Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

G7 summit unveils new global food security initiative

GZ Food security18 June 2024 --- The Group of Seven (G7) reinforced its commitment to food security around the world and to the enhancement of climate resilience at the G7 Summit in Italy, where the political and economic grouping introduced its new Apulia Food Systems Initiative (AFSI).new Apulia Food Systems Initiative (AFSI).

The G7, consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US, as well as the EU as a “non-enumerated member,” is launching AFSI to “overcome structural barriers to food security and nutrition and to build resilient sustainable and productive agriculture and food systems, and to ensure that all people can progressively realize the right to adequate food,” states the leaders’ communique.

G7’s AFSI aims to contribute to ongoing global efforts to alleviate food insecurity by supporting three multi-stakeholder programs: the Technical Cooperation Collaborative to implement the “COP28 UAE Declaration on sustainable agriculture, resilient food systems and climate action,” the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soil, as well as a G7 private-public initiative on coffee.
  1. The COP28 UAE Declaration on sustainable agriculture, resilient food systems and climate action is being implemented by the Technical Cooperation Collaborative, including the FAO, World Bank and other international organizations. In collaboration, the AFSI sets out to build technical cooperation for the integration of food systems and climate plans in low-income and climate vulnerable countries.
  2. The Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils, by the US Office of Global Food Security, works on the restoration and maintenance of healthy soils. It targets the development and climate resilience of traditional and indigenous crops in Africa.
  3. The third program, which is a private-public initiative by the G7, concerns coffee. Its aim is to advance policy, sustained investments, research and innovation, partnerships, blended finance to boost the resilience, environmental sustainability, value addition and circularity of the coffee value chains worldwide.

Supporting Women Agri-entrepreneurs in India

CRISP (2024) Digital Innovations Supporting Women Agri-entrepreneurs in India: Mapping Good Practices #53 pp.

This report is based on a collaborative project undertaken by the Centre for Research on Innovation and Science Policy (CRISP) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) as part of the activities of the Evidence module of the CGIAR GENDER Platform. 
  • The study is primarily based on insights from in-depth interviews conducted with women agri-entrepreneurs across India. The study identified the enabling role played by digital tools in women’s entrepreneurship such as networking, self-learning, upskilling and educating, e-commerce and sales, and enterprise management. 
  • The study also identified various challenges faced by women agri-entrepreneurs in the digital ecosystem. These include digital skill gap, lack of security in digital spaces, financial constraints, and lack of family support. 
  • The findings of this study highlight the fact that women do face many challenges, but they can also seize several clear benefits by employing digital technologies. Although women agri-entrepreneurs acknowledged that digital technologies have created opportunities for them to advance in their careers, they also lack the capacity to fully realize the potential of several digital solutions.
Currently, there are more than 2500 agri-startups registered with Startup India. According to the Economic Survey 2021-22, India has become the third largest startup ecosystem in the world after the USA and China. But as the global startup revolution continues to grow, fundamental shifts are also occurring due to the fast-evolving digital landscape. There is a new wave that is taking over the startup revolution with a deeper integration of technology, such as AI, Blockchain, and advanced data analytics, with heightened focus on sustainability and social impact. (page 10)  

Gender disparities in access, coupled with factors such as unequal access to education and professional training, financing, asset ownership, etc., contribute to the gender digital divide and limit the transformative impact of digital innovations. (page 15) 

Despite the discourse on Industry 5.0, the agricultural sector’s progression into the 4.0 revolution remains confined to a select few pioneering companies. (page 16) 
 “A few YouTube channels had interviewed me and documented my work, and it was only then that I really became aware of the power of digital tools. A few of the videos got lakhs of views and I got calls from people around the world who had watched them. It astonished me when my products – from this small town in Kerala – got the attention of people from countries like Ghana.” (page 27) 
Presently, the use of digital tools among women agripreneurs is predominantly confined to social media platforms due to their cost effectiveness, flexibility, and minimal technical requirements. (page 32) 

Will Democratizing STI make future Agri Food Systems more equitable?

19 June 2024
- Will Democratizing STI make future Agri Food Systems more equitable?

Zoom: Passcode: 30948827

Agrifood interventions are influenced by underlying paradigms and visions of development, creating tensions around decision-making, governance, and direction of agrifood systems transformation. Decisions over investments in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) are influenced by different paradigms and broader understandings of development. These paradigms also shape governance and institutional arrangements, and perspectives and practices, of STI. Introducing a new collaborative initiative with FAO, this seminar will explore whether “democratizing” STI, through more inclusive, participative and equitable stakeholder involvement and contribute to equitable agrifood systems is possible. It will also consider what type of policies and interventions can contribute to more resilient, efficient, and sustainable outcomes for all.
  • Peter Taylor is a renowned expert in international development. Currently the Acting Director at the Institute of Development Studies, Peter’s rich background in international development spans over 30 years.
  • He is currently engaged in conducting comprehensive research and background study on democratizing STI for the forthcoming ATIO report which will be launched in 2025. 

The Agricultural Technology and Innovation Outlook (ATIO) initiative

The Agricultural Technology and Innovation Outlook (ATIO) initiative, launching in 2025, aims to enhance understanding of technology and innovation generation and uptake and factors shaping the technology frontier in agrifood systems. 

ATIO open-access knowledge base
Overall budget : $900,000 USD.
Funding Requirements : $750,000 USD.
Annual maintenance and background : $150,000 USD per year.
ATIO biennial report : $500,000 USD funded by FAO's regular programme of budget.
  • It will be the most comprehensive global source of information on innovative solutions for Agrifood Systems Transformation.
  • ATIO will include a knowledge/data base and a biennial publication providing insights into current trends and prospects for Agrifood System Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI). 
  • It will track STI progress globally and in LMICs, identify emerging technologies, and address regulatory, ethical, gender, and environmental issues, ensuring inclusivity in decision-making and investments.
  • See also Introducing ATIO report 2022

Farmers shaping the Future of Agriculture and Food Production

17 - 21 June 2024. Harvesting Tomorrow: Farmers shaping the Future of Agriculture and Food Production

This event convened hundreds of farmers of all sizes and sectors, family farmers, young and women farmer leaders, farmers’ organisations and agricultural cooperatives from across the globe, as well as other relevant stakeholders such as government representatives, multilateral institutions, academia, scientists, private sectors, civil society groups, and financial institutions.

The event provided a vibrant and inclusive platform for forward-looking dialogues, knowledge exchange, and multi-stakeholder collaboration to advance the sustainability of global agri-food systems.

The event highlighted the crucial role of farmers as fundamental contributors to the sustainable development of agriculture and food production: farmers of the world, with their innovative practices and extensive knowledge, are indispensable in addressing global challenges such as food security, climate change, and the preservation of biodiversity. Still, agrifood systems are much more complex than just food production.

Extracts of the programme

18/06 United Nations Decade of Family Farming session towards the UNDFF Mid-Term forum

Approved in December 2017, the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) 2019-
2028 aims to prioritize family farming in national public policies and investments. By
proclaiming this decade, the United Nations General Assembly acknowledged the crucial role
of family farming in alleviating poverty and enhancing worldwide food security. To support this
initiative, a collaborative FAO-IFAD Secretariat has been established, operating under the
guidance of an International Steering Committee (ISC) composed of Member States and
Family Farmers Organizations.

18/06 Innovation and Digitalization in Agriculture

Session co-organised by WFO and EU-funded Projects DIVINE and TRUSTyFOOD

Guided by insights from the EU-funded projects DIVINE and TRUSTyFOOD, of which the World Farmers' Organisation (WFO) is a partner, this session examined the challenges and opportunities arising from the transition to digitalisation in agriculture

It explored the potential of blockchain technology to address traceability and transparency issues in food supply chains and the untapped potential of a data-driven economy in agriculture. The session featured the participation of young farmers from the Global North and the Global South, enriching the discussion with their perspectives.

18/06 Opening Ceremony

  • Master of Ceremony: Mr Dimitri Houtart, BBC Rural Affairs Champion
  • Distinguished Speakers:Mr Arnold Puech d’Alissac, President, World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO)
  • H.E. Mr Francesco Lollobrigida, Minister for Agriculture and Food Sovereignty
  • Mr QU Dongyu, Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • Mr Alvaro Lario, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Ms Cindy McCain, Executive Director, World Food Programme (WFP)
  • E. Amb. Ms Nosipho Jezile, Chair, Committee on World Food Security (CFS)
  • Mr Ettore Prandini, President, Coldiretti
  • Mr Cristiano Fini, President, Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori (CIA)
  • Ms Berioska Morrison, Minister Counsellor, Mission of the Dominican Republic to the Rome-based UN Agencies (on behalf of the ISC-UNDFF presidency)
  • H.E. Amb. Ms Nosipho Jelize, Chair, Committee on World Food Security (CFS)
  • Ms Elizabeth Nsimadala, Board Member, World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO)

20/06 Regenerative Agriculture - Who’s paying for the cost of transition?

Regenerative agriculture is a tool to achieve common gains: increase sustainability levels in food systems while maintaining productivity and food security. The whole food value-chain should combine their effort to fairly redistribute the costs of transition along with the actors who are benefitting from it. Who’s truly paying for the cost of transition? 

20/06 The Food Systems Database

Presentation of the Planet Food System Explorer
Speaker: Prof Peer Ederer, Member of the WFO Scientific Council

20/06 Agro-Innovation-Solutions for Challenges of Tomorrow

Recognising the crucial role of farmers in ensuring food and nutrition security, addressing climate change, and preserving biodiversity, this session aims to investigate how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other new technologies can empower farmers, enhance their productivity and ensure food and nutrition security for everyone.

20/06 Farmers Shaping the Future of Agriculture and Food Production

Reflections from morning discussions
Speaker: Dr David Nabarro, Strategic Director, 4SD Foundation

20/06 Financing the Transition to More Sustainable Food Systems

After a scene-setting introduction, the audience will hear directly from the farmers about their experiences accessing or trying to access climate finance and the obstacles they found. Representatives from multilateral funds, agricultural banks and private investors, will help place those experiences into the broader picture of trends and opportunities facing the financial sector.

20/06 Leveraging the Potential for Trade to Improve Food and Nutrition Security in a Sustainable Manner

Session co-organised by WFO and US Dairy Export Council (USDEC)
The farmers will set the agenda for a discussion involving the WTO, government representatives, the private sector and trade experts discussing the main challenges facing the global trading system and the improvements needed to ensure trade can effectively support the transition towards more sustainable food systems with farmers at their core.

20/06 From COP28 to COP30: Integrating agriculture and food systems into Climate Action” 

This panel discussion will explore the role farmers are expected to play in implementing the merged food systems and climate agenda. Key questions include resolving the current negotiation impasse and ensuring that farmers' voices and needs are adequately represented in future climate policies.

Accelerate regenerative and agroecological food systems transformations

4 – 7 June 2024
. Location: Arusha, Tanzania. The Cultivating Change Gathering: accelerate regenerative and agroecological food systems transformations

An ambitious transition to agroecology and regenerative approaches can reverse biodiversity loss and increase food security. The Cultivating Change Gathering built on a co-design process with partners on the ground in key countries and regions.

The event was co-convened by the Ministry of Agriculture of Tanzania, Global Alliance for the Future of Food, Biovision Foundation, and the Agroecology Coalition.
  • The National Ecological Organic Agriculture Strategy (NEOAS) of Tanzania is a testament of the country’s commitment towards agroecology.
  • Tanzania has increased its agriculture budget by five times compared to three years ago.
  • Developed over several years through a multistakeholder participatory process, NEOAS covers 6 priority action areas
  • Other East African countries have developed/are developing their respective agroecology strategy
  • Leadership is key (at all levels); need to wean from external inputs as farmers integrate agroecological approaches
  • Need to leverage global finance for key drivers of change, align donor efforts
  • Articulate/mainstream agroecology other agendas and communities: climate, biodiversity, etc.
  • Regional/continental agroecology agenda have to be rooted in civil society and local organisations, anchored on food sovereignty and food culture
  • Agroecology should go beyond production and cover consumption; creating demand and developing market pathways for agroecology to flourish is essential
  • Harnessing the creativity and energy of young people into agroecology is vital
  • Retooling/training extensionists on agroecology given their key role in knowledge dissemination and uptake is crucial
  • Knowledge needs to be decolonized. Recognizing indigenous, farmer, local and traditional knowledge and practices is key.
  • Farmers need to have space for meaningful involvement in research prioritization and implementation.
  • Donors present during this convening has shown very high interest to coordinate their efforts in support of agroecology and deep regenerative approaches in Tanzania, in East Africa and beyond.


Global Alliance for the Future of Food. Cultivating Change:A Collaborative Philanthropic Initiative to Accelerate and Scale Agroecology andRegenerative Approaches. n.p.: Global Alliance for the Future of Food, 2024. # 22 p.

In 2023, the Global Alliance along with over two dozen philanthropic partners launched an initiative to explore strategies to accelerate and scale agroecology and regenerative approaches. This report explores what's needed to transition a costly global food system into one that is regenerative, renewable, resilient, interconnected, healthy, equitable, and inclusive.

The report Cultivating Change calculates the cost of the transition to agroecology and regenerative food systems. The transition will require USD 430 billion annually but right now only USD 44 billion goes towards this. In contrast, nearly USD 630 billion goes annually towards agriculture subsidies, half of which are harmful.

The cost to transition to regenerative, resilient, equitable food systems is dwarfed by the massive costs of damage caused by industrial food systems to our health, the environment, and society.


26 June 2024. 03:00 PM CET. Driving the transition to regenerative farming
  • update on Regen10's Outcomes-Based Framework, which aims to equip all food system actors with a shared understanding and ambition for driving the transition to regenerative farming; provide a spotlight and Q&A on Regen10's upcoming feedback survey; and present the latest on Regen10's transition pathways briefs, which explore the costs and benefits of transitioning to regenerative food systems.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Delegation from Zambia appreciates natural farming techniques of Andhra

8 - 21 June 2024
. A delegation from Zambia is on a two-week visit to Andhra Pradesh to study community-based natural farming (APCNF) techniques. (former APZBNF - Andhra Pradesh Zero budget Farming).

To promote the CNF programme in the state, the Government of Andhra Pradesh have established “Rhythu Sadhikara Samstha” (RySS), an integrated institutional mechanism. Apart from implementing the program in the state, RySS is leading a large-scale action research to develop knowledge products and agriculture models in CNF. One of the major inventions by RySS is Pre-monsoon Dry Sowing (PMDS).  

The delegation includes agriculture researchers from Zambia’s Ministry of Agriculture, farmers, and project functionaries from two community-based organisations—the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC) and the Valponasca Learning Farm (VLF).

  • The Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC), established in 1974, is a non-profit organisation in Zambia, run by Jesuit priests to promote sustainable organic agriculture in Lusaka County, improving livelihoods and building resilience to climate change. Fr Claus Recktenwald from KATC leads a delegation of 11 farmer practitioners.
  • Valponasca Learning Farm (VLF). Since 1984, the Salesian Sisters have been working across four counties in Northern Province, Zambia. They established the Valponasca Learning Farm in 2012 to train young people in agriculture, providing formal education, professional training, and skills to 529 small-scale farmers.

The delegation is practising natural farming under the guidance of Andhra Pradesh APCNF farmer trainers and Anantapur District Project Manager of the APCNF Lakshma Naik. The State government is also planning to send expert farmers from Andhra Pradesh to Zambia to guide the farmers for three years until this model is successfully demonstrated and scaled up.

RySS is now ready to become a global resource organisation for countries that want to learn natural farming from us and take this movement back to their lands. We are honoured to receive the Zambian delegation since most of them are farmer practitioners. RySS is collaborating worldwide with various governments, NGOs, and philanthropies, having hosted delegations from over 45 countries. T Vijay Kumar Thallam - RySS executive vice-chairman 

The Zambian delegation, visited several APCNF (Andhra Pradesh Community-managed Natural Farming) fields in Anantapur district and interacted with the farmers about the 'draught proof model' and Pre-Monsoon Dry Sowing (PMDS) new grain cultivation practices that can grow crops even in water-scarce lands.
  • In PMDS, mulching practice across the field acts as the catalyst to harness the water vapour from the atmosphere that drops to the land surface in the form of early morning dew. 
  • The material used for mulching facilitates the percolation of the dew into the soil and prevents its evaporation again. 
  • It is therefore recommended to the farmers to follow PMDS during March-May/June, followed by Kharif crops, Pre-Rabi dry sowing (PRDS) and Rabi crops, under the overall CNF programme.
  • Farmers are expected to get multiple benefits through the crops grown under PMDS and PRDS that include obtaining intermittent cash income, food items, green manure, and green fodder to animals. 
  • Thus, PMDS contributes to cropping intensity, increased agricultural incomes, and continuous green cover to the soil for 365 days in a year. In turn, these practices would result in the improvements in the soil fertility besides reducing and/ or removing greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. 
  • Hence, RySS has made PMDS as an integral part of CNF 

Picture: RySS, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, Mr. Lakshmana Nayak and a group of Zambian delegations eagerly listening to various issues being discussed during their visit to several APCNF crop fields in Anantapur district of the state to adopt natural farming in their country.

  • It takes three to five years for an individual farmer to completely transition to chemical-free agriculture. RySS plans to transition 5 million farmers between 2024 and 2035. Focusing solely on fertilizer input savings, the APCNF programme’s own data project that the net benefits will exceed 50% of the fertilizer expenditure in FY 2028–2029.

  • The Indian government approved in June 2023, entitled the Prime Minister’s Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother Earth (PM-PRANAM). Under this policy, different branches of the Indian government at central and state levels act as investors, implementors and monitors of projects to reduce fertilizer use. Under the PM-PRANAM, fertilizer savings result in a payment from the government of approximately 50% of the benefit, paid a year after those savings are realized.
  • The RySS internal projections of farmer adoption of APCNF calculated that the payments from the central government will only exceed the expenditure cost at the end of 2028–2029, with a maximum deficit before turning positive of US$244.0 million. There would be a modest US$22 million deficit in FY 2024– 2025 before returning positive cumulative benefits in FY 2025–2026.
  • Transitioning to agroecology will require further investment at the farm level in training and infrastructure to maximize the environmental and social returns so far achieved. With appropriate support, the bond scheme might offer a pathway for future additional investment.


11 July 2024. 14:00 – 17:00 CEST. Doing Science Differently.
  • first of a series of dialogues hosted by the Agroecology TPP (Transformative Partnership Platform on Agroecological Approaches to Building Resilience of Livelihoods and Landscapes). 
  •  The Agroecology TPP aims to foster transitions to more sustainable agricultural and food systems by accelerating and coordinating the actions of a range of institutions already working on agroecology across various scales, contexts, and locations.

AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum

12 - 15 June 2024Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM2024), taook place in Nassau, The Bahamas

The 3rd edition of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2024) explored the platform of Global Africa – to navigate new vistas for the Caribbean through African and global investments from across the diaspora; with more than 25 deals signed and new commercial and developmental initiatives announced.

The Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and Advisory Group Meetings took place on Saturday 15th June, with seminars and plenaries comprising the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum taking place on the preceding days from 12-14 June.

Extracts of the programme

12/06 Launch of 2024 African Trade Report & 2024 African Trade and Economic Outlook Report

The first report is titled: 
Afreximbank (2024) Climate Implications of the AfCFTA Implementation #92 pp.
  • Despite the tumultuous global landscape, intra-African trade remained resilient, standing as a beacon of hope for sustainable development in Africa. It grew at 7.2 percent year-on-year, reaching US$192 billion, which accounted for 15 percent of total African trade in 2023, up from 13.6 percent a year ago. This resilience was a testament to the continued push to implement the AfCFTA, backed by AfCFTA-enabling initiatives, such as Afreximbank's IntraAfrican Trade Fair (IATF), the PanAfrican Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS), and Intra-Champ Initiative.
  • Products exhibiting the greatest potential for trade among African nations encompass machinery, electricity, motor vehicles and parts, food products, minerals, beauty products, chemicals, plastic and rubber, ferrous metals, pearls and precious stones, and fertilizers. 
  • Southern Africa emerges as the sub-region with the most substantial export potential, followed by Eastern Africa, Western Africa, Northern African, and Central Africa
  • the AfCFTA offers a path to achieving the developmental goals of African nations while also addressing climate change concerns.
  • while the benefits of the AfCFTA can be seen, the debate on its impact on climate change is still ongoing. One group believes that increased urbanisation and industrialisation associated with the AfCFTA will worsen carbon emissions, and the second group believes that by emphasising intra-African trade and reducing extra-African trade, carbon emissions will be eliminated through shorter shipping distances.
  • Overall, the report states that optimising the AfCFTA can result in potential gains through increased intra-African trade and investment, creating economic prosperity and fulfilling the vision of the founding fathers.

The second report is titled :

  • The report forecasts that African economies will grow on average by 3.8% in 2024 – slightly ahead of predicted global growth of 3.2% – prior to increasing by 4% in 2025.
  • The Report provides in-depth analysis of the current global and African macroeconomic environment, trade patterns, and sovereign debt sustainability dynamics, as the basis for trade and economic projections for 2025. 
  • Through the examination of historical trends, existing and emerging risks, as well as opportunities, the report seeks to foster a deeper understanding of the factors driving Africa's economic performance and trade patterns, with a view to informing policy design. It also singles out the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and other initiatives as critical to accelerating industrialization and promoting sustainable growth across the continent.

12/06 Plenary Session 1: Navigating Economic Transformation in a Polycrisis World: Strategies for Global Africa @2:41:00

  • Prof. Jeffery Sachs - Senior Lecturer in Economics at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam @3:02
  • Mr. John A. Rolle - Central Bank of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Governor
  • Mr. Denys Denya Senior Executive Vice President Afreximbank
  • Hon. Kevin Greenidge Governor, Central Bank of the Barbados
  • Dr. Howard Nicholas Senior Lecturer in Economics at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam
  • Prof. Yemi Osinbajo Former Vice President of Nigeria 
  • Dr. Donald P. Kaberuka Chairman and Managing Partner of SouthBridge Group and Former President, African Development Bank Group
  • Moderator Eleni Giokos Correspondent, CNN

12/06 Presentation of African Award

See blogpost Following a highly competitive selection process, FARA and Afreximbank announced the two laureates of the 2024 AFRICA Awards. They are: Umezuruike Linus Opara + Professor Richard Mkandawire

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Afreximbank and FARA Announce Inaugural AFRICA Awards Winners at the 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM2024) and the 3rd AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF2024)

12th June, 2024.  Nassau, Bahamas

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) are pleased to announce winners of the inaugural Afreximbank-FARA Research, Innovation and Competence in Agriculture (AFRICA) Awards.

These prestigious awards honour individuals, groups, or established organisations that have made outstanding contributions towards improving food and nutritional security, income generation, resilience and natural resource management in Africa through research, innovation, agriprenuership and policy advocacy in the food and agriculture domain.

The AFRICA Awards encompass three categories: (i) the Africa Research Excellence Award, (ii) the Innovation-based Entrepreneurship Award, and (iii) the Impactful and Evidence-based Policies Award.

The AFRICA Awards selection process is overseen by an Independent Awards Selection Committee composed of globally recognized experts.

Following a highly competitive selection process, FARA and Afreximbank are pleased to announce the two laureates of the 2024 AFRICA Awards. They are:

Umezuruike Linus Opara

Distinguished Professor and holder of the South African Research Chair in Postharvest Technology, Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Professor Opara, a national of Nigeria, is the recipient of the Africa Research Excellence Award in recognition of his contribution to developing and validating a novel integrated value-chain approach to post-harvest research and innovation, one crop at a time. His work is acclaimed for reducing post-harvest losses, enhancing value addition, and connecting production to local, regional, and international African markets. Additionally, Professor Opara is recognized for his contributions to building Africa’s capacity for research and innovation in post-harvest science and technology through cutting-edge research, new knowledge creation, and mentoring young, outstanding researchers. Professor Opara holds a Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and a PhD from Massey University, New Zealand. Professor Opara has published extensively, is a highly cited researcher, and has received several other prestigious awards.

Professor Richard Mkandawire

Africa Director, Alliance for African Partnership; Chair, Malawi National Planning Commission and formerly the Head of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) at NEPAD

Professor Mkandawire, a Malawian national, is the recipient of the Impactful and Evidence-based Policies Award for his foundational role in conceptualising CAADP and catalysing its domestication in African countries. CAADP is credited with elevating the attention and increasing the investments African countries are devoting to agriculture.

Professor Mkandawire has consistently and vigorously advocated for policy processes that are inclusive and supported by evidence. He has catalysed very productive partnerships among policy analysts, policymakers, the private sector, knowledge institutions and other actors in the food and agriculture system. These partnerships have been instrumental in improving the policy environment needed to drive Africa’s agricultural transformation. Professor Mkandawire holds a PhD in development studies and an MSc in agricultural extension from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. He also holds an MA in Rural Sociology from the University of Missouri, USA. He has published extensively on agriculture development policy and related areas and has been honoured with several other notable awards.


For more information on the AFRICA Award visit or kindly contact:
– Afreximbank: Dr. Christiane Abou-Lehaf (
– FARA: Dr Abdulrazak Ibrahim (

About Afreximbank:

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a US$10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of September 2023, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over US$33.4 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$5.8 billion. Afreximbank has investment grade ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A), Moody’s (Baa1), Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) (A-) and Fitch (BBB). Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure, (together, “the Group”). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

For more information, visit:

About FARA:

FARA is the continental apex body for agricultural research and innovation (R&I). Mandated by the African Union Commission (AUC), FARA facilitates pan-African actions to effectively deploy R&I to increase the continent’s agricultural productivity and competitiveness to feed its fast-growing population. FARA works with Sub-Regional Organisations (SROs), which are the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) and North African Sub-Regional Organization (NASRO) as well as the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS). FARA aims to facilitate strategic (continent-wide) collective agricultural research and innovation actions to increase agricultural productivity and competitiveness. The collaborative efforts are focused on strengthening the capacity for agricultural innovation on a country-specific basis. FARA is an international organisation with full diplomatic status in Ghana.

Join the FARA Africa Community

Revamping Manufacturing of Agricultural Machinery in Africa

13 June 2024
. Webinar 12 Discussion Revamping Manufacturing of Agricultural Machinery in Africa

The estimated 250 Participants in Webinar 12 will be drawn mainly from private sector agricultural machinery manufacturers, farmers’ organizations, not for profit organizations, Directors of Agricultural Mechanization and Engineering Services [DAMES] from all African countries, representatives of the Regional Economic Communities [RECs], AUC, FAO and ACT.
Availability of machinery, equipment, spare parts and other supplies is essential for successful and sustainable agricultural mechanization. Agricultural mechanization includes the development of local industries that produce machinery and implements. Where production is not feasible, local franchise holders must be established and developed to import these goods. The development of supply chains and services should be an integral part of the agricultural mechanization process to ensure a better choice of equipment for particular types of users and uses and to guarantee the availability of spare parts and technical services.

The Objective of Webinar 12 is to initiate collaboration between African countries and the agricultural machinery manufacturing association of India, the Research Centre for Agricultural Mechanization Development of China, and the European Agricultural Machinery Industry Association (CEMA). 
  • Opening Remarks • John Bosco, CEO, East African Business Council (EABC) (tbc). 
  • Objectives of the Webinar: Facilitator • Mark Fynn, Regional Policy Officer, FAO Regional Office for Africa, Accra, Ghana. 
  • Overview of agricultural machinery trade and manufacturing in Africa: UNIDO • Niels Schulz, Industrial Development Officer, UNIDO, Vienna, Austria 
  • China's agricultural mechanization and international cooperation. • Prof Minli Yang - College of Engineering, China Agricultural University. 
  • Enhancing Africa-India collaboration on machinery manufacturing and supply: Experiences of the Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers’ Association (AMMA) - India. • Sarbjeet Singh Panesar - General Manager Land Force & Vice President, AMMA – India. 
  • Agricultural machinery manufacturing in Africa: Perspectives of the European Agricultural Machinery Industry Association (CEMA) • Jelte Wiersma, Secretary General, CEMA aisbl, Brussels, Belgium 
Plenary discussions including question and answer session 
Concluding Discussions and Way Forward Presentation and discussions on the key 3-4 outcomes and proposed way forward actions of Webinar 
Closing by Mr Patrice Talla Takoukam, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa (SFS) and FAO Representative in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini (tbc).


Two-wheel tractor-based service provision is economically highly viable, largely due to multifunctionality. Post-production services such as threshing and transportation are particularly lucrative. However, the emergence and economic sustainability of service providers can be undermined by bottlenecks such as access to finance, knowledge and skills development, access to fuel and spare parts, and infrastructure problems.

Funding opportunity:

The Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP) and the Office of Innovation (OIN) of the FAO launched the Global Innovation Challenge on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization
and Farmer Field Schools for small-scale producers
. It invites FAO Country Offices with ongoing or upcoming FFS projects to participate in this Challenge.

Afmass Food Expo Eastern Africa

12 - 14 June 2024. 8th edition of AFMASS Food Expo. 

Since 2015, the trade show has grown to be the most important platform to source the latest new technologies and packaged food products; and where to discover the latest investment opportunities and market trends in Africa’s food and agriculture industry value chain.

The 2024 edition presented solutions across 8 special sections, including sections on packaging; ingredients and commodities; milling and baking technologies; dairy manufacturing; meat, poultry and fish; fresh produce; beverages.

AFMASS Food Expo Eastern Africa is targeted at investors, managers and professionals in the food and FMCG manufacturing, retail and hotels, restaurants and catering (HORECA) industry in the Eastern African Community but attendees to the event come from most major economies in the COMESA and SADC regions of Africa – with South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe well represented at the trade show.

Extract of the programme

12/06 SESSION 1: State of the Food Industry in Eastern Africa 

  • Lewis Ngwenya – President, Simplifine 
  • Tolga Celtekligil – Managing Director, Buhler Eastern Africa 
  • Hiten Shah – Managing Director, Bakex Millers Ltd 
  • Nitin Menon – Head of Sales, Dohler East Africa 

12/06 SESSION 2: Opportunities & Trends in Funding & Financing the Food & Agriculture
Industry Value Chains in Africa

  • Absa Representative 

12/06 SESSION 3 – Emerging Innovations & Trends in the Food & Beverages Industry in Africa 

  • Presentation: Taste Modulation in Foods & Beverage Industry – Mai Osman, MEA Team Leader Product Manager, Dohler

12/06 SESSION 4 – Emerging Innovations & Trends in the Beverages & Confectionery Industry in Africa 

  • Presentation: Kevin Johnstone – Managing Director, Cranbrook Flavors 

12/06 SESSION 5 – Investment & Trade Opportunities in the Grains (Milling, Baking, Animal Feed & Snacks) Industry in Africa 

  • Presentation: Transforming Grains - The Art of Food Processing – Ankit Sharma – Regional Manager, Business Development (Food), Buhler 
Panel discussion: Emerging Opportunities in Animal Feed Manufacturing in Eastern Africa 
  • Joe Karuri – CEO, Pioneer Feeds & Chairman, Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers (AKEFEMA) 
  • Paul Kamau – CEO, Association of Kenya Feed Manufacturers (AKEFEMA) 
  • Khalfan Machera - Project and Process Engineer – Aquafeed, Buhler
Panel discussion: Innovating with Composite Flours in Africa – Critical Success Factors & Opportunities 
  • David Nolte – Head of Operations & R&D, Stern Ingredients East Africa 
  • Sanjay Yenugwar – Head of Production & R&D, Capwell Industries Ltd 
  • Peter Muni – Milling Industry Consultant •
  • Prof. Catherine Kunyanga – Associate Prof. & Associate Dean, University of Nairobi


13/06 SESSION 6 – Advances in Quality Assurance, Food Safety & Nutrition Management in Africa 

  • Peter Mutuku – Managing Director & Collins Tobito – Molecular Biologist, Sorela Scientific Presentation on mycotoxins, aflatoxin contamination
  • James Mureithi – Managing Director, Control Union, Kenya 
  • Stella Otaro – CEO, Top Quest Consultants

13/06 SESSION 7 – Advances in Supply Chains & Processing Technologies Innovation in Africa 

  • Amar Bahra – Sai Raj Ltd 
Panel Discussion Critical Success Factors in Transformation of the Food Industry in Africa in the face of Supply Chain Disruptions, the Ukraine War and the Middle East Conflicts 
  • Esti Keren – Managing Director, SLO Ltd 
  • Kevin Johnstone – Managing Director, Cranbrook Flavours

13/06 SESSION 8 – Advances in Food & Packaging Technologies & Innovations in Africa 

  • Presentations – Speakers to be confirmed

14/06 SESSION 9 – Advances in Fresh Produce Industry in Africa •

  • Okisegere Ojepat – CEO, Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya 
  • Presentation: Jane Ambuko, PhD, Professor of Horticulture and Postharvest Specialist, UoN – Empowering Small-Holder Horticulture Producers: Reducing Losses & Expanding Market Access

14/06 SESSION 10 – Making It in Entrepreneurship in Food Industry in Africa – Focus on Women-Owned & Led Businesses 

  • Wanjiru Mambo, Founder & Director, Wedgehut Foods Limited 
  • Dr. Monica Mburu, Founder, Afyalishe Wellness Limited 
  • Dr. Jesca Nkwabi, Group CEO, KOM Group Of Companies

14/06 SESSION 11 – Making It in The Food Industry in Africa – Focus on Youth Entrepreneurs and Young Professionals 

  • Onesmo Lucas Suka – Head of Operations, Suca Investment 
  • Dorah Momanyi, Founder at Nutritious Agriculture Network/iPoP Africa 
  • Elvine Lewis, Entrepreneur & co-Founder, Kilimogram 
  • Ruth Kariuki, Venture Builder Associate, Enviu

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Grassroots Innovations Assembly for Agroecology (GIA)

12 - 13 June 2024. - Grassroots Innovations Assembly for Agroecology (GIA) 


  • This report documents the first international gathering of the Grassroots Innovations Assembly from Oct 18-21 in Gallese, Italy. As food producers confront climate crises, corporate capture, and the new extractive technologies of AG 4.0, smallholders are organizing their own innovation networks for agroecological methods. The work of these networks demonstrates that peasant autonomy is possible through grassroots innovation, knowledge-sharing, research, and collaboration.
  • Drawing from a foundation of food sovereignty, agroecology and the Rights of people to define their food systems, GIA has been created (2023) to defend technological autonomy as a powerful tool to strengthen small-scale food producers globally and improve resilience, autonomy and sovereignty
  • The idea for an international grassroots innovations assembly was seeded in 2018 when the organizers of the gathering, a group of established innovation networks like Farm Hack, L’Atelier Paysan, and Schola Campesina, first crossed paths at the UN Food and Agriculture Association (FAO) summit on innovation.
  • You will find the link to the report here

The group came up with a long list of practical methods, events, and systems to collaborate and
communicate on Agroecology. Here is an aggregated list: 
  1. Innovation catalogs and magazines sharing alternative solutions 
  2. Video documentation, including everyday techniques because what seems normal to one farmer may be an innovation to another 
  3. Knowledge-sharing databases and wikis - for instance the Grassroots Innovation Database [GRID] - created by UNDP India : contributions from Anamika Dey, Visiting Faculty at Indian
    Institute of Management Ahmedabad
  4. Parties, big social gatherings, and festivals. Having fun together! 
  5. Agroecology schools and summer school for farmers as an alternative to the corporate-controlled university extension system 
  6. Finding a volunteer farmer for each local area who provides general support to answer neighboring farmers' questions 
  7. In-person building workshops where everyone goes home with their own tool 
  8. Hackathons and collabathons 
  9. Mobile workshops and on-farm tool repair 
  10. Makerspaces and shared workshops 
  11. Trips to scout existing grassroots innovations 
  12. Hub farms that help organize feedback on innovations 
  13. Innovations fairs - social forum for innovators, opportunity to document innovations, opportunity for officials to recognize smallholders’ innovations, which helps push for policy change.