Monday, 30 November 2009
Dr. Ayub Macharia of The National Environmental Management Authority in Kenya
This project seeks to shed light on pastoralists' vulnerability and coping strategies with respect to climate change in Turkana and Mandera districts, Northern Kenya.
About 13% of Kenya's 30 million people are pastoralists, herding their livestock in the arid and semi-arid lands that constitute about 75% of the country's land mass. These areas are prone to rainfall variability and extreme drought. This project seeks to shed light on pastoralists' vulnerability and coping strategies with respect to climate change in Turkana and Mandera districts, Northern Kenya. Researchers will examine indigenous technologies, best practices and existing institutional arrangements for adapting to climate change. Policies to date have tried to restrict herd movement and settle pastoralists, but with limited access to critical resources. In a changing climate with increased drought, herd movement will become even more important as an adaptation strategy. The project will seek practices that improve herd movement, such as livestock corridors, while securing pastoralists' right to water and forage.
Dr Andrew Githeko, of the Kenya Medical Research Institute, talks about his work transferring an epidemic prediction model to western Kenya in relation to the influence of climate change and the spread of malaria.
Friday, 27 November 2009
The conference, “Exploring New Opportunities and Strategic Alternatives to Inform African Agricultural Development, Planning, and Policy,” was organized by the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS). Facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), ReSAKSS supports implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) of the African Union’s New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).
The major aim of this conference at the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, was to assess countries’ progress in implementing CAADP, discuss what needs to be done in the future, and share experiences and success stories. To date, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Niger, and Senegal have surpassed the target of committing ten percent of their budget to agriculture, and most countries have made significant progress towards this goal. More than 20 countries have achieved agricultural growth rates of six percent or more.
“This conference comes at a critical time,” said Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, chief executive officer of the NEPAD Secretariat. “The CAADP agenda reflects a fundamental shift in the way Africa’s leadership looks at agriculture and its potential contribution to ending poverty and hunger and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. From the G8 Summit in L’Aquila to the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, CAADP has received international support and recognition for its role in putting agriculture at the centre of the African development agenda. In addition, countries are starting to follow through on their CAADP commitments, but we continue to face challenges related to implementation,” he added.
Interviewed during the NEPAD Tertiary Institutions Dialogue on 29th of July, Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki explained that policies used to be defined by the binoom of African governments and external partners. Today there is a need to include the civil society, producers and research institutes/universities in the elaboration of sectorial policies.
The organisers collected best practice examples of marketing agricultural products through ICT, to understand where the opportunities are and to draw lessons for the future. Best practices will be gathered from Burkina Faso and neighbouring countries.
Hereunder is a training videos by TV Koodo, introducing the agricultural market information systems launched by Burkina NTIC and IICD.
TV Koodo chooses puppet tv presenters as carriers of the instructional message. This choice demonstrates the significance of efforts to make e-/m- learning technologies more accessible and more responsive to the needs and educational backgrounds of African users. The coupling of learning technologies with ICT services geared towards enabling market transactions, could hold the key to the adoption, the popularity and the value derived from market services.
Related FARA blog post:
23 Oct 2009 Announcement: Marketing of agricultural products through ICT
MMD4D Mobile Market Design for Development
Thursday, 26 November 2009
24 - 25 November. Yaoundé, Cameroun. Sub-regional Meeting: “Advancing the implementation of CAADP Pillar IV in ECCAS/CEEAS sub-region”. Meeting to promote the awareness on the CAADP roundtable processes and Pillar IV issues for key players drawn from countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) .
Cette réunion régionale est organisée en vue d’informer les principales parties prenantes de tous les processus de la table ronde du PDDAA et notamment sur les questions relatives au Pilier IV. Ces processus front l’objet d’une explication avec les rôles et responsabilités définies par les parties prenantes et une explication détaillée donnée sur la manière dont les cadres et les dispositions institutionnelles aideront à faire avancer le processus de mise en oeuvre du Pilier IV du PDDAA dans la région de la CEEAC. [ DECLARATION DU FARA PAR RAMADJITA TABO ] (left on this picture)
1. Priorities for investment in agriculture.
2. Trends in public expenditure and small scale farming.
3. Stakeholders’ participation in agricultural policy.
- Forest Carbon Tracking - By integrating field observations with radar and optical images provided by space agencies (including NASA, USGS, JAXA, CSA, ESA, DLR, ASI, INPE, GISTDA and CRESDA), the GEO Forest Carbon Tracking task is estimating trends in the spatial extent and carbon content of the world's forests. Participants in the task can share images, photos, in-situ data, models as well as results via an on-line platform contributed by Google Earth Outreach (visit portal.geo-ftc.org after 10h30 a.m.).
- The GEO Biodiversity Observation Network - Some 100 organizations are collaborating through GEO BON to bring together their biodiversity data, information and forecasts and make them more readily accessible to policymakers, managers, experts and other users.
CEO presse release 19 October 2009 Comprehensive new global monitoring system to track deforestation and forest carbon
PR Newswire Group on Earth Observations Meets in Washington to Strengthen Access to Data and Information on Biodiversity, Forest Carbon and Other Global Issues
The researchers predict that impacts of climate change in Tanzania’s agriculture sector will reduce the nation’s total GDP by 0.6-1% by 2030. But they warn that unless there is meaningful adaptation in the sector this could rise to 5-68% by 2085 as greater climate shifts take hold and trigger a chain of impacts that spread through the economy like falling dominoes.
AllAfrica 01/10/2009 Nation Has Just 20 Years to Adapt Agriculture to Climate Change, Warn Economists
Policy brief September 2009 Cultivating Success - The Need to Climate-Proof Tanzanian Agriculture
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
The food economy is inextricably interrelated with globalisation, changes in consumer demand for food and energy, the ICT revolution, sustainability issues, and shifts in the relationship between private companies and public regulators.
The Food Economy explores a variety of trends and topics from the broad perspective that their evolution is interdependent with all kinds of counter currents and opposite notions: scarcity goes together with abundance, public and private initiatives co-evolve, slow food is connected with fast food, global brands and local products exist simultaneously. The Food Economy devotes chapters to existing and emerging issues and challenges of the expanding food economy.
The Food Economy is relevant to academics, students, policymakers and consumers who are interested in recent developments in the food system and their implications for the food policy and research agendas in the years to come. Download table of contents of the book 'The food economy'. (PDF file)
For a book review see the New Agriculturalist (nov 2009)
Dr Marco Ferroni, Executive Director of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture in Switzerland
Dr Prabhu Pingali, Head of Agricultural Policy and Statistics, Agriculture Development Division, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Dr Namanga Ngongi, President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
Dr William Niebur, Vice President, DuPont Crop Genetics Research and Development and a member of Private Sector Committee for the CGIAR
Dr Amit H. Roy, President and Chief Executive Officer, IFDC
Dr Thomas Lumpkin, Director General, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT)
Ms Janice Armstrong, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Asia Pacific & China, Monsanto
C L Laxmipathi Gowda, Global Theme Leader-Crop Improvement and Management, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
Dr Dyno Keatinge, Director General, AVRDC - The World Vegetable Centre
Climate change in Africa begins by outlining what scientists are predicting the impacts of climate change will be. Using case studies, the book analyses how global warming will affect water availability, food systems, forests, cities and conflict and addresses what Africa might lose or gain from a low-carbon economy. Finally, Toulmin looks towards the future challenges posed by climate change and the scale of the response required.
Signatories of a statement issued by leading thinkers in development include five World Food Prize laureates, former heads of development agencies, former Ministers of Agriculture, and heads of the world's leading alliance of agricultural research centers.
Gebisa Ejeta, Ethiopia
• World Food Prize Laureate, 2009
• Distinguished Professor of Agronomy, Purdue University
Adel El-Baltegy, Egypt
• Chair of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR)
• Former Director General of the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA)
Wangari Maathai, Kenya
• Nobel Peace Prize, 2004
• Former Assistant Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya
Chebet Maikut, Uganda
• Vice-President of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF)
• Former MP (Uganda)
Paul Munyenyembe, Malawi
• Head, Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC), South African Development Community
• Head of Department, Bunda Collge, University of Malawi
Zachary Kithinji Muthamia, Kenya
• Head, National Genebank of Kenya
Godfrey Mwila, Zambia
• Former Chair of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations
• Former Head, National Genebank, Zambia
Papa Seck, Senegal
• Director General, Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice)
• Former Chair of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
Mohamed Zehni, Libya
• Former Director, Plant Production and Protection Division, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations
• Former Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Libya to the UN
Friday, 20 November 2009
“We have success stories to share. However we need impact at scale. A revitalized CGIAR is part of the solution. And mindsets are changing; from skepticism to interest. Step by step we are embracing change. And now it’s your chance to get involved.”
The script is based on various CGIAR stakeholder quotes and the images and video excerpts are taken from center and challenge program Web sources. Both videos have been done with Caramba design, a Cali based multimedia company.
20/11 ICT-KM knowledge sharing: scaling up and out, up and out, up and out…
This is to inform you that I have just been elected as the Chairperson of GFAR. This is an extremely prestigious position and I feel very proud as an African to lead the global forum for agricultural research (GFAR). The revitalized GFAR is at the centre stage of ARD at the global level. GFAR has direct partnerships with various development agencies and donor’s platforms and has direct access to Global Political Summits such as the Food Summit and G8 l’Aguila meeting.
I accepted this nomination and appointment bearing in mind that FARA will benefit greatly at the international level. I will take over from Dr. Adel El Beltagy next March, a big step to follow. Through his leadership (which ends at the GCARD meeting in March 2010), he managed to revigorate GFAR’s image as a functional global platform where investors can actually share ideas within neutral grounds.
Therefore, I hope that FARA the forum and the Secretariat will provide us with guiding support to ensure we achieve our objectives.
Monty Jones, PhD, DSc;
2004 World Food Prize Laureate
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Aide à l'agriculture : des promesses aux réalités de terrain. L’état de la coordination des interventions dans 3 pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest
Un rapport qui pointe du doigt le manque criant d’efficacité dans la coordination de l’aide sur le terrain.Très favorablement accueillie par les représentants d’organisations paysannes du Mali, du Burkina Faso, du Ghana, du Niger, du Sénégal et du Nigeria, partenaires de la campagne sur l’agriculture lancée par Oxfam International dans la région d’Afrique de l’Ouest, cette étude a été l’occasion de définir des pistes de travail communes pour l’année à venir sur la question de la coordination des bailleurs de fonds et sur la place des organisations paysannes dans les processus politiques en cours. Auteur du rapport, Jean-Denis Crola, chargé de plaidoyer à Oxfam France - Agir ici, en expose les objectifs initiaux et les résultats obtenus.
Aide à l'agriculture : des promesses aux réalités de terrain. L’état de la coordination des interventions dans 3 pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest
With CountrySTAT, a statistical information system dealing with food and agriculture and a strategic tool in development planning towards food security, FAO is committed to build national capacities. At country-level, experts are learning, experiencing and implementing CountrySTAT.
CountrySTAT is gradually being rolled out in many countries. Food and agriculture data from several countries can already be accessed on line. Click on the African country names hereafter: Burkina Faso ; Togo ; Mali ; UEMOA ; Niger
Watch the technical clip on CountrySTAT to understand its main features and the possibilities offered to its administrators and users! Here are a few testimonials as collected in Rome, during a hands-on Training Workshop (October 2009):
- Abner K. Ingosi, Head, National Coordinator of CountrySTAT, Food Security and Early Warning Servicies - Ministry of Agriculture (Kenya). “CountrySTAT helps to collect and analyze data that are fundamental for decision-makers, even though there are some constraints such as the lack of personnel and money and the slowness of internet connection”. Duration: 2min.19sec. Format: mp3
- Mr Francis Dzah, Agriculture Statistics, Ghana CountrySTAT Coordinator - Ghana Statistical Service (Ghana). “CountrySTAT allows both producers and users - government officials, members of Parliament, researchers and students - to think about agriculture statistics by using a unique integrate system”. Duration: 2min.35sec. Format: mp3
- Mr Benjamin Bisa Banda, Statistician of National Statistical Office (Malawi). “CountrySTAT users have a better approach to statistic information because data coming from different institutions have been put together and they are easily accessible through the use of internet. It helps to understand market direction and trends”. Duration: 1min.26sec. Format: mp3
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Overall objective of the Conference: To maximize the utilization of research results, scientific studies and practical efforts to serve the agricultural renaissance in the Sudan for the development of society.
Conference Themes: Policy and Framework ; Agricultural Production (rainfed and irrigated) ; Best Local and International Practices and Indigenous Knowledge ; Agro Processing ; Natural Resources Management ; Food security
Reference: 9th Scientific Conference conference website
Monday, 16 November 2009
Millions Fed' is a project aimed to identify and examine successes in agricultural development and provide insights into the lessons they offer. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) called upon the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to assess the evidence on what works in agriculture -- what sorts of policies, programs, and investments in agricultural development have actually reduced hunger and poverty.
Trailer and full video for "Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development"
IAALD 13/11/2009 Communicating a new research output: IFPRI strategies
What does it take to create a buzz around a new research output? Luz Marina Alvare and Chris Addison share some insights into the communication and knowledge-sharing approaches followed by IFPRI in launching this new book.
He recommended that developing countries dedicate 10% of their expenditure to agriculture.
FAO supported the last round of Climate Change Talks before the final meeting of the Convention of the Parties (COP15), in Copenhagen, Denmark. This took place in Barcelona to guarantee that food security adaptation and mitigation are taken into account in view of a new climate change deal. Report: Food Security and Agricultural Mitigation in Developing Countries: Options for Capturing Synergies
- Realignment of the existing agriculture portfolio with the aim of boosting food production. This measure comprises agriculture and non agricultural projects;
- Use of budget support instrument for quick disbursement of resources to RMCs;
- Increased dissemination of NERICA rice seeds; and
- Allocation from the Bank’s Surplus Account (UA 20 million).
- These short term measures have resulted in the Bank’s global approval of UA 416.54 million, UA 255.16 million of which is already disbursed.
- Improved rural infrastructure;
- Operationalizing the African Fertilizer Financing Mechanism;
- Increasing NERICA rice production;
- Capacity building, policy dialogue and trade promotion;
- Scaling up private sector operations for food security;
- Promoting agricultural research, and
- Establishing a Crisis Response Facility. Gender mainstreaming and addressing climate change are core guiding principles identified under the AFCR.
- Donor platform: Stakeholders' workshop on the preparation of the agriculture sector strategy
- AFDB 13/07/2009 Interview with AfDB Agriculture & Agro-industry Director, Aly Abou-Sabaa, on the outcomes of the last Ordinary Session of the African Union on Bank operations
Related: 11/11/2009 “Africa has to change ways of doing things in agriculture and to recognize the global winds of change for the sector,” Bank Group Operations Evaluation Officer, Detlev Puetz, said on Tuesday 11 November 2009 in Addis-Ababa, during a presentation on the theme: Facing the financial crisis: The imperative of regional action for agriculture in Africa. In the presence of more than 150 conference participants, Mr. Puetz developed key theories on new paths for agricultural finance development. Experts Reflect on Imperative of Regional Action for Agriculture in Africa
Ahead of the CADDP-PP meeting experts met for a two-days planning meeting, 5-6 November 2009. It was followed by an International Conference on Financing Regional Agricultural Policy in West Africa aims to adopt the Draft Regional Partnership Compact for the implementation of ECOWAP/CAADP: 11-12 November.
The pact confirms the adherence of the parties concerned - ECOWAS, regional cooperation organizations, professional organizations, financial institutions and technical and financial partners - to the focuses, objectives, principles and institutional and financial mechanisms of ECOWAP/CAADP and recognizing ECOWAP/CAADP as the sole basis for the programming and coordination of regional operations in the agricultural sector.
The 5th CAADP-PP meeting, was hosted by ECOWAS Secretariat, and provided an inclusive platform for peer interaction, review and experience sharing among the core institutions and partners involved in CAADP implementation.
The 5th CAADP-PP came at the marking point that a number of countries have shown their commitment of CAADP program implementation by putting the compact agreement. In this regard it to deliberated a key elements and strategies on the joint engagement and coordination so as to ensure the desired, coordinated and timely support appropriate to the country-specific circumstances.
The meeting also discussed various components towards CAADP implementation including, amongst others:
- CAADP Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) Governance arrangement;
- CAADP Monitoring and Evaluation Framework;
- Roadmap for the follow-up and implementation of the July 2009 Heads of State and Government Summit decisions;
- Framework for Regional CAADP implementation and regional compacts, as well as the issue of food security and climate change, which are affecting agricultural performance.
- AfricaAdapt is an independent bilingual network (French/English) focused on Africa.
- The Network aims to facilitate the flow of climate change adaptation knowledge for sustainable livelihoods between researchers, policy makers, civil society organisations and local communities across the continent.
- AfricaAdapt is collaboratively hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA, Ghana); Environment and Development in the Third World (ENDA-TM, Senegal); IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC, Kenya); and Institute of Development Studies (IDS, UK).
- To support the dialogue between European and African S&T stakeholders from different spheres (the policy and science community);
- To explore the opportunities and limitations of present S&T cooperation mechanisms (for example, within the framework of FP7, bilateral scientific cooperation as well as development cooperation);
- To pave the way towards an enabling policy framework for S&T cooperation.
FARA presented during this conference the PAEPARD project: Platform on African European Partnerships in Agricultural Research for Development.
Presentations on the existing landscape, as well as case studies of successful cooperation examples, set the scene for specific workshops focused on three key aspects of bi-regional cooperation: the role of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), the role of bi-lateral cooperation and in particular the value of bi-lateral S&T agreements, as well as the question of how to achieve closer synergy between S&T and development agendas.
It is envisaged that the finalised recommendations of the conference will be disseminated within policy fora at the highest level-in particular, policy dialogues taking place around the implementation of the 8th Partnership for Science, Information Society and Space of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, as well as in the fora of the African Union and European Union commissions.
Background: The CAAST-Net Stakeholders' Conference on Africa Europe Science and Technology Cooperation: Status and Way Forward is an activity of CAAST-Net - the Network for the Coordination and Advancement of Sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science and Technology Cooperation. CAAST-Net is the Seventh Framework Programme INCO-NET for Sub-Saharan Africa. Greater enhancement of the policy dialogue among African and European stakeholders is one important strategic activity of CAAST-Net, and this conference is the first of a series to be organised.
Scientists, policy-makers, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions and research bodies, leaders of culture and industry, science and education ministers of the G77 countries were taking part in the event.
Delegates from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire, Senegal, Ethiopia, Uganda, Togo, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Canada, Rwanda, Mali, Benin, Sudan, Tanzania, Malawi, Sweden, France and the US are attending the conference, which was preceded by a preliminary meeting, which focussed on Regional Research Education Networks (RRENs).
By bringing together key players in West and Central African Universities and other participants who may share their experience in forming RRENs it is expected that the meeting would also lead to the formation of the West and Central African Research Education Network.
The Open Access Conference series began in Sweden, in 2003 with the focus on regional prerequisites, communication needs, choice of technology and business model among other things. In Africa the conference was organised in Mozambique since 2005, Tanzania in 2007 and in Malawi in 2008.
- Reports on NREN Establishment Processes in West and Central Africa: Benin ; Burkina Faso ; Cameroon ; Côte d'Ivoire ; Ghana ; Mali ; Niger ; Nigeria ngNREN, Ibadan ; Senegal ; Togo
- Establishing a Regional REN: Opportunities and Challenges - Experiences from the UbuntuNet Alliance ; Francis Tusubira (slides)
- FEAST, the Feasibility Study for AfricaConnect ; Bjorn Pehrson (paper, slides)
Friday, 13 November 2009
Learning about and respecting how communities manage common resources in the battle against environmental degradation
Ostrom’s pioneering work mostly concerns the governance of common-pool resources — resources that are rivalrous (i.e., scarce, can be used up, unlike digital goods) yet need to be or should be governed as a commons — classically, things like water systems and the atmosphere. This work is cited by many scholars of non-rivalrous commons (e.g., knowledge commons) as laying the groundwork for their field.
Elinor Ostrom has challenged the conventional wisdom that common property is poorly managed and should be either regulated by central authorities or privatized. Based on numerous studies of user-managed fish stocks, pastures, woods, lakes, and groundwater basins, Ostrom concludes that the outcomes are, more often than not, better than predicted by standard theories. She observes that resource users frequently develop sophisticated mechanisms for decision-making and rule enforcement to handle conflicts of interest, and she characterizes the rules that promote successful outcomes.
Hereunder is a short presentation by Elinor Ostrom, joint winner of this year's Peace Prize for Economics. She talks about the crucial role of learning about and respecting how communities manage common resources in the battle against environmental degradation.
Press Release Noble Prize 12/10 Economic governance: the organization of cooperation
Cataloguing the radiation signature—and thus agricultural potential—of about 100,000 samples of African soils
Artificial satellites are helping farmers boost crop yields