Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Saturday, October 1, 2016

US-Africa Business Forum

21 September 2016. Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Department of Commerce co-hosted the second 2016 U.S.-Africa Business Forum, a day focused on trade and investment opportunities on the continent for African heads of government and American business leaders. This Forum was hosted on the occasion of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.

Interactive sessions focused on key issues that impact efforts to deepen U.S.-African economic engagement, including economic diversification and regional integration, workforce development, entrepreneurship and innovation, and infrastructure and urbanization.

Beyond AGOA: Looking to the Future of U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment

Issued by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, this report considers paths to deepen the U.S.-Africa trade and investment relationship, and unlock its transformative potential, keeping pace with dramatic changes in Africa and in the rest of the world.

Extract of the report: (September 2016, 98 pages)
Importance of SPS Measures to Deepening U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment
Dubbed agriculture’s “final frontier,” Africa will be a critical source of supply and demand in the global agriculture system in the coming years. Much of Africa missed the “green revolution,” the postwar movement that boosted crop yields through the use of modern crop inputs, irrigation techniques, and farming technology in many parts of the world. This is a particularly painful missed opportunity, as sub-Saharan Africa ranks behind only South Asia in agricultural share of GDP and in the share of population living in rural areas. Increasing production in Africa by simply adopting existing technologiesand practices would contribute significantly to Africa’s capacity to feed itself as well as the rest of the world. In addition, strong national commitments in sub-Saharan Africa to agricultural science and technology research and commercialization would significantly improve production, and could greatly accelerate the continent’s participation in international trade.

McKinsey Global Institute: Lions on the move II: Realizing the potential of Africa’s economies
Has Africa’s growth run out of steam? This question is on the minds of many investors, business leaders, and policy makers as they observe the effects of lower resource prices and higher levels of sociopolitical instability on the continent’s GDP.

FAO's Committee on Agriculture

26 - 30 September 2016, Rome. FAO's Committee on Agriculture (COAG) meets every two years to assess the current state of affairs in world agriculture and provide guidance to FAO on its program of work.

In a speech to ministers, government, private sector and civil society representatives, the Director-General Graziano da Silva noted how "agriculture is at the very heart" of a recent series of ground-breaking international agreements, including the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
"In Africa boosting agricultural productivity in a sustainable way is not only essential for food and nutrition security, but is also critical to eradicating poverty. In particular, small-holder farmers should produce food not just for the table, but also for the market. Governments should play their part by supporting the process and increasing investments. We've seen an increase in investments ... but only a few invest 10 percent" of their budget on agriculture" Sierra Leone's Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Monty Patrick Jones
"There is a need for scientific innovation in agriculture to go hand-in-hand with policy reform. Agriculture and food systems are transforming, and that must be supported by a sound cooperation between science and policy. An International Panel on Food, Nutrition and Agriculture should be established to assist the international community in the same way as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) helps guide global climate policy". Joachim von Braun, Director of University of Bonn's Center for Development Research.
Video interview with Joseph Sam Sesay, Chairperson of COAG and Special Adviser to the President of the Republic Sierra Leone.



Video interview with Joachim von Braun, Director of University of Bonn's Center for Development Research.

6th BRICS agriculture meeting

22-23 September 2016. India. 6th BRICS agriculture meeting. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Action Plan for 2012-2016 was discussed with 5 key areas of cooperation. 

One of the key areas is agricultural science, which includes ensuring that the challenge of hunger for food is met in the population from the lower strata of society. The policy framework was studied thoroughly, where great emphasis was laid on agriculture technology cooperation and innovation, trade and investment promotion.

There is a need to train the farmers regarding the usage of technology, modern machinery and irrigation methods to reap best productivity from farms. When it comes to technology, then scientific information sharing, technology transfer, training and capacity building are key indicators and also get a better understanding of climatic conditions affecting crop produce.

Upscaling the Nigerian Flash Drying

This 6-cyclone flash dryer 
was manufactured by a Nigerian, 
Mr Idowu Adeoya
20 September 2016. One-day "Investment Forum," sponsored by World Bank Council for Upscaling the Nigerian Flash Drying Experience for Sustainable Regional Trade and Income generation in West Africa (UDESWA).
Agricultural Economy in West and Central Africa with

This project was sponsored by CORAF/WECARD for 3 years (April 2013 – March 2016) and was coordinated by the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) in Nigeria. Four countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic and Sierra-Leone) were involved.

Participants at the forum included: Chief Executive Officers, CEOs of Small Medium Enterprises, SMEs, producers of high quality cassava products of starch from different states in Nigeria and some fabricators like; Nobex Technology and others, some government representatives from Lagos and Non Governmental Organisations.

The traditional drying systems are characterized by drudgery and high processing losses. Recent efforts from international donor driven projects and government interventions have resulted in efficient flash drying systems for cassava flour with higher industrial drying efficiency, 20-23% internal rate of return and 50% fuel reduction. Other countries in West Africa are yet to experience this sustainable drive. Therefore, promoting commercialized postharvest drying technologies will achieve significant reduction in post-harvest losses; promote regional integration and networking, value addition to root and tuber crops for income/employment generation and improved rural livelihood.

"The main essence of this forum is to create awareness about a technology that has been improved in Nigeria and being exported to three other West African countries.
"This is a technology that can be used to preserve commodities because the bulk of what we produce in Nigeria is lost, 40 percent is lost to wastage at post harvest. If these products are dried they can stay long period of six months and up to a year and that means we will lose nothing again to wastage and then we have value-added products that are coming and a huge billions of Naira would be saved and dollars from export would be made." Mr. Bernard Siwoku, Business Development expert.
The project’s results were:
  1. Data on efficiency and drawbacks of existing drying systems in West Africa published
  2. Efficient, environmental friendly, economically viable, and adoptable drying equipment developed in all project countries.
  3. Promotional Materials on existing proven and sustainable drying systems in West Africa published and disseminated
  4. Coordinated private sector driven model drying centres using the developed proven drying equipment established in each project country.
  5. Capacity and income of SME producing dried root and tuber based products enhanced to ensure sustainable market and value addition.
  6. Business plans from value added dried product enterprises using the fabricated proven drying equipment in the project locations developed and implemented.
  7. Sustainable regional market linkages and trade outlets for dried products from root and tuber using the fabricated drying equipment established.
  8. Manuals, posters, flyers, audio-visuals on proven drying technologies and value added products production printed and widely circulated.

Symposium on Hermetic Storage and Post-harvest Storage

27 September 2016. Orlando, Florida, USA. The Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) Program organized a symposium on “Advances in Hermetic Storage for Smallholder Farms” during the International Congress of Entomology (ICE) in Orlando, Florida, September 25-30, 2015. The symposium highlighted research findings, extension efforts and private sector engagement in reducing postharvest losses in developing countries with a focus on smallholder farms.

Presentations:
Related:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

No More Thirsty Crops

27 September 2016. Mountain View, California. Johannesburg schoolgirl Kiara Nirghin, 16, won the Google Science Fair's Community Impact Award for the Middle East and Africa with her submission "No More Thirsty Crops." The Google Science Fair is a global online science and technology competition for individuals and teams ages 13-18. Te Awards Show was streamed live on 27/09.

Using orange peel and avocado skins, the precocious student created a super absorbent polymer (SAP) capable of storing reserves of water hundreds of times its own weight, forming reservoirs that would allow farmers to maintain their crops at minimal cost. The polymer has the added benefit of sustainability as it uses recycled and biodegradable waste products.
"Kiara found an ideal material that won't hurt the budget in simple orange peel, and through her research, she created a way to turn it into soil-ready water storage with help from the avocado," Andrea Cohan, program leader of the Google Science Fair.
Nirghin’s invention is sure to alleviate the effects of drought, not just in South Africa, but in several other countries around the world. It will also help countries manage the effects of climate change for years to come. As stated in her research report titled ‘Combatting drought with a Low-Cost, biodegradable Superabsorbent Polymer made out of orange peels,’ Nirghin discovered, that naturally occurring polymers exist in most citrus fruits.
"I started researching what an SAP was, and what they all had in common was a chain molecule polysaccharide. I found that orange peel has 64% polysaccharide and also the gelling agent pectin, so I saw it as a good (option). I used avocado skin due to the oil." Kiara Nirghin
The teenager combined the skin and peel and left the mixture in the sun, where they reacted together to form the powerfully absorbent polymer. See the project



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Programming experiences and future options for bi-regional research cooperation in food security

19 September 2016. CAAST-Net Plus released a new report analysing "programming experiences and future options for bi-regional research cooperation in food security".

"This report would be beneficial to all those involved in the creation, funding and coordination of ST and I multilateral collaborative initiatives, notably as part of large-scale EU programmes. We wanted to see what lessons could be learned from similar efforts already underway or concluded so as to avoid mistakes made previously and ensure we followed the best practices possible when attempting the establishment of a new cooperative venture between the EU and Africa and operating in the field of FNS," Johan Viljoen of the French National Institute for Research for Sustainable Development (IRD) (formerly the Institute for Research for Development).

Programming mechanisms reviewed in the report include the EU's INCO-NET, BILAT, and ERA-NET projects as well as the so-called Article 185 and Joint Programming initiatives.

"Within the framework of the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on science, technology and innovation (HLPD), food and nutrition security constitutes a priority area for scientific collaboration between Africa and Europe. As a result, this is the perfect moment for a retrospective of the major cooperative instruments having operated between the two continents and to consider the extent to which these would be suitable for addressing the theme of FNS." Dr Jean Albergel of the French National Institute for Research for Sustainable Development (IRD)

Highlight:Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme

The Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme (KMDP) is a 5.5 year programme funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. (planned end date:  28-Feb-2018).

The programme started on 1 July 2012 and is implemented by SNV in collaboration with stakeholders in the dairy industry. The overall goal of KMDP is to contribute to the development of a vibrant and competitive dairy sector with beneficiaries across the value chain. KMDP acknowledges and appreciates that the dairy industry in Kenya is private sector driven.

KMDP has two pillars or strategic levels of intervention:

  1. Dairy Value Chain: Increase efficiency, effectiveness and inclusiveness of the dairy value chain
  2. Sector issues: Promote/support interventions and innovations that address systemic issues

Monday, September 26, 2016

ComCashew wins OECD-DAC Prize

9 March 2016. The Competitive Cashew initiative (ComCashew) won the OECD-DAC prize “Takinginnovation to scale” in Paris. Mary Adzanyo, ComCashew/GIZ Director Private Sector Development and Helene Widmer, ComCashew/GIZ Project Manager received the award on behalf of the initiative. ACi (now ComCashew) was among three winners from 43 applicants.

The other two winners were ReadyPay Solar and Plantwise. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) aims at promoting policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Prize “Taking innovation to scale” was, therefore, instituted to acknowledge the efforts of organisations which have taken an innovative approach, instrument or mechanism.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) aims at promoting policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Prize “Taking innovation to scale” was, therefore, instituted to acknowledge the efforts of organisations which have taken an innovative approach, instrument or mechanism beyond the pilot phase to wider application. The award event is organized to appreciate projects which improve the lives of people and also bridge existing developmental gaps in society.

The Competitive Cashew initiative (previously ACi) has since 2009, pursued the mission of improving the livelihood of African cashew farmers through aiding them to receive better returns for their produce. So far, ComCashew has trained over 414,508 farmers in five African countries- Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Mozambique to produce better quality raw cashew nuts and in larger quantities. These 414,508 trained farmers earn an additional USD 600 family income (corresponding to USD 120 net income) annually, exceeding the set goal by 10%.

The initiative has encouraged local processing which has increased the revenue derived by the African cashew sector. ComCashew has also supported processing factories to produce nuts which meet international standards and this has increased demand for African nuts on European and US markets. The third phase of ComCashew’s project, which began in May 2016, shall expand to more countries in Africa and the Caribbean with the aim of reaching about one million farmers. It will also further encourage intercropping on cashew farms and farmer business.


Related:
This 6th edition thus celebrates ComCashew for winning the OECD DAC Prize Award. The Master Training Program (MTP), Which what leden ComCashew and its partners to create a pool of experts cashew in West Africa is so featured. The third edition of the program has Brought together over 90 participants from over 10 countries in Africa. The first and second sessions were held in May and August 2016.

This year, the African cashew sector has Attracted the interest of major policymakers and Hence, experienced a significant amount of change. The bulletin THEREFORE, highlights the policies Which havebeen Formulated and Implemented in the cashew sector of various African cashew-producing countries. It also features a yield survey of the five project countries in Which Operates ComCashew thus revealed some interesting facts about the harvest season this year.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sanitary and phytosanitary measures: addressing the challenges

24 pages
ISBN: 978-92-79-51992-5

Published in 2016, this publication summarises European Commission (EC) experience with projects in the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) field. It is meant to support colleagues involved in the design and implementation of such projects, particularly those working in EU Delegations.

SPS measures or standards are increasingly employed in the context of international development cooperation. They are important for international trade, and play a crucial role in trade between developing countries. Agricultural and livestock products are the dominant source of export revenue for many developing countries, especially for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and other small and vulnerable developing countries, including those dependent on commodities. While tariff barriers to the EU have been lowered for developing countries and abolished for LDCs, the requirements needed to fulfil international SPS standards are complex and may be hard to meet because of inadequate capacity or resources. This thematic review of EU technical assistance activities in the SPS area has been prepared by members of the Inter-Service Group on SPS.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Agribusiness development in Small Island Developing States

21 September 2016. Brussels. The Brussels Development Briefing n.46 on the subject of “Agribusiness development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS): the potential of tourism-related markets” was held at the ACP Secretariat. It was organised by CTA in collaboration with the European Commission / DEVCO, Concord and the ACP Secretariat.

The Briefing promoted exchange of views and experiences around the lessons learnt from linking agribusinesses to the tourism markets in small island economies and paid particular attention to the key role of chefs as drivers of change for the development of food tourism. The event also discussed the enabling policy environment and opportunities for agritourism development. This Briefing build upon work accomplished by the organisers in collaboration with other partners across ACP small island economies in support of agritourism and agribusiness development, the most recent being the 2nd Pacific Agribusiness Forum.

Panel 1: Development of Agribusiness and tourism linkages in SIDS

This panel provided an overview of the current status of agribusiness in ACP SIDS, and rationale for linking to tourism markets.
  • Chair: H.E Dr Pa’olelei Luteru, Ambassador of Samoa, Coordinator of the ACP SIDS Platform
  • Linking agriculture, tourism and health though Agritourism policy-setting ; Howard Aru, Director General of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Vanuatu
  • Towards an agritourism strategy for Samoa: strengths and opportunities ; Papali’i Sonja Hunter, CEO, Samoa Tourism Authority and Chair of the SPTO
  • Best practices in agritourism across the Caribbean ; Ena Harvey, Expert in Agritourism, IICA, Caribbean
  • Linking agribusiness to tourism-related markets through quality iconic products ; Winston Stona, Managing Director, Busha Browne/Walkers Wood Caribbean Foods, Jamaica

Panel 2: Linking agriculture and tourism though collaboration with Chefs
This panel looked at specific examples of successful Chefs who promote local food to tourism markets and are ambassadors of the local and regional cuisine.
  • Linking farmers to the tourism markets and promoting Pacific cuisine ; Robert Oliver, Chef, Author and Television Presenter, The Pacific
  • Opportunities in supporting the local industry and promoting agritourism ; Charlotte Chan Mow, Chef, The Orator Hotel, Samoa
  • Celebrating Caribbean cuisine and culinary skills for youth ; Peter Edey, Executive Chef, Barbados
  • Promoting local food and rich Haiti’s gastronomy ; Stephan Berrouet-Durand, Executive Chef, Culinary by Design, Haiti
  • Foodscape and food tourism in the Caribbean ; Rosemary Parkinson, Culinary Author & Contributor, the Caribbean

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Integrated Seed Sector Development

19-20 September 2016. Nairobi. The Integrated Seed Sector Development in Africa (ISSD Africa) project, in collaboration with partners such as the Centre for Development innovation (CDI) of the Netherlands-based Wageningen University and Research and Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development of Egerton University, Kenya, brought together seed experts from around the continent, government agencies, as well as donors and development partners.

This conference presented the synthesised findings of two years of action research across ten countries. Almost 100 participants from a wide array of African and global organisations came together to learn about the activities and findings of the ISSD Africa programme and collaboratively set the agenda for future ISSD work at the continental level. Sessions focused on lessons learned and entry points for future work and linkages and be based on the four prescribed themes of ISSD Africa. Read more on these themes here
The conference created a platform to share the outcomes of a two-year piloting phase, alongside the discussions on how to translate these findings into change agendas. ISSD Africa project’s goal is to support the development of a market-oriented, pluralistic, vibrant and dynamic seed sector in Africa that provides both female and male smallholder farmers access to quality seed of superior varieties.
"The lack of quality affects agricultural productivity, income resilience and livelihoods of
smallholders. Smallholder farmers face challenges in getting reliable access to sufficient quantities of quality seed of superior varieties and that impacts negatively on their productivity, earnings and livelihoods” Miltone Ayieko, regional coordinator for the Kenya-based  project
"Africa requires seed entrepreneurship that responds to demands by farmers, agro-dealers, service providers and others in the seed value chain. Entrepreneurship and market-orientation are important incentives for sustainable development” Marja Thijssen, the ISSD Africa Project Coordinator based at the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) -Wageningen UR
Background:
Integrated Seed Sector Development
In partnership with Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), KIT is involved in country-specific Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi, Tanzania and Mozambique, as well as in cross-border programmes under the auspices of the African Union.
programmes in

The Pilot Phase of ISSD Africa is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands. Executive Coordination is in the hands of a consortium comprised of an African-based Secretariat in close collaboration with the Centre of Development Innovation (CDI) of Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wageningen UR), the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and the Future Agricultures Consortium, (see Programme Structure figure hereunder). Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development in Nairobi Kenya (the policy research institute of Egerton University), hosts the African-based Secretariat. 

The two-year piloting phase began in September 2014 with the following four priorities:
access to varieties in the public domain:
  1. common challenges in promoting entrepreneurship in seed value chains
  2. matching global commitments with national realities, and
  3. supporting the missions of the Africa Union Commission (AUC), Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), Africa Seed and Biotechnology Programme (ASBP) and 
  4. development of the seed sector.

USAID Horticulture Programming in Feed the Future

8-9 September 2016, Sepang Utara, Malaysia. USAID Mission horticulture programming

Extract:
  1. Horticulture in Tanzania: Richard Pluke
  2. AFRICAN TRADITIONAL VEGETABLES ‐ HORTICULTURE INNOVATION LAB ‐ RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Jim Simon
  3. UNDERUSED VEGETABLES ‐ WORLDVEG: Roland Schafleitner
  4. SCALING SEED KITS THROUGH HOME GARDENS ‐ WORLDVEG: Stuart Brown
  5. HORT PROGRAMMING FOR NUTRITION ‐ HELEN KELLER INTERNATIONAL: Nancy Haselow
  6. HORTICULTURE OPPORTUNITES AND NEEDS ‐ HORTICULTURE INNOVATION LAB ‐ UC DAVIS: Beth Mitcham
  7. CAN URBANIZATION BE THE A GRAND OPPORTUNITY FOR RURAL ECONOMIC GROWTH? Peter Richards
Feed the Future Horticulture in East Africa
  • Continued support for horticulture 
  • Promotion of ‘Market Access’ approach by contractors 
  • Focus on accelerated adoption of technologies 
  • Focus on youth and the employment and income generation opportunities 
  • Integration of horticulture into nutrition initiatives 
  • Capacity building of SMEs in the VC
Recommendations 
  • Continue extension and sensitization programs to reach a tipping point in the adoption of improved production practices and commercial philosophies 
  • Support the growth & maturation of the value chain (e.g. training & certification of service providers) while promoting opportunities for women and youth. 
  • Integrate F&V nutrition initiatives into broader community programs & understand their utilization better. 
  • Measure: indirect impacts, SMEs involvement & effectiveness.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Tropentag 2016

18 - 21 September 2016.Vienna, Austria. Organised by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU Vienna), this year's theme  Tropentag is 'Solidarity in a competing world - fair use of resources' and the call for papers addresses prospective procedures for solidarity and the fair use of increasingly scarce natural and non‐renewable resources around the world.

Focus iss given to the rising demand for food, fiber, feed and fuel to cover the needs of a growing world population and to innovative sustainable
practices, e.g. organic farming, and new economies and policies.

Extract of the programme

16 pre-conference workshops were organisedWorkshop 5: Empowering smallholders through multi-stakeholder platforms and value chains
Organisers: Peter Ballantyne, Michael Peters, Tom Randolph, Barbara Rischkowsky, CGIAR
Livestock and Fish Program
  • „More meat, milk and fish for and by the poor “, during this interactive workshop CGIAR presented the results of their five-year research in developing countries, encouraging to ask critical and challenging questions in order to improve their model.
  • Background of the experiment is the increasing demand of livestock in developing countries, where smallholders currently provide about 70% of livestock produce. While the production of livestock thus offers great business opportunities, smallholders are often not part of this transition. CGIAR, in this “very expensive experiment”, tried to develop models, strategies and technologies to empower smallholders and women, ensure food security and improve health and environmental issues, amongst others.
Presentations
  • Agricultural Cooperatives as Innovation Brokers: The Case
    of Climate Smart Agriculture in Uganda
    Abstract (ID 992 ): Web-Version (html) — Print Version (pdf) poster (pdf)
  • Building Trust and Collaboration through Co-Learning - Multi-Stakeholder Platforms for Sustainable Intensification of Smallholder Farming in Tanzania
    Abstract (ID 1135 ): Web-Version (html) — Print Version (pdf)  — poster (pdf) 
  • Trust as Integral to Multi-Stakeholder Processes for Dairy Value Chain Improvement
    Abstract (ID 1053 ): Web-Version (html) — Print Version (pdf)  — poster (pdf) 
  • The Formation of Organisational Networks in Emerging Economy: the Case of Agribusiness Incubators
    Abstract (ID 544 ): Web-Version (html) — Print Version (pdf) poster (pdf)
  • Plant Residue-Derived Organic Carbon Input into Soil in African Indigenous Vegetable Production Systems
    Abstract (ID 834 ): Web-Version (html) — Print Version (pdf)
  • Strategies of African Indigenous Vegetables to Cope with Phosphorus Deficient Soils

    Abstract (ID 831 ): Web-Version (html) — Print Version (pdf) poster (pdf)
  • Do Unique Farmer Trader Relations Enhance Resilience: Case of Greengram Markets in Mbeere County, Kenya
    Abstract (ID 554 ): Web-Version (html) — Print Version (pdf) poster (pdf)
  • Association of On-Farm Animal Feeds Handling Practices with Growth of Mycotoxin Producing Molds in Feeds on Smallholder Dairy Farms in Nakuru, Kenya
    Abstract (ID 814 ): Web-Version (html) — Print Version (pdf)  — poster (pdf) 
  • Dietary Exposure to Mycotoxins and Risk Assessment for Adult Consumers of Locally Processed Rice from Nigeria
    Abstract (ID 1152 ): Web-Version (html) — Print Version (pdf) 

Regional forum on Climate Smart Agriculture

13–15 September 2016. Johannesburg.  To support the implementation of a new flagship project to bring climate-smart solutions to farmers and build genuine synergies with partners, CTA co-organised a regional planning meeting ‘Scaling-Up Climate-Smart Agricultural Solutions for Cereals and Livestock Farmers in Southern Africa – Building partnership for successful implementation’.

The planning meeting discussed the business case for the engagement of private sector in the scaling up of climate-smart practices. It will also assess the existing level of use mobile communications, ICT, knowledge management and extension tools to disseminate agricultural information to smallholder farmers. Participants draw from partner organisations, the private sector, farmers' organisations, banks and financial sector players, mobile and ICT operators, and national and regional government institutions. The meeting will lead to detailed implementation strategies for scaling-up each of the solutions in the region.

GODAN Summit 2016

15 - 16 September  2016. GODAN organised a global summit in 2016 for all its partners to move forward the agenda for open data in agriculture and nutrition. This follows a very successful partners' meeting in January 2015. The Summit brought together world leaders, researchers, farmers, students and others united around a collaboration on agriculture and nutrition data openness.
the GODAN Action project has published a global map of standards relevant to the exchange of agriculture and nutrition data. The GODAN Action partners are now calling on their network of experts to contribute to this new global map.

We are building on two existing portals: the AIMS VEST Registry of FAO and the AgroPortal of University of Montpellier / Stanford University, so we aren’t starting from scratch or duplicating efforts. We are looking for the community to drive improvements to the platform. We want this map to be maintained beyond the end of the project, as a common asset of the community working with agricultural and nutrition data.
Willy Bett Cabinet Secretary
Min.Agric Kenya

Extract of the programme:
Precision Agriculture: How Could Open Data Revolutionize Farm Productivity?
This session explored precision agriculture – farming practices based in information and technology that allow farmers to manage fields in a site-specific manner. It assessed at how open data can enable emerging precision agriculture technologies in a variety of contexts, from smallholder- to larger-scale growing operations across developed and developing regions.

Agricultural Data as Public Good for Africa’s Prosperity
The session explored agricultural transformation that could leverages connectivity and mobile devices to deliver critical information (soil, crop, weather), market facilitation and financial services.

Communicating Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition
For the agricultural sector, the use of data visualisation tools can help reveal important trends and different variables such as environmental factors, geographic location yield percentage, types of products, seed care data that effect changes to crop and yields. Nowadays, there are many data visualisation tools and software programmes open source and free that can give decision support for policy-makers, researchers, farmers for better planning. This session outlined some of the agriculture open data visualisation tools providing information on agricultural science and technology.

International Phytosanitary Conference

Agriculture Principal Secretary Dr. Richard Lesiyampe (centre)

KEPHIS MD Dr. Esther Kimani (right)
Khamis Chome Abdi, a member of the Board of Directors (left)














12-16 September 2016. Nairobi, Kenya. Some 100 participants attended the 2016 International Phytosanitary Conference held at the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) headquarters.

Mr. Klaus Gauch, the European Union 

Acting Head of Co-operation
The participants came from Botswana, Burundi, Finland, Ghana, Indonesia, Netherlands, Norway, Sierra Leone, United Kingdom, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the hosts, Kenya. There are also participants from National Plant Protection Organizations, government departments,
multinational organizations and agencies and Industry including IITA, AATF, Real IPM, Sygenta, International Flower Trade Association, Monsanto, CIMMYT, CABI as well as local and international universities.

Extracts of the programme:
  • Ralf Lopian, Finland NPPO (Key note address): The initiative to declare 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health: Impacts and opportunities for authorities, private enterprises and phytosanitary research

    "It is anticipated that the observance of the IYPY will lead to better trade opportunities. More plant health related research activities are needed to address new challenges in plant health. It is wished that the decline in plant health research of the past years is turned around and that the IYPH will cause improved national, regional and international research coordination and a stronger prominence of plant health related research projects in national research budgets".
  • Dr. Lorna Migiro and Dr. Washington Otieno, CABI Kenya: Pest surveillance and pesticide
    risk reduction - the role of Plantwise, an interactive system for agricultural advisory service
  • AshaBakari Mohamed & Charity Mutegi (IITA): Managing sanitary barriers to trade: Controlling aflatoxin producing Aspergillusflavus S-strain in lower Eastern using atoxigenic A. flavus L-strain (Aflasafe KE01)

    "Efficacy of atoxigenic Aspergillus flavus L-strain to manage aflatoxin production was
    determined by application of impregnated sorghum seeds in maize fields at seventh leaf growth stage and maize grains sampled at harvest. Maize samples had high levels (61.8%) of A. flavus S-strain than other Aspergillus species. The A. flavus S-strain isolates produced high levels of aflatoxin B1 of up to 22,000 ng/g in maize in vitro. However, field application of atoxigenic A. flavus L-strain competitively excluded the aflatoxin producing A. flavus S-strain by up to 77% and reduced aflatoxin level in the harvested maize grains by 47%. The study showed that Aflasafe KE01 is a promising biocontrol product in shifting the population of toxigenic strains of Aspergillus section Flavi and subsequently reducing aflatoxin levels in maize."
  • Dr. Henry Wainwright, Real IPM, Kenya: The role of bio-pesticides in management of
    Phytosanitary challenges : 
    Real IPM Kenya‟s commercial experience in the development of a biological control programme for fruit flies for mangoes in Kenya
  • Dr. Roshan Saeed Khan, WTO-STDF, Switzerland, Capacity building under STDF for phyto sanitary challenges. Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) is a global partnership of FAO, OIE, WHO, WTO and World Bank, to help developing countries implement international standards, meet SPS import requirements of trading partners and gain/maintain market access. The presentation focused on results of some key STDF projects in the area of plant health.  
    Related PAEPARD blog post 10/08/2016: Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)