Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, March 30, 2018

Youth for Growth: Transforming Economies through Agriculture

21-22 March 2018. Washington, DC. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs brought together leaders from across public and private sectors at the annual Global Food Security Symposium. The theme of the 2018 Symposium centered on “Youth for Growth,” and on creating and expanding opportunities for meaningful employment for youth in food and agriculture, connecting these populations with vital human resources like technical assistance and mentorship, and addressing perceptions of agriculture as an unprofitable and/or unappealing industry.

The Symposium coincided with the release of the Chicago Council’s annual Global Food Security Report. This year’s report provides a framework for the joint objective of global youth engagement and global food security. According to the report, low- and middle-income countries are currently experiencing the highest rates of growth in youth populations. In addition, for the most part, agriculture remains the largest single economic sector and source of employment in these countries. If young people can be trained and empowered to take a central role in agriculture and food production, this could be an effective approach for building a resilient food system and creating economic opportunities for youth in these countries.

The 2018 Global Food Security Report provides four specific policy recommendations for the United States government.
  1. The first is for the executive branch to establish a long-term strategy for global food security through the National Security Council (NSC) in coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  2. The second is for Congress to increase funding for agricultural research and development through theU.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as well as through investment in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
  3. The third is to invest in human capital development in food insecure regions through nutritional programs, education and vocational training, and programs for youth entrepreneurship. 
  4. The fourth is for the U.S. government to support international regulatory norms for business and trade that create job opportunities for youth in food insecure regions.
The conference also addressed the importance of not only listening to the voices of young people, but supporting them as leaders and partners in food and agriculture initiatives. 
“Give more responsibility to the youth,” said Linda Kwamboka, Cofounder and Director of M-Farm, a technology platform that began in Kenya. 
“They’re the ones who know what the problem is, and they’re the ones who actually know what the solution is,” said Gouri Mirpuri, Cofounder of The Learning Farm, speaking about the youth participating in The Learning Farm’s program in Indonesia. 
This message also extended to farmers: “Listen to farmers; maybe what you are thinking is not right. They know exactly what they want,” said Chetna Sinha, Founder and Chairperson of the Mann Deshi Foundation, speaking about lessons learned in designing credit products to serve the needs of rural women farmers in India.

REPORT: Youth for Growth: Transforming Economies through Agriculture, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, March 22

Youth livelihoods in LMICs largely depend on the successful transformation of agriculture, and agricultural and economic transformation will require strong youth engagement to succeed. Simply put, young people need agriculture, and agriculture needs young people. As these surging youth populations come of age, how we meet their needs and aspirations—and how well governments integrate them economically, politically, and socially—will shape our shared future. With the right policies and investments, along with the engagement of young people in nurturing their own potential, the largest generation of young people in human history can become the problem-solving producers, creators, entrepreneurs, change agents, and leaders of the coming decades.

Dgroups: simple solutions for building communities in your organization

27 March 2018. Webinar. The webinar on Dgroups: simple solutions for building communities in your organization, organized in partnership with FAO, took place on 22 March, 2018. About 70 people joined the live event; several more had registered and expressed the interest to receive the webinar recording.

The full session is now available for playback on our YouTube channel and below here.

The total recording is just over one long recording. You are welcome to watch it all, or jump straight to the part that you may be more interested in:
  • An introduction about Dgroups, by Saskia Harmsen.
    Dgroup is a longstanding successful development initiative that promotes dialogue. Supported by over 20 organizations, it currently engages over 290 000 people in all countries and territories of the world. It offers an easy to use email tool and an online platform for small or large groups that benefit from networks and discussions.
  • The Global Farmer Field School Platform Dgroups, by Suzanne Phillips. Suzanne Phillips from FAO shared her experience using a Dgroup to connect a global community of FAO Farmer Field School practitioners all over the world. She decided to use Dgroup as an additional tool to ensure inclusion of all stakeholders, even when they have a poor internet connection, low IT-literacy and little time to engage in exchanges.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for Agriculture Dgroups, by Giacomo Rambaldi. Giacomo Rambaldi from CTA talked about the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for Agriculture Dgroups – and how it has been instrumental to carry out a mapping of existing and forthcoming policies, laws and regulations governing the use of UAVs. 
  • HIFA Dgroups, by Neil Pakenham-Walsh. Neil Pakenham-Walsh presented how Dgroups is being used by the HIFA forums. These groups bring together more than 15,000 people from 175 countries to explore ways to improve the availability and use of health information in low- and middle-income countries. Dgroups is the platform enabling the conversation and dialogue on the HIFA forums.
Over the coming weeks, the organisers publish a series of individual posts with each case study and presentation shared during the webinar.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

11th Forum for the Future of Agriculture

27 March 2018. Brussels. 11th Forum for the Future of Agriculture FFA call for action: healthy farming, healthy food, healthy future. 
The Forum for the Future of Agriculture 2018 called for action by all stakeholders and society at large to work together in order to deliver real-world solutions for a healthy future through healthy farming practices and healthy food production.

The Forum brought together leaders from politics, industry, and society, who highlighted the importance of biodiversity for healthy food production, presented emerging farming technologies and best practices in artificial intelligence and sustainable forest management among others, as well as options on how to reduce food waste.

FFA2018 comes at a time when real-world action is needed to put the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into practice and a new cycle of reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is starting to take shape. This is coupled with growing public interest in farming practices, along with increased environmental awareness and health consciousness related to food consumption.
“We need inspired leadership to achieve a healthy future, transform our farm and economic models and create real change on the ground that will meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. All of us, from farmers to consumers, politicians to business leaders, need to be part of a positive disruption in our thinking and actions leading to food and environmental security.” Janez Potočnik, Chairman FFA2018 
“I believe that we must bring urgency to our actions today. The interconnected nature of climate change and poor resource management crises with food security and, as a result, overall human security are having profound international consequences right now.” Noor Al Hussein Queen of Jordan
Extracts of the programme
(video forthcoming)

Transitioning towards sustainable food systems for a healthy future
Keynote speaker:
Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur on Right to Food, United Nations

  • Cyriaque N. Sendashonga (see picture), Global Director, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Policy and Programme Group
"Europe is a producer, importer, exporter of food with an informed population - that's a unique responsibility and opportunity to get the agriculture agenda right"
  • Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
  • Alexandra Brand, Chief Sustainability Officer, Syngenta

Healthy environment: Synergistic management of agricultural and natural systemsKeynote speakers:
  • Gary Tabor, Founder & Executive Director, Centre for Large Landscape Conservation
  • Ann Tutwiler, Director General, Bioversity International

Agriculture and food: the future
  • Louise O. Fresco, President of the Executive Board, Wageningen University and Research

Additional videos:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

New Ag International Conference

19-23 March 2018. Nairobi. Delegates from over 60 countries met with exhibitors from leading companies from every corner of the world, to consolidate or acquire knowledge on the latest trends in plant nutrition, plant protection, irrigation, fertigation, foliar spraying, greenhouse technology, precision agriculture and support systems.

19-20 March 2018. Extracts of the programme Biocontrol Africa conference.
  • Dr. Henri Wainwright, General Manager, Real IPM!Biobest Group (Kenya) The Past, Present and Future of Biocontrol in Africa 
  • Dr. Maaike Perneel, Business Developer Biostimulants and Biocontrol Agents, Ghent University (Belgium) - CROPFITA: Research Network at Ghent University Discovered a Pseuclomonas Biocontrol Strain Against Important Plant Pathogens in the Tropics See picture
  • Dr. Michael Braverman, Manager Biopesticide Programme, IR·4, Rutgers University (USA) · Biopestides in Capacity Building Programs, Aflatoxin Management and Pesticide Residue Mitigaton in Africa 
  • Dr. Ulrich Kuhlmann, Executive Director, Global Operations, CABI (Switzerland)
    Biopesticides Portal · an Online Tool that Facilitates the Identification, Sourcing and Application of Biological Control Products See picture
  • Mr. Deepak Sighal, President · International Business, lnternat;onal Panaoceo Ltd (lndia) - Integrated Crop Management using Biologicals: Learnings from Successful lndia Experience and Relevance for Africa

11-23 March 2018. Extracts of the New Ag International Conference programme
  • The Dynamics of Agribusiness Partnerships in Sub Saharan Africa and the Role of AFAP in Strengthening them, Mr. Joseph Mwangangi, Agribusiness Advisor, African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), (South Africa)
  • The Importance of Micronutrients in Sub-Saharan Africa, Dr. Shamie Zingore, Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI), (Kenya) See picture
  • Hidden Hunger in Africa and Biofortification of Food Crops with Micronutrients, Prof. Ismail Cakmak, Sabanci University, (Turkey)  See picture
  • Are Bio-Fertilizers a Viable Option for Intensifying Smallholder Farming Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa?, Dr. Bernard Vanlauwe, Professor, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), (Kenya) 
  • Biofertilizers: Boosting Crop Productivity in a Neutral Land Degradation World, Mr. Werner van der Nest - National Sales Manager, ASFERTGLOBAL (South Africa)   
  • Biostimulants: Key Enabling Technology for Sustainable Agriculture in Africa, Ms. Kristen Sukalac, Consulting Partner, European Biostimulants Industry Council (EBIC), (Belgium) 
  • A Conceptual Framework for Delivering Improved Crop Nutrition to Smallholder Farmers in Africa, Dr. John Wendt, Deputy Director, Field Research, IFDC, (Kenya) 

Edible insects for food, feed and food security

20 March 2018. This workshop focused on both the Belgian and the African context. Apart from
staff from the Botanic Garden, the Africa Museum and also RBIN (Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences), this workshop involved people and organisations from the African Diaspora community.

Extracts of the programme:
  • Presentation of RMCA projects on edible insects in Africa. Patricia Mergen, Royal Museum for Central Africa. 
  • Meise Botanic Garden and the BigPicnic project: edible insects, consumers acceptance and food security. Jutta Kleber, Meise Botanic Garden

PAEPARD Management Team Meeting

8-9 March 2018 . Accra. 15th Management Team Meeting (MTM).

From Mid-April 2017 to July 2017 PAEPARD undertook an external and independent evaluation commissioned by the European Commission. The EC and FARA signed one year no-extra-cost-extension (NECE) agreement in October 2017. According to the agreement, the no-extra-cost-extension will run from 17th December 2017 to 16th December 2018.

The 15th MTM was to plan the activities and implement the strategy of the NECE.
  • Presentations of the technical reports of year 8 activities by WP leaders 
  • Presentation of financial highlights and discussions 
  • Overall presentation of the NECE activities 
  • Planning of NECE activities by work packages 
  • Plenary discussions after presentations of the 3 work packages 
  • Consolidating the NECE work plan and Budget 
  • Discuss the progress made in implementing the CRF and IF; 
  • Discussing the CRF-IF during the NECE 
  • Discussing the after-PAEPARD strategy to be presented to the SC

10th conference of The World Mycotoxin Forum

12-14 March 2018. Amsterdam. The World Mycotoxin Forum is the leading international meeting series on mycotoxins where food and feed industry representatives meet with people from universities and governments from around the world.

The mycotoxin contamination of various crops and derived products is a global concern because it

Can we ever have a mycotoxin-free supply chain? The 10th conference of The World Mycotoxin Forum contributed to this ultimate goal by taking mycotoxin control to the next level.
has significant implications for food and feed safety, food security, and international trade. Despite a
lot of research and available interventions, mycotoxin prevention and control remain a challenge for agriculture, and for food and feed industries. Several pre- and post-harvest measures can be taken in tackling mycotoxin exposure, however, they are not fully adequate to eliminate mycotoxins from the food and feed supply chain. In addition, climate change is increasingly affecting the occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide.

Extracts of the programme:
  • Towards integrated approaches to mitigate mycotoxins across a changing landscape Dr. Jagger Harvey, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss, Kansas State University, USA
  • Initiatives and challenges by farmers to handle the risk of mycotoxins in the field Max Schulman, on behalf of COPA-COGECA, the organisation of European farmers and agri-cooperatives
  • Managing aflatoxin contamination in grains in Africa – the farm to fork approach! Dr. Owen Fraser, Nestlé Research Centre, Switzerland
  • Mycotoxins in livestock systems in developing countries Dr. Johanna Lindahl, International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya
  • Mycotoxin exposure patterns in infants and young children in sub-Saharan Africa Dr. Chibundu Ezekiel, Department of Microbiology, Babcock University, Nigeria
  • Biocontrol of aflatoxins:the pros and cons of competitive exclusion Dr. John Pitt, CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Australia 1
  • The role of hermetic storage for postharvest mycotoxin control Dr. Charles Woloshuk, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, USA
  • MycoKey and MyToolBox: an example of good European cooperation Dr. Antonio Logrieco, Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA-CNR), Italy
  • Feed additives for mycotoxin detoxification – efficacy and authorisation in the EU and China Prof. Dr. Wang Jinquan, Feed Research Institute of CAAS, China
  • MycoKey app for chain management Dr. Theo van der Lee, Plant Research, Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands 18:25 Integrated solutions to reduce mycotoxins along food and feed chains: future expectations Prof. Dr. Rudolf Krska, Department IFA-Tulln, BOKU Vienna, Austria

Trends in organic agriculture and sustainability standards

12 March 2018. Brussels. DevCo Infopoint. Trends in organic agriculture and sustainability standards in low income countries: outlook and development challenge

Organic agriculture – with a constantly growing global market worth over 80 billion euros in 2016 – is also becoming increasingly important in low-income countries. While organic has the largest certified area world-wide and in low-income countries, other Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) such as Fairtrade, UTZ, or Rainforest Alliance are also gaining in importance. Currently, at least 25 percent of the global coffee production and 9 percent of the global cotton is certified according to one of the major VSS (including organic).

At this session, FiBL experts presented the latest data on the status of organic farming and other VSS, with a focus on selected commodities, and the development impact of these standards for low income countries will be discussed.
  • Beate Huber, Deputy director, FiBL
  • Julia Lernoud, Department of Extension, Training and Communication, FiBL 

Fertilizer management in smallholder farming in sub-Saharan Africa

Nutrient Expert for improved fertilizer recommendations
for maize in sub Saharan Afric

Smallholder farmers who cultivate perhaps only a few hectares of land dominate the agricultural landscape in places like China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa. Increasing their efficiency while reducing their environmental impact are critical steps to ensuring a sustainable food source for the world's growing population.

Yet sharing best practices with smallholder farmers, who often have limited resources to invest in their livelihoods and who number in the hundreds of millions in China alone, is a daunting prospect.

In a report in the journal Nature, the University of Pennsylvania's Zhengxia Dou, professor of agricultural systems in the School of Veterinary Medicine, teamed with colleagues from China Agricultural University and other institutions in sharing the successful implementation of a long-term, broad-scale intervention that both improved yields and reduced fertilizer application across China. 

The effort, enacted over 10 years, engaged nearly 21 million farmers and increased yield on average more than 10 percent and lowered fertilizer use between 15 and 18 percent. Overall, the actions netted an increase in grain output with a decrease in fertilizer input and savings totaling $12.2 billion.
To determine the best ways of meeting sustainable productivity demand, researchers in the current study conducted more than 13,000 field trials testing what they call an integrated soil-crop system management program, or ISSM, a model that helps determine which crop variety, planting date and density, fertilizer use, and other strategies will work best in a given climate and soil type. The tests were done with maize, rice, and wheat.
To gain a deeper understanding of the current performance of Chinese farmers, the researchers conducted a survey of 8.6 million farmers from 1,944 counties across the nation.
4R Plant Nutrient Management in African Agriculture: An extension handbook for fertilizer management in smallholder farming systems.

The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) sub-Saharan Africa Program (IPNI sub-Saharan Africa c/o IFDC - East & Southern Africa Division ICIPE Compound Duduville - Kasarani, Nairobi, Kenya) has released 4 years ago (2014, 114 pages) an extension handbook for fertilizer management in smallholder farming in sub-Saharan Africa.

The innovative handbook was developed as a resource for researchers, extension agents, agrodealers and other stakeholders working with smallholder farmers. 

Its purpose is to ensure that researchers and extension agents working with farmers have adequate information required to demonstrate and communicate to farmers the best ways to use fertilizers and other nutrient resources. The handbook provides practical guidelines for best nutrient management based on the principles of 4R nutrient Stewardship: Applying the Right Source of nutrients ta the Right Rate, Right Time and Right Place.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Small Farms, Small Food Businesses and Sustainable Food Security

19 March - 19 April 2018. SALSA Online  e-conference. (SALSA: Small Farms, Small Food Businesses and Sustainable Food Security).

Reference: Background document to the FAO email conference - 14Mar2018A.pdf
The first e-conference was to support and give input to the SALSA project

A second online conference was started on 19th of March:

  1. Cooperation between small farmers; 
  2. Contributions of small farmers to the resilience of the food system; 
  3. Past strategies and policies for small farmers to overcome their main challenges; 
  4. Strategies and policies which would allow small farmers to address challenges in the future; 
  5. The way food supply chain businesses might contribute to small farmers; 
  6. How policies can affect small farms’ activities and decision making

Who is expected to participate?
  • The virtual discussion is intended to draw the attention of researchers, educators, students and a wide spectrum of food chain/food system actors and entrepreneurs, as well as policy makers and administrators at multiple levels, on the role of small farms within a larger context. 
  • The e-conference is also open to all who wish to share their insights and discuss “The Role of Small Farms Within a Larger Context of Food Security”.
  • While the participation in the e-conference remains free and voluntary, all participants are encouraged to actively contribute with their experiences.
Background: The SALSA Project 
  • The project “Small Farms, Small Food Businesses and Sustainable Food Security” (SALSA, aims to provide a better understanding of the current and potential contribution of small farms and food businesses to sustainable FSN. 
  • Supported by the EU funded Horizon 2020 program
  • A coalition of 16 European and African partners are collaborating in assessing the role of small farms and small food businesses in delivering a sustainable and secure supply of affordable, nutritious and culturally adequate food. 
  • The four-year SALSA project began in April 2016.
20 March 2018. The 2018 Global Food Policy Report is now availalbe. Thisreport looks at the impacts of greater global integration – including the movement of goods, investment, people, and knowledge – and at the potential impacts of current anti-globalization pressures. The report reviews the events of 2017, and asks how global integration – through trade, investment, migration, open data, developed country policies, and governance – can be harnessed to benefit our global food system. The 2018 report also presents data tables and visualizations for several key food policy indicators, including country-level data on hunger, agricultural spending and research investment, and projections for future agricultural production and consumption.

Drawing on recent research, IFPRI researchers and other distinguished food policy experts consider a range of timely topics:
  • How can the global food system deliver food security for all in the face of the radical changes taking place today?
  • What is the role of trade in improving food security, nutrition, and sustainability?
  • How can international investment best contribute to local food security and better food systems in developing countries?
  • Do voluntary and involuntary migration increase or decrease food security in source countries and host countries?
  • What opportunities does greater data availability open up for improving agriculture and food security?
  • How does reform of developed-country farm support policies affect global food security?
  • How can global governance structures better address problems of food security and nutrition?
  • What major trends and events affected food security and nutrition across the globe in 2017?
Table of Contents
  1. Chapter 1 Food policy in 2017-2018: Progress, uncertainty, and rising antiglobalism [Download]
  2. Chapter 2 Food security: The global food system under radical change [Download]
  3. Chapter 3 Trade: The free flow of goods and food security and nutrition [Download]
  4. Chapter 4 Investment: International investment and local food security [Download]
  5. Chapter 5 Migration: Tightening borders and threats to food security [Download]
  6. Chapter 6 Knowledge and data: Achieving food and nutrition security through open access [Download]
  7. Chapter 7 Developed country policies: Domestic farm policy reform and global food security [Download]
  8. Chapter 8 Global institutions: Governance reform for food, nutrition, and agriculture [Download]
  9. Chapter 9 Regional developments [Download]
  10. Annex Food policy indicators: Tracking change [Download]

How business can make smallholder supply chains resilient

13-14 March 2018, London. How business can make smallholder supply chains resilient. Practical
ways to use the Sustainable Development Goals.

This two-day conference assessed how business can connect the all-encompassing SDGs to their smallholder supply chains – and the business case for doing so. The core themes included:
  • The business case: Is there a business case for pursuing the SDGs, and if there is, what is it?
  • How do you connect the SDGs with smallholder supply chains? The practical steps business can take to align company strategy and practices with the SDGs
  • The future of smallholder farming: The need to progress past subsistence level farming and support farmers’ entrepreneurial development
  • Market access and long-term stability for smallholders: Improved access to markets can help smallholders build their assets and incomes, so how can business help?
  • Farmer co-operatives: Improving farmer co-operatives for increased transparency, integrity, scale and the SDGs
The specific goals included:
  • Goal 2.A: Farmer access to finance and funding Why is it so hard for smallholders to gain access to finance and funding, and how can business can make it easier for them?
  • Goal 2.4: The consequences of climate change Building farmer resilience to unpredictable weather patterns and droughts to ensure food security
  • Goal 5: Gender equality within smallholder farming How can business correct the severe inequalities between male and female farmers?
  • Goal 8.8: Working conditions and human rights on smallholder farms What can business do to ensure the farmers in their supply chains have a decent working conditions?
  • Goal 12.3: Reducing food waste at farm level Best farm management practices, technology and other solutions to reduce and eliminate food waste at the farm level.

Implication of women and youth in Agri business in Burundi

12-15 March 2018. Bujumbura-Burundi. Workshop on the implication of women and youth in Agri business.

La situation actuelle des femmes et des jeunes burundais est qu’ils jouent un rôle essentiel dans les chaînes de valeur agricoles mais leurs contributions restent souvent invisible car ils se trouvent dans les maillons les moins valorisés et sont souvent confrontés à plusieurs problèmes notamment les ressources financières, matériels, etc. L’objectif du réseau AgriProFocus pour ce Programme est de susciter l’implication des jeunes et des femmes dans l’agribusiness et les amener à l’exercer professionnellement.

  • Créer la Communauté d’innovation Jeunes et agribusiness.
  • Developper des fiches d'information sur les opportunités, défis, intervenants,les développements, etc sur 3 chaînes de valeurs Pomme de Terre, Miel et Ananas au Burundi, Rwanda et République Démocratique du Congo.
  • Mettre en relation les jeunes agripreneurs locaux et régionaux. 
  • Faciliter l’apprentissage des jeunes en les liants aux incubateurs ou autres acteurs ou par des échanges inter pays.
  • Faciliter la connexion des Organisations des Producteurs des femmes aux unités de transformation.
  • Collaborer avec les partenaires pour la promotion des activités des jeunes agripreneurs 
  • Faciliter la connexion des femmes entrepreneurs aux femmes de la sous-région.
  • organiser un événement d'apprentissage pour les jeunes entrepreneurs
  • Organiser des compétitions des jeunes entrepreneurs dans 3 chaînes de valeurs Pomme de Terre, apiculture(Miel), et les ananas dans les 3 pays.
  • Formation sur l'intégration du genre dans les chaînes de valeur.
  • Collaborer avec les partenaires pour développer les techniques de conservation et transformation des produits agricole.
  • Faciliter la connexion des femmes productrice en groupements.
  • Faire le Mapping des Jeunes agripreneurs.
  • Faire participer les jeunes agripreneurs dans les émissions radios.
  • Identifier et communiquer sur les opportunités et les défis pour le financement de l’entrepreneuriat des jeunes.
  • Organiser des Business cocktails pour inciter les jeunes à faire réellement de l’agribusiness.
  • Identifier et communiquer sur les opportunités et les défis pour le financement de l’entrepreneuriat des femmes.
  • Organiser des business cocktails pour inciter les femmes à réellement faire l’agriculture comme business.
  • Créer une base de données sur des initiatives des femmes entrepreneurs.

AAIN Agribusiness Incubation Conference

7-9 March. Dakar, Senegal. AAIN Agribusiness Incubation Conference. This year’s theme was “Youth engagement in agribusiness trade and investment”.

AAIN CEO, Alex Ariho, emphasised that the agribusiness conference was designed to bring together incubators and enable them to share, interrogate and shift promising practices to good practices in agribusiness, a sector touted to reach a market value of US$1 trillion (€0.8 trillion) in Africa by 2030.
"Agribusiness creates more jobs than any other sector so it should be top of the agenda for Africa's economic transformation. Agribusiness is a driver of agriculture productivity and agriprenuers need the  experience of what it means to deliver. Inadequate finance, limited experience, poor infrastructure and lack of specific entrepreneurial training are some of the major challenges to agribusiness success." Ralph Von Kaufmann, agribusiness mentor and consultant
Extracts of the programme:
Panel Discussion 3: Financing Agribusinesses Incubation in Africa - Avoiding the Traps
  • Solange Zwandi (Trust Africa)
  • DOSSCHE Eva (Regional Director, TRIAS)
  • Mamadou Gueye (Teranga Capital)
  • Fiona Kyomugisha (Portfolio Manager – AECF)
  • Apollo Segawa (CURAD MD)
  • Mark Fynn (AUC-DREA)
Panel Discussion 6: Increasing Women’s Role in Agribusiness and Enterprise Development
  • Madame Khady Fall TALL (WAWA, President)
  • Charity Kruger (ED, CEARA)
  • Ms. Fati N’zi-Hassane (Head of Skills & Employment for Youth Programme (NEPAD)
  • Elizabeth Nsimadala (EAFF)
  • Naomi Kerring (Media Agripreneur)
  • Mingue Niasse (Programme Manager, Africa Lead)
Panel Discussion 7: Role of Women in Mobilising investment in Business: Landing the Next Financing in Agribusiness
  • Sarah Kataike (Presidents Office, Uganda)
  • Lilian Unwintwali (M-AHWII)
  • Jeff Milanette (Innovative Partners)
  • George Tumwesigye (AAIN)
  • Maness Nkhata (Lakeshore Agro-Processing Enterprise)
  • Aminata Diakite (Mali)
  • Sally Walkerman (Small Foundation)
CTA held an interactive session on how the incubation of women and youth entrepreneurs in agribusiness could be supported through ICT knowledge sharing and peer learning. As one of the co-organisers, CTA also sponsored 30 participants, comprising women and youth agripreneurs, ICT entrepreneurs, and a knowledge management team.

The themes covered in the session align with CTA's strategic interventions on youth entrepreneurship and the new project, VALUE4HER on women in agribusiness. CTA is also currently exploring how ICTs can specifically support agribusiness.

Related: (pre-event)
The AgriBusiness Incubation Management Training
This training targeted Agribusiness incubator managers or individuals keen to establish incubators. It was delivered by professionals and practising incubator managers who have deep experience on different models on how to set up, manage, finance an incubator, evaluate performance, and design mentoring programs. The training program was designed to be experiential and interwoven with content within the conference.

This training module was complemented by a training session on how to Establish and Manage a Small Scale Incubator Hub

Friday, March 9, 2018

ACCESS Agriculture Cotonou official opening

Bonaventure Kouakanou, Director of the Office of the Minister,
cuts the ribbon to open the new Access Agriculture office on
the IITA campus in Cotonou, Benin.
7 March 2018. Cotonou, Benin. Access Agriculture moved into new office for West and Central Africa. Located on the campus of the research organisation IITA, the new facility gives the opportunity to interact with visitors to the site and showcase how “farmer to farmer” videos can help transform livelihoods for smallholder farmers.

Dr. Paul Van Mele, Chairman of Access Agriculture; Dr. Nelson Ojijo, Executive Secretary; and Dr. Dominique Hounkonnou, board member were all present at the ceremony. 

They were joined by their partners in Benin including University of Abomey-Calavi, University of Parakou, DEDRAS, Songhai Centre. DEDRAS, Helvetas Benin, IFDC, Technoserve Benin, PNUD, INRAB (National Research Center), AfricaRice, World Vegetable Center, Bioversity International, and CIVA projects.

The Access Agriculture office is expected to become a hub for collaboration with other organisations committed to working in local languages.

More details about the work of Access Agriculture and its social media platform Agtube can be found at www.accessagriculture.organd

Smallholder and SME Investment Finance (SIF) Fund

The SIF will offer an investment opportunity for donors, DFIs, private sector foundations and investors that have expressed early interest in the concept and are seeking to reach IFAD’s target groups to improve production and productivity significantly.

The SIF will leverage IFAD’s portfolio of public sector-funded programmes, its de-risking mechanisms through IFAD’s regular portfolio from replenishment fund, financial instruments, public- private producer partnership mechanism, and mobile information platform, blending opportunities with other partners, its smallholder organizations client base, and its field presence and retailing capacity, garnered over 40 years of work in rural development financing. The IFAD portfolio and de-risking mechanism is the main “pillar” of the Framework for Smallholder Agricultural Finance (SAFIN).

Collective Action on empowering rural communities as drivers of agricultural innovation

20-21 February 2018. Derio, Bilbao, Spain. Partners in GFAR held a workshop to launch a Collective Action on empowering rural communities as drivers of agricultural innovation, by making farmers real participants in research processes. 

The workshop participants wrestled with what participatory research really should look like and who should be involved, and how they made commitments to take forward the elaboration and implementation of this Collective Action!

A GFAR Collective Action on empowering rural communities to determine their own futures was also launched to make use of participatory foresight method, to produce research and innovations that truly address farmers’ problems as they see them. With their foresight capacity built, find out what the young practitioners at the core of the new Africa Foresight Academy are doing to advance #Foresight4Ag!
  • What is participatory research? Who actually participates in what, and how?
  • Is it only happening in individual countries, in certain projects? If so, how can it be scaled up?
  • What kind of change is needed to make research processes participatory? Is it about attitudes, governance structures, policies, funding channels?
  • What kind of partners and partnerships are essential?
These were some of the questions participants came to grapple with during the two-day workshop, The Partners were there to develop a strategy, a design for a Collective Action.
The goal of all approaches to making research more participatory is to end up with fewer publications collecting dust on the shelves, and more farmers benefitting from the knowledge this research has to offer. More technologies effectively made available and usable by farmers. Importantly, though, it’s also about finding ways to integrate farmers’ own traditional knowledge and techniques with the findings of research institutions in the best possible way. It’s about empowering smallholder family farmers to innovate in agriculture themselves, rather than to just be occasional recipients in a research pipeline.

Three key features as pillars of the Collective Action:
  1. Feature 1: Sustaining innovative research in favor of smallholder family farmer should have a dual participatory dimension, both at the level of the specific activities that support this type of research, grounded at local and country experience, and among the actors themselves, to constitute the initial working nucleus of GFAR partners designing the Collective Action. This nucleus will perform its own self-analysis to identify the room and potential for improvement of respective roles and contributions. This Working Group will be comprised of representatives from the Partners in GFAR participating in the Collective Action who have made commitments to drive it forward.
  2. Feature 2: Existing cases where institutional and operational innovations in governance of research with/of family farmers are taking place will be put at the center of the activities. The Working Group will build on experiences of the Partners themselves in order to address the challenges to making research processes truly participatory: the way their decision-making processes work – or don’t work – in favor of smallholder family farms within their organizations and in partnership with others.
  3. Feature 3: Throughout the elaboration of the Concept Note design, partnership quality assessment criteria inspired by what was discussed at the workshop will be applied to monitor the process of partnership building and ensure it is coherent with the values of participatory research.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

African demand for weather and climate services, and business models for private sector engagement

21 February 2018. Webinar.
The Assessing Sustainability and Effectiveness of Climate Information Services (Sustainable CIS) project, which is part USAID’sLearning Agenda for Climate Services in Sub-Saharan Africa, has recently published two blogs and a webinar recording on ‘African demand for weather and climate services, and business models for private sector engagement’ that may be of interest to you all:

  • The Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Delivering Climate Information Services in Africa. Recognizing the role public-private partnerships (PPPs) could play in advancing CIS in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Assessing Sustainability and Effectiveness of Climate Information Services in Africa (Sustainable CIS) project is identifying and piloting effective models for establishing robust PPPs in this sector. While many African countries have experience in establishing PPPs in agriculture, infrastructure and healthcare, PPPs for CIS are still nascent. Successful PPPs require clear motivation and benefit to all parties. Read more here.
  • Strengthening Climate Information Services in Africa: Where are the Opportunities? "Climate sensitive information needs to reach the right people for the appropriate decision that needs to be is not just about useful information, but about valuable information based on user needs". This widely agreed-upon statement was made by Youcef Ait Chellouche of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in September 2017, when the Africa meteorology and hydromet community came together to call for regional cooperation, gender-inclusion, and private sector engagement to improve climate information services (CIS). Read more here.
Millions of dollars in investments have been made in weather and climate infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the past few decades, yet sustainable Climate Information Services (CIS) remain elusive. This webinar examined what is happening in the African region today, and how CIS developments can be leveraged to create investment cycles that meet the needs of end users.

This webinar drew on the findings from a soon to be published white paper ‘A CIS market assessment and business model review’. The demand for CIS was illustrated through case studies of current markets in SSA. Two private sector actors showcased examples of their work and how they engage with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and other government agencies. Additionally, the demand for services to integrate climate information into infrastructure planning and design decisions was discussed, based on a recent research study.

  1. Dimitar Ivanov (World Meteorological Organisation) WMO Public Private Engagement Policy – PPE in the Global Weather Enterprise Context Skip to Dimitar's presentation 08:26 
  2. Robert O’Sullivan (Winrock International) Climate Information Services in sub-Saharan Africa – A Review of the Market and Private Sector Engagement Skip to Robert's presentation 18:16 
  3. Ari Davidov (Earth Networks) Innovative Meteorological Early Warning Systems and Public Private Partnerships for Climate Change Adaptation in African Least Developed Countries Skip to Ari's presentation 27:58 
  4. David McAfee (Viamo) A Sustainable Climate Information Service for Africa and Asia Skip to David's presentation 36:10 
  5. Jean-Pierre Roux (SouthSouthNorth) Analysing Demand for Services to Integrate Climate Information into Infrastructure Planning and Design Decisions Skip to Jean-Pierre's presentation 45:50

Monday, March 5, 2018

Funds and governments to invest in African agrifood SMEs

28 February 2018. Rabobank Foundation, AgriProFocus, Food and the Business Knowledge Platform and ICCO Cooperation published the study ‘Critical Capital for African Agrifood SMEs’. The study evaluates the access of risk capital by agrifood SMEs (small and medium enterprises). SMEs are key for establishing sustainable food systems, while at the same time face difficulties to access capital.

Offer agrifood SMEs an assortment of services
The study focuses on agrifood SMEs that form the ‘missing middle’: too large for micro-finance and too small for mainstream banks and private equity firms. A major conclusion is that there are very few investment funds that meet the financing needs of agrifood SMEs, that are usually under 250.000 USD and rarely higher than 1M USD. Such smaller investments are tedious and costly for investment funds, even for those set up with the explicit goal to stimulate the development of the agrifood sector.

The report therefore calls on policy makers to promote a graduation strategy, that allows investors to offer an assortment of services to agrifood SMEs that match their development stage. Governments and international development agencies can contribute to such a strategy by reorganising investment funds; giving them a wider mandate and access to relevant financial resources.

Importance of agrifood SMEs for food security
Large portions of the African population continue to be food insecure despite availability of natural resources. Food supply is constrained by low productivity of soil and water, huge post-harvest losses, climate change, and poorly functioning value chains. Agrifood SMEs occupy critical positions along the value chains: as input suppliers, off-takers, processors, distributors, service providers or otherwise. They constitute a pull factor, aggregating large groups of smallholder farmers into the value chain, which can lead to better livelihoods and food security.

About the research
Apart from desk research, the study involved field research in four countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Mali). Local researchers interviewed investment funds, agrifood SMEs, and relevant resource persons. This resulted in examples of successful SMEs that had raised capital, thereby boosting their development, and of SMEs that could not access such funds. The study also presents an overview of existing investment funds for agrifood SMEs in Africa.

You can download the research report HERE

Sunday, March 4, 2018

February PAEPARD blog posts

Blog posts related to ARD activities in February 2018

2 March 2018. Brussels. African Diaspora Projects Initiative 2018 call for projects.
2.       Sourcing while respecting biodiversity new resources ****
1st March 2018. Brussels. Mainstreaming of effective biodiversity protection in the agri-food sector is a necessity. Biodiversity is an essential component of a transition towards sustainable food systems, and should be discussed with food companies and stakeholders and supported by Governments and Institutions.
28 February 2018. Déterminants de la diffusion des technologies en milieu rural avec les vidéos: cas des bonnes pratiques de transformation de soja en fromages au Bénin.
28 February 2018. Gent.
28 February 2018. Webinar
6.       Mycotoxin Analysis: A Focus on Rapid Methods new resource ***
56 pages. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) collaborated with the African Union Commission (AUC) to make this publication available. Proper detection is the basis to deal with mycotoxins including aflatoxins which are invisible poisons.
22 and 28 February 2018. GFAR webinars
22-23 February 2018. Arlington, Virginia, US. The Agricultural Outlook Forum is the USDA’s largest annual meeting, attracting as many as 2,000 attendees from the U.S. and abroad.
22 February 2018. Harare, Zimbabwe. MYTOX SOUTH dissemination workshop.
15 February 2018. Brussels. DevCo InfoPoint. The European Commission intends to seize all opportunities for promoting nutrition-sensitive food systems.
12.   Write-shop joint IDRC-ACIAR call PAEPARD activity
12 to 16 February 2018. Entebbe, Uganda.
15th February 2018. Abuja, Nigeria.
14 February 2018. Rome. The Farmer Field Schools (FFS) approach is currently implemented in over 90 countries
15.   Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship in Ivory Coast PAEPARD participation+ video
11 February 2018.  Cairo, Egypt. Third edition of the 2018 Africa STI Forum.
16.   FASO-PRO une startup Burkinabè Chenille de karité PAEPARD participation+ video
11 February 2018.  Cairo, Egypt. Third edition of the 2018 Africa STI Forum.
17.   Third Africa Science, Technology and Innovation Forum PAEPARD participation+ video
10-12 February 2018. Cairo, Egypt. The theme of the third edition of the 2018 Africa STI Forum, co-organized by the African Development Bank and the Egyptian Government,  was “Enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector and transforming Africa through science, technology and innovation”. In the blog post you will find the MINISTERIAL DECLARATION  (6 pages) and a PAEPARD video interview with  Prof. Hany El Shemy, Co-Chair, EU- AU High level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation which is embedded in the blog post.
7- 9 February 2018. Berlin. Fruit Logistica
14-17 February 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany. Biofach-Vivaness
8 February 2018. Outcome report of the FOOD 2030 conference. 60 pages
7 February 2018. Brussels. Infopoint Lunchtime conference.
5-6 February 2018. Abu Dhabi.  GFIA 2018 
22.   ARD funding opportunities PAEPARD activity
This EASAC report combines analysis of the current status in Europe with exploration of ways forward. Funders who support agriculture and nutrition research need to focus much more of their resources on food intake and on diets. The era of commodity research aimed at feeding a starving world is over; a new era has begun that requires us to nourish all consumers globally in ways that can be sustained environmentally, economically and culturally.
Upscaling of sustainable-intensification systems such as conservation agriculture, which has shown great capacity to increase farm productivity and climate-resilience while reducing environmental degradation, has yet seen limited uptake in sub-Saharan Africa
27 January 2018. African Heads of State gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 30th African Union Summit to discuss issues vital to the continent’s progress and prospect.
24 January 2018. Brussels
Ajayi M.T, Fatunbi AO and Akinbamijo O. O (2018). Strategies for ScalingAgricultural Technologies in Africa. Forum for Agricultural Research inAfrica (FARA), Accra Ghana

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More:  forthcoming ARD conferencesat the bottom of the PAEPARD wiki and PAEPARD blog