Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A YOUng FARMer’s vision

A series of 3 videos was released called “A YOUng FARMer’s vision”. The project aimed at producing three short films; each of them portrays a young farmer, giving an authentic and positive picture about their daily life and their visions. These were initiated and submitted for a students’ competition named “Engagier Dich!” (Get active!) carried out by the Mercator Foundation Switzerland.

The premier of the films already took place in Switzerland and Serbia, in the frame of a panel discussion. In Slovakia, the panel discussion is expected to happen in November. The discussed questions were/are:

  • What role do young farmers play for the future of agriculture?
  • Is the voice of young farmers taken into account when making political decisions (within each country)?
  • Where and how do young farmers find support?
  • What is done by governments to strengthen the attractiveness of the profession farmer?

Published on 23 Oct 2013
Peter farms in cooperation with his father about 300 hectares of land, in Slovakia. They produce grain, as well as pellets for energy, both for export to neighbouring countries. Father and son act both as an individual company, and share the earnings half - half. Decisions concerning the agricultural operation are decided together, the women being involved in these processes

Published on 22 Oct 2013 In Switzerland the young farmer family, Christoph and Fabienne Kappeler with their two little kids, manage a leased farm in a mountain area, since January 2012. They mainly produce milk (30 LU's) and the fodder for their cows on 20 ha of land. At the moment milk provides the main income of the family. The farm is managed according to organic guidelines.


Published on 22 Oct 2013 Years ago Nebojsa Dinovic together with his father and his brother started to build up a seed operation in Serbia. Started with nothing, Nebojsa now runs the family business, known as Superior, with 50 employees. The company grows its own fruits and vegetables. They are found at fairs throughout the Balkans, but also in the rest of Europe.



28 October - 1 November 2013. Nairobi, Kenya. The capitalization workshop was an event that gathered PAEPARD partners and some stakeholders (including representatives of coordinators and AIFs) to share lessons learnt since they participated in PAEPARD. The workshop was followed by a planning meeting of the 4 years extension of the project. The African and European partners of PAEPARD II participated in this meeting as well as representatives from consortia created under call 1 and call 2;some AIF representatives,  and representatives of AAAPD-E, INSARD and the private sector.

The objectives of the Capitalization workshop and planning meeting were:
  1. To share the lessons learnt in the past 4 years of the implementation of PAEPARD activities so as to draw best practices that can be disseminated/scaled up/out to stakeholders who want to engage in multi-stakeholder partnerships. 
  2. To draw the causes of the failure in multi-stakeholder partnerships in order to inform the ARD stakeholders. 
  3. To discuss the role/importance of an external AIF/broker in the multi-stakeholder partnerships specifically in the ULP; 
  4. To distribute roles and responsibilities among PAEPARD partners for the next for years extension and discuss the necessity of bringing in new partners. 

Creating conditions in which West African smallholders can capture opportunity

October 2013. 24 pages Brochure  New pathways to innovation. Creating conditions in which West African smallholders can capture opportunity
Author(s): Convergence of Sciences (COS)
Publication date: 2013

West Africa’s smallholders are dynamic and innovative and, if given the opportunity, could easily and sustainably double or treble their productivity. This would have a huge impact on the region’s food security and economic growth.

The Convergence of Sciences programme has spent the past decade exploring new pathways for agricultural innovation that focus on enabling smallholders to capture opportunity. Its approach relies on bringing together different actors who can achieve major change in an agriculture sector and create new conditions at system levels higher than those of the field and the farm. The interaction of farmers, scientists, administrators, policymakers and other decision makers can remove constraints and create opportunities at these levels.

This publication documents some of the programme’s outcomes, approaches and methods so as to allow others to draw out lessons for future programme design and further research.

PAEPARD blog post 18/09/2013
Facilitating innovation platforms to trigger institutional change in West Africa
KIT Publishers, Amsterdam, 2012, 142 p.

The research programme Convergence of Sciences – Strengthening Agricultural Innovation Systems in Ghana, Mali and Benin (CoS-SIS) explores and experiments with new pathways for agricultural innovation. It has put in place innovation platforms – referred to as “Concertation and Innovation Groups” (CIGs) – for a variety of sectors: water management and rice, oil palm and cotton in Benin; oil palm, cocoa and food security in Ghana; and crops and livestock, water management and shea in Mali. The programme aims to enhance institutional change through these CIGs.

Africa-Day at ZALF

21 October 2013.
Müncheberg Germany. Africa-Day at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)
 „Food Security in the light of Climate Change and Bioenergy – Challenges for Sub-Saharan Africa“

The objectives of the Africa-Day were to
  1. demonstrate interdisciplinary research knowledge and capacities at ZALF, 
  2. discuss with selected experts of funding organizations and research institutions innovative research approaches and initiatives for Sub-Saharan Africa, 
  3. link-up expertise and institutions for mutual exchange on research excellence and experiences and to 
  4. build a network for potential collaboration on existing and further projects and activities. Future collaboration potentials will be debated and further steps of cooperation defined.
Programme (extract)
  • Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa at ZALF: selected topics and research designs. (Stefan Sieber, ZALF)

  • ZALF : Land Scape by Hubert Wiggering

  • IPTS Research Projects in Africa (Sergio Gomez, EU Commission)

  • BMBF perspective of research in Africa (Ramón Kucharzak, BMBF) 

    • GIZ perspective of research in Africa (Michel Bernhard, GIZ) 
    • MWFK perspective of research in Africa (Claudia Herok, MWFK) 
    • PTJ perspective on Trans-SEC  

    25th of October 2013. Article published in Märkische Oderzeitung (MOZ). The article is written in German.

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    Biotechnologies at work for smallholders

    Biotechnologies at work for smallholders: Case studies from developing countries in crops, livestock and fish.
    Occasional papers on Innovation in Family Farming.
    Edited by: J. Ruane, J.D. Dargie, C. Mba, P. Boettcher, H.P.S. Makkar, D.M. Bartley and A. Sonnino
    October 2013,  FAO, 204 pages

    29 October 2013. FAO published a a new book on "Biotechnologies at work for smallholders: Case studies from developing countries in crops, livestock and fish".

    The press release is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Italian and Spanish. To accompany the press release, a Question-and-Answers document (in English) was also published as well as a radio interview (in English and Spanish) with Andrea Sonnino, Chief of the FAO Research and Extension Unit.

    This book documents a unique series of 19 case studies where agricultural biotechnologies were used to serve the needs of smallholders in developing countries. They cover different regions, production systems, species and underlying socio-economic conditions in the crop (seven case studies), livestock (seven) and aquaculture/fisheries (five) sectors.

    Most of the case studies involve a single crop, livestock or fish species and a single biotechnology. The biotechnologies covered include some that are considered quite traditional, such as fermentation and artificial insemination, as well as other more modern ones, such as the use of DNA-based approaches to detect pathogens. Prepared by scientists and researchers who were directly involved in the initiatives, the authors were able to provide an insider’s guide to the background, achievements, obstacles, challenges and lessons learned from each case study. 

    The final chapter of the book summarizes the background, challenges, results and lessons learned from the 19 case studies.

    Andrea Sonnino is Chief of FAO’s Research and Extension unit. In an interview he elaborates on biotechnologies, a case study in India, as well as why these biotechnologies can be useful for achieving food security.

    SciDev 20/11/2013. Politicians and farmers are ‘key to biotech success’

    DFID’s Support to Agricultural Research

    25 October 2013. DFID’s Support to Agricultural Research. Report No 29 – October 2013. 42 pages.

    The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has published a report on the Department for International Development’s Support to Agricultural Research. The overall rating for the programmes ICAI examined is Green-Amber. (Green-Amber: The programme performs relatively well overall against ICAI’s criteria for effectiveness and value for money. Improvements should be made).

    DFID has committed £350 million to agricultural research in the period 2010-15 to improve food security and tackle hunger in developing countries. Activities range from advanced science research in UK universities to projects developing and testing innovative ways to get research products (such as new seeds or animal vaccines) into use by farmers.

    ICAI examined a sample of seven projects supported by DFID, including funding of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a global network of 15 international agricultural research centres. We assessed what results these programmes are achieving and how well they are designed and delivered. We focussed on whether they will improve food and nutrition security for poor people.

    Lead Commissioner for the report, John Githongo, said: “DFID is supporting important work with the potential to impact positively millions of lives. The programme would have a greater impact on DFID’s overall objectives if it focussed more on the needs of poorer farmers, especially women farmers, and poor people in urban areas, who need access to cheap food.”

    A DfID spokesman said: "Icai's limited review of just seven projects meant it did not fully document our achievements in turning research into real, tangible benefits for farmers. More than 100,000 farmers in India are planting flood-tolerant rice, over half a million families in Africa are consuming vitamin A-enriched sweet potato, and the world is now free of rinderpest, one of the worst cattle diseases in the tropics. All this is due to research supported by DfID."
    25 October 2013. The Guardian. UK agricultural research aid should do more for poor farmers, says watchdog. Efforts to improve food security and tackle hunger deemed effective, but prioritising farmers would yield greater impact.

    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Private sector agricultural technology transfer

    Gisselquist, D. et al. Private sector agricultural technology transfer into Bangladesh, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia. International Food Policy Research Institute, August 2013.
    23 pages

    For five countries in Asia (Bangladesh) and Africa (Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia) this report describes private sector technology transfer and introduction and considers interactions between technology transfer and private research. Information in this report comes from surveys of 126 private organizations, interviews, documents, and other studies.

    Across all study countries, private companies introduce most new technologies for pesticides, machinery, poultry, fertilizers, and processing. Private companies deliver a steady flow of new maize hybrids in all countries except Senegal, new rice hybrids in Bangladesh, and new vegetable cultivars in Bangladesh, Kenya, Senegal, and Zambia. However, for other field crops in the African countries in this study and for five crops in Bangladesh, governments control private cultivar introduction.

    Most companies reported introducing at least some technologies from other countries. Private technology transfer led to and supported private research. Fifty-seven of 126 surveyed private organizations reported in-country research. Public support for private technology introduction is widely accepted in principle.

    Governments and donors are gaining experience with grants and other initiatives to promote private research. Governments provide educated staff and technical assistance and advice. However, government controls on introduction of several categories of agricultural inputs, especially cultivars, discourage private technology introduction. Additional studies are required to get a better picture of linkages between local and foreign agribusinesses, private technology transfer, and impact of private technology transfer on private research.

    16/10/13 SciDev. Higher food demands and scarce resources are putting pressure on agricultural systems. How can productivity be increased within environmental limits, what is the role of science andtechnology in sustainable agriculture, and what can be done to further develop new crop management systems?

    This Spotlight of SciDev presents an in-depth analysis including opinions, facts and figures, and key resources. Fernando R. Funes-Monzote, an agroecologist, researcher, consultant and farmer based in Cuba and vice-president of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology; David J. Spielman, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute; and Norman Uphoff, senior advisor to the Cornell SRI-Rice Center; offer their views on the debate.

    Farmers fine-tune research, spread their own innovations. This article describes examples of farmer-led innovations that bring smallholders and researchers together to increase yields.

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013

    Fostering Partnerships for an Improved Banana Subsector in Kenya

    October 23, 2013. NAIROBI, Kenya. More than 300 experts including top leaders from the Ministry of Agriculture, agricultural research institutes, non-governmental organizations, regional bilateral institutions, development partners, financial institutions and farmer organizations convened at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) Headquarters, in Nairobi to discuss key issues affecting the banana sector. 

    The conference was themed: “Fostering Partnerships for an Improved Banana Subsector in Kenya” and is jointly convened by the Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP), the Banana Growers Association of Kenya (BGAK) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). This one day conference has the objective of bringing all actors/stakeholders in the banana value chain to discuss issues affecting the industry and find solutions.


    The Banana Growers Association of Kenya (BGAK) Project (02/08/2012)

    Through its Farmer Organizations Support Center in Africa (FOSCA) and Market Access Programs, AGRA is supporting 23 produce aggregation centers across Kenya, owned and managed by farmer groups where they come together to learn about the need to start with quality planting materials and good soil fertility, effective postharvest management and collective marketing. These groups have been connected to the mobile money network and this has greatly increased their access to real-time price information and convenience in transacting with buyers. This initiative has seen both the productivity and profitability of banana farmers rise.

    “The BGAK aspires to grow from strength to strength as the voice of the banana smallholder farmer in Kenya. This conference is just the beginning in encouraging networking and collaboration among all stakeholders to improve the banana value chain for the growers and various consumers, including processors,” says Thomas Mwangi, Chair, BGAK.

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    The Food Security through Commercialization of Agriculture programme

    16 October 2013. At a side event on the first day of World Food Week, FAO showcased the success of Italy-funded projects in East Africa, West Africa, Central America and the Caribbean that are transforming smallholder and family farms into small businesses.

    The Food Security through Commercialization of Agriculture programme has been ongoing in 34 countries since 2006, under the technical guidance of FAO's Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division. To date, countries have benefitted from nearly $50 million in support focusing mainly on policy guidance, capacity development and transfer of modern technologies and best practices.

    Through the Italian contribution to the FAO Global Trust Fund for Food Security and Food Safety, 36 projects have been implemented in different areas of the world, covering 85 countries, with the aim of addressing poverty and improving food security by enhancing agricultural productivity. The target is to transform agriculture into a modern, vibrant and commercially competitive sector.
    Bright Rwamirama, Uganda's Minister of Agriculture, noted that a key to the success of FSCA is the fact that it closely integrates the aims of the country's own policies and strategies for development.

    The areas of action and the objectives mirror national policies. Rwamirama noted that the project resulted in a 30-35 percent increase in transactions for farmers' organizations and an increase of 30 percent in household incomes.

    3rd Africa Rice Congress

    credit: AfricaRice
    21-25 October 2013, Yaoundé, Cameroon. 3rd Africa Rice Congress:  Rice Science for Food Security and Agri-business Development in Africa.  This congres is bringing together more than 650 participants from 60 countries – including 36 countries from Africa and 24 countries from outside Africa – to discuss recent developments in science and technology, policies, agri-business issues and investment opportunities relating to Africa’s rice sector.

    The 3rd Africa Rice Congress is being co-organized by the Africa Rice Center(AfricaRice) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) in partnership with the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development of Cameroon (IRAD).

    The objectives of the Congress are to:
    • Provide a platform to discuss rice science and technology aimed at improving rice production, processing and marketing along the value chain whilst preserving environmental services and coping with climate change.
    • Provide a platform for development organizations, farmer associations, civil society, private sector and research organizations to communicate and interact for greater and equitable impact on food security and value chain development.
    • Discuss effective policy instruments and investments at national, regional and continental levels for sustainable smallholder and agri-business development to boost Africa’s rice sector.
    credit: AfricaRice
    As part of the special events of the Congress, a new book, “Realizing Africa’s Rice Promise,” jointly published by AfricaRice-CABI, will be released. The book provides a comprehensive overview of Africa’s rice sector and ongoing rice research and development activities, indicating priorities for action on how to realize the rice promise in a sustainable and equitable manner.

    24 October 2013.
    ROPPA, CRCOPR, Oxfam, Agricord, SNV and VECO sponsored a session on "Increasing synergy between actors in the West African Rice sector and increasing future supplies to cities".

    See programme of the conference:
    Presentations around innovation and multi stakeholder rice platforms

    • A multi-stakeholder network to plan sustainable development of rice in Chad: page 49
    • Les plates-formes multi-acteurs, un processus d’apprentissage pour orienter les activités de recherche : cas des bas-fonds du Mali-Sud, page 69
    • Innovation systems: Making science work for farmers. Bridging the gap between science and farmers. 
    •  (Ton Dufour ICRA) page 85.
    • Multi-stakeholder platforms as a process of innovation and learning: An experiment on integral and sustainable farming in inland valleys page 101
    • Do current ICTs fill the gender gap in agricultural knowledge transfer? Evidence from five African countries. p. 145
    • Effectiveness of an innovation platform in managing rice disease in Togo, p. 160
    • Commercialization of the rice value chain by linking smallholders to downstream agri-businesses in Mozambique, p. 175
    • Improving rice stakeholders’ ability to articulate agricultural research for-development needs: The Users-Led Process (ULP) of the Platform for African-European Partnerships in Agricultural Research for Development, J. Mugabe (PAEPARD), p.187
    • Actors in the rice value chain: from seeds to produce, p.202
    • Making science work for farmers: The role of farmer groups, p.204
    • Farmer-to-farmer training videos strengthen institutional relationships, p.213 
    • Rice value chain analysis: The case of Western Province, Kenya, p.215
    • Assessing impact of video and rural radio on building capital assets with smallholder rice processors in Benin among radio stations, extension services and farmers, p.280


    Dr Marco Wopereis, Deputy Director General and Director for R&D, AfricaRice, Benin speaks about his expectations for the 3rd Africa Rice Congress, 21-24 October 2013, in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

    Prof. Eric Tollens, AfricaRice Board Member, and Professor Emeritus of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium speaks about his expectations for the 3rd Africa Rice Congress, 21-24 October 2013, in Yaoundé, Cameroon

    Dr Yo Tiemoko, Board Member of AfricaRice, Former Director General, CNRA, Côte d'Ivoire, speaks about his expectations for the 3rd Africa Rice Congress, 21-24 October 2013, in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

    11th African Crop Science Society conference

    14 - 17 October 2013. Entebbe, Uganda. 11th African Crop Science Society Conference. The African Crop Science Society (ACSS), established in 1993 to encourage crop production and food security in the Africa continent, is a society for researchers, producers, business people and technicians around the world. The ACSS organizes one international conference in every odd year in one of the African countries. 

    The overall goal of the conference was to promote the active exchange of crop sciences information, innovation, and new ideas. It was attended by experts and distinguished keynote speakers and eminent scientists from Africa and of the entire globe.
    1. Workshop #1 - Advances in the research, utilization and commercialization of neglected and underutilized species: a new push to bring them to the center stage
    2. Workshop #2 - Women in Agriculture: strategies for promoting the empowerment of rural women
    3. Workshop #3 - Management of invasive pests: lessons from the recent accidental introduction of fruit flies in Africa
    4. Workshop #4 - Advancing research on weed science in Africa
    5. Workshop #5 - Responding to the demand for high value perishable commodities in fast growing urban areas in Africa: opportunities and challenges for urban and peri-urban agriculture
    6. Workshop #6 - Biomass and agriculture energy: opportunities and challenges for African agricultural
    7. Workshop #7 - Positioning Nematology in Africa - Now and the Future
    8. Workshop #8 - Pesticidal plants as alternatives to synthetic pesticides for crop, storage and livestock protection in Africa: optimization, conservation and commercialization

    World Food Prize Ceremony Honors Biotech

    WORLD FOOD PRIZE 2013: Guests and spectators watch the 2013 World Food Prize Laureate award ceremony held at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. This years winners are Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, Mary-Dell Chilton of the United States and Robert Fraley of the United States. The three researchers played prominent roles in developing biotech crops.
    Guests and spectators watch the 2013 World Food Prize
    Laureate award ceremony held at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines 

    17 October 2013. The World Food Prize for 2013 was presented at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines to three researchers who've played key roles in developing genetically modified crops. The music and history-filled ceremony highlighted the biggest and most controversial week in the 27-year history of the annual prize.

    The three people who share the $250,000 prize this year are Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, Mary-Dell Chilton of the United States and Robert Fraley of the United States. Van Montagu is founder and chairman of the Institute for Plant Biotechnology Outreach in Ghent, Belgium. Chilton is a distinguished science fellow and founder of Syngenta Biotechnology. Fraley is executive vice president and chief technology officer at Monsanto in St. Louis, Mo.

    Speech of Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo starting at 1:56 min (up to 2:06). Borlaug Dialogue Livestream Broadcast. @ 2:31 he answers the question: What will you do to the fact that Africa is trailing in terms of food security... from a research point of view.

    A research scientist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) – a member of the CGIAR Consortium – is this year’s winner of the prestigious Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Charity Kawira Mutegi, 38, was named as the prize winner by the World Food Prize Foundation, which administers the award. The Kenyan scientist won the prize for her efforts in different facets of aflatoxin management in Kenya, spanning a decade. Aflatoxin is a natural toxin produced by a mold which causes death and disease in consumers and massive economic damage to farmers, especially in developing countries.

    16 October 2013. CRDF Global and The Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora (AAAPD) organised side event on:  Partnering for Africa's next decade of agricultural development: listening to farmers, supporting scientists
    • Welcome and Overview, Andrew Manu, President – Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora (AAAPD); Professor & Washington Carver Chair, Iowa State University, Event Co-Chair & Moderator 
    • AAAPD/CRDF Global Fellowship in African Agricultural Science & Technology (FAAST) Announcement, Marilyn Pifer, Director of Capacity Building Programs, CRDF Global, Event Co-Chair 
    New Opportunities for Making Substantial Gains in African Agriculture
    • Mandivamba Rukuni, former Dean of Agriculture, University of Zimbabwe: AAAPD/CRDF Global Fellowship in African Agricultural Science & Technology (FAAST) : Mobilizing Africa’s Latent Diaspora Resources through Science, Technology and Capacity Building 
    • Focus on African Farmers: “We Are Speaking But No One is Listening”, Dyborn Chibonga, CEO of NASFAM, Malawi 
    • Harnessing Africa’s Secondary Agriculture: New Products & Technology Opportunities, Desh Verma, Professor of Plant Molecular Biology, Ohio State University 
    Practical Considerations: A Quest for Real Capacity
    Following speakers addressed the opportunities to engage the African diaspora to help smallholder farmers reap the benefit of technological improvements:
    • Building for African Agriculture & Food Security, Meaza Demissie, Program Manager, CRDF Global, Moderator 
    • Africa’s Appropriate Technology Development, the Role of Industry, Mark Edge, Director of Water Efficient Maize for Africa Partnerships, Monsanto Corporation 
    • Partnerships to Enhance Skills Development, the Role of Private Foundations, Jacob Mignouna, Senior Program Officer, Gates Foundation 
    • Building Agricultural Human Capacity, the Role of U.S. Universities, Kendall Lamkey, Professor & Chair of Agronomy, Iowa State University

    Start-Up Promises to Revolutionise Shrimp Farming

    14 September 2013. A UK start-up says it has developed a low-cost, ecological alternative to traditional shrimp farming by using bacteria as both a water filter and food for its shrimp.

    IKEA-like portable units using microbes and solar power to cheaply grow shrimp indoors could transform the booming aquaculture sector and prevent further environmental degradation, according to its inventors.

    If made available to farmers in developing countries, the technology could help tackle malnourishment while reducing environmental degradation, and all at a lower cost than current shrimp production, they say.

    Founded by biochemical engineering students from University College London, the start-up Marizca is producing whiteleg shrimp in central London in its first trial operations.

    With Marizca's system, the shrimp are grown in layered trays with about 300 animals per square metre. One unit can produce roughly 10,000 shrimp every three months - fairly standard figures for an intensive shrimp operation, but with much lower operational costs, according to Rios.

    Nonetheless, the technology's broader relevance to small-scale shrimp farmers, who constitute the majority of the industry in many developing countries, is not guaranteed.

    Saturday, October 19, 2013

    33rd CTA Brussels' Briefing: Agricultural transformation in Africa

    2 October 2013. Brussels. More than 100 participants discussed successes and shared lessons from the agricultural transformation in Africa at the last Brussels Development Briefing on the ‘Drivers of success for agricultural transformation in Africa.

    They emphasized its impact on the livelihood of the people and its key role for the growth of the economies of the continent. The event consisted of two different parts. 
    1. The first provided an overview of the potential of agriculture in Africa as an engine for growth and sustainable development. It showed the positive trends and the needed drivers for sustained growth and inclusiveness. 
    2. The second panel presented proven actions in African agriculture and best PPPs practices based on the successes of CAADP in the last 10 years. It highlighted successes which can be upscaled and/or replicated.
    Panel 1: Agriculture: a driving force for economic and social transformation in Africa

    Chair: H.E. Mary M. Muchada, Ambassador of Zimbabwe [Video]

    - African agriculture in a changing global context: lessons learned[Video|Presentation|Summary]
    Steve Wiggins, Researcher, Agricultural Development and Policy Programme, ODI

    - Catalyzing Agricultural performance as a force for economic and social transformation [Video|Presentation]
    Martin Bwalya, Head of the NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme

    - Job creation and entrepreneurship development in rural/farming communities [Video|Presentation|Summary]
    Ms Charity Mariene, Agricultural Counsellor, Embassy of Kenya

    - Financing African agriculture: perspective from the private sector financing institutions [Video|Presentation|Summary]
    Hans Balyamujura, Co-Founder/CEO, Zed Group Limited – Africa, Absa

    Debate for the first panel [Video]

    Panel 2: Proven successes, best practices in African Agriculture

    Chair: Bernard Rey, Deputy Head of Unit/Food security, DG DEVCO, European Commission [Video]

    - Successes in agriculture and structural transformation in Africa[Video|Presentation|Summary]
    Ousmane Badiane, Director for Africa, International Food Policy Research Institute

    - Monitoring the progress of Maputo commitments towards agriculture in West Africa [Video|Presentation]
    Kalilou Sylla, Executive Secretary, ROPPA, West Africa

    - Domestic private sector engaging in agricultural-based PPPs: success factors [Video|Presentation|Summary]
    Nana Osei-Bonsu, CEO, Private Enterprise Federation, Ghana

    - Leveraging private investments in African agriculture [Video|Summary]
    Ruth Rawling, Vice President of Public Affairs for Cargill Europe

    Debate for the second panel [Video]

    Concluding remarks [Video]

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Publication: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable

    18 September 2013. The Trade and Environment Review 2013 is entitled Wake up Before it is Too Late: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate.
    UNCTAD 2013, 321 pages.

    More than 60 international experts have contributed their views to a comprehensive analysis of the most suitable strategic approaches for dealing holistically with the inter-related problems of hunger and poverty, climate change, rural livelihoods and overcoming the severe environmental crisis of agriculture.

    The report noted that despite the warning, vulnerability to increased frequency and intensity of droughts and floods in East Africa continue to suffocate the region's economic growth.

    The report added that with a population of approximately 130 million people, the East African Community (EAC) remains vulnerable to the imbalance between climate change, food security and trade.

    Climate, food and trade experts said that while trade is critical for food stability in the grossly deficient regions, correcting existing imbalances between where food is produced and where it is needed will reduce irregularities that exist in agricultural output, food-processing and markets.

    Lessons and Impact of Partnerships

    Lessons and Impact of Partnerships: Experiences from FARA’s Initiatives in Africa 
    FARA 2013, 147 pages.
    Adewale Adekunle, Ajuruchukwu Obi, Tunde Ajayi, Josaphat Mugabo and Oluwole Fatunbi

    The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in the last ten years has been supporting
    the organization of partnerships between all concerned stakeholders in agriculture in order
    to foster a transformation process towards more productive, more remunerative and more
    sustainable farming.

    This publication presents an assessment of outputs from FARA in cooperation with many
    partners to support the transformation process in agriculture in Africa. It reviews the outputs
    and outcome from ongoing and recently concluded projects, programs and corresponding
    partnerships. The material is packaged to inform FARA stakeholders’ viz., farmers, entrepreneurs,
    financing institutions, agro-based industries, academic and research institutions, policy makers
    in agriculture and extension agents of case studies, lessons learnt and models for effective
    partnerships and strategic alliances. This material will contribute to strengthening on-going
    initiatives and will provide a guide to structure new ones to yield good transformation outcomes
    for African agriculture.

    Round Table on Innovation and Competitiveness in African Agriculture

    8 October 2013. Thon Hotel EU in Brussels from 09.00 - 13.00h. Mazungumzo The African Forum in Brussels. Round Table on Innovation and Competitiveness in African Agriculture

    The objective of the Round Table was to discuss how research and innovation in technology and market organisation can make significant contributions in Africa’s fight against poverty and food insecurity. To unleash their full potential, research and innovation require enabling framework conditions, both for companies and smallholder farmers, which most African countries have not yet developed. 

    Programme: Innovation and Competitiveness in African Agriculture

    Key note speeches
    Leonard Mizzi
    John Purchase

    Tuesday, October 15, 2013

    Promoting innovation, linkages and technology adaptation: Achievements of the South-South Cooperation in African Agriculture

    26 and 28 September 2013. Abuja . Nigeria. The forum with the theme: Promoting innovation, linkages and technology adaptation: Achievements of the South-South Cooperation in African Agriculture, drew about 50 participants from SSC host countries and attracted participants from Benin Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Uganda, as well as development partners. 

    In his address, Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina noted that "China's agricultural growth is impressive and offers lessons for African countries.

    Also speaking, China's Vice-Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Chen Xiaohua noted that China has sent altogether 998 agricultural experts and technicians to 24 countries in Africa, Asia, South Pacific and the Caribbean. The biggest, longest and most productive SSC project by China is with Nigeria,"

    Adesina commended FAO for its vision in developing, promoting and nurturing SSC to boost agricultural production in developing countries, noting that out of a total of 998 Chinese experts that have been in the SSC programme across Asia, Africa, South Pacific and Caribbean, 686 have been in Nigeria. He also praised Chinese Government's vision to set up a $30m Trust Fund to support the SSC, noting that the SSC has helped Nigeria in many areas especially in rice production, apiculture, aquaculture, poultry, bamboo production, development of small scale equipment, vegetable production and drip irrigation.

    "The impact of the SSC is evident in the lives of farmers, communities and private sector firms that have taken advantage of the programme," he enthused. He appealed for a closer cooperation among participating countries and development partners saying: "Because we now treat agriculture as a business, the SSC should be modified to South-South Agricultural Investment Cooperation."

    In 2003, Nigeria signed a Tripartite Project Agreement (TPA) in support of the NPFS.National Programme for Food Security (NPFS) under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, in conjunction with the People's Republic of China and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
    • The Nigeria-China SSC Programme, fis currently in its second phase of implementation.
    • The first phase was implemented between 2003 and 2007, and involved the deployment of 496 Chinese experts and technicians across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
    • Due to the impressive achievements recorded during the first phase, the Federal Government approved the continuation of the programme under a second phase for another five-year term.
    As part of its efforts to eliminate hunger from countries of the south through technological advancement, economic growth and home-grown capacity development, the South-South cooperation (SSC) has many objectives.
    • The South-South cooperation (SSC) in Nigeria is to assist the country to identify, design and implement SSC activities in water control and management, apiculture, horticulture, and vegetable production.
    • Other areas of assistance include fisheries production, crop intensification, agro-processing, livestock production and fabrication of simple farm equipment and tools.
    • They include food and nutrition security for improved livelihood; improved agricultural production and productivity.
    • Others are, building capacity of all those involved in agricultural production and promoting partnership and cooperation between Nigeria and China.

    Monday, October 14, 2013

    Agribusiness Education Fair of ANAFE

    Participants of the Agribusiness Education Fair being held at the World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya

    10th – 12th October 2013. Nairobi, Kenya. An Agribusiness Education Fair was held at the World Agroforestry Centre,  The three-day Fair, whose objective to improve Agribusiness teaching, research and practice through stronger linkages between training/research institutions and the private sector brings together academicians, private sector players, Non-Governmental Organizations, policy makers, students and entrepreneurs drawn from across Africa.

    The Fair has been organized by the African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE) and its partners: Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and its UniBRAIN (Linking Universities with Business and Research in Agricultural Innovations) programme, the Pan African Agribusiness Consortium (PanAAC), the Centre for Rural Development Cooperation (CTA), the Association of African Business Schools (AABS) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).

    ANAFE’s Executive Secretary, Dr Aissetou Yaye, said the Network has invested heavily in forging stronger and effective links between universities/colleges and business enterprises within the context of agribusiness. This has been done through ANAFE’s tin programs of Strengthening Africa’s Agricultural Capacity for Impact on development (SASACID) and Universities, Business and Research in Agricultural Innovation (UniBRAIN).

    The first day of the Fair was graced by ICRAF’s Director General, Dr. Tony Simons; Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo; The CEO of the Pan African Agribusiness Consortium (PanAAC), Ms Lucy Muchoki; Senegalese Ambassador to Kenya, His Excellency Mr. Momar Gueye and Prof. Andre Louw, a prominent agribusiness expert from the University of Pretoria, South Africa among others.

    AgriBusiness Forum in Rwanda

    6 - 10 October. The AgriBusiness Forum is the largest pan-African AgriBusiness Forum held on African soil annually which aims at strengthening the Agri-Food sector in Africa, by encouraging partnerships, exchanging best practices and attracting investments. It is the right platform to discuss and present successful projects and business models. This year, the Forum focused on  "The Agri-Food Sector: A Catalyst for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in Africa”.

    Agnes Kalibata, Minister of Agriculture and animal resources qualified the Agribusiness Forum as "an opportunity for us to unlock the potential of agriculture in Africa and Rwanda". She called Rwanda's private sector to join hands with international partners in this venture. Among the speakers were  Monty Jones (Special Adviser to Sierra Leone President & Former ED of FARA recipient of
    the World Food Prize, Sierra Leone) and Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Secretary – Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Ghana

    The governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was presented with an award for “Innovative Agricultural Policy and Practice for Inclusive AgriBusiness Development in Africa”. He started the Osun Rural Enterprise and Agriculture Programme (O’REAP) to train youth in farming. The administration is providing the necessary infrastructure and support for farmers with inputs, which requires supplying them with inputs such as improved seedlings, fertiliser and fumigants among others; giving them hundreds of thousand of already prepared hectares of land.

    A total of 610 O’YES Cadets were trained last year at the O’REAP Youth Academy Farm Centres located across the nine Federal Constituencies in the state, with selected participants at 20 per Local Government and 10 from Ife East Area Office.

    This year’s edition of the O’REAP Youth Academy, witnessed a significant rise in the number of youth participants, each of the 332 wards in the state is fairly represented with three O’YES Cadets per ward, accounting for 996 Cadets to be trained in modern agriculture at the nine training centres of the O’REAP Youth Academy.

    The commitment of the governor to raise agriculture from subsistence to mechanised farming is one of the major reasons for sending 40 youths to Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

    Extracts from the presentations:

    Workshop B – Agribusiness incubation, an instrumental tool to unleash the potential of African agriculture and economic transformation
    Alex Ariho
    Facility Coordinator

    Henry Bwisa
    Professor of Entrepreneurship - JKUAT
    Chairman, Investment Promotion Centre


    Somasundararam SM. Karuppanchetty
    Chief Executive Officer


    Session II – How to prepare smallholder farmers for commercial partnerships: strategies to enhance smallholders farmer incomes and market access
    Raf Somers
    Co-Manager of Seeds & Agricultural Development Program
    Belgian Development Agency


    Session III – Agro-industries development  promotion in the East AfricaCommunity: a pathway for inclusive market access
    Fiona Lukwago
    Assistant Director
    Kilimo Trust E. Africa

    Moses Marwa
    Principal Agricultural Economist
    East African Community


    Session IV – Facilitating access to Finance in the agribusinessPART I: The role of commercial financing
    Sylvia Ngare
    Advisor to the CEO

    Eric Kaleja
    Resident Representative


    Daniel Muhimuzi
    Country Manager

    Special Session - EMRC-Rabobank Project Incubator Award
    Bukola Adeshina
    A & Shine International Ltd

    Cathy Mbuyi Tshiswaka
    Optifood Production
    Congo - DRC

    Peace Byandusya
    Mushroom Training & Resource Centre

    Jean Claude Ruzibiza - Award winner
    Rwanda Best
    Please contact to receive presentation by email

    5th African Grain Summit

    1st 3rd October 2013.  Mombasa, Kenya. 5th Africa Grain Trade Summit. Over 250 top leaders from Africa including business executives from the private sector, including farmers, traders and millers, non-governmental organizations, development partners, financial institutions, researcher government representatives, regional bilateral institutions, and policymakers convened to discuss key issues affecting the African grain sector. This event was hosted by the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) and had as theme Africa: The Emerging Frontier for Global Investments in Grain Trade.

    “We have seen in the recent past increased investment being channeled to Africa, specifically to the grain sector. There is a need to get more investments in agriculture and agribusiness so as to increase production and productivity of the African agriculture, because we need to increase the food production levels in Africa for the simple reason that Africa has become a net importer of foods, and the food import bill in Africa has already hit the 50-billion U-S dollar mark per year, and this is projected to continue increasing. And more importantly we can reverse the trends and get Africa becoming a net exporter of food and agricultural products”.

    The East African Community secretariat has said aflatoxin control in grains and nuts in the region has
    been ignored in the past. They said this has had serious consequences on people's health and nutrition.

    The EAC deputy secretary general in charge of productive and social sectors Jesca Eriyo yesterday said a number of people have died from ingestion of aflatoxincontaminated food, especially maize. She was speaking during the ongoing 5th African Grain Trade Summit in Mombasa.

    Eriyo said the region lacks enhanced grain specific interventions such as construction of modern silos, warehouses, processing plants, and data and information exchange systems to address the problem. "The EAC is working with partners to deal with aflatoxin control," she said.




    Wednesday, October 2, 2013

    First international symposium on Building Capacity for Agricultural Training and Education in Developing Countries

    18-20, 2013 September 2013. Fairfax, VA near Washington. InnovATE hosted its first international symposium on Building Capacity for Agricultural Training and Education in Developing Countries
    The event explored successful agricultural training and education interventions and identified strategies to meet capacity-building challenges. This year's focus topics were: gender issues and gender curriculum in agricultural education, implementing interventions in post-conflict environments, and rural youth workforce development.

    Practitioners and development professionals working in agricultural education and training in primary and secondary education, youth workforce development, vocational education, and higher education were invited to contribute to leadership groups and produce strategy documents which will influence agricultural training and education discourse. World Bank/Team Africa Regional Networks Session - Using Team-Africa as an example, this session helped participants learn how regional networks can be used to collaborate on AET capacity building