Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

September update of the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises

The September update of the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises reports on the magnitude and severity of acute food insecurity in 2021 in countries that qualified as food crises in 2020 in the GRFC 2021.

Using data available by 10 September 2021, this update highlights the highest number of people in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) or equivalent in 2021.

In many countries, the numbers were already higher than in 2020 and acute food insecurity continued to be primarily driven by high levels of conflict/insecurity in conjunction with economic shocks, including COVID-19-related effects, as well as weather extremes and natural disasters or a combination of these drivers.

  • By September 2021, around 161 million people were in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) or equivalent in 42 out of 55 countries/territories included in the GRFC 2021 – already surpassing the figure of 155 million in 2020. 
  • By September 2021, around 584 000 people were in Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) in four countries. 401 000 in Ethiopia's Tigray region in July–September 2021* 28 000 in southern Madagascar in October–December 2021* 108 000 in South Sudan in April–July 2021 47 000 in Yemen in January–June 2021
  • By September 2021, around 111 million people were in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) in nine out of the 10 largest food crises of 2020
  • By September 2021, 227 million people were in Stressed (IPC/CH Phase 2) or equivalent in 40 out of 55 countries/territories included in the GRFC 2021.

The International Borlaug Dialogue

18-22 October 2021
The International Borlaug Dialogue
The "Borlaug Dialogue," each year brings together over 1,200 people from more than 65 countries to address cutting-edge issues related to global food security and nutrition. The three-day conference convenes a wide array of scientific experts, policy leaders, business executives and farmers and has been called "the premier conference in the world on global agriculture." Through the Borlaug Dialogue, the World Food Prize Foundation helps build alliances in the struggle against world hunger and malnutrition.

The International Borlaug Dialogue follows the UN Food Systems Summit (FSS) and the 49th Plenary Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) while building forward for COP26 and the Nutrition for Growth Summit, to gain momentum in the Decade of Action. Country commitments and Coalitions of Action adopted during the UN FSS will be highlighted during the Borlaug Dialogue, reaching additional audiences and widening opportunities for partnership.

Extracts of the programme

19/10. 13:30 CEST. Enabling Food and Nutrition Security in Drylands By ICRISAT
This panel highlighted opportunities and importance of global collaboration, and brainstorm the way forward for food and nutrition security in the dryland regions of the world.
  • Moderator: Dr Rajeev Varshney, Research Program Director- Accelerated Crop Improvement, ICRISAT
  • Yemi Akinbamijo Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) 
  • Julianne Biddle Director Multilateral Engagement, Australian Centre for International

    Agricultural Research 
  • Jane Ininda Director and Chair, ARUA Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems (ARUA-SFS) University of Pretoria, South Africa 
  • Arvind Kumar Deputy Director General- Research, ICRISAT, India 
  • Trilochan Mohapatra Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education and DG, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Govt. of India
  • Dr Anthony Whitbread, Research Program Director – Resilient Farm and Food Systems, ICRISAT
  • Dr Michael Hauser, Research Program Director – Enabling Systems Transformation, ICRISAT
  • Dr Rebbie Harawa, Regional Director Eastern & Southern Africa, ICRISAT
  • Dr Ramadjita Tabo, Regional Director West & Central Africa, ICRISAT

19/10. 18:00 CEST. Reconciling Agroecology and Biotechnology | U.S. State Department
As the world looks to promote sustainable agriculture and fight food insecurity, agroecology (often incorrectly conflated with “organic farming” and “regenerative farming” by some international actors) and agricultural biotechnology continue to be two central topics in developing sustainably agricultural systems. Unfortunately, anti-GE sentiments that are principally driven by political pressures give the false impression that agroecology and biotechnology are incompatible with each. This side-event will seek to have an honest, science-based, and data-driven discussion to reconcile these two approaches to understand how biotechnology can serve as an important tool that can work in conjunction with agroecological practices to promote sustainable agriculture and help small- and medium-sized enterprises and farmers.
  • Matt Murray, U.S. Department of State Acting Assistant Secretary (host)
  • Sarah Evanega, Cornell University Alliance for Science (moderator)
  • Beth Bechdol, DDG, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations 
  • Nassib Mugwanya, North Carolina State University 
  • Dr. Walter Suza, Iowa State University
20/10. World Food Prize events - Gaining Momentum: Food Systems Transformation in the Decade of Action
20/10. 15:00 CEST. Strengthening the Climate for Sustainable Agricultural Growth: 2021 GAP Report | Virginia Tech
21/10 14:30 CEST. Role of Youth in Building Resilient Agri-food Systems in Africa | Michigan State University & Alliance for African Partnership
22/10 18:30 CEST. MAIN EVENT Roundtable 4: International Cooperation This year's UN Food Systems Summit, 49th Committee on World Food Security plenary session, Nutrition For Growth Summit and numerous other dialogues are building momentum in the Decade of Action. In this final Roundtable session, speakers will explore the governance systems needed to guide transformation and move towards system change and implementation.
22/10. 14:30 CEST. A food systems approach to transforming Africa’s soil health: policy, science, implementation and impact | IFDC | International Fertilizer Development Center
22/10. 14:30 CEST. Agricultural Innovation for African Sustainability and Resilience | Board for International Food and Agriculture Development (BIFAD) and USAID
22/10. 15:00 CEST. Research and Innovation for a Decade of Action - CGIAR

EU Consumers and Sustainable Cocoa Products

19 October 2021. This webinar looked at the consumer preferences of the cocoa value chain and shed light on consumer attitudes towards sustainable food products in general, and chocolate products in particular.

The session looked into EU consumers’ attitudes towards sustainable food products – beyond chocolate – and the current trends in consumer shifting behaviours in the EU. The presentation  also looked at a study examining consumer willingness to pay more and price elasticity for selected chocolate products.

The presentation debated on the role of consumers to enhance the overall sustainability of cocoa production and trade. In particular, experts and panelists discussed the articulation between the evolution of consumer preferences and recent evolutions on the cocoa market, including the recent introduction of the Living Income Differential in 2019 in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
  • Ms Cristina Miranda-Gozalvez, Head of Unit, Africa, Caribbean, Pacific, European Commission Directorate-General for TRADE
  • Mr Leonard Mizzi, Head of Unit, Sustainable Food systems and Fisheries, European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships
  • HEM Abou Dosso, Ambassador of Côte d'Ivoire to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the EU
  • Mr Fuad Abubakar Mohammed, Manager, Ghana Cocoa Marketing Company, London, U.K.


  • EU consumer preferences and sustainable food productsStudy: Consumers’ willingness to pay & price elasticity of cocoa products by Mr.Christophe Alliot, Le Basic-Bureau for Appraisal of Social Impacts for Citizen Information
  • Ms. Cathy Pieters, Senior Director Sustainable Ingredients, Global Impact Sustainability & Well-Being, Mondelez International
  • Prof. Martin Franz, Researcherat the University Osnabrück
  • Ms. Vesna Savic, SpecialistCompliance Product Integrity, Ahold Delhaize
  • Ms Delphine Strohl, Associate, Dechert LLP
  • Mr. Nicolas Lambert, Director, FairTrade BelgiumBreak16:00-16:10Question and Answer Session
  • Moderator: Mr. Viwanou Gnassounou, Former Assistant Secretary-General at the Africa, Caribbean, Pacific Group of States (now OACPS)
  • Closing remarks: Regis Meritan European Commission, head of the “agricultural growth” sector, DG INTPA

Shared resources:

Value Chains and Consumption Decisions - Remote Effects of Governance and Product Biographies Using Cocoa as an Example
An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Osnabrück University, works with national and international partners in order to approach the complexity of cocoa from the perspective of our respective disciplines.
The team traveled to Ghana to investigate the origin of Ghanaian cocoa and follow its trade routes to the centers of cocoa consumption. A journey from the roots to the kitchen cupboard, so to speak.

Impacts of the Cocoa Living Income Differential Policy in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire
Boysen, O., Ferrari, E., Nechifor Vostinaru, V. and Tillie, P., (2021) Impacts of the Cocoa Living Income Differential Policy in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 33 p.

The study shows that the LID’s effects on prices and welfare of cocoa farmers in the two countries range from none to substantially positive, varying in magnitude with the scenarios. But it also highlights that the farmgate price target, which is reached in Ghana under most scenarios, is reached in Côte d’Ivoire only with additional supply management measures. The two countries’ government budgets and cocoa farmers in other countries lose out substantially in many cases, what is identified, among other issues, as potential threats to the sustainability of the policy that require attention. Evaluated in light of past attempts by governments and other actors to raise farmer welfare in the cocoa but also other agricultural sectors, one policy alternative stands out, although coming with its own challenges.

Round table on “economic and political actors” : bringing together producers, professional cocoa business organizations, public authorities, and researchers

PAFO General Assembly and events

18-23 October 2021 PAFO General Assembly and events 

After more than one year of challenging period for our farmers, the 5th Ordinary General Assembly of Pan African Farmers Organisation was held in Kigali. 

Seizing the opportunity of meeting physically and virtually as well as celebrating the 11th anniversary of PAFO, several events were organized including the PAFO Board meeting, Rural Women Forum, the Coordination meeting, the Knowledge Management meeting, and the Continental thematic meeting.

Extracts of the programme

18/10 PAFO Rural Women Forum, DAY 1

19/10 Presentation of the PAFO Study on: Financing of agricultural value chains to empower rural women

PAFO, being a continental platform of Farmers Organizations, acknowledges that women are the core actors for agriculture development and the society in general. Women promotion are among the top priorities in PAFO programs. In this regard PAFO organized a Forum for rural women to bring together rural women across Africa to exchange and to define their vision in relation to the strategic orientation of PAFO. 

20/10. 9:15-10:30 CEST. PAFO – Agricord partnership in the frame of AU-EU partnershipaction
20/10. 14:00 CEST. Brief overview on successful cases and challenges of FO4ACP & SAFE 2020 from RFOs and Agri agencies

The Farmers’ Organizations for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific programme (FO4ACP) is the global program supported by OACPS, EU and IFAD. 
  • It aims to increase the incomes and improve the livelihoods, food and nutrition security, and safety of organized smallholders and family farmers in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries by strengthening regional, national and local farmers’ organizations. 
  • In Africa, the program is implemented by PAFO and its members, the five regional farmers’ organizations (EAFF, PROPAC, ROPPA, SACAU and UMNAGRI), Agricord and its Agri-Agencies (AAs). 
The objectives of this session were:
  • Updates on FO4ACP and SAFE 2020 implementation progress. The safe 2020 program is a complementary and coherent initiative to FO4ACP, designed as direct response to the COVID-19.  
  • Identification of challenges and suggestions to keep truck on the implementation progress 
  • Updates on FOs and AAs coordination and collaboration effort at National, Regional and continental level. 
  • Support of FOs and AAs to farmers to recover from COVID-19 crisis and post COVID-19 long term program. 
  • Additional programs/ funds catalysed by FO4ACP and SAFE 2020 program to support the African Agriculture development

21/10. 9:15-9:45 CEST. What have we learned from African entrepreneurs' innovations: Highlights

21/10. 14:15-14:30 CEST . Overview on resilient agriculture practices collected by RFOs

PAFO has developed its own Knowledge Management strategic plan to constitute a roadmap for action and a mechanism for monitoring the progress. The strategy comes as an addition to other existing activities of PAFO and different partners to promote the knowledge sharing among farmers and Farmers’ Organizations. 

The objectives of this session were:
  • Presentation of collected African farmers’ successful innovations. 
  • Capitalization of existing local know-how generated by the practices of Farmers Organizations and their members.

22/10. 10:30-11:00 CEST. Impact of COVID-19 on African Farmers: Challenges faced bythe farmers and responses already in place or recommended
22/10. 11:00-11:30 CEST. African farmers and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): Positioning of African Farmers Organizations (FOs) in the context of the AfCFTA
22/10. 12:00-12:30 CEST. Family farming specificities and land governance process

30 September 2021. PAFO–COLEACP INNOVATIONS SERIES: Innovations and successes of African farmer-led businesses and SMEs Session N°6 Promoting sustainable agriculture and agroecological practices: the key role of MSMEs and farmers organisations.

Panel: Successes of businesses 
  • Gustav Dessogom Bakoundah, Directeur, Label d’Or and Jus Délices, Togo 
  • Olayemi Aganga, Co-founder, Maungo Craft, Bostwana 
  • Gora Ndiaye, Founder and Director, Ferme-École Agroécologique de Kaydara, Sénégal 
  • Noël N’Guessan, Co-founder and CTO, LONO, Côte d’Ivoire 
  • Emile Frison, Member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES), co-lead of UNFSS solution cluster Agroecology 
  • Christophe Larose, Head of Sector, Sustainable Agri-Food systems and Fisheries, DG INTPA, European Commission

The use digital technologies to document and support the agro-ecological transition

13-15 October 2021.
1st Conference on Farmer-Centric On-Farm Experimentation by INRAE

Farmer-centric On-Farm Experimentation (OFE) is gaining interest worldwide as a practical mechanism to bridge formal and informal knowledge by embedding research into real-world farm management. 

A particularly promising avenue for OFE is to use digital technologies to document and support the agro-ecological transition, paving the way to transformational change in agricultural research and innovation.

What is OFE ? Find here the 2-page introduction: view online or download the PDF

GFAR, FORAGRO and COPROFAM presented a Collective Action on Inclusive Digital Transformation of Agriculture, whose first phase was launched in August 2021 in Latin America and the Caribbean together with GODAN and AgGateway. 

The Action focuses on inclusive good practices and business models for digital solutions for agriculture.

People and Processes


Enabling Co-Creation, Inclusion and Scaling from Farmer Engagement in Northern Benin


Multi-Party Innovation Ecosystem Platforms - Ethiopia

Farm to Fork 2021 Conference - Building sustainable food systems together

14-15 October 2021Farm to Fork 2021 Conference - Building sustainable food systems together

This event provided a forum for discussion on the challenges and opportunities linked to the transition to sustainable food systems, as well as on possible further areas of intervention.

The conference was hosted  by the European Commissioner for Health & Food Safety, Ms. Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Janusz Wojciechowski and the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Ms. Mariya Gabriel. The European Commission Executive Vice-President, Mr. Frans Timmermans opened the Conference with a video message.

The Farm to Fork conference 2021 focused on the progress made on the initiatives foreseen in the strategy’s action plan, support the EU efforts to achieve a global transition to sustainable food systems and put emphasis on transition enablers.

The links include the recordings

The 2021 UN Food Systems Summit as a support to the global transition to sustainable food systems

Keynote speeches informing on the results of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and reporting on the EU Food Systems Summit citizen dialogues. 
  • Martin Frick @15:36:15 reported on the outcome of the UNFSS. 
    "The UNFSS was a big experiment. The future of multilateral cooperation is depending on the maximum inclusiveness. There was however a low level of trust from the civil society about the UNFSS. There [still] is a trust gap. Indigenous people often complained they are neglected. It was important to relate with the private sector, despite the distrust of the civil society towards the corporate food industry. This was not a summit of negotiations and political agreements, rather on actions. The Glasgow Climate Action will include discussion on the food systems."
  • Tom Arnold @15:50:00, reported on the report : Everyone at the table: Co-creating knowledge for food systems transformation 
    "Many countries are at very early stage at creating a more sustainable food systems. The business of learning will be very important: learning from each other. I think the political will is there. But what is equally important: food matter but it is inter connected and farming matters.  In March 2022 we will come up with a recommendation on a new science-policy interface"
  • Joanna Sullivan
    Joanna Sullivan
  • Martin Frick
    Martin Frick
    United Nations
  • Ladislav Miko
    Ladislav Miko
    EU Food Systems Summit citizen dialogues
  • Tom Arnold
    Tom Arnold
    International cooperation on food system science