creating a shared understanding around role, position and opportunities for researchers and private sector in public-private sector research partnerships (When do you engage?, What’s in it for me?, What do you miss if you don’t?);
  • Clarifying how to shape such partnerships and what it means for development of the new research programs;
  • Creating a model for future exchange of best practices. 
See the official programme (PDF).

On the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) website, you can find the complete report, including links to PowerPoint slides and several videos of presentations, speeches, the Dragons Den, and the MoU Signing Ceremony.

Extract presentations: Open Space meeting
PPP in the dairy sector in Zambia. Research and learning on agro-finance
  • A case was presented on the PPP between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rabobank, Zanaco (Zambia) and Rabo International Advisory Services (RIAS). 
  • These partners, together with the Dairy Association of Zambia (DAZ) and the local dairy processors (a.o. teh Italian PAMALAT), support the development of the dairy sector in Zambia. 
  • The partnership focuses not only on smallholder farmers but also on emerging entrepreneurial farmers and cooperatives.
Lessons learned were the need for further research to scale this type of projects. The meeting also explored agro-finance related research questions and opportunities for collaboration of financial sector and research institutes (see slide 31).

PAEPARD video interview with Howard Shapiro of Mars, Inc USA.
The importance on mycotoxin research for the private sector
  • Why is the issue of mycotoxin contamination so important?
  • How critical is mycotoxin contamination for Mars Inc.?
  • Why do you expect from research and development funders?
  • Why did the development community not take it up?
  • Do we need a pre-harvest or post-harvest intervention?
  • Are attitudes changing?

Highlight: IITA’s Business Incubation Platform (BIP).
IITA Board and Management visit
IITA Business Incubation Platform (BIP).
IITA BIP comprises of Aflasafe, Nodumax and Goseed factories.
  • The goal of the BIP aflasafe plant and laboratories are to develop cheaper, more effective formulations and manufacturing methods for a product which is combating the deadly aflatoxins found in major staple crops in Africa. The plant is compatible with African farming and business models and can easily be transferred to the private sector. The aflasafe plant is also busy manufacturing the urgently needed product to answer increasing requests from all over the continent. On the day of the visit, the plant was about to produce 8 tons of aflasafe to be air-shipped to Kenya in the evening. The plant can produce up to 40 tons of aflasafe a day but the BIP’s main goal is to get interested parties to invest in plant construction and laboratories all over Africa. More plants and reference laboratories are expected to be built, as the aflatoxin strains are different in each region; they need to be identified before the right aflasafe product can be developed and manufactured. “The many existing requests from countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, or Senegal prove that the BIP has developed a business opportunity that improves food safety and might help save many lives in Africa,” said Kaptoge.
  • NoduMax is a new legume inoculant for soybean that was recently developed at BIP with the award- winning N2Africa Project. Each package of NoduMax costs about $1.03 to produce and, with manufacturer’s and retailers’ inputs, is expected to be sold for about $2.60, sufficient to inoculate 10 to 20 kg of soybean seeds. The product compares favorably to inoculants produced in other countries where product quality is closely regulated. Product development and efficacy testing continues, and the first packages of NoduMax intended for sale are now being produced. The registration of the product for commercial distribution in Nigeria is under way and the first peak production run is just starting as 16 tons of the soybean inoculant are to be produced by April 2015.
  • GoSeed is charged with the production and marketing of quality breeder and foundation seeds/planting materials of IITA mandate crops to private seed companies for production, distribution, and sale of quality certified seeds/planting materials to farmers. Awareness and use of quality seeds/planting materials of improved IITA maize, cowpea, soybean, and cassava varieties especially by smallholder farmers will expedite the improvement of their yields, livelihoods, and food and income security. GoSeed activities in 2014 were primarily focused on setting the stage for the full-scale production of breeder and foundation seeds in 2015.
  • AgriServe supports IITA’s strategic objectives by providing advisory services and technical backstopping for planning, development, and implementation of start-up agribusiness opportunities, and linking these services to innovative investment.
Publications from the Food and Business Knowledge Platform

F&BKP Report “Reducing food wastage, improving food security?” (PDF)
Within the F&BKP an inventory study on the relation between the reduction of food wastage and the improvement of food security has been conducted. It is recommended that future research and policy, aimed at increasing food security in low- and middle-income countries, should not focus specifically on the reduction of wastage only. It should rather focus on integral context specific programmes to improve the effectiveness of value chains or food systems of which reducing food wastage could be part.
Finance for Smallholders: opportunities for risk management by linking financial institutions and producer organisations
This research (PDF) initiated by the Rural Finance working group of NpM, coordinated by ICCO Terrafina Microfinance and carried out in cooperation with AgriProFocus and the Wageningen UR, aimed to investigated the bottlenecks that exist to finance smallholder farmers. The research provides insight into how food production systems work and how they can be strengthened with improved financial services. The success factors of 14 projects in four African countries – Ethiopia, Mali, Uganda and Rwanda – have been analysed. In addition to specific financing mechanisms, the cooperation between financial institutions, producer organizations and investors has been examined and specific risk mitigation strategies have been investigated. The research report shows that linking financial institutions and producer organizations together offers new finance opportunities because risks are reduced.

Given the large size of the report (74 pages), there is also a summary report available. To access this version, click here. (17 pages)