Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, August 31, 2020

Potato diversity leads to economic gain in Uganda

29 August 2020. The genebank of the International Potato Centre (CIP) holds more than 6000 accessions of potatoes and distributes samples to users all over the world. But CIP often doesn’t hear back from those recipients of diversity. 
“It’s generally known that some potato samples from CIP have played an important role in

the release of improved varieties grown by smallholder farmers in lower-income countries,” “but we need to document this process much better if we are to really make the case for the importance of genebanks.”said Vivian Bernal-Galeano
Vivian is the lead author of a paper published in Food Security that did just that, estimating that the economic benefits of one improved potato variety in one country in a single year were 10 times greater than the annual running costs of the CIP genebank.

The potato variety in question, which is called Victoria, is mainly derived from CIP material. Its release has resulted in gross economic benefits of USD 42 million per year in Uganda over a 25-year period according to the study, which was conducted as part of the Genebank Impacts Fellowship Program supported by the CGIAR Genebank Platform. Vivian and her co-authors used biological, agricultural, and market data to measure the economic contribution of the CIP genebank to the impact of the improved potato variety in Uganda.
“We followed a three-step process to estimate the economic value of a genebank sample

that a plant breeder used to develop an improved variety. The first step is to figure out the genetic contribution of the sample to the finished variety. We call this ‘apportioning’. Then we have to calculate how much of a farmer’s gain in productivity can be ‘attributed’ to the improved variety, rather than something else. And finally we have to give a dollar ‘value’ to this productivity gain. The product of these three represents value of the original sample from the genebank.”
co-author Melinda Smale, a professor of International Development at Michigan State University. 
Based on its pedigree, the researchers determined that the CIP genebank contributed to 72% of the genetic makeup of Victoria.

“We found that landraces, wild species and other materials held long-term in the genebank contributed 30% to Victoria’s pedigree , and CIP-derived breeding materials also supported by the genebank contributed another 42%,” said Vivian.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

WEBINAR: 26/08 Operationalizing Farmer-led Irrigation: Implementers Dialogue

26 August 2020.
Operationalizing Farmer-led Irrigation: Implementers Dialogue

Smallholder farmers in the Global South are gradually expanding land under irrigation as technologies such as solar-powered pumps become cheaper and more accessible. Farmer-led irrigation development (FLI) clearly holds potential to improve the lives of small-scale farmers, increase food and water security, enhance resilience to climate change and promote economic development. How can we support scaling of farmer-led irrigation development, also ensuring sustainability and inclusion?

Experts and stakeholders have started discussing at the global level the many inter-linked issues to consider and promising approaches that may be further deployed, such as financial mechanisms, affordability of energy costs, institutional arrangements, minimizing potential environmental impacts, and ensuring no one is left behind.

Building on a dedicated webinar series held in 2020 to stimulate debate on these issues, which gathered more than 850 participants, the session engaged implementers and the audience to identify key actions at different scales to take sustainable and inclusive farmer led irrigation development forward. 

Following a presentation of key insights emerging from the webinar series, a diverse group of implementers discussed how to implement or transform these insights into investments, and the audience will be invited to share their perspectives. 

The panelists asked “HOW” they would implement or transform insights from the FLI dialogues held in June and July into investments, and also present their role in contributing to FLI investment or implementation in their country. 

Recording forthcoming

  • Pieter Waalewijn - Global Lead Water in Agriculture, World Bank
  • Richard Colback - Agribusiness Water Specialist at International Finance Corporation
  • Onyaole Patience Koku - Managing Director at Replenish Farms
  • Julienne Roux - Senior network specialist, Global Water Partnership
  • Nicholas Brozovic - Director of Policy at the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute and as a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Peter Repinski - Global Water Partnership
  • Armand Houanye - Global Water Partnership
  • Dave D’Haeze - Hanns R. Neumann Foundation
  • Claudia Ringler - International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Sarah Keener - The Water Global Practice of the World Bank
#farmerledirrigation or give us a retweet @waterforfood.

Recap previous sessions

11 June 2020. Session 1: Accelerating inclusive FLI and reaching scale: Key considerations



WEBINAR: Harnessing the Power of Data for Smallholders - Data and the Path to Food Security

27 August 2020.  2 PM CEST/CAT. 
Harnessing the Power of Data for Smallholders - Data and the Path to Food Security

Data Science is being used to enable farmers to gain more insights on the results of their actions, provide insights on farming operations and practices, and delivering real-time information for informed decision-making on farming practices, thus having a significant impact on the entire supply chain.

WEBINARS: Digitalisation of Extension and Advisory Services

27 August 2020
.  Digitalisation of Extension and Advisory Services. AFAAS in collaboration with CTA Legacy and other partners. For more information about the D4AEAS initiative at AFAAS, view here:

This Webinar being the first in series of 4 (for year 2020), will use CTA’s Digitalisation of African Agriculture Report – 2018/19 as the basis for understanding the concept of Digitalisation for Agriculture (D4Ag), and how it can be utilized within Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (AEAS) in Africa.

September 24: Digitalisation of AEAS: Framework and Practical cases
Exercises: Collection of concrete cases from countries and evaluation

October 29: Digitalisation of AEAS: Assessing e-extension solutions
Exercises: Documenting failures and successes

November 27: Foresighting e-Extension to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of Extension.
Exercises: Foresight, documentation of findings and recommendations

WEBINAR: means of finding alternatives to maize as a staple food in Kenya

26 August 2020De-Maizing Kenya: Exploring on alternative crops for Food and Nutritional Security. Egerton University National Forum Webinar 1

Egerton University organised a virtual forum on ways and means of finding alternatives to maize as a staple food in Kenya. The event was moderated by the dean of the faculty of agriculture Prof Abdul Faraj. Chief guest was Prof Hamadi Boga, PS, Crop Development and Agricultural Research.

The institution's Vice Chancellor Prof Rose Mwonya, Dr Anthony Egeru of Ruforum and Prof Nancy Mungai from TagDev spoke during the opening session.

Key speakers 
  • Dr Lusike Wasilwa, a director with KALRO -  the "History of maize and cropping systems in Kenya".
  • Dr Timothy Njagi Tegemeo Institute - 'Comparative analysis of maize, other cereals, roots and tubers in Kenya over the last 20 years".
  • Prof Agnes Mwang'ombe - "Cassava as a promising alternative crop to maize" 
  • Prof Anthony Kibe - "Potato as an alternative staple crop".
  • Dr Gbegbelegbe Sika and Dr David Chikoye of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) - "Perspectives on Agro-ecological zoning of maize in Africa and technologies that IITA can provide to enhance de-maizing of Kenya".
  • My Josphat Munyu from the Ministry of Agriculture - "Food Nutrition Policy: Compositing and blending of flour".
  • Mr Stephen Mutoro, Secretary General of the Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) - 'Consumer preferences and consumer behaviour: How to change'
  • Prof Richard Mulwa amd Prof Patience Mshenga - reflections and wrap-ups of the session

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Science of Scaling: connecting the pathways of agricultural research and development for improved food, income, and nutrition security.

25 August 2020.
Science of Scaling. By Data-Driven Agronomy and Scaling Communities of Practice/CGIAR

During the second webinar of the Data-Driven Agronomy Community of Practice's series "Ingredients for Scaling", Daniel Jimenez, Leader of the Community of Practice, and Lennart Woltering, Scaling Catalyst, hosted this session to moderate: 
  • What is the science of scaling and what have we learned so far? What critical knowledge gaps are yet to be filled? 
  • What are the roles and responsibilities of researchers and R4D centers, and how can development and research organizations learn from each other for sustainable change at scale? 
  • Hayley Price-Kelly, Program Officer, Evaluation; International Development Research Centre (IDRC
  • Marc Schut, Senior Innovation and Scaling Scientist at IITA.

Science of Scaling: connecting the pathways of agricultural research and development for improved food, income, and nutrition security.
Edited by Marc Schut, Cees Leeuwis, Graham Thiele
Last update 7 August 2020

The Special Issue brings together 10 publications, most of them open access, which analyze critical success factors related to the technological, institutional and organizational dimensions of scaling innovation. Presenting case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America, the publications provide supporting empirical evidence of the factors required for successful scaling and pinpoint cross-cutting lessons learned.
The previous webinar was on 23 June 2020. Webinar - Meaningful scaling: The what and why of scaling

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Failing Africa’s Farmers: An Impact Assessment of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa

Failing Africa’s Farmers: An Impact Assessment of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

July 2020. 38 pages.

False Promises, a report from a coalition of international development organizations, argues that AGRA missed its 2015 goal to double the productivity and incomes of 30 million small-scale food producers by this year, saying that AGRA's initial goals were to double incomes for 20 million farming households while halving food insecurity in 20 countries by 2020.

The report is based on a study by Tufts University researchers, who say AGRA declined requests to provide internal monitoring and outcomes evaluation data. Instead, researchers used country-level production, yield and land data to assess whether AGRA programs had significantly raised agricultural productivity.

AGRA's 2017-2021 strategy states it will "contribute" to doubling the yields and incomes of 30 million smallholder households—nine million directly and 21 million indirectly.

In a statement to SciDev.Net, AGRA says it reached 4.7 million farmers in 2019. The alliance disputes accusations that its approach is failing Africa's farmers.

We found no evidence that productivity, incomes or food security were increasing significantly for smallholder households. (
Failing Africa’s farmers: New report shows Africa’s Green Revolution is “failing on its own terms”). 

Specifically, we found:
  • Little evidence AGRA was reaching a significant number of farmers. Its last progress report says only that AGRA had trained 5.3 million farmers in modern practices with “1.86 million farmers using” such practices. This is vague and far short of the stated goal of doubling productivity and incomes for seven million farmers directly and another 21 million indirectly.
  • No evidence of significant increases in smallholder incomes or food security. For AGRA countries as a whole, there has been a 30% increase in the number of people suffering extreme hunger since AGRA began, a condition affecting 130 million people in AGRA countries. Kenya, home to AGRA’s headquarters, saw an increase in the share of its people suffering undernourishment in the AGRA years.
  • No evidence of large productivity increases. For staple crops as a whole, yields are up only 18% over 12 years for AGRA’s 13 countries. Even maize, heavily promoted by Green Revolution programs, showed just 29% yield growth, well short of AGRA’s goal of doubling productivity, which would be a 100% increase.
  • Where technology adoption has taken place, input subsidies provided by African governments seem far more influential than AGRA’s programs. It is difficult to find evidence that AGRA’s programs would have any significant impacts in the absence of such large subsidies from African governments.
  • Even where production increased, as in Zambia, a near-tripling of maize production did not result in reductions in rural poverty or hunger. Small-scale farmers were not benefiting; poverty and hunger remained staggeringly high with 78% of rural Zambians in extreme poverty.
  • Green Revolution incentives for priority crops such as maize drove land into maize and out of more nutritious and climate-resilient traditional crops such as millet and sorghum, eroding food security and nutrition for poor farmers. Millet production declined 24% with yields falling 21% in the AGRA years.
  • No signs of “sustainable intensification,” the goal of sustainably increasing production on existing farmland. Environmental impacts are negative, including acidification of soils under monoculture cultivation with fossil-fuel-based fertilizers. Production increases have come more from farmers bringing new land under cultivation — “extensification” — than from productivity increases. Both trends have implications for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Watch a recording of a webinar hosted by HOMEF in collaboration with AFJN on August 6, 2020 on which Timothy A. Wise discusses his research and the report.

WEBINARS: Big data solutions to COVID-19 & food security

30 June 2020. The first episode of the Discussion Series: Big data solutions to COVID-19 & food security, brought together experts to give an overview of the challenges presented by COVID-19 and the opportunities big data solutions present. 
  • Sara Mbago-Bhunu | Director, East and Southern Africa Division, International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) 
  • Andy Jarvis Associate Director-General, Bioversity International and CIAT alliance and co-founder of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture 
  • Natalia Pshenichnaya Head of the AgriTech and CleanTech Programmes at GSMA 
  • Brian King Coordinator of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture

7 July 2020.
The second episode of  the Discussion Series: Big data solutions to COVID-19 & food security, brought together four panelists to discuss challenges and solutions to input supply chains and on-farm realities.
  • Richard Choularton - Director of Agriculture and Economic Growth Sector, Tetra Tech
  • Chiamaka Ndukwu - Founder and CEO, AgroHive
  • Susan Mathew  - International Trade Analyst
  • Berber Kramer - Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Recording forthcoming

14 July 2020. The third episode in Discussion Series: Big data solutions to COVID-19 & food security focused on tools for agile adaptation relating to digital extension and agricultural advisories.
  • Madina Amin Hussein | Founder and CEO, Global Nature Conservation 
  • Ram Dhulipala | International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) 
  • Jonathan Steinke | Research Fellow, Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT 
  • Shreya Agarwal | Director of Strategy, Digital Green

28 July 2020. The fifth episode of the Discussion Series: Big data solutions to COVID-19 & food security, brought together four panelists to discuss bridging gaps and building resiliency with digital agriculture platforms.
Recording forthcoming

4 August 2020. The sixth episode of the Discussion Series: Big data solutions to COVID-19 & food security, brought together two panelists to discuss future food systems.
Recording forthcoming

Some Welfare Consequences of COVID-19 in Ethiopia

24 August 2020.  Some Welfare Consequences of COVID-19 in Ethiopia. Organised by IFPRI.

Cross-country experience so far shows that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and responses to combat are multidimensional. These consequences include loss of life and morbidity, unemployment and reduced incomes, growing food insecurity and nutritional shortfalls, and disrupted markets and less stable prices. It is thus reasonable to expect the occurrence of these effects in Ethiopia. Indeed, the evidence corroborating that is accumulating, in part through ongoing IFPRI research.

Continuing the practice of sharing emerging evidence on the impact of COVID-19, findings of several studies were reported during a webinar organized by IFPRI and PSI on August 24, 2020. The presentations focus on the impact of COVID-19 on the welfare of mothers and children, food and nutrition security, food marketing margins, livelihoods, and poverty.

FAO/ITU WEBINAR: Fostering an Enabling Ecosystem for Food and Agriculture through Digital Innovation

21 August 2020.  Fostering an Enabling Ecosystem for Food and Agriculture through Digital Innovation. FAO/ITU

FAO’s International Platform for Digital Food and Agriculture to bridge the gap between international fora for food and agriculture, enhance awareness on issues specific to the digitalization of the food and agriculture sectors and provide policy recommendations to governments to support decision-making at higher levels. Hand-in-Hand is FAO’s evidence-based, country-led and country-owned initiative to accelerate agricultural transformation and sustainable rural development to eradicate poverty (SDG 1) and end hunger and all forms of malnutrition (SDG2).

Recently, FAO launched its Hand-in-Hand Geospatial Platform which supports all stakeholders with rich, shareable data (agro-ecology, water, land, soils, GHG, etc.), respecting the proper protocols of data confidentiality. The platform also includes a subnational system of donor information developed by FAO and its partners. FAO is actively supporting the building of Digital Agriculture and Innovation Hubs to foster innovation ecosystem and culture. 

This includes: a partnership with Zhejiang University to establish a Centre of Excellence for Youth
Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Asia, another partnership with Wageningen University & Research and others to apply for H2020 through a proposal of SmartAgriHubs for Africa

 Through joint-efforts, FAO-ITU is developing National e-Agriculture Strategy to support government in optimizing resources for the development of digital agriculture in the process of digital transformation and implementing Smart Village to support rural small holder and family farmers to embrace digital technologies and tools.

Session 330: Interactive Action Line Facilitation Meeting
Click here for the Session Recording
  • Introduction by Meng ZENG (Moderator) - Information Technology Officer, FAO
  • Dejan Jakovljevic - Deputy Director, IT Services, FAO
  • Longbao Wei – Director, Institute of Food and Agribusiness Management, Zhejiang University
  • Hani Eskandar – Digital Services Senior Coordinator, ITU

The mission of the African Conference of Precision Agriculture (AfCPA) is to “connect the science and practice needed to put precision agriculture in action for Africa.” Through this mission, AfCPA seeks to provide a pan-African platform focused on highlighting new advances in the fields of experimental and applied precision agriculture.

The deadline for abstract submissions has been extended to September 15th! Questions pertaining to abstract submissions should be addressed to

Monday, August 24, 2020

The impact of COVID-19 on livestock-based economies in the Horn of Africa

From mid-April through June 2020, Mercy Corps monitored livestock systems in Somalia, Ethiopia,

Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan to understand the interplay of diverse market forces as influenced by COVID-19 mitigation measures, as well as seasonality, locusts and Rift Valley Fever (RVF). 

This study focused on live animal, meat and milk value chains originating in the arid and semiarid lands (ASAL) regions and extending on to major domestic and export consumer markets. Information was collected through existing programs and augmented with key informant interviews. 

This report (Mercy Corps, August 2020, 14 pages), developed from that research, aims to fill knowledge gaps and offer recommendations to support coping and recovery.

Opportunities to Build Upon

  • A Market actors that adapted quickly have fared the best. From producer to retailer, market actors that found ways to adapt their business models protected their livelihoods or, at minimum, improved their ability to recover. Households and businesses employed adaptations including identifying alternative input and output markets, such as livestock, veterinary drugs and milk; increasing use of mobile phones, using data, SMS and voice services to take orders, communicate availability of supplies and negotiate prices; offering delivery services for products like milk, veterinary inputs and meat; using personal protective equipment to reassure customers of safety; and temporarily leaving livestock-related business for other viable businesses. Scaling these solutions and identifying new adaptations for market actors will improve market function, even during times of public health crisis.
  • A Good seasonal pastures are strengthening livestock holdings. Pastoralists and agropastoralists have struggled to recover herds lost to severe drought in 2017. However, above average rainfall has improved pasture availability and quality, and livestock body condition and general herd sizes are good. As countries reopen and economic activity resumes, providing short-term social protection and strengthening alternative income earning opportunities for small herd owners will protect livestock gains, prevent oversupply of animals and decreased livestock prices, assist household recovery and reduce future vulnerability.

Challenges to Consider

  • A Loss of consumer income, plus the closure of institutions, restaurants, bars and street-food vendors, have eliminated a large segment of meat and milk value chains and devastated livestock markets across the region. Market closures and movement restrictions disrupted supply chains, but in many cases producers and traders could work around these challenges. However, the sudden loss of end markets quickly stopped the need to supply milk and live animals for meat. Unlike other foods, meat and milk sales are highly price and income sensitive. Consumption of meat and milk decrease when retail prices increase or when household incomes decrease or become less reliable. Meat and processed milk are consumed primarily within urban and peri-urban markets, so the strength and growth of the livestock sector are directly tied to the strength and growth of these consumer markets. 
  • Movement restrictions and widespread loss of wages have severely limited pastoral and agropastoral households’ ability to earn income. Agropastoralists and pastoralists earn income through diverse activities both on and off farm. Many of these income-earning opportunities have been inaccessible during COVID-19 lockdowns. Combined with reduced demand for livestock in local markets, this has forced smallholder households to tap into meager savings and food reserves, or borrow against current assets or future earnings. Going forward, households will struggle to recoup losses and prevent further economic backsliding.

Strategic Framework for Grain Legume and Dryland Cereals Seed Systems

21 August 2020. Seed Systems Strategy for Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals is the result of a very wide consultative process. 

The content is from outputs from different actors’ meetings, participation by and interactions between public, private sectors and development partners, i.e. scientists, managers, policy makers, NGOs, and farmer organizations who came up with different action points. Buy-ins were encouraged to refine the content to best fit the user context and be shared as a work tool for seed systems actors. The strategy aims to:
  • Guide the design and implementation of seed systems interventions to systemically address bottlenecks in a concerted way with partners;
  • Trigger innovations and investments in GLDC through dynamic learning mechanisms across partners;
  • Converge key actors in GLDC to work around critical challenges for breakthroughs in seed systems;
  • Create synergies and partnerships for actions to move forward efficiently and effectively.
Though the focus of the strategy is primarily on sorghum, finger millet, pearl millet, groundnut,
chickpea, pigeonpea, lentil, cowpea and soybean,
it can also inspire improvement in delivery systems of rice, maize and wheat.

Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC) breeding programs have made substantial breakthroughs (see box) with hundreds of improved and high-yielding, pest- and drought-tolerant and nutrient-use-efficient varieties developed for different agroecological regions, yet it is observed that about 80% of smallholder farmers in developing countries rely on non-improved GLDC variety seed for planting. The book challenges this observation. 

It points to the fact that poorly organized seed systems and inefficient seed supply systems hinder large-scale use of improved variety of seeds. It underscores the main rationale for it, being that farmers use their own-saved seed, the bulkiness of seed of some GLDC crops (e.g., groundnut, chickpea), difficulty in storage and poor knowledge of GLDC’s comparative advantage (e.g., nutrients, production ecologies, etc.).

Friday, August 21, 2020

CASE STUDIES: Public Agricultural Research in an Era of Transformation: The Challenge of Agri-Food System Innovation

Hall, A. and Dijkman, J. 2019. Public Agricultural Research in an Era of Transformation: The Challenge of Agri-Food System Innovation. Rome and Canberra: CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) Secretariat and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), IX + 67 pp.

The ISPC of the CGIAR and CSIRO of Australia have published a study titled "Public Agricultural Research in an Era of Transformation: The Challenge of Agri-Food system Innovation". 

The study explores the way the sustainable development agenda reframes innovation concepts, practices and policies and the implications of this for the CGIAR and other public agricultural research organisations. 

The study is accompanied by a volume of case studies of transformation in the agri-food sector.

System innovation is apparent in a number of perspectives that have been developed to help understand how path dependencies and system changes can be managed in the energy, transport and manufacturing sectors. These include the following:
  1. Sustainability transitions. 
  2. Strategic niche management. 
  3. Multi-level perspective (MLP). 
  4. Transition management (TM).
Case studies:
  • Marine Stewardship Council (MSC): Improving the sustainability of capture fisheries through sustainability certification, Chili
  • The transition of the Chilean salmon industry to sustainable and socially inclusive practices 
  • Sundrop Farms: Sustainability pioneers in the Australian food system 
  • Australian cotton: Industry-led national and global innovation alliances for sustainability 
  • Water Use Efficiency (WUE), Queensland: New alignments of stakeholder agendas under crisis conditions, Australia 
  • Thai poultry exports: Subsector transformation through industry reinvention 
  • Mass marketing treadle pumps in Bangladesh: An appropriate technology pathway to transformation 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

WEBINAR: Women Leaders in Water for Food: Improving Lives and Ag Productivity

20 August 2020. Women Leaders in Water for Food: Improving Lives and Ag Productivity

Creating a supportive environment for women in agriculture and water leadership is important for ensuring future water food security around the globe. Water and agriculture are closely tied and in the first two sessions of our webinar series, we'll hear from women currently making an impact in this space through various programs or projects, and from those specifically working to empower women, advance educational opportunities and organize programming related to women in ag and water.

In the first session, award-winning chef, entrepreneur, and agriculture advocate, Louise Mabulo, discussed youth and sustainable solutions to food security. 
  • Mabulo promotes sustainable agriculture and farm-to-table cuisine and was recently awarded as a Young Champion of the Earth by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • From the United Kingdom, Louise migrated to a rural area in the Philippines, where she runs her own farm and Culinary Lounge. 
  • She established her venture, The Cacao Project, promoting sustainable agriculture, while providing farmers with a disaster-resilient, high income livelihood.

27 August 2020. In the second session, Leticia Obeng will lead discussion with six women currently
doing work in ag and water. 
  • The first block will explore ideas in action with those who are currently implementing multiple programs, or have program reflections and guidance regarding women in ag and water management. 
  • The second block taps into the ideas and efforts of women working to empower women, advance educational opportunities and organize programming. 
  • We will also hear from Grace Mukarusagara, a native Rwandan, who has collaborated with DWFI and done extensive work with women farmers in Africa.

WEBINAR: Appropriate Agricultural Technologies and Innovations for Agri SMEs and Smallholder Farmers

20 August 2020. Appropriate Agricultural Technologies and Innovations for Agri SMEs and Smallholder Farmers. Organised by African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP).
  1. The Smart Backsaver mechanization tools for the African Farmer - not only saving you the back ache, but helping you to farm profitably!
  2. Unlocking the value of small scale greenhouse farming - what is possible & makes business sense?
  3. The great Nkoko opportunity to raise and sell chickens profitably
  4. Where you can walk, you can use a MAYFIELD - an essential tool for correct fertilizer application
  5. Basils Business Opportunities for the African Entrepreneur - Appropriate agro-processing equipment manufactured in Africa for Africa

Michris Janse van Rensburg Owner at Baksaver Farming Equipment (South Africa). Click on the link to view the PowerPoint presentation on “Smart Backsaver mechanization tools for the African Farmer – not only saving you the backache but helping you to farm profitably.”
1_BackSaver Farming Equipment



Gerhard Scheepers Technical Manager at Multigrow Online (South Africa). Click on the link to view the PowerPoint presentation on “Unlocking the value of small scale greenhouse farming – what is possible & makes business sense?
2_Multigow Online Pty Ltd presentation



Philip Kilian Owner At Kiki Agri (South Africa). Click on the link to view the PowerPoint presentation on ” The great Nkoko opportunity to raise and sell chickens profitably.”
3_KikiAgri Presentation




Craig Garnett Owner at Mayfield Enterprises (South Africa). Click on the link to view the PowerPoint presentation on ” Where you can walk, you can use a MAYFIELD – an essential tool for correct fertilizer application.”
4_Mayfield Enterprises Presentation



Basil Phupha Owner at Basil’s Business Opportunities (South Africa). Click on the link to view the PowerPoint presentation on “Basils Business Opportunities for the African Entrepreneur -Appropriate agro-processing equipment manufactured in Africa for Africa.”
5_Basils presentation

WEBINAR: The Role of Horticulture During COVID-19

20 August 2020.  The Role of Horticulture During COVID-19. Organised by Ag2Nut Nigeria, the
ANH Academy and the Horticultural Society of Nigeria.

Evidence shows horticulture can foster food security, particularly in urban settings where access to healthy options is limited but needed to ensure adequate nutrition and prevent non-communicable diseases. Foods such as fruits, vegetables and spices play a key role in the health and wellbeing of families and communities. The COVID-19 pandemic is putting diets and food security are in jeopardy around the world, with markets, affordability and access to healthy and acceptable options out of reach for many. 

Shirley Isibhakhomen Ejoh, University of Ibadan

H.A. Akintoye, National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT)
Caleb Olanipekun, World Vegetable Center

Moderator Anna Herforth, Ag2Nut

WEBINAIRE sur la boîte à outils « S'impliquer dans le Fonds vert pour le climat »

20 August 2020. Webinaire sur la boîte à outils « S'impliquer dans le Fonds vert pour le climat »

Le Fonds vert pour le climat (FVC) vise à promouvoir « un changement de paradigme en faveur de trajectoires de développement sobres en carbone et résilientes face au changement climatique » en aidant les pays en développement, en particulier ceux qui sont les plus vulnérables, à limiter ou à réduire leurs émissions de gaz à effet de serre et à s'adapter aux effets du réchauffement climatique.

L'Instrument de gouvernance du FVC, dans son paragraphe 71, reconnaît l'importance de la contribution et de la participation des parties prenantes, y compris les organisations de la société civile (OSC). Il exige du Conseil d'administration du Fonds la mise en place de mécanismes visant à promouvoir la participation de l'ensemble des parties prenantes à la conception, l'élaboration et la mise en œuvre des stratégies et activités financées par le Fonds. 

Le webinaire a présenté en détaille la boîte à outils ‘‘S’impliquer dans le Fonds vert pour le climat – Une boîte à outils de la société civile’’, qui vise à fournir aux acteurs de la société civile et aux OSC, ainsi qu'à toute autre partie intéressée par le FVC, des informations, des connaissances et des conseils pertinents sur la manière de s'impliquer dans le Fonds.

Pour toutes questions ou informations, veuillez contacter Jean Paul Brice Affana (Germanwatch), Email: ou Blondel Silenou Demanou (JVE Cameroun), Email:

WEBINAR: Enhancing Commercialization of Africa’s Agricultural Research Products_Livestock & High Iron Bean

Transformation in Africa’s agriculture will happen only when technology gets to the end users. 

FARA is therefore supporting the translation of research into products for commercialisation, and this is done as an enabler compact within the context of the AfDB funded Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program. 

After two years of providing support in setting up innovation platforms, carrying our TAAT training of trainers TAAT workshops and packaging TAAT technologies for scaling, it’s time to inventories technologies that are ripe for the market. 

As the designated institution charged with the Capacity Development and Technology Outreach (CDTO), a crucial element is identification, packaging and presentation of technologies from the different Compacts. Using the electronic platform, FARA is rolling out a series of webinars to take stock of these technologies that will enhance transformation in the respective commodity sectors 

The webinars address the following:
  1. How can we translate Africa’s agricultural research into products for commercialization?
  2. Can a market systems approach lead to rapid technology adoption by the end users?
  3. What are the agri-preneurship opportunities within the TAAT value chains that can trigger industrialization?

19 August 2020.
TAAT CDTO Webinar: Enhancing Commercialization of Africa’s Agricultural Research Products_Livestock & High Iron Bean

The second part of the webinar on iron beans starts @ 1:00:38

WEBINARS Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition

Since 2010, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition has pursued applied research to support the goals of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, built institutional capacity for analysis and evidence-based policy in developing countries, and offered scholarships to support individual capacity development through formal degree education in the United States and elsewhere. 

The Innovation Lab for Nutrition and USAID Advancing Nutrition organised a webinar series to hear about the project's research, results, and learning to inform future programming.

Designed to inform and engage stakeholders, this series covers research conducted by the Innovation Lab for Nutrition and its stakeholders over the past ten years. During each webinar, panelists present findings from their research, discuss policy implications of these findings, discuss what needs to be done to better link research to practice, and identify research gaps for future consideration.

17 June 2020. Aquaculture-Horticulture Linkages & Innovative Technologies in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition's focus is on aquaculture programming, linked in various ways to horticulture promotion, innovations in drying and storage of products, and behavior change communication. Located in the Feed the Future zone of Bangladesh (the South-West), NIL works closely with local academic institutions, international partners (such as IFPRI), and implementing organizations (such as SPRING) to generate strong empirical evidence of how food choices are made, how diets change, and what impacts are possible on nutrition.
This webinar covers NIL's research, findings, and innovative technologies in the realm of aquaculture and horticulture in Bangladesh. Speakers explain how their efforts contribute to a shared research agenda that ultimately informs policy and programming within the context of USAID and globally
15 July 2020. Markets and Infrastructure: The Roles of Market Access in Shaping Diets in Bangladesh, Uganda, and Nepal

Many factors combine to shape diets and maternal and child health. In this webinar co-hosted by USAID Advancing Nutrition and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition, we review recent research from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition regarding the role of markets and infrastructure in mitigating nutritional risks. We focus specific attention on findings from Bangladesh, Nepal and Uganda, examining correlates and drivers of dietary diversity, linear growth and weight gain, and nutritional resilience.

5 August 2020Animal Source Foods (ASFs) and Child Nutrition in Bangladesh, Nepal and Uganda

Animal sourced foods (ASFs) are nutrient dense foods that when consumed in small amounts provide quality protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, and all nutrients critical for growth and development, particularly of infants and young children. While evidence supports the contribution of ASFs in improving the linear growth of children, a better understanding of the long-term effects of the consumption of different ASFs is needed. 

This webinar examined the role of ASFs in improving the nutritional status of vulnerable populations and present findings from the Innovation Lab for Nutrition’s studies in Nepal, Uganda and Bangladesh. These include econometric multi-country analyses assessing the role of the type of ASF and the total number of ASFs in supporting optimal growth and development. We will also present analyses and findings on our work in the realm of nutrition-sensitive interventions (e.g. aquaculture and animal husbandry), consumption of ASFs, and nutritional status.

Exposure to mycotoxins through the diet is widespread in many resource-constrained areas of the world. Additionally, research conducted by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition at Tufts University suggests that aflatoxins, in particular, may be associated with poor nutrition outcomes in infants and young children, beginning in utero. We invite you to join this upcoming webinar to learn more about findings from studies in Uganda, Mozambique, Nepal, and Timor-Leste and to discuss the necessary policy and programmatic actions required to improve food safety, limit exposure, and improve health.

19 August 2020. Webinar on, "Environmental Enteric Dysfunction, WASH, and Nutritional Status of
Women, Infants, and Young Children: Findings from Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Nepal. Organised by the Innovation Lab for Nutrition/Feed the Future co-hosted with USAID Advancing Nutrition. all webinar recordings can be found on the website.

Environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) is a dynamic condition characterized by reduced nutrient absorption, increased gut permeability, and inflammation. 

  • It is associated with poor environmental hygiene and contamination, poor water quality, poor hygiene and sanitation practices, and an altered microbiota. EED has been implicated in increasing the risk of stunting and wasting in early life and the risk of a poor birth prognosis in pregnancy. However the evidence on both its causes and effects has been mixed. 
  • This may be in part due to measurement challenges as the gold standard metric of EED, the lactulose-mannitol test, measures only part of the EED process. 
  • Research supported by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition in Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Nepal aimed to test new metrics for EED assessment, examine the relationship of EED, stunting and wasting within the context of poor WASH practices, an altered microbiota, and the presence of contaminants such as mycotoxins.
  • Dr. Shibani Ghosh - Research Associate Professor at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
  • Dr. Jaqueline Lauer - Public health nutritionist and Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University
  • Dr. Akriti Singh - In August, Dr. Singh successfully completed her thesis defense to receive her PhD from Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
  • Dr. Christopher Duggan - Pediatric gastroenterologist and nutrition physician at Boston Children's Hospital, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
For more information about the webinar series, visit

WEBINAR: Safeguarding Progress Towards Improved Nutrition During the COVID-19 Pandemic

11 August 2020. 3 PM CEST. Safeguarding Progress Towards Improved Nutrition During the COVID-19 Pandemic: USAID Partner Experiences (Part 1).

13 August 2020. 12 PM CEST. Safeguarding Progress Towards Improved Nutrition During the COVID-19 Pandemic: USAID Partner Experiences (Part 2)

The COVID-19 crisis is creating shocks across multiple sectors and systems that are essential to improving and safeguarding nutrition. 

USAID's Guiding Principles and Recommendations for Nutrition in the Context of COVID-19 (June 2020,  14 pages) summarizes the likely impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on nutrition and proposes guiding principles for priority actions during the response and recovery phases.

Priority Actions During Response: Immediate priorities are to safeguard access to safe, nutritious foods, particularly for young children and pregnant and lactating women; continue to promote and protect breastfeeding; and maintain delivery of life-saving nutrition interventions through health systems and humanitarian response while minimizing risks of transmission. 

Priority actions include:
  • Food Systems Programming (p.6): Promote commercial production and support market measures for safe and nutritious foods; maintain local production of nutrient dense foods.
  • Health Systems Programming (p.7-9): Promote and protect breastfeeding; complementary feeding; vitamin A supplementation (VAS); management of wasting and acute malnutrition; maternal nutrition counseling and supplementation.
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Safety Net Programming (p.9-10): Continue to provide essential health and nutrition services while reducing direct contact with beneficiaries; safeguard social protection programs with an increased focus on supporting access to nutritious foods and nutrition services.

WEBINAR: Engaging youth and the private sector in extension and agricultural advisory

19 August 2020Effective private sector engagement in extension and advisory services: Engaging youth and the private sector in extension and agricultural advisory.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the event, originally planned for April 21-22, 2020 was rescheduled and will now be held virtually in several webinar sessions during August - September 2020. See below for more details.

To interrogate the state of extension systems in East Africa and devise mechanisms to take advantage of existing opportunities, the Feed the Future Developing Local Extension Capacity (DLEC) Project in collaboration with the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), Eastern Africa Field Schools Support Hub and Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services – Kenya (KeFAAS) are organizing an online community of practice event on ‘Engaging youth and the private sector in extension and agricultural advisory services.’ The event will bring together experts, practitioners, researchers and funding partners to share, discuss and learn about issues of extension and advisory services in East Africa. The key messages and lessons will be documented into policy briefs that will be shared with East Africa policymakers to inform the extension policy agenda.

See full event concept note for more details.

Webinar session 1: August 5,  03:00 PM (Nairobi) 

Role of private sector and youth  in propelling digital disruption for invigorating extension and advisory services

See flyer with more details

Webinar recording (presentations):

Q&A session:

Webinar session 2:  August 19, 2020 03:00 PM (Nairobi) 

Effective private sector engagement in extension and advisory services

Download flyer (PDF)

Recording forthcoming

The event brought together experts, practitioners, researchers, and funding partners to share, discuss and learn about issues of extension and advisory services in East Africa. The key messages and lessons will be documented into policy briefs that will be shared with East Africa policy makers to inform the extension policy agenda.

  • George Chemining’wa, Chairman, KeFAAS 
  • Silim Mohammed Nahdy, Partnerships, Executive Director, AFAAS.
  • Kristin Davis, Senior Research Fellow, Development Strategy and Governance Division, IFPRI and Project Co-Director, DLEC
  • Linking farmers to quality inputs and advisory - Odede Ochieng, Sidai
  • Providing mechanization services Jehiel Oliver, Founder and CEO, Hello Tractor
  • Linking farmers to market Josephine Miingi, Founder and CEO, Building Rural Incomes Through Entrepreneurship (BRiTEN)
  • Village Agent Model in Uganda John Ariko Okelai, Lecturer, Makerere University Business School, Agribusiness Consultant and Researcher

Webinar session 3: August 26, 2020 03:00 PM (Nairobi) 
Topic: Gainful youth participation in extension and advisory services

Webinar session 4: Sep 2, 2020 03:00 PM (Nairobi) 
Topic: Double benefits for youth and private actor participation in scaling up successful extension approaches:  Opportunities and challenges

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

WEBINAR: COVID-19: The role of the agriculture-ecosystem health interface

18 August 2020. @3:30 PM Virtual Event - COVID-19: The role of the agriculture-ecosystem health interface. Organised by IFPRI

Efforts to improve food security and nutrition have contributed to dramatic declines in forest and other natural ecosystems and rapid increases in contact rates between human and wild and domestic animals. Since 1940, agricultural drivers were associated with more than one quarter of all infectious diseases—and more than half of all zoonotic infectious diseases—that emerged in humans. Current risks of infectious diseases are particularly high in Asia, but projections suggest that infectious disease risk will grow fastest in Africa south of the Sahara, as crop area and livestock populations expand.

This policy seminar will discuss the agriculture-ecosystem health interface that was magnified by COVID-19, and will consider cross-sectoral solutions that could reduce such risk and enhance human and ecosystem health with a focus on the contributions that One CGIAR can make.

  • John E. Fa, Senior Research Associate at CIFOR and Professor of Biodiversity and Human Development at Manchester Metropolitan University

  • Katharine Kreis, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Lead for Nutrition Innovation, PATH & Bridge Collaborative Secretariat Member
  • Ricky Robertson, Research Fellow, IFPRI
  • Christian Walzer, Executive Director of Wildlife Health, Wildlife Conservation Society

  • Josh Goldstein, Director, Bridge Collaborative, The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
  • Izabella Koziell, Program Director, CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE)
  • Eva Ohlsson, Senior Research Advisor, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
  • Claudia Ringler, Deputy Division Director, Environment and Production Technology Division, IFPRI; CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystem Flagship co-lead and Bridge Collaborative Secretariat member