Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

2018 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium

17-19 October  2018. Des Moines, Iowa. USA. The theme of the 2018 Borlaug Dialogue, Rise to the Challenge, explored the massive effort to feed 9.5 billion people expected by 2050. Failing to meet this challenge will impact the entire world population, not just the hungry.

The ability to access adequate nutrition is as much as stake as the ability to access an adequate amount of calories. Rising poverty coupled with deepening health and disease concerns could devastate our world as a whole. Unsustainable farming practices threaten our environment with increased pollution, resource depletion, and loss of biodiversity. The risk of conflict powered by hunger and resource scarcity skyrockets.

Debates (extract)

Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation
  • Jennifer Blanke—Vice President of Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, African Development Bank
  • Lawrence Kent—Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Nteranya Sanginga (see picture)—Director General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
  • Roy Steiner—Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation

Take it to the Agripreneur: Financial Institutions and Capital Investment in Agriculture
  • Geoff Andersen—Director, Regional Ag Strategic Planning, John Deere Africa
  • B.J. Marttin—Member of the Managing Board, Rabobank Group
  • Hon. Prof. Ruth Oniang'o (see picture)—Chair of the Board, Sasakawa Africa Foundation
  • Simon Winter—Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture

Startups: The Next Crop of Agribusiness Leaders

CRISPR: Regulatory Challenges and Opportunities
  • Louise Fresco—Member of the WFP Council of Advisors & President of Wageningen University & Research
  • Greg Jaffe—Biotechnology Project Director, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)
  • Daniel Voytas—Chief Science Officer, Calyxt & Professor, University of Minnesota
  • Ren Wang—Special Advisor to the President, Beijing Genomics Institute

The Fall Armyworm: Advancing Threat to Global Food Security
  • Rob Bertram—Chief Scientist, USAID - Bureau for Food Security
  • Dr. Eluid Kireger—Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization
  • Martin Kropff—Director General, CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico)
  • Mandefro Nigussie—Director General, Ethiopian Institute of Agriculture
  • Pedro Sanchez—2002 Laureate

Leading Women in Food and Agricultural Research
  • Kathryn Boor—The Ronald P. Lynch Dean College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
  • Helene Dillard—Dean, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences – University of California, Davis
  • Kathryn VandenBosch—Dean & Director, University of Wisconsin – Madison, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Wendy Wintersteen—Member of the WFP Council of Advisors & President, Iowa State University

World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony

Side events 16 October
Side events 17 October
  • H.E. Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina (Keynote Speaker) - 2017 World Food Prize Laureate
  • Hon. Prof. Ruth K Oniang'o - Chair of the Board, Sasakawa Africa Foundation
  • Hon. Prof Yaye Kène Gassama - National Academy of Sciences, Senegal
  • Dr. Dianah R. Ngonyama (see picture) - President of the Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora (AAAPD)
  • Mark Edge - Director of Collaborations for Developing Countries, Bayer CropScience Co.
  • Dr. Ed Mabaya - African Development Bank, Manager - Agribusiness Development Division, Agriculture & Agro-industry Department
Side events 18 October

Programming Research and Innovation for Improved Impact

30-31 October 2018. Brussels. The SCAR Strategic Working Groups ARCH, AKIS and Food Systems meeting.
  • SCAR: Standing Ccommitte on Agricultural Research
  • ARCH: European Agricultural Research towards greater impact on global CHallenges.
  • AKIS: Agricultural Information and Knowledge Systems
Extracts of the agenda:

Update on the EU-Africa Partnership 
  • Working Group on FNSSA and launch of LEAP-Agri projects by Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer 8–10 October 2018, Bari, Italy. LEAP-Agri Project’s Kick-Off Meeting of ERA-Net LEAP-Agri Funded Projects.
    The ERA-NET Cofund LEAP-Agri (2016-2021) is a partnership between partners from 19 European and African countries and the European Commission aimed at research and innovation on food and nutrition security as well as sustainable agriculture, including aquaculture. 27 collaborative European African projects have been selected for funding by the 24 LEAP-Agri funding agencies, based on an international Independent Review panel evaluation and ranking.

  • Launch of LEAP4FNSSA, by Agnieszka ROMANOWICZ (see picture) Support to the implementation of the Long-term EU-AU Research and Innovation Partnership for Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (Leap4FNSSA)
    Project start date: 01/11/2018
    Project end date: 31/10/2022Project partners: 34 partners

    The general objective of Leap4FNSSA is to establish a sustainable structure, or ‘Platform’, for the efficient and coherent implementation of the AU-EU Research and Innovation Partnership as described in the FNSSA Roadmap. Under the aegis of the HLPD and its Bureau, and by building upon related projects such as RINEA, CAAST-Net Plus, ProIntensAfrica and LEAP-Agri, Leap4FNSSA aims to achieve this overall objective through three specific objectives: - Increase the synergies and coherence between actors, research and innovation projects, initiatives and programmes, through the development of institutional alliances and clusters of projects;
    - Develop a learning environment and a large knowledge base, including monitoring and evaluation activities, creating communication and links between different initiatives to improve STI cooperation;
    - Establish a long term and sustainable governance and funding mechanism for the Platform.

    To reach these objectives, Leap4FNSSA will build on a large consortium of experienced partners and implement a methodology based on 3 principles: long-term impact, relevance of the outputs to the HLPD, and innovative actions. Long-term impact of the CSA relates to its main objective to enable and catalyse the transformation of the existing AU EU FNSSA Partnership into a bicontinental Platform for collaboration, organised along a Knowledge and Management Communication Framework.

    Outputs relevant to the HLPD will be achieved by connecting and framing activities of all Work Packages on top of the supporting activities specifically requested in the SFS-33-2018. Innovative actions are foreseen to run the Platform efficiently throughout e.g. the development of a new approach to information mapping, text and data mining, and testing of multistakeholder alliances at a regional level and the mobilisation of actors to manage research and innovation programming in a 4-steps management cycle.
  • DG AGRI’s Africa Task Force by Agnieszka ROMANOWICZ 
  • This Task Force is to provide expertise, advice and possible recommendations in relation to enhancing the role of the EU agrifood and agroindustrial sector in the job-creating economic, sustainable development of the African continent. It will also identify means to accelerate economic impact through fostering responsible EU private investment in support of African agriculture, agri-business and agroindustries in a sustainable way, taking into account existing cooperation frameworks (in particular the EIP, the SB4A, the Abidjan Action Plan, and other types of development assistance, trade and investment agreements and instruments, cooperation in multilateral fora). Members of this group were selected via a call for applications.
  • Update on DeSIRA, by Christophe Larose
    DESIRA is, a new European funding mechanism for a new vision of research for development. It is an initiative from the Commission, which spends 1 Billion Euros a year for Agriculture and food security. The aim is to accelerate development, with innovations that are science-based: development smart innovations through research in agriculture. In that context, DGDEVCO funding to research entities should be influential on the 1 billion Euros it spends overall on agricultural development. It aims for embedded research in national development agendas. The program kick started with 90 mEuros/yr over 3 years. Gates will bring 300m USD over the same 3 years. Climate change is an overarching objective. Resources from the Commission might be topped-up by resources by other interested member states. It is not another mega call for proposals. Development practitioners (agencies, commission, GIZ, BMZ...) are consulted on: what is the demand for research in countries? How can we put more science in the development portfolio?

    There is a need for nn ampler choice of technological options, promote partnerships with local research ands bring together European universities that operate in given countries. Bridge research programs with development practitioners. The first contracting will be early 2019.

    A next consultation is 
    planned for 05-09/11/2018. Addis Ababa. Seminar for Food and Nutrition Security Coordination of the EU Delegations in Eastern and Southern Africa (CODESA)
Standing Ccommitte on Agricultural Research impact assessment framework

Ex Ante Impact assessment
A small group of representatives from the SCAR Strategic Working Groups ARCH, AKIS and Food Systems prepared a Policy Brief regarding Ex Ante Impact assessment based on discussions and conclusions from a jointly held workshop in Rome on 6th April 2018.
  • The workshop consisted of Key Note Speakers showing how to ex ante programme research and innovation for improved impact, at the international, national and regional scales. This was followed by Panel Discussions with experts drawn from the EC, IFAD, FAO, OECD, CREA and open discussions with participants.
  • The aim of the workshop was to provide, to funders and researchers, concrete recommendations on how to strengthen programming of research and innovation to reach tangible impacts

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Increasing global food demand provides opportunities for young African entrepreneurs

23 October 2018. In this year’s group of 20 fellows selected for the African Leadership Academy’s Anzisha Prize (presented in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation), there are four young entrepreneurs (hailing from Uganda, Kenya, Benin and Cameroon) who also firmly believe that the future holds promise for African agripreneurs.

A youth-led Kenyan avocado farm turns into a smallholder agricultural development companyKevin Kibet, 22. Kibet’s company, FarmMoja, gives smallholder farmers inputs, training and access to reliable markets. “We currently employs seven people and guarantees job security to at least 130 farmers,” Kibet says. Since its inception in 2016, the company has distributed inputs to 30 farmers and has 1,000 avocado trees planted on its seven-acre plot of farmland. “By the end of next year (2019) I am hoping to have reached 500 farmers, in three years 1,000 farmers and within the next 12 years a million farmers,” he says of his future goals for the company.
Transforming smallholder farm produce into packaged convenience foods in BeninThe founder of Africa Foods Mill, 21-year-old Aldred Dogue, realised that small-scale farmers in his home country Benin were incurring losses, as their produce would often not make it to the markets on time. He immediately saw an opportunity and established a company that could capitalise on this gap. Africa Foods Mill has a product line that includes pre-cooked cabbage, carrots and green beans – all sourced in Cotonou and Abomey-Calavi in Benin, and then sold to supermarkets in the area. This has limited post-harvest waste for many farmers, subsequently raising their income. Dogue has been awarded the Best Business Plan Award from the Young People’s Chamber of Commerce in Benin for the successes already achieved through his venture.
Monetising the lucrative and underserved opportunities for mushroom farming in Uganda
Kisseka Samson created a farming co-operative called Hello Mushrooms U Ltd that supplies inputs to growers, offers free training and provides buy-back facilities in exchange for a commission. The company currently has 15 farmers enlisted as suppliers and the produce is sold to 20 commercial wholesalers, retailers and individual customers.

Cameroonian tomato and chicken farmer now entering the beauty industry with snail serumFarmer’s Forte is a company founded and run by 22-year-old Awah Ntseh, who grew up in Douala, Cameroon. The young entrepreneur has always been interested in agriculture and farming. He originally started with tomato crop production and chicken farming in 2015 but had the idea to research the benefits of snail mucin (slime) when a passerby remarked some years ago that she had used this substance to heal a skin problem she had suffered from. Ntseh subsequently added a snail farm to Farmer’s Forte’s portfolio after research showed that the mucin did indeed have various skincare benefits. His company now sells the snail serum alongside a range of other beauty products, including coconut oil, neem and aloe vera.

East Africa needs a regional research agenda

22-24 October 2018. Kampala, Uganda. A high-level meeting brought together members of national research institutions, policy institutions and government within Uganda, including senior decision makers, to explore approaches to enable an equitable research system in the country. 

The meeting tackled important questions such as: how national research systems can nurture a wider pool of research talent and how to foster an inclusive research and knowledge system that enables a diversity of voices and opinions to contribute to national development.

The event was hosted by and has been developed in partnership with Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST). Based in Kampala, UNCST develops and implements ways to incorporate science and technology in Uganda’s national development process and advises the government on relevant policy matters and coordinates research and development activities in the country.

The meeting defined a shared vision; articulate the key challenges and gaps that limit equitable access to, use of and full contribution by researchers and institutions to the national research and development agenda; and developed a plan for a holistic, equitable, collaborative and sustainable research system that is capable of contributing to national development priorities of response. It will include speakers from Uganda’s Ministry of Science and Technology, Resilient Africa Network, universities across the country, UNESCO and Sida, as well as from UNCST and INASP.

The six key areas for discussion were:
  • Uganda’s national research system and who is shaping the future
  • Research funding and its drivers
  • Gender inequity
  • The obstacles within the global economy that impede African knowledge transfer and application
  • The dynamics of North-South research collaborations
  • The global knowledge pool: is it restricted and who determines access and contribution?
Ms. Gertrude Ngabirano, the executive secretary East African Science and Technology Commission
( EASTEco) an East African Community institute told the researchers that working together as a group would help East Africa share the high costs associated with research.
“We are small economies. Infrastructure is expensive. It makes sense to work together and share results. It is easy to work together since the region faces the same challenges. Each country within the region would be given areas where they have comparative advantage so that they put their best talent there, citing Uganda taking coffee."
In research international organisations are already using the specialisation model for some time.
  • For instance the just ended World Bank programme, the East African Agricultural Productivity Programme (EAAPP) selected countries depending on their comparative advantages. Uganda was selected to host the Cassava Centre for Excellence, Ethiopia was selected to host wheat, Tanzania rice, while Kenya was given dairy.
  • The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) also host specific programmes in different countries. Nigeria hosts the international centre for Cassava, Philippines hosts one for rice, Kenya one for livestock and forests, Peru for potato.

USAID awards second phase of funding to Genomics to Improve Poultry Innovation Lab

25 October 2018. Throughout Africa, chickens are vital to family nourishment, income and food security. But African poultry production is threatened by an extremely virulent Newcastle disease virus that can decimate entire flocks within days.

UC Davis researchers are leading an international effort to identify genes crucial to breeding chickens with enhanced resistance to Newcastle disease and heat stress. Their project--the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Genomics to Improve Poultry--recently received a $5 million award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to continue its work improving poultry production in Africa and throughout the world.
"This project will help protect chickens from deadly Newcastle disease in areas where poultry vaccinations are not feasible, as well as boost the effectiveness of vaccinations. Increasing the production of chicken and eggs can have a dramatic impact on nourishment and livelihoods in poor, rural communities." Huaijun Zhou, the UC Davis geneticist and animal science professor. Zhou is program director of the innovation lab and the U.S. national poultry genome coordinator. 

Devastating Newcastle disease
  • Newcastle disease is the number one avian virus on the continent. It's highly contagious and kills about 750 million chickens annually in Africa alone. The disease is controlled through vaccinations in the U.S. and other developed countries, but many families in rural villages don't have access to reliable vaccines.
  • One of the most difficult aspects of the project is that disease and heat resistance, as well as production and growth rate, are complex traits, which means they are controlled by many genes working together.
  • The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Genomics to Improve Poultry was launched in 2013 with a $6 million award from USAID. With this new five-year, $5 million award, the team will continue to hone in on genes of interest.

Monday, October 29, 2018

16th Globelics Conference

24-25 October 2018. Accra, Ghana. 2018 GLOBELICS International Conference.


The 16th Globelics Conference was hosted by the CSIR-Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) in collaboration with Africalics.

Ghana is the fourth African country after South Africa, Senegal and Ethiopia to host the GLOBELICS annual Conference. This presented an opportunity to showcase Ghana. There is a government agenda to create an industry in every district to generate jobs and improve livelihoods especially in the rural areas. The output of the Conference was expected to contribute immensely to the options of the government in achieving this flagship project dubbed “one district one factory”.

Special Session F: “Agricultural Innovation System” 
  • Prof. Felix Asante, ISSER, University of Ghana 
  • Prof. K.J. Joseph, Center for Development Studies, India 
  • Dr Dorothy Effah, AGRA, Ghana 
  • Ms Nora Ndege, African Centre for Technology Studies (ATPS), Kenya
  • Prof. Peter Knorringa, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague 
  • Ms Mikanay Hailemaria Seifu, Wageningen University and Mekelle University, Ethiopia 
  • Prof. Kehinde Taiwo, National Center for Technology Management, Nigeria.

4 PER 1000 Africa symposium on soils for food security

24 - 26 October 2018. Johannesburg, South Africa. "4 PER 1000"Africasymposium on soils for food security and climate was organised by the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency and Regeneration International.

NEPAD is the implementing agency of the African Union, aiming at eradicating poverty and fostering Africa's sustainable growth and development through the promotion of regional and continental integration. It facilitates and coordinates the development of NEPAD continent-wide programs and projects, mobilises resources and engages the global community, regional economic communities and member states in the implementation of these programs and projects. Under the area of work “Natural Resources Governance and Food Security”, four programs are being coordinated by NEPAD:
  1. Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)
  2. African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100)
  3. Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)
  4. Sahel and West Africa Program in Support of the Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI)
These four programs deal directly with the target topics of the 4 per 1000 initiative, namely climate change and food security. A key objective of the symposium was to bring together relevant stakeholders active in these three programs to explore and introduce synergies between them and the 4 per 1000 initiative.

  • Climate change from an African and global perspective - challenges and opportunities - Mr. Pascal Martinez (see picture), the GEF
  • What are the existing Instruments to address those issues and Challenges in Africa – General presentation of the Initiatives: CAADP, AFR100, CSA, GGW - Mr. Martin Bwalya  (see picture), Mr. Amb Amadou Diallo,
    Mr. Augustin Wambo Yamdjeu,
  • Overview of Africa’s potential as part of the global solution and success stories on the ground -Mr. Andre Leu, Regeneration International
  • Case Study: Soil programs in South Africa and the importance of data and information systems - Mr. Ramakgwale Klaas Mampholo, DAFF
  • Case study: Multi-country-program Soil Protection and soil Rehabilitation for Food Security (Mr. Alexander Erlewein, GIZ 
  • Case Africa Centre for Holistic Management – experiences from Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa - Mr. Simon Garikayi, Africa Centre for Holistic Management
  • The importance of healthy living soils in sustaining increased productivity and ecosystem services - Mr. Ermias Betemariam (see picture) and Leigh Winowiecki (see picture) , UNCCD-SPI/ICRAF/WLE
  • Success story from Ethiopia - Conservation-Based Agricultural Development-Led Industrialization - Mr. Atinkut Mezgebu Wubneh, Government of National State of Tigray
  • Food Security – concepts, dimensions and strategies - Mr. Jean-Luc Chotte, IRD France
  • Achievements in food security on the ground - Mr. Rolf Shenton, Grassroots Trust Zambia
  • Adapting agriculture to climate change in Africa – the answers from science - Mr. Rachid Moussadek, INRA Morocco
  • Agricultural communities adapting to climate change - Ms. Ntombizakhe (Zakhe) Mpofu Mlilo, ORAP Zenzele South Africa
  • Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and removals – potentials and contribution to global climate change mitigation - Mr. John Recha, CGIAR-CCAFS/ILRI
SA-EU dialogue on soil information
22 to 23 October 2018, Agricultural Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa

Southern Africa regional hub from CIRCASA
23 October 2018, Birchwood Hotel

Background 4/1000 Initiative
The 4 per 1000 initiative was launched in 2015 at the UNFCCC COP21 as part of the Lima-Paris Plan of action and the follow-up Global Climate Action Plan adopted at the COP22.
  • The overarching goal of this initiative is to assist contributing countries and non-state organisations to develop evidence-based projects, actions and programs to promote and encourage actions towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions through protecting and increasing the amount of soil carbon. 
  • The target rate of a “4 per 1000” (0.4%) per year represents hereby an aspirational goal. 
  • The initiative aims to avoid loss of organic matter from soils and improve soil carbon sequestration with the ultimate goal of improving food security and reducing climate change.
  • Learn more about the initiative.

AgroWorld 2018

25- 27 October 2018.  New Delhi, India.

The Indian Council of Food and Agriculture with the support of the Government of India and several States and in technical collaborations with a large number of industry associations and international bodies, organised the AgroWorld 2018.

The purpose was to introduce contemporary agriculture –agri and allied sectors with their best
practices, technologies, processing and marketing that can inevitably help countless farmers and platform owners,

This knowledge and trade event encompassed industry-oriented topics, opportunities for startups, international participation and much more.
  • India's domestic demand for food is expected to go up considerably with increasing population. Indian agriculture needs advanced farming systems, agri services, planting material, farm machinery, agroprocessing equipment, crop care and soil health products, dairy, poultry and fishery technologies, infrastructure, value chain models, agri and food businesses and substantial participation in global food and agro trade
  • As India’s institutions are providing global expertise and cooperation, it has become the gateway to almost two dozen Asian countries and the whole African continent. Though 8% of world’s food is grown here, the share in global trade remains dismal at 2%.
  • For enhanced sustainability, food safety and quality standards, ICFA has taken up the Agriculture Stewardship Program by launching Healthy Food Initiative program and Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) project
  • In a short period of two years, the Council has signed up MoUs with the University of California, University of Maryland, Michigan State University, Iowa State University, Western Australia University, German Agribusiness Alliance, Borlaug Institute for South Asia, African Asian Rural Development Organization and IFPRI etc. 
  • Through international partnerships, ICFA envisions to mobilise technologies and investments that will catalyse agribusiness and agri start- ups.

Strengthening sustainable food and nutrition security in Africa

Yemi Akinbamijo, Prof. El Dukheri, Mr. Mphumuzi Sukati
22 - 26 October 2018. KICC,Nairobi, Kenya. The 2018 RUFORUM Biennial conference overall theme was “Aligning African Universities to accelerate attainment of Africa’s Agenda 2063”

26 October 2018. Panel debate Strengthening sustainable food and nutrition security in Africa
Food and nutrition security remain Africa’s most fundamental challenges for human welfare and economic growth. Far too many people on the continent are unable to acquire and effectively utilize at all times the food they need for a healthy life. Because of low food availability and profound poverty, an estimated 200 million people on the continent are undernourished, and their numbers are on the increase by an estimated 20% since the last two decades. 

The result is that more than a third of African children are stunted in their growth and must face a range of physical and cognitive challenges not faced by their better-fed peers. Undernutrition is the major risk factor underlying over 28% of all deaths in Africa (some 2.9 million deaths annually)

  • The continuing human costs of inadequate food and nutrition are enormous
  • and the aggregate costs of food and nutrition insecurity at the national level impose a heavy burden on efforts to foster sustained economic growth and improved general welfare.
This Session on Food and Nutritional Security in Africa built on previous efforts to catalyze action towards accelerated and sustained attainment of the ARNS 2015 – 2025 objectives and the on-going dialogue on “Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020: Prioritizing Actions, Strengthening Actors and Facilitating Collaboration”.

Specifically, the session :
  • Presented and discussed selected case studies on the status of food and nutritional security in Africa. 
  • Generated context specific actions needed to address food and nutrition insecurity in Africa.
  • Assessed the status of implementation of the ARNS 2015 – 2025 and indeed STISA 2024 Priority One on reducing poverty and reducing food and nutrition security in relation to National, sub-regional and global frameworks on food security and nutrition, especially STISA 2024 Priority One. 
  • Developed recommendations and modalities that will accelerate implementation of actions in the ARNS 2015 – 2025 and achievement of STISA 2024 Priority One 
  • Moderator: Dr. Habiba Hassan-Wassef, Medical Doctor and Nutrition Expert, Egypt
    Introduction by highlighting the overall question to be addressed “why Africa attainment of food and nutrition security remains elusive for Africa, and what needs to be done in the short and longterm?”
  • Lead Speaker: Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, FARA
    Case studies on Global and National level successes and failures in the fight against Food and Nutritional Security: Is the Malabo Declaration helping? What key actions are needed? 
  • Prof. El Dukheri, Director General, Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development
    What are key measures that will help buffer food and nutritional security in Africa? What role could Arab-Africa partnership play on this?
  • Mr. Mphumuzi Sukati, FAO Regional Office for Africa
    What are the current nutritional challenges and capacity gaps that should be addressed in support of actions towards better nutritional security for Africa?
  • Prof. Lise Korsten, Co-Director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security, University of Pretoria, South Africa
    What resources can Africa leverage to better the food and nutrition status?

  • Professor Anselimo Makokha, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya 
    How can we effectively mobilize political action to support efforts for food security and nutritional issues in Africa: Experiences from FAO?
  • Dr. Mary Shawa, Principal Secretary of Ministry Gender, Children, Disabilities and Social Welfare in Malawi.
PAEPARD video interview with Prof. El Dukheri, Director General, Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development (AOAD). He answers following questions:
  • What is the new business of delivery of the AOAD? 
  • Can the pocessing of orphan crops in North Africa create jobs?

Related: 19 March 2018, Abu Dhabi. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reaffirmed its support to date palm production and development in the Near East region, including tackling the threat of Red Palm Weevil and improving the date palm value chain.
  • The date palm is a symbol of life in the Near East and North Africa region. It is critical to the food security of the people who depend on it thanks to its unique nutritional properties. The date palm also plays a significant role in the economies of countries in the region, which includes the top 10 date-producing countries, representing 90% of the global date production.
  • FAO has also renewed its alliance with the Arab Organization for Agriculture Development (AOAD) and the Khalifa Award Secretariat for the protection and sustainable development of the date palm value chain.
30 October 2018. Cairo. Agricultural cooperation can help develop Egypt's relations with Africa, said Ezzedine Abu Stait. Addressing the African affairs committee of parliament, the Egyptian agriculture minister said President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi pays particular attention to relations with Africa, noting that Egypt is now back to lead the continent after a period of marginalization. He said there are eight Egyptian model farms in eight African countries, noting that his Ministry plans to have a total of 22 farms across the continent by 2020.
  • Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea, Tanzania, Zambia, and Congo have established pilot model farms with areas ranging between 500 and 600 acres.
  • Egypt provides the necessary technology for the development of agriculture in these countries and exports seed varieties that are environmentally compatible with the climate of each country, while those countries provide infrastructure, water resources, and labour for agriculture. 
  • These projects can accommodate Egyptian workers, in addition to the possibility of providing agricultural crops cheaply to the Egyptian market
  • Egyptian imports from COMESA countries include tea, coffee, cocoa beans, tobacco, sesame, raw leather, vegetable and aromatic extracts, and live camels.
  • The cost of transport to COMESA countries is 15-20% more than the cost of shipping to African or Arab states, which hinders agricultural cooperation between Egypt and these countries.

Call for proposals under the Africa - Ireland Agri-food Development Programme

11 -12 October 2018. Dublin Ireland. The 6th Africa Ireland Economic Forum organised by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade together with the African Embassies in Ireland, brought together business people and thought leaders and focused on strengthening trade links in the agri-foods sector.

A number of Tanzanian agri-food companies participated in the forum, including Alaska Tanzania and GBRI Business Solutions. Jennifer Bash, CEO of Alaska Tanzania, also addressed the session on "Women and Business - Pathways to Success," highlighting the skills that women can bring to senior leadership roles in companies, and her insights as a successful young entrepreneur.
There is an enormous potential for agriculture to transform African economies. Ireland's, agri-business development has been an integral part of Ireland's economic development and transformation story. Over a few decades, Ireland has grown from predominantly small scale subsistence farming, exporting primary production, to a sophisticated producer of high-end, value-added food. Over €1 billion worth of Irish food and drink is exported every month and over the last 7 years, Irish agri-food exports have increased by 56%, mainly driven by non-EU trade. 
Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister (Tanaiste) and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D.
He announced an expansion and new call for proposals under the Africa Agri-food Development Programme, which is funded by the Irish Government. 
  • The objective of the programme is to develop partnerships between the Irish Agri-Food Sector and African countries to support sustainable growth of the local food industry, build markets for local produce and support mutual trade between Ireland and Africa. 
  • More information on the programme, including how to submit applications can be found at:
  • Important: Only Irish Agri-Food companies can apply.
  • Projects will be supported in the following countries – Botswana, Cóte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
  • The closing date for the receipt of applications is 5.00pm on Friday, 30 November 2018.
Agri-business in Action: Succeeding in new marketsThis panel explored the journey of companies operating in new markets, both within the EU and in Africa. Panellists reflected on strategies to meet 
the challenges of breaking into new markets.
  • Mr. Francis Grogan (see picture)– Co-Founder and CEO, Zambeef Products, Zambia
  • Mr. Marcel De Sousa – CEO, IPM Potato Group, Ireland
  • Mr. Kevin Friel – International Marketing Director, Ornua, Ireland
  • Ms. Pamela Anyoti Peronaci (see picture)– Managing Director, Asante Mama, Taste of Uganda
Women in Business, Pathways to success.Leading female entrepreneurs from both Ireland and Africa shared their stories, charting out the development of their various enterprises and offer an insight into their experiences on their journey to the top.
The AIEF was followed by further business to business discussions between Irish and Tanzanian companies at a Roundtable on Trade and Investment Opportunities in East Africa held on Friday 12th October at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mr Gilead Teri from the Tanzanian Private Sector Foundation delivered a presentation at the event on trade and investment opportunities in Tanzania. The programme also included a site visit for Tanzanian companies to a large Irish agri-food processor.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Sixth African Higher Education Week

22 - 26 October 2018. KICC,Nairobi, Kenya. The 2018 RUFORUM Biennial conference overall theme was “Aligning African Universities to accelerate attainment of Africa’s Agenda 2063”

The Conference provided an opportunity for universities to demonstrate their repositioning to responding to national and regional development needs including those of farmers and other allied sectors.

The youth and young researchers  had the opportunity to be exposed to practical entrepreneurship, skills capacity enhancement and mentorship. This can further accelerate innovative research careers, strengthen innovation for community impact, and strengthen research communication, publication and networking.
The Conference also engaged development partners and governments to articulate innovative funding mechanisms that propel university transformation for impact.

18 October 2018. Horizon 2020 Info Day: Funding opportunities for cooperation between Africa and Europe through Horizon 2020.

19 October 2018. WIPO Forum on Strengthening IP Management in African Universities [ Download ]

24 October 2018. Fostering multi-stakeholder engagement for impact (PAEPARD)

  • Session moderator: Mrs. Monica Kapiriri Namumbya, Kampala, Uganda
  • Introduction: Yemi Akinbamijo (see picture), FARA  
  • Key note speaker: Dr. Richard Hawkins, Director ICRA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Fostering multi-stakeholder engagement for impact Case Studies: 
  1. The functions of communication in the multi-stakeholder partnerships Thierry Helmer(see picture) (CIRAD) 
  2. Community engagement with focus on African Indigenous Vegetables Liz Kizito (see picture) (UCU) 
  3. Benefits of having a SME in an MSP consortiumArsene Savadogo (Bioprotect) 
  4. Challenges and opportunities of engaging the sub-regional organization of farmers in MSPGustave Ewole (EAFF/PROPAC)
Panel discussion (see picture)
  1. Mrs. Monica Brasser, WOTRO, The Netherlands: Funding in ARD. Do we have enough innovative funding mechanisms (e.g. ARF, LEAP-Agri, DeSIRA) helping ARD? What could be the role of private sector organizations, and their specific needs for that? 
  2. Mr. Philip Kiriro, EAFF: The readiness of farmers to engage in ARD processes. 
  3. Richard Hawkins,Director ICRA, Wageningen, The Netherlands: Is there science in MSP? 
  4. Prof Joseph Hounhouingan (see picture) University of Abomey Calavi, Benin
25 October 2018. Increasing the pool of women scientists in Africa

Lead Speaker: Prof. Umezuruike Linus Opara, Stellenbosch University, South Africa 

  1. Professor Alice Pell, Cornell University, USA 
  2. Dr. Wanjiru Kamau Rutemberg, CEO, AWARD 
  3. Prof. Christine Dranzoa, Vice Chancellor, Muni University, Uganda 
  4. Dr Tade Aina, Executive Director, Partnership for African Social and Governance Research
Overview of other presentations (random) 
  • A review Article: Fostering inter-disciplinary research to enhance rural smallholder farmer innovation and technology uptake intention using the farmer group approach (Sebuliba-Mutumba Richard - Uganda
  • Embracing partnership principles in regional and international research collaboration: theory and practice  Minde Isaac -Tanzania
  • Contribution of decentralized clean seed potato multiplication enterprises on availability and access to clean seed potato among smallholder farmers in Nakuru County (Ong’ayo Mercy Jerusa
  • Actor embeddedness and social mechanisms in agricultural innovation platforms: A case of Kiboga-Kyankwanzi innovation platform (Willy Turyahikayo -Uganda
  • Increasing research, innovation and technology capacity in postharvest  Prof. Umezuruike Linus Opara, Stellenbosch University, South Africa)
  • Improving the culinary quality of cowpea grains in Nigeria (Odogwu A. Blessing - Nigeria
  • Scaling up African baobab food products valuation through enhancement of their safety and value chains for food and nutritional security in Benin (West-Africa) Prof Achille Ephrem Assogbadjo (University Of Abomey-Calavi, Benin
  • Knowledge dissemination on improvement of traditional complementary foods for proper child feeding (Mmari M Mercy - Tanzania
  • Towards development of market-led kersting’s groundnut [Macrotyloma geocarpum (Harms) Maréchal and Baudet] varieties in Benin (Agoyi Eric ericagoyi@gmail. com)- Benin
  • Growth and survival rate of portable-hatchery-bred fry and fingerlings of oreochromis karongae in earthen ponds and tanks (Chinguo C.M. madachinguo@gmail. com)-Malawi
  • Consumer perceptions and attitude towards packed milk product (Okello Robine Uganda