Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Adopting a Territorial Approach to Food Security and Nutrition Policy

7 March 2017Infopoint Lunchtime Conference: A Territorial Approach to Food Security
Gathering knowledge, with governments in Cambodia, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Morocco, and Peru, a FAO-OECD-UNCDF consortium has analysed the effectiveness of a territorial approach to address food insecurity, which promotes bottom-up, place-based and multi-sectoral development initiatives.

This seminar will presented the findings from that study and inform on ongoing work implementation efforts of the concept over the next 5 years.

 Leonard Mizzi, Head of Unit, DEVCO C1 - Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition
  • Enrique Garcilazo, Head of the Rural Policy Unit, OECD – Conceptual framework of the initiative
  • Stefano Marta, Rural Policy Unit, OECD – Key findings of the project and second phase
  • Mark Cropper, Senior Expert, DG AGRI A1- Global issues and relations with ACP

Adopting a Territorial Approach to Food Security and Nutrition Policy
29 Apr 2016. Pages:156

Food insecurity and malnutrition are major international concerns, especially in rural areas. At the global scale, they have received considerable attention and investment, but the results achieved so far have been mixed. Some countries have made progress at the national level, but still have many citizens who are food insecure, often concentrated in specific geographic areas. Food insecurity and poverty are highly interlinked and have a strong territorial dimension.

To provide effective long-term solutions, policy responses must therefore be tailored to the specific challenges of each territory, taking into account a multidimensional response that includes food availability, access, utilisation and stability. This report highlights five case studies and the OECD New Rural Paradigm, presenting an effective framework for addressing food insecurity and malnutrition.

This study presents a framework for a territorial approach to food security and nutrition based on five case studies in Cambodia, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco and Peru and two national workshops held in Mali and Niger. 

Agri Logistics East Africa Summit

28 February - 2 March 2017. Nairobi. A major obstacle facing the region’s agri sector is the use of innovative ways to utilise technology for improved production and increased productivity. E-agriculture offers a wide range of solutions to agricultural challenges and has great potential in promoting sustainability in the region.

It is against this background that the e-Agri East Africa Summit brought together proven innovative e-agriculture solutions for preventing post-harvest losses, improved production and increased productivity to improve the supply chain process from farmer to market and to enhance food security in the region.

Agri Logistics East Africa Summit highlights included an in-depth look at First Mile transport and development, transport hubs for agriculture transshipment, cold chain logistics and supply chain innovations and quality certification and customs management for exports.

Some speakers:
  • Edward Addo-Dankwa National Value Chain Development Officer Ministry of Food and Agriculture Ghana
  • Mamadou Biteye Managing Director: Africa The Rockefeller Foundation Kenya
  • Andrew Edewa Food Safety Officer African Union Tanzania
  • Angel Mgawe LOGISA- Tanzania
  • Joseph Juma Managing Director Kenya National Shipping Line Kenya
  • Nozipho Mdawe Secretary General PMAESA Kenya
  • Silvester Kasuku Director General & CEO LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority Kenya
Extracts of the programme:

Panel Discussion: Creating an enabling environment for agricultural development in East Africa
  • Regulation and enforcement requirements for improved market access and trade
  • Trade agreement opportunities and implications of Brexit and the recent US election for East Africa and ALGOA in particular
  • Importance of new innovations in technology to ensure traceability and transparency in the supply chain
  • The impact of public nutrition and food safety awareness campaigns on the supply chain
  • Investment needs and opportunities in sea ports, inland depots and terminals, airports, roads and railway

  • Using mobile to connect farmers with weather, agronomic and market pricing information – Malawi and Ghana case study Hannah Metcalfe, Country Manager Tanzania and Kenya, VOTO Mobile/Human Network International, Tanzania (picture)
  • Eliminating post-harvest crop-losses with improved First Mile transport infrastructure David Ruchiu, Chief Executive Officer, Farm Concern International, Kenya
Panel discussion: Reaching new markets with cold chain performance.
Moderator: Lucy Muchoki, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Agribusiness and Agroindustry Alliance (KAAA), Kenya
  • Peter Ngaruiya, Executive Director, Eastern and Southern African Dairy Association (ESADA), Kenya (picture)
  • Jane Ngige, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Flower Council, Kenya 
  • Okisegere Ojepat, Director, The Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), Kenya 
  • Jeroen van der Hulst, Director and Owner, Flowerwatch, Kenya (picture)
Panel discussion: Analysing innovative Agri APPs fit for conditions in East Africa
  • The state of mobile technology applications in agriculture
  • An overview innovative applications in Agri e.g. I-cow, M-Fram, Esoko, Vet Africa, EZ Frams, Modisar, Mobile Agribiz, Acre, VirtualBank Africa, Mobile Agribiz
  • Mobile applications for access to financial services, factoring or invoice financing – how will
    this benefit the agriculture market
  • Scaling up and sustainability of mobile agriculture initiatives
  • Examples from successful pilots and financially sustainable models
Moderator: Mackenzie Masaki, Head of Agribusiness, Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC), The Netherlands (picture)
  • Elias Chandi, Independent Consultant and Business Adviser, Kenya 
  • Vani Seth, Regional Director: East and Southern Africa, Esoko, Kenya (picture)
  • Fatuma Namisango, Lecturer, Makerere University Business School, Uganda 
  • John Waibochi, Chief Executive Officer, Virtual City, Kenya
The quality of the fruit is a big concern to farmers and traders hoping to sell to the lucrative export market. But now farmers in Nziu are benefitting from two innovations - solar-powered cold storage, and biological pest control - to help protect their harvest against the effects of climate change.

The refrigerator, the first of its kind in Kenya, was built in late 2015 by the Rockefeller Foundation and TechnoServe, a nongovernmental organisation, under the YieldWise programme, an initiative aimed at cutting post-harvest losses among local mango farmers. The facility is fitted with four solar panels, an inverter and a car battery which enables it to store power to keep running during the night hours.

Makueni County is semi-arid and hot, especially during the mango harvesting season in January and February, but the cold storage room can reduce the ambient temperature from 35 degrees Celsius to as low as 17 degrees, which slows the ripening of the mangoes by several days. John Musomba, a farmer in charge of the refrigerated storehouse, said it can store up to 3.4 tonnes of mangoes.

Organic pest control. Countries like the United States ban horticultural produce from African countries where invasions of the B. dorsalis fruit fly have been reported, said Ivan Rwomushana, who leads the fruit fly integrated pest management programme at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Entomology (ICIPE) in Nairobi. Rwomushana says ICIPE is training farmers in several biological methods to control fruit flies, including pheromone traps to capture and kill male fruit flies, and parasitic wasps. Sunday Ekesi, interim director of research and partnership at ICIPE, said the organisation is also developing a treatment that involves immersing mangoes in warm water for 45 minutes to kill any fruit flies on the fruit surface.


Three new videos on mangoes

28 February 2017. Three new videos on mangoes have been posted on the platform They are currently available in English, French, and Kiswahili. 

They are freely downloadable, also in 3gp format for mobile phone viewing.
  1. Managing anthracnose in mango: You want to learn how to defend your mango trees against Anthracnose? How to identify and control the disease.
  2. Managing BBS in mango: Growing mango is full of challenges. In this video we are looking at the disease called Bacterial Black Spot, or BBS.
  3. Selective harvest of mangoes: To apply selective harvesting you need to be able to able to tell when your mangoes reach maturity.
Anyone interested in having these videos translated into other local languages, please contact

Conference on Agricultural mechanisation in Africa

26 February - 2 March 2017. Paris Nord Villepinte, France.
26 February 2017, the opening day, brought together African ministers and African institutional partners, who presented their agricultural development strategy.

28 February 2017, a conference entitled “Agricultural mechanisation in Africa: what strategy for progress?” Organized by AXEMA and SIMA, with the participation of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the European Agricultural Machinery Committee (CEMA), Bpifrance Export, FNCUMA, and the Pan African Farmers Organizations (PAFO). 

With the participation of:
  • Josef KIENZLE, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Agricultural Engineer (see picture)
  • Richard MARKWELL, European Agricultural Machinery Association (CEMA), President
  • Ulrich ADAM, European Agricultural Machinery Association (CEMA), Secretary General
  • Theo DE JAGER, Pan African Farmers Organisation (PAFO), President
  • Ivan ALQUIER, Agricultural Equipment Cooperatives Federation (FNCUMA), CUMA Bénin Vice President
  • Pedro NOVO, Head of the Bpifrance Export Finance Division
  • and AGCO, Manitou Group, AIRINOV, etc
Feedback from entities operating in Africa contributed to this event aimed at African professionals (farmers, breeders) and exhibitors.

Related blog posts:

Monday, February 27, 2017

New information service to help farmers control pests

Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa are to benefit from a new project that aims to develop an early warning system to help cut crop losses resulting from pests. The project will forecast pest outbreaks using cutting-edge space infrastructure, Earth observation data and state-of- the-art modelling techniques.

The Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE) consortium includes Assimila Ltd, King’s College London and STFC Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, who will link their Earth Observation expertise with the Plantwise work undertaken by the UK-based Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI). Partners also include the ministries of agriculture in the initial three countries of Kenya, Ghana and Zambia, delivering on-the-ground local knowledge to the project.
“Pest outbreaks are becoming increasingly unpredictable due to climate change, Farmers may receive forecasts through existing plant health systems, leveraging on networks in current programmes and projects to trigger appropriate action to deliver at-scale alerts and advice. Ghana, Kenya and Zambia have already been working with CABI's Plantwise programme to tackle pests and their associated crop losses. The PRISE project will reach citizens through mobile, radio, Web and extension services. The partnerships with governments and responsible organisations will help in its expansion together with strong links forged with them.” Timothy Holmes, CABI
PRISE with £6.38 million (almost US$ 8 million) funding over five years from the UK Space Agency will create a pest risk forecasting system based on Earth Observation and Plantwise data with the aim of providing risk forecasts and early warnings in time for smallholder farmers to take preventive action, increasing their resilience to pest outbreaks.
“An estimated 40% of the world’s crops are lost to pests. This impacts the ability of smallholders living in poor rural communities to feed their families. More broadly, it affects food supply chains, international trade and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. We must take action. I’m delighted that the Plantwise network and data can be leveraged into this innovative new initiative using Earth observational data to predict pest outbreaks and reduce their impact by giving farmers early warning and more timely management advice.” CABI CEO, Dr Trevor Nicholls
The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP), a five-year, £152 million programme that partners UK space expertise with governments and organisations in emerging and developing economies. The aim is to deliver sustainable, economic and societal benefit using satellite data.

PRISE is one of 21 projects chosen to provide solutions to local issues in countries across Africa, Asia and Central and South America in areas including food security, drought, flooding and deforestation. The projects underwent a rigorous selection process to ensure they met strict requirements for Official Development Assistance and UN sustainability goals.


CABI is looking for a consultant/team for a baseline on a Pest Risk Information SErvice (PRISE) in Zambia, Ghana and Kenya.

The baseline study broad objective is providing the status of a set of impact and outcome indicators outlined in the project proposal and the M&E plan at time zero of which how many farmers access to pest related information, from different sources (Plant clinics, plant doctors, Extension workers, agro input dealers, Mobile phone alerts, PRISE).

Friday, February 24, 2017

The International Research Consortium on Animal Health

27 January 2016. Brussels. Launch of the  Scientific Secretariat for the International Research Consortium (IRC) on Animal Health, which Horizon 2020 is funding for five years.

The priority topics identified for initial collaboration include: Immunology/vaccinology (tools and technologies); Diagnostics (tools and technologies); Innovative anti-infective approaches, including alternatives to anti-microbial agents; Influenza; Bovine Tuberculosis; Foot and Mouth Disease; Brucellosis; African Swine Fever; Emerging issues; Vector-borne diseases; Coronaviruses; One Health (including food-borne pathogens and AMR); Mastitis; Animal genetics/genomics for animal health; Foresight; Epidemiology; Helminths; Rabies; Respiratory Diseases of Pigs.

The IRC builds on the success of the EU-funded STAR-IDAZ Project (Global Strategic Alliances for the Coordination of Research on the Major Infectious Diseases of Animals and Zoonoses), an exciting initiative to coordinate animal health research globally. The IRC was launched on 27 January 2016 on the occasion of a large conference on agricultural research in Brussels. The Secretariat aims to deliver measurable advances in the control of animal diseases through the alignment of both public and privately funded animal health research around the world.

The Secretariat will be run by a partnership of organizations including

  • Defra (UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), 
  • World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), 
  • CAB International, 
  • BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council), 
  • and IFAH-Europe (International Federation of Animal Health – Europe). 
The IRC will focus on particular diseases such as foot and mouth disease and brucellosis, or aspects related to animal health and welfare such as antimicrobial resistance. The Scientific Secretariat, hosted at OIE Headquarters in Paris, will provide literature reviews and gap analyses to thematic working groups, and support the Scientific Committee and Executive Committee logistically. It will facilitate information exchange within the different partners of the consortium. The Secretariat will also play an important role in advocacy for the consortium and link with new members.

STAR-IDAZ IRC includes research funders and programme owners from Europe, Asia, Australasia, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East as well as international organisations and the representation of veterinary pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies. Together, they have committed a total budget in the region of EUR 2 billion to invest over a five-year period to 2021. Nineteen organisations from fourteen countries have signed so far (latest one being Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and the consortium is likely to enlarge in the coming weeks and months. These partners have agreed to coordinate their research programmes to address agreed research needs, share results and together seek for new and improved animal health strategies for at least 30 priority diseases, infections or issues. These include candidate vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics and other animal health products, procedures and/or key scientific information and tools to support risk analysis and disease control.

The first meeting of the IRC Executive Committee and Scientific Committee was held at the International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya on 31 January – 1 February.

20 - 24 February 2017. Swakopmund, Namibia. 22nd Conference of the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) Regional Commission for Africa.

The OIE is the inter-governmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide. It is recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and in 2016 had 180 member countries, including Namibia.

Fifty-four representatives from member countries such as Zimbabwe, Togo, Cameroon and Uganda during the five-day conference discussed ways to improve animal health.

Extract of the programme:
  • Climate change and emerging vector-borne diseases: the example of Rift Valley fever in West Africa and Madagascar (Dr Alexandre Caron, CIRAD)
  • Pastoralism: opportunities for livestock and challenges for Veterinary Services (Dr Oumar Alfaroukh Idriss, OIE Regional Representation for Africa)
  • The OIE Strategy on Antimicrobial Resistance: Contribution of Africa (Dr Unesu Ushewokunze Obatolu, OIE Delegate of Zimbabwe) 
  • Unfolding the Global Strategy for the Control and Eradication of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) in Africa (Dr Abdenacer Bakkouri, Moroccan expert)

Related: The Strengthening Veterinary Services in Developing Countries (SVSDC) Project (2015 – 2018).
  • This is a 3-year project funded by the European Union, through the European Parliament and the European Commission, aimed at building better African Veterinary Services that deliver effective governance, health safety, food security and food safety for their citizens. 
  • It specifically addresses the compliance of African Veterinary Services with the standards on the quality of Veterinary Services of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). These international standards and guidelines constitute the basis for independent external country evaluations of the quality of Veterinary Services and Animal Health Systems and have been democratically adopted by all OIE Members. 
A specific methodology has been developed and published as the “OIE Tool for the Evaluation of Performance of Veterinary Services” (the OIE PVS Tool) and is key to this Project as it enables national Veterinary Services to establish their current level of performance, identify gaps and weaknesses in their compliance with the international standards of the OIE, and establish priorities. The Project is formed of two components. 
  • The first component focuses on strengthening national Veterinary Services in Africa, 
  • and the second component is centred on rabies control and elimination in Kenya and northern Africa

Field visit: Towards an efficient soybean food chain in Benin (ProSeSS)

19- 24 February 2017. Benin. The Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group of Wageningen University and Research (WUR) - represented by Dr. Anita Linnemann and Dr. Nout Rob - visited the the soy project funded by the Competitive Research Fund of PAEPARD in Benin: Re-engineered Soybean “Afitin” and Soybean Milk processing technologies in South and Central Benin (ProSAM).

The project addresses the low productivity of soybean processing units in South and Central
Benin and the low quality of the soybean milk and soybean “Afitin”, two soybean derived
product which have great opportunity for development since their demand on the market is

The domain of research and education of the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group’s  program is food, agribusiness, and institutions interested in food and agriculture. It contributes to the knowledge in the field of marketing and consumer behaviour.

With the project team in Benin the discussions revolved around the following points: (See minutes of the meeting in English and in French)
  • the way beneficiaries will access to the research results: to this end, Mr Rob offered the website to access a wide range of information on soybean;
  • the organization of a workshop in September 2017: It is envisaged to organize a workshop to close the project with the participaton of the European partners.
  • the selection of a Master student to conduct soybean afitin shelf life study during the period of June 2017.
Aim of the project: Soy farmers hardly have access to quality seeds and consequently are not capable to deliver to traders and processors distinguished and well identified varieties of soybean for specific uses. Therefore, within three years, practitioners and researchers intend to develop a strategic plan for certified soy need production and an on-farm and on-market identification guideline for soybean varieties.

Objective: It is expected that nine viable soy seed production enterprises will be installed.

Members research group

Will Africa Feed China?

Deborah Brautigam
Oxford University Press, 2015, 222 pages
Is China building a new empire in rural Africa? Over the past decade, China's meteoric rise on the continent has raised a drumbeat of alarm. China has 9 percent of the world's arable land, 6 percent of its water, and over 20 percent of its people. Africa's savannahs and river basins host the planet's largest expanses of underutilized land and water. Few topics are as controversial and emotionally charged as the belief that the Chinese government is aggressively buying up huge tracts of prime African land to grow food to ship back to China.

Deborah Brautigam is Professor and Director of the International Development Program at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC and the author of The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa.

Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Who Will Feed China?
  • Long March: History of Chinese Agricultural Engagement in Africa
  • The Mountains are High and the Emperor is Far Away
  • Zombie Investments
  • Green Shoots
  • The Future

Brautigam’s book seeks to overturn several of what she cleverly calls “rural legends” — urban myths for farmers.
  1. One is that the Chinese have acquired large tracts of land in Africa, something she finds categorically false. According to her, for example, ZTE’s supposed 3m hectares turned out to be a tiny 200 hectares. As so often, the company made grandiose claims that bore no relation to African realities. “It illustrates the sometimes surprisingly unrealistic scale of ambition of entrepreneurial Chinese with little or no experience in Africa,” she writes, arguing that journalists and academics have too often taken hearsay as fact. 
  2. The second myth is that the push into Africa is state-driven. There is, she says, “not an organised attempt by the Chinese government to acquire land”. That will strike some as controversial. The FT itself wrote in 2008 about a Chinese Ministry of Agriculture proposal to boost Chinese food security by securing large overseas farms, including in Africa. Brautigam takes issue with the article, and others like it, which she links to a third myth: that China intends to exports large numbers of Chinese displaced farmers abroad. “As of 2015,” she writes, “there is no evidence that anything like this is happening.” 
  3.  Finally, she argues, there is no truth to the idea that Africa is being used to export food to China. If only it could, she suggests. In general, costs are too high and yields too low to make such a proposition feasible. When she asks a Chinese manager of the 630-hectare China-Zambia Friendship Farm if he exports wheat, corn and soybeans to China, he points to the fact that Zambia is landlocked and its transport costs high. “If you grow food in Zambia to send to China, you will lose money,” he says. “Food in China is very cheap compared to here.” 

Science Day 2017 at BIOFACH

15 -18 February 2017. Nuremberg. Biofach 2017.  
Organic food and farming systems have great potential to meet global challenges – such as population growth, climate change, environmental pollution and deterioration of natural resources – while being economically attractive to farmers. However, organic food and farming Systems remain a niche category with less than one percent of the global farmland certified, and only a small share of
the global population consuming organic produce. 

Sourcing from Central and Eastern Europe - risks and benefits
15 February. This session presented and discussesed the latest developments, trends and the potentials of the Organic Sector within the CEE. General and in-depth information is shared at the level of specific countries - Hungary, the Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic.
  • Prof. Dr. Urs Niggli, Director, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland
  • Dr. Dóra Drexler, Ungarisches Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau (ÖMKI), Hungary
  • Dr. Toralf Richter, Berater Naturkostfachhandel, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland
  • Magdalena Lacko-Bartosova, Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Slowakia
  • Jan Gallas, Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republik
17 February. Research institutes and scientists in low- and middle-income countries working on novel knowledge and techniques of organic systems face challenges. The ability of organic agriculture to address international development is not being given the access needed to the funding, facilities, and other resources to live up to its full potential as a solution to rural development. Furthermore, within OFFS there is a widening economic disparity between smallholder/family farms and industrialised production that threatens to undermine that potential.

Financing Organic Agriculture in Africa: Mapping the Issues, 10 pages
"Research grants are perceived as one the least available 
funding instruments to support OA development."

17 February 2017. Nuremberg, Germany. Building on the vision and strategic action plan of TIPI
(the Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM – Organics International), a workshop identified the research gaps in organic food and farming systems in the context of international cooperation. The Science Day was organized by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL in collaboration with IFOAM EU.
  • Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation
  • Annette Schneegans, European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural Development
Building on the vision and strategic action plan of TIPI (the Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM – Organics International), the science day identified the research gaps in organic food and farming Systems in the context of international cooperation, which will contribute to the development of a strategic research agenda for organic food and farming systems.
  • Which thematic fields should be prioritized in different regions (continents) to collect evidence about the benefits and needs for improvement of organic food and farming Systems (100 questions to be addressed by novel organic food and farming systems)?
  • Who should set these research priorities, and how (i.e., how much should research priorities and innovations be farmer-, policy-, market- or funder-driven)?
  • How can the organic community and its constituents effectively advocate for organic food and farming Systems research?
15 February 2017. Launch of the 2017 edition of
"The World of Organic Agriculture"
Statistics and Emerging Trends 2017.
Helga Willer and Julia Lernoud (Eds.)
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick and IFOAM – Organics International, Bonn

The study (336 pages) contains reports, authored by experts, on the organic sector and emerging trends in all regions and selected countries. The statistics are supported with graphs and tables. In addition, background information on issues such as standards and legislation is provided. New additions to this edition are an article on organic cotton from the Textile Exchange and a chapter reviewing the organic and Fairtrade markets.

Extract: Latest Developments in Organic agriculture in Africa (Jordan Gama) (pages 161-174)
  • The African Organic Network (AfrONet) 
  • Strategic Plan (2015-2025) for the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (EOAI) for Africa 
  • New UNCTAD study “Financing Organic Agriculture in Africa: Mapping the Issues” 
  • Outlook 
The African organic network
AFRONET has been endorsed to be the continental alliance of Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) stakeholders in Africa. The meeting that endorsed was held on 1st May 2012 and attended by 42 partners across Africa. Represented by NOAM, PELUMs, PROPAC, IFOAM and Associations/Institutions from Africa and partners.

In 2008 national organic agriculture movements (NOAMs) in Eastern and Southern Africa met in Nairobi where the idea for an African Organic Agriculture Network imaged and resolution to work towards its being a reality was passed. This resolution was shared with other like-minded actors in West Africa during the Nigerian Organic Summit 2008 and it was approved at the 1st African Organic Conference in Kampala in 2009.

Further discussion was held at Biofach 2010 and the IFOAM/UNEP conference in Nairobi, 2011. Need for strategic Alliance of EOA actors in Africa are felt as a network for Organic Agriculture Research in Africa was launched during the organic conference in Kampala.

The Cotton made in Africa initiative has set itself the goal since 2005 to sustainably improve the living conditions of cotton farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • African smallholders learn about efficient and environmentally friendly cultivation methods through agricultural training provided by our experts. 
  • At the same time, an international alliance of textile companies is established which purchase the Cotton made in Africa raw material and pay a licensing fee to use the seal. 
  • The proceeds from licensing fees, in following with the workings of a social business, are reinvested in the project regions of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Managing aflatoxins in groundnuts during drying and storage

Certain moulds grow on groundnut, maize and other foods. These moulds produce a poison called aflatoxin. To have healthy groundnuts it is important to care for the groundnut during its whole growth, but especially during drying and storage.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Donor agencies and multi-stakeholder partnerships

Karaki, K., Medinilla, A. 2016. Donor agencies and multi-stakeholder partnerships: Harnessing interests or herding cats? (Discussion Paper 204). Maastricht: ECDPM.

Promoting and supporting partnerships is a complex and iterative process, requiring considerable resources, knowledge, and time.

This paper studies the roles of donors in a selection of partnership related instruments, with a view to better understanding their challenges and opportunities, constraints and incentives. 

It shows that there is a gap between donor agencies’ policy objectives and their current practice, which in formal terms is overly passive in terms of funding mechanisms and administration systems towards supporting partnerships. This diminishes the benefits that might be gained from the large palette of resources and capabilities of donor agencies. That said, informally donor agencies go further than their roles stricto sensus, implying a gap between policy and practice.

Based on these insights, some reflections, implications, and recommendations are presented below for policy makers and donor agencies aiming at boosting the effectiveness of their support to partnerships.

Key messages:
  1. Promoting and supporting partnerships is a complex and iterative process, requiring considerable resources, knowledge, and time. A deeper analysis and understanding of the role of donor agencies in the partnership process is thus required to foster effective partnerships.
  2. This paper studies the roles of donors in a selection of partnership related instruments. It shows that there is a gap between donor agencies’ policy objectives and their current practice, which needs to be filled to realise the full potential of partnerships.
  3. Overall, donor agencies tend to limit themselves to funding partnerships, often through competitive procedures, adopting a reactive attitude to supporting partnerships. More could be done in terms of coordination between their instruments and donor agencies to maximise the effectiveness of their interventions.
  4. Therefore donor agencies can contribute more significantly, by using their large palette of resources, including political connections, networks, expertise and knowledge. This depends in turn on the design of their instruments, their level of understanding of the operating context, and degree of involvement and flexibility in the partnership.
Some extracts:
Partnerships can help (better) link commercially, market-driven investment projects and private sector innovation and know-how, with sustainable, inclusive and equitable outcomes. (page 11).  In the wider context of private sector promotion and its engagement for development, where donor agencies aim to facilitate business opportunities for (usually domestic) businesses among other (development) objectives, multi-stakeholder partnerships involving donors, domestic business and international/local CSOs or companies are increasingly important.  (page 27)

Many donor agencies already dispose of a wide range of funding mechanisms that can be activated as part of a strategic approach to partnerships. (page 30) [But] Some donor agencies are reluctant to directly support companies, in particular big business or companies operating in some sectors such as oil and mining, by fear of potential reputational damage or being perceived as using development money to subsidise multinational companies. That is why working through CSOs, which then partner with the private sector, is at times perceived by some donor agencies as a more relevant approach - as long as CSOs are equipped to work with the private sector, i.e. not too slow and bureaucratic. (page 22)

Deeper analysis and understanding of the role of donor agencies in the partnership process has never  seen more pressing if they are to succeed and contribute to sustainably improving livelihoods.
 (page 10) (...) While most donor representatives learnt how to support partnership on the job, very few of their agencies invested resources and time to build (formally) their internal expertise and capacities on partnerships. (page 20)

Seed funding - i.e. funding the first stage of a partnership’s development - is an important incentive that facilitates the start of multi-stakeholder partnerships, by lowering the transaction costs perceived by cross-sectoral stakeholders (page 19) The approval and funding of partnerships from donor agencies generate more trust, credibility and reputation than other initiatives. This in turn can provide the partnerships with further business opportunities and legitimacy. (page 21)

While a logframe approach to monitoring and evaluation may be relevant for project-based partnerships, it may be less relevant for complex partnerships, which need a more sophisticated, adaptive approach based on a set of relevant performance indicators. (page 8) There is an urgent need to adapt M&E architectures to match these new approaches and to create/build a system that is suited to partnerships, in a way that reflects their complexity and iterative and non-linear nature.(page 22) This is especially the case for developmental impacts which can sometimes be hard to assess based on quantitative data, and/or hard to attribute - did donors’ funding contribute to job creation, or would have it happened anyway otherwise? (page 23) It requires a reflection upfront of  what type of information can be useful to collect, how to best frame a change process, and how to use this and build in learning moments - be it formally or informally - along the way. (page 31)

When working on long-term change, for example transforming a community’s livelihood or adapting a global value chain, M&E should seek to register contribution rather than attribution of a linear causal link between partnership actions and achieving their objectives.(page 31) 

If treated as a reporting tool rather than a strategic reflexion, a Theory of Change (ToC) approach can have more disadvantages than benefits, and over-formalising the process tends to defeat its own purpose, which then becomes an issue for practitioners and partnerships. donors must find a trade-off between the political pressure for a results-based management approach (which does not respond to the dynamic and changing nature of partnerships), and the reality on the ground (many and diverse stakeholders), which is unpredictable and requires donors some flexibility. This trade-off is translated differently according to donor agencies(page 23) 

European Development Days 2016, Session on “Strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships to achieve the SustainableDevelopment Goals” with Petra Kuenkel (Collective Leadership Institute); Dave Prescott (The Partnering Initiative); Mike Wisheart (World Vision); Adriaan Heinsbroek (ING Bank Belgium). 

CAAST-Net Plus Workshop on Horizon 2020 and Erasmus Plus in Mauritius

6-7 February 2017. Port Louis, Mauritius. Around 40 participants attended the CAAST-Net Plus Horizon 2020 and Erasmus Plus workshop.

Presentations and discussions were led by Mrs Nienke Buisman, the European Commission's policy officer for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) relations in Africa, and CAAST-Net Plus partner representatives – Mr Masahudu Fuseini (Science and Technology Policy Research Institute at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana), and Mr George Baroutas (PRAXI Help-Forward Network, Greece).

The discussions were consistent with Mauritius's research priority areas such as biotechnology,
oceans, ICTs, climate and renewable energy, nanotechnology, secure societies and innovation powered by small- and medium-sized enterprises. Presentations focused on the objectives of CAAST-Net Plus, instruments and rules of participation in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus Plus, success stories from Mauritius’s participation in EU research programmes, and training on Horizon 2020 proposal writing and financial management.

The event was co-organised by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and CAAST-Net Plus. The targeted stakeholder groups ranged from academia, research institutions, private sector and government departments.

Potato farmers in Tanzania are urged to use Mechanization

15 February 2017. In a bid to increase yields of Irish potatoes production in Tanzania, Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzanians (SAGCOT) has introduced a new system where its growers are encouraged to use modern tilling tractors in its pilot study areas.

The SAGCOT Centre Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Geoffrey Kirenga, told stakeholders attending a workshop organised to increase yields of the crop by hiring the tractors capable of tilling the ground in such a way that the crop’s seeds get enough nutrients in the ground.
“On our part we are encouraging the growers to till, plant and manure their plots after using the tractors to plough. The next stage will be training them on how to use the tractors also in harvesting. Using the tractors will be cheap and should replace the traditional hoes which render them tired at the end of the day as well as tilling only a small piece of land. SAGCOT is a strategic stakeholder with 700m/- in custody being run by Tanzania and a Dutch potato seed multiple project that seeks to introduce 14 varieties of the crop in the country." Geoffrey Kirenga, Chief Executive Officer, SAGCOT Centre Limited
The Dutch government representative, Mr Jos van Meggelen, commenting at the seminar, said the training was timely and will improve the crop yields in the areas. The Netherlands intends to repeat their successful intervention as experienced in Kenya where they managed to assist farmers in the neighbouring country to boost their potato harvests for more than five times.

Tanzania signs agreement with The Netherlands to boost Potato Production
Potato growers in Tanzania stand to benefit from a project between Netherlands and Tanzania, targeting to help farmers in the country boost the tubers production as well as being provided with potential market outlets abroad. This 388,000 Euro project is due to end in 2019.

The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) is an agricultural partnership designed to improve agricultural productivity, food security and livelihoods in Tanzania. It was initiated at the World Economic Forum Africa summit in May 2010. SAGCOT has the potential to make a serious and significant impact by bringing together government, business, donor partners and the farming community to pool resources and work together towards a common goal. It is a comprehensive and inclusive initiative. By addressing the entire agricultural value chain, the SAGCOT approach goes beyond raising agricultural productivity and ensure the necessary infrastructure, policy environment and access to knowledge to create an efficient, well-functioning agricultural value chain.

AGROECOLOGY: the bold future of farming in Africa

16 February 2017. The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) launched a publication highlighting the huge potential of agroecology to feed Africa, fix broken food systems and repair damaged landscapes, providing abundant healthy and nutritious food sustainably while increasing incomes and improving climate resilience.

The 88 page illustrated book showcases 15 case studies, showing how agroecology benefits Africa in terms of food and nutrition, livelihoods, restoration of biodiversity, knowledge and innovation, and climate change resilience.
“If anyone still entertained doubts as to the benefits of agroecology and as to whether it can meet the challenges of this century, this collection of essays provides a compelling answer.” Olivier De Schutter, Co-Chair of IPES-Food and Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
Leading experts in their fields explain how agroecology reforms food systems to promote better nutrition and health, especially among poor communities; how it diversifies livelihoods and defends the dignity of women farmers; how it enables and empowers us to revive our soils and lands, cultivate relevant crops, advance food sovereignty, and build resilient ecosystems and communities; and how such innovative production systems, based on indigenous knowledge, meet the nutritional, cultural and spiritual needs of Africa’s people.

The publication also answers the question: What is Agroecology? and demonstrates clearly how agroecology contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It draws lessons and conclusions from the case studies and sets out a way forward to make the bold transition to sustainable, effective and equitable food systems.
“There could not have been a more opportune time to publish Agroecology: The Bold Future of Farming in Africa.” Hans R Herren, World Food Prize (1995) and Right Livelihood (2013) Laureate 
Agroecology is taking off worldwide. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has recently opened an online portal dedicated to agroecology, along with an online discussion forum on Sustainable Farming through agroecology.“There is an avalanche of evidence coming from almost everywhere in the world that agroecology works,” agrees Dr. Million Belay, Coordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA).

The book highlights experiences ranging from the orange-fleshed sweet potato that brings health and livelihood in Ghana, to reviving the climate resilient Ankole longhorn cattle in Uganda, and reclaiming life in fragile ecosystems through innovative solutions in Burkina Faso. With the concept of food sovereignty at its core, the book demonstrates that agroecology creates just food systems, cuts greenhouse gases and environmental degradation and provides a sustainable future for us all.

AFSA’s Agroecology Working Group and Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement worked together to produce the book. 
“What is special about this project is that it brings together the experiences and voices of small-scale producers who actually feed Africa, for all the world to see, hear, and learn from,” Mrs. Mariann Bassey Orovwuje, Chairperson of AFSA.
The book calls for no less than a complete transformation of our agricultural and food systems. The book, Agroecology: the bold future of farming in Africa, is available as a free download

7 February 2017. Study shows tree fruit could help reduce poverty African rural areas
Trees may be easy to spot on the plains of Africa, but they often are overlooked as a source of income for farmers. A University of Illinois study shows trees on farms may help reduce rural poverty and maintain biodiversity.
Daniel Miller, University of Illinois
researcher in the College of Agricultural,
Consumer and Environmental Science
“Trees on farms in Africa often fall through the cracks — they’re not forests and they’re not agriculture,”“In our study, we found about one third of all rural farmers across five study countries have and grow trees on their farms. Among those farmers, trees on farms contribute 17 percent to their annual household income, so they’re very important for generating economic benefits for households.” Daniel Miller, University of Illinois, who studies environmental politics and policy. 
Miller’s study used satellite images showing forest cover and nationally representative household-level data gathered from in-person interviews in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.

GhanaVeg graduates 20 Vegetable trainers

21 February 2017. Accra, Ghana. GhanaVeg has certified 20 Agronomists through the Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands, after they completed the Agronomy Training of Trainers course. The Agronomy training has been designed to improve farmer productivity and post-harvest management.

The one-year in-depth training course focused on six key areas including:
  • seedling production, 
  • crop protection, 
  • spray techniques, 
  • irrigation and fertilization, 
  • production planning 
  • and adult learning. 
Mr Ron Strikker, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, presenting certificates to the trainees at the graduation ceremony, during the 16th GhanaVeg Business Platform Meeting in Accra, highlighted the role of the private sector in achieving growth.

The Business Platform Meeting was on the theme: “Agronomy and Finance for Sustainable Vegetable Businesses”. He said this was because most agronomists were employed by Ghanaian input supply, wholesale or export companies; they could be the driver for change in the vegetable sector.

He also emphasized that a healthy diet starts with fruits and vegetables and in the coming years Ghana’s vegetables sector would grow faster than the Ghanaian economy, then the population would understand the nutrition and health benefit.
“Through following the steps of the GhanaVeg Course farmers can easily double their vegetable production, while using the same amount of land. It’s all about getting the basics right Mr Herman de Putter, the Senior Agronomy Trainer, Wageningen University and Research
Financial and other Institutions including Barclays Bank, Exim Bank, Fidelity Bank, University of Ghana, Wageningen University and Research and Green OK made presentations on financing the vegetable value chain, innovative horticultural sector financing, agribusiness value chain financing.

Other presentation related to reduced incidence of harmful pest in vegetable exports, pesticide selection tool and organic fertilizer trials in vegetable. The course assisted the agronomists to train at least 2,000 farmers in their localities; increasing their yields and income.

Already a second batch of Trainers are being trained at the moment; with 30 of them currently enrolled in the 2017 Programme. Together with the first batch they are working with 5.000 farmers. For the coming years a further expansion is envisaged towards 200 vegetable agronomy trainers that are working with at least 15.000 farmers.
Published on 15 Feb 2017: Experiment with vegetables. A good start is with the 'rainbow formula'.


The Adentan Municipal Assembly has launched a 820,000 Euro mushroom project dubbed, ‘Promush Project’ to create 5,500jobs for the youth and persons with disabilities. It is also expected to improve and sustain income of mushroom farmers in the community.

The three-year project is funded by the European Union (EU) with an amount of 660,000 Euros while the assembly, Centre for Local Governance Advocacy(CLGA) and Local Government Network (LOGNet), contributed a total of 160,000 Euros.

The project would use community sensitisation programmes and to orient the crop and animal farmers, youth and the general public to see mushroom farming as a viable business venture. Potential farmers will be encouraged to adopt mushroom farming as a main activity to contribute to creating employment. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

After Brexit - Securing ACP Economic Interests

17 February 2017. King’s College London. African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are expected to be among those most affected by Brexit since their trading relations with the UK for the last 40 years have largely been within the EU’s regulatory and institutional framework.

A research team from the Ramphal Institute examined Brexit’s implications for that group of countries, providing information and guidance that can help avoid or minimise negative consequences as well as identifying and capitalising on opportunities that might arise or be created.

The report was launched on 17 February. Participants took part in a discussion on the multi-tiered approach ACP countries will need to take to make sure that their short, medium and longer-term trade needs are not lost in the Brexit process.

This conference starts after 9 minutes

Programme details:
  • Programme Chair: H.E. Roy Mickey Joy, Permanent Representative of Vanuatu to the European Union, and High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
  • Call to order – Edwin Laurent, Director The Ramphal Institute
  • Welcome to King’s College London – Professor Funmi Olonisakin, Director, Africa Leadership Centre
  • His Excellency Dr Hailemichael Aberra Afework, Ambassador of Ethiopia, representing the President of the ACP Council of Ministers
  • Professor Kusha Haraksingh, Chairman, CARICOM Competition Commission
  • Dr Lorand Bartels, Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on International Trade
  • Feature Address: The Secretary General of the ACP, His Excellency Dr Patrick Gomes
  • Presentation to the ACP Secretary General of the After Brexit study by Patsy Robertson, Chair, The Ramphal Institute
  • Discussion
  • The Way Forward: Dr Paul Goodison, Senior Adviser The Ramphal Institute
Report details:
Authors: Edwin Laurent, SLC, CMG, OBE: Director of the Ramphal Institute
Lorand Bartels, PhD, Reader in International Law in the Faculty of Law and a Fellow of Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge
Paul Goodison, PhD, GDC Partners, Belgium
Paula Hippolyte, Consultant, ITID Consulting
Sindra Sharma, PhD, Lead Researcher, Ramphal Institute
Copies of the report Securing ACP Economic Interests Post-Brexit are available from

Monday, February 20, 2017

EU Project aims to bring 'Internet of Things' to agriculture

16 February 2017. The Internet of Food and Farm 2020 (IoF2020) project investigates and fosters a large-scale implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) in the European farming and food sector. With a €30 million budget co-funded by the European Union, the project has the potential to bring a paradigm shift in this domain, by drastically improving productivity and sustainability.

It will demonstrate the added value of smart webs of connected objects, that are context-sensitive and can be identified, sensed and controlled remotely in the agri-food sector. 
  • The project has started on January 1st 2017 and will run for four years. 
  • It aims to include all the actors of the food chain, from farmers, food industry workers, technology providers and research institutes.
  • Internet of Things is the internet working of physical devices that have network connectivity enabling to collect and exchange data between them. 
  • Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), farmers can check their crop yield and animal health on their smartphone, while consumers can have information about the origin of their crops.
Multistakeholder approach and partnersThe project is the first large-scale project of its kind and will run for four years. The coordination is led by Wageningen University comprising 73 partners and aims to strenghten EU's position in the Internet of Things sector. The decision-making will be done by an implementation board of representatives from key user organizations.

IoF2020 involves the actors from the overall food chain, from the farmers, cooperatives, equipment suppliers, food processing companies, logistics providers to consumer organizations and includes ICT solution providers. In the approach, the end-users are the heart of IoF2020’s.

They will participate in assessing and improving the technologies used in the trials, ensuring the solutions developed meet the requirements and the expectations of the sector for the challenge to come. -Schuttelaar & Partners:2017. Thus IoF2020 will pave the way for data-driven farming, autonomous operations, virtual food chains and personalized nutrition for European citizens.

Watching farmer training videos on smart phones

19th February 2017VILLAGE SMART PHONES by Paul Van Mele

One of the most common questions about farmer training videos is how farmers will watch them if they don’t have electricity to run a projector, or own a laptop. As mobile communications improve, however, new ways are emerging that are making it easier for farmers to download, view and share videos.

Farmers no longer need expensive hardware (such as a computer or TV and DVD player) to watch videos.

Last year, Gérard Zoundji (from the University of Abomey-Calavi) sent me photographs of a farmer in southern Benin who had watched farmer training videos about vegetables on his mobile phone. Someone had bought a DVD at the local agro-input shop and
converted the videos from the DVD into 3gp format to watch on his mobile. Farmers are now able to watch videos even without DVD players.

In India farmers go one step further, and download videos. Kannappan, one of the trainees from the local NGO MSSRF, was chatting with some of the village farmers when one of them, Ramesh Permal, mentioned he was rearing fish in a pond. ICT-savvy Kannappan took out his mobile phone, connected to the Access Agriculture website, and searched among all Tamil videos,
and found one on raising fingerlings. It took him less than 3 minutes to download the video to his mobile.

Mr. Permal and another farmer then took out their smart phones, and swiftly connected to Kannappan’s mobile . The video file was nearly 50 Mb, but they transferred it to their mobile in just over 10 seconds using the SHAREit app. For ease of downloading to mobile phones when there is not a very good internet connection, Access Agriculture has also made all videos in its library available in 3gp format, which is about half the size.

Farmers may not have computers, but they are starting to get smart phones. Some smallholders rely on extensionists to get electronic information, but others are starting to use their phones to access information on their own, directly from the internet.

Related blog stories:

Friday, February 17, 2017

8th annual Africa Fertilizer conference

15-17 February 2017. Cape Town. Over 520 participants from 63 countries of which 23 are African attended the 8th annual Africa Fertilizer conference.

The conference agenda featured over 30 speakers who addressed ways to increase African farmers' access to fertilizer and consequently to boost agricultural yields across the continent.

On of the keynote speakers included: 
  • OCP AFRICA chief executive Karim Lofti Senhadji, (picture)
  • the African Development Bank's vice-president for agriculture, human and social development, Jennifer Blanke(picture)
  • and the chief executive of African development partnership NEPAD, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki.
Other speakers (extracts)
  • promoting an Enabling Environment for SMEs in the Fertilizer Supply Chain, Daniel Gad, Owner, Omega Farms
  • Why Micronutrients are Important in Fertilizers, Rob White, Regional Director, International Zinc Association
  • The Role of Public Private Partnerships in Improving Access to Fertilizers, Adam Mostert, Chairman, East and Southern Africa Fertilizer Trade Platform (ESAF)
  • Jason Scarpone
    President and CEO
  • African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism: Recent Developments and Opportunities, Benedict Kanu, Lead Agriculture Expert, Agriculture and Agro-Industry Dept. African Development Bank
The conference was supported by the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), the Africa Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) and the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) as well as by a number of other organisations involved in promoting fertilizer use in Africa

The agenda focused on increasing consumption of fertilizers and building meaningful supply chain partnerships in Africa. Speakers from the private and public sectors discussed the importance of creating enabling environments for fertilizer supply and distribution, improving access to finance and developing infrastructure that in turn will broaden intra-Africa trade, increase fertilizer consumption across the continent and ultimately boost agricultural productivity.

The African Fertilizer Access Index: Towards the Establishment of Competitive Fertilizer
Value Chains for Smallholder Farmers
  • Maria Wanzala, Regional Director, East and Southern Africa, AFAP (picture)
  • A new AFAP initiative to support the establishment of an enabling environment for fertilizer in order to boost fertilizer use by smallholder farmers
  • Strengthening understanding of the key components of harmonized fertilizer policies and regulations for the region
  • Disseminating comprehensive knowledge of the status of fertilizer policies and regulations in the target countries
Panel Discussion: Farmer and Agridealer Perspectives on Fertilizer Distribution and Use
  • Fertilizer use in the context of broader farming considerations – seed quality, irrigation facilities and extension services
  • Improving accessibility, affordability of fertilizers for farmers
  • Delivering training to improve understanding of balanced fertilization
  • Optimizing knowledge of specific crop and soil requirements 
  • The evolving role of the hub agridealer as a key link in the supply chain
  • Daniel Gad, Owner, Omega Farms
  • Dinnah Kapiza, Owner and Managing Director, Tisaiwale Trading
  • Nike Tinubu, Managing Director, Eagleson Cassava
  • Mark Tindle, Managing Director (Zambia), Omnia Fertilizers
Panel Discussion: Boosting Fertilizer Consumption with Accessible Financial Platforms and Innovative Solutions
  • Leveraging private and public sector initiatives to unlock the potential of SMEs across the agricultural sector
  • Collaborative initiatives to offer access to credit for smallholder farmers
  • Kalim M. Shah, Chief Investment Officer, Downstream Oil abd Gas, Sub-Saharan Africa, IFC
  • Julia Franklin, Global Sourcing Director, One Acre Fund
  • Benedict Kanu, Lead Agriculture Expert, Agriculture and Agro-Industry Dept. African Development Bank
Developments in Trade Corridors, Regional Collaboration and Agricultural Clusters
  • Update on developments of key trade corridors and impact on the market
  • Assessing the costs and risks including border procedures and bottlenecks
  • Government initiatives and public and private sector collaboration
  • Linking investment and innovation to develop robust supply networks of fertilizers and seeds for smallholder farmers

  • Argent Chuula, CEO - ACTESA, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
  • Emerson Zhou, CEO, Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor
  • Sean de Cleene, Chief of Strategy and Partnerships, AGRA (picture)