Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

L’agriculture africaine dans la tenaille libre-échangiste

Octobre 2017. Le Monde Diplomatique. Le vent du libre-échange souffle de plus belle sur le continent noir. D’un côté, l’Union européenne accroît sa pression sur les capitales africaines pour finaliser la signature d’accords de partenariat économique (APE) et en finir avec les préférences commerciales non réciproques : pour conserver l’exemption des droits de douane sur leurs exportations vers l’Europe, les Africains devront supprimer 80 % de ceux qui s’appliquent aux importations en provenance du Marché commun. De l’autre, l’Union africaine lance les négociations en vue de créer une zone de libre-échange continentale (ZLEC). À Niamey (Niger), le 16 juin 2017, les ministres du commerce africains ont d’ores et déjà décidé de supprimer à terme 90 % des droits de douane entre les pays du continent.

Cet emballement libre-échangiste laisse songeur, en particulier dans le secteur agricole. Prenons le cas de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, qui fait face au triple défi d’un déficit alimentaire croissant, d’une explosion démographique et du changement climatique.
  • Son déficit alimentaire est passé de 144 millions d’euros en moyenne en 2000-2004 à 2,1 milliards d’euros en 2013-2016 (si l’on ne tient pas compte du cacao, qui n’est pas un produit alimentaire de base, le déficit a bondi de 2,5 à 7,5 milliards d’euros). 
  • Il devrait encore s’aggraver avec le doublement de la population prévu d’ici 2050 alors que, dans le même temps, un réchauffement de 2 °C pourrait diminuer de 10 % le rendement agricole en Afrique subsaharienne, selon les Nations unies. 
Les APE réclamés par l’Union européenne doivent réduire à zéro, dès la cinquième année d’application, les droits de douane sur les produits alimentaires de base que sont les céréales (hors riz) et la poudre de lait. Cela devrait non seulement accroître fortement la dépendance alimentaire, mais aussi ruiner les éleveurs laitiers et les producteurs de céréales locales (mil, sorgho, maïs) et autres produits amylacés (manioc, ignames, plantains).

Africa and Middle East to advance animal health R&D

27 October 2017. Animal experts have prioritised areas for animal research in Africa and the Middle East as part of a global strategy to reduce the burden of animal diseases.

The experts at a conference in Nigeria last month (12-15 September) prioritised opportunities for African countries to collaborate with their counterparts in the Middle East on research and funding opportunities.

The priorities include access to samples or strains of organisms, specialised facilities and expertise, and identification of international funding opportunities.
“There are diseases such as infectious bronchitis, chronic respiratory disease…which are having devastating impacts on our livestock.” Halid Kirunda, The National Agricultural Research Organisation
The conference, which included participants from countries such as Israel, Uganda and Tanzania, was organised by the Global Strategic Alliances for Coordination of Research on Major Infectious Diseases of Animals and Zoonoses – International Research Consortium (STAR-IDAZ IRC), a global initiative to coordinate research in animal health, particularly infectious animal diseases including zoonoses – diseases transmitted from animals to humans.

The regional meeting, among other things, discussed and agreed on common research priorities for both Africa and the Middle East regions, and explored the opportunities for sharing resources, including access to samples or strains of organisms, specialised facilities and expertise.

Mapped: How UK foreign aid is spent on climate change

10 October 2017. Using freedom-of-information (FOI) requests submitted to the UK government, Carbon Brief listed that the UK government has committed “climate-specific” aid to 284 projects around the world.

Carbon Brief has mapped the countries where a significant proportion of this climate finance is aimed, as well as produce a breakdown of regional spending by continent. Using the newly released information, we have also created a spreadsheet that includes details such as year-to-year funding, location, duration and description of each project.

The analysis shows that:
  • Ethiopia has received the most single-country funding since 2011 – £139.7m.
  • Africa has received the most regional funding since 2011 – £826.4m.
  • Funding rose year-on-year in the run-up to the Paris Agreement in 2015, but has slightly fallen since.
  • Since 2011, £4.968bn of UK foreign aid has been spent on 284 climate change projects.
  • The UK has given £1.228bn to the multilateral Climate Investment Funds in total since 2011, far more than any single project.

Each year, the UK government publishes a document called “Climate Finance Results”. The latest (pdf) was published in July and covers the year up to March 2017. In the 2016 results document, published by DFID, the UK government said that “across the three departments, there are almost 200 projects currently in implementation which are spending climate finance”.

DFID released the full list of the projects, including their project codes and a breakdown of annual spending on each project since 2011 up to this year. These codes were then used by Carbon Brief to access all the details of each project on DFID’s Development Tracker website.

Aflaxtoxin contamination hindering Africa’s potential in groundnuts

15 October 2017. To increase groundnut production and reduce aflatoxin contamination among smallholder farmers, Peanut and Mycotoxin Innovation laboratory – USAID, funded a project dubbed “Using Applied Research and Technology Transfer to Minimize Aflatoxin Contamination and Increase Production, Quality and Marketing of Peanut in Ghana”.
A field day to the CSIR-SARI experimental farm near Tanina was an opportunity to enable groups of farmers to meet together to get firsthand information on trials that were been carried out by the project. Best management practices such as use of improved varieties (naktiesari and yenywaso), timely weeding, application of recommended phosphorus fertilizer rates, control leaf spot diseases, and timely harvesting were key to improving groundnut yields. Dr George Yakubu Mahama, an Agronomist at the Wa office of the Center for Scientific and Industrial Research of the Savvana Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI)
The project started in October 2013 and ended in September 2017.
  • The goal was to identify current practices involved in production, storage and processing of peanut that contributed to aflatoxin contamination and develop, implement and evaluate strategies to reduce aflatoxin contamination.
  • The objectives of the project were to determine steps in the supply chain that was most vulnerable to development of aflatoxin and practices that influenced aflatoxin contamination in peanut, to carry out detailed comparisons of pest management, production, and field drying practices on aflatoxin contamination in peanut and to evaluate peanut germplasm for resistance to aflatoxin and other biotic stress factors such as leaf spot diseases.

GroFin gets US grant to fund agribusiness in East Africa

9 October 2017. GroFin, a firm that provides financing for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), has received a grant from the United States government that will enable it to invest up to Sh1 billion ($10 million) in East African agribusinesses. The United States Agency for International Development (USAid) in a statement said the funds would benefit SMEs in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

With the money, GroFin will review 200 agribusinesses from which it will draw a smaller pool of enterprises for commercial investment in the form of debt and quasi-equity. While the firm has not disclosed the value of the grant from USAid, it says that under the programme it will invest up to Sh1 billion in the businesses.
“Our intent is to provide business support and assistance to catalyse investments into food security, staple foods and high value nutrition products. Businesses will also be provided technical support including on creating and implementing effective business plans and incorporating sound environmental practices into their processes.,” said Rishi Khubchandani, investment executive at GroFin.
Companies targeted under the programme will have to demonstrate that they are contributing to food security, using technology in waste management on the agricultural value chain and increasing productivity through innovation.

The funds have been extended through the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, a programme funded by USAid to support regional integration and competitiveness in the agricultural sector. GroFin operates in Africa and the Middle East with a presence in at least 14 countries.

Seminar: Effects of the United States Farm Bill on Developing Countries

19 October 2017. This joint IFPRI-AEI seminar focused on the impact of the farm bill on international and developing country markets. US farm programs have been scrutinized within the context of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and domestic support obligations will likely feature in the upcoming WTO ministerial in Buenos Aires.

The US Congress is currently debating the 2018 farm bill—legislation that will guide farm program spending from 2019 to 2023. Most US farm policies have their roots in the New Deal legislation of the 1930s and began as temporary measures to improve farm incomes. US policy has moved away from direct market interventions toward measures less directly tied to production and insurance programs supported by producers’ premium payments, but many of the measures established in the 1930s persist in 2017.

Joseph Glauber, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI (Presentation | Video)
Valeria Pineiro, Senior Research Coordinator, IFPRI (Presentation | Video)
Vincent H. Smith, Professor, Department of Economics, Montana State University (Presentation | Video)

Kimberly Ann Elliott, Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development (Video)
Simon Schropp, Managing Economist, Sidley Austin, LLP (Video)

Rob Vos, Director of Markets, Trade and Institutions Division, IFPRI (Video)
Q&A Video

Gender gap shrinks in agricultural research in Africa South of the Sahara

23 October 2017. Women play an important role in food production and provision in Africa South of the Sahara (SSA), yet are underrepresented in the agricultural research community in many countries. Fewer women than men are trained, recruited, and employed in the agricultural sciences. Where they are employed, female researchers are often young and less qualified than their male colleagues.

The good news is that, according to a recent paper in the Journal of Gender, Agriculture and Food Security by Nienke Beintema, head of the Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative, many African countries have begun making progress towards a gender balance in their agricultural research systems. The data can be accessed via ASTI's new Women in African Agricultural Research Data Portal, created in partnership with African Women for Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD).

The number of women researchers in Africa South of the Sahara rose in both absolute and relative terms between 2008 and 2014—possibly due to increased access to education for girls, which has resulted in more women enrolled in agricultural sciences, and sciences overall.

Beyond the goal of basic equity, there are many arguments for including more women in agricultural research. As the InterAcademy Council observed, (Inventing a better future, 2004, 160 pages) more than half of most countries’ populations—their women—have traditionally been overlooked for important jobs or were deprived of the education needed to make them contenders, robbing countries of enormous reservoirs of talent in science and technology. Higher rates of female participation in science and technology have been shown to improve the quality and competitiveness of research and innovation.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Commercial Farming and Displacement in Zambia

The “Forced to Leave: Commercial Farming and Displacement in Zambia” report finds that the people displaced by the commercial farms lose access to food, water, shelter and schools.

“Many families had to move to areas with poor quality soil and could no longer grow sufficient food. They were pushed further away from water sources, burdening women and girls in particular with spending far more time gathering water from distant streams. Many children had to drop out of school because their new homes were too far away and the new area did not have a school.” HRW in a news release.

The commercial farmers, who in some cases now hold thousands of hectares of land, have failed to live up to Zambian laws that require them to protect the environment and fairly compensate people when their land is taken. In at least one case, two mothers were sentence to three months in prison – with their children – after they refused to leave their land and were convicted of criminal trespassing.
“The government needs to take dramatic and rapid action to ramp up enforcement of its own laws and regulations. They need to stop forced evictions, and ensure that displaced families are able to secure a remedy for human rights abuses.” Juliana Nnoko-Mewanu, report author
The 101-page Human Rights Watch report is available in English or Bemba.

RUFORUM 13th Annual General Meeting

25-27 October 2017. Lilongwe, Malawi. Every year, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a network of 66 universities in 26 African countries, holds an Annual General Meeting which offers an opportunity for its members, stakeholders, and partners to take stock on the performance, relevance, and sustainability of the RUFORUM network.

RUFORUM Press Release_AGM 2017
October 2017 AGM Concept and Programme

The 2017 AGM provided RUFORUM governing bodies and their partners a special opportunity for a mid-term reflection on the implementation of the RUFORUM Strategic Business Plan (SBP2015-2020) while envisioning the future of Higher Agriculture Education and Science, Technology and Innovation development by 2030 in light of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 – the Africa We Want.

The three-day event included a total of 30 pre- and post-AGM side events ranging from statutory meetings of RUFORUM governance organs, to policy dialogue, development partners dialogue, and sessions on building and strengthening transformative leadership in African universities.

25 October. As one of the pre events of the Annual General Meeting (AGM), the Michigan State University (MSU) and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) on the Innovation Scholar Program. 

The 15 month innovative capacity building program, is a creative collaboration between LUANAR and the Global Centre for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI) under MSU.

The ISP was developed by the two institutions based on the needs of the university community. The major gaps within the university related to low innovations in the learning process and institutional leadership. Thus the program has two tracks tailored to the different needs of the university staff.
Dr. Linus Opara (Stellenbosch University)

25 October. #Visioning2030Ahead of the 13th RUFORUM AGM, a two-day Technical taskforce meeting for the Committee of 10 Heads of State Championing Higher Education, Science and Technology in Africa. The aim of the meeting was to engage with Regional Economic Commissions such as SADC, IGAD, AUC, AfDB, AAU and ACBF on issues to be tabled to the Committee.

Dr. Moses Osiru Deputy Executive Secretary RUFORUM provided a brief background to the establishment of RUFORUM and the roadmap to the Committee of 10 Heads of State meeting with emphasis on the discussions from the previous technical task meetings that have been held. 
Prof. Swanepoel summarized the activities carried out in the previous meetings. He stated that it was agreed upon for governments to increase investment in higher education with a portion of the one percentage of the GDP committed to R&D to a strategic higher education, science and technology fund. It was also agreed upon that governments should ensure quality of education is relevant and globally competitive with regards to continental mobility and articulation to strengthen higher education, science and technology. Ensuring strong policies at continental scale to create an enabling higher education environment was also fronted in order to ensure a legal framework and higher education act that governs. 
All in all, a number of priorities were discussed arising from the previous technical task team meetings and activities carried out to be forwarded for the 10 Heads of State meeting.


The 3rd AFAAS Africa-Wide Agricultural Extension Week

30 October - 3 November 2017. Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The 3rd AFAAS Africa-Wide Agricultural Extension Week combined with the 51st Annual Conference of the South African Society for Agricultural Extension. Event Theme: “Scaling up climate smart agriculture: integrating youth, women, and the digital revolution”.
Team of the University of Free State of SA
presenting success stories in Agric. Extension
The theme was selected by the AFAAS Board and stakeholders in recognition of the negative impact of climate change on the right to and access of productive resources (finance, land, water and assets) by the most vulnerable populations, specifically the youth and women.

In this respect, there is need to actively boost an inclusive access of information, knowledge, technologies and innovations to rural farmers in order to enhance their utilisation of productive resources for improved livelihoods.

  1. Knowledge on scaling up Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) in Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (AEAS) for multiple actors to support farmers, especially youth and women to increase and add value to their agricultural productivity, production and marketing shared; 
  2. Best fit practices on CSA for reducing vulnerability profiled and a framework developed for sharing among AEAS actors 
  3. Strong linkages of IFAD Country programs and other Development Partners’ programmes/ projects within the continental AEAS knowledge and innovation networks developed; 
  4. To follow up on operational meetings held for internal reflection and lesson learning; 
  5. Reporting from “Africa-Wide Extension Week” (AEW) proceedings generated and shared with participants.
Group photos of officials @ the launch
of the 3rd Agric extension week in Durban
Scaling up ICT innovations for CSA 
In 2015, during the 2nd Extension Week held in Ethiopia, the ICT working group put ICT innovations high in AFAAS agenda. 
  • In partnership with other international development partners like CTA, GFRAS, AGGRA, the working group organized a set of activities to enhance awareness and sensitization of AFAAS stakeholders in the use of ICT for RAS in Africa. 
  • A dozen of young innovators were invited to present their ICT solutions during the plug and play session co-organized with CTA ( and innovation demo sessions, web 2.0 trainings, multimedia production trainings and a video competition enriched activities of the 2nd Extension Week. 
  • The ICT working group will link ICT innovations to Climate Smart Agriculture.
  • SA best practices: Reaching the plate: Success stories of South African Agriculture in a changing climate by means of ExtensionDr. J A Van Niekerk (RSA, FAO, University of Ghent)
  • The South African Rural Advisory experience;50 years in retrospection and embracing the radical agrarian transformation agenda, Mr. K Moodley: President of SASAE
  • Integrating agricultural videos in rural extension as tools to enhance climate smart agriculture in Cameroon. Labu, N.B.; Ngouambe, N.
  • Introduction of biogasdigester technology as a climate change mitigation measure in small-scale farming communities of Amatole District Municipality (Easter Cape) Ndzimande, N.; Dumani, A.; Moeketsi, M.; Nape, M.
  • Capacity development for scaling up Climate Smart Agriculture: The Sasakawa Africa Fund
    15th AFAAS Board meeting ongoing in Durban
    for Extension Model of experiential learning. 
    Naibakelao, D.; Akeredolu, M.; Oladele, O.I.
  • A farmer-centred Innovation Systems Approach to scale up Conservation Agriculture (CA) in South Africa Smith, H.
  • Assessing the potential and farmer-based dissemination of conservation as a climate-smart option for semi-arid West Africa Djamen, P
  • The New Extensionist and Professionalisation of Rural Advisory Services. Ms H Ngwenya, GFRAS.
  • Determinants of farmers’ adoption alternate wet and dry techniques in lowland rice production in Ghana and Uganda for climate smart agriculture Oladele, O.I
  • Developing Agripreneurship Behaviour of Innovative Youth Farmers in Ethiopia
    Teklehaimanot, A.
  • Performance Levels of Agri-SMMEs in Entrepreneurial Leadership: A Call for Effective TQMempowered Agricultural Extension Services Sonandi, A.; Neuland, E.; Ladzani, W.
  • Presentation of Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa and its implications for Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services: Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo; Executive Director; Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
  • Strengthening Extension and Rural Advisory Services Systems in Africa. Ms. N Ernst, GFRAS
29 October 2017. In countries such as India and Bangladesh with high population densities and lots of potential customers, local ICT-savvy entrepreneurs have developed popular apps to help farmers monitor real-time market prices and weather forecasts on their mobile phones.
Sousa, F., Nicolay, G. and Home, R. (2016) Information technologies as a tool for agricultural extension and farmer-to-farmer exchange: Mobile-phone video use in Mali and Burkina Faso. The International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology 12(3), 19-36. 
Fernando Soussa, a Swiss researcher, and colleagues interviewed 460 farmers in Mali and Burkina Faso about their use of mobile phones. They found that many villagers, including young women who had until recently had limited access to information services, were now using 3G mobile phones with Bluetooth to watch videos. 
Videos on mobile phones help to reach illiterate farmers, so new business ventures are more likely to emerge as it gets easier to watch videos and as good farmer training videos become increasingly available. Entrepreneurs typically innovate when new products like cell phones meet old demands for information, to create new market potential. Farmers increasingly want audio-visual information, and businesses will play a role to make this happen, for example selling inexpensive smart phones and charging phones for customers off the grid.

GCHERA World Conference 2017 Global Food Security and Food Safety

28 to 30 October. Nanjing, PR China. GCHERA World Conference 2017 Global Food Security and Food Safety: The Role of Universities

The 9th GCHERA World Conference was held at Nanjing Agricultural University. The conference explored the role and contribution of agricultural and life science universities in research, education, outreach and engagement in policymaking to address the challenge of Global Food Security and Food Safety.

Professor Dirk Inze was awarded the
2017 GCHERA World Agriculture Prize.
The target audience for the conference was senior university management who are concerned with the strategic development of their university or faculty relating to the agricultural and life sciences.

Extract of the programme:
Session 1: The Challenge for Global Food Security and Food Safety Keynote speakers: 
Zhu Jing (see picture), Nanjing Agricultural University, China (Dr. Zhu is a specialist in food security policy. She serves on advisory groups to the World Bank and FAO, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Livestock Research Institute-ILRI)  Global Food Security and Safety Challenges -- Go beyond Productivity

Session 2: Education 
Rob Dyball (see picture), Australian National University, Australia (Dr. Dyball is President of the International Research led education into food systems: examples from the Australian National University
Society for Human Ecology and editor of Human Ecology Review.)
Jose Zaglul (see picture), EARTH University, Costa Rica (Dr. Zaglul was president of EARTH university, an international, private, nonprofit institution in Costa Rica, dedicated to preparing leaders with ethical values to contribute to the sustainable development of the The role of education in meeting global challenges
tropics and to construct a prosperous and just society)

Session 3: Research 
John Ingram (see picture), Oxford University, UK (Dr. Ingram has designed and led regional food system research The Need for“Food Systems Thinking”
projects in Europe, south Asia, southern Africa and the Caribbean and leads the multi-university Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning programme - IFSTAL). 
Aldo Stroebel (see picture), National Research Foundation, South Africa (Dr. Stroebel is Executive Director Strategic Partnerships at the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa, and Visiting Fellow at the Institute for African Development (IAD) at Cornell University, USA).

Session 4: Value Creation
Tiny van Boekel (see picture), Wageningen University and Research, Netherlands Value creation and the role of the universities: potential for global food security and food safety
Xiangping Jia (see picture), Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, China

The Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA) is a global network of national and regional Higher Education Associations.
GCHERA’s mission is to:
  • encourage mutual understanding and global co-operation
  • provide leadership in education, research, innovation and outreach in agricultural and life sciences
  • a catalyst for the sharing and adoption of best practices
About World Agriculture PrizeWORLD AGRICULTURE PRIZE is an international award of the Global Confederation of Higher Education Associations for the Agricultural and Life Sciences (GCHERA, The prize aims to promote the global development of the mission of its member institutions in education, research and innovation in the agricultural and life sciences by recognizing the distinguished contribution of an individual to this mission. Learn more...

Upcoming events in Agriculture for Development (ARD) - Africa

28 to 30 October. Nanjing, PR China. GCHERA World Conference 2017 Global Food Security and Food Safety: The Role of Universities
30 October - 3 November 2017. Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The 3rd AFAAS Africa-Wide Agricultural Extension Week combined with the 51st Annual Conference of the South African Society for Agricultural Extension. Event Theme: “Scaling up climate smart agriculture: integrating youth, women, and the digital revolution”.
6 November Brussels. 11th session of the Microfinance Lunch Break. How smallholder farmers feed the world: microfinance for small holders
7 November. Utrecht. Incubating Agribusiness in Africa. 2SCALE will share five years of experience in agribusiness
7 NovemberGFAR/TAP Webinar – Sharing Knowledge on Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation through TAPipedia
8-9 November. Cali, Columbia. CIAT 50th Anniversary Celebration
9-10  November. Denver, USA. Energy Africa Conference
16 November 2017. Webinar. Mobile phones successfully support farmers with weather and climate information
16-17 November 2017. Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. FAO/WHO Regional Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition
13 - 24 November. Ibadan, Nigeria. ICRA course: Building agribusiness relations for sustainable profit – Learning key skills for inclusive business brokerage
13-24 November. Wageningen. International course “Making Agriculture Work for Food and Nutrition Security”
14-17 November. Brussels. Info Week on Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2 (SC2) ‘Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy’. Co-organised by the Research Executive Agency (REA), the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) and the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) of the European Commission.
18 November. Brussels. Information Day for National Contact Points H2020
14-17 November. Addis Ababa. Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA-2017)
15-17 November. Johannesburg. 13th African Dairy Conference
15-17 November. Brussels. Organic innovation days
20 November. Brussels. European Parliament. Regional perspectives on hunger and migration: the relevance of smart investment in food security and rural development
20 - 22 November. Cape Town. African Agri Investment Indaba
20 - 21 November. Abidjan. GID-FastDev Agri Forum Forum Africain des Sciences et Technologies pour le Développement au Salon de l’Agriculture et des Ressources Animales (SARA), pour la présentation/discussion d’un échantillon d’une douzaine d’exemples de réussite en, présence des responsables et porteurs des programmes/projets. Organise par le Groupe Interacadémique pour le Développement (GID), une structure euro-africaine réunissant 30 Académies d’Europe du Sud et d’Afrique
20 - 22 November. Cotonou, Benin. Afri-Veg Forum 2017
20-24 November. Dakar. Pastoralism in the current global changes: stakes, challenges and prospects
22-24 November. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. AU Conference Centre. Regional Meeting on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa
24 November. Paris. Promesses et chausse-trappes de l'agriculture contractuelle en Afrique
26 November. Gent, Belgium. Go-Abroad Fair in Belgium 2017
28 November. London. Future of Renewable Energy in Africa
29 – 30 November. Kigali. Regional sharing on farmer/pastoralist field schools in Eastern Africa
28 – 30 November. Johannesburg. 4th Global Science Conference On Climate Smart Agriculture
28-29 November. Abidjan. Summit of Head of States from EU and Africa
29-30 November. Kampala. Agribusiness Congress East Africa
29 October 2017 - 1 DecemberEuropean Microfinance Week (EMW),
1 December. The Hague. Research and Policy: two peas in a pod? A dialogue for food security impact
3-6 December. Cape Town, South Africa. 3rd International Conference on Global Food Security
4-5 December, Madrid, Spain. International Summit on Organic Farming 2017
4-5 December. Milano, Italy. 8th International Forum on Food and Nutrition
6 December. Webinar E-agriculture. ZFU Ecofarmer Combo. The ZFU Ecofarmer Combo is a bundle of services developed by Econet, the largest Mobile Network Provider in Zimbabwe,
6 DecemberWebinar “Innovative Annual Reports” (co-organized by GFAR and GLF)7-8 December. Nigeria. Nigerian Poultry Feeds Research and Development
7-8 December. Utrecht. The Netherlands. Climate change adaptation: community-based adaption inmultistakeholder landscapes
8-11 December (TBC). Cape Town, South Africa. 3rd International Conference on Global Food Security
12 - 13 December 2017. Queen Mary University of London. Universities and Climate Change: The Role of Climate Change Research and Projects in Fostering Climate Action 
11-12 December (TBC) Brussels, Annual Meeting European Forum for Agricultural Research (EFARD)
19-20 December. Bonn. Global Landscapes Forum
15-18 January 2018. Nairobi. GIZ. Innovators conference
15-19 January 2018. African Crop Science Society meeting
23-26 January 2018. Switzerland. 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
15 February 2018. Sharm el-Sheikh. First International Conference of the Egyptian Society of Food Safety
6-8 March 2018. Nanyuki. Kenya. 3rd ECHO East Africa Pastoralist Symposium
7-9 November. Dakar, Senegal. AAIN Agribusiness Incubation Conference
19-20 March 2018. Nairobi, Kenya. 1st Biocontrol Africa Conference
21-23 March 2018. Nairobi, Kenya. 16th New Ag International Conference
April 2018. Hohenheim, Germany. Agrinatura General Assembly.
9-12 April 2018. Cape Town South Africa. Sorghum in the 21st Century Conference
18 - 19 April 2018. Berlin Germany. Global Bioeconomy Summit 2018.
31 May -1 June 2018. Pretoria. IAALD – AFRICA CONFERENCE
24-27 June 2018. Mombassa, Kenya. 2nd African Symposium on Mycotoxicology
3 - 5 July 2018. Stuttgart, Germany. 5th International ISEKI Food Conference
September 2018. Gent, Belgium. Tropen Tags
7-11 October 2018 in Berlin. IWCSPP 2018 - 12th International Working Conference for Stored Product Protection. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Energy Access Outlook: from Poverty to Prosperity

23 October 2017. Webinar presenting the key findings from a new World Energy Outlook special report, the Energy Access Outlook: from Poverty to Prosperity. This is the first webinar in a series that will present the key findings and analysis from the World Energy Outlook 2017.

WEO-2017 Special Report: Energy Access Outlook
Edition: 2017
144 pages

Speakers: Laura Cozzi, Hannah Daly and Molly Walton. Emanuela Colombo, UNESCO CHAIR in Energy for Sustainable Development, Politecnico di Milano joins as guest speaker.

This report, available for download at, provides:
  • A pathway for achieving access to modern energy for all by 2030, identifying policy priorities, detailing investment needs, and the role that decentralised and on-grid solutions may play 
  • Expanded and updated IEA electricity and clean cooking access databases, and an assessment of the status for all developing countries, reviewing recent trends and policy efforts up to 2016 
  • A global and regional electricity and clean cooking access outlook to 2030, with a dedicated chapter on sub-Saharan Africa 
  • An analysis of how energy development can unleash economic growth in sectors such as agriculture, and explores how energy access intersects with other issues such as gender, health and climate change 
Learn more in our Key Findings for Access to Energy Outlook 2017 or watch our online webinar.


18th October 2018. Brussels Sustainable Innovation Brokerage Event. The SusChem 2017 Brokerage event was a unique opportunity for industry, academia, SMEs and other actors to get ready to develop consortia and submit funding proposals targeting the H2020 calls.

The SusChem innovation managers have developed a matrix of the call topics and scope of the work programme 2018-2020 on Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials, Botechnology and Advanced Manufacturing and Processing (NMBP).

You can view the series of videos on potential call topics and scope from the Horizon 2020 draft work porgramme 2018-2020 below:
This is a page where you can access all the project idea powerpoint presentations.

Poster presentation

See also: 
ARD Innovation & private sector engagement
26 November 2015. Johannesburg, South Africa. CAAST-Net Plus hosted a workshop on Africa-EU cooperation in food and nutrition security. Upcycling AgriWaste: Independent Collaborative Research Stories - Taslim Owonikoko, Berekotry, Nigeria

Involving Women in Outgrower Schemes

Involving Women in OutgrowerSchemes. Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services. Cathy Rozel Farnworth, Ambra Gallina

This Technical Note (September 2017, 29 pages) focuses primarily on recommendations for outgrower schemes working with smallholder farmers.

  • Given the importance of nucleus estates to some of these schemes, the TN provides some suggestions for improving the working conditions of women on nucleus estates. 
  • The TN focuses primarily on measures for including women, but since the farming of the future relies on motivating young women and men to stay in the sector, a number of recommendations specifically address youth. 
  • All recommendations are taken from genuine case studies, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa with a few from Asia. 
  • Given the geographic diversity, the recommendations should be considered as a menu of options. 
  • Companies can select, mix, and adapt recommendations to create their own blend, confident in the knowledge that these recommendations have succeeded elsewhere. 
  • The literature list appended to the TN provides some of the sources and further ideas.

INGENAES: Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services
INGENAES is designed to assist partners in Feed the Future countries (
  • to build more robust, gender-responsive, and nutrition-sensitive institutions, projects and programs capable of assessing and responding to the needs of both men and women farmers through EAS; 
  • disseminate gender-appropriate and nutrition-enhancing technologies and access to inputs to improve women’s agricultural productivity and enhance household nutrition; 
  • identify, test efficacy, and scale proven mechanisms for delivering improved EAS to women farmer;
  •  and apply effective, nutrition-sensitive, extension approaches and tools for engaging both men and women. 
INGENAES wants to improve agricultural livelihoods focusing on strengthening extension and advisory services to empower and engage smallholder farmers, male and female.

Additional resources:
Feeding the Fish, Feeding Sierra Leone
Jun 14, 2017. Fish is one of the most popular animal-source proteins consumed in Sierra Leone, and fish farmers like those in Tonkolili are becoming important producers as marine fish availability declines.
Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Messaging
May 18, 2017. Tip Sheet to help extension workers support farm households to improve nutrition and health. Workers will be able to better recognize and support the different needs of women and men in agriculture.
Conceptualizing the Contribution of Agricultural Extension Services to Nutrition
May 16, 2017
This discussion paper addresses the specific contribution that AES can make to food and nutrition security in a way that is consistent with AES’s primary functions.
Integrating Gender-Responsive & Nutrition Sensitive Approaches When Working with Farmer Groups Engaged in Markets
May 16, 2017 This Training of Trainers Manual has been designed for use by government, private, and NGO extension providers and rural development practitioners who will be planning and implementing village-level agricultural interventions to strengthen their capacity to integrate gender and nutrition.
Gender and Nutrition Measurement Tools: Evaluating Their Appropriateness in the Context of Zambia
Apr 19, 2017. Zambia remains one of the countries with the highest levels of malnutrition on the African continent, despite increasing investment to curb the situation. Similarly, Zambia continues to perform poorly on gender equality.
Inside Look: Women Farmers' Access to Markets, Bangladesh
Apr 03, 2017. This video is about the Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES) program's monitoring and evaluation work with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Caritas in two districts in Bangladesh.
INGENAES Inside Look: Gender and Nutrition in Extension Workshops
Apr 03, 2017 Jan Henderson gives an inside look at participatory gender and nutrition workshops hosted through extension organization, government, and NGO partnerships with INGENAES.
Infant Feeding and Exposure to Aflatoxins
Mar 27, 2017Aflatoxins play an important role in household health and nutrition. Aflatoxins are fungal toxins produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Aspergillus is a common form of mold that can colonize and contaminate food before harvest or during storage, especially following a drought.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Electronic devices based on Ultrasound to remove biofilm

24 October 2017. Brussels. Electronic devices based on Ultrasound to remove biofilm. Presented at the
The first Global Science, Technology and Innovation for SDGs Conference

Biofilm is the excellent feeding and breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.
  • Biofilm occurs very fast. Higher temperatures are ideal for their propagation. Chemical cleaning will, if properly deployed, kill a large amount of biofilm, however always small quantities will remain in the porous environment of the pipe network. 
  • Since bacteria propagate in this environment also bad bacteria and viruses will propagate. Since no chemical treatment can be used when the chickens are in the stable, the biofilm buildup will continue. 
  • Since the feeding water is not free of bacteria, they find in the biofilm a good place to propagate. 
  • Ultimately this will cause sickness and death in the stables and will enforce the use of medicines ( antibiotics).
  • Besides Hungary, Germany, Portugal and China (see sledes), for Africa this technology is currently being tested and used in Nigeria and South Africa

7-8 December 2017. Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.  The Nigerian Poultry Feeds Research for Development (NIPOFERD) Consortium is pleased to announce the TropiSymposium 2017 event. This will be a two­ day event focused on the current scientific knowledge and technology developments on the use of palm kernel meal and cake in animal production. Scientists, postgraduate students, end users and experts from social, natural, environmental, animal and veterinary sciences etc are encouraged to submit abstracts and participate in the TropiSymposium 2017.

Objective of the Symposium
The symposium has the general objective of harnessing research information on recent developments leading to more efficient PKC utilization in the livestock industry.

The key objectives of the workshops are to;
  • Share research information and practical experiences on recent developments on PKC utilization in animal production
  • Enhance the capacity of participants on the science and technological innovations involved in the development of new products from PKC and their uses in animal production
  • Identify key challenges and bottlenecks that may hinder the scaling‐up of the use of PKC derived products in animal production
  • Enhance an enduring network of PKC researchers

Innovation Africa 2017

23-25 October 2017 Maputo. Innovation Africn 2017.

Innovation Africa 2017 is firmly established as the continent’s number one high level ministerial forum where industry partners enjoy pre-scheduled meetings and committed engagement with ministers and senior government officials from over 40 countries. It is Africa’s “must participate” event for education, innovation and ICT.

Innovation Africa was organised by AfricanBrains, who are dedicated to attracting investment into education and technology in Africa through building public-private partnerships.

Government officials comprising of ministers, secretaries of state, deputy ministers, permanent secretaries and director generals were joined by board level members from leading education and tech companies including IBM, Intel, Cambridge University Press, HP, Bi-Bright, JP – Inspiring knowledge, Positivo BGH, Discovery Education, Pearson and Wiley among others.

This year the summit was held under the official patronage of the Government of Mozambique and hosted by both the Ministry of Science & Technology, Higher & Technical Professional Education and the Ministry of Education & Human Development.

Panel Session: Public Private Partnerships for Education and Innovation Projects
  • Chair: Mr Jorge Sá Couto – Chairman, JP-Inspiring Knowledge Hon Dumisani Ndlangamandla – Minister of Information, Communications & Technology, SWAZILAND 
  • Hon Nadine Patricia Anguile Obame – Minister of National Education & Higher Education, GABON 
  • Hon Jesus Engonga Ndong – Minister of Education & Science, EQUATORIAL GUINEA 
  • Dr Martine Mtonga – Permanent Secretary, Office of the President, Smart Zambia Institute, ZAMBIA 
  • Mr Noel Chikhungu – ICT Director for Ministry of Education, Science & Technology, MALAWI

Adoption of the H2020 Work Programme 2018-20

27 October 2017. The European Commission announced how it will spend €30 billion of the EU
research and innovation funding programme Horizon 2020 during 2018-2020, including €2.7 billion to kick-start a European Innovation Council.

Horizon 2020, the EU's €77 billion research and innovation funding programme, supports scientific excellence in Europe and has contributed to high-profile scientific breakthroughs.

Over the next 3 years, the Commission will seek greater impact of its research funding by focusing on fewer, but critical topics such as migration, security, climate, clean energy and digital economy. Horizon 2020 will also be more geared towards boosting breakthrough, market-creating innovation.

The 2018-2020 Work Programme will focus efforts on fewer topics with bigger budgets, directly supporting the Commission's political priorities:
  • A low-carbon, climate resilient future: €3.3 billion
  • Circular Economy: €1 billion
  • Digitising and transforming European industry and services: €1.7 billion
  • Security Union: €1 billion
  • Migration: €200 million
Enhancing international cooperation
The new Work Programme also strengthens international cooperation in research and innovation. It will invest over €1 billion in 30 flagship initiatives in areas of mutual benefit. Examples include working with Canada on personalised medicine, with the US, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia on road transport automation, with India on water challenges and with African countries on food security and renewable energies.
The Sustainable Food Security call is Horizon 2020's main contribution to research and innovation in relation to Food and Nutrition Security in Europe and beyond. Its commitment to sustainability implies that particular attention is given to the interfaces between the economic, environmental and social dimensions of food production. The call advocates for food system approaches to tackle the inherent links between ecosystems, food production, the food chain and consumer health and wellbeing.

Download the ENHorizon 2020Work Programme 2018-20209. Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine,maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy (133 pages)

Targeted international cooperation
The following paragraphs is relevant for the entire 'Targeted international cooperation' section of the Work Programme, i.e. topics SFS-32-2018 to SFS-40-2020 inclusive.

FNSSA Africa:
In 2016 the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on science, technology and innovation (HLPD) has adopted the roadmap (Roadmap towards a jointly funded EU-Africa Research & Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture. Addis Ababa, 4-5 April 2016) for the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security & Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA). In support of the implementation of the R&I Partnership on FNSSA and in line with the ‘Joint communication to the European Parliament and the Council for a renewed impetus to the Africa-EU Partnership’[[JOIN (2017) 17]], a number of actions are proposed. 

The actions include: 
  • for the overall support to the implementation of the EU-Africa R&I Partnership on a Cooperation and Support Action (SFS-33-2018); 
  • for pillar I of the roadmap (Sustainable intensification) a portfolio of projects (SFS-35-2019-2020 and CE-SFS-36-2020); 
  • for pillar II (Agriculture and food systems for nutrition) a research and innovation action (LC-SFS-34-2019). 
  • Pillar IV of the partnership should be considered as appropriate in each proposal.
Proposals are expected to establish relevant links with other projects funded in support of the EU-Africa R and I Partnership on FNSSA, including those funded by previous Horizon 2020 work programmes and those funded by the EU’s development budget.

The first Global Science, Technology and Innovation for SDGs Conference

23-25 October 2017. Brussels, Belgium. G-STIC 2017: The first Global Science, Technology and Innovation Conference series.

G-STIC 2017, the first in series of annual conferences, aimed at identifying and promoting market-ready, innovative technological solutions needed to achieve the SDGs – implementable solutions that are scalable and sustainable both from a societal and economic perspective. 

View of the Panel (L-R): Dirk Fransaer, VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research); Ajay Mathur, Director General, The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI); Ambuj Sagar, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi; Surendra Shrestha, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT); and Kennedy Orwa, African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)
G-STIC 2017 focused on integrated solutions that work across disciplines and sectors, and assessed how to accelerate and make more effective their deployment to help resolve the myriad of challenges that lie ahead.
G-STIC 2017 comes at “a critical and timely moment” by pointing to ways to scale up technological innovations and taking up the challenge of linking with policymakers who can facilitate the fast adoption of these technologies. Kennedy Orwa, African Centre for Technology Studies,
Extract of the programme
Presenters @ the Agroecology for
Sustainable Food Systems session

Agro-ecology session
Agriculture is increasingly challenged by climate change and environmental degradation, by population growth and urbanisation, and by ever tightening constraints on resources (land, water, farmers, energy) – especially in developing countries. To enable a substantially higher food production that meets the demands of 9 billion people by 2050 and to do this with far less resources than
available today, there is a need to acquire and adopt innovations on a global scale. These should help accelerate agriculture’s capacity to provide higher and more resilient incomes for local communities and to deliver safe, nutritious and sufficient food for all at all times of the year.

This theme explored how sustainable food production systems of small farms in developing countries can handle this challenge through natural and balanced agro-ecological approaches. The incorporation of such approaches is full of challenges itself but is vital to delivering a set of small-scale, farmer-friendly and resource-efficient solutions that can realize more resilient agricultural practices and provide populations with access to sufficient and healthy food under changing climate

  • EMILE FRISON (see picture) Keynote presentation - From uniformity to diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems

Session 1: Agroecology for sustainable food systems

Session 2: Complementary technologies and approaches to support smallholders, family
farming and indigenous communities

  • Eugenio Tisselli, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ICT for agroecology with smallholders in Tanzania
  • Bart Deronde, VITO Remote sensing & Geo-ICT boost agricultural insurances to a new level
  • Parviz Koohafkan, (see picture) World Agricultural Heritage Foundation Innovative tools and their application for dynamic conservation of agricultural heritage systems

Session 3: Scaling up agroecology
Final debate and conclusions
Bamboo is a strategic tool with over 10,000 known uses. It can help us restore landscapes, mitigate
and adapt to climate change, reduce poverty, construct safe buildings and provide a source of renewable energy. In China alone, the bamboo sector employs almost 10 million people and has an annual worth of US$ 30 billion. The objective of this bamboo session was to provide a policy-focused dialogue on how bamboo innovations can help companies, communities and governments to meet a range of different goals.

Policy-focused panel discussion on bamboo
  • Peter Wehrheim, Head of Landuse and Finance for Innovation; DG Climate Action, European Commission
  • Mark Halle, Senior Fellow, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • Luc Bas, Director, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) European Regional Office
  • Dr. Jan E.G van Dam, Senior Researcher, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research
  • Mr. Mark Draeck, Industrial Development Officer, Department of Energy, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)

G-STIC 2017 has provided deep insights, in particular paying attention to underserved and
marginalized communities, and has identified holistic solutions that can be applied now and work for small scale farmers and rural households as well as multi-nationals and start-ups The discussions highlighted that, to realise these technological opportunities, we need to break down institutional barriers, revisit established concepts, change laws, regulations and habits.

Above all, it is vital to work across sectors, to promote new business models and value chains, to demonstrate how the combination of integrated solutions and new business models works, and rethink local, national and global policy making. That requires commercial and political leadership to advocate and make the changes that are good for people, planet and prosperity.

*** Interview with HEM Ms. Nkandu Luo, Minister of Higher Education from Zambia @ 1:32

Bernice Dapaah, Ghana, presented her bamboo bike to
Louise De Tremerie, a PhD student from Ghent
In addition to focusing on integrated technological solutions that have the potential to substantively contribute to achieving the SDGs, G-STIC 2017 has also addressed 4 aspects that are of fundamental importance to the SDGs: Gender mainstreaming, youth engagement, climate and ICT. 

Four key findings clearly emerge from the first G-STIC conference: 
Dessima Williams , UN Special Adviser for 

Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals
Elioda Tumwesigye, Minister of Science, 

Technology and Innovation, Uganda
  1. Many technologies needed to achieve many SDG-related targets are readily available. Following demonstration to show effectiveness under real-life conditions, we need to develop strategies for deployment at scale to a level necessary to achieve the SDG’s. For this, suitable policy and institutional environments, models, targeted incentives and partnerships are needed, which themselves are underpinned and strengthened by deep and sustained business, political and citizen engagement. 
  2. Widely distributed and bottom-up technological solutions that are appropriate for communities’ needs and circumstances are to drive the realization of the energy and food SDGs, two key SDG’s for achieving agenda 2030; 
  3. Circular economy is an essential element of the new narrative, with Industry 4.0 a key enabler to achieve it and resource recovery and use from waste streams, such as waste water and CO2, the new normal; 
  4. ICTs are an indispensable tool to enable the achievement of the SDGs
Winner of the reseach challenge: Forward-thinking humanitarian response in urban contexts (refugee settlements) by Ang Jia Cong (UN-Habitat, Kenya)