Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

WEBINAR: Enhancing Commercialization of Africa’s Agricultural Research Products: Millet and Sorghum Value Chain

30 September 2020. TAAT CDTO Webinar. Technology Adoption towards Enhancing Commercialization of Africa’s Agricultural Research Products: Millet and Sorghum Value Chain & Soil fertility Enabler Compact.

WEBINAR: Role of Cold Chain Logistics in Food Safety of Perishable Food

30 September 2020.
Building A Safe Food System: The Role of Cold Chain Logistics in Food Safety of Perishable Food

Business Drivers for Food Safety organized a webinar about understanding what exactly constitutes an effective cold chain, how it affects the health and nutrition of consumers, and what can be done to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of temperature control systems in the developing world in order to improve the safety and nutritional quality of perishable food and reduce loss.

Recording forthcoming

Some of the most nutritious foods are also some of the most perishable—fruits, vegetables, and animal-sourced foods. They all require temperature control or a “cold chain” to stay fresh and safe. These highly perishable food products pass through many hands on their way to consumers. Some are sold closer to the point of production in village markets, whereas others move through complex systems of aggregators, transporters, storage operators, processors, and retailers, on their way to small towns and urban centers. If food is not kept cool and clean as it moves through this system, it is susceptible to contamination and spoilage. The results of improper food handling seriously impact the health and nutrition of consumers.

Food hygiene and temperature control are two critical components to keep food safe as it moves through the food system. The critical areas in the supply chain for contamination and spoilage include on-farm production, packing area handling, potable water availability, transport quality, warehouse management, and final retail. Any disruption of the cold chain and food handling at any point of the supply line can adversely affect both the safety and the nutritional value of food. Contamination of food by either chemicals or bacteria can lead to infectious diseases which, along with the diminished nutritional value, affect the nutritional status of consumers.

WEBINAR: Can tree planting save our planet?

29 September 2020. 13:00-17:00 CEST. Digital Forum: Can tree planting save our planet?

CIFOR-ICRAF in collaboration with the Global Landscapes Forum, hosted a half-day digital forum that brought scientists, forestry experts, community leaders, investors and policymakers together to share insights and scientific evidence to important tree planting initiatives and how to build back better following the Covid-19 pandemic. By sharing CIFOR-ICRAF’s 70 years of experience across the global South in supporting successful tree planting and connecting efforts on biodiversity and landscape restoration, sustainable economic development and dismantling inequality, the forum aims to highlight the many ways to make tree planting good for people and the planet.

You can watch the recording on FACEBOOK

Tree planting has become the latest trend in tackling the climate crisis, motivating legions around the world to tap the incredible carbon absorbing potential of trees. Business and political leaders from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have pledged to plant billions - even trillions - of trees across the planet as a fix for runaway carbon emissions and degraded landscapes. Plant trees, save the planet. READ CONCEPT NOTE
  • Welcome : Vania Olmos Lau 
  • Opening remarks Robert Nasi - CIFOR Director General/CIFOR-ICRAF Managing Director 
Introducing Resilient Landscapes 
  • Howard-Yana Shapiro 
  • Yvonne Aki Sawyerr 
Busting the myths and tackling the realities of tree planting
Planting a trillion trees: a feel-good exercise or an important mission to save the planet? What does it take to make tree planting successful? The discussion investigated some of the misconceptions about tree-planting and looked at the pathways to restoring landscapes and growing trees that provide the greatest chance of success – for people and the planet. 
  • Moderator: Cora van Oosten 
  • Susan Chomba
  • Wanjira Mathai
  • Thomas Crowther
  • Agus Justianto 
  • Reflections  Jad Daley 
Financing tree planting and proper valuation of natural assets  and investments 
Besides the few headline-grabbing big pledges from companies this year, tree planting and landscape restoration at scale have struggled to attract sufficient investment. And yet, investment opportunities abound with commitments by governments to restore hundreds of millions of hectares through agreements like the Bonn Challenge and the New York Declaration on Forests, in addition to growing willingness among companies to make their supply chains more sustainable. This session considered where investments in tree planting are happening and where the opportunities remain untapped. Investors – public and private – discussed their interests and their challenges. 
  • moderator: Leona Liu 
  • Bonnie Norman
  • Boris Saraber
  • Tanja Havemann
  • Caroline van Tilborg
  • Tor-Gunnar Vagen 
  • Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti Youth tree planting 
Putting tools and technology into farmers’ hands
stories from the field Landscape restoration is often a long-term and costly exercise. CIFOR-ICRAF have developed two important mobile tools for farmers and restoration practitioners plant the right tree in the right place for the right purpose, and collect information on how farmers are managing and protecting trees on their farms. CIFOR-ICRAF experts explained how the vegetationmap4africa and the Regreening Africa App can help those involved in landscape restoration make better decisions. 
  • Roeland Kindt
  • Tor-Gunnar Vagen
  • Muhammad Ahmad 
From planting to natural regeneration: best approaches to tree growing 
Tree planting techniques and technology, from species selection to considering natural regeneration, can help reduce costs, improve survival rates while connecting communities. This second session considered what trees make the most sense under different climate scenarios, the role of biodiversity, where do we plant which tree species – or let nature do the work through natural regeneration.  New technologies, their applications to the future of tree planting and restoration were discussed. 
  • moderator: Ramni H Jamnadass 
  • Nicole Schwab
  • Lauren Fletcher
  • Harrie Lovenstein
  • Joice Ferreira 
  • Marlito Bande -Rainforestation
  • Sarah Lillie Anderson - Tree equity
  • Tony Simons - Closing Remarks ICRAF Director General/CIFOR-ICRAF Executive Director 
CIFOR’s FORETS project, financed by the European Union, is turning degraded lands into a source of sustainable livelihoods in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


WEBINAR: Access to sustainable energy – a critical component for a green recovery in Africa

29 September 2020. Access to sustainable energy – a critical component for a green recovery in Africa. Speaker: Stefano Signore - Head of Unit for Sustainable Energy and Climate Change of DG DEVCO

To achieve universal electricity access in Africa by 2030, it is estimated that an annual investment of about USD 29 billion in electricity infrastructure is required, both for on-grid and off-grid access, while an annual investment of about USD 2 billion in clean cooking solutions is required. These required funds cannot come from the public sector alone, but rather require access to private, institutional and household finance. However, to do so will require new partnerships and collaboration.

Governments across Africa are taking unprecedented steps to respond to the immediate health and economic impacts of COVID-19. Today’s decisions will impact tomorrow’s ability to recover better over the long term and countries that take advantage of this moment to re-think their energy supplies will develop a competitive advantage.

ICLEI Africa and CoM SSA organised a webinar with experts and city leaders to discuss ways in which governments and the private sector can work together to ensure a green and sustainable recovery in the energy sector during and after this pandemic.
  • Stefano Signore - Head of Unit for Sustainable Energy and Climate Change of DG DEVCO
  • Mr. Biyini Effila GABRIEL - Mayor of Yaounde IV District Municipality, Cameroon
  • Vincent de Paul Kayanja - Mayor, Entebbe Municipal Council, Uganda
  • Eng. Benson Mlambo Mwakina - Director of Renewable Energy Ministry of Energy, Kenya

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

REPORTS: Ag-platforms business models and policy gaps reports

ODI is releasing a series of reports funded by the Enhanced Integrated Framework that aim to explore AgriTech in East African value chains

Report 1. Disruptive technologies in agricultural value chains: insights from East Africa

ODI © SUPPORTING ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION. Working and discussion papers. March 2020. Aarti Krishnan, Karishma Banga and Maximiliano Mendez-Parra. 60 pages

Agricultural technology (AgriTech) is a form of technological innovation, encompassing dataconnected devices using information and communications technology, internet and artificial intelligence, agricultural biochemistry and biotechnology, innovative food and farming, farm robotics and automation, and smart warehousing and logistics. 

Disruption in AgriTech has the potential to occur through: (1) increased agricultural productivity in capital and labour; (2) value addition; (3) regional trade and cohesion; (4) skills acquisition and formalisation of jobs; (5) opportunities for youth and women; and (6) redistribution of value. If governed properly, AgriTech can deliver increased equity, expand digital capacities and increase the quality and quantity of jobs.

This working paper explores the implications of the digitalisation of agriculture, with a focus on East Africa. It addresses the following key questions:
  • What is AgriTech?
  • What prevents adoption of AgriTech?
  • What does disruption mean within AgriTech?
  • What are the pathways through which AgriTech may disrupt livelihoods and support transformation?

Report 2. ‘PLATFORMS IN AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAINS: Emergence of new business models in East Africa’


This report aims to develop typologies of business models of the Ag-platforms that exist, identifying the challenges and opportunities of using these business models and the extent to which they can create value capture opportunities for farmers, youth and women in agriculture. 

Drawing on case study evidence from Uganda and Rwanda, the report deep-dives into the business models of Ag-platforms, unpacking the 3Cs of Costs, Complexity and Capabilities, to indicate the potential ways in which platformisation may exacerbate existing inequalities rather than supporting value creation for the poorest. 

The report presents five models of Ag-platform delivery across a value chain, which consists of a combination of various scopes (breadth of functions and processes) and scales (destination of final product). Ultimately, we develop a roadmap for policy-makers to facilitate the development and proliferation of sustainable Ag-platforms. 
  1. The production and exchange model consists of three scopes: backward exchange, horizontal offers and information services, whereby farmers gain production-related information, sometimes along with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data analytics support, generally at the pre-production and production stage of the value chain. 
  2. Output exchange occurs midstream in the value chain, consisting of three scopes: forward exchange, post-harvest and information services. This is an auction-based model, wherein farmers are provided information on crop prices and on logistic prices to transport products, as well as post-harvest services such as grading and packaging. 
  3. Trading and sharing consists of five scopes: marketplace matching, horizontal offers, information services, complex information services, production and harvest services, and sharing and knowledge exchange. This model covers the full value chain, as it includes services from the pre-production stage to the output sale. 
  4. Guarantee purchase and logistics consists of two scopes; guaranteed purchase and prices, and information services. In this case, Ag-platform firms act as intermediaries and buyers, by taking the onus of loss onto themselves. They provide farmers with contracts, along with a guarantee of purchase at specific market defined prices. 
  5. The single buyer-led (integrated) model works within a completely vertically integrated value chain, wherein the main off-taker, be it a processor or a retailer, directly controls the entire value chain and there is already a predetermined market.

Report 2. AG-PLATFORMS IN EAST AFRICA: National and regional policy


Aarti Krishnan, Karishma Banga and Joseph Feyertag July 2020, 63 pages. 

This report aims to discuss how various business models of Ag-platforms can be used to bridge national and regional policy gaps in East Africa, drawing on case study evidence from Uganda and Rwanda.

This report aims to discuss how various business models of Ag-platforms can be used to bridge national and regional policy gaps in East Africa, drawing on case study evidence from Uganda and Rwanda. 
  1. Section 1 highlights the multiple value creation and capture opportunities as compared with traditional value chains.
  2. Section 2 zooms in on East Africa and compares East African countries in terms of digital and regulatory readiness. 
  3. Section 3 lays out a typology of Ag-platform models. It presents five models of Ag-platform delivery across a value chain, which consists of a combination of various scopes (breadth of functions and processes) and scales (destination of final product). 
  4. Sections 4 and 5 explore the potential of Ag-platforms to act as a bridge for national policy gaps in the short term.
  5. The final section provides a roadmap for policy-makers to develop sustainable Ag-platforms that engender value capture maximisation and act as an effective bridge of policy gaps. Thus, the various business models of Ag-platforms developed, and the related policy deficits, can be matched to policy goals, in order to create win/win opportunities for the poor. 

WEBINAR: Foresight 2.0 report launch

29 September 2020. The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition launched their second 'Foresight' report on "Future Food Systems: For people, our planet, and prosperity", assessing the developing crises that relate to malnutrition, the dysfunctional relationship between food systems and the natural environment, and also the lack of resilience of food systems – highlighted most recently by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. 2020. Future Food Systems: For people, our planet, and prosperity. London, UK. 204 pages

This evidence-based report offers policy solutions to improve the quality of diets using a food systems approach through promoting availability, accessibility, affordability, desirability, and sustainably, healthy diets for all.

Drawing on the latest science and evidence, the report identifies the systemic policy failures that are behind these interlinked crises and sets out the essential steps, which need to be taken so that food systems can transition to become fit for the future. Read more about the report in a new blog on the  website by Shenggen Fan, Global Panel member and Former Director General of IFPRI.

In order to deliver sustainable, healthy diets for all, food systems must be fundamentally transformed. They remain profoundly dysfunctional. Most countries are not on track to meet most of the nutrition targets for 2025 by the World Health Assembly. So much more has to be done, including shifting dietary patterns globally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and impacts on biodiversity.

The Report
  • The aim and key added value of this report is to draw on the best available science and evidence to set out a practical way forward which is grounded in the realities of policy development in LMICs.
  • The advice and recommendations offered by the Global Panel are aimed primarily at decision makers in LMICs, but they alone cannot turn global challenges around. In a highly interconnected world, high-income countries also have a vital role to play, particularly where their own decisions have impacts on LMICs. High-income countries (HICs) not only share responsibility for some of the major problems facing us all but are also facing obesity and diet-related disease epidemics of their own.
  • This report shows that the underlying problems run deep. Our food systems are failing to produce the foods essential for healthy diets in sufficient quantity and at affordable prices. They are also driving degradation of the natural environment – soil, water and air quality, biodiversity loss and climate change – and dangerously undermining our future well-being. Since this report was commissioned in 2018, COVID-19 has highlighted just how fragile and precarious the world’s food systems have become. The situation is unsustainable.
A LIVE Webinar Hosted by the Global Panel and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

See Panel members with partners and other stakeholders talking about the report here.

Speakers and Panelists:
  • Dr QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO & Global Panel member
  • Dr Anna Lartey, Director, Food and Nutrition, Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO)
  • H.E. John Kufuor, Co-Chair, Global Panel
  • Sir John Beddington, Co-Chair, Global Panel
  • Dr Agnes Kalibata, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit
  • Prof. Patrick Webb, Global Panel Technical Adviser
  • Prof. Tim Benton, Co-Chair, Global Panel Lead Expert Group
  • Dr Francesco Branca, Director of the Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Ms. Diane Holdorf, Managing Director, Food and Nature of World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety to the Prime Minister of Pakistan
Join the conversation on Twitter using #Foresight.

REPORT: The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets

Online report | Printable version [pdf] | In brief | E-Book MOBI/EPUB

This edition of The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (FAO, SOCO 2020, 164 pages) focuses on how markets can bring us closer to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. SOCO 2020 offers a detailed analysis of the major global trends in agri-food markets and trade to identify how to reap economic, environmental and social gains and spur overall development.

The report makes an important contribution to the debate on how well-functioning markets can contribute to inclusive economic growth and sustainable development. SOCO 2020 discusses policies, innovative mechanisms and digital innovations that can promote the participation of developing countries and smallholder farmers in global value chains. The report also looks at policy responses to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food value chains, both nationally and globally.

The report covers four areas: trends in agricultural and food markets; global value chains in food and agriculture; farmers and value chains - business models more sustainable growth; digital technologies and agricultural and food markets.
The rise of global agri-food value chains
  • The report estimates that about one-third of global agricultural and food exports are traded within a global value chain and cross borders at least twice.
  • The rise of global value chains is driven by income growth, lower trade barriers and technological advancements, which have transformed markets and trade processes, linking farmers to traders and consumers across regions and countries.
  • Smallholder farmers, however, are often missing out on the benefits of global value chains. Furthermore, the emergence of global value chains with the stringent food quality and safety requirements could further marginalize smallholders.
  • Digital technologies can help markets to function better and can improve farmers' access to them. Innovations, such as food e-commerce, can benefit both farmers and consumers. However, to guarantee that the dividends of digital innovation are shared with the poorest, the current digital divide in agriculture needs to be reduced.
  • The adoption of more inclusive business models, such as contract farming and blockchains, can also help farmers to better integrate into modern and more complex value chains.
How can agricultural and food markets foster sustainable development?
  • The report makes the case for the role agri-food markets can play in fostering sustainable development.
  • It argues that the promotion and wider application of voluntary sustainability certification schemes and standards in agriculture, for example, can address trade‑offs between economic, environmental and social objectives.
  • Sustainability certification schemes can promote fair trade, inclusion, non‑discrimination, and environmentally-friendly farm practices. They also can ensure occupational safety, ban child labour, and encourage investments.
The evolution of trade and markets - trends and drivers
  • International agri-food trade has been driven by: technological progress; urbanization; population and income growths; lower transport costs; trade policies and a decline in average import tariffs.
  • Upper and lower middle‐income countries together have increased their share in global agri‐food exports from about 25 percent in 2001 to 36 percent in 2018.
  • Whilst global agri-food trade has doubled since 1995 in real value, its growth rate has been slower since the 2008 financial crisis. This is expected to be further impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The 2008 financial crisis and consequent economic slowdown stalled the evolution of agri-food global value chains, and the COVID-19 pandemic could further disrupt their potential in global trade and growth.
  • Digital technologies are transforming all stages of the food value chain - from farm to table. They improve efficiency, create jobs and save resources. But it is difficult to foresee all the impacts technological innovation can have on how we grow, process, trade and consume food.
  • While countries in Europe and Central Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific tend to trade within the same regions, countries in South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, sub‑Saharan Africa, North America, and the Middle East and North Africa trade more globally. About 90percent of exports in agricultural commodities from sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean are destined for other regions.
  • Trade will continue to play an important role in global food security and nutrition, by moving food from surplus to deficit regions.
  • Regional trade agreements can stimulate global value chain participation and spur institutional and policy reform. However, as many vulnerable countries continue to rely on global markets, the promotion of the multilateral trading system is important.
  • The larger part of agri‑food trade is made up of processed food products.

Monday, September 28, 2020

WEBINAR: Understanding pastoralism and framing the argument for advocacy

28 September 2020. Understanding pastoralism and framing the argument for advocacy

Pastoralism has been often portrayed as an economically marginal and environmentally unsustainable production system, and pastoralists as highly vulnerable in the face of climate change and other environmental shocks. 

On the other hand, a substantial and growing amount of evidence tells a different story, that of pastoralism as a highly resilient and productive production system. Pastoralism is a very diverse and complex livelihood system, and pastoralists are specialists in taking advantage of the high variability of the drylands. 

This specialisation distinguishes pastoralism from other livestock systems and makes it possible to talk of “pastoralism” despite the great range of diversity between pastoral systems themselves. Both men and women pastoralists play a direct role in these processes and fully partake in the knowledge and complex social organisation needed to operate the system.

The latest development of this positive alternative narrative has been presented by Saverio Krätli in the Pastoral Development Orientation Framework launched by MISEREOR just before CELEP’s annual general meeting in 2019. This narrative provides a good basis on which to develop a more consistent and united understanding of pastoral systems amongst those working to support pastoralism.

Overall objective: The overall objective of this webinar was to exchange on a shared understanding, view and vocabulary about pastoralism with actors involved in technical programmes as well as advocacy concerning pastoralism.

  • Saverio Kratli (independent researcher, editor of the journal Nomadic Peoples, author of the Pastoral Development Orientation Framework for Ethiopia); 
  • Monica Yator (Pastoralist Development Network Kenya, PDNK); 
  • Abdulkadir Noor (Partnership for Pastoralist Development Association, PAPDA), Ethiopia; 
  • Loupa Pius (Dynamic Agro-pastoralist Development Organisation, DADO), Uganda.

WEBINAR: Biofortification Amid COVID-19 and beyond

28 September 2020
. Biofortification Amid COVID-19 and beyond. Lessons from COVID-19 and the Path to Scaling Up

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of biofortified staple crops as a practical, cost-effective strategy for the delivery of essential micronutrients to vulnerable rural communities in low- and middle-income countries—especially smallholder farming families who cannot afford or readily access nutritionally diverse diets. As a result of income shocks and other disruptions caused by COVID-19, many of these farming families—as well as other low-resource populations—are relying even more on relatively affordable staple crops for sustenance. 

Biofortification can deliver nutrition through these crops. The pandemic also necessitated rapid adjustments by biofortification implementers to ensure that farming families are able to continue to access biofortified planting materials and farming support services, and can still access markets when they have surplus harvest. 

In this webinar, biofortification implementers provided country-level examples of how their programs have adjusted to the new reality on the ground, and they will share key lessons for building better nutrition and livelihood resilience for their smallholder beneficiaries. The webinar discussed following key questions: 
  • What does the “COVID-19 effect” mean for ongoing efforts to scale up biofortification globally, as a nutrition solution available under any conditions? 
  • What are priorities for action by governments, funders, practitioners, and other stakeholders to keep the scaling up effort on track? 
  • Dr. Asrat Dibaba, Chief of Party, ENRICH-MNCH Program, World Vision Canada 
  • Nora Tobin, Executive Director, Self-Help International 
  • Simon Heck, Program Director, International Potato Center (CIP/CGIAR)
  • Moderator: Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Author of "The First 1,000 Days" & "The Last Hunger Season"

15 September 2020. HarvestPlus and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) have issued a request for proposals (RFP) to source for a contractor that will conduct a market sizing assessment among various actors involved in the bean seed and bean grain sector in Kenya. This is to establish the current size, capacity, transactional arrangements, and business models of seed producers, and aggregators. This information is critical in developing a scale up plan for production, distribution, marketing, and demand creation of new biofortified iron bean varieties.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The 14th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change

21-25 September 2020. The 14th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change

CBA14 gathered together more than 500 people from over 70 countries for an innovative online event that delivered learning, networking and creative dialogue. This page brings you some highlights from the five-day event.

CBA14 presented eight short films about local climate adaptation projects and invited participants to vote for their favourite. We announced the winner at the closing plenary.

Short videos can be an effective way to illustrate the nuances of complex issues, personal experiences of climate change or valuable lessons emerging from a project. The eight videos featured projects in Eastern Kenya, India, Honduras, Kenya, South-Africa, Uganda and Nepal, and focused on topics such as nature-based solutions, climate finance and adaptation technology.

The winning video portrayed Women’s Climate Centers International (WCCI), a project that links women from Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and the United States to create women-led one-stop climate centres in Africa. Read more about the project at WeAdapt or watch the video below:

WCCI will receive sponsorship for one person to attend CBA15 next year. The winning film will also be screened at We The Peoples Film Festival 2020, the annual flagship event of the United Nations Association Westminster.

CBA conversations: fostering resilience in the Sahel

COVID-19 has turned our world digital and forced many conversations online – but learning and knowledge exchange on climate resilience haven’t stopped.

Taking meetings virtual, the interactive platform Africa Learning Forum on Adaptation (ALFA) Sahel 2020 convenes practitioners, scientists, decision makers and researchers to share challenges and opportunities for building climate resilience in the Sahel drylands of west Africa.


A sand storm in Kouggou village, Niger (Photo: copyright Marie Mornimart)

This landscape offers huge potential for productive livelihoods. But its people are among the poorest and most vulnerable on earth.

The webinars aim to understand drivers and barriers for climate resilience in the region. Discussions have covered current and future climate science projections, trends in livelihood systems and natural resource governance and conflict. ALFA Sahel shares outcomes online. To keep the webinars responsive to needs, polls during each session determine the topic for the next.

Programme lead Sanoussi Ababale said: “During these two-day forums we brainstorm ways to build resilience among the diverse yet vulnerable Sahelian people and their landscape. We’re also building knowledge on how governance systems influence farmers’ and pastoralists’ access to natural resources given the Sahel’s changing climate.”

He added: “The topic for next month’s webinar will be ‘Gender and resilience’. Join us!” Email him at

WEBINAR: Meet the people driving rural transformation.

24 September 2020.
Germany stakeholders from the fields of politics, science, civil society and private sector discussed their approach to eradicating hunger on a European level. The transformation of rural areas needs people who make a difference – and support from the EU. 

 As Germany presides over the European Union Council, the time is now to promote SDG2 and step up the momentum throughout Europe and the world. Meet the people driving rural transformation and set the stage for the makers and minds transforming rural regions around the world to enter the dialogue with their political, civil society and private sector counterparts in the European Union - for coordinated action on prioritizing food and nutrition security and to ensure the right partnerships for achieving SDG2.
  • Christine Mhundwa Host & Moderator Deutsche Welle 
  • Maria Flachsbarth Parliamentary State Secretary BMZ 
Agroecological farming Agroecology is one of the most important answers to curbing the effects of climate change. The elementary building blocks for farming in the process of transformation are healthy, fertile land and healthy seedlings. And, by including planetary health, there is the additional possibility of counteracting future pandemic outbreaks in addition to conserving nature. However, by 2050, the population on the Sub-Saharan Africa is set to double. Arable land is disappearing. Can agroecology absorb the consequences of climate change and at the same time provide sufficient food for people? What coordinated action is now needed together with players in European Union? 
  • Azola Devi Agripreneur India 
  • Million Belay Alliance for Food Sovereignty for Africa - Ethiopia 
  • Carola van Rijnsoever Director BZ Netherlands 
Female leadership 
Without women there is no real development. However, more is needed. When more women take on leadership roles in rural areas, this leads to higher agricultural productivity and a fairer distribution of work, yields and income. The question is whether the right conditions prevail in rural areas to enable empowerment and leadership. As the story shows, women are changing the game in their communities and serving others as inspiration in doing so. The ensuing panel will look at whether the EU is promoting the right structures and institutions to support the transformation of rural areas by outstanding women. 
  • Juliette Kouassi Aboucao cocoa cooperative Côte d’Ivoire 
  • Nana Adjoa Sifa Amponsah Yo!Gate Foods - Guzakuza Ghana 
Rural governance and cooperatives 
Farmers know best what they need to influence development in their communities and regions. But they must be heard and have the opportunity to organise themselves. The Covid 19 crisis has put progress in rural governance under extreme pressure. Like in many countries around the world, the agricultural sector in Germany’s ONE WORLD no hunger partner regions are facing massive challenges that demand solutions. Our feature outlines approaches that keep things going and the people fighting to keep change on track to truly build back better. Join the conversation as our panel discusses the path EU policy-making has to take to help shape the transformation of rural areas - to benefit everyone. 
  • Joseph Ngaah Kakamega County Farmers Association - Kenya 
  • Elizabeth Nsimadala Pan Africa Farmers Organization Uganda 
  • Mathias Mogge Welthungerhilfe Germany 
Innovating agriculture 
Innovation is the key to transforming agricultural economies. In Africa. In South Asia. In Europe. From drones providing findings for precision farming to state-of-the-art agricultural mechanization technology, the applications being developed are pushing the envelope and propelling rural areas into the future. As our feature shows, Africa’s young agritech scene is spawning ideas that have the potential for significant shifts in the way farmers cultivate crops. The final panel brought together minds from India, Kenya and Germany to discuss how they can benefit from greater cooperation, promote cross-border innovation and scale apps and solutions so they reach every smallholder farmer with a mobile phone. 
  • Moses Kimani Lentera Africa Kenya 
  • Devi Murthy Kamal Kisan India 
  • Clas Neumann SAP-Labs China

Grow your food campaign

25 September 2020I Grow Your Food Action day! This campaign is celebrating the farmers who grow food in harmony with nature! 

WEBINAR: Rural Livelihoods in the context of covid-19: Impact and Interventions

22 September 2020. 0900-1300 GMT. Rural Livelihoods in the context of covid-19: Impact and Interventions. The Africa Union’ Semi-Arid Food Grains Research and Development (AU-SAFGRAD) and Rural Economy Division (RED) of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA).

This virtual meeting provided the platform to policy makers, planners, stakeholders, commodity value chain actors and experts to share experiences on the types, focus, regime and implementation success factors of interventions put in place by MS to mitigate shocks to rural livelihoods and rural institutions occasioned by covid-19 pandemic and the quarantine measures.

Recording forthcoming.

This is the link to the website to consult the reports of the previous  Webinars.

2 July 2020. Report of the Video Conference on Boosting Agricultural Research and Innovation to achieve  to achieve the agenda 2063 Target in Africa

Draft Report (English version) ; Concept Note ; Draft Agenda ; Flyer of the Webinar
Rapport (Version en Francais) ; Note conceptuelle ; Agenda (Francais)
  • Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) Analysis of trends, challenges, and opportunities for agricultural funding in Africa 
  • Dr. Mahama Ouedraogo Director, Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union Commission African Union Policy and Programmatic support to Science and Technology initiatives in Africa 
  • Dr. Ramadjita Tabo Regional and Research program Director, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), West and Central Africa Policy formulation to facilitate private-sector participation and encourage technology commercialization 
  • Dr. Abdou Tenkouano, Executive Director, Conseil Ouest Africain pour la Recherche Agricole Promotion of regional cooperation and Innovation and technology hubs and poles (Centres of Excellence) as tools for raising research and development expenditure 
  • Prof. Hamidou Tamboura Director, Fond pour la Recherche et l’Innovation pour le Développement (FONRID, Burkina Faso) Establish and/or strengthen national agencies responsible for mobilizing the funding for agricultural research and development, Case of Burkina Faso
  • Christophe Larose, Head of Sector : sustainable agriculture, DEVCO C1. DeSIRA program
1-AUC in collaboration with SROs, CGIAR and development partners to strengthen the linkages among national, regional and international institutions so as to encourage a multi institution/ country agricultural research programmes.
2- MS, RECs, AUC, SROs and development partners to encourage and strengthen agricultural science- policy interface in terms of facilitating decision makers to allocate more budget in agricultural research and development.
3-MS are urged to encourage and strengthen the role of PPP in agricultural research for development
4-The research centers should establish and/or strengthen their consultancy units to respond to the private sector research needs
5-The research centers should strengthen their linkage with producers’ organizations along the agricultural value chain to provide paid services base on research need.
6-Encourging the research institutions to develop a dynamic and innovative financing plan to respond to emerging agricultural research challenges.
7- Encourage MS to gradually diminish import bills as a means of freeing up or redirecting financial resources to support endogenous production led by increased use of the technologies and innovations generated in the continent

20 May 2020. Video Conference on The implications of Covid-19 on pastoralism development in Africa.

Three specific sets of immediate measures are currently needed to mitigate the impact of COVID19 on pastoralism. These include measures to protect pastoralism and its market, measures to maintain processing and retail operations and financial measures.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

REPORT: Nutrition-sensitive investments in agriculture and food systems. Budget analysis guidance note

FAO, September 202. 30 pages

This publication outlines methods and actions for countries to monitor nutrition-related spending. It will contribute to understanding the importance and opportunities for countries to use costing and tracking their nutrition-sensitive investments in agriculture and food systems. 

The lessons outlined here focus on the implementation of national nutrition plans to sustain results and impact, with attention to decisions influencing the budget planning and analysis for nutrition.

This budget analysis guidance note was written by FAO in collaboration with the SUN Movement Secretariat and with substantial contribution from the UN Network, Results for Development and MQSUN+.

23/09. SUN announcement: European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Ms Jutta Urpilainen, joined the SUN Lead Group

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

REPORT: Comparative study on the distribution of value in European chocolate chains

FAO and BASIC. 2020. Comparative study on the distribution of value in European chocolate chains. Paris. DOI link. 234 pages

This study by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Bureau d’analyse sociétale pour unne information citoyenne (BASIC) explores the distribution of value and costs along cocoa and chocolate supply chains. With a focus on the French market of dark and milk chocolate, confectionery bars and breakfast cocoa powder, it analyses cocoa grown in four producer countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ecuador and Cameroon.

Principally the report aims to estimate the distribution of value, costs and profits for different chocolate products from cocoa farmers to consumers and explore the influencing factors. It also compares the value accrued by farmers for the different products. Its main findings are that 70% of the total value are accrued by brands and retailers, the final two actors in the chain. At the opposite end of the chain, 18.6% of total value is accrued in cocoa producing countries.
  • This study investigates the French market of dark and milk chocolate tablets, as well as confectionery bars and breakfast cocoa powder sold in supermarket stores - made of cocoa beans grown in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ecuador, and Cameroon to provide better insight into the aggregate on value creation and cost along the various stages of the cocoa and chocolate chain. 
  • It shows that differentiation in value creation and cost takes place mainly in the two last stages of the chain. Main factors linked to downstream differentiation are product brand and reputation, and market segmentation, as well as other less tangible consumer product attributes. On the other hand, the research indicates that the value and costs associated with the stages from cocoa cultivation to chocolate couverture manufacturing are much more stable. 
  • This study will be a key element of the EU dialogue for sustainable cocoa and of the policy dialogues at country level. It will allow to simulate various levels of prices and premiums (notably Living Income Differential) and to assess their impacts on the various segments of the chain in terms of margin, costs, value added creation and impact on final price to consumers.


The concept note and agenda of the dialogue is available here

In the context of the European Commission’s political priorities including the European Green Deal and a zero tolerance approach on child labour, the Commission initiated an informal dialogue in support of a sustainable cocoa sector.

It builds upon the initiative of the two main producing countries, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, existing initiatives of EU Member States, third countries, and international organisations. Considering the role of the EU as policy and global standard setter, the objective of the dialogue is to support the elimination of child labour and child trafficking, the protection and restorations of forests, and to ensure a living income for cocoa farmers.

The webinar event was attended by 168 participants. It welcomed the following speakers:

Opening Session 
  • Welcome remarks by Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships 
  • HE Abou Dosso Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire 
  • HE Harriet Sena Siaw-Boateng Ambassador of Ghana to the EU
Session 1: The role of the EU private sector in the sustainability of cocoa supply chains 
  • Hugo-Maria Schally, Head of Unit, Multilateral Environmental Cooperation, DG ENV 
  • Maija Laurila, Head of Unit, Company law, DG JUST 2 
  • Mr. Harold Poelma, European Cocoa Association Chairman and President Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate 
  • Christophe Alliot, Le Basic 
  • Mathilde Mesnard, Deputy Director of the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs of the OECD
Session 2: Improving synergies between the EU’s international cooperation programmes and other sustainability initiatives  
  • Introductory remarks: Koen Doens, Director General, DG DEVCO 
  • Toussaint N'Guessan, President of the Board, World Cocoa Producer Organisation (WCPO) 
  • Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parlamentary Secretary, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) 
  • Francesco d’Ovidio, Fundamentals, International Labour Organization (ILO) o Antonie Fountain, Managing Director, VOICE-Network 
Wrap-up and way forward 
  • Views from Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament 
  • Closing remarks by Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People and responsible for Trade (designate) 
  • Wrap up and next steps by the moderator Viwanou Gnassounou, Executive Business and Development Policy Advisor
Presentation by: Christophe Alliot, Le Basic: Comparative study on the distribution of value in European chocolate chains. Paris. DOI link. 234 pages

30 June 2020. A webinar was hosted on 30th of June by the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Ms. Heidi Hautala, and the welcoming remarks were made by Ms. Carla Montesi, Director at DG DEVCO, Mr. Mohamed Manssouri, Director at FAO Investment Centre and Mr. Harold Poelma, ECA Chairman.

The event was attended by 200 participants

It welcomed the following speakers: H.E. Abou Dosso, Ambassador of Ivory Coast to Belgium, H.E. Sena Siaw-Boateng, Ambassador of Ghana to Belgium, H.E. Pablo Ortiz García, Ambassador of Ecuador to Belgium, Mr. Antonie Fountain, Managing Director of VOICE Network, Ms. Awa Traoré Bamba, Managing Director of Cooperative CAYAT, and Mr. Aldo Cristiano, Chairman of CAOBISCO.

Comment peut-on prétendre consommer responsable si l’on ne comprend pas, en amont, l’impact économique des produits que l’on achète ? Pour Christophe Alliot, co-fondateur du BASIC.

Deux grandes familles rivales du cacao, les Desva et les Ahitey, se livrent une bataille sans merci pour le contrôle de la production et du négoce cacaoyer de la région de Caodji. À leur tête, deux chefs de clan sans scrupules : l’influent et riche Élie Desva, issu de l’aristocratie ivoirienne du cacao, et le brut et excessif self-made man Jean Ahitey. Un affrontement impitoyable qui dévoile les rouages du monde méconnu du cacao en Afrique de l'Ouest.

Book Launch | Ethiopia’s agri-food system: Past trends, present challenges, and future scenarios

22 September 2020.
Virtual Book Launch, Ethiopia’s agri-food system: Past trends, present challenges, and future scenarios

Ethiopia has experienced impressive agricultural growth and poverty reduction, stemming in part from substantial public investments in agriculture. Yet, the agriculture sector now faces increasing land and water constraints along with other challenges to growth. Growth in the agriculture sector remains essential to continued poverty reduction in Ethiopia and will depend on sustained investment in the agrifood system, especially private sector investment.

This book presents a forward-looking analysis of Ethiopia’s agrifood system in the context of a rapidly changing economy. Many of the policies for a successful agricultural and rural development strategy for Ethiopia are relevant for other African countries and how this book can serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, development specialists, and others concerned with economic development in Africa south of the Sahara.

Book Presentation

Panel Discussion
  • Lulit Mitik Beyene, CEO, Ethiopian Economics Association
  • Dominique Davoux, Head of Rural Development, Green Sector and Food Security, European Union Delegation
  • John F. Hoddinott, H.E. Babcock Professor of Food & Nutrition Economics and Policy Division of Nutritional Sciences, NS CALS, Cornell Institute for Public Affairs
  • Nemera Gebeyehu Mamo, Deputy Commissioner, Planning and Development Commission, Ethiopia

European Research and Innovation Days: POST-COVID FOOD SYSTEM ECONOMY

22-24 September 2020
. European Research and Innovation Days

European Research and Innovation Days is the European Commission’s annual flagship Research and Innovation event, bringing together policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs and the public to debate and shape the future of research and innovation in Europe and beyond. This year, it is a fully virtual event, with the Policy conference and the Science is Wonderful! online exhibition.

By creating connections between cutting-edge scientific research and the most pressing challenges of a generation, the European Research and Innovation Days represent a unique opportunity to join the conversation and enact real change. From tackling the climate crisis to building a digital world that works for everyone, we’ll delve into the questions that shape who we are and the future we want to live in: it’s time to get involved!

The event is all about collaboration: bringing together individuals and experts from all areas to build connections and ignite a brighter future.

Extracts of the programme

22/09 @ 10:30 European Green Deal and Just Transition
This plenary session took an in-depth look at the research and innovation contribution to the European Green Deal and the recovery. It will be future-oriented and take into account the youth perspective with a special focus on climate, ocean and biodiversity.
  • EVP Frans Timmermans 
  • Mariya Gabriel 
  • Eimear Manning 
  • Johan Rockström 
  • Yousef Yousef 
  • Jean-Eric Paquet

22/09 @ 12:45 UNCROSSING PLANETARY BOUNDARIES: How to get nutrient flows back within safe ecological limits?
Experts from different fields linked to nutrients will discuss the environmental impacts of excessive nutrient flows and the possible solutions and barriers for bringing the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles within safe regional and planetary boundaries.

Speakers : John Bell, Mark A. Sutton, Chiara Manoli, Jannes Maes, Annika Eskusson

22/09 @ 12:45 Building a POST-COVID FOOD SYSTEM ECONOMY that works for people, planet and climate
Food must be treated less as a commodity and more as a common good. This session will explore alternative models for a new multi-objective food systems economy that can meet the EU Green Deal and Farm to Fork Strategy objectives.

Speakers : 
  • John Bell, DG Research and Innovation
  • Johan Swinnen, DG IFPRI
  • Silke Thiele, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel; Faculty of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences;  Institute of Food Economics and Consumption Studies Institute of Food Economics and Consumption Studies. Germany
  • Ana Moragues, Senior Research Fellow (Ramón y Cajal) at the University of Barcelona and a visiting fellow at the Sustainable Places Institute at Cardiff University. 
23/09 @ 10:30 The opportunity to halt BIODIVERSITY loss
The session will show how Horizon Europe will support the European Green Deal through science, research & innovation. It will improve our understanding of biodiversity decline and drive action for biodiversity & ecosystems protection & restoration, by promoting nature-based solutions & sustainable management of natural capital.

Video interview
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel meets Sam Fleming, Financial Times Brussels' Bureau Chief, to discuss the future of European research and innovation and how it will contribute to European political priorities, address societal challenges, and add value for citizens, business etc. all over Europe and beyond

The call includes opportunities for international cooperation in addressing the needs of less-developed nations, particularly in Africa,

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Overview of latest reports

Food Security / Food systems

REPORT: Estimating the cost of SDG 2: Zero hunger

  • The Making of a Model: integrating environmental sustainability and farmer incomes to measure the cost of ending hunger
  • This research project wants to answer two linked questions: (i) What will it cost governments to end hunger as defined by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2? (ii) And what are the most effective public investments to end hunger sustainably based on the available evidence?
  •  13 October 2020. Online dialogue. A WORLD WITHOUT HUNGER IS POSSIBLE – WHAT MUST BE DONE. Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, will use this online event for a discussion with German and international guests on the latest scientific studies, and on practical ways of fighting hunger and poverty.

REPORT: Bridging demand and supply of private investment capital for small and medium agribusinesses

  • T.S. Jayne, Richard Ferguson, Sloans Chimatiro, September 2020 ©FCDO, 56 pages
  • The study assesses whether what is needed is different forms of capital; greater work to provide the pre-conditions for private investment in agri-food systems; or both of these. The resulting analysis addresses the needs and interests of both investors and investment-support stakeholders.
  • African food staple value chains are important long-term endeavours that will still require grant financing, blended finance, technical support, and de-risking guarantees if they are to be considered fertile ground for impact investors.
  • Panel discussion: 15/09 AGRF. Including Thom Jayne is University Foundation Professor of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University. In 2019, Jayne is seconded to the African Development Bank, serving as Special Advisor to the President. 

REPORT: Effectiveness of agri-business incubation in emerging markets.

  • Alberto Didoni, Varcando Ltd., 2020©FCDO. 33 pages
  • Recommendation: Donors should keep financing high-risk incubation work
  • Panel discussion: 15/09 AGRF

REPORT: ICTs for improving investment readiness of small and medium agribusinesses

  • Alvaro Valverde, September 2020 ©FCDO, 75 pages
  • Panel discussion: 15/09 AGRF

REPORT: Special Report EU development aid to Kenya

  • European Court of Auditors., 73 pages
  • Limited Impacts of EU Aid: Between 2014-2020, Kenya received $515 million from the European Union for developments in food security, sustainable agriculture, and accountability of public institutions.
  • To increase impacts of development spending, the report recommends that aid focus on fewer areas, with an emphasis on manufacturing to increase job creation.
  • 16/09 Audit finds EU aid to Kenya lacked impact : “In agriculture in the longer term or middle term there will be less jobs. At the same time, there are a lot of opportunities to create more value on this production chain in Kenya and that would be easily part of the manufacturing activity and creating jobs, doing something with these agricultural products.” ; “Job creation in particular, will feature prominently in the negotiations with Kenya on the next country program. It is already the focus of successful ongoing initiatives which support agriculture in the country.”

BOOK: Agricultural extension: global status and performance in selected countries

  • September 2020, 380 pages
  • This book provides a global overview of agricultural extension and advisory services, assesses and compares extension systems at the national and regional levels, examines the performance of extension approaches in a selected set of country cases (Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Uganda), and shares lessons and policy insights.
  • 10 September 2020. BOOK LAUNCH Virtual Event - Co-Organized by IFPRI and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM).

REPORT: Africa Agriculture Status Report. Feeding Africa’s Cities: Opportunities, Challenges, and Policies for Linking African Farmers with Growing Urban Food Markets.

REPORT: The food systems approach in practice. ECDPM guide for sustainable transformation.

  • ECDPM paper, July 2020, 20 pages
  • Tackling the myriad sustainability challenges related to food – from the environmental impacts of food production to the health consequences of inadequate diets – requires systemic interventions that improve sustainability at local, national, and international level.

REPORT: Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFTRAC) survey

  • This survey highlighted the private sector’s desire for considerable reforms to make the global trade rules system fairer and more transparent.
  • The analysis, done ahead of the selection of the new WTO director general, surveyed a total of 200 African CEOs around issues concerning the WTO and trade in general.
  • It covered a number of areas which revealed a general consensus that the current rules penalise the African continent and its private sector.


REPORT: Food Crises and COVID‑19:Emerging evidence and implications. An analysis of acute food insecurity and agri‑food systemsduring COVID‑19 pandemic. 

  • Technical note. 38 pages
  • Global Network Against Food Crises is re-orienting its key priorities within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, with emphasis on enhancing the generation and sharing of evidence-based information and analysis on food crises and COVID-19 effects.
  • 15/09 European Commissioner Janez Lenarcic opened the UNGA side event

REPORT: Survey on bilateral actors’ emerging priorities, short- and long-term financing and programming implications in light of COVID-19.

  • developed by OECD, 34 pages

REPORT: Facilitating cross-border trade through a coordinated African response to COVID-19,

  • The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a new COVID-19 cross-border trade report , 48 pages
  • It urges governments on the continent to adopt and harmonize policies that will help continent strike an appropriate balance between curbing the spread of the virus and facilitating emergency and essential trade.

Green Deal

REPORT: The WWF 2020 Living Planet Report
  • released 10/09, published by WWF every two years, documents trends in biodiversity and the health of our planet, 83 pages
  • “The recently proposed EU Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies are potential game changers and must now be unequivocally endorsed and implemented by Member States and Parliament. But that is not enough. We must also curb the EU’s global footprint, which is driving the destruction of forests, grasslands and other precious ecosystems outside of Europe. A strong new law to keep products linked to deforestation out of the EU market is urgently needed!”

REPORT: Global Biodiversity Outlook 5.

  • Montreal. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2020) 212 pages.
  • The Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) is the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It is a periodic report that summarizes the latest data on the status and trends of biodiversity and draws conclusions relevant to the further implementation of the Convention.

ARTICLE: The 10 Elements of Agroecology

  • New FAO peer-reviewed publication, 19 pages
  • FAO) has approved the 10 Elements of Agroecology as an analytical framework to support the design of differentiated paths for agriculture and food systems transformation, hence facilitating improved decision-making by policymakers, practitioners and other stakeholders in differing contexts at a range of levels on a number of scales.

 Collaborating for adaptation : findings and outcomes of a research initiative across Africa and Asia

BOOK: The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild.

  • Enric Sala wants to change the world--and in this compelling book, he shows us how. Once we appreciate how nature works, he asserts, we will understand why conservation is economically wise and essential to our survival.