Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Soybean Disease in the Tropics A Management Toolkit

9 April 2020. The Soybean Innovation Lab hosted the webinar, Soybean Disease in the Tropics: A Management Tool Kit..

  • Dr. Glen Hartman, Plant Pathologist, USDA-ARS, 
  • Dr. Harun Murithi, Plant Pathologist, USDA-ARS, Dr. Michelle Pawlowski, Postdoctoral Researcher, USDA, 
  • Dr. Lorna Migiro, Plantwise Program Support Manager, CABI, 
  • Nicole Lee, Extension Lead, Soybean Innovation Lab 
This webinar gave an overview of the status of soybean disease in Africa, discussed how to identify soybean diseases such as Red Leaf Blotch and Rust in the field, and introduced a free, online course in Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide Safety.

Climate change: Unpacking the burden on food safety

​FAO. 2020. Climate change: Unpacking the burden on food safety. Food safety and quality series No. 8. Rome. 176 pages

Climate change is causing unprecedented damage to our ecosystem. Increasing temperatures, ocean warming and acidification, severe droughts, wildfires, altered precipitation patterns, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and amplification of extreme weather events have direct implications for our food systems. While the impacts of such environmental factors on food security are well known, the effects on food safety receive less attention. 

The purpose of Climate change: Unpacking the burden on food safety is to identify and attempt to quantify some current and anticipated food safety issues that are associated with climate change.

The food safety hazards considered in the publication are foodborne pathogens and parasites, harmful algal blooms, pesticides, mycotoxins and heavy metals with emphasis on methylmercury. There is also, a dedicated section on the benefits of forward-looking approaches such as horizon scanning and foresight, which will not only aid in anticipating future challenges in a shifting global food safety landscape, but also help build resilient food systems that can be continually updated as more knowledge is assimilated. 

By building a more widespread and better understanding of the consequences climate change has on food safety, it is hoped that this document will aid in fostering stronger international cooperation in making our food safer by reducing the global burden of these concerns.

COVID-19 and the impact on small holder farmers in Nigeria

The World Health Organisation has expressed concerns about the rapid evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, and notes that it is one of the biggest health challenges Africa has faced in a generation. So, how will this impact food security, especially smallholder farmers in Nigeria? Ndidi Nwuneli; Co-founder and Managing Partner, Sahel Consulting joins CNBC Africa’s Esther Awoniyi for this discussion. (recorded 20 March, published 14 April)

Ndidi Nwuneli is a serial social entrepreneur who is committed to scaling social innovation on the African Continent. She is the founder of LEAP Africa, a youth leadership nonprofit organization, and co-founder of AACE Food Processing and Distribution, an indigenous agro-processing company that was founded in 2009 to fight malnutrition, reduce post-harvest losses among smallholder farmers and displace imports. She is also the managing partner of Sahel Capital Partners and Advisory, a consulting and advisory firm focused on unlocking the nutrition and agriculture potential in West Africa.
We have left too long the fate of African agriculture to trading and export companies that just focused on extraction. We have to dominate in this sector which means we have to source locally, we have to process locally, and we have to be competitive to meet our taste but also the global. 
Research and development is critical and the work on seed systems is essential. And we have to invest in value addition and processing and that's why we created knowledgehubs like
AGRA last year in its study THE HIDDED  MIDDLE said that 81% of the food provided in Africa is provided by African entrepreneurs. Most of them are small and medium sized businesses. We know that they exist but how can they scale? 
They need to scale to reduce their cost and maximize their benefits in the sector. Farmers alone will not be able to do it alone if you don't have processors, if you don't have cooks, if you don't have chefs. Thankfully there is a whole new RENAISSANCE around African food. That demand pool makes African food more appreciated.  Ndidi Nwuneli

The Nourishing Africa Hub serves as a platform for entrepreneurs to accelerate their work, connect
with funders, markets, talent, and celebrate their successes on the Continent. The portal includes information about data, funding, knowledge, e-learning, African food and chefs, career opportunities, and other resources to enable entrepreneurs to scale their impact.

Established in 2010, Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited is a leading management consulting firm committed to unlocking Africa’s agriculture and nutrition potential by supporting agri-food entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and impact their communities. It partners with government agencies, private sector companies and leading international development organizations to provide agricultural value chain analysis, market entry strategies, policy consulting, agribusiness training and project implementation support.


12 May 2020. 1:00 pm CEST. Behavioral Health Planning: A Key to Farming in the Era of COVID-19. Agricultural producers will learn how to develop plans for minimizing infections of the virus, set up arrangements for access to necessary inputs such as equipment and repairs, contracts for a labor force and transportation, and where to become knowledgeable about US federal and state assistance programs.

14 May 2020. WEBINAR. 4-6.30 PM CEST Impact of the Coronavirus crisis in the agrifood industry and consumer behavior. F and A Next (Food and Agri Start-ups) is an initiative by Rabobank, Wageningen University and Research, Anterra Capital and StartLife, collectively believing that innovation will be key to sustainably feed future generations. Showcasing promising emerging growth companies transforming agriculture:
  1. Wieland Reichert (CEO of Evologic)
  2. David Morgan (President of Pebble Labs)
  3. Jayce Hafner (CEO of FarmRaise)
  4. Keren Miran (VP Business Development & Marketing of Edete)
  5. Corjan van den Berg (Co-founder of FUMI Ingredients)
  6. Coline Laurent (Marketing Communication Manager of Connecting Food)
  7. Sean O’Keefe (Founder of COGZ)
  8. Jochem Bossenbroek (CEO of Verdify)

WEBINAR: Discussion of the 2020 Global Food Policy Report

28 April 2020. IFPRI’s 2020 Global Food Policy Report was officially launched on April 07 and highlights the critical role that inclusive food systems can play, looking specifically at the obstacles and opportunities as well as the tools and technologies for building inclusive food systems.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Netherlands together with IFPRI and the Food and Business Knowledge Platform (F and BKP), organised an online discussion to learn about the results of the report and to discuss the report and the impact of COVID-19 on our food systems.

Monday, April 27, 2020

RECORDINGS OF WEBINARS on the impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems

26 March. The Impact of COVID-19 on ARD and Food Security. Organised by CIMMYT/Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) Working Group of the Scaling Up Community of Practice (CoP).

2 April. COVID-19, food systems, and interaction with malnutrition. Organised by the Ad2Nut community and A4NH/IFPRI.

2 April. COVID19. On-site measures for agricultural/forestry companies and sustainable landscapes operators. Including summary report in English, French and Spanish.

3 April. The geopolitics of COVID-19 and climate change – the role of disruptors in the transformation to sustainability. Organised by Stockholm Environment Institute

7 April. Launch of IFPRI's 2020 Global Food Policy Report: Building Inclusive Food Systems

14 April. COVID-19: Implications for Global and Country-Level FNS and Poverty. Organised by IFPRI

9, 14, 16 April. Post-COVID-19: Implications for International (Development) Cooperation (parts 1, 2, 3). Organised by UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC).

14, 15 April. Impact of current COVID-19 Crisis on the African financial sector. Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) hosted two webinars on the impact of current health crisis on the African financial sector” in French and in English

15 April. A Recipe for Disaster: Globalised food systems, structural inequality and COVID-19
WEBINAR. The Impact of COVID-19 on Water Resources

15 April. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Food Systems in the Eastern and Southern African Region. Organised by FANRPAN and the Graça Machel Trust (GMT) in conjunction with its African Women in Agribusiness Network. No recording available. Including 3 PPTs.

17 April - 21 May. International exchanges on post Covid-19 food systems. Webinar cycle in PORTUGUESE

17 April 2020. COVID-19 Crisis – Implications for Food Systems in Developing Economies

21 April. Coronavirus and Its Impact on the SDGs. Hosted by the International Association for Volunteer Effort.

21 April. Protecting civilians from conflict induced hunger. Organised by the UN Security Council with Qu Dongyu, DG FAO; David Beasley, ED WFP; Jan Egeland, SC Norwegian Refugee Council.

22 April. COVID-19 and the risk to food supply chains: How to respond? First FAO Brussels Dialogues. Máximo Torero FAO Chief Economist; Paolo De Castro European Parliament; Leonardo Mizzi, Head of Unit at EC, DEVCO. Includes the oral presentation. Including PPT of Torero. Report of this webinar forthcoming: questions left unanswered. Including Webinar of Food Tank with Torero.

22 April. Africa: Confronting COVID-19. Co-hosted by ICAP at Columbia University and the Columbia Global Centers in Nairobi and Tunis.

22 April. COVID-19. How Are Environmental and Health Crises Linked? Earth Day 2020. Including Webinar 07/04 on Learning from COVID-19 to fight climate change.

22 April 2020. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural value chains. IFAD/VCBN. Including the summary report (6 pages) of the webinar

23 April 2020. How agricultural/forestry companies and landscapes operators in Africa are responding to COVID19 Organised by IDH, FMO, Proparco and Mirova. The NASIRA financial program receives €25 million top-up from the European Fund for Sustainable Development 

16 + 23 April 2020. FAO Zoominar I: How can digital innovation help smallholder farmers cope with COVID-19 impact in the NENA region. Zoominar Recording and Presentations

24 April. Avoiding a Looming Food Crisis. Hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Presentations by Gilbert Houngbo, President, International Fund for Agriculture and Development; Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO, African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD). Includes the recording of the webinar on “Global Food Security Challenges in the Era of COVID-19” with Sara Menker of Gro Intelligence.

28 April. Making agriculture and food systems nutrition-sensitive FAO, Agreenium and UN-ESCAP

28 April. COVID-19 - Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) Response in Support of the African Financial Sector. Organised by Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A)

28 April. Discussion of the 2020 Global Food Policy Report The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Netherlands together with IFPRI and the Food and Business Knowledge Platform (F and BKP), organised an online discussion to learn about the results of the report and to discuss the report and the impact of COVID-19 on our food systems. 

30 April 2020. FAO Zoominar II: Innovative success stories in the NENA region: Tool to support smallholders under COVID-19 disruptive impact? Zoominar Recording and Presentations 

30 April. COVID-19: Emerging problems and potential country-level responses Organised by IFPRI @ 2:00 pm GMT

30 April. Effect of COVID-19 or Lockdown on Fertilizer Trade. Organized by AFAP

5 May. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on agricultural value chains. VCB-N WEBINAR 2: - What we can do to mitigate the impact! – From a finance and corporate perspective

5 May. Seed System Webinar on COVID-19 and Seed Security Response. 

7 May 2020. FAO Zoominar III: Agri-Food Innovation Success Stories from outside NENA: Opportunities and Challenges Under COVID-19 Crisis. Zoominar Recording and Presentations 

15 May 2020. Zoominar IV. Accelerating Digital Extension Advisory Services (DEAS) in post COVID-19 Context.  
This webinar is part of a Series of webinars on the Food Systems Approach in Practice promoted by members of the One Planet Network Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFS Programme), a global multi-stakeholder platform to support countries in the transition towards sustainable food systems.

15 May, 2020. WEBINAR. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural value chains - What we can do to mitigate the impact on service delivery to different actors in the value chain 10.00 AM Amsterdam, 15.00 PM Hanoi, 16.00 PM Beijing.
The Value Chain Capacity Building Network (VCB-N), is organizing a series of Webinars around the theme of “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural value chains - What we can do to mitigate the impact!” The objective of the series of Webinars is to provide an opportunity to assess the impact of the current crises on the ground in several countries, while allowing a moment of reflection and discussion. The third Webinar in this series is organized together with GFRAS and IFAD.

19 May 2020.WEBINAR. Cross-Sectoral Collaboration for Stronger Conservation and Development Outcomes 9:30 am - 11:00 am EDT . Organised by Wilson Center’s Environmental Change & Security Program, USAID’s BRIDGE project

19 May 2020.WEBINAR. Fertilizer Code's implementation. 14:00 - 15:00 CEST. FAO's Global Soil Partnership.  Sustainable Use and Management of Fertilizers (Fertilizer Code).

19 May 2020. WEBINAR  EXTENSION AND ADVISORY SERVICES: at frontline of COVID-19 response ensuring food security in Asia At 8:30 in Rome (CEST/CAT) 14:30 in Beijing, 12:00 in New Delhi time, 13:30 in Vientiane, 16:30 in Sydney. Recognising that the impact of COVID-19 and response measures are not uniform across the globe, FAO’s Research and Extension Unit is organizing a series of webinars to discuss the role EAS in the context of the pandemic in different regions.

20 May 2020. WEBINAR. COVID19 Implications on Pastoralism Practices in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities Organised by the African Union -SAFGRAD (Semi-Arid Food Grain Research and Development) 11 am CEST/CAT 10:00 am to 11:55 am GMT. Meeting ID: 985 7957 3870Password: 635418

Organized by CAADP ex Pillar IV Institutions* and hosted by FARA. This webinar is the first in a series of e-forums the CAADP ex Pillar IV institutions will be holding to consult and sensitize stakeholders about the contribution of research and innovation in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 in Africa’s agriculture and food system.

20 May 2020. WEBINAR. Demystifying market systems resilience

21 May 2020. WEBINAR. Role of Agricultural Extension in Ensuring Food Security during and after Pandemic  4 pm CEST/CAT (South Africa time), (Nigeria time)

21 May 2020. WEBINAR.  @9:30am EDT. What do we need for a gender-sensitive Covid-19 response in agriculture and food security? Organised by IFPRI

21 May 2020. Zoominar V. 12 am CEST/CAT on the Role of Youth in Agri-Food System Innovation in the Context of COVID-19

26 May 2020. 3:30 AM CEST, 9:30 am – 11:15 am (Singapore), Webinar on Food System Resilience - Global and Asian Perspectives. This webinar is one of a series organized by the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) and its entities in Asia to share pertinent aspects and insights in science, food resilience, health research, and measures, as well as technological developments that can be harnessed to mitigate and address the longer-term impact of COVID-19. Speakers include Prof. Dr. Shenggan Fan.

26 May 202011.00 AM - 12 PM CEST, 15.00 PM Hanoi, 16.00 PM Beijing. Webinar on Sustainable Agriculture: Where Are We Headed After 2020?  Speakers include: Alan Johnson, Program Lead - Smallholder Supply Chains, IFC - International Finance Corporation; Leesa Shrader, Program Director, Mercy Corps AgriFin Accelerate; Lucy Muchoki, CEO, PanAAC - Pan African Agribusiness & Agroindustry Consortium

26 May 2020.  14:30 PM EAT (Nairobi). Webinar on Urban Food Self Sufficiency LESSONS LEARNT FROM COVID-19 RESPONSES. Organised by  Food Rights Alliance and Partners with support from OXFAM, HIVOS and Trocaire.  

27 May 2020.11:00 AM - 12:30 PM CEST Webinar on Sustaining food security and resilience in Africa in times of COVID-19. Organised by FAO/Brussels. Speakers: H.E. Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union (AU), H.E. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, Secretary-General, Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), Marjeta Jager
Deputy Director-General, European Commission Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), Laurent Thomas Deputy Director-General, FAO; Abebe Haile-Gabriel
Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, FAO; Máximo Torero Cullen Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Development, FAO; Philippe Scholtès Managing Director, Directorate of Programme Development and Technical Cooperation, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); Dominique Burgeon Director, Emergency and Rehabilitation, FAO

27 May 2020. 14:30 - 16:00 PM CEST Climate Smart Agriculture- Loss of Biodiversity and the Uncertainties associated with Climate Change

27 May 2020.10:00 AM CEST   Webinar on  Discussion on the Implications of the 2020 Global Food Policy Report for Eurasia Organised by IFPRI

27 May 2020. 17:30 PM CEST / 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM EDT.  Webinar on COVID-19: Food Security in the Pandemic. Organised by The New York Academy of Sciences. Presentation by Maximo Torero

27 May 202017:00 PM CEST. Webinar on Digging Deeper into Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Gender and Women's Economic Empowerment. Organised by USAID  

28 May 2020. 15:00 PM CEST. Webinar on Developing Resilient Food Systems in Southern Africa in the Era of COVID-19. The Southern Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (SACSAA), in partnership with the  Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA), the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) will be leading a virtual multi-stakeholder dialogue which will address critical issues in developing resilient food system in this era of COVID-19.Speakers: (a) Manyewu Mutamba, Senior Officer - Environment, African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD)  ; (b)  Dr Majola Mabuza, Southern Africa Confedaration of Agriculture Unions (SACAU)  ; (c)  Ms Jana Korner, Integrated Expert for Scaling Innovations at CCAFS  ; (d)  Moderated by Ms Sithembile Mwamakamba, FANRPAN Programmes Manager and SACSAA Coordinator

28 May 202016:00 PM - 17:00 PM CEST Webinar on New food loss and waste protocol. Organised by the Consortium for Innovation in Post-Harvest Loss and Food Waste Reduction. Wageningen University and Research (WUR) have developed a new methodology for assessing and quantifying loss and waste within a value chain. 

28 May 202015:30 PM CEST No backsliding: How can we re-orient food systems and health systems to protect nutrition and healthy diets in the context of COVID-19? Organised by IFPRI.

29 May 2020. 11:00 AM CEST  Webinar on Doing business in post covid-19 agrofood sector. Speaker: Jeremy Knops - Délégué Général - COLEACP

01 June 2020COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESPONSE: THE AFRICAN NUTRITION PERSPECTIVES Organised by FAO and the African Nutrition Society (ANS)

03 June 2020. 2:30 pm, CEST. COVID-19 and Sustainable Food Systems: Responses and innovations to tackle vulnerabilities and build back better Aimed primarily at regional and national decision-makers focusing on food or elements of the food system, the webinar is open to anyone with an interest in building sustainable food systems as a response to COVID-19 through a systems approach, and the role of inter-sectoral coordination and collaboration. The webinar is part of a Series of webinars on the Food Systems Approach in Practice promoted by members of the One Planet Network Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFS Programme), a global multi-stakeholder platform to support countries in the transition towards sustainable food systems.

03 June 2020. 8:00 pm, CEST. WEBINAR: The Caribbean COVID-19 Food Security and Livelihoods Impact Survey

03-05 June 2020Digital ConferenceFood in the time of crises. This three-day event will continue to push the horizon of digital conferencing through interactive sessions, inspirational talks, documentary screenings and exclusive interviews streamed live from Bonn as well as landscapes and cities around the world. Participants will experience crowdsourced idea-sharing, networking to connect activities, digital scavenger hunts, learning journeys, live polls and more.

04 June 2020. CGIAR webinar series on climate security

4 June 2020. 13:00 PM CEST Webinar Covid 19: Learning to Build Resilience for Africa’s small scale farmers, food systems and sovereignty

4 June 2020.  14:00 PM CEST Webinar on Preventing Food Loss and Waste during COVID-19? Policy and Technology Innovations for Less FLW and More Sustainable Food Systems.  Organised by FAO Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa FAO/RNE.  


4 June 2020. 15:00 to 16:00 CEST Webinar Mapping Africa's priorities ahead of the EU-AU Summit

5 June 2020.  9:00 am EDT Webinar Food Systems Dashboard
Link to the Dashboard:
The Food Systems Dashboard is highly relevant to our community. It compiles data across the whole food system to assess & strengthen ag-nutrition linkages. In doing so, it brings together indicators from many diverse organizations/sources, which aligns with our CoP ethic of collaboration and breaking down institutional and sector boundaries.

10 June 2020One day online virtual interaction Youth in Agribusiness: Coping with COVID-19 in the context of a Changing Climate  + 20 May 2020 to 5 June 2020Online discussion. The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), IFDC-2SCALE, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN-FAO), AgriProFocus, the Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CSAYN) and the Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI) are hosting an online discussion on the Climate and Agriculture Network for Africa ( CANA ) platform. 

11 June 2020. Power and priorities: equitable partnerships in Agriculture, Nutrition and Health research. This webinar will dive into the challenges of equity in research partnerships tackling global agriculture, food systems and nutrition research.

15 June until 6 July, DAI and ECDPM will hold a series of webinars that will bring together public and private practitioners to reflect on the immediate reaction of the development community to the challenges posed by COVID-19, and support the post-pandemic global response of the European Union, as per its recent Communication. Calendar and topics of the weekly webinars
  • 15 June: Strengthening MSMEs for economic resilience and sustainable development
  • 22 June: COVID-19 and the accelerated digitalisation of developing countries’ economies
  • 29 June: How Covid-19 calls for an alliance for financing
  • 6 July: Building stronger health systems going forward
The webinars will be held on Monday from 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
For more detailed information on the webinars and speakers, please download the programme here.
To register, please fill this form.

19 June 2020. 5 pm CSET. “Bridging Research and Policy Responses to COVID-19: Value Chain, Food Security, Women, Youth and Vulnerable Groups”: Food Security, Women, Youth and Vulnerable Groups
23-25 June 2020Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy  Learning Lab.+ 30 June-2 July 2020. ANH Research Conference Organised by CGIAR, BMGF, DfID

23 July 2020. Financing climate smart agriculture.  Second Webinar of the The Southern Africa Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (SACSAA), in partnership with the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA), the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is leading a virtual multi-stakeholder dialogue which addresses critical issues in developing resilient food system in this era of COVID-19.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Accelerating Poverty Reduction in Africa

“Beegle, Kathleen; Christiaensen, Luc. 2019. Accelerating Poverty Reduction in Africa. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”

Sub-Saharan Africa's turnaround over the past couple of decades has been dramatic. After many years in decline, the continent's economy picked up in the mid-1990s. Along with this macroeconomic growth, people became healthier, many more youngsters attended schools, and the rate of extreme poverty declined from 54 percent in 1990 to 41 percent in 2015. 

Political and social freedoms expanded, and gender equality advanced. Conflict in the region also subsided, although it still claims thousands of civilian lives in some countries and still drives pressing numbers of displaced persons. 

Despite Africa’s widespread economic and social welfare accomplishments, the region’s challenges remain daunting: 
  • Economic growth has slowed in recent years. 
  • Poverty rates in many countries are the highest in the world. 
  • And notably, the number of poor in Africa is rising because of population growth. 
From a global perspective, the biggest concentration of poverty has shifted from South Asia to Africa. Accelerating Poverty Reduction in Africa explores critical policy entry points to address the demographic, societal, and political drivers of poverty; improve income-earning opportunities both on and off the farm; and better mobilize resources for the poor. 

It looks beyond macroeconomic stability and growth—critical yet insufficient components of these objectives—to ask what more could be done and where policy makers should focus their attention to speed up poverty reduction. The pro-poor policy agenda advanced in this volume requires not only economic growth where the poor work and live, but also mitigation of the many risks to which African households are exposed. 

As such, this report takes a "jobs" lens to its task. It focuses squarely on the productivity and livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable—that is, what it will take to increase their earnings. Finally, it presents a road map for financing the poverty and development agenda.


COVID-19 Probable Impacts on Ethiopian Agriculture

Forsido SF, Mitiku F, Lemessa F, Tolemariam T, Belew D, Berecha G, Garedew W, Bekele Y, Geda F, Eneyew A. COVID-19 Probable Impacts on Ethiopian Agriculture and Potential Mitigation and Adaptation Measures: No Food-No Health-No Life. Jimma, Ethiopia: Jimma University, 2020. 79 pages.

A group of scholars from College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (JUCAVM) of Jimma University made a synthesis on the probable impacts of COVID-19 on Ethiopian agriculture and potential mitigation/ adaptation measures. This synthesis aims at identifying the major challenges that could be faced by the agricultural sector due to the outbreak of the pandemic and suggesting the coping mechanisms to abate related negative consequences. 

The document entitled “COVID-19 Probable Impacts on Ethiopian Agriculture and Potential Mitigation and Adaptation Measures” is a rapid review of the existing body of literature in the field added with expertise opinion of the team, which is composed of renowned professors of several sub-fields of agriculture at the college. 
The major functions and stages of food supply chain such as production, handling and storage, processing and packaging, distribution and marketing, and consumption were considered as core themes during the extraction and analysis of the information gathered for the synthesis in line of which mitigation strategies are suggested on the basis of the findings obtained.

The key message drawn from the overall assessment is planned to be suggested to relevant government bodies and stakeholders to inform the decision-making process of managing the agricultural sector at this time of pandemic crisis.
  1. COVID-19 and its further expansion could divert attention from the agriculture sector and adversely affect the food and nutrition security of the country by disrupting the food supply chains.
  2. Timely delivery of agricultural inputs with affordable prices are to minimize disruptions of farm input supply 
  3. Agricultural extension support system is to focus on family extension in the short term and Information Technology based extension system in the long term.
  4. Community mobilization and using appropriate post-harvest technologies are suggested as the main intervention mechanisms to minimize quantitative and qualitative post-harvest food loss and waste. 
  5. Processing and packing should be accompanied with the availability of raw materials and labor, enhanced storage and distribution capacity, diversified product and market, and putting in place quality control and monitoring systems. 
  6. Value chain actors mst be supported  to function properly, opening new market places, controlling and monitoring prices. These are important measures to strengthen distribution and marketing. 
  7. Encourage the consumers on the safe consumption of high-value foods, organizing cash for work for low income laborers
  8. Provide food for vulnerable communities

Friday, April 24, 2020

WEBINAR: Avoiding a Looming Food Crisis

24 April 2020. WEBINAR of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Organised by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Countries in the Global North have been hardest hit by COVID-19, but the virus has already begun to reach countries in the Global South.

These countries’ limited access to essential resources that would mitigate the spread of the disease puts them at extreme risk — threatening their health and food supply. Prior outbreaks such as Ebola and SARS have shown the wide range of disruptions to agriculture markets in these areas. What can be done now and in the future to ensure continued global food trade and avoid a global health and food crisis?

Video forthcoming

26 March 2020. Global Food Security Challenges in the Era of COVID-19
COVID-19 has had large scale impacts on the global food system, affecting everything from supply chains and markets to agriculture production and the labor force. In the face of system shocks, how are companies responding to the rising consumer demand and what are the lasting impacts?

  • Sara Menker of Gro Intelligence
  • Sanjeev Krishnan of S2G Ventures 
  • Laura Reiley of The Washington Post  

WEBINAR: Coronavirus and its Impact on the SDGs

21 April 2020. Webinar: Coronavirus and Its Impact on the SDGs Webinar hosted by the International Association for Volunteer Effort.

The coronavirus pandemic has presented a series of challenges to the global volunteer community. However, despite the various obstacles and hurdles, volunteers around the world are using this as an opportunity to come together in solidarity and turn the crisis into a catalyst to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Lynn Wagner (Senior Director, Tracking Progress) and Faye Leone (Senior Policy Advisor, Tracking Progress) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) shared their insights on how the pandemic will likely impact the SDGs and its implication on volunteer-led organizations around the world.

WEBINAR. How agricultural/forestry companies and landscapes operators in Africa are responding to COVID19

23 April 2020. WEBINAR. How agricultural/forestry companies and landscapes operators in Africa are responding to COVID19 Organised by IDH, FMO, Proparco and Mirova

Hear from companies and land-based operators in Africa about the measures they are taking on operational health and safety, business continuity planning and more, to support their workers, communities and business partners, and help halt the spread of COVID19. 
  • Moderator: Nienke Stam, Head of Landscapes Finance, IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative
  • Gautier Quéru, Director Land Degradation Neutrality Fund, Mirova
  • Business Continuity Planning: Anish Jain, Chief Treasury Officer & Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing, Export Trading group (ETG) 
  • Operational Health and Safety: Teddy Deroy, Director at IBIS ESG Consulting and Gretchen Blake, Chief People Officer at MTO Group
  • Communication & Outreach to Smallholders and Communities: Gerome Topka, Regional Lead Africa, Earthworm Foundation and Barthélemy N’Guessan, Senior Sustainability Manager, Groupe SIFCA

23 April 2020. NASIRA financial program receives €25 million top-up from the European Fund for Sustainable Development

The European Commission together with FMO scaled up the NASIRA financial guarantee to support small COVID-19 affected entrepreneurs in Africa and EU Neighbourhood.

The measures are a joint response and include a top-up of €25 million from the European Fund for Sustainable Development and an expansion in scope to support COVID-19 affected entrepreneurs. Also, NASIRA receives €2.5 million from FMO’s Dutch Government Fund MASSIF. With these adjustments, the NASIRA guarantee will help small businesses in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood to stay afloat during and after this pandemic.

The NASIRA guarantee is part of the EU External Investment Plan, which, by investing €4.6 billion in EU funds, is set to leverage an additional €47 billion in total investment from the public and private sector. It will enable small business owners to access affordable loans through local banks, microfinance institutions and other non-banking financial institutions. 
Ghana produces the world’s highest-quality bulk cocoa beans and is the world’s second largest producer of cocoa, accounting for 20% of global production. But a great deal of the actual cocoa processing does not take place in Ghana. FMO's client Niche Cocoa was set up to fill the vacuum that existed in local cocoa processing, with the aim of producing high-quality, semi-finished cocoa products and confectionery. Niche aims to expand production to cover the entire value chain – from bean-to-bar – in Ghana.

2 April 2020. COVID19: On-site measures for agricultural/forestry companies and sustainable landscapes operators -  recording of the first webinar of IDH and Mirova

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Webinar on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Food Systems in the Eastern and Southern African Region

15 April 2020. FANRPAN and the Graça Machel Trust (GMT) in conjunction with its African Women in Agribusiness Network, organised a Webinar o establish the effects of COVID-19 on food systems and agribusiness in the Eastern and Southern African (ESA) region.
  • Case study 1: TanzaniaMr. Desmond Mushi: Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF)
  • Case study 2: South AfricaDr. Sifiso Ntombela: National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC): Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture Measures for recovery and growth 
  • The ripple effect of COVID-19 on Agribusiness value chains - Sydney Kurai Zharare: DevPact: Establishing the effects of COVID-19 on agribusiness and food systems in Eastern and Southern African (ESA)
  • Experience sharing of African women in Agribusiness - Penny Ngategize: African Women in Agribusiness Network 
  • Ekemini Udoh: Africa Youth Networks Movement - Maureen Sumbwe: ZFAWIB
  • Policy implication of the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of food systems - Dr. Tshilidzi Madzivhandila, FANRPAN CEO and Head of Mission: RAPID Assessment of the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 and the risk to food supply chains: How to respond?

22 April 2020. FAO Brussels Dialogues. As the COVID-19 pandemic turns into a global crisis, countries are taking measures to contain the pandemic.

Supermarket shelves remain stocked for now. But a protracted pandemic crisis could quickly put a strain on the food supply chains, which is a complex web of interactions involving farmers, agricultural inputs, processing plants, shipping, retailers and more. The shipping industry is already reporting slowdowns because of port closures, and logistics hurdles could disrupt the supply chains in the coming weeks.
Watch the Recording

  • Introduction Rodrigo de Lapuerta
  • Máximo Torero Cullen FAO Chief Economist
    "There is no reason for a food crisis now, there is no need to create one"
  • Leonardo Mizzi, Head of Unit at EC, DEVCO. Acting Director Devco C, Planet and Prosperity and Head of Unit Rural Development
  • Paolo De Castro European Parliament, chair of the parliament's Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
  • Moderation Nils Janssens, FAO Brussels and Myrto Arvanti, International Forum on Food and Nutrition

17 April 2020. Dani Nierenberg of Food Tank interviewed Maximo Torero, Chief Economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. They discuss the need to keep global supply chains strong in response to COVID-19.

21 April 2020. Dani Nierenberg of Food Tank interviewed Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General of Copa-Cogeca He talks about how to help support farmers during the coronavirus outbreak.


Special Webinar – Africa: Confronting COVID-19

22 April 2020Special Webinar – Africa: Confronting COVID-19.

This special webinar is co-hosted by ICAP at Columbia University and the Columbia Global Centers in Nairobi and Tunis.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

COVID-19 and the Climate Agenda

Below is are a number of WEBINARS recordings related to the link between COVID-19 and the Climate Change Agenda. (in chronological order)

27 April 2020. Climate Change and COVID-19: Can this crisis shift the paradigm?
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global economy is skidding into recession. Reduced consumption and transportation also mean reduced CO2 emissions. From India to China to the United States, skies are blue and the air is cleaner and healthier in cities than it has been for years. 

The pandemic has caused seismic shifts in how we produce and consume goods and could open a path to a more sustainable future. Or, government bailouts and investments could double down on the fossil fuel economy, and set back efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change. This conversation featured Berkeley researchers discussing the science and policy behind CO2 emissions and opportunities for a different path forward.

21 April 2020. COVID-19 and Climate Change.
A special MSc Climate Change, Management and Finance lecture on how COVID-19 will affect action on climate change - organiser: Imperial College Business School.

20 April 2020. Webinar: Confronting climate change in the global COVID-19 recovery.
Brookings joined with the NDC Partnership to host a webinar with experts on climate plan implementation for a discussion about how recovering from the pandemic and investing in climate resiliency align.

16 April 2020 “How COVID-19 Affects the Energy and Climate Agenda” (by EU Delegation in the United States)
Questions remain on how to ensure that the global recovery will be sustainable in economic and environmental terms, and what impact the health and economic crisis will have on climate and energy policies, and on the climate ambition worldwide. Join a virtual policy discussion on the implications of the COVID-19 crisis and future pathways to recovery

7 April 2020. Learning from COVID to fight Climate change
What do climate change and pandemics have in common? Although experts have long warned of the dire consequences of these threats, the world remains woefully unprepared to solve them. Yet, as governments have taken drastic actions to respond to COVID-19, there have been significant unintended climate benefits globally, such as decreased air and water pollution. What lessons can we learn from this pandemic to tackle climate change? Over the long-term, what strategies and behaviors could societies adopt to maintain and expand these gains?

Why does an invisible, life-threatening virus prompt a nationwide emergency, but invisible, life-threatening gases don’t? Experts have been emphasizing the dangers of unchecked climate change for years, underscoring the need for rapid, bold action early-on to avoid the worst impacts. Now, health experts are pushing the same level of global mobilization to quell the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Why are humans wired to respond to some fears and emergencies more than others? Can the reaction to the Coronavirus pandemic teach us anything about how humans respond to other invisible, worldwide threats? 
  • Peter Atwater, adjunct economics professor at the College of William and Mary, 
  • Susan Clayton, Whitmore-Williams Professor of Psychology at the College of Wooster, 
  • Robert Frank, economics professor at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and author of Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural value chains

22 April 2020. WEBINAR. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural value chains

Here is the LINK to the recording of the webinar
and here is the LINK to the summary report (6 pages) of the webinar

The COVID 19 pandemic has brought the world partially to a standstill. Movement of people and goods is seriously hampered at domestic and cross-boundary levels. Currently, governments in over 70 countries have imposed various degrees of lock-downs affecting 3 Billion people worldwide. This has severe consequences for many sectors including the agricultural sector. Farmers and agricultural enterprises, in all VCB-N member countries, are likewise heavily affected by the current restrictions in their respective countries.

The measures taken to avoid the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic affect local as well as global agricultural value chains and food systems. Food systems and value chains are seriously disrupted through both, up- and downstream blockages. Farmers are not able access markets anymore, and in many cases also do not have access to storage or cooling facilities thus are forced to dump their produce. While globally, imposed export and import restrictions lead to limited exports of produce and potentially food shortages in import depending countries. Farming families combining farming with off-farm income are among the ones most severely affected as also opportunities for earning off-farm daily wages are cut off.

Measures to enhance the resilience of the agricultural sector against external shocks like this kind of pandemic crises seem desperately needed. This could entail more circularity and autonomy in local based production systems; increased availability of and access to processing and storage facilities or; creating food banks and emergency stocks at decentralized levels. The term “think global, act local” seems to be more appropriate than ever…..

In response the VCB-N launched a series of Webinars on the COVID crises to offer a platform for learning and exchange about the current situation, hopefully resulting in informed opinions and insights in how to respond best to the turmoil the pandemic is creating. The speakers contributing to the first VCB-N Webinar are:
  • Barua Kaushik, Country Director, IFAD Cambodia
  • Mr. Anirban Bhowmik, Country Director, Swisscontact, Bangladesh
  • Prof. Liu Yonggong, China Agricultural University (CAU)
  • Mr. Andrew Wilson, Regional Coordinator Market Systems, HELVETAS
  • Moderated by Mr. Md. Rubaiyath Sarwar, Chairperson VCB-N and co-founder and Managing Director of Innovision Consulting Private LTD, Bangladesh 

5 th of May 2020 (tentatively). VCB-N WEBINAR 2: “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on agricultural value chains - What we can do to mitigate the impact! – From a finance and corporate perspective” DATE: 

AUDA-NEPAD and COVID-19 Response to Food Insecurity and Malnutrition

15 April 2020.

In the past major risks threatening food and nutrition security were mainly covariate risks including droughts, floods, volatility in market prices for inputs and, more commonly, for outputs as well as crop and livestock diseases (e.g. Avian flu), locust invasion and pests (fall armyworm).

The current epidemic of Covid19 outbreak threatens both lives and livelihoods; it has negative impacts on the entire food circular economy from producers, inputs, processing, storage, distribution and consumption. Whilst most African countries wallow in food shortages, food insecurity, poor nutrition concerns and presently disproportionately exposed to threats of COVID-19 pandemic. There is no doubt that life has changed drastically since the global outbreak. 

Ultimately, the human impact is already immeasurable especially in Africa where nearly a third of its entire population is already undernourished. The negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic to economies, livelihoods, health, nutrition and the abrupt disruption of food systems and supply chain systems cannot be overemphasized. Moreover, quality food demand is escalating which impacts on food availability, affordability accessibility at all levels (household, rural, urban, national, regional and continental).

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

WEBINAR. Agricultural Support Reform and GHG Emissions

21 April 2020.  IFPRI WEBINAR. Agricultural Support Reform and GHG Emissions.

Governments spend over $US 700 billion dollars per year on agricultural support measures such as subsidies, border price distortions and investments in raising productivity. Agriculture and land use change contribute close to a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions policy makers have little information on the implications of agricultural support for emissions.

This seminar examined the links between agricultural support and emissions from agriculture to help guide policy reforms that lower emissions, reduce poverty and improve nutrition.

The underlying research was funded by FOLU, CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and the World Bank Group.
  • Will Martin, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI
  • Valeria Piñeiro, Senior Research Coordinator, IFPRI
  • Leonardo Garrido, Lead Senior Economist, The New Climate Economy, World Resources Institute
  • Madhur Gautam, Lead Economist, World Bank Group
  • Ann Tutwiler, Senior Fellow, Meridian Institute & Coordinator of the Policy Action Coalition to Repurpose Food and Agriculture Support
  • Moderator Rajul Pandya-Lorch, Director, Communications and Public Affairs and Chief of Staff, Director General's Office, IFPRI
Modeling the Impacts of Agricultural Support Policies on Emissions from Agriculture (863.07 KB)

Protecting civilians from conflict induced hunger

21 April 2020. Conflict- induced hunger is one of the greatest humanitarian challenges facing civilians in most conflict-affected countries.

Two years after the adoption of the landmark Security Council resolution 2417 (2018) evidence has continued to show that war and conflicts are one of the major driving forces behind food insecurity, taking a heavy and devastating toll on civilians, including women and children. This trend needs to mobilize all actors involved in conflict prevention and resolution to preserve the well-being of future generations. 
  • Qu Dongyu, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - 
  • David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme 
  • Jan Egeland, Secretary-General, Norwegian Refugee Council 
Concept Note (S/2020/299): Maintenance of international peace and security: protecting civilians affected by conflict-induced hunger


21 April 2020. ROME – COVID-19 will double number of people facing food crises unless swift action is taken

The COVID-19 pandemic could almost double the number of people suffering acute hunger, pushing it to more than a quarter of a billion by the end of 2020, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned today as it and other partners released a new report on food crises around the world.

The number of people facing acute food insecurity (IPC/CH 3 or worse) stands to rise to 265 million in 2020, up by 130 million from the 135 million in 2019, as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19, according to a WFP projection. The estimate was announced alongside the release of the Global Report on Food Crises, produced by WFP and 15 other humanitarian and development partners.

In this context, it is vital that food assistance programme be maintained, including WFP’s own programmes which offer a lifeline to almost 100 million vulnerable people globally.

  • Some 265 million people in low and middle-income countries will be in acute food insecurity by the end of 2020 unless swift action is taken (source: WFP projection).
  • The majority of people suffering acute food insecurity in 2019 were in countries affected by conflict (77 million), climate change (34 million) and economic crises (24 million people). (source: Global Report on Food Crises).
  • 10 countries constituted the worst food crises in 2019: Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria, the Sudan, Nigeria and Haiti. (source: Global Report on Food Crises).
  • South Sudan had 61 percent of its population in a state of food crisis (or worse) in 2019. Six other countries also had at least 35 percent of their populations in a state of food crisis: Sudan, Yemen, Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Syrian Arab Republic and Haiti. (source: Global Report on Food Crises).
  • These ten countries accounted for 66 percent of the total population in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) or 88 million people. (source: Global Report on Food Crises).
“COVID-19 is potentially catastrophic for millions who are already hanging by a thread. It is a hammer blow for millions more who can only eat if they earn a wage. Lockdowns and global economic recession have already decimated their nest eggs. It only takes one more shock – like COVID-19 – to push them over the edge. We must collectively act now to mitigate the impact of this global catastrophe.” Arif Husain (see picture) WFP’s Senior Economist
  • Photos showing food crises countries and impact on COVID-19 available here.
  • Video News Release on South Sudan and threat of COVID-19 available here.
  • Broadcast quality footage on food crisis countries here.
WFP Global Food Report Broll
Shot: February/March/April 2020
Democratic Republic of Congo/Yemen/South Sudan/Syria
TRT: 2:22


GV Distribution
WFP distribution. People waiting in line, having their temperature taken and receiving food
assistance, in accordance with Covid-19 preventative measures
Shot: 30Mar20
North Kivu, Eastern DRC
Kavira Colette Kasali, mother of 6 children returns home from WFP food distribution
And prepares to cook.
Following a violent armed group attack in her home village of Lusogha ( Rutshuru territory, North Kivu Province, Eastern DR Congo), a village located around 20 kilometers from Katwe (place of where she currently lives with her family). She has been in Katwe for over a year.
Shot: 30Mar20
North Kivu, Eastern DRC

GV Taiz is on the frontline between the warring parties in Yemen
Shot: 10Feb20
Taiz, Yemen

Distribution of WFP food vouchers
WFP has introduced hygiene mitigation measures at all food and voucher distribution points and health centres. At nutrition centres, mothers and children are being given a two-month supply of nutrition supplements to limit how often they need to visit the facility.
Shot: 3Apr20
Sana’a, Yeme

People receiving Covid-19 awareness training on how to recognise symptoms and preventative measures.
Shot: 18Apr20
Juba, South Sudan

People waiting in line with social distancing at distribution as food rations are prepared by
woman with masks and gloves.
Shot: 3Apr20
South Sudan

WFP bread distribution
Sanitization, social distancing and other COVID19 prevention methods being used at WFP bread distribution. Around 2000 household receive bread and flyers about COVID19 in Salheen, a poor neighborhood in Aleppo. It was under opposition control till late 2016 and you can see massive destruction of buildings. People here rely on daily or weekly wages, which have stopped now due to precautionary measures for COVID-19. 
Shot: 25Mar20
Aleppo, Syria