Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, March 31, 2017

Stability in the 21st Century: Global Food Security for Peace and Prosperity

Prepared by an Independent Task Force on Global Food Security Douglas Bereuter and Dan Glickman, cochairs March 2017, 128 pp.

30 March 2017. As the new administration and Congress debate the appropriate balance of US diplomacy, foreign assistance, and military strength in light of modern security challenges, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs has issued a report on how US efforts to fight food insecurity around the world can provide increased security and economic vitality at home.

Bipartisan leadership from the United States and action by the global community over the past 25 years has led to impressive results in the fight against the destabilizing forces of food insecurity. The US government, in close cooperation with the private sector and university system, is well positioned to expand its legacy of commitment to food security and not only bolster the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs around the world, but also open up new business opportunities and partnerships in emerging economies.

29-30 March 2017. Washington, DC. The Global Food Security Symposium 2017 brought together key multi-disciplinary stakeholders and members of the next generation to discuss how investments in global food security promote peace and prosperity worldwide. Convened annually by the Council, the Global Food Security Symposium discusses the US government and international community’s progress on addressing global food and nutrition security. At the symposium, the Council also released a major report recommending specific actions that the US government can take to bolster global food security in the face of emerging challenges.

For the first time, the symposium was a two-day event. Prior to the full day of presentations and report release on March 30, the Council offered an additional day for participants to engage in solution sessions with global partners.

Extracts of the programme:
New Approaches to Using Big Data
Open data and data sharing, mobile and satellite data capture, innovative partnerships, the use/application of agricultural data and sustainable productivity/soil health, machine learning and predictive analytics

Measuring Improvements in Diet Quality While Building Sustainable and Productive Food SystemsFood security, nutrition and diet quality, tracking development progress, sustainable and productive food systems

Solution Session: Building Africa's Capacity and Human Capital 
  • How to attract and train the next generation of agricultural leaders? 
  • The world’s growing demand for food not only requires financial capital, it requires talented, well-equipped human capital in both the public and private sector to drive transformation. 
  • How attracted are talented young people to entrepreneurship in the food and agribusiness sector and what else is needed to attract even more? 
  • How are public sector activities such as extension, R and D, and higher education involving and attracting young people to meet current needs and build the pipeline of future leaders? 
  • And finally, what are the innovative public-private partnerships and that are emerging to build Africa’s 21st century food and agricultural system?
Streamed live on 29 Mar 2017

Discussion - National Security is Food Security: Strategic Leadership and a Moral Imperative
How might food and nutrition security become a more central component to national security strategies? What might we do to plan and act in anticipation of evolving food security challenges in the face of continued demographic shifts and increased migration?
  • Douglas Bereuter, Cochair, Global Food and Agriculture Program, Chicago Council on Global Affairs; President Emeritus, The Asia Foundation
  • John G. Castellaw, USMC (Retired); President, Farmspace Systems LLC
  • Ivo H. Daalder, President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Suzanne E. Fry, Director, Strategic Futures Group, National Intelligence Council
Discussion – Transforming EconomiesGrowth is not always inclusive or evenly distributed, which can widen gaps between rural and urban areas, women and men, and those with access to education, information, and capital—and those without. 
  • What can be done to make ongoing economic transformation more inclusive? 
  • What technologies, policies, and programs are most promising for rural populations and how are these affecting farm families, the development of small and medium enterprises, and women and young people in particular? 
  • What actions in the public and private sector stand to have the greatest impact on inclusive growth and what trends are emerging that merit attention?
  • Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, India
  • Thomas Jayne, University Foundation Professor, Michigan State University
  • Agnes Kalibata, President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
Discussion – Leveraging the Power of R and D (the video -below- of this debate starts at 5h10)
As the climate changes, agriculture must also change and adapt to increased temperatures, more erratic rainfall, flooding, and increased pests and diseases. Increased population growth will also require greater productivity from a finite natural resource base. The only way to stay ahead of these dynamics is to invest in R and D to find durability. Public investments in R and D are critical for scientists engaged in blue sky research—potentially groundbreaking studies that could take decades to understand—and applied science that can help us respond to the next rapidly moving threat. Both play a critical role in helping America’s farmers compete globally while simultaneously offering breakthroughs that have increased food and nutrition security in some of the world’s most vulnerable places. 
  • What differentiates public R and D efforts from those of the private sector? 
  • How have partnerships between public research in the United States and international research institutions been beneficial at home and abroad, and what does the next generation of public research in partnership look like globally?
  • Chair: Rajul Pandya-Lorch, Chief of Staff, Director General’s Office, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • Nick Austin, Director, Agricultural Development, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Dan Glickman, Cochair, Global Food and Agriculture Program, Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Former Secretary, US Department of Agriculture
  • Josette Lewis, Associate Director, World Food Center, University of California-Davis
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges. The Foundation was established by the Farm Bill passed in 2014 and charged with complementing and furthering the important work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Leveraging public and private resources, FFAR will increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. To maximize the Foundation’s impact potential, FFAR is committed to complementing and not duplicating existing research endeavors.

Streamed live on 30 Mar 2017

Six years after its publication, Council senior fellow Roger Thurow returns to Western Kenya to revisit the farm families first profiled in his book, The Last Hunger Season. Learn how much progress the families have made while consequently seeing the challenges they still face. Powerful imagery brings their stories to life while Thurow also examines the US legacy of supporting the eradication of hunger at home and abroad.

Dissémination de la technologie de stabilisation du lait de soja

27-30 mars 2017. Parakou au Benin. SOJAGNON a organisé un atelier de dissémination de la technologie de stabilisation du lait de soja sous le ProSAM à  de concert avec ses partenaires SENS-Benin.

Voir: Projet Soja Afitin Milk (ProSAM)Rapport de la mission de transfert de technologie destabilisation du lait de soja aux entrepreneurs de B’ESTdans le Borgou (11 pages)

Dans le cadre d’un partenariat Association SOJAGNON-ONG et la société coopérative Solidarité Entreprises Nord-Sud dénommé « SENS Bénin », un programme de formation des petites et moyennes entreprises et transformateurs des produits du soja a été monté pour renforcer la capacité des promoteurs de la région du Borgou.

La formation des entreprises suivies par SENS Bénin a été pratique et effectuée à travers une approche participative. Elle a eu lieu au sein de l’entreprise YABASERI Sarl, avec la participation active de 16 personnes dont deux (02) représentants de Nutrition et Santé, trois (03) de SENS Bénin et 11 représentants de Petite et
Moyenne Entreprise (PME).

L’objectif pour SOJAGNON est d’appuyer SENS-Benin et ses partenaires dans le cadre du projet ProSAM sous financement de la Commission Européenne (à travers le projet PAEPARD) est de promouvoir des entreprises solidaires et des chaînes de valeur (CVA) créatrices de richesses partagées sur les territoires.

L’occasion a été donné aux participants européens et africains de suivre le processus de fabrication du lait stabilisé, de voire appliquer la technologie, de comparer leurs anciennes production à la production innovée par SOJAGNON dans le cadre du projet ProSAM.

Après les démonstrations de la technologie, la présentation des résultats d’analyse du lait stabilisé du soja fait par le partenaire européen l’Université de Lisborne (ISA-Lisboa) et l’explication faite sur les bien fait du lait produit dans le cadre du ProSAM, les participants et invités curieux ont fait leur témoignage et appréciations sur l'innavation.

La session de formation a pris en compte les thèmes ci-après :
  • La production du lait de soja avec deux technologies: la technologie exécutée par l’entreprise YABASERI Sarl et la technologie de stabilisation du lait de soja, mise au point dans le cadre du projet ProSAM ; 
  • La technique d’élaboration d’un Business model ; 
  • La technique de Marketing et de communication ; 
  • Les stratégies de Gestion d’une entreprise de production du lait stabilisé du soja.

Opening CCAFS office in Wageningen

31 March 2017. Wageningen. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). High-level meeting: Climate change research and partnerships for impact on food and nutritional security.

Panel Discussion “Insights and Initiatives on Climate Change” Members:
  • Elwyn Grainger-Jones, the Executive Director CGIAR 
  • Ruben Echeverria, DG CIAT 
  • Reina Buijs, Deputy DG International Cooperation, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
  • Aldrik Gierveld, Deputy DG Agro and and Natuur, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs 
  • Martin Kropff, DG CIMMYT 
  • Jan Omvlee, Export Director Rijk Zwaan - Martin Scholten, Wageningen University and Research 
  • Formal opening of CCAFS-office Louise O. Fresco (picture) and Ruben Echeverria
  • Shifting the paradigm on agricultural research for development impact: 50 years of CIAT partnerships” Ruben Echeverria (DG, CIAT)
  • CCAFS – Towards a new collaborative working model for climaterelated AR4D. Bruce Campbell, (picture) Director CCAFS
Series of 4 AR4D case studies demonstrating different facets of CCAFS: 
  • Policies and institutions: using scenarios to build transdisciplinary collaboration Joost Vervoort, Utrecht University 
  • Collaboration on business models for scaling Climate-smart agriculture Annemarie Groot, WUR 
  • Managing climate risks in agriculture at different scales: A regional approach Pramod Aggarwal, CCAFS South Asia Regional Program Leader (CIMMYT
  •  Climate-smart value chains: collaboration with the private sector to enhance value chains. Mark Lundy, CIAT

14 May 2017. Bonn. The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) will host a one-day conference on Scaling up agricultural adaptation through insurance on the sidelines of UNFCCC SBSTA week in Bonn.

The potential of soil microbes to offer crop protection

14 March 2017. With an 8-million-dollar grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an international team will now explore the potential of soil microbes to offer crop protection. The Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) is coordinating this 5-year project. The project has been aptly named PROMISE, which stands for 'Promoting Root Microbes for Integrated Striga Eradication'.

The team consists of scientists from the Netherlands, Ethiopia and the United States. NIOO's research partners are the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR,Ethiopia), the company AgBiome and the University of California, Davis (United States), and the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute and University of Amsterdam (Netherlands). Together, they will carry out research from lab to greenhouse and field.
"Our goal is to reduce the substantial damage to sorghum caused by Striga with the help of micro-organisms. The PROMISE project will carry out the first step by mapping the potential of micro-organisms present in African soils. Our strength lies in an ecosystem approach, studying the 'teamwork' between microbes, plants, soil characteristics and management practices used by farmers. There is no 'silver bullet' or holy grail: the solution asks for an integrated strategy. We are thinking in more than one direction. For instance, we hope to protect sorghum plants with micro-organisms that suppress Striga infections as well as micro-organisms that can reduce the large number of Striga seeds present in the African soils. We expect the first practical applications in ten years from now.”" Jos Raaijmakers, NIOO microbial ecologist and project coordinator
Ethiopia was chosen as it is one of the countries where the impact of Striga on sorghum is most devastating. For the project to make a lasting contribution to solving the problems of these farmers, it will be vital to improve local research facilities, train local researchers and share knowledge.

Outcome of the selection of Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Research Projects

22 March 2017. At the end of 2016, the African Climate Technology Center (ACTC) launched a competitive process to support research on the modalities to increase the diffusion of climate friendly technologies in three areas: 
  1. Integration of Intermittent Renewable Energy Technologies in on-grid and off-grid markets; 
  2. Market based approaches on the diffusion of Clean Cooking Solutions; 
  3. Efficient use of climate change adaptation technologies in water usage (e.g. irrigation, supply) (or) storm water/flood management in SSA cities.
The call for proposal raised much interest and seventy-five institutions or consortia submitted their research proposals. Following the review process, nine institutions have been selected (outlined below) and will start their activities in March 2017 for a period of one year. These project will contribute to the objective of creating and sharing knowledge and will strengthen the capacity of African research institutions in these areas.

Integration of intermittent renewable energy solutions
  1. The Sustainability Institute (SI) (South Africa) in collaboration with Shack Dwellers International (SDI) will use transdisciplinary research methodologies to enhance knowledge of the conditions that facilitate the adoption of affordable solar PV electricity by the urban poor. The research will be based on the experiences of the iShack project, which has provided over 1,000 small solar PV panels to residents of an informal settlement in South Africa, and will work on replicating the approach in an informal settlement in Accra, Ghana, with whom SDI is rolling out a solar pilot project.
  2. The Kumasi Institute of Technology, Energy and Environment (KITE) (Ghana) will work on assessing the role of renewable energy-based off-grid mini-grid systems and service delivery schemes in isolated communities in Ghana. The project is expected to gather evidence and provide insights on the extent to which the systems have addressed the energy access challenge, their reliability, cost effectiveness, and the possibility of up-scaling.
  3. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (US) will explore alternative pathways to improve electricity access in Ethiopia. The project, in collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Electricity and the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas of Ethiopia, develops evidence based policy recommendations for optimal use of indigenous energy resources to improve electricity access, promote energy security and mitigate GHG emissions in the country.
Clean Cooking Solutions
  1. The Berkeley Air Monitoring Group (US), in partnership with International Centre for Energy, Environment and Development / University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Project Gaia Prospects Ltd. and Winrock International will conduct a pilot evaluation of diffusion and usage of ethanol cooking technology in urban neighborhoods of Lagos. The pilot evaluation will seek to a) identify consumer triggers and motivations for the uptake and use of ethanol cooking technologies and address barriers to adoption pathway and b) measure the emissions performance of the ethanol cooking system and model its potential impact on climate outcomes.
  2. The University of Liverpool (UK), in collaboration with the Global LPG Partnership (GLPGP) and the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (Oslo) will work on modelling the health and climate co-benefits of scaled-up Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) adoption in Cameroon. The Country has an established LPG market (around 12% of the population in 2014) and its government recently initiated plans to expand adoption of LPG. The research will describe the impacts of the planned expansion of LPG use for cooking in Cameroon on both population health and climate change mitigation through modelling transitional changes in fuel use patterns.
  3. The Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University for Science and Technology (JOOUST) (Kenya) in partnership with African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS), Clean Cookstoves Association of Kenya, University of Dar es salaam, Tanzania and Pennsylvania State University, USA will research on market approaches for the diffusion of clean cooking solutions in Kenya and Tanzania. The project aims to evaluate and develop strategies for catalyzing the diffusion and adoption of clean cooking solutions in East Africa and will will collect both quantitative and qualitative data using mixed methodologies such as desk review, household surveys using questionnaires, key informant interviews and focus group discussions.
Adaptation technologies in water usages
  1. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (South Africa), together with the University of Malawi and the University of Botswana, will work on a algae-based tertiary treatment that utilizes a specific consortium of algal species to reduce nutrients and create conditions suitable for effective solar disinfection of pathogens and bacteria in Rural Wastewater Treatment plants in the Southern African Development Community countries. The intention is to implement a self-sustaining system that is independent of electricity or expensive chemicals that can be effectively operated within the current financial and capacity constraints of developing SADC countries using existing infrastructure to reduce health risk and improve reclamation of water in water scarce countries.
  2. The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), in collaboration with the Solar Energy Institute of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (IES-UPM), will work on the dissemination of technical and economical feasible solutions for PV pumping irrigation in the ECOWAS region. The research will focus on the quality of the service of PV irrigation systems, paying attention, first, to the required technical specification which this technology has to meet in the field of agricultural irrigation; second, to the solutions for the intermittent character of solar energy; and third, to the adaptation of PV production to the irrigation needs.
  3. ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability - Africa Secretariat (ICLEI Africa), together with the Climate Systems Analysis Group of the University of Cape Town (UCT) will work on the African Water Adaptation through Knowledge Empowerment (AWAKE) project with stakeholders in Windhoek (Namibia), Lusaka (Zambia) and Maputo (Mozambique). In relation to these cities, the project will explore, identify and assess the social and resource barriers and enablers of the development and uptake of locally applicable climate change adaptation technologies that enhance water supply and management.

How much would it cost to end hunger worldwide by 2030?

How much would it cost to end hunger worldwide by 2030?
IISD, IFPRI, 2016. 16 pages.
Ending hunger worldwide by 2030—defined in this study as reducing the undernourished population in each country to 5 percent or lower—will cost an extra US $11 billion per year of public spending, according to the brief’s authors, David Laborde and Tess Lallemant of IFPRI and Livia Bizikova and Carin Smaller of IISD. Of that total, $4 billion would need to come from international donors each year, while the remaining $7 billion would come from the affected countries themselves.

The brief identifies five spending categories critical to ending hunger: social safety nets; support for farmers to expand production and boost incomes; rural development to reduce inefficiencies along agricultural value chains and spur productivity; enabling policies; and nutrition. The authors focused on the first three of those because they are clearly and measurably linked to increased calorie consumption.

The last two factors—the potential price tags for enabling policies such as land and trade reform, and addressing global nutrition challenges including child stunting and the obesity epidemic—were excluded from the analysis. Though they are important, the lack of data and the complexities of costing these factors presented significant obstacles.

To calculate the costs of ending hunger, the authors used the MIRAGRODEP model to simulate national and international markets and key economic, biophysical, and socioeconomic trends that impact agriculture. Combining this model with household surveys, they identified changes in the consumption and production of major food items, and in non-farm sources of income. Finally, satellite accounts were used to identify the costs of different development interventions.

This approach allowed the authors to gain a clearer, more detailed understanding of the causes of hunger at the household level, and to determine the optimal level of spending needed in the three study categories for each country to reach established minimum caloric requirements.

The study looked at a representative sample of seven countries in Africa south of the Sahara: Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. They were selected based on their availability of reliable data, the diversity of their socioeconomic and agricultural conditions, and their relevance to the international donor community. Using this sample, the authors extrapolated the global cost of ending hunger and the amount of donor commitment needed to reach that goal.

Currently, donor contributions to ending hunger amount to an estimated $8.6 billion worldwide; the extra $4 billion called for in the brief represents a 45 percent increase.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Rockefeller Foundation announces $500,000 funding for NRI's “Cassava Bag”

30 March 2017. An innovative idea to extend the shelf life of cassava, the staple food of some of the world's poorest communities, is to be funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. Six hundred applications from 32 countries were considered by 21 judges before just one entry, the NRI cassava bag, was selected for funding.

Reps from the Rockefeller Fondation congratulate
Profs Bennet & Tomlin for the winning NRI Cassava bag
The foundation has announced an initial grant of up to $500,000 to a team led by the University of Greenwich's Natural Resources Institute (NRI). The funding will support the testing and marketing of a storage bag for cassava roots – an innovation
that includes built-in curing technology to keep the foodstuff fresh.

The success of the invention, named the NRICassavabag, could benefit 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who rely on cassava for food security and nutrition. Currently, up to 40 per cent of the crop is wasted as it can deteriorate as soon as 24 hours after harvest. The new bag can extend the useful life of the crop for at least eight days.
"Fresh cassava rots all too quickly. Most damage to the roots occurs between the field and the factory. This meant that the solution to the problem lies with their storage. Now, the solution's in the bag. Our technology could be a transformational step for African cassava production." Professor Ben Bennett, NRI's Deputy Director and co-leader of the research team.
"The Natural Resources Institute has, once again, won international recognition for its expert knowledge and research. Partnership is at the heart of this project, which is a great example of the university's ambition to find solutions to the challenges that face our world – globally, nationally and locally. Many congratulations to all involved." Professor David Maguire, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich.


The 1st All Africa Postharvest Congress and Exhibition

28-31 March 2017. Nairobi, Kenya. This
Congress, whose theme is “Reducing food losses and waste: Sustainable solutions for Africa” aimed to develop actionable plans to reduce postharvest losses and waste.

The event addressed key aspects of postharvest management related to perishable crops, perishable animal products, non-perishable food commodities, capacity development and related
social issues that affect postharvest management. It included an excursion to see some practical examples of cutting edge projects on the ground.
A key highlight of the Congress was the inaugural All Africa Postharvest Technology and Innovations Challenge which seeks to highlight emerging postharvest technologies and innovations with high potential for scale up.

  • Agro-processing, value addition and valorization solutions for postharvest loss and waste. 
  • Postharvest handling and technologies for perishable commodities. 
  • Postharvest handling and technologies and storage solution for grains 
  • Aflatoxin management, food safety and nutrition. 
  • Policy, practice, youth and gender angles in postharvest management
  • Food loss and waste assessment in agricultural value chains – the Metrics 
  • Postharvest handling and technologies for livestock products 
  • Innovative strategies, practices, approaches towards postharvest loss management
Symposia: Hosted by four partner organizations
  1. Horticulture Innovation Lab (USAID) 
  2. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) 
  3. SNV World (Netherlands Development Organizations) 
  4. Rockefeller Foundation
Symposium of IITA:
30th March 2017. Safeguarding Africa’s food − Are we winning or losing the fight against aflatoxin
 A. Konlambigue (picture left), Managing Director, Aflasafe Technology Transfer and Commercialization Program at IITA welcomes participants at the session on Are we winning of losing the fight against aflatoxins.
"From study over 50% of milk in Kenya is contaminated with aflatoxins. Do we pour it all out? What next? Standards and regulations are good but not a total solution in face of high levels of aflatoxin in crops. Public understanding is low: what worries them does not kill them what kills them doesn't worry them" Delia Grace Scientist, ILRI
Item/Title of Presentation

Susan Karonga
                                Introduction : Purpose of the symposium,  speaker introduction and summary of symposium’s process
Dr.  David Githanga
                            Opening remarks
Dr. Victor Manyong,, IITA,

The aflatoxin problem and impact on food security, health and trade, and initiatives to make Africa aflatoxin-safe
Elizabeth Ogutu, PACA
Technologies, policies and institutions for aflatoxin mitigation

Pre and post-harvest technologies for aflatoxin management and recent approaches to mitigation.
Dr. George Mahuku, Plant Pathologist, IITA East Africa
Markets and potential challenges in uptake of interventions for aflatoxin mitigation in the African context
Dr. Vivian Hoffman, IFPRI
Policies, institutions and awareness raising for aflatoxin mitigation
Stanley Kimere, FAO
Scaling up and public/private sector experiences

Private sector perspectives on aflatoxin management in food systems
JB Cordaro, MARS Inc
Scaling-up of grain drying and storage technologies
Sophie walker, ACDI-VOCA
Experiences as an implementer as a learning tool for upscaling aflatoxin interventions
Experiences in the adoption process of aflasafe and other aflatoxin mitigation tools for use in the irrigation scheme
Dr. Rapahel Wanjogu
Panel Discussion (Moderator: Mary Onsongo)
Lessons learnt from the past and building consensus on next steps in further reducing aflatoxin contamination and its effects

Chebii Kilel
Head of Food Crops Directorate, AFFA
Martha Byanyima
David Githanga

Kevin Manyara
Operations Manager , Cargill
Deliah Grace
Scientist, ILRI

Published on 28 Mar 2017
Post-harvest food loss is a major contributor to hunger and undernutrition affecting farming families across Africa. Aflatoxin moulds, spread by insects inside of traditional storage units,are one of the leading causes of cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda, during the first three months after harvest farmers loose up to 40% of their harvest to insects, pests, mould, and moisture. Now, smallholder farmers across Africa have a choice for a better future. In WFP's Zero Food Loss Initiative, hermetic (airtight) storage is paired with effective training to drastically reduce losses, increase incomes, bring farmers closer to markets.

Announcement: 7th African Grain Trade Summit (AGTS)

Review of Successful Scaling of Agricultural Technologies

Synthesis Report: Review of Successful Scaling of Agricultural Technologies
USAID, February 2017. 47 pages.

This report provides summary findings and conclusions from a set of five case studies examining the scaling up of pro-poor agricultural innovations through commercial pathways in developing countries. The E3 Analytics and Evaluation Project conducted the studies and prepared this synthesis report on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Food Security (USAID/BFS), as part of the Bureau’s efforts to scale up the impact of the Feed the Future initiative. 

The study’s findings also draw on the results of a one-day workshop at which the Project team presented the case studies and preliminary findings to a group of agriculture and scaling experts. USAID/BFS commissioned this study to produce lessons and, ultimately, guidance for the Agency including its country Missions about what types of innovations and which country contexts are best suited for scaling up through commercial pathways, and to identify the activities, strategies, and support necessary to facilitate successful scaling.

Case Studies:
  1. Hybrid (Drought-Tolerant) Maize in Southern Zambia 
  2. Irrigated Rice Production in Northern Senegal 
  3. Purdue Improved Crop Storage Bags in Kenya 
  4. Agricultural Machinery Services in Bangladesh 
  5. Kuroiler Chickens in Uganda

Cracking the Nut conference

27-28 March 2017. Bangkok, Thailand. This conference focused on cracking the tough nuts associated with reinforcing food systems to meet urban demand.

​Connexus Corporation with USAID, RTI International, CRS, and Chemonics International to organized this two-day learning event, which raised awareness of the changing demographics impacting global demand and supply of food, and highlight how food systems are transforming, linking rural to urban markets, and responding to changing food preferences, especially in urban areas of developing countries.

This two-day event brought together approximately 300 of the world’s leading industry thought leaders from private sector companies, financial institutions, investors, donors, and development practitioners to discuss “tough nuts” related reinforcing food systems and urban demand.
  1. ​​Scaling technology and innovation for agriculture: In what ways is innovation being used to develop agricultural capacity and shape food systems? How can new and existing technologies be scaled to increase rural production and meet the growing needs of urban consumers? What will ensure that innovations can be used and adapted by actors within the value chains
  2. Improving sustainability and food security of urban markets: As population is growing, especially in urban areas, what systems and mechanisms are needed to ensure all people have access to sufficient nutritious foods at prices they can afford? What types of finance and investment are needed to transform food systems and better link the rural to urban supply chain?
  3. ​Facilitating links from rural to urban parts of a supply chain: How can we strengthen the “connective tissues” between rural smallholders and supply chain actors that are linked to urban demand? How can we help rural suppliers better interpret and respond to changing urban preferences?
  • Reducing Post-Harvest Loss with AflaSTOP in Kenya and Tanzania – Sophie Walker (ACDI/VOCA) Strengthening Post-harvest losses and food safety are critical issues affecting food security. The AflaSTOP: Storage and Drying for Aflatoxin Prevention project targeted post-harvest methods to mitigate aflatoxin increases at the smallholder level. Aflatoxin enters the food chain when crops are still in the field and moves to urban markers as smallholders sell their surplus. The project established that hermetic storage significantly prevents aflatoxin increases during storage, but drying maize is a key constraint for farmers. Using a human centric approach, AflaSTOP carried out a cyclical approach to technology development, with research, design, building and testing, being repeated to come up with a portable affordable maize dryer suitable for smallholder volumes. The objective of this workshop is to share the results of this technology development process and discuss key lessons learned in moving from pilot to scale-up as well as the applicability of the model in other countries and with other crops.
  • Rural to Urban Linkages with ICT Platforms in Africa – Karis McGill (RTI International), Jean Michel Voisard (IRG, a subsidiary of RTI International) and Hillary Miller-Wise (ESOKO)
  • Climate-Smart Dairy Enterprises for Sustainable Access to Quality MilkMartin Waweru and Joachim Kutoyi (Catholic Relief Services)
    The Kiambu Dairy Project is sustainably increasing the production of quality milk in Kiambu County, which borders Nairobi, one of the fastest growing cities in East Africa. The use of the Milk ATMs has reduced the cost of pasteurized milk for low income urban populations by removing the packaging costs and has also improved milk hygiene by reducing the number of unregistered milk hawkers in the cities.
  • Transforming the Rice Supply Chain in SenegalJean Michel Voisard and Mamadou Diop
    (IRG, a subsidiary of RTI International)
    Senegal has emerged as a leader in private sector-driven agricultural development, thanks to a combination of prudent government policies, a growing private sector, targeted donor interventions, and relative economic, political and social stability. Senegal,is today rolling back the once-dominant imports from Asia.
  • Strengthening Market Linkages in Ghana – Amanda Grevey and Alison Ion (Palladium) 
  • Outgrower Business Models in GhanaDr. Emmanuel Dorman and Nicholas Issaka Gbana (ACDI/VOCA)
    Surveys amongst commodity buyers in Ghana have shown that the demand for maize, paddy rice and soybean are far from met in the country that imports most of its milled rice, maize and soymeal. To address this issue, USAID/Ghana’s ADVANCE project has established an outgrower business model (OBM) to increase production and link rural farmers to urban markets and processors.
This brief (5 pages) highlights AflaSTOP’s design and business model development process, spotlights the EasyDry M500, and reflects on scale up potential and next steps for full market diffusion.

This brief (6 pages) explores hermetic storage’s important role with respect to aflatoxin, while also highlighting its relevance to other critical development concerns such as reducing post-harvest losses and supporting commercial solutions. It presents four evidencebased benefits of hermetic storage, building on the investments of USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Kenya through the AflaSTOP program.