Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, January 23, 2017

ARD funding opportunities

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The SEED Foundation supports French nonprofit organizations in partnership with nonprofit organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa for innovative solutions that address food security. Projects can address agricultural practices, farming knowledge and capacity, local agricultural products, etc. Grants range from €7 thousand to €15 thousand, up to 70% of project costs. The Foundation lists 21 eligible African countries. The deadline for applications (French, English) is 06 February 2017.

The EC announced funding to improve food security and income in South Sudan, focusing on sustainable supply of agriculture and livestock inputs and services through the private sector. This call for proposals is part of the first and second component of the ZEAT-BEAD Program (“Zonal Effort for Agricultural Transformation – Bahal Gazar Effort for Agricultural Development”). Grants up to a maximum of €3 million will be allocated in four lots according to geographical regions. The lead applicant should be a nonprofit NGO based in the EU, the European Economic Area, an ACP State, a least-developed country, or a member country of OECD/DAC. Participation with co-applicants of South Sudanese nationality is strongly encouraged. Reference EuropeAid/153933/DD/ACT/SS. The deadline for concept notes is 16 February 2017.

Within the framework of Danish development cooperation, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls for research proposals between Denmark and researchers in partner countries.   Window 1 will fund research with partners in Denmark’s priority countries for development assistance.  Window 2 will fund research with partners in growth and transition countries. Window 1 is open to research institutions in Ghana and Tanzania, in addition to Denmark.  Window 2 is open to Danish research organizations in collaboration with research institutions in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam.  For both windows, the application deadline (Phase 1) is 03 March 2017

The French Committee for International Solidarity (Comité Français pour la Solidarité Internationale – CFSI), in partnership with Fondation de France, funds projects that support small-scale farming in West Africa. Grants will support projects carried out by partnerships between European and West African nonprofit legal entities in the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Projects can range from one to three years. Grants are a maximum of 15 thousand euros per year, or 50 thousand euros in the case of a 3-year project. The deadline for project summaries (French, English) is 07 March 2017.

Founded by the United Nations Environment Program, and in partnership with Switch Africa Green, SEED supports small-scale enterprises in the developing world which integrate social and environmental benefits into their business models. The SEED Awards for 2017 are structured in four categories: agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and waste management. The eligible countries are Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, and Uganda. Each award recipient is granted capacity building and networking opportunities. The application deadline is 08 March 2017.

The Ekhaga Foundation makes grants for research in ecological agriculture and biological medicine. Universities, research institutes, etc., from all over the world are invited to apply. Ekhaga requires cooperation with a Swedish institution for applications that do not come from Europe or North America. The deadline for applications is 20 May 2017.

The Nestlé Foundation supports research in human nutrition in low-income and lower middle-income countries. The Foundation will consider research in areas such as food policy, food production (i.e., related to agricultural development), and food technology if the proposed interventions have high potential for sustainable improvement of nutritional status. The Foundation offers training grants; pilot grants; small and large research grants; and re-entry grants to encourage the return of post-graduate students to their home countries. Interested researchers are invited to submit letters of intent (LOIs). At any time.

The program area “seed funding” of the Innocent Foundation makes grants to partner NGOs to deliver small-scale agricultural projects that have strong local impacts in the developing world. In addition to grant for agriculture, past projects include several that address water, forests, biodiversity, and related issues in environment and natural resources. Applying organizations must be registered charities in the UK. Grants are up to £30 thousand per year for three years. At any time.

Pre-announcement LEAP AGRI (EU-Africa co fund call AGRIFOOD)
The objective of LEAP-AGRI is to fulfill the ambition of the Europe Africa dialogue in Science and Technology (the HLPD) to launch a joint flagship initiative on its chosen priority area: Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA). This is the list of countries of which the research bodies are bringing in fudning (partners should thus be found within those countries: 2+2 model to create a consortium): 12 African countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, Egypt, Cameroon , Uganda, Madagascar, Tunis, Madagascar. 10 European partner countries: the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, Finland, Portugal, Norway, Italy, Turkey and Belgium.
Call launch expected in February. Deadline for submission of proposals: 3 months after launching the call.

The African Union Research Grants (AURG) programme supports research and innovation in Africa and is supported by the European Union through the Pan African programme (2014-2020) with a budget of €17.5 million for two calls in 2016 and 2017. The closing date for applications in 2016 was 31 August 2016. The focus of the 2017 Edition is expected to be on nutrition.

Bio-diversity, environment, climate change

The Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) funds short-term training in selected development topics for participants from developing countries. The training programs include a course in climate change organized by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).  SMHI invites organizations in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger to propose candidates for the course, which will focus on climate change in relation to water resources and agriculture.  Eligibility to nominate candidates extends to government organizations, private enterprises, and NGOs at national, regional, and local levels in the three target countries. The application deadline is 12 February 2017.

The EC announced grants to address climate vulnerability in São Tomé and Principe. The program will work to provide tangible benefits for the vulnerable communities of Lembá and Mé-Zóchi in matters of water supply, rural energy, agricultural diversification, soils management, and forest management. Principal applicants for funding should be NGOs eligible under the EC’s rules for external actions. The planned allocations are €750 thousand for Lembá and €750 thousand for Mé-Zóchi. Reference EuropeAid/138523/ID/ACT/ST. The application deadline is 16 February 2017.

The Jana Robeyst Trust Fund provides financial resources for non-profit organisations and individuals to carry out conservation research in Sub-Saharan Africa. Priority will be given to projects related to the conservation of forest elephants. Applicants can be based anywhere in the world. Funding is up to 1,500 euros per applicant. The Fund accepts applications throughout the year.

The Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) offers competitive grants in support of its mission to improve forest management and expand forest certification around the world. PEFC invites its members and other non-profit organizations to apply. Project partners may also include private and public-sector organizations. PEFC will consider proposals up to CHF 40 thousand for projects up to two years. Grantees must provide at least 35% co-funding. The deadline for applications is 31 March 2017.

The Beit Trust supports projects for health, education, welfare, and environment in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Themes include wildlife conservation. Additionally, the Trust’s interests in community welfare include drinking water and irrigation water. Grants do not normally exceed £50 thousand. Applications can be submitted at any time.

Rare and several partner organizations announce “Solution Search: Farming for Biodiversity” as a competition to identify and reward promising approaches to conserve biodiversity on agricultural lands. Examples include integration of biodiversity and ecosystems in the management of sustainable land use; methods of pest control that reduce toxic runoff; methods of organic farming for enhanced biodiversity; control of livestock to protect flora and fauna; and innovations to reduce human-animal conflict in agricultural areas. The grand prize will be US$30 thousand. Additional prizes of US$15 thousand will be awarded in each of four special categories. The best solution submitted before 10 February will be awarded US$5 thousand. Finally, a prize of US$1 thousand will be awarded for winning nominations. Solution Search is open to all organizations with a proven solution in biodiversity-friendly agriculture. The application deadline is 10 March 2017.

The JRS Biodiversity Foundation aims to increase the access to and the use of information for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. JRS invites proposals for multi-year projects, and for planning grants to prepare multi-year projects. Projects in the theme of freshwater diversity should increase access to and use of biodiversity information relating to freshwater biodiversity assessment and the conservation of freshwater ecosystem services in eastern and southern Africa. Projects in the theme of pollinator biodiversity should increase access to and use of biodiversity information relating to pollinator biodiversity assessment and the conservation of pollinator services in Sub-Saharan Africa. Each multi-year grant will range from about US$50 thousand to about US$250 thousand. Proposals are expected to have strong capacity-building components.  The deadline for submitting proposals is 22 February 2017.

The New England Biolabs Foundation makes grants to grassroots and charitable organizations to support conservation of biological diversity; ecosystem services; community food security; and marine environment. The geographical scope includes selected and conservation sub-regions of Central America, the Andean region of South America, and West Africa.  Grant seekers should review the geographical priorities carefully.  Maximum grant size is US$10 thousand, although most grants are smaller. The next periods for letters of inquiry (English, Spanish) are 01 February through 15 March 2017, and 01 July through 15 August 2017.

Funded by IRD in collaboration with several other French organizations, the program “Sud Expert Plantes Développement Durable” (SEP2D) aims to reinforce scientific research on plant biodiversity in 22 tropical countries. The eligible countries are distributed across West Africa; Central Africa; Indian Ocean; and Southeast Asia. Research themes in SEP2D are forest biodiversity; mitigation of mining activities; commercial applications of plant biodiversity; and agro-biodiversity.  In comparison with the first call for proposals, Call 2 does not require prior co-funding.  Additionally, research institutions or operational actors (NGOs, private or public societies, associations and CSOs, etc) are eligible to lead the partnerships. Funding is up to €40 thousand for national projects, and up to €80 thousand for regional and international projects. The application deadline is 01 March 2017


 With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Academy of Sciences and NEPAD jointly announce seed grants to help Africa implement the Sustainable Development Goals, with focus on SDG3 and SDG9. Challenge 2 in the current call aims to ignite new ways of communicating the importance of investments in scientific research and development to motivate African governments and their citizens to support increased investments in scientific research.  Seed grants are US$100 thousand for two years. Innovations which receive seed grants and show promise for scaling up will be eligible to apply for additional funding up to US$1 million. Grants will go to investigators in African countries, but the program encourages partnerships with investigators in other countries. Applicants can be at any level of experience and discipline from colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-governmental, and non-profit organizations.  The deadline for applications is 17 February 2017.

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences is the country’s focal point for the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI). Qualified individuals from developing countries supported by Belgian Development Cooperation can apply for study visits in Belgium to train in taxonomic projects and biodiversity assessment projects that have strong taxonomic components. Priority is given to projects in the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Dem Rep Congo, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. The application deadline is 19 February 2017.

RUFORUM announced PhD scholarships available through the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) for doctoral studies at three universities in East Africa. They are the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Sciences and Technology (Tanzania); Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya); and Makerere University (Uganda). The relevant doctoral programs are identified in the announcement. Scholarships are available for in-country applicants, as well as for regional (all Sub-Saharan) applicants. The application deadline is 20 February 2017.

The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) fosters and supports start-up enterprises in Africa. TEEP combines mentoring, training, forums, seed capital, and alumni support to individuals in Africa proposing new business ideas or early-stage companies in sectors that include agriculture, among others. The program is open to citizens and legal residents ages 18 and older in any African country. The period for applications (English, French, Portuguese) is 01 January through 01 March.

RUFORUM is partnering with the MasterCard Foundation, Gulu University, and Egerton University to enhance the application of science, technology, business, and innovation for rural agriculture. Students who are economically disadvantaged, and students from post-conflict and conflict-affected areas of Africa, are welcome to apply for admission and financial support at Gulu University (Uganda) or Egerton University (Kenya). The announcements lists the available academic programs at each university. The application deadline is 15 March 2017.

In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the government of Hungary announces scholarships for MSc degrees in agriculture at participating Hungarian universities. The fields of specialization are rural development and agribusiness, horticulture, and agricultural water management.  Applicants should be residents and nationals of the developing countries listed in the announcement. The deadline for applications is 28 February 2017.

With funding provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the African Water Association offers fellowships of US$1 thousand for masters research in water and sanitation. Applicants must be citizens of West African countries who are registered in academic institutions, and whose research is on any of the following themes:  non-revenue water; water quality; water services in low-income urban areas; faecal sludge management; urban and peri-urban sanitation; and use of ICTs in providing water and sanitation services. The application deadline is 28 February 2017.

The Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in AquaCulture, Environment and Society (EM JMD ACES) is a full-time master’s program during two years for European and international students. Applicants are expected to have an appropriate background in aquaculture, marine science, aquatic biology, biology, environmental sciences, marine resources, environmental economics, or environmental policy. Participating students will divide their semesters among universities in the UK, Greece, and France. The program offers scholarships to cover tuition fees, living, and travel expenses. The deadline to apply for scholarships is 17 February 2017.

Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) offers short courses in Israel in subject areas of agriculture, climate change, and related themes. Courses are available in English, Spanish, Russian, and French. Courses for 2017 in English include Integrated Pest Management in March-April (application deadline is 22 January 2017), and Agribusiness for Rural Women in April-May (application deadline is 24 February 2017).  For most courses, MASHAV offers a limited number of scholarships to cover course fees, accommodation, medical insurance, and other expenses in Israel (but not international airfare). Applications are submitted through Israel’s diplomatic missions.

VLIR-UOS is the secretariat of Flemish universities for development cooperation, with funding by Belgian Development Cooperation. VLIR-UOS announces courses at Belgian Flemish universities and university colleges that are eligible for scholarships in 2017. They include 1-year and 2-year masters’ programs, along with training courses lasting from two weeks to three months. Subject areas include aquaculture, marine science, plant breeding, nematology, water resources, rural development, and others. Eligibility for scholarships extends to applicants in 31 developing countries of Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. Candidates apply directly to the Flemish universities that offer the programs, requesting scholarship support. The admission deadlines vary with each program, with many having a deadline of 01 March 2017 for non-EU applicants. (Please check the deadlines carefully!).

The deadline of introduction of application forms is set to the 10 February 2017.

The deadline of introduction of application forms is set to the 10 February 2017.

The deadline of introduction of application forms is set to the 10 February 2017.

Master de spécialisation en production intégrée et préservation des ressources naturelles en milieu urbain et péri-urbain

Candidates who are interested in conducting postdoctoral research at the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research in Israel are invited to apply for fellowships. Research topics include desert ecology, solar energy, environmental physics, architecture and urban planning, rainfed and irrigated agriculture, hydrology, aquaculture, environmental microbiology, desalination and water treatment, and biotechnology. Candidates should first select a topic of interest and identify a prospective supervisor. Applications are open worldwide. The application deadline is 02 March 2017.

The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership comprises many of the world’s largest energy companies in partnership with international organizations, development banks, institutes, and foundations. The program sponsors ESED (Education for Sustainable Energy Development) to support outstanding students from developing countries to pursue masters-level studies directly related to sustainable energy. The support is US$23 thousand per year for up to two years. Applications are invited from any developing country on the list of ODA recipients. The next application deadline is 10 March 2017.

Taiwan’s program of development assistance includes scholarships for university students in eligible developing countries to study in Taiwan. The program provides full scholarships for applicants from selected countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean region, and certain other countries (Jordan, Mongolia, Russia, Turkey). Subject areas at Taiwan’s participating universities include tropical agriculture, renewable energy, environmental sciences, conservation and wildlife management, and others. The application deadline is 17 March 2017.

With funding by the UK’s Department for International Development, the Commonwealth Shared Scholarships are available to citizens of Commonwealth countries for masters studies at UK universities, usually for one year. The participating academic programs include several in subject areas such as environmental science and management, agro-forestry, livestock management, remote sensing, disaster management, wetlands science, etc. The CSC lists the participating universities and their eligible courses. Potential applicants must check with the relevant UK university regarding their admission requirements and guidelines for applying. The deadline for scholarship applications is 29 March 2017.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) jointly invite applications for the CAS-TWAS President’s PhD Fellowship Programme to pursue PhD studies in China. The participating institutions are the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; the University of Science and Technology of China; and CAS institutes around China. Eligible fields of study include agricultural sciences, various fields of biology, and other areas of the natural sciences and engineering. The programme will award up to 200 scholarships to non-Chinese applicants worldwide. The maximum age of applicants is 35. The application deadline is 31 March 2017.

The Arturo Falaschi Fellowships Program offers long and short-term fellowships to assist in the training of scientists from ICGEB’s member states, including many developing countries. The fellowships are for research at collaborating universities in Trieste, New Delhi, and Cape Town. For doctoral fellowships, the application deadline is 31 March. For post-doctoral fellowships, the deadlines are 31 March and 30 September. For short-term fellowships, the deadlines are at the end of each calendar quarter.

The Challenge is an annual prize of US$100 thousand to invite ideas to radically advance human well-being and ecosystem health. Entries in prior years include several in energy, water, agriculture, natural disasters, etc., with relevance in developing countries. The application deadline is 31 March 2017.

The Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (Borlaug LEAP) offers fellowships for graduate students from developing countries for agricultural research at universities in the USA. The program currently invites applications from citizens of USAID-assisted countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Each research project is coordinated by a university in the student’s home country, a university in the USA, and a mentor in the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The next application deadline is 06 April 2016.

The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) Scholar Awards are open to applicants who are graduate students attending a degree-granting institution located in any country with an IPNI program. Applicants in Africa can apply if their research connects with international programs, even if their countries are not in IPNI (see the special criteria for Africans). Awards of US$2 thousand are available to students in the disciplines of agronomy, horticulture, ecology, soil fertility, soil chemistry, crop physiology, and other areas related to plant nutrition. The deadline for applications is 28 April 2017.

The Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition sponsors BCFN YES! (Young Earth Solutions) is an international competition for young researchers on the theme of sustainable food systems. The program offers one-year research grants up to €20 thousand to PhD and postdoc researchers worldwide from any background and nationality. The maximum age is 35. Subject areas include climate change, resilient agriculture, sustainable water management, ecosystem services, food policy, and many others. The competition encourages the participation of teams from different disciplines and countries who wish to combine their expertise in innovative approaches.  The deadline for proposals is 28 June 2017


FAO Conference Awards 2017
The FAO makes awards to individuals, institutions, and organizations for outstanding achievements in fighting hunger. For 2017, FAO will present four awards and one medal. Proposals for nominations require endorsement by FAO representatives in countries, regions, or headquarters. The deadline for nominations is 31 January 2017.

The RUFORUM Field Attachment Program Award is a graduate student internship to link thesis research to application and use at the community level. The awards are for MSc students supported by RUFORUM, and who are finalizing their degrees. The grant provides a living stipend and limited travel for three to four months. Applications will be accepted throughout 2017

AuthorAID announced its first round of small grants in 2017 to support researchers in developing countries with travel and workshops. In this first round for 2017, AuthorAID plans to award five travel grants (US$1,500 each) and five workshop grants (US$2,500 each). AuthorAID posts the list of eligible developing countries. The deadline to apply for travel grants is 29 January 2017. The deadline to apply for workshop grants is 05 February 2017.

Question 3 in the 2017 competition of the Belgium Royal Academy for Overseas Science is: "A study is requested on the possibilities of improvement of underutilized plant species based on characterization of their genetic diversity, with the aim of solving problems of food security, poverty or climate change adaptation." Each award-winning work in the yearly competition is granted a prize of €2,500. The competition is open to all scientists worldwide without age restrictions. The deadline for submissions is 01 March 2017.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation offers 20 fellowships for young climate experts from developing countries interested in conducting a project in Germany and pursuing long-term collaboration. The fellowship allows future leaders to spend a year in Germany working on a research-based project of their own choice in the field of climate protection. Fellows choose their own hosts. The fellowship includes intensive language training and an orientation program at the introduction. The deadline for applications is 01 March 2017.

The West African Research Association (WARC) Travel Grant supports West African scholars and graduate students for research visits to other institutions on the (African) continent. Travel grant funds may be used to attend and present papers at academic conferences relevant to the applicant’s field of research; visit libraries or archives in support of the applicant’s current academic work; engage in collaborative work with colleagues at another institution; and travel to a research site. The grant provides travel costs up to US$1,500 and a stipend of US$1,500. The program is open to West African nationals, with preference given to those affiliated with West African colleges, universities, and research institutions. The next application period is 15 January 2017 through 15 March 2017.

The Belmont Forum and START announce an opportunity for African scientists to participate in the Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action on “Sustainable Urban Global Initiative: Food-Water-Energy Nexus.” Principal Investigators and co-PIs should be African nationals based at African institutions. Proposals should include PIs or co-PIs from at least three countries, combining African countries with countries in the Belmont Forum. Funding for the African research is US$100 thousand for one year, with the possibility to extend for another year. The deadline for applications is 15 March 2017. Webinars for applicants February 16, 2017.

Each year, the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) awards eight prizes of US$15 thousand each to individual scientists who have been working and living in a developing country for at least 10 years. The disciplinary fields include agricultural sciences, biology, and seven others. TWAS particularly encourages nominations of women scientists, and scientists from scientifically-lagging countries. The deadline for nominations is 31 March 2017.

Through the TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visits, post-doctoral researchers in Sub-Saharan Africa make cooperation visits to institutes in Germany. The visits are limited to three months, with the aim of promoting longer-term collaboration. Preference is for young PhD-level scientists, particularly women. The application deadline is 31 March 2017.

The swissuniversities Development and Cooperation Network (SUDAC) calls for various types of Swiss higher education institutions to collaborate with each other and with partners in the Global South to develop and organize Consortia for Education and Research (COFER).  COFER will aim for stronger integration of research, education, and implementation through new collaborative networks oriented towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Each COFER must address at least two SDGs; provide at least 50% matching funds; and provide funding for partners in the Global South. The application deadline is 31 March 2017.

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) offers sponsorship assistance to individuals wishing to attend a conference, seminar, workshop or field day that directly benefits agricultural research for development. ACIAR also supports organisations seeking sponsorships for this same objective. The priority is for events and sponsorships in ACIAR partner countries and related to ACIAR projects. However, direct involvement in an ACIAR project is not a prerequisite to apply for funding. The application deadlines are the first Wednesday of April and the last Wednesday of October in each calendar year.

The Fiat Panis Foundation makes awards for university thesis and dissertation research in themes of agriculture and natural resources, with a focus on food security in developing countries. The Hans Hartwig Ruthenberg Graduate Award is €7.5 thousand. The deadline for submissions (German, English) is 30 April 2017.

The World Food Prize Foundation invites nominations for the annual World Food Prize, and for the annual Borlaug Field Award. The World Food Prize (US$250 thousand) recognizes an individual or individuals who have made outstanding achievements to enhance the world’s food production and its distribution to those most in need. The Borlaug Field Award (US$10 thousand) recognizes science-based achievement in international agriculture and food production by an individual under age 40 in the challenge to eliminate global hunger and poverty. The deadlines for nominations are 01 May 2017 for the World Food Prize, and 30 June 2017 for the Borlaug Field Award.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2017

19-21 January 2017. Berlin. The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) is an international conference that focuses on central questions concerning the future of the global agri-food industry. It is held every year in January during the International Green Week (IGW).

The GFFA is organised by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in cooperation with GFFA Berlin e.V., the Senate of Berlin and Messe Berlin GmbH. The political highlight of the GFFA is the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference, which takes place in the Weltsaal of the Federal Foreign Office. With 65 ministers at the last summit, this is the world’s largest conference of agriculture ministers.

At numerous events the three-day forum offered representatives from the worlds of politics, business, science and civil society an opportunity to share ideas and agree on a different key topic of agricultural policy each year. 

Under the title “Agriculture and Water – Key to Feeding the World”, the forum discussed:
  • what role agriculture, as a large user of water, can play worldwide in the sustainable stewardship of water as a valuable resource and in maintaining water quality, 
  • how it can be ensured that agriculture has access to water, and hence can provide the global population with food, given the increasing competition over water usage and how agriculture can contribute its considerable potential regarding the use of water towards political processes at international level.
  • Innovative regional and national approaches to efficient water use in agriculture in Africa (Organiser: German-African Business Association; Co-Organiser German Agribusiness Alliance)
  • Meeting the Twin Challenges: Food security and water management (Organiser: European Commission): Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development will host this ministerial level debate. This panel focuses on an active engagement with all participants and the audience with the aim of identifying appropriate policy responses and best practice examples in view of tackling enormous global challenge of water and sustainable agriculture.

Renforcer les services en gestion de la santé animale et en sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation

19 janvier 2016. Bruxelles. European Commission, DG DevCo Infopoint. Renforcer les services en gestion de la santé animale et en sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation


  • Dr Bernard Rey Chef d’Unité adjoint DEVCO C1 Développement rural, sécurité alimentaire, nutrition 
  • Dr Marie-Frédérique Parant Directrice adjointe France Vétérinaire International (FVI) 
  • Dr Olivier Faugère Directeur de l’Ecole nationale des services vétérinaires (ENSV), et directeur de FVI 
  • Dr Cécile Squarzoni Responsable de l’équipe mixte CIRAD-FVI

25 January 2017. The registration for the upcoming Addressing Food Safety in Animal Source Foods For Improved Nutrition webinar hosted by Agrilinks is now open.

This is the third event in the Livestock & Household Nutrition Learning Series, convened by Land O’Lakes International Development and the International Livestock Research Institute and funded through the USAID TOPS Small Grants Program. What are the key food safety issues related to livestock production, animal source foods and what are their potential impacts on human health and nutrition?

Join the upcoming joint Agrilinks and Microlinks webinar where experts will share effective approaches to improving food safety and quality related to livestock production.

Attendees will learn about improving food safety and quality throughout the livestock value chain including production methods, processing and storage technologies, risk assessments, policy impacts, opportunities for the private sector and consumer education.
  • Hung Nguyen-Viet will pay particular attention to the relationship between animal source foods and the impact of food borne disease, while also considering how traditional and gender roles in livestock and fish value chains can impact exposure and risk.
  • Dennis Karamuzi will outline the steps taken by the Government of Rwanda and the Rwanda Dairy CompetitivenessProject II in increasing the supply of clean milk for both rural and urban consumers. 
  • Silvia Alonso will discuss the role of informal markets in meeting the nutrition needs of the most vulnerable communities and the tension between food safety, livelihoods and access to food that characterize such markets. She will present new research aimed to investigate how “light-touch” interventions in informal dairy markets could give win-win outcomes on health and livelihoods.
Presenters will discuss new actions taking place in development that help provide clean, safe and affordable animal source foods to poor urban and rural households. In addition, the webinar will touch on the role of animal source foods in the global burden of food-borne disease and why food safety related to animal source foods plays an important role in food security.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Innovation systems: Towards Effective Strategies in support of Smallholder Farmers

Innovation systems: Towards effective strategies in support of smallholder farmers
Francis, J.; Mytelka, L.; van Huis, A.; Röling, N.
2016 CTA; CoS; Wageningen University and Research, 256 pages

The result of an expert consultation, this publication examines ‘innovations systems’ – a concept suggested as underpinning industrial development – as a strategy for agricultural development. Innovation systems approaches conceptualise change as a long-term, socially-embedded process, and recognise the important role policy plays in shaping the parameters within which decisions are made. Providing a collection of papers and commentaries from the world’s top scholars and practitioners, this book looks at the strengths – but also the weaknesses and challenges – of the innovations systems approach and how it may be applied to benefit smallholder farmers.

Introduction - Why Focus on Innovation Systems: Implications for Research and Policy Judith Ann Francis and Arnold van Huis
  1. Chapter 1. Innovation Systems and Agriculture: Going Beyond Research for Increasing Yields - Merle Jacob
  2. Chapter 2. Innovation Systems Approaches to Agriculture and Rural Development - John Ouma-Mugabe
  3. Chapter 3. Innovation Systems Approaches in a Time of Transition - Lynn Mytelka
  4. Chapter 4. What is Systemic about Innovation Systems? The Implications for Policies, Governance and Institutionalization - Ray Ison
  5. Chapter 5. The Use of Innovation Systems in a Technology Development Programme: The Case of Research Into Use (RIU) - Norman Clark
  6. Chapter 6. Building Innovation Capacity of Local Actors: The Case of the Chilean and Argentine Wine Industries - Fulvia Farinelli
  7. Chapter 7. Innovation Systems and Capability Building among Smallholder Farmers: Lessons and Insights from Kenya’s Flower Farmers - Maurice Bolo
  8. Chapter 8. Political Power in Innovation Systems: Smallholder Sustainable Intensification and Rural Mechanization – Stephen Biggs and Scott Justice
  9. Chapter 9. The Uses of Research: Action Researching in and Across Nine Agro-Enterprise Domains. The Experience of the Convergence of Sciences-Strengthening Innovation Systems Programme in Benin, Ghana and Mali - Janice Jiggins, G. Essegbey, L. Klerkx, A. van Paassen, R. Pyburn and R. Tossou
  10. Chapter 10. Research and Experimentation in Support of Artisanal Palm Oil Production in Ghana - Charity Osei-Amponsah
  11. Chapter 11. Innovation Platform and Pricing Policies: The Case of Cocoa in Ghana - Richard Adu-Acheampong, E. Tei-Quartey, W. Jonfia-Essien, M. Owusu-Manu, M.S.N.K. Addo, K. Ofori-Frimpong, P. Osei-Fosu, M. Amuzu, C. Afari-Mintah, N. N. Eku-X, E.T.N. Quarshie and F. Otu Acquah
  12. Chapter 12. The Theory of Change Underlying the Efficiency of Agricultural Innovation Platforms (IPs): The Case of the Thyolo Vegetable IP in Malawi - Adewale Adekunle, A.O. Fatunbi and N. Kefasi
  13. Chapter 13. Innovation Platforms for Smallholders in Maize and Cassava Value Chains: DONATA’s Experiences in West and Central Africa - Sidi Sanyang, S.J.B. Taonda, J. Kuiseu and A. Kafando
  14. Chapter 14. Making Sense of Innovation Processes in African Smallholder Agriculture - Bernard Triomphe, A. Floquet, G. Kamau, B. Letty, C. Almekinders and A. Waters-Bayer
  15. Chapter 15. The Journey to R4D: An Institutional History of an Australian Initiative on Food Security in Africa - Andy Hall, P. Carberry, A. Djikeng, H. Roy-Macauley, B. Pengelly, A. Njoya, L. Ndungu, I. Kollo, C. Bruce, L. McMillan, R. Ison and B. Keating
  16. Chapter 16. Innovation Systems, Douglas, Douglass and Beyond: Using Cultural Theory to understand Approaches to Smallholder Development in Sub-Saharan Africa - Niels Röling
  17. Chapter 17. Innovation Systems, Agricultural Development and Economic Empowerment: Lessons from CTA’s Agricultural Science Technology and Innovation System Capacity - Judith Francis

Monday, January 16, 2017

Support of India to agricultural mechanization in Kenya

11 January 2017. India announced a USD 100 million Line of Credit to Kenya for agricultural mechanization after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Kenyan President, during which they also decided to deepen economic cooperation, identifying expansion of bilateral trade as a “priority”.

The upgrading of Rift Valley Textiles Factory (Rivatex) funded by a Sh2.995 billion ($29.95 million) LOC is ongoing, while another Sh1.5 billion ($15 million) LOC to IDB Capital Limited for development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is being implemented.

State Visit of the President of Kenya
to India (10-12 Jan 2017)
11-13 January 2017Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit. The central focus of the Summit was “Sustainable Economic and Social Development”. It brought together heads of states and governments, ministers, leaders from the corporate world, senior policy makers, heads of international institutions and academia from around the world to further the cause of development and to promote cooperation.

A Kenyan business Session was organised by FICCI, CII and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), in New Delhi on January 12, 2017.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Future of African Agriculture: Perspectives from the Next Generation of African Scientists

11 January 2017. Davis, USA. University of California, Plant and Environmental Science Bldg. Borlaug LEAP Fellows presented their perspectives from a book they are editing, The Future of African Agriculture: Perspectives from the Next Generation of African Scientists.

The book is showcasing the opportunities for Africa’s future in the midst of on-going challenges through current research and from the viewpoint of young African scientists. Seven former Fellows, now serving as editors on the book, presented current research in the context of the book. 

Dr. Dawd Gashu
Through presentation and panel discussion, the speakers covered the three main book topics:
  1. Africa Rising – small farmers feeding the continent
  2. Biotechnological advancement as a tool to enhance agricultural productivity in Africa and 
  3. Opportunities and challenges in Africa’s agriculture in 2050 and beyond 
The speakers represented both academic and government research institutes in seven different African countries (Togo, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Mali).

Dr. Waweru
Presenters and Panel:
  • Dr. Senorpe Asem-Hiablie, Ghana. Post-doctoral Researcher, USDA-ARS (Research:
    Investigations of Human Exposure Risk to Environmental Estrogens through Common Ingestion Pathways).
  • Dr. Dawd Gashu, Ethiopia. Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Addis Ababa University (Research: Effect of Micronutrient Status on Health and Metabolism of Children in Ethiopia)
    Dr. Assoumane
  • Mr. Kwevitoukoui Hounkpati, Togo. PhD Candidate, Entomology, University of Georgia (Research:  Systematic Studies of West African Ladybeetles (Coccinellidae)
  • Mr. Mustafa Jibrin, Nigeria. PhD Candidate, Plant Pathology, University of Florida-Gainesville (Research: Molecular Characterization and Race Classification of Bacteria Spot Pathogen of Tomato in Northwestern Nigeria).
  • Dr. Assoumane Maiga, Mali. Professor Advisor, Ministry of Education, Mali. (Research: Evaluating Communication Strategies and the Role of Mass Media in Disseminating Agriculture-related Information to Farmers in Post-conflict Nations)
  • Dr. Mariam Mtunguja, Tanzania. Senior Research Officer, Mikocheni Ag. Research Inst.
    Dr. Mtunguja
    (MARI) (Research: Genetic Diversity, Starch Physicochemical Properties and Cyanide Levels in Farmers' Preferred Cassava Landraces in the Eastern Zone of Tanzania)
  • Ms. Bernice Waweru, Kenya. Research Scientist, Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Org. (KALRO) (Research: An Implementation of Nested-Association Mapping for Stem Rust Resistance Genes in Bred Wheat)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Agricultural mechanisation: how adapted financial solutions can make a difference

Food security in sub-Saharan Africa: a fresh look on agricultural mechanisation; how adapted financial solutions can make a difference
Ströh de Martínez, Christiane / Marietta Feddersen / Anna Speicher 
2016 German Development Institute (DIE) Bonn: Studies 91, 191 pp.

Much of sub-Saharan Africa’s farmland is (still) cultivated with the hand hoe, and agricultural processing and transport are often done manually. This limits the potential of agriculture in the region. 

Mechanization can help to alleviate food shortages and enhance agricultural development. However, this implies high levels of investment for farmers and some risks for rural populations and eco-systems. The necessary financing is especially difficult to access and risky for longer-term agricultural investments such as mechanisation. In addition, there can be trade-offs between mechanisation and employment.

To better understand how mechanization can contribute to food security, this study first assesses the controversial impact of mechanization on rural populations and their environments. In a second step, the difficulty in accessing financing is analysed, distilling success factors for financing mechanisation. Thereby, the study aims at bringing the sectors of agriculture and finance closer together with the overall objective of fighting food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa.

1 February 2017. "Transformer l’agriculture ouest-africaine par le développement de la mécanisation : quelles politiques publiques ?".
  • Cet atelier, qui durera toute la journée, a pour but d’engager des réflexions relatives à la transformation  de l’agriculture de la sous-région, en vue de favoriser une intensification agricole raisonnée. L’atelier a ainsi pour objectif de formuler des recommandations destinées aux principaux acteurs et tout particulièrement aux décideurs politiques, aux banques et aux organisations de producteurs. 
  • Cet atelier est organisé en partenariat avec le Ministère de l’Agriculture et de l’Equipement Rural du Sénégal, la Fondation pour l’Agriculture et la Ruralité dans le Monde (FARM) et la Fondation Syngenta pour une Agriculture Durable (FSAD). 

The SIMA Paris International Agribusiness Show 2017 will take place from 26 February to 2 March 2017 at Paris Nord Villepinte, France.

Sunday 26 February 2017, the opening day, will bring together African ministers and African institutional partners, who will present their agricultural development strategy.

On Tuesday 28 February 2017, a conference will be held entitled “Agricultural mechanisation in Africa: what strategy for progress?” 

Organized by AXEMA and SIMA, with the participation of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the European Agricultural Machinery Committee (CEMA), Bpifrance Export, FNCUMA, and the Pan African Farmers Organizations (PAFO). Feedback from entities operating in Africa will also contribute to this event aimed at African professionals (farmers, breeders) and exhibitors.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mycotoxins: How climate change is affecting crops

Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern
May 2016. UNEP, 35 pages

20 May 2016 – From the worrying rise in zoonotic diseases around the world to an examination of how climate change is increasing the toxicity of crops, this UNEP report of last year seeked to highlight a number of the world’s key emerging environmental issues.

UNEP’s Frontiers report identifies, highlights and offers solutions to six emerging issues, including the threat to human health posed by the alarming amount of plastic waste in our oceans and the crucial role the world’s financial sector can play in driving the planet to a low-carbon, resource-efficient future.
Aflatoxins, which are fungal toxins that can cause cancer and stunt foetal growth, are another emerging problem in crops. The risk of aflatoxin contamination, especially in maize, is expected to increase in higher latitudes due to rising temperatures. A recent study predicts that this toxin will become a food safety issue for Europe, especially in the most likely scenario of a 2oC rise in global temperatures.
4 November 2016. CTA Spore Magazine. Mycotoxins: How climate change is affecting crops. Agricultural yields are not the only thing under threat from climate change. A warmer climate could also make staple food crops more toxic.

The UNEP report focuses in particular on mycotoxins, a type of toxin produced by fungi that contaminate plants. There are said to be around 400 different types of mycotoxin, the most well-known of which are aflatoxins, ochratoxin A and fumonisins – strains found most commonly in maize, wheat, sorghum and groundnuts. UNEP estimates suggest that 4.5 million people will be exposed to mycotoxins in developing countries by consuming foodstuffs without quality control.
Around 40% of cases of liver cancer in Africa are said to be attributable to aflatoxins. This is the most pressing health concern in hot, humid countries. (...) There is a pressing need to promote best-practice principles among farmers to take action further up the food chain. We already have a number of simple techniques to reduce this type of contamination, such as drying seeds properly and avoiding storing them directly on the ground. Sadly, many countries lack the funding required to train farmers.” Didier Montet, food safety specialist at CIRAD
“One of the effects of climate change is an increase in the risk of plant contamination. When a plant is stressed and in poor health – such as during a heatwave or drought – it can become more vulnerable to fungal infections. Some types of fungus also infect plants via wounds caused by insects – another phenomenon that may well become more common as the climate heats up”. Catherine Bessy, food safety expert at FAO.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hygienic Practices for Food Safety in Small & Medium-Size Businesses

9 January 2016. Sojagnon (a PAEPARD supported consortium) in Partnership with the Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) held a webinar entitled “Hygienic Practices for Food Safety in Small and Medium Sized Businesses.”

Hygienic practices for handling, preparing, and storing food not only preserve the food’s nutrition and protect consumers from food-borne illness, but also help producers reduce food waste, garner trust to their brand, and increase business profits.

Charles Nsubuga
Food safety is especially important for producers who serve those with compromised immune systems, including those living with HIV/AIDS, illness, the elderly, pregnant women, and infants. Emphasis will be placed on using resources available in your community to implement a safe food handling system in your own production room.
  • Food safety challenges faced by rural women soy entrepreneurs in Benin (Patrice Sewade, Managing Director of SOJAGNON, and NGO in Godomey-Togoudo, Benin)
  • Food safety challenges faced by a small, certified soy milk operation in Ghana (Prof. Joseph Osei, manager of AA Pure Soya Milk in Agona, Ghana)
  • Food safety and quality control methods in a medium-size soy food company in Uganda (Charles Nsubuga, CEO of Sesaco Foods, Ltd., Kampala, Uganda)
    "The cost of testing for aflatoxin at Makerere University is between 20 and 30 $ per sample)"
  • First steps for food safety in small businesses and households (Faustina Vimariba, Ghana Health Service Regional Nutrition Officer)
  • Closing remarks by Prof. Matt Stasiewicz, University of Illinois, USA
  • Q and A
Packaging Techniques to Improve Soy Food Shelf Life
Published on 6 Dec 2016
This webinar, Packaging Techniques to Improve Soy Food Shelf Life,
  • focused on the range of packaging techniques for soy dairy products and the best practices for each to ensure greater success and financial growth of soy dairy enterprises. 
  • reviewed technical information regarding different packaging and distribution options including the use of glass versus plastic bottles, different refrigeration.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

AFRIKA KOMMT! An Initiative of German Industry for Future Leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa

14 December 2016. AFRIKA KOMMT! is an initiative of leading German enterprises for future leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa. The fellowship program aims at highly qualified young professionals and junior executives from countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with several years of work experience, strong leadership qualities and a high level of commitment and dedication.

Heart of the program is an eight-month internship in Germany, (Boehringer Ingelheim, BSH Hausgeräte, B. Braun, Commerzbank, Continental, Daimler, Merck, Robert Bosch, SAP, ThyssenKrupp, Voith, Volkswagen, BASF, Bayer, BMW, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank, E.ON Global Comm., Lufthansa, Rauscher Gruppe, Siemens, Schott, Telekom, ZF Friedrichshafen) allowing the participants to gain first-hand practical experience in a leading German enterprise. During the internship, they are exposed to leadership concepts and management techniques in practice and become acquainted with working processes and business culture in German enterprises. As a result, the participants extend their international management competencies and initiate networks of cooperation between Sub-Saharan Africa and German companies. 

“Afrika kommt!” is an impressive example of partnership between Europe and Africa in action.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Research should be more inclusive, especially to the end users

29 December 2016. SciDev. Invest in African research and citizen science​.

To bridge the societal expectations and help solve the current needs, there must be more collaborations. Researchers at both public and private institutions and other research entities that are working on these challenges need to collaborate and work with on-the-ground partners such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) because such entities frequently interact with the end users, the people affected by these challenges. Furthermore, NGOs are driven to get results.

Moreover, to generate impact and create sustainable solutions, research should be more inclusive, especially to the end users, the citizens. Citizens must feel that they are part of the process of research. They should play an active role in defining, implementing and evaluating research intended to improve their livelihoods.

One creative way of engaging citizens would be through citizen-science research projects. African governments and donor agencies should fund such projects. 
  • Citizen science enlists society members who care about the issue and engages them in the process of inquiry and discovery of new knowledge. It also goes a long way in making participants feel important because they are engaged in learning how to create solutions and affect change for the future. 
  • Citizen science is a win-win experience both for the participants and scientists. Participants get to experience what it is like to obtain data, the backbone of science. Scientists on the other hand, get the science done while helping them draw meaningful conclusions from the very large datasets. At the same time, citizen science will ensure that members of the society know exactly what is happening.
  • See: The power of citizen science (Citizen Science Association, 2016)