Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, April 29, 2022

Five charts that show why our food is not ready for the climate crisis

Crops are already seeing losses from heat and drought. Can genetic diversity – a return to foods’ origins – help combat the climate challenges ahead?

The industrialization of agriculture in the last century boosted production around the world – but that success also made our food systems much more vulnerable to the growing climate crisis.

Modern agriculture depends on high-yield monocrops from a narrow genetic base that needs lots of fertilisers, chemicals and irrigation.

But why does this matter?

Because a richer genetic diversity of foods, like we had in the past, will help make our crops more resilient to higher temperatures and changing rainfall patterns.

Like an investor with stocks, savings and real estate, diversity in the field spreads the risk: so if an early season drought wipes out one crop, there will be others which mature later or are naturally more drought tolerant, so farmers aren’t left with nothing.

Here are five key graphics from a recent special report of The Guardian on the precariousness of our modern food system.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Enabling Ethical Food Supply Chains to become Sustainable and Climate-Resilient using Blockchain Technology

28 April 2022.
 World Bank WBX talk

Enabling Ethical Food Supply Chains to become Sustainable and Climate-Resilient using Blockchain Technology: TraceX Technologies in India

The increasing global demand for food, the high incidence of foodborne diseases, and the growing counterfeit market have propelled the demand for verifiable evidence of provenance as the mark for product quality and safety. 

Given these demands, the need for visibility and transparency in food and agriculture supply chains is imperative. Harnessing the powers of blockchain technology to realize data-driven traceability is the right solution.

TraceX technologies is an Agri-tech startup that harnesses the power of blockchain technology to build clean, transparent, and traceable supply chains across the food and agriculture ecosystem. In this webinar, the speakers will talk about the journey of TraceX, its mission and vision, and how TraceX’s blockchain traceability solutions empower the stakeholders in the supply chain to follow sustainable climate-resilient practices in the entire journey from the farm to fork across different value chains. The webinar will also highlight how TraceX proposes to harness the power of Web3 technologies and build an extensive distributed autonomous supply chain network for food and agriculture businesses and extend its offerings to encompass carbon offsets and climate action goals of companies.



  • 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.
28/04/2022. A free livestreamed discussion brought together former BBC Science editor David Shukman and FAO Senior Forestry Officer Malgorzata Buszko-Briggs to discuss reporting on forests to diverse audiences.
  • David Shukman played a leading role in the BBC’s coverage of the environment with reports regularly featured on flagship TV and radio programmes and the BBC website for nearly twenty years.
  • Malgorzata (Margo) Buszko-Briggs is a Senior Forestry Officer and Team Leader of the Forestry Division at FAO as well as Secretary of the Committee on Forestry.
This discussion was part of an online media seminar hosted by the Global Landscapes Forum and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), Building a green, healthy and resilient future with forests, ahead of the XV World Forestry Congress.

The 3rd CAADP Biennial Review: From Data to Policy Implementation

28 April 202. The 3rd CAADP Biennial Review: From Data to Policy Implementation

Recording forthcoming

As part of Agrilinks’ Policy Month, the African Union, USAID, Feed the Future Policy LINK, and AKADEMIYA2063 are jointly convening a multi-stakeholder webinar to explore the impact of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme’s Biennial Review (BR) as well as to unpack some of the early policy implications emerging from the 3rd BR report.

Launched last month, the report included self-reported data from 51 of the African Union’s 55 Member States and captures progress across 49 indicators tracking performance on agricultural transformation. The report, titled“Accelerating CAADP Implementation for a Resilient African Food System,” aims to support evidence-based reflection and adaptive implementation of the 2014 Malabo Declaration.

The launch of the 3rd BR report signals the start of a year-long process of enhanced agricultural policy advocacy, dialogue, and engagement at the national, regional, and continental levels. The ensuing policy dialogue will be led by the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), AU Member States, Non-State Actors and other CAADP stakeholders. These discussions will cut across a wide range of thematic and sectoral policy issues driving agricultural growth and development – issues that we will begin to explore at this webinar.
  • Alexious Butler Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator USAID 
  • James Oehmke Acting Director, Office of Policy, Analysis and Engagement USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security 
  • Godfrey Bahiigwa Director of Agriculture and Rural Development African Union Commission 
  • Augustin Wambo Yamdjeu  Director, Knowledge Systems AKADEMIYA2063 
  • Samuel Benin Deputy Division Director, Africa Regional Office International Food Policy Research Institute 
  • Robert Ouma Regional Director Policy LINK
  • Sean Jones Mission Director USAID/Ethiopia
  • Ms. Neema K. Lugangira Member of Parliament, Chair of the Parliamentary Caucus on Food Safety Government of Tanzania 
  • Ms. Constance Ogadimma Okeke Project Manager, Public Finance for Agriculture ActionAid International 
  • Andrew Agyei-Holmes Ghana-based Research Fellow Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) 
  • Simplice Nouala Head of Division for Agriculture and Food Security African Union Commission’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture 
  • Providence Mavubi Director of Industry and Agriculture The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) 

African Union (AU)-European Union (EU) Innovation Agenda Consultation

The European Commission launched a public consultation on the working document of the joint African Union (AU)-European Union (EU) Innovation Agenda

This online survey will be available until May 13th, 2022 

This is an ambitious initiative aiming to translate Research & Innovation endeavours into tangible businesses, services and jobs in Africa and Europe. 

This consultation aims, using an online survey, to gather input and feedback from citizens and stakeholders (including also organisations) to ensure that the Innovation Agenda will be fully respondent to needs on the ground. Participants can take the survey either as individuals or on behalf of their respective organisations/institutions/universities.

A copy of the working document of the Innovation Agenda is accessible right on the online survey page (after the Introductory Paragraph), also in French (soon in Portuguese and Arabic). 

A joint working group of the AU-EU HLPD on STI took stock of previous and ongoing joint R&I activities:
  • results and lessons learnt of the Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership pilot project, 
  • opinions of the AU-EU Advisory Group on R&I , 
  • discussions that took place at the EU-AU R&I Ministerial 2020, 
  • and the pilot mapping exercise of projects of the EU-AU R&I Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture , 
  • as well as progress of the R&I Partnership on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (CCSE), including on climate resilience and adaptation. 
  • The identification of gaps and needs in the field of digitalisation that resulted in the key recommendations of the AU-EU Digital Economy Task Force and initiatives like the D4DHub were also taken into account. 
The results of the analysis of needs and gaps identified five areas: a) the innovation ecosystem b) innovation management, c) knowledge exchange, including technology transfer, d) access to finance, and e) human capacity development. 

The Agenda foresees short-, medium- and long-term actions in the four joint AU-EU priority areas of Research & Innovation, namely
  1. Public Health, 
  2. Green Transition (encompassing Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture, Climate Change and Sustainable Energy); 
  3. Innovation & Technology 
  4. Capacities for Science
"Differences in the capacities between AU and EU innovation players (universities, research institutions, incubators, accelerators, investors, venture capitalists, private equity firms, governments), and approaches, combining capacity empowerment and enabling environment upgrading, need to be taken into account, together with respecting principles of a just transition approach." (page 26)
Fostering the participation of financing partners / Access to financial resources
  • Need to strengthen existing R&I funding instruments, and promote the establishment of new, flexible funding programmes at bilateral, regional and international levels, while also diversifying funding partners. 
  • Need for financial support to scaling up R&I project outcomes, and transform them into successful entrepreneurial ventures, like start-ups, and related infrastructure, normally requiring important investments (also from FNSSA mapping study, and upcoming from CCSE)). 
  • Need private capital and corporations to play their important role in maintaining an innovation ecosystem (e.g. by attracting early stage and corporate investors to local innovation ecosystems to support the growth and expansion of spin-off companies or absorb generated IP through licensing). 
ANNEX 3: RESULTS OF THE PILOT MAPPING OF THE EU-AU R&I PARTNERSHIP ON FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE - Below you will find the list of projects that have the highest business potential out of an initial selection of 34 projects 
  1. DualCassava: Dual-resistant cassava for climate resilience, economic development and increased food security of smallholders in eastern and southern Africa (Funded through “African Union Research Grant II”)
  2. Crop and Soil Health Improvement for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification towards Economic Transformation in West Africa (Funded through “DG INTPA”) 
  3. UPSCALERS: Upscaling Site-Specific Climate-smart Agriculture and Land use practices to Enhance Regional Production Systems in West-Africa (Funded through “African Union Research Grant II”)
  4. Promote sustainable management of Tuta absoluta, an invasive pest of Solanaceous vegetables for food and nutritional security in East Africa (Funded through “African Union Research Grant II”) 
  5. PASUSI: Participatory Pathways to Sustainable Intensification. Innovation platforms to integrate leguminous crops and inoculants into small-scale agriculture and local value chains (Funded through “ERA-NET Cofund, LEAP-Agri”)
  6. EcoAfrica: ECOlogical intensification pathways for the future of crop-livestock integration in AFRICAn agriculture  (Funded through DG INTPA) 
  7. MAB Chicken: Marker-assisted breeding of selected native chickens in Mozambique and Uganda (Funded through “African Union Research Grant II”) 
  8. EatSANE: Education and Training for Sustainable Agriculture and Nutrition in East Africa (Funded through “ERA-NET Cofund, LEAP-Agri”)
  9. Enhancing nutritional quality of plantain food products through improved access to endophyte primed and high pro vitamin A plantain cultivars under integrated soil fertility management practices in Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon (Funded through “African Union Research Grant II”) 
  10. SafeFish: Development of bacteriophage cocktails as disease biocontrol agents for improved aquaculture productivity, food and nutrition safety in Ghana and Uganda (Funded through “African Union Research Grant II”) 
  11. AFRICA-MILK: Promote ecological intensification and inclusive value chains for sustainable African milk sourcing (Funded through “ERA-NET Cofund, LEAP-Agri”)
  12. SPEAR (Empowering small-scale farmers): towards the SDGs through participative, innovative and sustainable livestock and poultry value chains (Funded through “ERA-NET Cofund, LEAP-Agri”) 
  13. Enhancing the nutrition and health of smallholder farmers in East Africa through increased productivity of biofortified common bean and improved postharvest handling  (Funded through “African Union Research Grant II”) 
  14. Implementation of Agroforestry Systems in S. Tomé and Príncipe and development of non-wood forest products (NWFP) in Angola and S. Tomé and Príncipe to improve income-generation and food security (Funded through “African Union Research Grant II”) 

Monday, April 25, 2022

Applying the agroecology elements to agroforestry

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

The world’s food production and distribution systems are deeply flawed: unsustainable agricultural practices continue to destroy forests, degrade land and intensify climate change, while over two billion people experience some type of malnutrition. The recent Global Assessment Reports by IPCC, UNCCD and IPBES, and the outcomes of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit draw attention to the call for a transformative change in food systems. However, there is less agreement on how this change should be accomplished considering local and national expectations and aspirations, and global commitments. 

Recognizing that the inherent complexity in achieving sustainable outcomes is often a deterrent to action, FAO developed the 10 Elements of Agroecology as an analytical framework to support the design of differentiated paths for agriculture and food systems transformation.

This webinar, co-hosted by FAO’s Forestry and Plant Production and Protection Divisions focused agroforestry and its role in climate change adaptation and mitigation, nutrition security and biodiversity conservation as well as the importance of managing trade-offs and enabling conditions to overcome the main barriers to sustainable implementation and scaling up.
  • Tiina Vähänen Deputy Director, Forestry Division, FAO - Welcome address Edmundo Barrios - Plant Production and Protection Division, FAO 
  • Ronnakorn Triraganon - Senior Strategic Advisor RECOFTC – The Center for People and Forests - Keynote on the 10 elements of agroecology and how they apply to agroforestry 
  • Amina Maalim - National Forestry Research Institute, Kenya (KEFRI) 
  • Luis Orozco Aguilar - Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) 
  • Ravi Prabhu - Director of Innovation, Investment and Impact, CIFOR-ICRAF, India 
  • Elaine Springgay - Forestry Division, FAO 
  • Jingyuan Xia - Director, Plant Protection and Production Division, FAO - Closing remarks 
  • Ulrich Apel - Global Environment Facility (GEF) - MODERATOR

African climate-smart agriculture investors

22 April 2022. AgFunder News. 5 African climate-smart agriculture investors helping close a $106bn climate finance gap

There are global efforts to finance climate-smart agriculture but The Climate Policy Initiative reveals that current global climate finance flows are nowhere near the estimated $4.5 – $5 trillion needed annually. Additionally, of the $560 billion available for global climate finance, only 1.5% is provided for small-scale agriculture.

Furthermore, some regions are lagging others. According to a recently-launched ISF report, agri-SMEs in developing countries do not have sufficient funding and there’s a $106 billion financing gap in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. [ see: CASA (2022) The state of the agri-SME sector – Bridging the finance gap # 67 p. + PAEPARD blogpost]

There are a few noteworthy climate-smart agriculture investors and ecosystem enablers in Africa working to improve access to financing for climate-smart agriculture including financiers and accelerators. Here are a few examples. (If you have another example, you can reach out

Climate-smart agriculture investors and ecosystem enablers:

Sustainable Food Ventures (SFV)

SFV is a rolling fund that backs early-stage startups developing sustainable food products. Key in its portfolio of over 30 are startups whose products are plant-based, cell-based and recombinant. 

Among them are Nigeria’s plant-based foodtech startup, VeggieVictory as well as a cultivated meat startup from South Africa, Mzansi Meat.
  • VeggieVictory is Nigeria’s first plant-based food tech company bringing people a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle through plant-based meats and meals. Since 2013, Veggie Victory has been surprising Lagosians with veganized Nigerian culinary delicacies. Vchunks is VeggieVictory’s retail product offering a 100% plant-based meat substitute with the typical chewy mouth feel of beef or chicken. With its meat-like texture, Vchunks can be cooked in any meals: 
    soups, stews, rice, noodles, shawarma or even as asun, suya, kilishi and nkwobi.
  • Mzansi Meat. Cultivated meat has the potential to counter the impact of intensive agriculture by using considerably less land and water, making production less costly.

Aceli Africa

Launched in 2020, Aceli Africa is a market incentive facility that seeks to mobilize $600 million in capital from the private sector to lend to East Africa’s SMEs. Its loans are incentivized to target SMEs that practice climate-smart agriculture and sustain the environment, as well as creating economic opportunities for women and youth and contributing to food security and nutrition in Africa.

Resource: Aceli (2021) Aceli Year 1 Learning Report: Unlocking Private Capital for African Agriculture Published 14 December 2021. #16 p.

The Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF)

The Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund is a $58 million impact fund that makes equity investments in African early-stage agribusinesses. ARAF Fund primarily aims to build smallholder farmers’ climate resilience by funding agribusinesses that can help farmers identify weather events and bounce back from climate change effects.

The fund is backed by an array of institutions that promote sustainable development including PROPARCO, FMO, Green Climate Fund, the Soros Economic Development Fund, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Global Social Impact, IKEA Foundation among others.

O-Farms Accelerator

O-Farms is an Africa-focused SME accelerator that’s backed by Village Capital and Bopinc in partnership with IKEA Foundation. It was founded in 2021 with the mandate to support circular agribusiness. When practiced on a large scale, circular agribusiness has been proven to reduce the number of external inputs needed in farming and the overall ecological footprint of agriculture.

While O-Farms is focusing on Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia for its first cohort, it plans to work with 40 startups across East Africa by 2023

SEED Accelerator

Seed accelerator is one of the prominent emerging market accelerators supporting startups for sustainable development and a green economy. Seed was founded in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg by UN Environment, UNDP and IUCN. 

It works directly with entrepreneurs to optimize eco-inclusive entrepreneurship with African hubs in Malawi, Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, Ghana and Zambia.

Documentary: climate innovations to adapt to Our New Climate

18 April 2022. Agriculture is one of the five main greenhouse gas-emitting sectors where innovations can be found to reach net zero emissions, according to the new documentary and ten-part miniseries “Solving for Zero: The Search for Climate Innovation.” The documentary tells the stories of scientists and innovators racing to develop solutions such as low-carbon cement, wind-powered global transportation, fusion electricity generation and sand that dissolves carbon in the oceans.

In the next 30 years, climate change could affect enough of the planet to cause as many as 200 million displaced persons—four times as many as World War II. Although steps are being taken to reduce our carbon emissions, we also need innovations to help us adapt to our new climate. Meet those who are making it possible. This video is Episode Eight from the series Solving for Zero: 

The Search for Climate Innovation. 00:00 
How Climate Change Impacts Farmers 
02:48 Addressing Food Security Challenges 
05:06 Developing Resilient Maize 
08:02 Producing Flood-Resistant Rice 
09:42 Methane Reduction and Climate Smart Villages 
13:52 Implications of Forced Migration 
16:45 Preparing for Sea Level Rise 
20:16 What is Coastal Carbon Capture? 
25:04 Next Steps for Coastal Carbon Capture

CGIAR research highlighted among climate innovations to meet net zero emissions.
Documentary features CIMMYT and Alliance scientists contributing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.
  • the CIMMYT maize program has released 200 hybrid maize varieties adapted for drought
    conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, called hybrids because they combine maize lines selected to express important traits over several generations. Alongside other CGIAR Research Centers, CIMMYT continues to innovate with accelerated breeding approaches to benefit smallholder farmers.
  • CGIAR’s Climate-Smart Villages and Valleys (launched in 2009),  span the global South and effectively bridge the gap between innovation, research and farmers living with the climate crisis at their doorsteps. 
  • The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) impressive legacy — in research, influencing policy and informing $3.5 billion of climate-smart investments, among many achievements — is now being built upon by a new CGIAR portfolio of initiatives. Several initiatives focus on building systemic resilience against climate and scaling up climate action started by CCAFS that will contribute to a net-zero carbon future.
  • Innovations were adopted because they addressed local needs and were culturally appropriate. These include the uptake of new varieties of wheat, maize, rice and beans developed by CGIAR Research Centers. Taste, color, texture, cooking time and market demand are critical to the success of new varieties. Being drought-resistant or flood-tolerant is not enough.
  • Local Technical Agroclimatic Committees, another CCAFS innovation is currently implemented in 11 countries across Latin America, effectively delivers weather information in agrarian communities across the tropics.

Accelerating and scaling up climate innovation: the Green Climate Fund

GCF (2021) Accelerating and scaling up climate innovation: How the Green Climate Fund’s approach can deliver new climate solutions for developing countries November 2021, # 36 p

This Working Paper first identifies the main barriers to climate innovation in developing countries, focusing on each stage of the innovation chain, from the emergence of innovation to its deployment and eventual widespread adoption. Many of these barriers are related to the policy and regulatory environment as well as to technical and macro-economic constraints. They result in high risk perception amongst investors and limited access to long-term affordable financing for climate innovators and entrepreneurs, especially in developing countries.

The paper then outlines the Green Climate Fund’s four-pronged approach to overcome these barriers and to accelerate and scale up climate innovation in developing countries. 
  1. The first prong is to establish a conducive policy and institutional environment for novel climate solutions. 
  2. The second prong is to catalyse climate innovation by piloting new technologies, business models, financing instruments and practices to establish proof of concept. 
  3. The third prong is to use scarce public resources to de-risk early investments that will establish a commercial track record for new climate solutions and crowd-in private finance. 
  4. The final prong of GCF’s approach is to accelerate the widespread adoption of commercially proven climate solutions by enhancing the capacity of domestic financial institutions to originate and access capital markets to finance climate investments.
Nearly 96 per cent of all venture dollars in climate start-ups went to ventures in Northern America, Northeast Asia, and the European Union. (page 2)

More than 100 Parties to the United Nations Framework on Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)  emphasised the need for international support for technology development and transfer for the implementation of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). But a range of barriers have prevented this need for technological support and capacity building from materialising. (page 4) 

Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for only five per cent of climate finance flows in non-OECD countries, at USD 19 billion (CPI, 2019). The bulk of  climate finance in Sub-Saharan Africa originates from the public sector (multilateral development banks,  national development banks, multilateral climate funds).  (page 4)

Country-specific barriers can be broadly clustered into four categories: (i) limited awareness of climate physical/transition/liability risks and new venture opportunities; (ii) limited capacity to ideate or tailor novel approaches; (iii) weak climate innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems; and (iv) limited access to seed funding and early-stage capital.   (page 5)

There are estimated to be around 2,000 technology incubators and more than 150 accelerators worldwide. However, less than 70 are estimated to be climate technology incubators and accelerators. Due to fiscal constraints, just 25 of these are in developing countries (...) There is a multitude of ecosystem gaps to climate tech entrepreneurship that lies outside of the purview of what entrepreneurs alone can possibly tackle and that cannot be offset by simply helping an entrepreneur tweak the start-up business model in an accelerator or incubator programme. These include limited consumer awareness of new product categories, shortage of skilled labour, weak infrastructure and logistics, poor IP enforcement capabilities, and sectoral policies that favour incumbent technologies.  (page 5)

The so-called ‘valley of death’ (the gap between initial seed funding and more mature, long-term finance) for climate start-ups in in developing countries starts earlier and ends later - becoming a forbidding obstacle. This calls for new financing models to support climate technology ventures and accelerate climate innovation in developing countries. (page 6)

Barriers to the deployment of climate innovation can be broadly placed into the following four clusters: (i) higher perceived policy and regulatory risks in comparison to incumbent technologies and practices; (ii) higher perceived technical and operational risks in comparison to incumbent technologies and practices; (iii) higher perceived markets and socio-economic risks in comparison to incumbent technologies and practices; and (iv) lack of access to affordable, long-term project finance. (page 6)

Blended finance mechanisms are complex to design and can use a wide range of public instruments to increase the risk-reward profile of green investments through the ‘three Ts’: treating risk (e.g., grants for technical assistance to create a conducive policy environment to seat and operate an asset); transferring risk (e.g., loan guarantees to fully or partially transfer the risk of default to a third party); and taxing risk (page 7).

New forms of blended finance must be experimented to better work for scaling up new climate solutions, serve LDCs and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), achieve higher leveraging ratio, and de-risk a broader range of climate priorities such as climate-resilient infrastructure and nature-based climate solutions. (page 8).

There is a limited capacity of domestic financial institutions and firms to originate, develop, finance and implement climate friendly investments. (page 11)

Facilitating the emergence of climate innovation 

By acting as a market incubator, GCF supports technology need assessments and strengthens entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems. Recognising that the traditional model of incubators and accelerators developed for digital start-ups in high-income countries have limitations for climate technologies in low-income countries, GCF explores new incubation and acceleration models to enlarge the pool of climate innovators and entrepreneurs in developing markets. GCF also provides early-stage equity capital and growth-stage capital.  

To illustrate this approach, GCF has granted project development funds to the Korean Development Bank (KDB) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to develop an integrated approach to overcome the numerous barriers that climate start-ups face in emerging and early-stage markets in East Asia. This initiative includes a set of technical support and financing solutions tailored to climate start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). (page 11)

GCF is also developing different types of growth-stage debt to provide climate enterprises with the required lower-cost operating and expansion capital as they transition from product development and early sales into growth stage. For example, GCF is providing USD 20 million in equity and USD 5 million in grants to Acumen’s USD 110 million KawiSafi Ventures Fund to leverage private equity for SMEs involved in off-grid renewable energy in East Africa. The KawiSafi Fund makes investments of USD 2-10 million in 10 to 15 clean energy small  and medium-sized enterprises in Kenya and Rwanda. (page 16) 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Nakate on Climate Justice and Youth Activism in Africa

22 April 2022. Nakate on Climate Justice and Youth Activism in Africa

Founder of the Rise Up Climate Movement, Vanessa Nakate, discusses the global climate crisis and the importance of elevating the next generation of underrepresented environmental leaders with Jamia Jowers. The UN estimates 1.3 billion people in Africa are “extremely vulnerable” to climate change as the continent is warming faster than the global average. Yet, African voices and leaders are frequently overlooked in the global climate movement. On Earth Day, leading climate justice activist Vanessa Nakate joins the Council to discuss the centrality of the next generation and underrepresented voices from the global south in addressing the climate crisis and building a sustainable, hopeful future for all. Guest 
  • Vanessa Nakate, Founder, Rise Up Climate Movement 
  • Jamia Jowers, Security Fellow, Truman National Security Project

Earth Day Livestream – Nature in the Race to Zero

22 April 2022. Earth Day Livestream – Nature in the Race to Zero

EARTHDAY.ORG, together with its partners, is organizing the Earth Day Climate Action Summit. We need to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century learn about some key solutions that will help us deliver the greenhouse gas reductions needed by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement.

12:00 PM EDT Environment in Time of War

  • Kathleen Rogers, President of EARTHDAY.ORG
  • Iryna Stavchuk, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine for European Integration, Ukraine
  • Carl Bruch, Director of International Programs, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI)
  • Stefan Smith, Senior Programme Manager, Disasters & Conflicts, UNEP
  • Michael Bothe, Professor Emeritus of Public Law, J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main
  • José R. Allen, International Environmental Lawyer, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI)

01:00 PM EDT Regenerative Agriculture’s Role in Restoring Our Earth

  • John Piotti, President & CEO, American Farmland Trust
  • L. Hunter Lovins, President, Natural Capitalism Solutions
  • Anthony Myint, Executive Director & Co-founder, Zero Foodprint
  • Elizabeth Pearce, CEO, SymSoil Inc
  • Merlin Yockstick, Founder, Blue Planet Science Group & RegenIOWA

14 April 2022. GLFLive | What is the climate cost of war and conflict?
Against a backdrop of armed and unarmed conflict rippling through multiple regions of the world, the lasting impacts of which are as of yet difficult to comprehend, this GLF Live brought together the Ukrainian deputy minister of environmental protection and natural resources with conflict and peacebuilding expert Moosa Elayah to compare and contrast what’s happening in different landscapes and what their true climate costs could be.

The Increasing Imperative for Resilient Food Systems in Times of Crisis: What Can Donors Do?

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” was presented. 

This white paper by the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (GDPRD) charts directions for how donors can support food systems transformation to follow up on the United Nations Food Systems Summit (FSS) and accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It builds on work that the GDPRD has completed over the past two years as contributions to the Summit process.


Jennifer Clapp
University of Waterloo
Vice-Chair, High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition UN Committee on World Food Security


Rhoda Peace Tumusiime
Former Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture
African Union Commission

Satu Santala
Associate Vice-President for External Relations and Governance
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)


Martin Bwalya
Ag Director, Knowledge Management and Programme Evaluation (KMPE)
Africa Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD)

Leonard Mizzi
Head of Unit
Sustainable Agri-Food Systems and Fisheries, Directorate-General International Partnerships (DG INTPA)
European Commission
"De-risking on small ticket sizes of bankable projects is the biggest challenge".

Jim Woodhill
AgriFoodNexus Consulting, and Honorary Research Associate
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford


Henry Bonsu
International broadcaster and media consultant


Based on the work and findings of the Platform around the FSS over the last two years, this paper provides a framework for donors for re-thinking the food systems agenda, providing a set of responses and priorities for the donor community to engage.

The white paper offers a menu of seven action areas for donors:
  • Strengthen coordination among donors and other actors to support national pathways for food systems transformation;
  • Mobilize responsible investment in food systems from the public and private sectors;
  • Promote engagement of private sector actors and value chain innovation for sustainable development;
  • Support policy innovation;
  • Invest in research and data systems;
  • Strengthen governance for food systems transformation; and
  • Strengthen universal social protection mechanisms, disaster preparedness and emergency relief programmes.

The EU and IFAD recognize the importance of food systems transformation and of not leaving rural people behind. We have been working together for over 15 years, investing in rural areas, and the EU has contributed about EUR 660 million to IFAD-supported initiatives across the world. The EU-IFAD partnership covers several areas of cooperation, including fostering the potential of farmers and their organizations and innovative rural financing models. 

The partnership has built the capacities of farmers’ organizations in Africa and Asia to provide their members with access to finance, agricultural inputs and a voice in policymaking processes. In terms of innovative finance, the EU and IFAD have developed, with other partners, the Agribusiness Capital (ABC) Fund, which provides much smaller loans than other funds. Furthermore, the EU and IFAD are mobilizing the massive potential of migrants’ remittances for rural development through the Financing Facility for Remittances.

  •  IFAD’s Rural Development Report 2021 is focused on rural livelihoods in the context of food systems transformation. The report promotes equitable livelihoods for rural people, who are front and centre in transforming food systems, alongside the need to improve nutrition and protect the environment. The global need for more nutritious food, ecosystem services and a low-carbon economy also offers the potential for new and innovative livelihood opportunities.
  • The Rural Development Report 2021 was prepared by IFAD working in close collaboration with Wageningen University over a two-year period. It also presents novel results of a global quantitative modelling exercise that simulated the impacts of various types of transformative changes on a range of environmental, social, economic and nutritional indicators.
UNESCO (2021) Implementing the Water–Energy–Food–Ecosystems Nexus and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals #109 p
  • In 2018, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in partnership with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) launched the project “Water–Energy–Food–Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus: Analysing solutions for security supply”. The WEFE Nexus aims to increase water, energy, food security without compromising ecosystems services. Its components are present in 14 of the 17SDGs and are therefore highly relevant in terms of working towards their implementation.
  • This publication compiles a number of case studies with the aim of highlighting the importance and benefits of the WEFE Nexus approach for development cooperation. It identifies pathways for a more integrated and sustainable use of resources that goes beyond traditional sector-specific development silos. Addressing the Water–Energy–Food–Ecosystems Nexus to achieve the SDGsWEFE Nexus components are present in14 of the 17 SDGs“Since wars begin in the minds of men and

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Financing Climate Action for a Green and Inclusive Future

21 April 2022Financing Climate Action. World Bank 2022 SPRING MEETINGS

The connection between development and climate change is increasingly clear: delivering on these together will require large-scale low-carbon and resilient investments. It will also require approaches that tackle the political economy of the low-carbon transition and help communities build long-lasting resilience to climate change.
  • What are the investments needed to achieve a green, resilient and sustainable future? 
  • How can we unlock private finance for climate action
  • How are countries stepping up to the challenge?
This event looked 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. 


This report analyses options to make international public climate finance more transformative. 

The report identifies eight sets of levers to drive climate action: 
  1. project-based investments, 
  2. financial sector reform, 
  3. fiscal policy, 
  4. sectoral policies, 
  5. trade policy, 
  6. innovation and technology transfer, 
  7. carbon markets, 
  8. and climate intelligence. 
It then examines how climate finance is deployed to address barriers to action for each lever and derives general principles for transformative climate finance based on this analysis relating to allocation of climate finance, use of different financial instruments and other improvements in modalities and processes.

16 Climate Adaptation Startups from Asia and Africa Selected

18 April 2022
. Village Capital and The Lightsmith Group (“Lightsmith”) announced today that 16 startups were selected to participate in a new environmental accelerator called “ASAP”, or the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project, focused on innovative climate adaptation ventures in Asia and Africa. 

The 16 startups were selected from more than 300 applicants and have developed technologies in water, agriculture, risk analytics, supply chain, infrastructure, and insurance that can support adaptation and resilience to climate change.

During the ASAP accelerator program, the 16 companies will work with industry experts, investors, and ecosystem partners to develop the networks and tools they need to attract investment, grow their businesses, and increase their climate adaptation impacts. More information can be found here.
“Through the ASAP Accelerator, we aim to help these entrepreneurs to scale their impact and connect to a global network working to develop solutions that address the impacts of climate change
," Brian Parham, ASAP Program Director at Lightsmith.
ASAP is a grant-funded initiative led by The Lightsmith Group, in partnership with Village Capital, and with the support of the Global Environment Facility’s Special Climate Change Fund. Additional support is provided by Conservation International and the Inter-American Development Bank.

The cohort is composed of:


Absolute Water (India) increases the availability and quality of water in areas projected to experience water stress by organically treating and converting raw sewage wastewater into potable water through a system that naturally degrades pollutants and converts it into nutrients. Builds resilience to: increased drought and water scarcity that affect residential and commercial water use. (Water Management)

Agtuall (India) provides affordable crop price risk management solutions for smallholder farmers across the world. Their end-to-end data analytics platform increases the resilience of smallholder farmers by assessing the frequency and intensity of natural calamities and their impacts on crop yields and price. Builds resilience to: extreme weather events and weather volatility that affect crop yields, crop prices, and farmer incomes. (Agriculture, Risk Analytics/ Management, Insurance)

Aumsat Technologies LLP (India) provides satellite-based, AI-enabled hydrological analysis for locating, predicting, and forecasting groundwater resources. Their services help detect groundwater zones remotely, without fieldwork, helping farmers identify the optimum location for digging a well with high precision, less effort, and at lower cost. Builds resilience to: increased drought and water scarcity that affect crop irrigation. (Water)

Crop2X Private Limited (Pakistan) is a precision agritech startup that provides weather forecast and
water information
that can help farmers increase production while minimizing inputs. This enables farmers to adapt to changing climatic conditions due to climate change. Builds resilience to: extreme weather events and weather volatility that affect crop yields and farmer incomes. (Agriculture, Risk Analytics/Management)

EF Polymer Private Limited (India) Since opening in 2018, EF Polymer has successfully developed, tested, and piloted 100% Organic Super Absorbent Polymer. EF Polymer is an organic Super Absorbent Polymer made by biowaste from juice shops. It is useful to reduce the irrigation water & fertilizer requirement and help to get more yield without affecting the soil and crop. The product can enhance soil health by providing micronutrients and maintain the moisture content along with helping the growth of microbe which is almost at zero level due to the high usage of chemical fertilizer. As a result, irrigation water requirement is reduced after 10-12 days with this water-retaining natural polymer which can absorb 100 times more water.

Hiraya Water (Philippines) provides AI-driven smart water management products and services for developing markets, helping water utilities optimize their operations – reducing water loss, reducing power consumption and improving service levels. Builds resilience to: increased drought and water scarcity that affect drinking water availability and price. (Water Management)

Komunidad Global Pte Ltd (Singapore, Philippines) is an environmental intelligence platform which helps businesses and governments use earth observation data and analytics to accurately assess physical risks and improve resilience. Their clients are in agriculture, insurance, ports and harbors, construction companies, schools, and government. Builds resilience to: extreme weather events, flooding, and other climate-related events that affect  governments and businesses in various sectors. (Risk Analytics and Management)

Ship60 (Vietnam) Ship60 is building a LogTec platform to provde the fulfillment solutions. Ship60 connects with logistics service providers such as warehousing and delivery services, applies technology platforms to create a unified ecosystem and digitizes logistics processes.


Agromyx (Ghana) helps smallholder farmers reduce food waste and generate additional income by turning non-marketable post-harvest crops into shelf-stable and nutritious food products. Reducing post-harvest food losses helps to build a more resilient agricultural system and global food supply chain. Builds resilience to: drought, heat stress, and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields, harm farmer incomes, and increase food insecurity. (Agriculture/Food Waste)

Cadel Consulting Ltd (Burkina Faso) produces phospho-compost, an organic fertilizer that helps in restoring degraded land, a problem faced by 85% of farmers in Burkina Faso. The company also distributes improved seed from other companies and trains farmers on smart farming practices. Builds resilience to: drought, heat stress, and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields and degrade arable land. (Agriculture)

Congretype (South Africa) Congretype is a Green Project Developer and Consulting Company in generating cleaner, more affordable energy, conserving it and contributing to a greener, more sustainable environment. These business activities have a particular focus on the following sub-sectors:Renewable energy and rural electrification; Cogeneration and decentralized energy systems; Biogas production and energy recovery from wastewater, landfill and MSW ; Energy efficiency; Biofuels; Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) mitigation/adaptation, and, GHG Accounting.

Freezelink (Ghana) delivers cold chain logistics services to reduce food waste and enhance food security and to increase the availability of medicine in Africa. Builds resilience to: extreme heat and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields, worsen food waste, and increase food insecurity. (Cold Chain Logistics Services and Infrastructure)

Kitovu Technology (Nigeria) provides smallholder farmers with data about soil and crop health, storage and market links, through a digital farm productivity platform. Builds resilience to: drought, heat stress, and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields and harm farmer incomes. (Agriculture)

Rwanda Bio Solution (Rwanda) produces organic fertilizers using Effective Microorganism (EM) technology. The process recycles crop waste into organic fertilizer, helping farmers improve soil fertility, reduce disease, and increase their yields. Builds resilience to: drought, heat stress, and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields, degrade arable land, and harm farmer incomes. (Agriculture)

Worldtech Consult (Ghana) designs, manufactures and installs solar powered walk-in cold rooms to extend the shelf life of agricultural products and temperature-sensitive materials, enhancing food system resilience and minimizing losses. Builds resilience to: extreme heat and extreme weather events that reduce crop yields, worsen food waste, and increase food insecurity. (Agriculture, Supply Chain, Transportation, Logistics, and Infrastructure)

ZR3I (Egypt) is a precision agriculture platform-as-a-service that offers crop monitoring, management, and insurance services to the agriculture sector in Egypt and the Arab world, helping farmers to mitigate risks due to climate change. Builds resilience to: extreme weather events and weather volatility that reduce crop yields and harm farmer incomes. (Agriculture, Risk Management, Insurance)

For more information, reach out to Ben Wrobel at Village Capital or Brian Parham at Lightsmith.

About the Partners
  • Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. So far, VC has supported more than 1,400 early-stage startups and invested in more than 110 program graduates. 
  • The Lightsmith Group is an investment firm investing in companies that address critical societal needs. For more information, please see: and for the ASAP project, please see:
22 April 2022. Investor forum ASAP Accelerator - investor forum for these companies  in 2 slots.
  1. Slot 1 - Absolute Water, Agtuall, Congretype, Freezelink, Hiraya Water, Komunidad Global, Ship60, Worldtech Consult.
  2. Slot 2 - Agromyx, Aumsat, Cadel Consulting, Crop2X, EF Polymer, Kitovu Technology, Rwanda Bio Solution, Zr3i