Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Future of Users’ Led Research and Innovation Partnerships

Vladimir Verner 
Dep. of Economics and Development 
Czech University of Life Sciences 
29-30 November, 2016. Prague. Czech University of Life Sciences. 2016 Annual Technical and Business Meeting. European Forum for Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD).

The theme for the 2016 EFARD annual meeting was the “Future of User-Led Research and Innovation Partnerships” to determine the relevance from the perspectives of European AR4D stakeholders and how best to embed and up-scale this approach for achieving the sustainable development goals through North-South research and development cooperation involving researchers and non-researchers considering especially Eastern and Central European perspectives.

Download the concept note of the meeting and the programme
Download the list of participants
  • As EFARD’s mission is to promote more effective, demand-driven and impact-focused research and innovation through building partnerships particularly with developing countries, this year’s annual technical meeting provided a platform for reflection and learning by showcasing the experience of ongoing policy and programme initiatives, in particular the PAEPARD programme, and lessons learned from the ULP process, innovative AR4D funding mechanisms and innovation partnerships between Europe and Africa. 
  • EFARD also seeked to engage more with Eastern and Central Europe organizations and issues. 
Extract of the PAEPARD programme:
  • PAEPARD Innovative Funding Mechanisms and Lessons Learned from Africa-EU AR4D partnerships over the years – Jonas Mugabe, FARA, Ghana and Remi Kahane, Agrinatura/ CIRAD, France - PAEPARD Management Team
  • EFARD’s Assessment of the position of European partners in the PAEPARD Users’-Led Process – Laurianne Ollivier, EFARD Intern and J.A. Francis, Executive Secretary, EFARD, The Netherlands 
  • Adding Value to Mango Waste in West-Africa led by COLEACP (European-led) – Timbilfou Kiendrebeogo, Zootechnicien/Systèmes de Production Animale, CNRST/INERA, Burkina Faso and Denis Felicite-Zulma, Project Officer, COLEACP, France 
  • Aflatoxin Groundnut Value Chain in Malawi-Zambia led by FANRPAN (African-led) – Limbikani Kenani Matumba, Lecturer/Researcher, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR),
    Malawi and Tim Chancellor, Director of Capacity Strengthening and Partnerships, Natural  Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom 
  • Users’/Farmers’ perspectives on engaging in research and innovation partnerships -Irish potato Consortium -Burundi (public research leader) – Anton Haverkort, Researcher, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands 
  • Trichoderma for horticulture soil fertility management in Burkina Faso (private sector leader) – Olivier Besnard and Claude Arsène Savadogo, Administrateur-Géran, GIE BIOPROTECT-B, Burkina Faso
Extract of the Eastern and Central Europe programme:
  • The Future of Demand-led Research and Innovation – Szandra Megyery, International Research Coordinator, National Agriculture Research and Innovation Centre, Hungary 
  • Showcasing examples of research and innovation partnerships led by Eastern and Central European partner organisations Strengthening the Engagement of Eastern and Central Europe in Agricultural Research and Innovation Partnerships – Vladimir Verner, Professor Assistant, Head of Department of Economics and Development, Czech University of Life Sciences, Czech Republic 
  • Transformative Change of Agriculture through Collaborative Agricultural Research and Citizen-led Innovation – Michael Hauser, President of Agrinatura, Boku University, Austria 
  • Process model based decision support for multi-stakeholder water-food-energy-ecosystem networks - harmonization of local interests with global sustainabilityMonika Varga, YPARD Representative- Hungary, Kaposvár University, Hungary 
  • Reinventing networking and collective action in the Balkans: the case of Slow Food in Velika Plana, central Serbia – Ivana Radic Jean, YPARD Representative- Serbia - AgTraIn PhD program SupAgro University, CIRAD, Montpellier and University of Catania, France 
  • Agriculture and Research: Kosovo's youth brought together with YPARD – Hana Voca, YPARD Representative – Kosovo- Agriculture engineer, AEP Anadolu Etap Penkon company, Turkey 
  • Ana Vrankulj, Associate, South Eastern Europe Advisory Service Network (SEASN), Croatia 
  • Regional Development Association - Transforming Lives to Better – Davit Gogilashvili, YPARD Representative– Georgia - Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Regional Development Association (RDA), Georgia 
  • Increasing youth engagement through YPARD in Mongolia– Enkhtor Anudari, YPARD 
    Representative – Mongolia, Czech University of Life Sciences, Czech Republic
Related: Launch of the PAEPARD publications:
Facilitating innovation in agricultural research for development:
Brokerage as the vital link, “From assumptions to reality”
François Stepman, Edited by Susanna Cartmell-Thorp, WRENmedia
PAEPARD November 2016. Published by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa – FARA, Accra, Ghana, 20 pages

Enseignements des consultations sectorielles et multi-acteurs menées dans le cadre de PAEPARD entre 2010 et 2012
Julie Flament, Denis Félicité-Zulma, Jonas Mugabe et Rémi Kahane
22.11.2016, 40 pages
Avant d’engager les acteurs africains et européens dans ces partenariats, et pour mieux les y préparer, le projet a organisé entre 2010 et 2012 des consultations en Afrique et en Europe, qui font l’objet de cette publication.
Inclusive, balanced, demand-led partnerships for ARD: A consultative process.
PAEPARD Policy brief nr. 3. November 2016. 8 pages

This document presents a summary of the main findings of sector and multi-stakeholder consultations conducted by the Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) during 2010-2012. It provides recommendations for the sustainable establishment of partnerships in agricultural research for development (ARD), between African and European partners in particular, to be innovative, balanced and demand-driven. From the consultations all PAEPARD partners agreed that, while the cultures and interests of each sector are often different, points of view need to converge and expertise be put at the disposal of all partners if a multi-stakeholder partnership in ARD is to be successful
Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo of FARA
The first paper Brokerage as the vital link, “From assumptions to reality” highlights lessons learned from the development of PAEPARD-
supported consortia, which illustrate various impacts of brokerage.

A number of assumptions have been used in the implementation of PAEPARD II, which PAEPARD consortium partners have worked to refine over the years. The most important assumptions included:
  1. Demand-driven agricultural innovation and research increases quality of results; 
  2. Innovation facilitators are key in multi-stakeholder partnership success; 
  3. An inclusive approach supports locally-led change, innovation and entrepreneurship; 
  4. PAEPARD supported-consortia have better balanced multi-stakeholder partnerships; 
  5. Improved call preparedness increases success rate of ARD proposals

Monday, December 5, 2016

Young farmers at the Second High-Level Meeting (HLM2)

28 November–1 December 2016. Nairobi, Kenya. Hosted by the Government of Kenya in Nairobi HLM2 :
  • Took stock of the implementation of development effectiveness principles and commitments
  • Provided a learning space on development effectiveness, showcasing successful examples
  • Identified innovative approaches to sustainable development that can be scaled up
  • Position the Global Partnership to effectively contribute to implementation of the SDGs and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda
Based on an inclusive consultation that concluded in Kenya at the Global Partnership’s HLM2, the was released on 1 December 2016. This document will help to shape how existing and new development actors can partner to implement Agenda 2030 and realise the SDGs.
Nairobi Outcome Document

Side events
30 November 2016. Listen to young farmers from Africa – multi-stakeholder engagement for agri-business

  • Organised by: PAFO/AgriCord/CTA side event 
  • Content: Active discussion between organized young farmers, private sector, government and donors on how they can contribute concretely to the priorities of young farmers to develop
    agribusiness in Africa, also based on the experience of one Asian farmers’ organisation; Showcase how AgriCord and CTA can channel support from donors, private sector and research, via one mechanism, to support farmers’ organisations and their involvement in agri-business; Have a legitimate voice of young organized farmers from Africa on how they see their future in agri-business, on the role of different stakeholders in this and on their
    suggested indicators to monitor progres 

30 November 2016. Inclusive and Effective Multi-stakeholder Partnerships: How to strengthen ownership and results, transparency and mutual accountability
  • Organised by: Dr. Anne Ellersiek, SWP/DFG Research Project
  • Content: The objective of the side-event wass to provide space for discussion of lessons learned from past partnership experience and how these can be translated into guidance on how to design and implement mechanism at the global and national level and in line with the Busan Principles that help to build and review inclusive and effective multi-stakeholder partnership. 

30 November 2016Delivering on The Promise: In-country multi-stakeholder Platforms for partnership are a critical mechanism to engage platforms to catalyse collaboration and partnerships for Agenda 2030 

  • Organised by: Business Partnership Action, Department for International Development, United Kingdom
  • Content: The Partnering Initiative Platforms for partnership are a critical mechanism to business, leverage investment and systematically catalyse essential partnerships and co-operation for the SDGs at the country level. The event will discuss the challenges and opportunities of platforms, how they can support all develop actors to achieve their objectives, and provide the building blocks to set them up for success

Regional Conference on Grain Trade in West Africa

29 November - 1 December 2016. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. "Grain agribusiness in West Africa: What market instruments and public policies are needed to enhance the fluidity of the regional grain market in the ECOWAS region?”

That was the subject of the regional conference organised by CTA, the West Africa Farmers' organisation Network (ROPPA), the West African Grain Network (WAGN) and the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA).

The organising committee was composed of experts from organisations such as ROPPA, WAGN, Ministry of Agriculture of Burkina Faso and CTA, as well as other partnering regional organisations such as AGRA and the USAID Trade Hub.
  • Around 200 participants shared their experiences and best practices, and proposed ways of promoting cross-border grain value chains in West Africa.
  • Some twenty participants from outside West Africa have been invited: from neighbouring countries trading in grain with West Africa, and representatives of other regional communities such as the Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC), a network of East African grain organisations. Inter-regional exchanges will thus be facilitated, to share experiences and best practices.
Although national grain markets in West Africa have developed considerably over the last 30 years, regional trade remains limited. Its total volume (mainly, millet, sorghum and maize) is estimated at 1.5 million tonnes a year. Nevertheless, West Africa continues to import very large quantities of grain. There are several obstacles to inter-regional trade. 
 « Les possibilités d'améliorer la sécurité alimentaire et les revenus des agriculteurs grâce aux céréales sont énormes mais elles ne sont pas mises à profit. Nous importons quelque 20% de la consommation régionale de céréales », Djibo Bagna, Président du ROPPA.
By bringing together different types of stakeholders for a joint brainstorming, with the support of numerous partners, CTA hoped to generate firm recommendations which will help to modernise the regional grain market. What is at stake over time is the food security of more than 300 million inhabitants.
Extracts of the programme:
  • The challenges of developing crossborder grain value chains: - grain standards in regional trade; the post-harvest losses issue (aflatoxin, etc.)
  • The issue of aflatoxin and theimpact on grain trade in the WestAfrica region  (Communicator PACA and USAID Trade Hub)

    "In Africa, aflatoxin is one of the most pervasive food safety challenges, because of its impact on food and nutrition security, trade and public health. Aflatoxins affect access to markets and rural incomes, so it is extremely important to examine how this can impact the West African grain trade." Winta Sintayehu, Programme Officer at the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA)"Grain production in West Africa faces some serious challenges, among them mycotoxin
    attacks – particularly aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a silent killer that must be eradicated. Given the complex nature of the aflatoxin problem, the most effective way of combatting the challenge will be through an integrated approach. These include encouraging good agricultural practices, drawing up more stringent regulations and standards and introducing good policies to enforce them"
    . CTA Director Michael Hailu
  • The grain production systems and processing: inputs, mechanisation, modernisation, storage, post-harvest losses (Group ROPPA (facilitated by AGRA + entrepreneur)

Modernization of Agricultural Statistics

26-28 November 2016. Rome, Italy. The Seventh International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS VII) was organized by the Italian National Institute of Statistics, in close collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). The Conference focused on bringing together research and best practices in the field of agriculture statistics, in response to the changing needs and opportunities for agricultural statistics.

ICAS VII convened senior agricultural statisticians from all over the world. Most of them represent national statistical offices and ministries of agriculture, but the Conference was open to all producers, suppliers, trainers and users of agricultural statistics, such as economists, statisticians, agronomists, researchers, analysts and decision-makers from government entities, academia, development partners and international organizations.

Extracts of the programme

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Africa’s Climate: Helping decision-makers make sense of climate information

30 November 2016. Africa’s Climate: Helping decision-makers make sense of climate information is the first major programme-wide report to emerge from Future Climate for Africa (FCFA). FCFA comprises five major research projects to develop better climate information for Africa and to test how the new information could be used in decision-making, with potential benefit for millions of affected Africans.

The report is available in the form of a digibook:

Key findings in Africa’s Climate report:
  • Climate modelling indicates that east Africa is expected to warm in the next five to 40 years, although changes in rainfall are much less certain.
  • Extreme events (floods, droughts, heatwaves, and so on) are expected to change and, in most cases, increase into the future.
  • The region is severely understudied, because of a lack of scientific observation data, such as that from weather stations
  • Southern African economies are exposed to weather and climate vulnerabilities, particularly through sectors such as agriculture, energy, and water management. It follows that the supply of essential resources are all extremely at risk as the climate becomes more changeable and extreme.
  • Most government departments are planning according to a three- to five-year time horizon, while the climate projections are based on decades-longer timeframes, such as looking to 2050 and beyond.
  • Applying past data to the future, which is also used by other ministries, is potentially problematic as it assumes that the future climate will mirror the past, which may not be the case for projected climate change.
  • Although there is uncertainty associated with the future climate projections, climate change will have significant economic impacts across Africa.
  • Future climate change is likely to lead to new risks: the negative impacts seen from today’s climate variability are likely to become worse.
  • While there is often uncertainty in climate projections, this should not be a reason for inaction.
FCFA’s Coordination, Capacity Development and Knowledge Exchange unit is based with the Climate and Development Knowledge Network in Cape Town, South Africa.

IFAD Rural Development Report 2016

The 2016 Rural Development Report of IFAD focuses on inclusive rural transformation as a central element of the global efforts to eliminate poverty and hunger, and build inclusive and sustainable societies for all.

It analyses global, regional and national pathways of rural transformation, and suggests four categories into which most countries and regions fall, each with distinct objectives for rural development strategies to promote inclusive rural transformation: to adapt, to amplify, to accelerate, and a combination of them.

The report presents policy and programme implications in various regions and thematic areas of intervention, based on both rigorous analysis and IFAD’s 40 years of experience investing in rural people and enabling inclusive and sustainable transformation of rural areas.

Browse the report online now.

If rural transformation is essential to the development process, why have some countries been able to transform and to reduce poverty faster than others? The answer to that question is not only key to focus global efforts on eliminating poverty and hunger and to reach the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, but to inclusively and sustainably transform rural areas.

This report provides a thorough analysis of this complex picture and seeks to answer three key questions:
  • What are the different pathways of structural and rural transformation in developing countries?
  • How do the different pathways affect rural poverty reduction and social and economic inclusion?
  • What can policy makers do to stimulate and support inclusive rural transformation?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Brokering and facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships in ARD: from assumptions to reality

Facilitating innovation in agricultural research for development:
Brokerage as the vital link, “From assumptions to reality”
François Stepman, Edited by Susanna Cartmell-Thorp, WRENmedia
PAEPARD November 2016. Published by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa – FARA, Accra, Ghana, 20 pages 

Initially set up in 2007, PAEPARD was formed to question why agricultural research partnerships were often not balanced, and why competitive funding applications with African partners were also often unsuccessful.

This paper highlights lessons learned from the development of PAEPARD-supported consortia, which illustrate various impacts of brokerage.

A number of assumptions have been used in the implementation of PAEPARD II, which PAEPARD consortium partners have worked to refine over the years. The most important assumptions included:
  1. Demand-driven agricultural innovation and research increases quality of results
  2. Innovation facilitators are key in multi-stakeholder partnership success; 
  3. An inclusive approach supports locally-led change, innovation and entrepreneurship; 
  4. PAEPARD supported-consortia have better balanced multi-stakeholder partnerships
  5. Improved call preparedness increases success rate of ARD proposals
Since 2010, some 55 concept notes and proposals have been submitted by PAEPARD-supported consortia. And, as of early 2016, 21 submitted proposals have been selected for a call organized by a diverse group of donors.  PAEPARD was able to influence donors on the focus of their calls, lobbying for specific funding for an under-supported (participatory) research field such as, for example, the aflatoxin contamination of food and feed.

The preliminary conclusions and recommendations may appear obvious at first sight, but will be useful for informing the implementation of brokerage activities until PAEPARD activities come to an end in December 2017.

Facilitating innovation in agricultural research for development: Brokerage as the vital link
Policy brief March 2016. 8 pages

PAEPARD has undertaken a diversity of brokerage activities in support of demand-driven research. This brief highlighted lessons learned from the development of PAEPARD-supported consortia, and provides insights for policy and decision-makers to
build and develop users-led demand-driven multistakeholder partnerships in agricultural research for
development (ARD).

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ecosystem Services Partnership Africa Conference

21-25 November 2016. The conference theme was Ecosystem Services for SDGs in Africa. Discussions focused on Africa’s contribution towards data and evidence on best practices for management, restoration of ecosystem services for decision making particularly towards the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The issue of Ecosystem Services is crucial for the African continent given that we already experience negative effects of climate change and the situation is projected to worsen. Proper management and restoration of essential ecosystem services will to a large extent ensure we are equipped to deal and or cope with climate change.

Africa’s participation in this forum is also heightened by the fact that there is underwhelming data and information on ecosystem services and climate change from the continent. This makes it difficult to formulate strategic policies and implement action for sustainable development.

The conference brought together 250 African experts, students, policy makers, and the private sector to discuss, explore and exchange research as well as action on preserving and restoring ecosystem services in the content. In particular we would like to bring as many early career practitioners, specialists and researchers from around the continent to enable learning, exchange and exposure to knowledge, ideas, experiences and contacts that will enhance contributions when they get back home.

5th World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance

24 to 25 November 2016. Dakar, Senegal. 5th World Congress on Agricultural and Rural Finance.

This event was organised by The African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA) in collaboration with sister Rural and Agricultural Credit Associations (RACAs) around the World, namely; The International Confederation of Agricultural Credit (CICA), Near East North Africa Regional Agricultural Credit Association (NENARACA), Asia and Pacific Regional Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) and The Latin American Association of Development Financial Institutions (ALIDE), are organizing the 5th World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance.

The world congress, which is being organized every three years, was last held in Paris, France from 26 to 28 September 2013. The forum brought together who is who in rural and agricultural finance and stakeholders around the globe to share experiences on emerging and cross cutting issues on the industry.

One of the key objectives of the upcoming world congress was to show case best practices and innovations in rural and agricultural finance space world over. See also the concept note
  • The forum provided a platform to share core and complimentary competencies on best practices, innovations and promotes international and interregional cooperation.
  • In the context of rapid demographic growth and climate change and in order to key-in to attaining the objectives the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is essential to improve rural and agricultural aimed at boosting agricultural production to meet a growing consumption demand. 
  • Agricultural and rural finance institutions are major stakeholders in these challenges as they continuously innovate in order to provide rural people with the most appropriate and suitable financial services that take into account their existing needs and anticipate the change to come.
Agricultural Innovations and Technologies in Agricultural and Rural Finance
This panel discussed the role of new techniques and technologies in the development of agricultural and rural finance.
  • Mr Tarik Sijilmassi, Chairman Credit Agricole du Maroc
  • Mr.Massimo Pera FAO, Rome, Italy
  • Mrs. Corinne Riquet- Bamba CGAP Financial Sector Specialist, Inclusive Markets (based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire)
  • Dr. Sirajul Islam, Programme Head, BRAC, Bangladesh
  • Mrs. Mbengue Rokhaya Solange Director RSE, Orange Sénégal. 
  • Mr. Robert H. Masumbuko Director of Financial Inclusion Afican Development Bank (AFDB)
What is the future of Farmers, Producers and Organizations (FPO) ? Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies.
This panel discussed of family farming, its opportunities for development and inclusion in economic channels, but also its constraints and limitations.
  • M. Xavier Beulin, Chairman of Avril Group, President of FNSEA (France). Agricultural industries in the North and in the South, experiences of an agro-industrial group.
  • Cheikh Mouhamady Cissokho, Chairman, Réseau des organisations paysannes et de productuers de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (ROPPA)
  • Shri G.R. Chinthala, Chief General Manager, National Bank for AGriculture and Rural Development (NABARD); India
  • Luis Alberto Ibrra, Director General, Fondo de Capitalization e inversion del Sector Rural (FOCIR), Mexico
  • Mr. Alain Gagnon, Chairman DesJardins International, France
Risk Management in Agricultural Financing : Best Practices and ChallengesThe panel was dedicated to the risk management in the agricultural sector, that remains difficult to manage compared to other economic sectors, (impacts of drought, inundations, frost, hail, volatile markets).
  • Mrs. Sylvie De Serres, Executive Director and Administrator of Financière agricole du Québec,
    Canada. The agricultural insurance system in Canada.
  • Mr. Nipath Kuasakul, Executive Vice President, Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative (BAAC), Thailand
  • Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, Managing Director Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending( Nirsal), Nigeria
  • Mrs. Marie Sennequier, Africa Project leader, responsible for Private Sector AFD, Paris France
  • Mr. Vincente Caruz Middleton, President Desarolloy Redes , Chile
  • Carlos Ginocchio, Development Manager, Banco Agropecuario – AGROBANCO, Peru

Friday, November 25, 2016

International Conference on Agribusiness

20-24 November 2016. The Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius hosted an International Conference on Agribusiness in collaboration with the AFMA (Africa Farm Management Association) from  under the main theme “Sustainable Agricultural Development: Innovation Systems Approach for Agricultural Transformation in Africa”.

Participants were Farm Managers, Scientists, Policymakers and Practitioners in agribusiness and related fields across Africa, America and Europe to exchange information on the development of African agribusiness. 

The sub themes were:
  1. Sustainable Agriculture and organic farming
  2. Food Safety, Food Security and Nutrition
  3. Agribusiness and Farm Management
  4. ICT in Agriculture and Agricultural Innovation Systems
  5. Biotechnology and Technology Development
  6. Climate change and Climate Smart Agriculture
  7. Market Development for increased production and Agricultural trade policies
Extract of the programme:

  • Identifying consumer buying preferences of beef in South Africa: Christo Bisschoff
  • Framework for a voluntary beef traceability system for South Africa on-farm and feedlot: Petronella Calitz
  • Indicator based sustainability assessment of the smallholder cattle production system in South
  • Africa: Tawanda Marandure
  • Technical efficiency of food and drink manufacturig firms in Lagos and Ogun States of Nigeria: Funke Olagunju
  • Agricultural Value chain Financing and small scale famers in Nigeria: The prerequisites: Grace Evbuomwan
  • Innovation in Agricultural Education and Training (AET): integrating Work-integrated Experiential
  • Learning (WIL) into Agricultural Management education at university level: Johan Jordaan
  • Access and Use of information in Dairy: A Case Study of Meru and Uasin Gishu Counties, Kenya:
  • Stella Makokha
  • Factors affecting small-scale farmers’ choice of and Willingness-to-Pay for improved maize
  • seed varieties in Homa-Bay and Kisumu Counties, Western Kenya: Philip Nyangweso

Thursday, November 24, 2016

FAO Regional Symposia on Agroecology

November 2016. 34 pages

A summary of the contributions and outcomes of the regional symposia is presented here in a brief format for decision-makers. The four central themes running through each seminar are reflected in the organization of this document: agroecology for food and nutrition security (section 2), agroecology and natural resources in a changing climate (section 3), learning and social innovation (section 4), and public policies for agroecology (section 5), followed by the conclusion and next steps (section 6). The set of recommendations put forward by the meeting participants at the close of each meeting are presented in (section 7).

"A salient point of agreement during the three regional meetings was the potential of small-scale agroecological agriculture as a promising approach to climate change adaptation. There was consensus that agroecological farming systems can play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change through carbon storage solutions through enhanced biodiversity, increased organic content in the soils and reintroduction of trees to the landscape, as demonstrated in cases presented in each region."  
"Throughout the symposia, it was stressed that education and public research has increasingly acquired a business-like character, where funding from the agricultural corporate sector strongly influences curricula and research agendas." 
"In face of this situation, agroecology strives to democratize the way knowledge is produced and the way benefits are shared."
FAO organized the International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition in September 2014 in Rome, Italy. The Symposium brought together 400 scientists, food producers, high level officials from governments, policy makers, farmers’ organizations, the private sector and NGO representatives.

FAO’s International Symposium on Agroecology in 2014 was a major step towards a more integrated institutional approach to agroecology. The symposium emphasized that future food systems need to suit the reality of smallholders and family farmers. Agroecological approaches are a way to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and negative impacts on society and the environment by imitating nature and learning from local agroecological knowledge. The local context should be awarded greater importance: a shift from ‘ready-to-use’ to ‘custom-made’ cropping systems.
  • The first FAO Regional Meeting on Agroecology was successfully held in Latin America and the Caribbean on 24-26 June 2015, in Brasilia, Brazil, with over 130 participants from governments, civil society, regional organizations, academia and research institutions from 14 countries. 
  • A Multi-stakeholder consultation on Agroecology for Asia and the Pacific was held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 24-26 November 2015 with over 150 participants including government officials, UN agencies, civil society organizations, INGOs, NGOs, academia, research and development institutes, universities, private sector and farmer’s organizations. (see report 65 pages). 
  • A regional meeting on agroecology in sub-Saharan Africa was held on 5-6 November 2015 in Dakar, Senegal. Almost 300 representatives from governments, producers and social movements, private sectors, academia and agronomic research institutes, civil society, FAO officials, representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities participated in the meeting.

    "Participants in Dakar agreed that while agroecology has been practiced for decades on the continent, it still lacks sufficient support from governments and policy-makers to make better contributions to food security and nutrition. Many participants called for a new narrative based on food sovereignty. To develop this, it would be important to clarify the distinction between food security and food sovereignty"
24 - 25 November 2016. Budapest. The Regional Symposium on Agroecology for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in Europe and Central Asia.
  • Agroecology can make an important contribution to the transition to more sustainable food systems. Its practices, research, and policies have seen exponential growth worldwide in the last decade.
  • The Regional Symposium on Agroecology for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems follows previous FAO organized international and regional symposiums. These symposia highlight a broad range of best practices, policies and scientific innovation as well as allowing participants to discuss collaboration and future steps.
Module 1: Concepts and challenges of agroecology.
Module 2: Agroecology systems and practices.
Module 3: Research, innovation and knowledge sharing for agroecology transitions.
Module 4: Agroecology at the core of ecosystem services-ecological and social challenges.
Module 5: Valuing agroecology and sustainable food systems.
Module 6: Transformative policies and processes.
Closing session and recommendations.

Innovation paysanne / Small-scale farmer innovation.

Innovation paysanne. Comment la recherche agricole collabore fructueusement avec les paysans.
Ann Waters-Bayer (Prolinnova/KIT), Sabine Dorlöchter-Sulser (Misereor), Gabriela Quiroga (Prolinnova/ KIT), Bettina Haussmann (Fondation McKnight), Anja Ruf (pour Welt-Sichten).
Novembre 2016. 28 pages.
Ce dossier a pour objet de faire connaître différentes approches novatrices de la recherche agricole dans lesquelles les paysans jouent un rôle déterminant, qu’il s’agisse de véritables partenariats entre organisations paysannes et organismes de recherche ou d’alliances entre groupes paysans, ONG et chercheurs ; ou encore de recherches agricoles gérées par les organisations paysannes. Dans ce contexte, ce ne sont pas seulement les innovations paysannes en elles-mêmes qui comptent : il est également important de se pencher sur de nouvelles approches méthodologiques permettant de renforcer les capacités des paysans à « concevoir le changement ».

Tous les articles du dossier partagent la même vision d’une recherche agricole ayant pour objet de contribuer, avec et par les paysans, à améliorer durablement la productivité de l’agriculture paysanne et, de ce fait, à lutter efficacement contre la pauvreté.
Ann Waters-Bayer (Prolinnova/KIT), Sabine Dorlöchter-Sulser (Misereor), Gabriela Quiroga (Prolinnova/ KIT), Bettina Haussmann (Fondation McKnight), Anja Ruf (pour Welt-Sichten).
November 2016. 28 pages.
"The articles (in the dossier) present different approaches to supporting farmer-led research, ranging from partnerships between small-scale farmer organisations and research institutions, to alliances of farmer groups, nongovernmental organisations and researchers, to constellations in which farmer organisations directly contract researchers. The articles highlight some innovations that have emerged from these processes and – more important still – show new ways of organising research so that it strengthens innovative capacities at grassroots level. All authors share a joint vision of agricultural research embedded in society, working with and through small-scale farmers who thus contribute to intensifying agriculture and alleviating poverty in a sustainable way." (page 1)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

PAEPARD Survey on Users’-Led Research and Innovation Partnerships

16 November 2016PAEPARD Survey on Users’-Led Research and Innovation Partnerships
  • Five years ago, the PAEPARD management team took the strategic decision to launch the Users’- Led Process (ULP) for achieving greater development impact through stronger Africa-EU research and innovation multi-stakeholder partnerships. We are presently assessing the achievements of ULP to date with a view to learning lessons and using them to guide future policies and interventions including scaling them up. 
  • Given your involvement in the PAEPARD community, we would appreciate it if you complete the short survey using the link provided below . 
  •  It will not take you more than 15 minutes:

Enquête PAEPARD sur les partenariats de recherche et d'innovation menés par les utilisateurs
  • Il y a cinq ans, l'équipe de gestion de PAEPARD a pris la décision stratégique de lancer le Processus Guidé par les Utilisateurs (PGU) afin d'atteindre un plus grand impact sur le développement en renforçant les partenariats multi-acteurs de recherche et d'innovation entre l'Afrique et l'UE. Nous évaluons actuellement les accomplissements du PGU en vue de tirer les leçons et de les utiliser afin d’orienter les politiques et les interventions futures.
  • Tenant compte de votre intérêt et /ou de votre implication dans les activités du PAEPARD, votre participation à cette enquête rapide serait très appréciée. 
  • L'enquête ne vous prendra pas plus de 15 minutes.
  • Merci de cliquer sur le lien suivant pour démarrer l’enquête.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Improving the Evidence Base on Aflatoxin Contamination and Exposure in Africa

Improving the Evidence Base on Aflatoxin Contamination and Exposure in Africa
Sheila Okoth, University of Nairobi
CTA Working Paper 16/13 | November 2016, 128 pages

Because of their potency and the wide range of commodities they affect, aflatoxins pose serious risks to human health, agricultural production and trade.

As part of its increased focus on aflatoxin mitigation for improving nutrition outcomes in Africa, CTA and the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) have launched this working paper. The report is the result of a study commissioned by CTA and PACA in 2015. The report is based on a detailed review of over 800 references in the published literature.
"Aflatoxins can be produced anytime and anywhere along the food and feed value chains. The presence of aflatoxins in food and feed have adversely affected the health of the population and the ability of the continent to trade with the rest of the world," Professor Sheila Okoth, University of Nairobi
A substantial body of knowledge is available on the aflatoxin challenge that plagues African farmers, other agri-entrepreneurs and governments, but it is not being put into practice. Judith Francis, CTA's Senior Programme Coordinator, Science and Technology Policy, who oversaw the project said that farmers, consumers, processors, financiers, governments need to act in unison with the research community.
"The report demonstrates that there is enough evidence to support joint action to solve the aflatoxin problem but key stakeholders do not seem to be receiving or are not sufficiently exposed to this evidence-based information, despite the significant research that has been carried out so far in the continent". Judith Francis, CTA
The toxins are also associated with severe under nutrition; kwashiorkor and poor growth in young children. Blood samples from new-born infants in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Sudan have tested positive for aflatoxins.
“Effective management requires wholesale change and is knowledge intensive. Joint public and private investment is key to support holistic actions for aflatoxin mitigation with greater impact. A multi-actor, multi-pronged approach is needed from farm to fork, pre-production to postharvest, marketing and distribution supported by an enabling policy, regulatory and institutional framework, including laboratory infrastructure, public education and adequate financial and trained human resources”. Amare Ayalew, Program Manager, PACA Secretariat at African Union Commission
21/10. Mitigating the consequences of aflatoxin in Africa. What role for the private sector?
21/11. Confronting the aflatoxin challenge in Africa
21/11. CTA and the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) launch a working paper on Improving the Evidence Base on Aflatoxin Contamination and Exposure in Africa

Related PAEPARD blog posts:
14/10. 2ND PACA Partnership Platform Meeting

Monday, November 21, 2016

New Prolinnova initiative in Africa to enhance food & nutrition security

14–18 November 2016. Accra, Ghana. The Promoting local innovation for food and nutrition security (Proli–FaNS) project was launched with a meeting of all partner. Proli-FaNS is a 3-year project supported by MISEREOR / Katholische Zentralstelle e.V.“ (KZE, Germany) through a grant of the “One World No Hunger” initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The contract is held on behalf of the Prolinnova network by ACDEP (Association of Church-based
Development Projects), the host organisation of Prolinnova-Ghana. Prolinnova Country Platforms (CPs) in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Ethiopia and Kenya are taking part in this initiative.
  • It will support rural communities in these countries to develop their innovative capacities to improve food security, nutrition security and nutritional diversity so as to enhance community resilience to change. 
  • In doing so, Proli-FaNS will promote wider recognition of rural women as innovators and support them in further developing their innovations related to food and nutrition, from which the women control the benefits. 
  • In addition, the project will contribute to building Prolinnova multi–CP platforms in two subregions – in West and Central Africa and in Eastern and Southern Africa. 
  • These will support the CPs in joint learning, mobilising resources and effective policy dialogue at national, subregional and regional (African) level to promote local innovation and research led by female and male small-scale farmers.

The Agriculture Sectors in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions

14 November 2016. A new report from FAO provides a detailed update on the situation of INDCs/NDC for the 189 countries which have submitted their “plans” as of July 2016. The report aims to summarize how different countries are planning to deal with the challenge of global warming, by particularly assessing the role of agriculture and land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) and the agriculture sectors (crops, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture, as well as forestry) in meeting national mitigation contributions and adaptation objectives, respectively.
  • According to the study, all 189 countries refer to mitigation commitments in their INDCs, while 134 countries include concrete information on adaptation areas and/or actions. Some INDCs (from developing countries) specify detailed measures in specific sectors, while others only point to existing plans for further reference. 
  • Referring to the specific role of agriculture, FAO has found that “developing countries – especially the least-developed countries (LDCs) – put a strong emphasis on the agriculture sectors. 
  • Many of these countries highlight the role of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture in economic development, particularly for employment, exports and rural development. Many countries also point to the vulnerabilities of these sectors to climate change” and to the urgency to deal with this challenge for achieving the sustainable development agenda. 
  • Particularly, 148 countries include agriculture (crops, livestock) in their mitigation contributions. As for adaptation, among the 131 countries that include priority areas for these type of actions, 97 percent refer to crops and livestock, 88 percent refer to forests and 64 percent refer to fisheries and aquaculture.
The FAO analysis provided in this new report is intended to be used as basis to identify clearer objectives for international support to climate action in the agriculture sectors and contribute to the debate on climate finance priorities.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Role of Science Academies in Providing Evidence-informed advice

9-10  November 2016. Johannesburg, South Africa. This workshop took place directly after the ’ (NASAC) general assembly.
Network of African Science Academies

This CAAST-Net Plus event offered a platform through which mechanisms of dialogue between policy-makers and science academies could be instituted to support the Africa-EU High Level Policy Dialogue on science, technology and innovation, as well as the implementation of the research and innovation Roadmap on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture.

The workshop interrogated the participants with following questions:
  • How and through which potential mechanisms can science academies and their respective continental networks play a role in providing evidence informed policy advice for the bi-regional Africa-EU Partnership, particularly the HLPD Bureau in the short, medium and long term?
  • What kind of environment is required to promote dialogue between science academies and policy makers to enrich the bi-regional partnership between Africa and Europe?
  • What role have continental networks of science academies in Europe and Africa played in providing evidence-informed advice to multilateral governance institutions such as the European Commission and African Union Commission? 
  • What lessons can be learned from the respective experiences and practices which would be useful within the context of the Africa-EU Research and Innovation Partnership?
  • How can science academies and their networks play a role in the establishment of an Africa-EU Knowledge Management and Communication System (KMCS) as part of implementing the Roadmap on Food Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA)?
  • How can European and African networks of science academies establish a community of practice that will contribute to the development of bi-regional policy priorities and positions with the aim of enriching the bi-regional Research and Innovation  Partnership and strengthening bi-regional policy positions on common issues of global significance?
Go to full draft concept note
Go to preliminary agenda

Communication and Dissemination in an Africa-EU Research and Innovation Cooperation Network PDF | 2.95Mb
This report, reflects critically on the CAAST-Net Plus experience, and is aimed primarily at the funders of EU-Africa research and innovation networks, who invariably have to make decisions about what communication and dissemination activities are worth supporting. But it is also aimed at programme managers, network coordinators, and communicators, who might be interested in learning from or benchmarking their approaches and practices against the CAAST-Net Plus experience.

The report is the result of a collaboration between *Research Africa (based in South Africa) and the Centre for Social Innovation (based in Austria), who lead the communication and dissemination work of CAAST-Net Plus.

Extract of the programme:
How can science academies and their networks play a role in the establishment of an Africa-EU Knowledge Management and Communication System (KMCS) as part of implementing the Roadmap on Food Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA)?

In the field of STI on FNSSA, a big variety of institutions in Africa and Europe are active and have existing platforms for knowledge management and digital as well as non-digital communication and action. The existing platforms are challenged in ensuring that all the available knowledge is used to inform policy, improve food systems and processes, expand product range, markets and trade, and support innovation for social and economic gain and environmental protection in both Africa and Europe. The format of databases and their accessibility play a crucial role and since research output would always have to be communicated continuously in the future, the digital linking of the existing databases and opportunities for collaboration in digital platforms is one challenge for a joint Africa-EU KMCS – but not the only one.

The CAAST-Net Plus stakeholder forum aims to support the implementation of the Africa-EU HLPD roadmap on FNSSA by developing a blue print for a sustainable Joint Africa-EU KMCS addressing the challenges of food and nutrition security in Africa and Europe by building on existing platforms and strengthening institutional alliances for joint actions grounded in the reality on the ground for achieving greater impact.

LAUNCH Food challenge - call for innovations
In partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and a broad cross-sector network of key opinion leaders and industry players, LAUNCH is taking a people-centred approach to action across the whole of the food system.

  • This call for innovations was developed through consultation with industry, government and civil society from the Pacific Islands, Australia, the United States, Europe and elsewhere. It aims to collect ideas that will make healthy eating more accessible, especially in low-income communities and developing countries.
  • If you are working on an innovation that will contribute to improving health outcomes through the food system or if you’re working on a related solution in another field that could apply to this challenge, please answer the call.
  • LAUNCH Food is seeking solutions with the potential to transform food systems and the behaviours they drive to promote health and prosperity for all people while respecting the planet’s resources. The call for applications closes on December 7, 2016. For more information on the application process, please click here.
  • Selected innovators will have the opportunity to present their innovation to members of the LAUNCH network at the LAUNCH Food Forum, to be held in March 2017. The Forum is a facilitated multi-day event connecting innovators with investment partners, market leaders, and technical experts as well as philanthropic, NGO, and public sector actors committed to accelerating the adoption and scale of solutions.

17 November 2016. The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and IAP for Science, currently undertaking a project on ‘Food and Nutrition Security and Agriculture', would like to encourage academy engagement in this call for the support of innovations in the food sector.

The project  on “Strengthening the Global Network of Science Academies (IAP) - Global and regional statements on food and nutrition security and agriculture” (1 November 2015 to 30 June 2018 - 3.5 years) is almost exclusively funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). IAP is also providing financial support, while some IAP member academies and the affiliated regional networks provide in-kind support.

Enhancing the Capacity of African Science Academies
  • African academies of science can play a central role in providing independent, objective scientific and technological advice on policy issues of critical importance to Africa’s development, targeting both their governments and other stakeholders. 
  • Generously supported by the Gates Foundation, the African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI) has worked to raise the profile of a select but very diverse group of African academies as strong, independent institutions, building upon the scientific merit of their members to form beacons for science and technology as a tool for development.
  • This review of ASADI has revealed both the strengths and the weaknesses of the programme, identifying opportunities and threats for the future of science academies in Africa.