Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, November 17, 2017

FAO launched new Climate-Smart Agriculture web platform

10 November 2017, Rome - To help steer our food systems in a sustainable direction, FAO has produced a new sourcebook for how to implement "climate-smart" approaches to agriculture, launched at the Agriculture Action Day on the sidelines of the COP23 climate summit in Bonn.

The online Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook - Second Edition 2017 is the result of one of FAO's major areas of work that comes on the heels of the recently launched FAO's Climate Change Strategy.
  • It comprises a wide range of knowledge and expertise to help guide policy makers, programme managers, academics, extension services and other practitioners make the agricultural sectors more sustainable and productive while also contributing to food security and lower carbon intensity.
  • The second edition of the sourcebook adds new modules addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation, integrated production systems, knowledge-support systems for rural producers, the role of gender and how to improve implementation.
Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) has garnered increasing attention. Some 32 countries, half of them Least-Developed Countries, and three-fourths of them in sub-Saharan Africa, specifically refer to CSA in their Nationally Determined Contributions to achieving pledges made under the Paris Agreement.

Climate-Smart Agriculture is one of the approaches to steer the needed transformation in the world's agriculture and food systems in ways that are both productive and sustainable and contribute to adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.

Strategies for feeding the world more sustainably with organic agriculture

Strategies for feeding the world more sustainably with organic agriculture
Adrian Muller, Christian Schader,  Nadia El-Hage Scialabba,  Judith Brüggemann,  Anne Isensee,  Karl-Heinz Erb,  Pete Smith,  Peter Klocke,  Florian Leiber,  Matthias Stolze and
Urs Niggli

14 November 2017. The Guardian. Converting land from conventional agriculture to organic production could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the run-off of excess nitrogen from fertilizers, and cut pesticide use. It would also be feasible to convert large amounts of currently conventionally farmed land without catastrophic harm to crop yields and without needing huge amounts of new land.

In this article Organic agriculture is proposed as a promising approach to achieving sustainable food systems, but its feasibility is also contested. 
  • The researchers used a food systems model that addresses agronomic characteristics of organic agriculture to analyze the role that organic agriculture could play in sustainable food systems. 
  • Here they show that a 100% conversion to organic agriculture needs more land than conventional agriculture but reduces N-surplus and pesticide use. 
  • However, in combination with reductions of food wastage and food-competing feed from arable land, with correspondingly reduced production and consumption of animal products, land use under organic agriculture remains below the reference scenario. 
  • Other indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions also improve, but adequate nitrogen supply is challenging. 
  • Besides focusing on production, sustainable food systems need to address waste, crop–grass–livestock interdependencies and human consumption. 
  • None of the corresponding strategies needs full implementation and their combined partial implementation delivers a more sustainable food future.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mobile phones in Mali with weather and climate information

16 November 2017. RIC4REC has innovated to benefit Malian producers regarding increasing mobile phone adoption to provide weather and climate information to farmers. Mobile phones are useful for disseminating weather and climate forecasts among producers and enable decision-making on the best dates for ploughing, sowing, applying fertilizer for agricultural activities, and laundry and drying for women. 

Regarding resilience to climate change, the use of mobile phone technology has improved the ability to anticipate and adapt to climate change based on the supply of information on future events in the short term (daily) and medium term (seasonal information), along with advice and recommendation on agricultural practices as per the specific needs of each producer.

Due to a technical problem which occurred during the Video recording the webinar is not available onlineThe case study in French: "Informations climatiques et conseils agricoles ay bout des doigts au Mali"  will soon be available in English as well, on the BRACED website:

The Uganda multi stakeholders´ smallholder pig platform

Beatrice Nabitiri, a pig farmer, tries out the 360-degree
camera using a gimbal
a pivoted support that allows
the camera to rotate about a single axis, 
at her farm
 in Masaka, Uganda (photo credit: Manon Koningstein).
10 November 2017. As part of a quest by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to , the institute’s Capacity Development Unit recently worked with scientific and staff based in Uganda to produce CGIAR’s first-ever 360-degree video, which offers glimpses into an ordinary day in the life of a Ugandan pig farmer, trader and consumer.
pilot new technologies for better communication of its work

360-degree filming
Three-sixty–degree videos record views in every direction at the same time. During playback, viewers have control over what they look at in the panoramas they find before them. In the words of CGIAR communications officer Manon Koningstein, ‘Our audience can experience a story straight from the field, to better understand it and, we hope, to be provoked to act on the experience. The idea is to involve the audience more to make them feel more.

Pig value chain development project in UgandaPig production is a major and increasing source of livelihoods for more than 1.1 million households in Uganda, where consumption of pork meat is rising rapidly. The explosion in small-scale pig keeping and the (largely informal) processing and selling of pork products in Uganda is considered by experts to have high potential for raising both incomes and nutrition in households across country. With funding from an International Fund for Agricultural Development and European Commission partnership as well as Irish Aid, the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock, an ILRI-led joint program of five research and development organizations, has implemented a Smallholder Pig Value Chains Development project in five districts of Uganda.

Watch the short 360-degree video: Step into the Uganda Pig Value Chain Project (run-time is 4 minutes 30 seconds). Once the video starts running, click and hold the arrows in the grey-coloured circle at top left to view different parts of the panorama.

Increasing Groundnut Safety and Value Through Better Harvest and Postharvest Practices in Ghana

7 November 2017. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) led by the University of Georgia, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and University for Development Studies in Ghana, found that providing farmers with training on recommended practices led many to adopt them. Based on this work, a series of videos were produced in English, Ghana’s national language, and Gonja, a major language in the country’s groundnut-growing north. The videos introduce aflatoxin, instruct farmers on how they can reduce contamination in their crops and describe market opportunities for aflatoxin-safe nuts.

The farmer training video and a video describing results of the RCT have been shared with NGOs and civil society organizations operating in Ghana’s peanut-growing regions. These organizations are already engaged in advocacy to elevate prevention of postharvest loss within the Ghanaian policy agenda. These videos will allow them to raise awareness of the impact of toxic fungal contamination as a postharvest issue. Additional plans for dissemination include farmer screenings utilizing tablets or smartphones and outreach to the Ministry of Agriculture and local government officials.

Funding for the RCT was provided by the USAID Peanut and Mycotoxin Innovation Lab (PMIL) and the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). Support for video production was provided by USAID. Additional dissemination efforts were funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Info Day on Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2 Sustainable Food Security

14-17 November 2017. Brussels. Info Week on Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2 (SC2) ‘Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy’. Co-organised by the Research Executive Agency (REA), the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) and the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) of the European Commission.

Rooms are mentioned on the programme (recordings available two years). Presentations have been posted on each event's webpage.

H2020 SC2 Info day on Societal Challenge 2 calls for 2018
The event targetted potential applicants to the calls for proposals under the Horizon 2020 SC2 ‘Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy’. The new €1,3bn of funding opportunities under Work Programme for 2018-2020 was presented in the morning, whereas in-depth info sessions on various calls open in 2018 were held in the afternoon.
  • Marc Bellens, Head of Department, Research Executive Agency (REA) 
  • John Bell, Director, DG RTD 
  • Nathalie Sauze-Vandevyver, Director, DG AGRI
  • Jyrki Suominen, Deputy Head of Unit, DG RTD-F.1, Insights into the new Work Programme: research priorities and novelties 
  • Alberto D’Avino, Deputy Head of Unit, DG AGRI-B.2 Sustainable Food Security and Rural Renaissance 
  • Elisabetta Balzi, Deputy Head of Unit, DG RTD-F.4 Blue Growth 
  • Kerstin Rosenow, Head of Unit, REA- B2, Hands on: Experience from previous calls and Specificities of SC2
    See the video of this (long) presentation starting @ 2:05:00 up to 3:20:00 (including the questions and answers-time)
"The panel of reviewers of only researhers is decreasing"

"About the UK, for the moment the conditions have not changed"

"The time frame of submitting proposals already begin of 2018 is short"

Moderator: Annette Schneegans, DG AGRI-B2 
  • From functional ecosystems to healthy food  Annette Schneegans, Inge Van Oost, Louis Mahy  , and Miroslav Bozic, DG AGRI Marios Markakis and Isabelle de Froidmont, DG RTD  
  • Environment-smart and climate-smart food production and consumption  Gaëtan Dubois DG AGRI, and Doru Irimie and Garbiñe Guiu, DG RTD 
  • Building capacity in the agro-food sector  Annette Schneegans and Louis Mahy, DG AGRI 
  • Targeted international Cooperation   Agnieszka Romanowicz, DG AGRI Ciaran Mangan, DG RTD
See the video of the presentations starting @ 4:40:00
@ 5:12:00 on Animal health
@ 5:22:00 on personalized nutrition
@ 5:32:00 on future proofing of plants
@ 5:36:00 on healthier and sustainable food 
@ 5:41:00 Patrick Worms of ICRAF/WAC asks the eligibilty of a proposal on the Fall Armyworm (FAW) invasion in Africa - which was answered @ 5:49:00
@ 5:53:00 on landscape and climate-smart food production
@ 5:55:00 on biowaste
@ 6:08:00 on Building capacity in the agro-food sector
@ 6:23:00 Patrick Worms of ICRAF/WAC asks if the topic is European centered...
@ 6:30:00 on Targeted international Cooperation
@ 6:48:00 Patrick Worms of ICRAF/WAC remarks that there is only one topic in 2018 for African research "La soupe n´est pas tres epaisse" . Answer DG Research: this is to give more time for African partners to participate from 2019 onwards (2018 is too close)
SFS-32-2018: Supporting microbiome coordination and the International Bioeconomy Forum
SFS-33-2018: Support to the implementation of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA). Coordination and support action @ 6:39:00 (8 partners from Africa, consortium to last 4 yeasrs)
LC-SFS-34-2019: Food Systems Africa. Coordination and support action
SFS-35-2019-2020: Sustainable Intensification in Africa. Research and Innovation action: A. [2019]: African Farming Systems, sustainable intensification pathways ; B.[2019]: Soil system for Africa
15 November. A brokerage event organised by the BIOHORIZON project
The BioHorizon is a network of specialised NCPs for H2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, within the scope of the SC2 and KET-B

16 November - Bioeconomy policy day
The European Commission will present its review of the European Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan, documented as a Staff Working Document, and discuss its findings with stakeholders and policy makers. Furthermore, the European Bioeconomy Stakeholders Panel will present and discuss its Bioeconomy Manifesto, setting out a societal agenda for bioeconomy development.

17 November - Digitising agriculture and food value chains
In this event, participants will learn about the broad framework of the digital agenda for Europe, the opportunities it brings for farming and food value chains and how the ambitious investments foreseen through Horizon 2020 can help achieve broader EU policy goals.

17 November - Blue Growth and Research and Innovation
In this Blue Growth event, discussions will revolve around the wide coverage of Blue Growth's cross-sectorial and interdisciplinary approach to marine, maritime and aquatic research and innovation and its relevance to EU policies and to the blue economy

The Public-Private Producer Partnership (4Ps) programme

14 November 2017. Kampala. The Ugandan Government in partnership with SNV Netherlands Development Organization, have decided to rollout a new approach called the Public-Private Producer Partnership (4Ps) programme. This follows a three year 4Ps pilot project ending this year.

The $2.3million project was funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) implemented by SNV in five African Countries with each taking an equal share of the fund including Uganda.

In Uganda the project focused on the oilseed sector including; sunflower, sesame and soya bean in West Nile, Northern Uganda and Eastern Uganda.Under the 4Ps oil palm project, over 1,800 farmers have benefited. Some of the oilseed groups involved in the project include: TAABU Integrated Cooperative Society, Wadelai Produec Marketing, Nyaruvur Farmers Federation, Terego Framers, Atizuyo Group, Baniba Group, Temi Teki Copeerative Society, Owal Cooperative Society, Lakure Peko Pe Group, Wilobo Wire Group, Ocam Ringo Groups and Lacac Pe Lony Group.

During the review of the project on 13/11, the 4Ps SNV Project Manager, Nico Jansen said the project was intended to see how small holder farmers can partner with the private sector through strategic partnerships. The entire project targeted 20,000 farmers in the five countries. In Uganda 5,000 smallholder farmers have benefited from the three year project through various groups.
“We went through a rigorous process of identifying in each country which agribusinesses were active, those interested in working and buying from small holder farmers and match make them into a partnership. All partnerships were done on shared business plan by both players (farmers and private partners) linked up between SNV and other brokers, to ensure that each side is committed to something for sustainability. This was formalized in agreements on how to establish systems around quality control, transparency, pricing, volumes and how farmers get paid. This helps to build trust and confidence by holding both parties accountable,”Nico Janssen is an agriculture value chain and food security & nutrition specialist working as project manager in the agriculture sector team of SNV
"In this approach farmers/producers are regarded as partners but not as beneficiaries. This means they are involved in decision making and negotiations. A partnership to be effective, you must have a shared vision and dream and in most cases there is always market gap that always need to be addressed like a need for vegetable oil. Farmers are required to provide the relevant raw material to private sector for them to add value. If the country wants to promote commercial agriculture, then producers must be treated as partners because they have a big role to play as producers of the market. Issues like market access can easily be addressed through this approach because the buyers will always be available. Through this approach farmers can also get quality input with support from the private sector because they have an interest,”  Connie Magomu Masaba project manager, in Agriculture Ministry
The PPPCanvas
Businesses are increasingly involved in partnerships with CSOs and governments to jointly work on sustainable development challenges. For these Public Private Partnerships, a solid business case is very important. To formulate a sound business case, it is necessary to understand the entire business model, and describe the way an organization creates economic and social value.

To understand how PPPs can deliver added value, by creating business opportunities and a smarter business approach, PPPLab has developed the PPPCanvas, based on the Business Model Canvas of Alexander Osterwalder.

The PPPCanvas is a tool that can be used to analyze the business model of the PPP, including what value is being delivered, how partners aim to deliver this value and to whom exactly. Like the Business Model Canvas, it helps to visualize, design and pivot a business model.

Donor approaches towards food security PPPs. 
9 October 2017. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have become a promising approach for donor agencies to address pressing development challenges, such as food security. But what do donor approaches towards PPPs for food security actually look like and to what extent do these approaches differ from each other?

A student research project identified that donor PPP approaches towards food security are similar in terms of aims, definitions and the domains of food security that are addressed, however they show major differences when it comes towards the organisation and management of PPP programmes. In addition, approaches need to be understood within the institutional context where they emerge; they follow a certain tradition of the donor and reflect donor’s organisational key characteristics

Read a summary of the research here

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Learning videos enhanced farmers’ knowledge on climate-smart agriculture in Mali

14 November 2017. Climate smart agriculture (CSA) is a concept developed by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in 2010; it is aimed at adapting agriculture to climate change and to mitigating the causes of climate change (FAO, 2010). CSA practices address climate change challenges, while supporting economic growth and development of the agriculture sector.

This paper assesses the climate smart agricultural practices triggered by learning videos on integrated striga management, soil fertility and cost-benefit evaluation practices.

  • This study, carried out in republic of Mali, included semi-structured interviews with 122 farmer household heads who participated on a voluntary basis. 
  • The sampled households comprise farmers who had lived all or most of their life in the selected villages, and were able to assess changes in climate. 
  • Household head interviews were combined with focus group discussions (FGD), organised in each selected village to crosscheck information.

Results revealed that farmers have similar perceptions of climate change and related impacts in video-villages and in non-video-villages. However, farmers’ observation of climate change and related impacts are influenced by gender; men perceived more climate change and related impacts than women. In non-video villages, few respondents adopted crop rotation, intercropping, crop diversification, improved short-cycle seed varieties and zaï techniques as climate change adaptation strategies.

Videos contribute more to the adoption of crop rotation, intercropping and fertilizer application for men than for women. Videos on accounting (managing money) enable more women than men to enhance their cost-benefit evaluation practices for income improvement.
During the interviews, women farmers in video-villages were eager to demonstrate their knowledge about cost-benefit evaluation. We also found that the yield of sorghum, millet and maize is higher in video-villages than in non-video-villages. Thus, using videos as an extension tool is suitable for knowledge development and leads to the high adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices for food security.

For more details, please find the full publication at Beyond Striga Management: learning videos enhanced farmers’ knowledge on climate-smart agriculture in Mali.

You can find other publications that you may find of interest on the subject of using videos in agricultural extension at Publications.

Highlight: ethno e-empowerment

8–9 November 2017. Brussels, Belgium. The 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralism (CELEP) was organised by VSF-Belgium.

One of the partners of the AGM is up4change, an NGO with the mission to bring new educational opportunities with multimedia e-learning programs to illiterate communities around the world. 
  • While working with nomads in Northern Kenia since 2012 up4change discovered that pastoralists use mobile technology with ease and
    up4change became a 
    new member of CELEP
  • Based on this experience up4change started to deploy newest tablet PCs for educational programs which integrate videos and other rich media content relying on tablet-based eBooks as a learning tool.
  • makes the best use of technological progress and indispensable social skills of people.
  • It educates barefoot teachers to become multipliers. They will spread mobile multimedia learning approaches to more people and will also document their educational progress.
The eBooks cover a large variety of situations, sceneries and tasks of nomads’ everyday life, such as:
  • Manyatta – the village
  • Fora – grazing zone
  • Market – buying and selling
  • Town – scratch cards, M-Pesa and buying goods
  • Animal Health – symptoms, diseases and treatment
  • Drought Resilience – preparation and protection
  • Alternative Livelihoods – banking, fish and hay
  • Celebrations and Conflicts

Relatedgo to you will find more videos .

Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralism

 8–9 November 2017. Brussels, Belgium. The 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralism (CELEP) was organised by VSF-Belgium.

The agenda discussed past activities and defining new ones, sharing with each other on pastoralism in Eastern Africa and becoming better informed about European institutions relevant for pastoralism in this region. 

It also included a visit to the European Parliament and a working session (briefing) with representatives from the European Commission.

Presentation of participants and their work on pastoralism in Eastern Africa: European member organisation and Eastern African partner organisations
Abdirahman And Abdullahi  NGO IDURUS Ethiopia
Arasio Raphael German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL), Germany/University of Nairobi, Kenya
Bayer Wolfgang Agrecol Germany
Benda Cecilia Concern Worldwide
Braus Antonia VSF Germany 
Dilthey Petra up4change e.V.  Germany
Dorlöchter-Sulser Sabine MISEREOR  Germany
Eldouma Salah SOS Sahel
Goris Wim AgriProFocus the Netherlands
Hesse Ced IIED UK
Kaufmann Brigitte German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL), Germany
Lelea Margareta German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL), Germany
Loof Margot Cordaid the Netherlands
Muciri Vivian Assistance mission for Africa (AMA) South Sudan
Noor Abdulkadir Mah Partnership for Pastoral Development Association Ethiopia
Otieno Peter Ken RECONCILE, Kenya 
Porokwa Edward PINGOS FORUM Tanzania
Rose Genevieve International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) Denmark 
Schwarz Uli up4change e.V.  Germany
Stepman Francois Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development Belgium
te Pas Caroline SNV the Netherlands
Tiruneh Tezera Getahun Pastoralist Forum Ethiopia 
Van Troos Koen VSF-Belgium/CELEP Focal point Belgium
Waters Ann Agrecol Germany
Wolde Wendessen Partner to Rural Development Ethiopia

Related: VSF-Germany activities in Kenya

Related PAEPARD activity:
The East Africa farmers’ federation (EAFF) together with its consortium partners in the PAEPARD program organized a continental multi stakeholder research question development workshop around the federating theme “Extensive livestock value chain” to:
  • Validate the federating theme of the Extensive value chain , the desk review and the document of strategy produced; 
  • Identify and/or refine research questions for the development of the livestock that were identified during the study that was conducted. 
  • Identify potential partnerships that can be formed to address gaps identified in the extensive livestock value chain 
  • Identify the Terms of Reference for platform and core group to take up the research question that is proritized forward
  • The situation analysis revealed that livestock production and productivity in tha agro-pastoral and pastoral systems of Eastern Africa is constrained by a number of factors including effects of the climate change and climate variability which translate into frequent droughts and floods and bears heavily on pasture and water stress as well as on pests and diseases that compromise livestock production. 
  • Other constraints to livestock production in the target production systems include limited extension services, cattle rustling, limited access to financial services and insurance facilities, corroding of traditional institutions and coping mechanisms, and loss of common property resources. 
  • On the processing side, poor value addition practices and generalized lack of know-how, inadequate infrastructures at slaughter houses with lack of minimum facilities such as drainage facilities and waste disposal and unhygienic practices except in towns, poor hygiene in handling meat and other livestock products such as inappropriate containers during products transport exposing them to hazardous contamination or inefficient institutions for enforcement of regulations are major characteristics of the processing segment of the value chain. Other important constraints include limited investment by the private sector in the area due to limited financial facilities and lack of incentives from governments.
  • Numerous constraints were identified refraining access to market and exploiting market opportunities in agro-pastoral and pastoral systems. These include poor infrastructures ( roads, holding grounds, water, dipping facilities, veterinary services), limited access to market information, high cost of inputs, multiple taxes, inappropriate tax incentives, poor handling and post harvest facilities, failure to comply with standards and sanitary regulations, loss of market value during droughts, inefficient institutions to enforce regulations (e.g. market distortions and low prices offers).

Pastoralism and conflict resolution in Eastern Africa

9 November 2017. Brussels. This Infopoint Lunch conference was
organised at DG DevCo Pastoralism and conflict resolution in Eastern Africa

Land issues, climate change related droughts and floods are some of the causes of conflicts in pastoralist areas in Eastern Africa. 

Trying to better understand these underlying causes and seeing pastoralists as part of the solution instead of the problem is key for conflict resolution and sustainable development.

Roberto Aparicio-Martin, Policy Officer, DEVCO C1- Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition, European Commission

  • Maria Noichl, Member of the European Parliament, S and D
  • Peter Ken Otieno, RENCONCILE, Kenya
  • Vivian Muciri, Assistance Mission Africa, South Sudan
  • Edward Porokwa, PINGOS Forum, Tanzania
It is possible to watch the presentations on the online video here

Smallholder dairy development in Africa with a particular focus on pastoralist systems

7 November 2017. Brussels, European Parliament. Smallholder dairy development in Africa with a particular focus on pastoralist systems.

CELEP prepared a background note together with the German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (DITSL). (see RELOAD project: Reduction of Post Harvest Losses and Value Addition in East African Food Value Chains)

Reference: background document on the role of the European Union in support of pastoralist and smallholder dairy farming in (Eastern) Africa.

The objective of the briefing was to inform and raise awareness in the European Parliament to design policies and finance programmes and projects on pastoralism (CELEP mission statement).

Dairy was an entry point to discuss pastoralism. During the roundtable discussion, the focus was on challenges related to this central theme and to tackle pastoralist’ challenges and improve small-scale milk production, processing and marketing in terms of both quantity and quality and with due recognition of the social and cultural issues involved, including gender issues. 

The roundtable discussion  allowed for every participant to the session to express her/his opinions regarding the topic with a clear view on challenges and opportunities for pastoralist development and small-scale dairy development
in sub-Saharan Africa.

The session included a discussion on:

Studies show that pastoralism is a productive system for drylands and is generally considered to be the most profitable way to use marginal lands. A study in Afar Region in Ethiopia showed that the pastoral production system brought higher returns per hectare than irrigated sugar and cotton production. 

A number of studies (e.g. Thébaud 2004) have shown that, when livestock mobility is assured, pastoralism benefits rangeland management. Grazing animals eat dead grass and other biomass at the dry season’s end, paving the way for new growth in the rains and preventing bush fires and the spread of unpalatable grasses and shrubs. Grazing livestock disperse plant seeds that stick to the animals’ bodies, and aid the germination of other seeds by eating and excreting them. Herds break up hard soil crusts, allowing water to filter through and seeds to sprout. Livestock also provide plant nutrients through their manure. More significantly, the shared management of pooled resources practised by pastoralists prevents the need for costly fencing, surveillance and land clearance.
  • What is pastoralism, how do you define it? 
  • How many pastoralists are there in Eastern Africa? 
  • What is pastoralist’ live like? 
  • What is its’ importance? How do we measure this importance? 
  • How does it contribute to national and regional economies? 
  • How does it contribute to livelihoods? 
  • How does it contribute to food security and nutrition?
2. Challenges for pastoralist development.
Widespread misunderstanding about pastoralism has left it often under protected, undervalued and an unintended victim of uninformed policies. However, this livelihood system, which evolved as an adaptive strategy to be able to thrive in some of the world’s harshest regions, is ideally suited to the climatic and economic uncertainties of our turbulent century. Informed and supportive policies need to be developed and implemented to realise the tremendous potential of pastoralism.

  • Climate Change 
  • Food Security Nutrition 
  • Income 
  • Conflict 
  • Access to services (health services (human and animal), education, etc.) 
  • Access to resources such as land, water, etc. 
  • Access to infrastructure such as electricity, roads, etc.
3. Dairy
Smallholder dairying in the Global South not only provides food security, but is also very important for human nutrition. Though smallholder dairying in the South provides many benefits, specific challenges related to production, commercialisation and consumption of milk persist. Inadequate access to fodder, credit, veterinary services and markets often limit production. 

Lack of investment in local collecting, storage and processing of milk is also a serious problem. Collection of milk from (agro-)pastoralist herds is often a challenge because the herds are highly mobile and spatially dispersed. Animal mobility is necessary if the available natural resources are to be used in a sustainable way. To be able to realise the full potential of small-scale dairying in developing countries, clear strategies are needed for strengthening capacities in small-scale milk production, collection and processing, in ways that connect all stakeholders of the value chain equitably. Such strategies should include investment in small- and medium-scale milk
collection and processing units.

  • What is the status of the dairy sector in Eastern Africa? What is the dominant production system? What is its’ potential? Is there auto sufficiency when it comes to dairy? 
  • What are the challenges related to pastoralist’ dairy production? Is there a potential? 
  • What about camel milk? Is this also being developed? Is there a market for that?
4. Pathways for pastoralist development. 
The EU through its development cooperation and its well-developed agriculture can play an important role in boosting small-scale dairy development in Africa and overall development of pastoralist production systems. The EU dairy sector could also play a positive role in this. There is already investment by European firms in the African dairy sector, but small-scale farmers and pastoralists are not always benefiting fully from this investment. In dairy development initiatives, it is important to plan together with the small-scale African milk producers, processors and traders – and it is important to be aware of the key role of African women in dairying, especially among many pastoralist groups.

  • What can the EU do to support pastoralism? 
  • Which initiatives exist that fight particular challenges (land rights, climate change, etc.)? 
  • What can be done within the EU (domestic policies) to support pastoralist development in Africa?
13 November 2017. Expanding Dairy Businesses in Ethiopia

USAID/Ethiopia’s Agriculture Growth Program – Livestock Market Development (AGP-LMD) project enhances the capacity of women entrepreneurs like Meskerem Solomon in livestock value chains. Meskerem founded the Azu Dairy Farm in 2007 and is using a grant alongside training in cheesemaking, dairy management and business proposal development through AGP-LMD to expand the dairy’s milk buying contracts to smallholder farmers who do not have other market access, increasing their incomes as well. She also plans to expand the dairy’s cheese processing capacity to meet growing demand, including from her own pizza restaurant.

GFAR webinar on TAPipedia

24 October 2017. The Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP), hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with GFAR, organised a webinar to present TAPipedia, a global information system to enhance knowledge sharing in support of developing capacities for agricultural innovation, established with support of the EU-funded project Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation System (CDAIS).

TAP is an active partner in GFAR’s efforts in fostering collective actions to improve capacity in agri-food research and innovation. The webinar on ‘Sharing Knowledge on Capacity Development (CD) for Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) through TAPipedia’ raised awareness of the role of TAPipedia in disseminating innovative and systemic approaches for capacity development.

  • Brief introduction to TAPipedia within the context of TAP, by Karin Nichterlein, TAP Secretariat – 
  • Presentation of the interactive section of TAPipedia, including presentation of the factsheets and tools belonging to the TAP CD for AIS cycle, by Giulia Palestini, TAP Secretariat 
  • Presentation of the Trainer’s Manual: Facilitating Capacity Needs Assessment and other resources related to the CDAIS project, by Hans Dobson, AGRINATURA/NRI 
  • Sharing experiences on TAPipedia from Bangladesh, by Nasreen Sultana, CDAIS Bangladesh 
21 November: webinar on The Art and Science of Webcasting and Webstreaming, in which presenters shared their experience with delivering quality live and interactive webcasting or webstreaming products

Agrifood Atlas – Facts and figures about the corporations that control what we eat

Agrifood Atlas – Facts and figures about the corporations that control what we eat27. Oct. 2017
Heinrich Böll Foundation, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Friends of the Earth
Place of Publication: Berlin
Date of Publication: October 2017
Number of Pages: 56

The list of the world’s largest 500 companies by turnover contains a huge number of firms engaged in agriculture and food. And the trend continues towards a further concentration of power. 

Agrifood corporations are driving industrialization along the entire global value chain, from farm to plate. Their purchasing and sales policies promote a form of agriculture that revolves around productivity. The fight for market share is achieved at the expense of the weakest links in the chain: farmers, and workers.

A growing number of people are organizing themselves and are changing their buying habits to recreate diversity in the value chain. But that is not enough to end hunger and poverty or to protect the environment. The withdrawal of government from economic intervention is a major cause of the colossal environmental and climate damage and the global injustice that we see today. It is high time for a socially and politically oriented regulation of the agrifood industry. The Agrifood Atlas serves facts and shows why and how the road to a socio-ecologically oriented agricultural and nutritional industry must be taken.

The Agrifood Atlas is jointly published by Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, and Friends of the Earth Europe.

Monday, November 13, 2017

ARD funding opportunities


Feasibility and capacity building grants
The Scottish Government’s International Development Small Grants Programme provides project funding in support of the government’s International Development Policy. Applications for grants are invited from incorporated not-for-profit organisations which have a presence in Scotland and an annual turnover of less than £200 thousand. Project grants should focus on any of Malawi, Rwanda, or Zambia in themes of food security; renewable energy; climate change; water; and others. Grants for capacity building and feasibility studies will be accepted in relation to any country designated as medium/low on the UN’s Human Development Index — but with priority for Malawi, Rwanda, and Zambia. Awards are a maximum of £60 thousand for project grants over three years, or a maximum of £10 thousand for feasibility and capacity building grants over one year. The application deadline is TODAY 13 November 2017
The European Commission (EC) announced funding to strengthen Zimbabwe’s agricultural research, education, and extension services. The lead applicant must be a nonprofit organization established in Zimbabwe; in countries eligible under the European Development Fund; in a member state of the European Union; or a contracting party to the agreement on the European Economic Areas. Grants will range from €5 million to €6 million, varying with cost shares, for projects of 36 to 54 months. Reference EuropeAid/157721/DD/ACT/ZW. The deadline for submitting concept notes is 14 November 2017

The Horizon 2020' Sustainable Food Security call
This is EC's main contribution to research and innovation in relation to Food and Nutrition Security in Europe and beyond. Its commitment to sustainability implies that particular attention is given to the interfaces between the economic, environmental and social dimensions of food production. The call advocates for food system approaches to tackle the inherent links between ecosystems, food production, the food chain and consumer health and wellbeing. 

Topics SFS-32-2018 to SFS-40-2020 inclusive are relevant for the entire 'Targeted international cooperation' section of the Work Programme. Themes directly related to Africa: deadline 13 February  2018 (first stage)
  • SFS-12-2019: A vaccine against African swine fever
  • SFS-33-2018: Support to the implementation of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security & Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA). Coordination and support action 
  • LC-SFS-34-2019: Food Systems Africa. Coordination and support action
  • SFS-35-2019-2020: Sustainable Intensification in Africa. Research and Innovation action: A. [2019]: African Farming Systems, sustainable intensification pathways ; B.[2019]: Soil system for Africa 
14-17 November. Brussels. Info Week on Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2 (SC2) ‘Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy’. Co-organised by the Research Executive Agency (REA), the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) and the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) of the European Commission.

Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research
U.S. National Academy of Sciences — PEER invites scientists in developing countries to work with U.S. collaborators in research and capacity building on priority topics that include environmental contaminants, agricultural productivity and food security, biodiversity conservation, water security, low-carbon development, fisheries assessments, and others. The priorities are different for each PEER focus area (i.e., varying by regions and countries). Applicants must be based at academic institutions, non-profit organizations, or government-managed research laboratories, centers, or institutes in the eligible countries. Applicants need to have at least one research partner in the U.S. that has grant funding from the U.S. government. The deadline for pre-proposals is 12 January 2018.

Competitive Call of the Europe Africa LEAP-Agri project 
This call is mobilizing 24 Funding Agencies from 18 African and European countries, with EC contribution. the next call is expected begin of 2018

Second phase of the Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund
A new AUS $25 million investment will support greater food security and improve nutrition throughout Eastern and Southern Africa, the partners behind the investment – Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The investment represents the second phase of the Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund, a joint IDRC-ACIAR partnership aimed at transforming African agriculture and improving the lives of millions of smallholder producers and consumers across the continent. To be confirmed

African Union Research Grants II Open Call for Proposals 2017 Edition
The Commission through the support of the European Union secured a sum of 17.5 million euro under the EU Pan-African Programme to launch 2 calls for research proposals in Africa in 2016 and 2017. To be confirmed

Belmont Forum Food Security Collaborative Research Action
10 November 2017. Sao Paolo. Scoping workshop for a proposed Food Security and Safety Collaborative Research Action (CRA) of the Belmont Forum. The Food Security and Safety workshop brought together Food Security and Land Use Change awardees from the first joint Belmont Forum and FACCE-JPI CRA on this topic with interested funders and organizational leads in food security and safety to discuss lessons learned and possible themes for a second joint call for proposals. Call expected end 2018

Victus Global Capital and Altree Capital have partnered to launch a US$50mn fund focusing on investment into women-led agribusinesses in Africa. To be confirmed

Fund for Rural Prosperity in Africa 2017
MasterCard Foundation aims to support ideas from institutions looking to deliver a financial service, product, or process to smallholder farmers in eligible African countries. Projects may be proposed by a single institution or by a partnership. However, the lead applicant must be a for-profit entity. Examples of applying institutions may include banks; insurance or leasing companies; agribusinesses; IT enterprises; and firms that facilitate increased access to financial services by persons currently excluded from them. Applications should request support of between US$250 thousand and US$2.5 million. The application deadline is 30 November 2017.

Grants to Strengthen Farming Communities 2018
The Monsanto Fund makes grants to strengthen agricultural communities in several countries around the world. Grants of US$25 thousand and more are available to tax-exempt charitable organizations for activities and projects that address farmers’ education and training; food security; community water and sanitation; and other local needs. Monsanto’s international grants are administered at the country level. The Fund presents a list of eligible countries. Monsanto accepts international applications during two periods each year. The first period ranges from 01 January through 28 February. The second period ranges from 01 July through 31 August.

Bio-diversity, environment, climate change

Climate Technology Initiative — Women’s Energy Projects in West Africa
The Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN), in partnership with other organizations, invites applications to facilitate the initiation and management of commercially viable energy projects by women entrepreneurs in West Africa. At least 10 projects or businesses will receive coaching support from experienced professionals for the development of a financially, socially, and environmentally sustainable business plan. The application deadline is 20 November 2017

Research on Risk Management, Academic Chairs 2018
The AXA Research Fund supports research to help understand risk management and prevention, including risks related to natural disasters and climate change. Applications can be submitted by pre-registered research institutions in EU member states and collaborating countries — including a selection of developing and emerging countries in the Asia-Pacific region; Africa and the Middle East; and Latin America. The next application deadline for Academic Chairs is 24 November 2017.

Accelerating Investments in Climate Resilience 2018
The Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance invites ideas that will attract increased investment for a low-carbon and climate resilient economy. The call for ideas covers four programs, each with distinct priorities. (i) The Global Lab seeks ideas to scale up finance in mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. (ii) The India Lab seeks ideas to accelerate investment in infrastructure for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green growth. (iii) The Brazil Lab seeks ideas that can address the priority sectors identified in Brazil’s nationally determined contribution to the Paris Agreement. (iv) The Fire Awards seek to accelerate early-stage pilots and businesses that can unlock finance for clean energy and green growth. Selected ideas will receive guidance and support from experts and investors, as well as analytical and communications support. The application deadline is 28 November 2017.

Call for Research and Development Projects 2017
The BRICS STI Framework Programme calls for proposals to promote research cooperation among partner institutions in Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa. Project proposals should consist of partners in at least three BRICS countries for research on preventing and monitoring natural disasters; water resources and pollution management; new and renewable energy; and other themes. The deadline for submissions is 28 November 2017.

International Networking on Scenarios of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
The Belmont Forum and BiodivERsA have announced a call to stimulate the formation of international networks of scientists to enhance the usefulness ecosystem services and biodiversity scenarios in decision-making. Participation includes Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil (State of Sao Paulo only), Bulgaria, Canada, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United States of America. Deadline for pre-registration is 01 December 2017.


The Africa Region of the World Bank Group is relaunching its fellowship program for Ph.D. students who are Sub-Saharan nationals. Fellows will spend a minimum of six months at the World Bank offices in Washington, D.C. or in a Sub-Saharan country, getting hands-on experience in development work. While benefiting from research and innovation in multiple sectors, fellows will also work on economic policy, technical assistance, and lending for eliminating poverty and increasing shared prosperity. The program invites applications from Sub-Saharan nationals who are recent Ph.D. graduates, or current doctoral students within one or two years of completing or graduating from a Ph.D. program, in disciplinary fields that include agriculture, energy, and others. The application deadline is 19 November 2017

The Gbowee Peace Foundation awards scholarships for postgraduate masters at the University of Dundee (Scotland). Subjects areas include environmental science, energy petroleum and mineral law and policy, and others. The Africa Scholarships are open to female students who are currently Liberian, Nigerian or Ghanaian nationals permanently resident in these countries. The scholarship offers up to £ 20 thousand for tuition and living expenses. Closing date for applications is 17 November 2017

Eco-conscious ideas and innovations
Green Campus Initiative offers a 12 month fellowship program which will serve as a platform for executing eco-conscious ideas and innovations. Successful applicants will receive stipends and funded trainings. Applicants must be a recent graduate or postgraduate student currently undertaking a leadership role in an organization, company or association. The fellowship opportunity is open to all countries. There is no deadline announcement but as awards are announced in mid-January applications should be submitted no later than November 2017

Post-Doctoral Fellowships for Ghana, Kenya, South AfricaThe Australia Awards – Africa program has launched the second pilot phase of Post-Doctoral Fellowships. Phase 2 of the pilot is open to eligible applicants affiliated with universities in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa that are members of the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN). Eligible fields of research include agricultural productivity, among others. Fellowships will be up to two years in total, comprised of research components in both Australia and Ghana, Kenya or South Africa — but limited to 12 months in Australia. The application deadline is 30 November 2017.

TROPIMUNDO Masters Program in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems 2018-2019
TROPIMUNDO is a 2-year Erasmus Mundus masters program in tropical biodiversity and ecosystems. Students alternate their semesters between consortium universities in Europe (Belgium, France, Italy) and tropical regions outside Europe (Australia, Cameroon, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Malaysia). Applicants should have an internationally accepted bachelor’s degree in biology, natural sciences, environmental sciences, or equivalent. The EC provides a certain number of scholarships for EU and non-EU students. The deadline for applications (with scholarships) is 30 November 2017

Fellowship Training Programme 2018-2019Irish Aid offers scholarships to qualified candidates from developing countries to undertake Masters degrees at universities and colleges in Ireland. Awards are made in the fields development studies, rural development, biodiversity conservation, and many other subject areas. The scholarship covers course fees, flights, accommodation, monthly allowances, insurance and other incidental expenses. Eligible countries are Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Palestine, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The deadline for applications is 08 December 2017.

African Diaspora Fellowships
The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program offers short-term fellowships to African-born academics at universities in the USA and Canada to collaborate with African universities in research, curriculum co-development, and/or graduate student training. Project requests to host scholars are submitted by universities and other higher education institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Past scholars in the program have included several in agriculture, environment, and related disciplines. The next application periods are 01 October through 08 December 2017

Australian Scholarships and Fellowships for Africans 2018
Australia Awards funds qualified African candidates for masters studies in Australia in priority subjects that include agriculture; extractives; climate change; environmental management; water management; and others. Additionally, the program offers short-term fellowships for professional training in Africa and/or Australia. The announcement identifies the eligible countries and eligible fields of study (varying by country). Most application deadlines are 15 December 2017 (masters) and 15 January 2018 (short courses).

FAO Fellowships 2018
The FAO Fellowship Programme is designed to attract fellows — typically PhD students, researchers, and professors — who have an advanced level of relevant technical knowledge and experience in any field of agriculture, fisheries, or forestry. Fellows will be assigned to supervisors in FAO’s headquarters or in its regional, sub-regional, or country offices. Applicants should have a graduate or post-graduate degree, or be enrolled in a PhD programme. FAO encourages qualified female applicants and qualified nationals of non- and under-represented member countries to apply. There are no age limits. The application deadline is 31 December 2017.

Professional Courses in Israel Early 2018
Israel’s Agency for International Development (MASHAV) offers professional short courses in Israel in subject areas that include agriculture, energy, health, education, and social development. MASHAV offers a limited number of scholarships to cover course fees, accommodation, medical insurance, and other expenses in Israel. Courses offered in English during the first few months of 2018 include (i) Intensive Vegetable Production (apply before 08 December 2017); (ii) The Role of Water and Nutrients in Agricultural Productivity and Resource Conservation (apply before 07 January 2018); and others. Additionally, MASHAV offers professional courses in Spanish, French, and Russian languages. Applications are submitted through Israel’s diplomatic missions

International Masters Degree in Environment
MESPOM is a two-year Erasmus Mundus masters course in environmental sciences, policy, and management operated by four European and two North American universities, and supported by the EC. MESPOM invites applications from all countries. MESPOM aims to prepare students for identifying and implementing solutions to complex environmental sustainability challenges, especially in an international context. MESPOM graduates receive MSc degrees from the Central European University, Lund University, and the University of Manchester. Candidates applying for financial aid should submit their applications before 15 January 2018

Scholarships for Africans at Michigan State University 2018
The MasterCard Foundation funds citizens and residents of Sub-Saharan Africa for graduate studies at Michigan State University, USA. The fields of study at MSU include agriculture and natural resources; veterinary medicine; natural sciences; and many others. Applications for graduate scholarships close 01 February 2018


Journalism Grants to Support Fisheries in West Africa
The Earth Journalism Network offers reporting grants to support fisheries and environment journalism in West Africa. Working Journalists (online, print, television), expert media practitioners, and freelancers based in West African countries are welcome to apply. EJN is offering up to $500 per grant. Deadline 13 November 2017

International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF 2018) Innovation Prize
The Yale chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters will award the ISTF 2018 Innovation Prize to outstanding projects that apply a multidisciplinary approach to address sustainable resource use in the tropics. The Prize will honor projects will have created strategic partnerships to address tropical forest use and conservation. The winner receives a cash prize. The deadline for submissions is 17 November 2017.

International on line Course on Postharvest and Fresh cut Technologies
In this Edition (1 December - 31 July 2018), 7 free registration Grants are available for students coming from developing and in-transition countries. Application closing day is the 28th of November and the starting Date is December 1, 2017.

Scholarship Applications for 2018 at Lilongwe University of Agricultural and Natural Resources
As part of the “In-Country / In-Region Scholarship Programme,” DAAD offers scholarships for PhD studies. The programme is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and aims at university staff in the first line, without neglecting the public sector demand of academically trained personnel. Deadline: 30 November 2017.

World Water Prize 2018
The World Water Council invites applications for the 2018 King Hassan II Great World Water Prize. The prize is intended for projects that focus on the management and development of water resources, including submissions around the specific theme of water security and climate justice. The Prize will be awarded for the sixth time during the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia, March 2018. Nominations can be for a person, a group of persons, or an organization. The Prize can be awarded for either an enduring work, or the performance of an outstanding one-off achievement. The winner will receive US$100 thousand. Nominations must be submitted by 30 November 2017

Student Micro-Projects 2018
The student micro-project program of Belgium’s University Commission for Development offers students in the Wallonia region of Belgium the opportunity to set up a project in partnership with students from a developing country. Topic areas may include water resources, female empowerment, and several others. The ARES program offers financial support of up to € 15 thousand per micro-project. The deadline for applications is 08 December 2017.

Research Grants for Individuals
The International Foundation for Science (IFS) invites early-career scientists in eligible developing countries to apply for the IFS Individual Research Grants. Themes of the call are: (i) Biological resources in terrestrial systems; (ii) Water and aquatic resources; and (iii) Food security, dietary diversity, and healthy livelihoods. Eligibility for funding extends to researchers in low and lower-middle income countries (IFS provides a list). Applicants must be attached to a national research institute or a university. Grants are up to US$12 thousand for projects of one to three years. The next deadline for applications (English, French) is 31 December 2017

Innovation Prize for Africa 2018
The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) honors and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency, or saving cost in Africa. Priority areas for the IPA include agriculture and agribusiness; environment, energy, and water; and others. The competition is open to African entrepreneurs, academics, and inventors — and to Africans in the Diaspora if their innovations are of significance for Africa. Prizes are US$100 thousand for the winner, plus two other prizes of US$25 thousand each. Additionally, finalists will receive a voucher for US$5 thousand in post-prize technical support to assist in moving their innovations to the next step. The deadline for applications is 10 January 2018

Conservation in the Developing World
The Prince Bernhard Nature Fund aims to help save critically endangered flora and fauna in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It gives funding preference to organizations in these regions, sometimes in partnership with parties in Europe or North America. Grants are up to €15 thousand. The next application deadline is 01 February 2018.