Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Upcoming webinars and events

1 April. 2:00 PM - 3:40 PM CEST. Energy Use for Irrigation in Ethiopia: Shedding light on demand, least-cost-options, and farm returns by IFPRI

5 April 2022. What Digital Cannot Solve for Farmers in Africa: 7 Years of Learning. by AGRA

4 - 9 April 2022. Applying agricultural interventions and rural development strategies: Sustainable and bio-diverse agro-ecosystems for smallholder resilience.
  • The workshop is organized as part of the project “RLC Platform for Young East African Scientists – Improving the Productivity and Resilience of Smallholder Farming” which is jointly conducted by the RLC Campus Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Ger-many, the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ awarded organization Biovision Africa Trust, Nairobi, Kenya, the RLC Campus Lund, Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), Lund University, Sweden, among other partners.
  • Who can apply? PhD students from East Africa that are currently completing their PhD at an East African university. The deadline is March 6, 2022
6 April 2022. SWAC-EU High-Level Consultation: Food Crises in the Sahel and West Africa

6 - 8 April 2022. Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) restricted meeting

7 April 2022. The Africa Agri-Tech Development Forum: Supporting Agricultural Innovation and Food Manufacturing with Effective Trade and Industrial Policy

7 April 2021. 7:30 pm Healthy Soil - Healthy Planet webinar series, which begins on April 7, 2022.
  • 07/04 Webinar 1: Understanding Soil Health
  • 14/04 Webinar 2: How to Restore Soil Health
  • 20/04 Webinar 3: Proof Soil Regeneration Works
  • 27/04 Webinar 4: Careers in Soil Regeneration

12-13 April 2022. Regional consultation Africa Stockholm+50
  • Working Group 5: ‘CIRCULAR ECONOMY

12 April 2022, 16:00 - 18:00 JST, 08:00 -10:00 CET. Asian Regional Launch of Digital Agri Hub

14 April 2022, 15:00 Linking Smallholder Farmers to Voluntary Carbon Market: Application of Innovative Remote Sensing Measurements to Generate Carbon Removal Units in Agroforestry at Scale

19 April 2022. 12:30 CEST. High-level virtual event: Scaling up Agroecology Initiative
  • Three years into the implementation of the Initiative, this webinar aims at sharing initial achievements, success stories and collective understanding of the enabling environment that takes agroecology forward on the ground, in different contexts and at different levels.
  • Check out the programme and register here or follow via webcast.
  • FAO Family Farming & Agroecology Community of Practice in Africa is implementing an e-discussion on “The co-creation, sharing and dissemination of local innovations for healthy soils in Africa”,
  • co-organized by Access Agriculture, Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), Biovision Africa Trust, FAO Family Farming Knowledge Platform, FAO Agroecology Knowledge Hub, FAO TECA Platform, Pan-African Farmers Organization (PAFO), and World Rural Forum.
20 April 2022. 14:30–16:30 | VIRTUAL, CEST. The Increasing Imperative for Resilient Food Systems in Times of Crisis: What Can Donors Do?
  • During this event, the GDPRD’s WHITE PAPER on “Transforming Food Systems- Directions for Enhancing the Catalytic Role of Donors” will be presented. 
  • The paper attempts to provide a menu of options for donor engagement in food systems transformation, with focuses on coordination, structural barriers to change, and the importance of systemic approaches.
21 April 2022. Financing Climate Action. World Bank 2022 SPRING MEETINGS
  • This event will look at the actions that are needed to create enabling environments, leverage different pools of capital at the right time, for specific needs, while involving communities and bringing them along in the global low-carbon, resilient transition.
21 April 2022. 13h00 - 15h00 CEST/GMT+2. Putting Food system thinking into sector practice: the role of insects in food system transformation-from niche to mainstream

21 April 2022. CFS OEWG on Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment

  • This is a partnership between Village Capital and The Lightsmith Group accelerating 16 companies across Africa and Asia. 
  • Slot 1 - Absolute Water, Agtuall, Congretype, Freezelink, Hiraya Water, Komunidad Global, Ship60, Worldtech Consult.
  • Slot 2 - Agromyx, Aumsat, Cadel Consulting, Crop2X, EF Polymer, Kitovu Technology, Rwanda Bio Solution, Zr3i
  • Brief overviews of these companies are available here:
  • Slot 1 companies:
  • Slot 2 companies:
25 April - 8 May 2022. Convention on Biological Diversity (Part 2) - Kunming, China

25 April 2022. 15:00 CEST. Applying the agroecology elements to agroforestry: Transforming food systems for a more sustainable and resilient world

26 April 2022.   12:00-14:00 GMT. Successes from women-led agribusinesses in Africa. By Fit For Market SPS COLEACP programme 

26 April 2022 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., a virtual panel around the theme: "Soaring prices fertilizers: what alternatives to save the 2022/2023 agricultural campaign? ". 

27 April 2022. 1 pm Cairo  Water Accounting in Use webinar series | Session 3: A Review of Water Accounting Framework: for Who, What and Why by FAO

28 April 2022. 10:00 AM Universal Time UTC. GFAR Regional Interaction with Partners in SSA
  • The overall purpose of the regional interaction is:  to re-engage and strengthen the GFAR partnership; to give an update on GFAR and our current EC project; to exchange about the recommendations of the independent evaluation that was conducted in 2018; and to prepare for a Partners’ Assembly
28 April 2022. 4:30 pm – 6 pm EAT. 3:30 CEST The 3rd CAADP Biennial Review: From Data to Policy Implementation

28 April 2022.  Enabling Ethical Food Supply Chains to become Sustainable and Climate-Resilient using Blockchain Technology: TraceX Technologies in India by World Bank

28 April 2022. Special learning session of the World Food Forum on systematization of innovation through the adoption of the InnovationToolkit
  • how to foster, scale, and accelerate innovation across the UN System.
  • Upon request of the UN Secretary-General, the UN Innovation Toolkit was developed under the leadership of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) in close collaboration with the UN Innovation Network and innovators from 30+ UN Entities. The toolkit has been entrusted to UN System Staff College (UNSSC) to ensure dissemination and integration into relevant capacity building and innovation efforts.
  • The online seminar, is organized by the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) alongside the XV World Forestry Congress.
  • This opportunity is open for all journalists from around the world with a passion for learning and raising awareness about the essential role of forests in the global sustainable agenda.
2-6 May 2022. XV World Forestry Congress

3-5 May 2022. 4th International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance - Bridging Science and Policy - Copenhagen, Denmark.

4 May 2022. 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CT. Fertilizer Availability and Affordability: Implications for Agricultural Productivity and Food Insecurity

  • offer young innovators a platform to exchange views on how technology can help individuals make climate-friendly consumer choices, how impactful they are, and the concrete results of such climate tech tools.

4 May, 5pm CEST. Energy Transition in Times of War: a Perspective From the MENA Region. Series: "The Future of Energy"

11-13 May 2022. 15th Edition eLearning Africa Kigali, Rwanda.

16-18 May 2022. ISF World Seed Congress

18 May 2022. 10:00 SAST   Dialogue to reflect on the outcomes of COP26! This dialogue is the first for the series “Roadmap to COP27: From Johannesburg to Sharma El-Sheikh” to shape Africa’s narrative for climate justice leading to COP27.

16 June 2022, Brussels, Belgium. EFARD Annual Hybrid Meeting. “EFARD for Inclusiveness and Transformative Learning”

17 June 2022. World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

20 June - 1 July 2022. The Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy conference. The call for abstracts is now open.

21-22 June 2022 European Development Days (EDD 2022) – taking place in Brussels and online. The 15th edition will focus on “Global Gateway: building sustainable partnerships for a connected world.”

22 - 24 June 2022. Jobs, innovation and rural value chains in the context of climate transition: Bridging the gap between research and policy by IFAD

27-29 June 2022, Brussels. MicrobiomeSupport 
  • This high-level conference will bring together stakeholders of microbiome research and the wider food system to discuss opportunities and challenges for harnessing the potential of microbiomes in the agri-food sector, and for human, animal and environmental health. 

12-15 July 2022. FAO-CIRAD international conference on Geographical Indication.

14-20 August 2022. 31st International Horticultural Congress, IHC2022, Angers, France

9 - 11 September 2022. Agroecology Europe Youth Forum

  • virtually and in Paris, France 
  • The congress underlines the theme “Harnessing the Latest Innovations and Laying Foreground for Future of Food Science and Technology.”
29-30 September 2022. Africa Dairy & Drink Innovations Summit – Hybrid & Nairobi, Kenya

7-18 November 2022. UN COP27: Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

Retail food prices at the country level and implications for food security

29 March 2022. Retail food prices at the country level and implications for food security. by IFPRI

This policy seminar explored what we know—and do not know—about how high global agricultural commodity prices and country-specific factors affect retail prices at the national level. Special attention was given to countries suffering from acute food insecurity and those with a high dependence on imports.

As the second event in IFPRI’s seminar series on high food and fertilizer prices, this seminar examined how global commodity prices are transmitted at the national level and what other country-specific aspects influence retail prices. Program speakers will address key considerations for highly food-insecure and import-dependent countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Short presentations will focus on Rwanda, Yemen, and Ethiopia.
  • Opening Remarks - Johan Swinnen, Global Director, CGIAR Systems Transformation Science Group & Director General, IFPRI (Presentation)
  • How increasing food prices impact Middle East and North Africa countries - Aly Abousabaa, Regional Director, Central and West Asia and North Africa, CGIAR, Director General, International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) (Presentation)
  • How global agricultural commodity prices impact national food retail prices - Rob Vos, Division Director, Markets, Trade and Institutions, IFPRI (Presentation)
  • A Special Look at Rwanda - Jean Chrysostome Ngabitsinze, Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture and Animal resources, Republic of Rwanda (Presentation)
Rapid Fire Presentations

Involvement of the Private Sector in Financing Climate Adaptation Actions

How banks assess climate risks and integrate them into credit risk assessments

24 March 2022. Within the context of EIB TA Financial Sector Programme for West and Central Africa, MFW4A and the IPC, Horus and IECD Consortium hosted the seventh webinar of their series on “How banks assess climate risks and integrate them into credit risk assessments”.

Making Finance work for Africa (MFW4A) Secretariat is hosted within the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

See blogpost: Topic 7:  How banks assess climate risks and integrate them into credit risk assessments

The panelists shared their experiences on how banks and MFIs adapt their credit/loan approval processes to integrate climate change considerations and incentivize sustainable investments with a focus on SMEs. The panelists also highlighted the key steps in the ESM Framework and how climate-related risks can be mainstreamed in financial sector activities.

Participants gained knowledge on:
  • How to assess climate change risks?
  • Which approach to take in integrating climate risks into credit risks assessments?
  • How to adapt products and services to more climate action?


Atkins (2021) Study on the Involvement of the Private Sector in Financing Climate Adaptation Actions #76 p.

This study aims to identify new avenues for the involvement of the private sector in climate adaptation finance. It does so by:
  • Outlining the current private sector adaptation finance landscape.
  • Identifying and analysing the barriers and enabling factors for increasing private sector investment in adaptation.
  • Assessing the policy, legislative and regulatory conditions needed to support private sector finance in adaptation through selected case studies, highlighting current good and bad practice within legislative and regulatory frameworks.
  • Assessing the potential for the European Fund for Sustainable Development plus (EFSD+) to leverage private sector finance for adaptation, including operational considerations for how this can be strengthened within EFSD+
  • Developing operational recommendations on how the EU can support partner countries to create an enabling environment to catalyse private sector finance in adaptation.
The impacts of climate change are unequally distributed worldwide, and affect especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The scale of these impacts leaves no other choice but to adapt. Yet, adaptation is not taking place at the required scale and pace, and often it is not prioritised at the national level when establishing investment priorities. At the global level, climate financing for adaptation lags behind financing for mitigation, even though significant efforts can be seen in response to the Paris Agreement’s call for achieving funding parity. 

The latest OECD report on Climate Finance Provided and Mobilised by Developed Countries in 2019
shows that adaptation finance only accounts for 25% of the total funding. Most investments for adaptation are currently financed by public finance through grants and, to a lesser extent, loans or de-risking facilities. Finance for adaptation needs to be scaled up, as reiterated by all Parties at the UNFCCC COP26, and include private financing as it is happening for mitigation.

There is limited information available on private sector investment in adaptation, in part because of the difficulties of differentiating investment in adaptation from standard business activities. Although reported figures are an underestimate, it is clear that the level of private sector investment is far lower than what is necessary, with the latest estimates of tracked private investment in adaptation representing just 1.6% of total adaptation finance.

The EIB Evaluation Division conducted an evaluation of EIB support for climate change adaptation, covering the period 2015 to 2020. The evaluation finds that the EIB’s relatively low level of support for adaptation does not mirror the vision of the EIB as the EU climate bank as set out in the Climate Bank Roadmap.

Key factors that can explain the EIB’s low contribution to climate change adaptation include client demand affected by data and knowledge related constraints, limited upstream support and staff capacity and the use of financial investment volumes as the only metric for adaptation.

The evaluation concludes that to increase its support for climate change adaptation requires changes in the EIB’s business model and implies greater investment in its skills base, upstream engagement, and access to concessional finance or grants.

UNEP (2021) Adaptation Gap Report 2021 #104 p.
The sixth edition of the UNEP Adaptation Gap Report: The Gathering Storm finds that there is an urgent need to step up climate adaptation finance. Estimated adaptation costs in developing countries are five to ten times greater than current public adaptation finance flows, and the adaptation finance gap is widening.

COVID-19 recovery stimulus packages are also becoming a lost opportunity to finance climate adaptation. Less than one third of 66 countries studied explicitly funded COVID-19 measures to address climate risks up to June 2021. Meanwhile, the heightened cost of servicing debt, combined with decreased government revenues, may hamper future government spending on adaptation.

On the positive side, climate change adaptation is increasingly being embedded in policy and planning. Around 79 per cent of countries have adopted at least one national-level adaptation planning instrument – an increase of 7 per cent since 2020. Implementation of adaptation actions is also continuing to grow slowly, with the top ten donors funding more than 2,600 projects with a principal focus on adaptation between 2010 and 2019.

Overall, though, the report finds that further ambition is needed to progress in national-level adaptation planning, finance and implementation worldwide.

Climate Risk Management  (2021) What role for multi-stakeholder partnerships in adaptation to climate change? Experiences from private sector adaptation in Kenya # 13 p. 

There has been limited over-arching investigation of the opportunities, challenges and distributional risks that may result from employing MSPs to increase the adaptation resources available to SMEs (‘MSPs for SME adaptation’). This study contributes to this gap.

Since SMEs dominate enterprise landscapes in developing countries and are fundamental to more inclusive and equitable development. Small-scale agricultural producers and pastoralists form a crucial component of the private sector in sub-Saharan Africa and even small-scale producers in the informal (unregistered) sector can be linked to large and sometimes highly competitive value chains, that incorporate a range of different sized businesses
  • MSPs can mobilise a wide range of private sector actors to deliver adaptation goods.
  • MSPs can overcome barriers to adaptation for SMEs in remote regions.
  • MSPs can expose SMEs to new risks and vulnerabilities.
  • MSPs may help upscale SME adaptation through more integrated approaches.
  • MSPs may necessitate rethinking donor programming to enable ongoing monitoring.
Neo-liberal market-based development paradigms suggest that in mobilising the private sector, MSPs can offer a more sustainable model for implementing adaptation action, that does not rely on ongoing public or donor finance. 

While Kenya has a large and burgeoning private sector, this tends to be characterised by a high number of micro and small enterprises in the informal sector, which are heavily concentrated in a mixture of livestock, rain-fed agriculture and agricultural processing and trade, making them particularly exposed to climate variability. 

Strategies employed to unlock the private sector for adaptation within the MSP:
  • Value chain and market analysis 
  • Multi-stakeholder dialogue forums and brokering of business linkages 
  • Research and other investments  in information and tools 
  • Marketing 
  • Access to finance, financial incentives and financial de-risking strategies 
  • Incubation services 
  • Empowering the consumer base 
Given the scale of challenges faced by SMEs in Kenya, weaknesses in the business environment not addressed within an MSP (for example as a result of insufficient consultation, evaluation or funding) 
frequently undermine and serve as roadblocks to the effectiveness, uptake and sustainability of partnership activities and investments. There are cases of MSPs that faltered through failures to ensure adequate financing mechanisms, or through insufficient investment in awareness-raising, to ensure buy-in and uptake of new climate-smart technologies or services. 

The short duration of the donor-funded projects that typically initiate MSPs, often exacerbate these challenges; with projects discontinued before market linkages have had time to mature, and before the customer base has had the opportunity to benefit sufficiently from an initiative as to become independently empowered to maintain the market. 

IFC/EBRD (2013 ) Pilot Climate Change Adaptation Market Study: Turkey # 55 p.

In Turkey the priority sector is the Manufacturing of 
food products and agricultural supply chains. The manufacturing of food products is identified as the highest-ranking sector when considering a combination of economic ‘importance’ and dependency on Climatically Sensitive Infrastructure and Systems (CSIS). Agriculture is the 5th largest contribution to GDP in Turkey. As such, agriculture has been merged with the manufacturing of food products, as there is a clear and important link in terms of supply chains and the provisions of raw materials.   


Climate adaptation technologies  / climate business opportunities @ the level of SMEs.

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, Founder & Executive Director, NigeriaColdHubs Limited produces solar-powered walk-in cold storage rooms for 24/7 cold storage of perishable foods, extending the shelf life of fruit and vegetables from two to 21 days. 

This breakthrough innovation enables the local community and smallholder farmers to store food in the cold room by paying a daily flat fee of about US$0.50 for each 20kg (44lbs) crate of food. 

 The company aims at contributing to achieve food security by preserving perishable products, as well as to uplift and empower local Nigerian communities, especially women though hiring mainly women to manage the operations and collection of revenue at ColdHubs stations.

Scaling Climate Action through Technology and Innovation by SMEs for Green Investment in Africa

6 July, 2020. The workshop, was financed with a grant from AFDB’s Fund for African
Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), and is part of the Bank’s Private Sector Investment Initiative
for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which aims to promote Africa’s private
sector participation in climate-related investments as set out under the Paris Agreement.

Presentation: Africa Consultative Workshop - Scaling Climate Action Through Technology and Innovation by SMEs

6 pilot countries: Angola • Egypt • Morocco • Mozambique, • Nigeria • South Africa

Farmers’ Adaptation and Sustainability in Tunisia through Excellence in Research

The objective of FASTER is to support the Farm Advisory Systems sustainability in Tunisia by enabling the application of innovative solutions, sharing knowledge and best practices, and by mainstreaming research results and technology to local farmers and policy-makers linked to forestry and agricultural sectors who need to face climate change and related challenges.To that end, the project FASTER provides a series of Farm Advisory Services for the targeted groups of interests. It includes the implementation of a Living Lab, the organization of a Summer School, and the establishment of a Knowledge Hub and an E-learning platform.

FASTER Project Living lab focuses on knowledge transfer on adaptation to climate change strategies between researchers in the field of water, soil and forest management, and practitioners engaged in Farm Advisory System in Tunisia.

This project has received funding from the European Union ́s Horizon 2020 research and innovation

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Forum for the future of agriculture: solution events

The annual conference of the Forum for the Future of Agriculture takes place every spring in Brussels and most recently online. The purpose of the Forum is to stimulate open discussions on the future of European and world agriculture and assess what should and what can be achieved over time, attaching equal weight to two challenges: food security and environmental security. The Brussels event is accompanied every year by regional conferences across Europe.

Below are the solution events which were held after the main conference: see blogpost 14/03 Annual Conference Forum for the future of Agriculture

21/03 Resource-oriented solutions for industrial wastewater treatment

Water2REturn is an Innovation Action co-funded by the European Commission under its Horizon 2020 (H2020) programme. It is coordinated by BIOAZUL company (Malaga, Spain) and is focused on the recovery and recycling of nutrients from slaughterhouse wastewater in the framework of a Circular Economy model. Nutrients recovered are turned into value added products for the agro-chemical industry and, consequently, for the agricultural sector.

The Water2REturn Final Conference allowed a comprehensive presentation of project results.
  • Introduction to Water2REturn project – Pilar Zapata, Bioazul S.L.
  • Nutrients recovery and agronomic products manufacturing – David Haigh, Kimitec Biogroup S.L.
  • Environmental assessments – Gulgun Acar, 2B Srl.
  • Impact of an initiative like Water2REturn for the agricultural sector – Daniel Monteleone, ELO
  • Other nutrients recovery initiatives: FERTIMANURE project - Laia Llenas Argelaguet

21/03 Reducing methane emissions in the agricultural sector

This Solutions Workshop, hosted by Cargill addressed the challenges around methane reduction in livestock farming, and more specifically methane emissions coming from the digestion of ruminants, the current state of affairs and available solutions, the actors, the barriers and trade-offs. The Workshop brought together relevant stakeholders to discuss how across the value chain the rights conditions can be created for impactful methane reduction approaches at farm, policy, consumer and business levels.
  • Mark Titterington, Senior Adviser, Strategy & Partnerships, Forum for the Future of Agriculture
  • Lieve Beyen, Regional Managing Director Europe, Middle East, Africa for Cargill Animal Nutrition
  • Asger Christensen, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe/Denmark
  • Margrethe Jonkman, Global Director Research & Development, Royal Friesland Campina
  • Joris Relaes, Administrator-General, Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO)

22/03 Raising animal welfare and ethics in EU egg production – the example of ending chick culling

The EU Commission is currently consulting on the EU animal welfare legislation and has included amongst other elements the option to prohibit the culling of male chicks in egg production. Furthermore, Germany and France have adopted national legislation, which limits this practice. This solutions workshop focused on the ethics side of a potential EU ban on chick culling in egg production; while analysing the potential of the implementation of cost-free solutions for hatcheries, lowering the threshold for uptake of innovation in the chain.
  • Carmen Uphoff, Head of Public Affairs & Business Development and member of the managing board, respeggt group
  • Frank Meuser, NGO Tierschutzbund (“German Animal Welfare Federation”)
  • Annika Lange, NGO Tierschutzbund (“German Animal Welfare Federation”)
  • Wouter Bruins, Founder of In Ovo

22/03 Unleashing the potential of innovation

From biologicals and digital solutions to new genomic techniques, innovation offers great potential to improve sustainable food systems. This panel explored how innovation can help support the introduction of a new paradigm for sustainable agriculture. The session explained how biologicals; insect sensors; and new genomic techniques (NGTs) can enhance biodiversity and support sustainability.

Introduction from moderator - Femi Oke - Journalist

Why do we need innovation in a sustainable food system?
  • Robert Renwick - Head of Business Sustainability EAME, Syngenta Crop Protection.
  • Ana Carricondo, Birdlife Spain - Coordinator of Conservation Programs in SEO BirdLife
  • Pedro Gallardo, Asaja - President ASAJA Cádiz / Vice-president of COPA (COPA-COGECA)
Biopesticides - an example of innovation supporting sustainability
  • Camilla Corsi - Head Crop Protection Research, Syngenta
  • Giuseppe Natale - Chief Executive Officer at Valagro SpA
How can innovation support and encourage biodiversity?
  • Vasileios Vasileiadis - Sustainable & Responsible Business Manager EAME, Biodiversity & Agronomy, Syngenta
    He briefly presented  iNaturalist app. this is one of the world's most popular nature apps. iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 400,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! What's more, by recording and sharing your observations, you'll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.
  • Eva Haensel - Sustainable Portfolio Development Head Crop Protection Development for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Syngenta
  • Kiran Joseph - Digital Sustainability Product Manager, Syngenta
How can New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) support sustainability?
  • Sarah Iveson - Head of Field Crops Seeds Development for Syngenta Seeds
  • Charlie Baxter - Head of Traits, Regulatory and Product Safety, Syngenta Seeds

24/03 The true cost of food – from shifting markets to informing policy

True Cost Accounting (TCA) is a tool that can reveal the externalities related to food production and consumption, and serve as a basis to internalize these impacts (both positive and negative), and foster the most sustainable behaviours and practices. The “hidden costs” of global food systems are estimated to be US$19.8 trillion annually with $12 trillion from health costs. These costs stem from diet-related chronic diseases, impacts of climate change, and unfair wages. Often, these costs are borne by the least advantaged segments of society (e.g., smallholder farmers, youth, women, Indigenous Peoples, people of colour, marginalized communities). By applying the right incentives, these costs can be mitigated to ensure that food systems create real value for society. This session discussed how food system approaches, particularly True Cost Accounting, can provide holistic assessments of the negative externalities and positive benefits of different interventions, thus elucidating evidence that leads to the improvement of food system strategies and policies.
  • Tanja Ploetz, WWF-Germany, moderation
  • Eberhard Brandes, CEO WWF-Germany - Why is it important to draw a clear picture of the externalities in the food system?
  • Amelie Michalke, Research Assistant, Sustainability Science and Applied Geography, University of Greifswald, Germany - How much is the dish? A research project
  • Alexander Müller, Managing Director, TMG – Think Tank for Sustainability -  True Cost Accounting and Dietary Patterns: The Opportunity for Coherent Food System Policy
  • Susanne Breuer, Officer for Latin America / Energy and Food, MISEREOR -  Social aspects of TCA from a global south perspective
Panel discussion
  • Martine van Weelden, Senior Manager, Capitals Coalition
  • Salman Hussain, Head, The Economics of Nature Unit, UNEP
  • Robert Konrad, Adviser for Natural Capital, DG Environment, European Commission, DG Environment, European Commission

24/03 Developing and scaling regenerative agriculture

Over the past twelve months, the Forum has focused much of its annual program on regenerative agriculture. This reflects the emerging interest in regenerative agriculture as a potential approach to a more sustainable food and farming system in Europe and beyond. The EU policy agenda has also begun to address this whilst many global companies and organisations have started to make commitments to source from growers who adopt regenerative agriculture practices.
  • Fabio Brusa Senior European Affairs Manager, Nestlé Europe 
  • Herbert Dorfmann Member of the European Parliament 
  • Alexandre Nepomuceno General Head of the National Soybean Research Center at Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) 
  • Emmanuel Petel Policy Coordinator, European Commission, DG AGRI 
  • Galina Peycheva-Miteva Bulgarian farmer, landowner and activist 
  • Shari Rogge-Fidler President and CEO, Farm Foundation 
  • Marc Rosiers Director at MR F&A Consult 
  • Mark Titterington Senior Adviser, Strategy & Partnerships, FFA - moderator

24/03 Improving water resiliency through nature-based solutions and regenerative agriculture

This event explored case studies from the private sector on using nature-based solutions and regenerative agriculture to improve water resiliency in their operations and value chain footprints. On average, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of global freshwater withdrawals (FAO, 2017) and agricultural production also impacts the quality of freshwater supplies. That’s why private sector actors who influence agriculture have the power to improve the resiliency of water supplies.
  • Truke Smoor, Global Sustainability Director, Water, Cargill
  • Muriel Jaujou, Water Cycle & Sustainability Director, Danone
  • Emmanuel Rurema, Executive Director, Upper-Tana Nairobi Water Fund
  • Saswati Bora, Director of Regenerative Food Systems, The Nature Conservancy
  • Noor Yafai (Moderator), Global Policy & Institutional Partnerships Director, Europe

28/03 Converging views towards a sustainable EU food system

With the new legislative framework for sustainable food systems already on the horizon, the European Union will need to address a dual challenge: on the one hand, bring together the many divergent views and create a long-term vision for the EU food system; on the other, truly break new ground with this legislation, so that it creates a policy environment that can enable the desired transition to sustainability.

  • Jabier Ruiz - Moderator, Senior Policy Officer, Agriculture & Sustainable Food Systems, European Policy Office of WWF 
  • Laurent Bontoux Senior Foresight for Policy Expert at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre - Presentation of the JRC report:

    Bock, A., Bontoux, L. and Rudkin, J., Concepts for a sustainable EU food system, # 88 p.
    Food systems, worldwide and in the EU, need urgent and significant transformation to become sustainable. The EU Farm to Fork Strategy, a cornerstone of the European Green Deal, takes a food system perspective and sets out actions to move towards a ‘fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system’. 

  • Jessica Duncan Associate Professor in the Politics of Sustainable Food Systems, Wageningen University - Food governance and participation in policy making 
  • Petra Laux Head Business Sustainability, Syngenta Crop Protection 
  • Silvia Schmidt Policy Associate Manager, IFOAM Organics Europe

28/03 Global biodiversity targets: which role for agriculture?

A post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is to be adopted when the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity takes place in May 2022. Building on the UN’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, the new framework will respond to the ongoing biodiversity decline and aims to transform society’s relationship with biodiversity and to achieve a shared vision of living in harmony with nature by 2050.
Sustainability in agriculture features in the second action target, referencing conservation work and the sustainable use of biodiversity and increasing the productivity and resilience of these industries. We will not reach these global biodiversity goals without the active involvement of the food and agriculture sector. 

This event brought together agriculture and nature conservation experts to discuss the role of the sector in the fight against biodiversity decline.
  • Alberto Arroyo Schnell - Head of Policy and Programme, IUCN
  • Ms. Jihyun Lee - Director of Science, Society and Sustainable Futures Division of the CBD Secretariat - Keynote
  • Janez Potočnik - Co-Chair Environment International Resource Panel
  • Patricia Zurita - CEO BirdLife International
  • Pekka Pesonen - Secretary General Copa and Cogeca - European farmers and European agri-cooperatives
  • Apex Brasil
  • Dr. Rodrigo Lima - Partner-Director of Agroicone, international lawyer specialized in Trade and Biodiversity
  • Noor Yafai (Moderator) - Europe Director Global Policy and Institutional Partnerships, The Nature Conservancy

29/03 ForumforAg Final Wrap-up and Land and Soil Management Award Ceremony

Following the Annual Conference, Solutions and Policy events, this wrap-up event summarised and concluded all the ForumforAg activities during the month of March.
  • Mark Titterington, Senior Adviser, Strategy & Partnerships, Forum for the Future of Agriculture - moderator
  • Janez Potočnik, Chair ForumforAg and Chairman RISE Foundation - Summary of the Forum month of March
  • Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner for Agriculture, European Commission - Special address
  • Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, USDA
  • Dr Marie Brueser, Entrepreneurship Leader, Thought For Food (TFF)
  • Galina Peycheva-Miteva, Bulgarian farmer, landowner and activist
  • Thierry de l'Escaille, Secretary General, European Landowners’ Organization
  • Jon Parr, President of Syngenta Crop Protection and Member of the Global Leadership Team

GCRF-AFRICAP Agricultural and food system resilience: Increasing capacity and advising policy

24 March 2022
. The Global Challenges Research Fund programme, “Agricultural and Food System Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy” (GCRF-AFRICAP) was codesigned, co-owned and jointly run between institutions in the Global North and Global South. GCRF-AFRICAP aimed to build capacity in prospective, systems-level, decision making for resilient agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa to meet the complex challenges of climate change, the need for equitable economic growth, and the need to feed growing populations nutritiously and sustainably.

Over 200 experts from the GCRF (Global Challenges Research Fund) -Agricultural and Food System Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy (AFRICAP) project spent four years working with governments, civil society and the private sector in Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia to build an evidence base for making sub-Saharan agriculture more productive, sustainable and resilient.

The authors engaged with a significant range of decision makers in the four focal countries (Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia) in the African Union and in Europe, both to scope out the questions to address, and to consider the implications of the programme’s findings.
“The climate crisis is accelerating. Wildfires, floods, droughts and diseases are becomingmore common and more severe in our region – causing crop failures, economic shocks and loss of livelihoods. But there is hope. With the right policies in place, governments can both boost nutrition security and protect their citizens from the impacts of climate change,”
Dr Tshilidzi Madzivhandila, Chief Executive Officer, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN).
“This research gives governments some of the information and evidence they need to get ahead of climate impacts by implementing reforms that enhance resilience, boost nutritional outcomes, and enhance livelihoods. By providing training and support for vulnerable farmers, investing in new agricultural methods, diversifying crop production and importing nutrient-dense foods to supplement domestic production, they can build food systems that are fit for the future we know is coming.” 
Professor Tim Benton, Director of Chatham House’s Environment and Society Programme

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The mother tree project

Mother Trees are the biggest trees in the forest that are connected and communicate with the other tree s and plants forest.
Trees form mycorrhizae (literally meaning “fungus-root”), which are symbiotic relationships between trees and fungi. These mycorrhizal fungi have many branching threads (called mycelium) that grow out from the root tip of a tree and connect with the roots of other trees and plants to form a mycorrhizal network. The mycelium spans vast areas connecting trees and plants across a forest in an expansive underground network.

Recognizing the importance of Mother Trees and the vast below ground network connecting all trees has added to the understanding of how forests work. These connections have been known for a long time by Aboriginal peoples and the research of Dr. Simard and others has demonstrated scientifically that forests are deeply connected and collaborative places.
  • Trees are part of a large, interconnected community interacting with their own and other species, including forming kin relationships with their genetic relatives.
  • In mapping the fungal network, her research has shown that the biggest and oldest trees are the most connected nodes in the forest. These highly-connected hub trees, also known as Mother Trees, share their excess carbon and nitrogen through the mycorrhizal network with the understory seedlings, which can increase seedling survival. These Mother Trees in this way act as central hubs, communicating with the young seedlings around them. In a single forest, a Mother Tree can be connected to hundreds of other trees.
  • Research has shown that kin seedlings receive more carbon from Mother Trees than stranger seedlings do. The Mother Tree sends carbon to other seedlings in the neighbourhood as well.
  • Additional research has shown that large hub trees (that are called Mother Trees) transmit carbon through the mycorrhizal network to young seedlings in need. The carbon moves along a source-sink gradient, where the larger tree is the source of carbon and the seedling is the sink.
"Mother Trees and the Social Forest" was given on June 15, 2021 as part of Long Now's Seminar series.

Webinar on Youth employment opportunities in agri-food systems in Middle East and North Africa

29 March 2022. Webinar on Youth employment opportunities in agri-food systems in Middle East and North Africa.

Recording forthcoming. 

As part of the OECD project “COVID-19 Response and Recovery of MENA Region”, financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the OECD Development Centre is looking at employment challenges faced by youth during the COVID-19 crisis in three countries in the MENA region: Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. 

In particular, it will analyse opportunities for job creation in sectors with high growth potential that remain under-invested, such as the agri-food sector. Indeed, growing populations, urbanisation and rising incomes of the middle class are increasing demand for more diverse, value-added agricultural and food products in Africa.

This rise in food demand can boost job creation along the local agri-food value chains if adequate investments are made to build efficient local food systems. The recent OECD study on Jobs for Rural Youth (2021) estimates that from 2019 to 2030, about 20 million additional jobs are expected to be created in the food economy in 11 sub Saharan African countries analysed.
  • Dr. Janet Edeme AUC Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment
  • Alexandre Kolev, heads the Social Cohesion Unit at the OECD Development Centre.
  • Ji-Yeun RIM, OECD OECD Development Centre
  • Larabi Jaidi, Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, and was a Professor at the University Mohammed V of Rabat - Agdal, Morocco, 
  • Mohamed Ali Marouani Resident Representative of IRD and CIRAD in Tunisia.
  • Syrine CHAALALA nextProtein Tunisia
  • Marie-Laure Gibaud, Tech-Dev.


nextProtein Tunisia

Founded in 2015 by couple Syrine Chaalala and Mohamed Gastli, nextProtein was launched to help tackle land and resource scarcity using insect protein as feedstock.

Like most start-ups, nextProtein began in a garage back in 2014. It was born from the personal and professional ambitions of its founders, who were searching for solutions to change agricultural food production while being able to work and live together. Syrine, an Emergency Operations Specialist at the FAO, and Mohamed, a Grammy-nominated chemical engineer, identified that they could combine organic cycles of nature with the scalable efficiency of technology, to produce an alternative to wasteful and unsustainable agricultural systems.

Tech Dev

Les premiers partenaires "historiques", dont le développement a été soutenu par Tech-Dev sont :
  • Ingénierie et Conseils en Développement d’Entreprises (ICDE) au Burkina Faso
  • le Bureau d’Appui aux Artisans (BAA) au Bénin
  • AGRO-PME Fondation au Cameroun
  • le Forum des Jeunes Entreprises du Congo (FJEC) au Congo-Brazzaville ;
Tech-Dev a ensuite élargi son réseau de partenaires avec :

Agriculture, Food and Jobs in MENA. OECD 

forthcoming 2023
Evidence from ten African countries shows that what youth in these countries value most is job security, such as work in the public sector. Agriculture-related work or medium-skilled jobs in manufacturing are the least attractive for young Africans. Policies can help address the misalignment between youth employment preferences and employment opportunities. A two-pronged approach is recommended: i) helping young people shape career aspirations that are realistic and that can fit with the world they will be entering, and ii) improving the quality of jobs with due regard to the job conditions that matter for young people.

Jobs for Rural Youth - The Role of Local Food Economies

Potential job opportunities for rural youth exist in agriculture and along the agri-food value chain, however. Growing populations, urbanisation and rising incomes of the working class are increasing demand for more diverse and higher value added agricultural and food products in Africa and developing Asia. This demand will create a need for off-farm labour, especially in agribusinesses, which tends to be better paid and located in rural areas and secondary towns. It could boost job creation in the food economy provided that local food systems were mobilised to take up the challenge of higher and changing domestic demand for food.

Scaling up conservation agriculture in Southern Africa

The Regional report “Conservation Agriculture Entry Points into Regional and National Development Frameworks and Potential Investment Opportunities in Southern Africa” was conducted in 10 countries in Southern Africa, namely, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Through the project “Strengthening Coordination, Scaling Up and Governance of Conservation Agriculture in Southern Africa (SUCASA)”, FAO is working with partners in Southern Africa to overcome both policy, institutional and technical challenges to the scaling up of Conservation Agriculture (CA) in Southern Africa.

The project has strengthened the role of National Conservation Agriculture Taskforces as multi-stakeholder outreach vehicles for scaling up CA in the targeted countries.

The Regional report based on research conducted in ten countries in Southern African Development Community (SADC) paints a positive picture of the future of conservation agriculture in Southern Africa. In parallel to public sector effort and action, the private sector has a major role to play in the adoption of conservation agriculture.

The slow uptake of Conservation agriculture (CA) among farmers in Southern Africa is due partly to the structural approach within which most CA has often been promoted in countries without alignment to national development frameworks.

The report highlights that to ensure the buy-in of CA among decision makers, it is important that CA identifies with regional and national policy frameworks and strategies that seek to address farmer productivity, through Climate Smart Agriculture and Climate Resilience.

AKADEMIYA2063 Board Seminar

29 March 2022AKADEMIYA2063 hosted a Board Seminar at the Kigali Marriot Hotel to advance policy dialogue in the area of regional trade. 

Themed "Regional Trade Outlook in Eastern Africa: Opportunities for Rwanda", the seminar provided a forum for AKADEMIYA2063 to exchange with high level stakeholders from the agriculture, trade, and other interconnected sectors while exploring the challenges and opportunities for Rwanda to boost its performance in the regional market.

Organized under the framework of AKADEMIYA2063's 4th Board of Trustees Meeting, the event will feature officials from the government and private sectors, notably: 

  • Ambassador Ertharin Cousin, Vice Chair, AKADEMIYA2063 Board of Trustees;
  • Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources; 
  • Ousmane Badiane Founder & Executive Chairperson AKADEMIYA2063

    There is an important increase in the export of processed food. The Rwandan export of nuts, vegetable oil and meat increased.

    Groundnut oil, hides and skin and spices 
    are most effective.
  • Ms. Patience Mutesi, Country Director, TradeMark East Africa, Rwanda; 
Panel discussion
  • Arnold Kwizera Markets Editor at CNBC Africa Anchor/Producer Closing Bell
  • Dr. Pierre Claver Rutayisire, Principal of the College of Business and Economics, University of Rwanda; 
  • Mr. Claude Bizimana, CEO, National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB); 
  • Mr. Joseph Mutabazi, Director of Trade and Business Development, Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF); 
  • Mr. Antoine Marie Kajangwe, Director General of Trade and Investment at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The Stockholm+50 Preparatory Meeting

28 March 2022.
UN Headquarters in New York. The meeting was be convened by the President of the General Assembly and was chaired by the Stockholm+50 co-hosts, Sweden and Kenya. 

The meeting was structured around three consecutive interactive discussions on the preparations for the three Stockholm+50 Leadership Dialogues and considered other preparations for the international meeting on 2-3 June 2022

 After the Food Systems Summit, climate COP26, the High Level Dialogue on Energy, UNEA5.2, and UNEP@50, and ahead of climate COP27 and biodiversity COP15 amongst other key events, Stockholm+50 is a timely opportunity to reinforce the 1972 principles and to generate urgent actions for a healthy planet for the prosperity through 3 dialogues: 

Leadership Dialogue 1: Reflecting on the urgent need for actions to achieve a healthy planet and prosperity of all Leadership 

Draft background paper for Leadership Dialogue 1 # 5 p. 
  • The background paper highlights the urgency for key actions to achieve a healthy planet for all – for health, for equity, for rights, for job opportunities, for development now and in the future, and for all life on Earth. It also offers a set of questions to explore pathways of regeneration, recovery, rebalance, renewal and reimagining – all of which will help to transform commitments to action.
  • Page 3 Food systems are one of the key drivers of biodiversity loss and changes in land- and water use, and they are also impacted by biodiversity degradation and climate change. Interventions in food production and consumption can bring simultaneous multiple benefits to human and planetary health as well as to jobs and livelihoods. Governments, businesses and consumers can do better on what we grow, how we grow it, how we distribute it, and how we tackle food loss and waste. These steps could all ensure greater  resilience of food supply chains.

Dialogue 2: Achieving a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic Leadership

  • Page 2: The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts on the world’s food security and nutrition – over 800 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020, over 160 million more than in 2019.
  • Page 4: Innovative technologies that are required to support the transformation of high impact sectors will need to be integrated into recovery measures. (...) There is immense potential for developing economies to ‘leapfrog’ obsolete. 
  • Page 5:  South-South and triangular cooperation is essential now more than ever. Such global cooperation will need to embrace technology co-development and cooperation, replication of technologies, enhanced infrastructure and skills, increased access to data and knowledge exchange for capacity building. technologies and models.

Dialogue 3: Accelerating the implementation of the environmental dimension of Sustainable Development in the context of the Decade of Action 

  • Page 3: It is crucial that increased public and private capital is directed to systemic and transformational change in countries where green transition processes are underfunded. Although the USD 100 billion Copenhagen commitment has yet to be met, there was modest progress at COP26, including through increases in pledges to the Adaptation Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund. 
  • Page 4: Larger volumes of finance urgently need to flow to developing countries at lower cost – and quickly. Regional or global partnerships and mechanisms to pool risks could provide a possible solution to channel funding quickly where it is needed most, and to finance sustainable recoveries from emergencies and disasters.

5 upcoming Regional Multi-Stakeholder Consultations for Stockholm+50: ‘A healthy planet for the prosperity for all.’

The regional consultations will be held as follows:
  1. Asia and the Pacific: 4-5 April 2022 | More info and register
  2. Latin America and the Caribbean: 5-6 April 2022 | More info and register
  3. Africa: 12-13 April 2022 | More info and register
  4. Europe: End of April TBC | More info coming soon
  5. West Asia: 11-12 May 2022 | More info coming soon
The regional consultations are open to government representatives, all major groups, stakeholders, and the private sector (accredited or not accredited by UNEP and ECOSOC), to share their actions towards a healthy planet and a sustainable recovery and bring to the table their commitments and pledges for action and implementation.

Here you will find more information about all Multi-Stakeholder Consultations.

5-6 April 2022. Regional consultation Africa

Parallel Working Groups on Africa’s priorities
Working Group 4: ‘SUSTAINABLE AGRIFOOD SYSTEMS: Safeguarding productivity and ensuring access for all’Themes: Climate Smart Agriculture, Sustainability in Food Value Chains 
  • Co-facilitator: Ms. Beatrice Gakuba - Afrika Women Agribusiness Network (tbc)
  • Prof. Baldwyn Torto, Principal Scientist, icipe
Working Group 5: ‘CIRCULAR ECONOMY: Scaling up action in high impact sectors 
’Themes: Circularity action within ACEA 5 big bets (Textiles & fashion, Plastics and Packaging, Electronic Waste, Built environment & Food systems), Green jobs, youth reskilling and employment 
Themes: Climate Smart Agriculture, Sustainability in Food Value Chains 
  • Co-facilitators: Ms. Bonmwa Fwangkwal, Programme Officer, African Circular Economy Alliance, Eng. I. B. 
  • Nartey-Tokoli, Managing Director, Jekora Ventures Limited (tbc)