Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, March 9, 2018

ACCESS Agriculture Cotonou official opening

Bonaventure Kouakanou, Director of the Office of the Minister,
cuts the ribbon to open the new Access Agriculture office on
the IITA campus in Cotonou, Benin.
7 March 2018. Cotonou, Benin. Access Agriculture moved into new office for West and Central Africa. Located on the campus of the research organisation IITA, the new facility gives the opportunity to interact with visitors to the site and showcase how “farmer to farmer” videos can help transform livelihoods for smallholder farmers.

Dr. Paul Van Mele, Chairman of Access Agriculture; Dr. Nelson Ojijo, Executive Secretary; and Dr. Dominique Hounkonnou, board member were all present at the ceremony. 

They were joined by their partners in Benin including University of Abomey-Calavi, University of Parakou, DEDRAS, Songhai Centre. DEDRAS, Helvetas Benin, IFDC, Technoserve Benin, PNUD, INRAB (National Research Center), AfricaRice, World Vegetable Center, Bioversity International, and CIVA projects.

The Access Agriculture office is expected to become a hub for collaboration with other organisations committed to working in local languages.

More details about the work of Access Agriculture and its social media platform Agtube can be found at www.accessagriculture.organd

Smallholder and SME Investment Finance (SIF) Fund

The SIF will offer an investment opportunity for donors, DFIs, private sector foundations and investors that have expressed early interest in the concept and are seeking to reach IFAD’s target groups to improve production and productivity significantly. 

The SIF will leverage IFAD’s portfolio of public sector-funded programmes, its de-risking mechanisms through IFAD’s regular portfolio from replenishment fund, financial instruments, public- private producer partnership mechanism, and mobile information platform, blending opportunities with other partners, its smallholder organizations client base, and its field presence and retailing capacity, garnered over 40 years of work in rural development financing. The IFAD portfolio and de-risking mechanism is the main “pillar” of the Framework for Smallholder Agricultural Finance (SAFIN).

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Collective Action on empowering rural communities as drivers of agricultural innovation

20-21 February 2018. Derio, Bilbao, Spain. Partners in GFAR held a workshop to launch a Collective Action on empowering rural communities as drivers of agricultural innovation, by making farmers real participants in research processes. 

The workshop participants wrestled with what participatory research really should look like and who should be involved, and how they made commitments to take forward the elaboration and implementation of this Collective Action!

A GFAR Collective Action on empowering rural communities to determine their own futures was also launched to make use of participatory foresight method, to produce research and innovations that truly address farmers’ problems as they see them. With their foresight capacity built, find out what the young practitioners at the core of the new Africa Foresight Academy are doing to advance #Foresight4Ag!
  • What is participatory research? Who actually participates in what, and how?
  • Is it only happening in individual countries, in certain projects? If so, how can it be scaled up?
  • What kind of change is needed to make research processes participatory? Is it about attitudes, governance structures, policies, funding channels?
  • What kind of partners and partnerships are essential?
These were some of the questions participants came to grapple with during the two-day workshop, The Partners were there to develop a strategy, a design for a Collective Action.
The goal of all approaches to making research more participatory is to end up with fewer publications collecting dust on the shelves, and more farmers benefitting from the knowledge this research has to offer. More technologies effectively made available and usable by farmers. Importantly, though, it’s also about finding ways to integrate farmers’ own traditional knowledge and techniques with the findings of research institutions in the best possible way. It’s about empowering smallholder family farmers to innovate in agriculture themselves, rather than to just be occasional recipients in a research pipeline.

Three key features as pillars of the Collective Action:
  1. Feature 1: Sustaining innovative research in favor of smallholder family farmer should have a dual participatory dimension, both at the level of the specific activities that support this type of research, grounded at local and country experience, and among the actors themselves, to constitute the initial working nucleus of GFAR partners designing the Collective Action. This nucleus will perform its own self-analysis to identify the room and potential for improvement of respective roles and contributions. This Working Group will be comprised of representatives from the Partners in GFAR participating in the Collective Action who have made commitments to drive it forward.
  2. Feature 2: Existing cases where institutional and operational innovations in governance of research with/of family farmers are taking place will be put at the center of the activities. The Working Group will build on experiences of the Partners themselves in order to address the challenges to making research processes truly participatory: the way their decision-making processes work – or don’t work – in favor of smallholder family farms within their organizations and in partnership with others.
  3. Feature 3: Throughout the elaboration of the Concept Note design, partnership quality assessment criteria inspired by what was discussed at the workshop will be applied to monitor the process of partnership building and ensure it is coherent with the values of participatory research.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

African demand for weather and climate services, and business models for private sector engagement

21 February 2018. Webinar.
The Assessing Sustainability and Effectiveness of Climate Information Services (Sustainable CIS) project, which is part USAID’sLearning Agenda for Climate Services in Sub-Saharan Africa, has recently published two blogs and a webinar recording on ‘African demand for weather and climate services, and business models for private sector engagement’ that may be of interest to you all:

  • The Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Delivering Climate Information Services in Africa. Recognizing the role public-private partnerships (PPPs) could play in advancing CIS in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Assessing Sustainability and Effectiveness of Climate Information Services in Africa (Sustainable CIS) project is identifying and piloting effective models for establishing robust PPPs in this sector. While many African countries have experience in establishing PPPs in agriculture, infrastructure and healthcare, PPPs for CIS are still nascent. Successful PPPs require clear motivation and benefit to all parties. Read more here.
  • Strengthening Climate Information Services in Africa: Where are the Opportunities? "Climate sensitive information needs to reach the right people for the appropriate decision that needs to be is not just about useful information, but about valuable information based on user needs". This widely agreed-upon statement was made by Youcef Ait Chellouche of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in September 2017, when the Africa meteorology and hydromet community came together to call for regional cooperation, gender-inclusion, and private sector engagement to improve climate information services (CIS). Read more here.
Millions of dollars in investments have been made in weather and climate infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the past few decades, yet sustainable Climate Information Services (CIS) remain elusive. This webinar examined what is happening in the African region today, and how CIS developments can be leveraged to create investment cycles that meet the needs of end users.

This webinar drew on the findings from a soon to be published white paper ‘A CIS market assessment and business model review’. The demand for CIS was illustrated through case studies of current markets in SSA. Two private sector actors showcased examples of their work and how they engage with National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and other government agencies. Additionally, the demand for services to integrate climate information into infrastructure planning and design decisions was discussed, based on a recent research study.

  1. Dimitar Ivanov (World Meteorological Organisation) WMO Public Private Engagement Policy – PPE in the Global Weather Enterprise Context Skip to Dimitar's presentation 08:26 
  2. Robert O’Sullivan (Winrock International) Climate Information Services in sub-Saharan Africa – A Review of the Market and Private Sector Engagement Skip to Robert's presentation 18:16 
  3. Ari Davidov (Earth Networks) Innovative Meteorological Early Warning Systems and Public Private Partnerships for Climate Change Adaptation in African Least Developed Countries Skip to Ari's presentation 27:58 
  4. David McAfee (Viamo) A Sustainable Climate Information Service for Africa and Asia Skip to David's presentation 36:10 
  5. Jean-Pierre Roux (SouthSouthNorth) Analysing Demand for Services to Integrate Climate Information into Infrastructure Planning and Design Decisions Skip to Jean-Pierre's presentation 45:50

Monday, March 5, 2018

Funds and governments to invest in African agrifood SMEs

28 February 2018. Rabobank Foundation, AgriProFocus, Food and the Business Knowledge Platform and ICCO Cooperation published the study ‘Critical Capital for African Agrifood SMEs’. The study evaluates the access of risk capital by agrifood SMEs (small and medium enterprises). SMEs are key for establishing sustainable food systems, while at the same time face difficulties to access capital.

Offer agrifood SMEs an assortment of services
The study focuses on agrifood SMEs that form the ‘missing middle’: too large for micro-finance and too small for mainstream banks and private equity firms. A major conclusion is that there are very few investment funds that meet the financing needs of agrifood SMEs, that are usually under 250.000 USD and rarely higher than 1M USD. Such smaller investments are tedious and costly for investment funds, even for those set up with the explicit goal to stimulate the development of the agrifood sector.

The report therefore calls on policy makers to promote a graduation strategy, that allows investors to offer an assortment of services to agrifood SMEs that match their development stage. Governments and international development agencies can contribute to such a strategy by reorganising investment funds; giving them a wider mandate and access to relevant financial resources.

Importance of agrifood SMEs for food security
Large portions of the African population continue to be food insecure despite availability of natural resources. Food supply is constrained by low productivity of soil and water, huge post-harvest losses, climate change, and poorly functioning value chains. Agrifood SMEs occupy critical positions along the value chains: as input suppliers, off-takers, processors, distributors, service providers or otherwise. They constitute a pull factor, aggregating large groups of smallholder farmers into the value chain, which can lead to better livelihoods and food security.

About the research
Apart from desk research, the study involved field research in four countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Mali). Local researchers interviewed investment funds, agrifood SMEs, and relevant resource persons. This resulted in examples of successful SMEs that had raised capital, thereby boosting their development, and of SMEs that could not access such funds. The study also presents an overview of existing investment funds for agrifood SMEs in Africa.

You can download the research report HERE

Sunday, March 4, 2018

February PAEPARD blog posts

Blog posts related to ARD activities in February 2018

2 March 2018. Brussels. African Diaspora Projects Initiative 2018 call for projects.
2.       Sourcing while respecting biodiversity new resources ****
1st March 2018. Brussels. Mainstreaming of effective biodiversity protection in the agri-food sector is a necessity. Biodiversity is an essential component of a transition towards sustainable food systems, and should be discussed with food companies and stakeholders and supported by Governments and Institutions.
28 February 2018. Déterminants de la diffusion des technologies en milieu rural avec les vidéos: cas des bonnes pratiques de transformation de soja en fromages au Bénin.
28 February 2018. Gent.
28 February 2018. Webinar
6.       Mycotoxin Analysis: A Focus on Rapid Methods new resource ***
56 pages. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) collaborated with the African Union Commission (AUC) to make this publication available. Proper detection is the basis to deal with mycotoxins including aflatoxins which are invisible poisons.
22 and 28 February 2018. GFAR webinars
22-23 February 2018. Arlington, Virginia, US. The Agricultural Outlook Forum is the USDA’s largest annual meeting, attracting as many as 2,000 attendees from the U.S. and abroad.
22 February 2018. Harare, Zimbabwe. MYTOX SOUTH dissemination workshop.
15 February 2018. Brussels. DevCo InfoPoint. The European Commission intends to seize all opportunities for promoting nutrition-sensitive food systems.
12.   Write-shop joint IDRC-ACIAR call PAEPARD activity
12 to 16 February 2018. Entebbe, Uganda.
15th February 2018. Abuja, Nigeria.
14 February 2018. Rome. The Farmer Field Schools (FFS) approach is currently implemented in over 90 countries
15.   Innovation and Youth Entrepreneurship in Ivory Coast PAEPARD participation+ video
11 February 2018.  Cairo, Egypt. Third edition of the 2018 Africa STI Forum.
16.   FASO-PRO une startup Burkinabè Chenille de karité PAEPARD participation+ video
11 February 2018.  Cairo, Egypt. Third edition of the 2018 Africa STI Forum.
17.   Third Africa Science, Technology and Innovation Forum PAEPARD participation+ video
10-12 February 2018. Cairo, Egypt. The theme of the third edition of the 2018 Africa STI Forum, co-organized by the African Development Bank and the Egyptian Government,  was “Enhancing the competitiveness of the African private sector and transforming Africa through science, technology and innovation”. In the blog post you will find the MINISTERIAL DECLARATION  (6 pages) and a PAEPARD video interview with  Prof. Hany El Shemy, Co-Chair, EU- AU High level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Science, Technology and Innovation which is embedded in the blog post.
7- 9 February 2018. Berlin. Fruit Logistica
14-17 February 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany. Biofach-Vivaness
8 February 2018. Outcome report of the FOOD 2030 conference. 60 pages
7 February 2018. Brussels. Infopoint Lunchtime conference.
5-6 February 2018. Abu Dhabi.  GFIA 2018 
22.   ARD funding opportunities PAEPARD activity
This EASAC report combines analysis of the current status in Europe with exploration of ways forward. Funders who support agriculture and nutrition research need to focus much more of their resources on food intake and on diets. The era of commodity research aimed at feeding a starving world is over; a new era has begun that requires us to nourish all consumers globally in ways that can be sustained environmentally, economically and culturally.
Upscaling of sustainable-intensification systems such as conservation agriculture, which has shown great capacity to increase farm productivity and climate-resilience while reducing environmental degradation, has yet seen limited uptake in sub-Saharan Africa
27 January 2018. African Heads of State gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 30th African Union Summit to discuss issues vital to the continent’s progress and prospect.
24 January 2018. Brussels
Ajayi M.T, Fatunbi AO and Akinbamijo O. O (2018). Strategies for ScalingAgricultural Technologies in Africa. Forum for Agricultural Research inAfrica (FARA), Accra Ghana

Total number of page views in the month of February 2018: 20,689
Most viewed pages on PAEPARD blog over the past month:

Page views

More:  forthcoming ARD conferencesat the bottom of the PAEPARD wiki and PAEPARD blog

Technologies diffusion within agricultural extension based on training video systems.

28 February 2018. Déterminants de la diffusion des technologies en milieu rural avec les vidéos: cas des bonnes pratiques de transformation de soja en fromages au Bénin. Paul Jimmy et al 2016
Annales de l’Université de Parakou, Série Sci. Nat. Agron. Décembre 2016; Vol.6 (No.1) : 59-66

Videos use highlights the importance of the extension material through which innovation is exposed in the performance of agricultural extension. However, the literature focuses very little on factors related to the form and content of extension material in analyzing the factors determining the adoption of a technology.

The present study focuses on the analysis of determinants of technologies diffusion within agricultural extension based on training video systems. The case study targeted women processing soybean into cheeses and used a video training on soybean processing goods practices. 360 women exposed to video are surveyed in six municipalities in the central and northern of Benin. Data was collected on perceptions of women on the form and the content characteristics of video, and on the diffusion of messages contained in video.

Binary logistic regression results showed that diffusion of video messages is affected positively with contents characteristic of video such as perception that technology in the video can satisfy the clients request for cheese improved in quality, and perception that through video the technology is easy to understand and use.

These results suggest that video has the capacity to reduce technology complexity perceived, increasing diffusion of innovations.Expansion of video use in agricultural extension was recommended.

Reference: Under this link you will find additional publications that you may find of interest on the subject of using videos in agricultural extension.

Sustainable Technology for Africa Competition - 2018 Edition

2 March 2018. Brussels. African Diaspora Projects Initiative 2018 call for projects. Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs, the African Diaspora Projects Initiative and VITO (Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek) joined forces to stimulate the sustainable economy in Africa.

Companies, (aspiring) entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists from the African diaspora with a great idea for a sustainable economy could participate in the “Sustainable Technologies for Africa”competition.
  • In order to polish their ideas for a cleaner planet to perfection,selected teams will participate in a bootcamp and series of coaching sessions, where they will be coached by experts and experienced entrepreneurs. They will also be supported by selected students from Thomas More hogeschool
  • At the end, teams will compete in a pitch contest attended by investors, government officials, African diplomats, development experts and other members of the public. The top-3 winners will get a social loan and in-kind support to realize their dream. 
  • With the SusTech4Africa competition, VITO, the African Diaspora Projects Initiative and Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs will accelerate the founding and growth of cleantech industry in African Countries, by connecting local African and Belgian cleantech companies.

This initiative is with the support of the African Diaspora in Belgium including FAAB vzw, The Food Bridge vzw, Afropreneur Belgium, The One community, African Renaissance asbl, Networking for Africans in Belgium, De la Luna Agency, The One Community, Solidev asbl, Yabs Network and the Thomas More University.
  1. Step 1: Selection Days 8th and 9th of March, 2018 @ Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs office, Leuven. If the business idea is selected, applicants will be invited to participate in the Boot Camp, the Coaching Sessions and the Final Pitch Event.
  2. Step 2: Boot Camp 19th and 20th of March , 2018 @ Thomas More University, Mechelen. During the 2-day Boot Camp business coaches will teach on how to jumpstart a business. With the assistance of mentors applicants will further work out the idea, and develop a business pitch, which they will present
    to the other participants at the end of the Boot Camp. The open questions and assumptions that emerge during the Boot Camp will be the focus of the homework in the coaching sessions afterwards.
  3. Step 3: Coaching Sessions 27th of March, 3rd and 10th of April , 2018. During the coaching sessions applicants will work on specific aspects of their business idea and pitch. These can then be checked with the coaches to evaluate how their idea is developing. Each coaching session ends with a pitch rehearsal, where the coaches and other teams can provide feedback. 
  4. Step 4: Final Pitch Event24th of April, 2018. In the Final Pitch Event applicants will present an elaborated pitch of their business idea to the public, to potential investors and representatives of the Revolving Loan Fund of Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs. A jury will choose the winners after deliberation.
In 2017 The Forgotten Green Heroes was one of the projects that got selected during the call focusing on the agro food sector. Having signed their contract with Ondernemers voor Ondernemers, they are now upscaling their project.

The forgotten Green Heroes is a non-governmental, non-political and non-profit making organisation which seeks to build capacity among the local forest communities and indigenous people at home and abroad, to better engage in decision making about issues that involved them; and to improve and safeguard the livelihood, well-being, and culture of the people living in and from the forest (the indigenous people and their
elites where ever they are).

  • To enable human resource development through focused training, mentoring and learning by doing approaches;
  • To strengthen communication, education and awareness-raising at all levels, especially at the local community levels;
  • To encourage and strengthen full participatory of Indigenous people and integrated approaches in planning, decision-making, implementation and monitoring of most activities in their communities;
  • To strengthen a network of information, knowledge and experience sharing;
  • To promote the culture, values and rights of indigenous people;
  • To provide social care, personal care and physical care to orphans, elderly, disable, and pregnant women in local communities;
  • To promote sustainable forest management for poverty alleviation and local development.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Sourcing while respecting biodiversity: the case of food

1st March 2018. Brussels. The Global Nature Fund, the Belgian Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, Université catholique de Louvain and IPES-food organised an exchange of ideas around food sourcing and biodiversity.

You can find the full program as well as useful background documents here
(link is external)
Mainstreaming of effective biodiversity protection in the agri-food sector is a necessity. Biodiversity is an essential component of a transition towards sustainable food systems, and should be discussed with food companies and stakeholders and supported by Governments and Institutions. 

This debate on sourcing is intended to help (1) clarify the key questions that companies should be asking in regards to minimizing impacts on biodiversity from their sourcing of agro-commodities and (2) to identify effective approaches for applying best practices in sourcing decisions and operations. This effort is aimed at providing guidance for companies seeking to (a) evaluate new sites of production (strategic investment decisions), (b) expand production within a current source landscape, and/or (c) review and revise production and sourcing practices to diminish impacts on local ecosystems and biodiversity.

Extracts of the programme:
  • David Olson from Conservation Earth - Module 1: “The current state of the biodiversity in the region of production” 
  • Louise Buck from Ecoagriculture Partners - Module 2: “Improving biodiversity outcomes in agricultural production systems” 
  • Tom Dedeurwaerdere from BIOGOV research unit (Université Catholique de Louvain) – Module 3: “The political governance in terms of biodiversity in the production country”
  • Marion Hammerl from Global Nature Fund/LCF - LIFE Presentation: Recommendation on effective biodiversity criteria and policies for standards organisations and sourcing requirements of companies 
  • Francesco Tramontin from Mondelez – Mondelez Harmony program: Sourcing sustainable wheat to promote biodiversity and bake great biscuits 
  • Tom Dedeurwaerdere from the BRAIN project ‘Food4Sustainability’ - Results of a survey on Belgian companies and their link with biodiversity

Related PAEPARD blogpost:
2nd June 2016. Launch of the IPES-Food’s first major report: 'From Uniformity to Diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems

This report asks three key questions:
  1. What are the outcomes of industrial agriculture / diversified agroecological systems?
  2. What is keeping industrial agriculture in place?
  3. How can the balance be shifted?
Business for sustainable landscapes : an action agenda for sustainable development
IUCN ; Washington D.C., EcoAgriculture Partners, 2017, 65 pages
This report draws widely from the diverse experience of landscape partnerships to analyze the challenges and opportunities for businesses and their partners, and lays out critical actions needed by businesses themselves, and by financial institutions, governments and landscape programs, to improve the effectiveness of landscape partnerships and replicate the approach in many more places.

24 April 2018 - 26 April 2018
SAI Platform Annual Event & General Assembly 2018
Scandic Hotel, Aarhus, Denmark

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Doing Research in Africa: tips and tricks on ethics and funding

28 February 2018. Gent. Doing Research in Africa: tips and tricks on ethics and funding

Mycotoxin Analysis: A Focus on Rapid Methods

Mycotoxin Analysis: A Focus on Rapid Methods.
Kristine Wolf and Florian J. Schweigert (2018) 56 pages
Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa, African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The outbreaks of acute aflatoxin poisoning that tragically killed hundreds of people in Eastern African countries in recent years are a cause for concern. Reports show that chronic aflatoxin exposure is attributable to at least one-third of the liver cancer cases in Africa, making liver cancer the number one cause of cancer mortality in Africa. Africa’s share of the world groundnut trade has dwindled to a mere 4% from high of 77% in the 1960’s at least partly due to difficulty to meet aflatoxin standards of major importing countries. We should also heed the mounting evidence that aflatoxin is associated with childhood stunting and with immune-system suppression. 

The challenge is complex and deserves coordinated efforts. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) collaborated with the African Union Commission (AUC) to make this publication available. Proper detection is the basis to deal with mycotoxins including aflatoxins which are invisible poisons. Considering the limited laboratory infrastructure and capacity in most parts of developing world, it is important to have rapid, reliable and accessible test methods that can be easily adopted.

Webinars Data-driven agriculture and Key data for farmers

22 and 28 February 2018.

Webinar 1. Data-driven agriculture overview

Precision agriculture is a promising set of technologies that is data intensive, but which has limited adoption by small holder farms in Sub-Saharan Africa. Concurrently, current trends in sustainability, traceability, and compliance reporting demand that an ever-increasing amount of data be gathered as part of everyday operations in modern production agriculture.

The use of farm management information systems (FMIS) for decision support has shown great promise for improving farm yields and profitability. However, growers are often unsure of the value of the data that they are providing and/or receiving. How does this data help them make the right decisions to improve their yield and profitability? How do growers and service providers work together to simplify the design and use of farm data? How can smallholder farmers take advantage of data in a mutually valuable relationship with data providers? 

Webinar 2. Key data for farmers

Data becomes significant if it can be linked to information, knowledge and wisdom. Once processed it can be used to generate detailed insights into farm operations and the environment. It assists big and small holder farmers in making data-based operational decisions to optimize yield and boost revenue while minimizing expenses, the chances of crop failure, and environmental impact.

For data driven agriculture to happen we have to distinguish the data streams in the food chain from pre-planting to consumption, for example: data collected and managed from the farm by farmers which can be either static or dynamic; data coming from external sources like market prices and data that is exported for aggregation by other farm service providers. However, farmers may not be in a position to realize those streams and possibly what data and information is required to answer the food chain questions, for example: What produce can I grow where I live? When should I sow/plant/harvest/market it? How should I sow/plant/harvest/market it? All these questions can be answered if the factual data or information is used or made available to the farmers.

FAO-NEPAD webinar on rural youth employment

28 February 2018. Webinar: ‘Rural youth employment: Emerging challenges and targeted solutions

The webinar was the second of a series of webinars on productive employment and decent work in rural areas which we are organizing ion collaboration with NEPAD and DPS FAO. The webinar’s aim was to reach as many actors possible and to raise awareness on the FAO and NEPAD approaches and experience in promoting decent jobs for rural youth in Africa.

Recording of the Webinar forthcoming.

Previous webinar:

Mycotoxins: The Hidden Threat to Human Health in Zimbabwe

Dr. Melody Ndemera - former PhD student
at Ugent/University of Zimbabwe
22 February 2018.Harare, Zimbabwe. “Mycotoxins: The Hidden Threat to Human Health in Zimbabwe”. MYTOX SOUTH dissemination workshop. The workshop was funded by Ghent University Global Minds fund in collaboration with Randox Food Diagnostics and the University of Zimbabwe.

Mycotoxins are dangerous and produced by fungi that can contaminate food. The subsistence farming populations in Zimbabwe are exposed to this fungi through maize consumption and small children, below five years of age, are highly exposed to mycotoxins, which can have serious consequences on health and nutrition status. They can affect growth and development in children.
Higher and Tertiary Education
Minister Professor Amon Murwira
Food safety is one of the key issues in food and nutrition security and should be addressed through research so that our approach to problems is science based. We are gathered here to tap some knowledge and evidence from the research work, which has been done on food safety threat presented by dangerous toxic chemicals, which are produced by fungi on food, toxins called mycotoxins. Research produced by academics in higher and tertiary institutions should be taken seriously and used in policy making to address national problems
The Herald of Zimbabwean  ‘Mycotoxins a threat to food safety’ with a message from the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Support African Agriculture as a Business

22-23 February 2018. Arlington, Virginia. Now in its 94th year, the Agricultural Outlook Forum was the USDA’s largest annual meeting, attracting as many as 2,000 attendees from the U.S. and abroad. The forum highlighted key issues and topics within the agricultural community, offering a platform for conversation among producers, processors, policymakers, government officials, and non-governmental organizations, both foreign and domestic.

International Markets and Trade
Emerging Markets in Developing Regions
Growing incomes lead to expanding food demand in SubSaharan Africa and Southeast Asia. With a combined population of almost 2 billion, these regions have a growing presence in global agricultural markets and are emerging markets for U.S. agriculture. Dialogue on demand-side changes, developing value chains, and the role of technology, discusses competition and challenges in the region.

Rapid Transformation of Emerging Market Food Systems: Implications for U.S. Exporters
Perspectives on changing food systems, following how the diet transition to processed food spans demand side changes and developments along value chain structures.
Thomas Reardon, Professor and Distinguished Faculty, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI

Strengthening Value Chains to Promote Trade
Strengthening value chains through development, how capacity building creates opportunities on the ground, and challenges to accessing local markets.
Josh Neiderman, Regional Director-Africa, American Soybean Association/World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, St. Louis, MO

Expanding Agriculture Technology and Innovation in Emerging Markets
Historical perspective on how technology and trade change together, linkages between productivity and ability to purchase imported commodities, and implications for the United States.
Steven Elmore, Chief Economist, Pioneer Seeds, Denver, PA

Video coverage: