Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Saturday, January 20, 2018

IDRC and ACIAR research call "Ensuring a food-secure Africa: cultivate Africa's future":

IDRC and ACIAR research call "Ensuring a food-secure Africa: cultivate Africa's future":

This call is open to applicant organizations that will work in partnership with others to carry out research in one (or more) of the eligible countries: Burundi; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Rwanda; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; and Zimbabwe.

Applicant organisations must be developing country organisations (national agricultural research
systems, universities, government departments, NGOs, regional organisations and Southern-led international organisations) with legal corporate registration in an eligible country. Eligible countries are (there are more but I mention only those where there is a Prolinnova Country Platform): Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.

This call will support cutting edge applied field and/or laboratory research projects with the potential
to generate high-impact and innovative results with particular impact on the food insecure and poor. All projects require a sound environmental impact assessment, the consideration of social and gender issues, and an applicability to smallholder farmers.

Key research areas:
  • Improved productivity and incomes for farmers and communities and decreased post-harvest losses
  • Improved gender equity
  • Nutrition and human health
  • Climate change and sustainable water management.

Of special interest is supporting innovative research with the potential for breakthrough results that can be effectively scaled-up and easily adopted by smallholder farmers, food processors, post-harvest handlers and other value-chain actors to improve food and nutrition security and achieve gender equality.

Deadline for applications is 1 March 2018.

Related:
View the projects of the previous phase.
Expanding Business Opportunities for Youth in the Fish and Poultry Sectors in Kenya (CultiAF)
This project built skills and knowledge among young people in Kenya to develop innovative business models that increase their participation in the fisheries and poultry sub-sectors.
Topic(s): YOUTH, MODELS, BUSINESS, AFRICA, TRAINING, FISHERY INDUSTRY, POULTRY, EMPLOYMENT CREATION
Region(s): Kenya, Netherlands, United States
Total Funding: CA$ 427,200.00
Expanding Business Opportunities for African Youth in Agricultural Value Chains in Southern Africa (CultiAF)
This project developed and test novel, creative, and bold business models that increase the participation of youth in fish and maize post-harvest value chains in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Topic(s): YOUTH, FISH, MAIZE, EMPLOYMENT CREATION, WOMEN, POSTHARVEST SYSTEMS, AFRICA, MODELS
Region(s): Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Total Funding: CA$ 464,200.00
Communicating Science for Impact: Radio for Reaching Farmers with Research Results (CultiAF)
Radio is an effective medium to deliver information that will influence small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to adopt agricultural technologies.
Topic(s): SMALL FARMS, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, Food security, TELECOMMUNICATIONS, AGRICULTURE, RADIO
Region(s): Kenya, Uganda, Canada
Total Funding: CA$ 543,005.00
Reducing maize-based aflatoxin contamination and exposure in Zimbabwe
This project seeked to investigate innovative post-harvest solutions to reduce aflatoxin contamination in grain.
Topic(s): MAIZE, FOOD TECHNOLOGY, MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH, Health, AFRICA, PRIVATE SECTOR, FOOD STORAGE
Region(s): Zimbabwe
Total Funding: CA$ 2,055,600.00

Friday, January 19, 2018

2017 Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition

This year's report, which features the theme: "The Food Security and Nutrition - Conflict Nexus: Building Resilience for Food Security, Nutrition and Peace" was launched at the joint FAO/WHO Africa Regional Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition  in Abidjan from 16 to 17 November 2017.

The report indicates that during the first decade of the millinium, sub-Saharan Africa made sound progress in the fight against hunger with the prevalence of undernourishment falling from 29.1 percent to 20.6 percent. However, this was followed by a period of no progress with a worsening of conditions in 2015 and 2016 in many countries. This was mainly due to the impact of conflict and adverse climatic conditions such as repeated droughts - often linked to the El Niño phenomenon - resulting in poor harvests and the loss of livestock.

The FAO report identifies a range of pathways through which support to food security and livelihoods can also help build resilience against conflict and contribute to sustaining peace. Given the complexity of conflicts and the conflict-food insecurity nexus, which climate change may amplify, a sustainable impact of food security and nutrition-related interventions on peace is more likely when implemented as part of a broader, multisectoral set of interventions before, during and after conflicts.

The report notes how many countries have developed or are developing policy frameworks and investment plans that are aligned with the goals of the Malabo Declaration and SDG 2. And this requires adequate funding, setting the right priorities and strengthening institutional capacities.

Lewis Hove FAOR South Africa a.i.
and Roger Nkodo Dang,
President of the Pan-African Parliament
at the launch of the new project 
Related
Improving legislative capacity to advance food and nutrition security in Africa.
11 October 2017, Midrand -The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Pan-African Parliament have launched a partnership to improve legislation of food and nutrition security issues in Africa.

The two -year project aims at enhancing the technical capacities of the Pan-African Parliament and the Pan-African Parliamentary Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition (PAPA-FSN). It will also benefit legislators in four pilot countries; Cameroun, Madagascar, Sierra Leone and Uganda to advance strategies, policies and laws on the right-to-adequate-food, investments in food and nutrition security at the national and regional levels, in collaboration with the Department for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission (AUC-DREA).
  • South -South cooperation is key tool in building Pan African Parliamentary Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition Bureau and Executive members capacity in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes on Food Security and Nutrition. 
  • To this end the PAPA-FSN is working very closely with the Latin American and Caribbean Parliamentary Front against Hunger through sharing of experiences on successes and challenges in legislating for Food Security and Nutrition Security, sharing of legislation already passed and critical entry point and lesson learnt in the legislative process. 
  • PAPA-FSN is also working with the European Parliament Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition and is working with the Spanish Development Agency in hosting the Global Parliamentary Conference on Food Security and Nutrition to be hosted in November 2018
  • It is hoped that this global conference will bring Parliamentarians all together to share their work on Food Security and Nutrition, success, lessons learnt and challenges as well as to strategies on how to strategically put food security and Nutrition at the forefront of development discourse.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Call for proposals of the Partnership on Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area

17 January 2018. The PRIMA Foundation announced the PRIMA Calls for proposals for 2018.

Download this document to read important information in view of the forthcoming launch of the calls.

The PRIMA programme counts 15 Participating States (PS): ALGERIA, CROATIA, CYPRUS,
FRANCE, GERMANY, GREECE, ISRAEL, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG, MALTA, PORTUGAL, SLOVENIA, SPAIN, TUNISIA, and TURKEY. 

In addition, it is expected that EGYPT, JORDAN, LEBANON, MOROCCO are to be considered for the time being to be Participating States.2 (tbPS). 

Their full participation will be announced on the PRIMA website (http://www.prima-med.org).

Through Resarch Collaborative Projects PRIMA aims to build research and innovation capacities and to develop knowledge and common innovative solutions for agro-food systems, and water provision in the Mediterranean area to make to make them sustainable, in line with the UN 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The calls for proposals are part of the PRIMA Annual Work Plan 20183 which covers the priorities described in the PRIMA Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) under the three PRIMA thematic areas:
  1. Management of water
  2. Farming systems
  3. Agro food value chain

The power of indigenous knowledge in strengthening climate resilience

12 January 2018The power of indigenous knowledge in strengthening climate resilience 

A new CTA publication on ‘Indigenous knowledge systems and climate change management in Africa’ was enthusiastically received at its recent formal launch in Johannesburg, South Africa during the 4th Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture on 28-30 November 2017. At the launch, the publication’s co-editors, CTA’s Dr Oluyede Ajayi, Senior Programme Coordinator and Professor Mafongoya, at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, explained the importance of documenting knowledge accumulated by generations of indigenous people to effectively address the climate challenges faced by smallholder farmers in ACP regions.

The book has also sought to respond to a number of key questions about the different IK practices that are still used by smallholder farmers to manage climate change in Africa and assessing the extent to which this knowledge is still relevant and useful in contemporary situations. With a good understanding of IK, policymakers and development practitioners can integrate this valuable knowledge with scientific research to instigate development initiatives that are environmentally and socially appropriate to the local area, and therefore more sustainable in the long term.

The chapters cover a range of topics from Using indigenous knowledge for seasonal quality prediction in managing climate risk in sub-Saharan Africa to The challenges of documentation and conservation of indigenous knowledge for natural resources management. As CTA director, Michael Hailu, asserts in the foreword, “The present book represents CTA’s commitment to highlighting the contribution of IK to building climate resilience.” To this end, the case studies described under the various headings ultimately demonstrate the clear benefits of supporting the participation of local people at all stages of an intervention intended to improve the lives of rural communities in Africa.

Related:
Call for Expressions of Interest for experts.
Are you an independent expert in climate smart-agriculture, agribusiness, communication and knowledge management, or monitoring and evaluation? 

CTA is looking for experts to serve as prospective consultants to CTA in various thematic areas for the implementation of CTA’s 2016 – 2020 strategic plan. The experts will provide support to CTA projects in terms of knowledge management, strategy development and planning, and impact assessment to help the Centre document measureable impact in the different intervention areas. Read more and apply : 

The Marketplace for Nutritious Foods, Kenya

17 January 2018. The Marketplace for Nutritious Foods, Kenya invites applications to its first Innovation Accelerator call for proposals 2018!

The goal of GAIN’s Marketplace for Nutritious Foods program is to increase the production, marketing, and availability of more safe and nutritious foods by promoting innovation and catalysing private sector engagement. It does this through improving access to knowledge, networks, technical assistance and funding by means of the following strategies: a) A Community of Practice for knowledge and networking; b) Innovation Accelerator to evaluate and provide advanced financial support and technical services to businesses showing the greatest potential for positive nutritional impact and business strength and; c) links eligible businesses with potential investors for further investment.

The application should be completed using the Innovation Accelerator application form and company self-assessment form, which can be downloaded along with application instructions (including eligibility and evaluation criteria) on the Marketplace website. Once completed the form should be saved as a PDF document and emailed to marketplacekenya@gainhealth.org

The deadline for submission of these proposals is 6th February 2018 at 11:59 PM (East Africa Time).

Improving Adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture Innovations

17 January 2018. Aid International and Development Webinar

David Del Conte, Deputy Head of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Noelle O'Brien, Team Leader of the Finance Innovation for Climate Change Fund (FICCF) and Engida Mandefro, Deputy Secretary General for Disaster Risk Management for Red Cross Ethiopia offered first-hand insight into:
  • Climate-smart innovations to improve productivity for rural communities 
  • The importance of finance in scaling up Climate-smart innovation 
  • Using social networks as an innovative platform for the livelihood of farmers 
  • Upscaling agriculture platforms as a way to help climate resilience and small-hood farming 
  • Breaking socio-economic barriers and forming relationships amongst a multitude of stakeholders
Recording video is forthcoming

Uncovering the hidden roles and responsibilities of value chain actors


African informal markets are an open system that is not closed to end users such as vendors, companies, restaurants, hotels and housewives. Farmers have choices between selling to a vendor who buys one basket of tomatoes, to a hotel which wants 200 kilogrammes or a trader who buys 50 crates at once. Many traders who are labelled middlemen buy in bulk in anticipation for selling to more customers from other parts of the country. Obviously, serious farmers who want to be viable would prefer those buying in bulk unlike selling to single customers

If the demand for commodities comes from other cities located 100 to 500 km away, few farmers have the capacity and patience to wait for buyers from different areas to come and buy in a disorganized fashion. Effective demand from these areas has to be consolidated and that is the role of middlemen, in addition to distributing commodities where they are needed. Traders are the ones who pull demand from far-flung areas. Formal institutions like supermarkets are not prepared to do that, preferring customers who walk into their shops. That is why fruit and vegetable sections tend to be very small in supermarkets. 

Agribusiness as unstructured profit pools 
The way middlemen are blamed is as if they are standing in the way of farmers who should access predictable profit pools. Yet there is nothing like that. As business models are becoming highly perishable, farmers have to learn to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty. Such decisions are increasingly being shaped by factors outside the control of any single value chain actor. There is no guarantee that good choices of commodities to grow can lead to favorable outcomes. Unless farmers change their mindsets, they will not fully take advantage of their resources. Individual households do not buy in bulk compared to traders.

Bulky commodities like potatoes and cabbages can only get into the market in a more organized way through middlemen who have taken time to understand demand patterns. Same with peas that are than sorted into different categories and sizes by traders in the market. A farmer cannot do everything including mixing different commodities and accompanying his/her commodities to distant markets. That is why uncovering hidden roles and responsibilities of value chain actors is very important. Producers and consumers need each other although they might pretend otherwise. This loudly speaks to economic justice, governance, empathy, ethics and other soft issues that determine success or failure in agribusiness. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Increasing investments of the Dutch Agri-food sector in emerging economies


Dutch agro-food companies play a significant role in the increasing worldwide demand for (fresh) food produce. To feed growing cities in a sustainable way, they need to collaborate and form coalitions, share knowledge, initiate innovative and scalable projects and position themselves better. These were some of the conclusions of the Round Table event “Feeding Cities”, held in the Demokwekerij Westland on April 18, 2017. Read more about the meeting conclusions here.
The Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) and MVO Nederland, together with other parties, brought together businesses, experts and policymakers to increase collective action on this theme. Three concrete topics are central:
  • The experience of ambitious small and large scale initiatives and the innovative ideas that they brought forth;
  • Match-making: linking with running projects and initiatives with hands-on experience;
  • What can be done so that policy support enables such initiatives.
Inspirational cases of companies or projects were presented, followed by a dialogue in multiple
subgroups on the three topics.

Extract of the programme
Plenary presentation of inspirational cases: 
  • Errol van Groenewoud, Chief Operational Officer at Omnivent Techniek B.V. and Chairman at NAFTC-India.Errol shared his experiences working with clusters, such as the Dutch Potato Cluster and Dutch Dairy Cluster, as entry points for Indian business and Government to the Dutch agribusiness sector.
  • Joep van den Bosch, Chief Innovation Officer at HortiMax. 
  • Edo Offerhaus, Managing Director at NL International Business
    Netherlands International Works (“De Werkplaats”) is a cooperation space for international public-private partnerships. Edo shared his views on and experiences with the design of projects and partnerships, how to create commitment of consortium partners and how to link to local opportunities and partners. “De Werkplaats” facilitates concrete international projects of Dutch public-private consortia to define the demand, supply and financing. It offers organizational capacity and is not a subsidy instrument. 
Information on the (African) cases
  • HortIMPACT – Eelco Baan, SNV HortIMPACT focuses on the development of fruit, vegetable, and potato value chains in Kenya by taking a business case approach. Together with entrepreneurial small and medium size farmers, and Kenyan and Dutch Agri-businesses, HortIMPACT promotes innovative solutions and technologies from the private sector that improve production and help build inclusive market growth. Through cooperation with national and county government agencies, the programme also aims to formulate and implement policies that support the inclusion of small & medium size farmers, and stimulate market growth.
  • Green Proteins in Uganda – With Dutch technology it is now possible to separate protein fractions from plant material. Specific crops result in higher concentrations. Several tests have been done. At the moment experiments with hyacinths, a water plant that is troublesome for the Dutch Water Authority, are carried out. After extraction, the proteins can be processed in products for human consumption. However, this is currently not allowed in the Netherlands according to EU regulation. In Africa experiments are running with specific crops, such as the Mucuna bean and Naipier grass. The challenge: which products for human consumption can be developed and brought to scale to substantially contribute to a healthy daily diet of urban people in Uganda?
The outcomes of this meeting will be used to further define the scope of the Innovation Network Feeding Cities and it will also feed into the workshop “Private sector coalitions to feed African cities“ that will be organized later in the year.

New fellowship to boost climate change research capacity

12 January 2018. The One Planet Fellowship – a US$15 million five-year philanthropic programme funded by the BNP Paribas Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and under the auspices of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation – is to support 120 African researchers working to help the continent adapt to climate change and bolster the scientific community.

The programme was launched during the One Planet Summit in Paris on 12 December 2017.

According to the official press release, the programme will be run by African Women in Agricultural Research and Development and will also help to provide additional resources to African research and support the work of the next generation of scientists dealing with new challenges.

One Planet Fellowship will help to finance the research carried out by African scientists into climate change adaptation, focusing on issues facing small farmers, and also help to strengthen the capabilities of the African and European science communities through training programmes combining mentoring, study trips and networking.

Out of a total of 600 fellows from African and Europe, 120 African researchers will be selected. Each will receive joint mentoring – from a scientist in Africa and in Europe – which will involve working in a laboratory in Europe. In turn, they will then mentor two young researchers, one from an African institution and one from Europe.

In addition, these researchers will interact with projects that aim to address climate change-related problems faced by agriculture, funded by the Agropolis Foundation over five years with a budget of €5 million (US$6 million).

The business of plant breeding

12 January 2018The Business of Plant Breeding is the result of a study on demand-led plant variety design for markets in Africa, sharing the best practices from private and public sector breeding programmes worldwide that are applicable to improving tropical crops in Africa.

Beginning with an overview of the principles of demand-led plant breeding, the book then discusses aspects such as understanding the demands of clients and markets in rural and urban areas, foresight in setting product profiles and breeding targets, and determining breeding strategy and stage plans. It also covers measuring success and making the business case for future investments in breeding programmes that will deliver new varieties to meet market demands.

The book (i) brings together the experience of plant breeders around the world, representing universities, national plant breeding programmes, regional and international agricultural research institutes, and private seed companies, showcasing how to respond to changing market demands, (ii) provides educational resource materials within each chapter, (iii) includes templates for use as planning tools by plant breeding programs for determining priority traits that meet market demands.

An important read for professionals and students of plant breeding and genetics, this book is also a useful resource for anyone interested in developing and disseminating new, market-led technologies to increase productivity and profitability in tropical agriculture.

Content
The book covers a set of 7 intricate topics:
  1. Principles of Demand-led Plant Variety Design
  2. Visioning and Foresight for Setting Breeding Goals
  3. Understanding Clients’ Needs
  4. New Variety Design and Product Profiling
  5. Variety Development Strategy and Stage Plan
  6. Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
  7. The Business Case for Investment in New Variety Development
The book was launched during the workshop with breeders on demand led plant variety design for emerging markets in Africa between 11 and 13 December 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Related:
15-19 January 2018. Kumasi, Ghana. Alliance takes steps to boost bean production.

A four-day conference to find radical ways of doing things to substantially increase bean production in sub-Saharan Africa was organized by the West and Central Africa Bean Network Steering Committee of the Pan-African Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) and the goal was to engage key stakeholders to help address the production constraints.

The meeting organized jointly with the Crop Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has brought together agricultural researchers and scientists from Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Congo, Cameroun, Central African Republic, Senegal and Guinea.

Dr. Buruchara - the PABRA Director, explained that the approach was expected to link all stakeholders along the value chain, stimulate financial opportunities and improve access to market information to enable farmers to make informed decisions about when and where to sell and compare the prices on offer.

Decade-long research explores solutions to vitamin A deficiency in sub-Saharan Africa

9 January 2018. Key findings in a decade-long research project at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln may lead to solutions in sub-Saharan Africa’s challenge with vitamin A deficiency. A team led by Edgar Cahoon, George Holmes Professor of Biochimistry and director of the Center For Plant Science Innovation, focused on increasing amounts of provitamin A-beta carotene in cassava.

As part of the project, the team partnered with the National Root Crops Research Institute to conduct the first government-approved confined field trial of a genetically modified crop in Nigeria. The study used cassava plantlets propagated and shipped from Cahoon’s lab at Nebraska.

The team was successful in its attempt of increasing beta-carotene in cassava roots. They found that the biofortification process actually reduced the starch content in the roots. Provitamin A-enhanced potatoes developed by the researchers using a similar strategy also reduced the starch content. The study also identified key genes that are likely targets for minimizing starch reductions in future biofortification efforts.
“Vitamin A deficiency continues to plague large portions of sub-Saharan Africa and has been estimated to affect the health of nearly 50 percent of preschool children in this region. Beta-carotene-enriched cassava offers one solution to this problem. “Cassava storage roots that have longer shelf life could provide additional income to farmers and allow them to purchase more nutritionally diverse foods. This would have a major impact on addressing malnutrition problems in sub-Saharan Africa."
The researchers made another surprising discovery during the course of this project, which could also bolster the cassava crop. A major challenge with current cassava production is its poor post-harvest storage properties that limit the ability of subsistence farmers to transport roots to urban markets. The researchers found that when the target beta-carotene amount is reached within the cassava roots, the shelf life of the harvested crop expands greatly.

The results of the study were published in Plant Biotechnology JournalProvitamin A biofortification of cassava enhances shelf life but reduces dry matter content of storage roots due to altered carbon partitioning into starch

Nebraska researchers partnered with scientists from the Boyce Thompson Institute, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, New Mexico Consortium, Texas A&M University and the University of Puerto Rico.

Funding for the project was provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USDA-Agriculture and Food Research Initiative and the National Science Foundation.

Related:

 

Fast-growing durum wheat for hot climate receives innovation prize

15 January 2018. "A 'crazy idea' has resulted in the ability to grow durum wheat in the extreme heat of famine-affected Senegal, Mauritania and Mali, potentially boosting the income for 1 million farming families." This is the statement that explains the choice of the winner of the 2017 Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security.

In this region, farmers grow rice for 8 months a year, while the land remains unproductive for the other 4 months. The new durum varieties have been developed to grow very fast and to tolerate high temperatures, allowing farmers to grow durum wheat between rice seasons. In this way 600,000 tonnes of new food could be produced, corresponding to 175 servings of pasta per person per year, in the region, which would also generate significant extra incomes for the farmers. As the wheat contains 5 times more protein than rice, as well as vitamins and minerals, it will also help to improve diets.

The basic research that made these achievements possible was done within a project that was led by Professor Rodomiro Ortiz at SLU in Alnarp and financed by the Swedish Research Council.

The actual plant breeding work was led by Rodomiro Ortiz and Filippo Bassi (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas), and conducted in cooperation with research institutes in Mauritania (CNARADA), Senegal (ISRA) and Morocco (Mohammed V University). The germplasm will be shared freely with developing countries, which means that the discovery also has wide adaptation potential for other areas hit by increasing temperatures.

See also: Interview with Dr Filippo Bassi of ICARDA and Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security Winner

The 2017 Olam Prize Winner for Innovation in Food Security was featured on a panel at the 8th International BCFN Forum on Food and Nutrition on the 4th of December in Milan, Italy. The Prize is run in partnership with the international scientific organisation, Agropolis Fondation and the winner receives an unrestricted US$50,000 grant for the scaling up of research. Watch an animation explaining the 2017 winner’s research.


African Crop Science Society Conference 2018

15 – 18 January 2018. Stellenbosch. South Africa. Combined Congress 2018 of the Soil Science Society of South Africa and Crop Science Societies of South Africa, with the African Crop Society. The theme of the Congress is Sustainable agricultural systems for food security in Africa.

  • Ndayisaba - Comparative effect of desmodium on maize growth and yield after fifteen years of experiments 
  • Nguenha- Effectiveness of polyethylene container and airtight bags on maize grain storage for smallholder farmers in Mozambique 
  • Vilane - evaluation of sixteen groundnut varieties for tolerance to soil acidity in Mpumalanga and Kwazulu – Natal provinces 
  • Tivana - Evaluation of replacement of maize by cassava and the particles hand aggregation for poultry feed formulation 
  • Savala - Physiological characteristics affecting water use efficiency and yield of inoculated soybean in southern Africa 
  • Rusere - A participatory approach for exploring options for ecological intensification to improve food security and agricultural sustainability: A perspective of South African smallholder agriculture 
  • Luvhengo - Biocontrol of selected Fusarium species using medicinal plant extracts 
  • Amoo - African leafy vegetables as a weapon for food and nutritional security: a case of Cleome gynandra 
  • Amoo - Antifungal activity of medicinal plant extracts against Fusarium species: alternative bio-pesticides for smallholder farmers 
  • Osiru - Opportunities for a knowledge led development strategy for Africa: RUFORUM’s 2030 Strategy 
  • Gathaara - Farmers’ knowledge and perceptions of genetically modified (GM) cassava in Kenya

Farmers’ willingness to pay to watch rice training video projection

Farmers’ willingness to pay to watch rice training video projection in the Valley of Oueme Benin
99 pages, April 2016

Extension funding problems have highlighted the durability of extension programs. As the states get out of extension and the private sector fills some of the void, it is time to ask if farmers will pay for extension.

This study focuses on the willingness to pay for agricultural training through video in the Oueme valley (Benin). A field survey based on the contingent valuation method (CVM) was conducted among 173 farmers in six villages in Dangbo and Adjohoun. A projection training session videos on rice production was organized in each study village. At the end of each session, the willingness to pay to follow the video shown was collected. Then, semi-structured interviews were conducted using an interview guide with thirty farmers to explore their perceptions of farmer’s participation in the costs of agricultural training. The CAP collected analysis is done through descriptive statistics and using a censored Tobit model. The Tobit model identified socio-economic factors affecting willingness to pay agricultural training through video.

Results revealed that farmers are willing to pay on average 250 F CFA to attend video screening on rice production. But most (41%) of farmers are willing to pay 100 F CFA. Male sex, education level, frequency of visits of farmer’s fields by supervisors, the fact that the farmer has received a loan from a moneylender during the crop year, membership in a Farmers’ Organization and the number of years of agricultural practice positively affect farmers’ willingness to pay for agricultural training through video whereas the village of the farmer negatively affects it.

The perception study reveals that farmers already contribute to the financing of agricultural training they receive; this contribution is not formal. The interviews’ analysis shows that 60% of farmers prefer contribute to the financing of agricultural extension services through member’s contributions (monthly or annual) in farmers’ cooperatives.

It is therefore important to think of ways farmers could help pay for the advice they need. These findings could open the door to self-financing of agricultural extension services and the emergence of private extension services.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Pathways to resilience in pastoralist areas of Eastern Africa

10 January 2018. Webinar. How are the pathways to resilience in pastoralist areas of Eastern Africa evolving?

Another ongoing and severe drought in East Africa has reopened debates on the viability of pastoralism, alternative livelihoods, and ways to support resilience. The Feinstein International Center has been studying these issues for more than 20 years and has documented changes over time in this report. This was part of Feinstein’s Synthesizing Research on Resilience in Drylands and Fragile Contexts project.

The panelists offered preview of this report and a conversation about what makes pastoralists resilient in Eastern Africa. The panelists discussed:
  • How commercialization has driven a gradual redistribution of livestock from poorer to wealthier households
  • How access to markets and productive rangeland determine different pathways to resilience
  • How population and urban growth affect pastoralist livelihoods
  • Challenges to supporting diversified and alternative livelihoods for increasing numbers of people within and outside of pastoralist areas
Panelists:
  • Andy Catley, Research Director at the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Peter Little, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor and Director of the Program in Development Studies at Emory University
  • Ian Scoones, Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies
  • Greg Gottlieb (Chair), Director of the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University

Optimised agro-industrial sector can create about 17 million jobs in Africa,

8 January 2018. Over 640 million Africans have no access to energy, which means over 60 percent of population. At the same time, the continent has abundant renewable energy sources that could fuel its energy revolution.

The UN Environment inquiry report on sustainable financing of development (2015, 212 p), amongst others, highlights the urgent need for a blended financing model combining publicly, privately, domestically and internationally sourced finances in Africa. Furthermore, in Africa, energy development must be considered a socioeconomic development and job creator accelerator.
To really add value, energy sector developments should be linked to improving productivity in labour intensive industries like agriculture. Green crowdfunding’s potential contribution should be viewed within this framework. Projections are that an optimised agro-industrial sector can create about 17 million jobs in Africa, and inject more than €843 billion in Africa's economy by 2030. Dr. Richard Munang, coordinator of the United Nations Environment (UNEP) Africa Regional Climate Change Programme.
Apart from a positive energy dimension, selected investment projects should benefit society, allowing people to participate and earn some money. One such project, the African Briquet Factory in Ethiopia, produces briquettes out of the residue of an agricultural crop - coffee - that are a more energy efficient fire fuel, save CO2 and allow people create an income by selling it.

The UN backed pan-African platform EFABOSA (Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly), founded two years ago, helps countries to build sustainable, climate-resilient food systems.

EBAFOSA is an inclusive pan-African policy framework and platform, an institution with protocols – a constitution and rules of procedure adopted in an inclusive continental process - guiding its actions, that provides a platform for all stakeholders in a country as well as continental - from governments and their agencies, the public sector, private sector, educational and research institutions, individual publics/citizens, CBOs, international intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, CSOs, FBOs

Dietary Species Richness, an important measure of a healthy diet

10 January 2018. “Dietary Species Richness as a Measure of Food Biodiversity and Nutritional Quality of Diets”.

A recent paper by Dr Carl Lachat of Gent University, Jessica Raneri of Bioversity International, and others introduces Dietary Species Richness, a new food biodiversity indicator to help examine the correlation between agrobiodiversity and diet quality. Nutrition Research Specialist, Raneri explains, “Food system sustainability, biodiversity and nutrition are current hot topics, yet we didn’t actually have any validated indicators that could measure the nexus between these three. Now we do.”

The research looks at dietary data from 6,226 participants, who are women and young children, in rural areas from seven low- and middle-income countries. The findings show that dietary quality increased with dietary species richness, children generally had less diverse diets than women, and that dietary nutrient adequacy increased significantly with every additional species consumed. This suggests that food biodiversity may increase diet quality in vulnerable populations in biodiverse regions.
"The links between sustainability, nutrient intake adequacy and diet diversity can help identify where and how food systems could be improved.  Reporting the number of species consumed during dietary assessment provides a unique opportunity to cut across two critical dimensions of sustainable development: human and environmental health, and complements existing indicators for healthy and sustainable diets.” Dr Lachat

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ethiopian scientist praised by Bill Gates for impacting lives of small-scale farmers

4 January 2018. Bill Gates, has hailed the efforts of an Ethiopian plant pathologist working to positively impact the lives of small-scale farmers across the world.

Dr. Segenet Kelemu according to Gates, having witnessed the damage locusts wreak in rural Ethiopia, aspired to study agriculture and today “used the power of science to find ways to help farmers grow more food and earn more income.”

In the latest installment of his ‘Heroes in the Field’ series, Gates said of Dr. Kelemu, “She decided to study agriculture, becoming the first woman from her region to get a college degree.

She is currently based in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where she serves as Director General of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe). She has been back in Africa for a decade now after over two and half decades working abroad.

Unsolicited appreciation of PAEPARD in 2017

16/01/2017
Thank you for the great report you made on the Nairobi conference in PAEPARD’s blog: New Business Models for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in sub-Saharan Africa. We have planned to include it in our Newsletter edition of January, giving credits to you and PAEPARD. It’ll be released today.
Beatriz Arribas, Communications Officer, CEMA aisbl - European Agricultural Machinery Industry Association beatriz.arribas@cema-agri.org
25/01/2017
I had missed your last few emails, and I would appreciate receiving these, particularly the one a few days ago on various calls for research grants/applications/proposals. Thanks in advance,
PA Sopade; PhD (Reading), Food Process Engineering Consultant, AUSTRALIA
Member, Editorial Board, International Journal of Food Science and Technology
30/01/2017
Thank you very much for the various research and course programmes you have forwarded to me. I have indeed circulated to my circles. I am sure there will be a number of people who are interested.
Dr.Backson Sibanda
04/02/2017
Let me take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for the very relevant materials you had been sending to me despite of my being from Asia.  I know this note is long overdue as I had been receiving notes from you since the last two years. These are valuable materials I share to my regional  colleagues in the Asia-Pacific  Islands Rural Advisory Services(APIRAS) Network which is one of the Regional networks of  the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Service (GFRAS), and likewise as reading materials for my PhD students major in Community Devloplment, PhD Major in Extension Education and PhD major in Development Studies.
VIRGINIA R. CARDENAS, Ph.D. Dean College of Public Affairs and Development University of the Philippines Los Baños College, Los Banos 4031 Laguna, Philippines
Member Steering Committee, GFRAS Regional Focal Person, APIRAS
15/02/2017
Greetings! Millions of thanks for your kindest services through Paepard! Please keep up your effort in updating new resources and info through your wonderful link.
Ermias Lulekal (PhD) Assistant Professor of Ethnobotany and Plant ecology Department of Plant Biology & Biodiversity Management
03/03/2017
Thank you for sharing those fantastic resources! Was there a recording of the webinar for those of us who weren't able to attend?
Hannah Fitter, Global Knowledge Initiative the Global Knowledge Initiative c/o American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Washington
hannah@gkinitiative.org
23/03/2017
We (AFAN) hereby express our Profound gratitude for the good work on the Platform. We appreciate and wish you well.
Prince Ikechukwu Ebenezer Ubaka JP. National President All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN
afannigeria@yahoo.com
29/03/2017
Thank you for the great work you continue to do on the PAEPARD dgroups.Emily Nwanko e.nwankwo@afdb.org
30/03/2017
Synthesis Report: Review of Successful Scaling of Agricultural Technologies
USAID, February 2017. 47 page
s.
Thank you for sharing this, it will be very useful in some work we are getting engaged in this year.
I will also share with my colleagues here at PELUM Kenya.

Maryleen
micheni.maryleen@gmail.com
31/08/2017
Just a quick word of appreciation from my side – a prospective list of conferences is very useful. Hope you can keep this feature going forward.
Iddo Dror| Head of Capacity Development | International Livestock Research Institute | ilri.org
i.dror@cgiar.org
06/09/2017
Actually the PAEPARD messages are quite many 😊 but interesting indeed!
Maurizio Sajeva, Forest Economist, Pellervo Economic Research PTT, Helsinki, Finland
maurizio.sajeva@ptt.fi ; www.ptt.fi
16/11/2017
We work in the area of Agricultural Research for development. This is a great platform to keep in touch with this sector and colleagues.
growthpartnersafrica@gmail.com
20/11/2017
Thanks for the many information that you always share on this platform which are very resourceful.Akpan ITORO-OBONG MFON achieversphealth14@gmail.com
05/01/2018
Congratulations for your ongoing activities and thank you for the wealth of information you are providing
J. Dorra Fiani, President, Knowledge Economy Foundation , Egypt
Jdf@fiani.com.eg
08/01/2018
Thanks very much for your continuously sharing information.Kyetere, Denis (AATF)
d.kyetere@aatf-africa.org

Oxford Farming Conference

3-5 January 2018. Oxford Farming Conference.

Kit Franklin, Harper Adams Univesity, Kit Franklin grew up on his parent’s farm in Gloucestershire and now currently lectures in Agricultural Engineering at Harper Adams University. Focussing on international business development and innovative agricultural engineering research, Kit’s research into “future farming systems” has led to the ground-breaking and headline-grabbing ‘Hands-Free Hectare’ project.

Professor Leon A. Terry, Director of Environment and Agrifood at Cranfield University, has called for a paradigm shift in funding strategies and research programmes in order to tackle food waste on a global scale.

In a recent paper entitled ‘Minimising food waste: a call for multidisciplinary research’, published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Cranfield University researchers claim that assessing the global scale of food waste is challenging, with question marks over the extent and accuracy of post-harvest loss and waste data. They also argue that there is a paucity of active research being conducted in areas where post-harvest fresh produce loss is greatest. For example, Europe is one of the dominant areas for postharvest research, yet makes a relatively low contribution to global food loss.
“Emphasis has been put on increasing future crop production, with far less resource being channelled towards enabling both established and innovative food preservation technologies to reduce food waste. (...)
In Africa, which contributes approximately 18% of global postharvest food losses, they suggest the research base is too low across the continent, with the majority of research stemming from South Africa. Professor Terry argues that UK research funds should be used to address this imbalance."
There is currently a lack of robust postharvest research networks outside of the developed world, and insufficient global funding mechanisms that can support such interdisciplinary collaborations. There is, thus, a collective need for schemes that encourage inter-supply chain research, knowledge exchange and capacity building to reduce food losses and waste.
Carla Mayara Borges is a farmer and Nuffield Scholar from Chapadão do Céu, Goiás, in Brazil. She will also focus on how her family business has embraced change through past generations and, as a female working in Brazilian agriculture, will provide an insight into how women are taking key roles on farms and at a leadership level in Brazilian agriculture.



Professor Chris Elliott from Queens University, Belfast, an eloquent and brilliant speaker, will inform, challenge and inspire us about global food supply chains, food fraud and food safety.

“You can make more money in crime in food than you can in narcotics. It is not something that is going to go away. Fraud can start to destroy entire sectors of the industry. When people read about things in the newspaper, they start to lose trust. I do fear that we in the UK may be exposed to greater threats going forward and as a result the public will lose further trust in our national food supply system.”   
“The level of changes needed are substantial, the level of investment will be significant but the potential to have an entire population eating food that fulfils all six principles would undoubtedly be akin to a new industrial revolution. Paradoxically the first two industrial revolutions drove people away from the land, this one could help bring them back again.”
Politics session
A line up of politicians, including Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Defra and Paolo de Castro MEP, vice-chairman to the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and former Italian Minister for Agriculture and Ted McKinney, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs to United States Department of Agriculture.