Monday, 27 December 2010

E-agriculture @ ICTD2010 conference

13 - 16 December 2010. The ICTD2010 conference, hosted by the ICT4D Collective at Royal Holloway, University of London, was the latest in the series of highly successful international ICTD conferences held in Doha (2009), Bangalore (2007) and Berkeley (2006). It aimed to provide a forum for researchers, practitioners and all those with interests in the use of information and communication technologies in development practice to meet to discuss the latest research advances in the field.

Building on the success of its predecessors, ICTD2010 combined two days of plenary peer-reviewed paper sessions, with two days of workshops, panel sessions, discussion forums, and demos, including sessions in Spanish. A particular feature was the opportunity that it provided for participatory involvement from people from a diversity of backgrounds.

Interview with Charlotte Masiello-Riome, about e-Agriculture and ICT4D issues. Royal Holloway University of London ICTD2010, Monday 13th of December.

Research paper on agriculture:

Impact of Low-Cost, On-Demand Information Access in a Remote Ghanaian Village, Cliff Schmidt, Literacy Bridge; Trina Gorman, Literacy Bridge; Michael Shayne Gary, Australian Graduate School of Management, University of New South Wales; Andrew Bayor, Literacy Bridge

Cliff Schmidt is the Executive Director of Literacy Bridge (, a nonprofit organization empowering children and adults with affordable tools for knowledge sharing and literacy learning.

Friday, 24 December 2010

A Kenyan agricultural SME's view on ARD

Grace Mueni Nyaa is the founder of the Kyome Fresh Company Ltd. This December was the first time Grace Mueni Nyaa ever set foot in Brussels. She was invited to the European Development Days to tell the story about how her village, Kyome, in just seven years, became a viable agricultural co-operative. Thanks to logistic and technical support from the European Union, Kyome’s fruits and vegetables meet international standards, and the Kyome Fresh Company exports to developed countries worldwide. Grace embodies a vision of the future of European development aid.

“The help that is coming to Africa is really good from the developed countries, but I feel Africa needs to get to a level where it becomes self-sufficient. Of course, when you have a stronger brother who holds your hand, you can cross the bridge. But you have to grow up at some point where you can cross the bridge by yourself.”
Grace Mueni Nyaa, from Kenya, working as a Managing Director, Kyome Frehs Company Limited has watched her company to grow from initial capital base of €2600 to €140.000 in seven years down the line with an average annual sales turnover of €1.6 million! Her vision for Kyome is to propel it to be a lead exporter of fresh fruits and vegetables Africa and more so while along the way eradicating poverty and creating self-reliance to the workers. Audio file of  Grace Mueni Nyaa at the European Development days panel on SMEs. She witnisses her support she received from ColeACP.

Is there a role for the African diaspora in Agricultural Research for Development?

Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora

A new organization will link African agricultural professionals abroad and in Africa together to strengthen the continent's agricultural and rural development.
The Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora, or AAAPD, wants to help transform African smallholder agriculture into an engine of economic growth in the continent. In addition to providing opportunities for networking among Africa's professionals, AAAPD will mobilize resources, promote the exchange of information and technology, and encourage public-private investments in agricultural research, extension and training.
"Our role is to become a bridge to African agricultural institutions, play a catalytic role in agricultural development and provide a mechanism to harness African Diaspora experiences toward Africa's agricultural and rural development," AAAPD President Peter Jeranyama said. "In this quest, we plan to work in collaboration with 'Friends of Africa' -- people who share a common interest of facilitating Africa's development."
The Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in Massachusetts. AAAPD is the implementer of a grant to Iowa State University from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A multi-disciplinary team of African professionals founded AAAPD in July 2008. The team includes Andrew Manu (Iowa State University), Stephen Machado (Oregon State University), Thandiwe Nleya (South Dakota State University), Samuel Essah (Colorado State University), Felicitas Katepa-Mupondwa (Agriculture AgriFoods, Canada), Edmund Mupondwa (Agriculture AgriFoods, Canada), Dianah Ngonyamo-Majee (Monsanto Company), Daniel Karanja (Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa) and Peter Jeranyama (University of Massachusetts Amherst).

One of the assumptions of PAEPARD is to also include the Diaspora: “African Diaspora can be mobilised for ARD”. It is assumed that preventing African ARD stakeholders being part of the “scientific diaspora” support the submission of high quality proposals depending on their field of expertise and whether they are still active in agriculture.

Following a presentation of Raoul DONGE, Président Réseau CEFOREC International Centre de Formation et de Renforcement des Capacités at the European Development Days in Brussels on December 7th, CEFOREC was invited to collaborate with PAEPARD in order to mobilize the African Diaspora active in the agribusiness sector or supporting SMEs in Africa in the agricultural sector.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

FARA weekly update

1.       News and Events
  1. New MA in Rural Development Dynamics
  2. GFAR E-news: Top 100 Questions of Importance to the Future of Global Agriculture
  3. Current IFDC Newsletter
  4. REMINDER: Call for Paper Proposals for ASTI-FARA Conference
  5. Newsletter from the NEPAD Agency

  1. Opportunities
a.       M.Sc Scholarships

Connecting Farmers to Markets: the Purchase Progress (P4P) pilot initiative

As the world's largest humanitarian agency, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is a major food buyer. WFP spends hundreds of millions of dollars in food every year and around 82 percent of these purchaes in developing countries. Local procurement for WFP's food assistance programmes requires cost-efficiency, quality commodities and timeliness of deliveries.

Through the Purchase Progress (P4P) pilot initiative, WFP’s uses its demand in innovative ways to support the development of agricultural markets and small holders farmers' engagement in these markets. As the majority of the world's poorest people live in rural areas and rely on agricutural for their livelihood, P4P's contribution to agricultural development is an important step towards reducing hunger and poverty. Critical to the success of P4P is the wide range of partner to farmers in gaining access to new markets, for example:
  • Improving their skills to increase the quantity and quality of their crops-e.g.,training in farming techniques, and use of the best seeds and fertilizers for their land
  • Reducing post harvest loss-e.g., training in storage techniques and rehabilitation/construction of storage facilities.
  • Enhancing farmers' knowledge of markets-e.g., quality, pricing, packaging
  • Strengthening their farmers' organizations-e.g., training in management and negotiation of contracts, strengthening account and fiscal systems
  • Improving business skills-e.g., preparing business plans, access to credit.
During the European Development Days a panel discussion was organised on December 7th around the theme Food Security What Role For Local Authorities In Least Developed Countries?

The following extract of this panel discussion focuses on the presentation made by Ken Davies
P4P Coordinator.

Related videos:

Small farmers in Mozambique are making huge strides towards becoming competetive players in local markets with the help of techniques and equipment provided through WFP's innovative Purchase for Progress programme (P4P).
P4P in Zambia established a revolving fund for 38 maize shellers that have been distributed in 10 districts on a loan basis. These shellers save farmers’ time, reduce their costs and improve the quality of their crops.
In Uganda, P4P helps smallholders gain access to markets by expanding the network of collection points and warehouses and by improving the general transport infrastructure. Improved access to markets provides farmers the incentive to invest in production and enables partners to provide trainings.
David Tibo, a small farmer in Ethiopia, looks back on his first year under the P4P programme, which has helped him raise his profits and think optimistically about his plans for the future.
Kenya has the potential to produce enough staple foods to be self-sufficient. But smallholder farmers struggle with poor market infrastructure, inadequate agronomic practices, lack of technical support and an over-reliance on rain-fed agriculture. Through P4P, farmers are being trained to address some of these hurdles.
P4P in Kenya his helping smallholder farmers improve their agricultural production and access markets for staple crops. The project is providing farmers training in agricultural production techniques, as well as in post-harvest handling, storage and quality standard. This video is being used to train farmers on some of these aspects.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010



PAEPARD invite des partenariats à formuler une demande d’appui
La Plateforme pour un partenariat Afrique-Europe dans le domaine de la recherche agricole  pour le développement  (PAEPARD) appuie la création de partenariats innovants   d’acteurs africains et européens qui s’engagent dans l’innovation agricole et la recherche collectives afin de relever des opportunités et des défis communs aux partenaires impliqués.    

Selon PAEPARD, l’innovation agricole est un processus qui exige des efforts collectifs de la part de différents acteurs ayant différents rôles à jouer :     
1.       Les acteurs dont les demandes servent d’impulsion au processus et qui ont par conséquent un intérêt direct dans les résultats (par exemple les producteurs, les industriels, les commerçants, les détaillants)
2.       Les acteurs dont l’appui est indispensable au succès de l’innovation (les services d’appui technique, financier et à l’entreprise, les décideurs, les écoles, les centres de formation, les universités), y compris les partenaires chercheurs dotés de connaissances et de compétences requises pour aider les autres partenaires à trouver de nouvelles solutions à leurs défis communs et prendre des décisions en connaissance de cause.
3.       Les médiateurs ou facilitateurs d’innovation qui rassemblent les acteurs autour d’une opportunité ou d’un défi commun, facilitent les interactions, les négociations et le partage de connaissance entre acteurs, s’investissent  pour  qu’il y ait une égalité des chances et renforcent les capacités des acteurs.
Un processus d’innovation fructueux  exige beaucoup plus d’efforts que la recherche. Et, pour que la recherche puisse contribuer à l’innovation agricole, elle doit être intégrée au processus d’innovation. Les chercheurs et les autres partenaires doivent sans cesse partager les connaissances, apprendre ensemble et réajuster mutuellement leurs actions afin de veiller à ce que les résultats soient pertinents.     

Les partenariats qu’appuie le PAEPARD visent à entreprendre des processus d’innovation conjoints autour d’opportunités et de défis communs. Plus précisément, il s’agit de partenariats qui souhaitent formuler et rechercher des financements pour des activités communes en RAD (recherche agricole pour le développement) qui soutiennent leur processus d’innovation.  Alors que ces activités de recherche seront conduites par un partenaire de recherche, le leadership d’un processus d’innovation va au-delà du mandat et de la compétence d’un organisme de recherche et exige donc qu’un autre acteur joue ce rôle.     
Les partenariats intéressés sont priés de formuler une demande d’appui pour constituer leur partenariat et formuler des propositions communes portant sur la RAD, sachant que ces propositions doivent cibler des opportunités de financement identifiées au préalable.   

Critères d’éligibilité
Les critères détaillés qui seront utilisés pour évaluer les demandes d’appui sont fournis dans la carte de score ci-jointe. Les principaux critères sont notamment : 
§  La composition du partenariat : les partenariats devront être composés à la fois de « partenaires non-chercheurs » (organisation de producteurs, organisation du secteur privé et/ou ONG), de « partenaires chercheurs » (les organismes de recherche, les universités) et de partenaires africains et européens. Un partenariat doit avoir au moins un partenaire européen, un partenaire africain non-chercheur et un partenaire africain chercheur. Pour chacun des partenaires, le fait d’aborder l’opportunité d’innovation commune ou le défis commun doit représenter un enjeu réel.  
§  Le rôle des partenaires chercheurs et non-chercheurs : les partenaires doivent mener conjointement un processus d’innovation, de préférence initié et conduit par un partenaire non-chercheur ; les activités de recherche entreprises suite à ce processus d’innovation seront dirigées par un partenaire chercheur compétent.  
§  La responsabilisation des partenaires non-chercheurs : les partenaires doivent être disposés à travailler avec PAEPARD afin de permettre aux partenaires non chercheurs de jouer le rôle qui leur revient.  
§  Les perspectives qui se dessinent  concernant l’obtention du financement de la recherche : les partenariats doivent formuler des propositions RAD ciblant des appels publiés (ou en attente de publication) ou d’autres opportunités de financement existantes offertes par des bailleurs de fonds identifiés

Appui octroyé
Les candidats retenus bénéficieront du soutien suivant de la part de PAEPARD, en fonction des besoins :     
1.      Un appui pour la participation à « un atelier de lancement de partenariat »
2.      Un appui pour le renforcement des capacités, y compris la formation d’un facilitateur d’innovation proposé par le partenariat.
3.      Un appui à la facilitation et à la coordination des partenariats.

Les ateliers de lancement  de partenariat
Les ateliers de lancement ont pour  but de permettre aux partenaires d’établir leur partenariat et de développer un plan d’action pour leur processus d’innovation, y compris des principes clairement convenus pour le travail en partenariat ainsi que les rôles, les responsabilités et les engagements des partenaires. Ces ateliers utiliseront une approche se rapportant à « l’apprentissage par l’action » destinée à aider les partenaires à apprendre les uns des autres et à acquérir des compétences, des outils et des principes  pour une collaboration efficiente et efficace dans le cadre d’un partenariat multi-acteurs innovant.  Ces ateliers aideront les partenaires à produire les résultats suivants : une analyse commune des défis identifiés par les partenaires non-chercheurs ; un consensus sur ce qu’ils aimeraient ensemble réaliser ; une analyse approfondie des intérêts des partenaires et des autres acteurs qui doivent s’impliquer dans le processus ; un plan d’action pour le processus d’innovation commun  et pour le développement de la proposition de recherche ; les mécanismes de gouvernance et de gestion du partenariat. Ces ateliers seront facilités par les partenaires du PAEPARD et/ou les facilitateurs d’innovation proposés par chacun des partenariats. Les facilitateurs seront chargés de capitaliser les résultats. Chaque atelier durera environ 6 à 8 jours et trois à quatre partenariats pourront prendre part à chaque atelier. Le montant du soutien du PAEPARD est limité à 6 000€ par partenariat. Ce montant inclut les frais de transport, de subsistance et  d’hébergement.  

Appui au renforcement des capacités
Des actions de renforcement de capacités, génériques et taillées sur mesure selon les besoins, seront offertes aux partenariats sélectionnés. Ces actions comprennent l’apprentissage mutuel au cours des ateliers de lancement de partenariat, la formation des facilitateurs d’innovation proposés par les partenariats sélectionnés et l’encadrement de ces facilitateurs d’innovation lorsqu’ils facilitent les interactions, les négociations et le partage des connaissances entre les partenaires, et lorsqu’ils s’investissent pour parvenir à l’égalité des chances et renforcent les capacités des partenaires et d’autres acteurs. L’encadrement fournis par PAEPARD doit aider les partenaires à formuler des propositions de recherche axées sur la demande, afin que ces propositions soient in fine soumises conformément au créneau de financement ciblé. PAEPARD prendra en charge les frais de voyage, de subsistance et d’hébergement liés à la participation des facilitateurs d’innovation  à un atelier de formation organisé par PAEPARD. PAEPARD prendra également en charge l’encadrement des facilitateurs d’innovation et l’encadrement de la formulation de propositions de recherche.     

Appui à la facilitation et à la coordination des partenariats
Les partenariats effectivement mis en place par le biais de ce processus tireront profit de l’appui de PAEPARD grâce à la formation et à l’encadrement de leurs facilitateurs d’innovation. Ces derniers faciliteront et coordonneront les partenariats à condition que les partenaires prennent en charge eux-mêmes les frais engendrés.   

Formulaire de demande
Les candidats sont priés d’utiliser le formulaire de demande

Date limite
Les demandes doivent être envoyées à l’adresse indiquée sur le formulaire au plus tard le 28 Janvier 2011. Les résultats seront envoyés aux candidats le 18 Février 2011. Les ateliers de lancement seront planifiés en concertation avec les partenariats retenus et devraient en principe se dérouler entre Mars et Juin 2011.  

Plus amples informations
Pour de plus amples informations,  visitez le site web du FARA: ou ou contactez  ou



PAEPARD invites innovative partnerships to apply for support
The Platform for African-European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) supports the establishment of innovative partnerships of African and European stakeholders that engage in agricultural innovation and collaborative research to address shared challenges and opportunities of the partners involved.

PAEPARD sees agricultural innovation as a process that requires the collective effort of different actors with different roles:
1.       Actors whose demands drive the innovation process and who thus have a direct stake in the results (e.g. producers, processors, traders, retailers)
2.       Actors whose support is needed to make the innovation work (e.g. technical, financial and business support services, policy makers, schools, training centres, universities), including research actors with the knowledge and competencies needed to help the other actors develop new answers to their joint challenge and take informed decisions.
3.       Brokers or innovation-facilitators who bring actors together around a shared challenge or opportunity, facilitate the interactions, negotiations and knowledge sharing between the actors, help level the playing field and strengthen actors’ capacities.
A successful innovation process thus requires much more than research. And, for research to contribute to agricultural innovation, it has to be integrated with the innovation process. The researchers and other actors need to continuously share knowledge, learn together and mutually readjust their actions to ensure that results are relevant.

The partnerships that PAEPARD supports aim to conduct joint innovation processes that address shared challenges or opportunities. More specifically, within the context of their innovation process, these partnerships wish to formulate and seek funding for joint agricultural research for development (ARD) activities that support their innovation process. While these research activities will be led by a research partner, the leadership of an innovation process goes beyond the mandate and competence of a research organisation and thus requires that another actor assumes this role.

Aspiring partnerships are invited to apply for support to establish their partnership and formulate collaborative ARD proposals targeted at identified funding opportunities.

Selection criteria
The detailed criteria that will be used to assess the applications are provided in the attached scorecard.  The following are the main criteria:
§  Composition of the partnership: Partnerships should comprise both “non-research partners” (producer organisation, private sector organisation and/or NGO) and “research partners” (research organisations, universities), and both African and European partners. A partnership should have at least one European partner, one African non-research partner and one African research partner. All partners should have an interest in addressing the shared innovation challenge or opportunity.
§  Role of the research and non-research partners: Partners should jointly conduct an innovation process, preferably initiated and led by a non-research partner; the research activities undertaken as part of this innovation process will be led by a competent research partner.
§  Openness to empowerment of non-research partners: Partners should be willing to work with PAEPARD to enable non-research partners to play their expected role.
§  Prospect of obtaining research funding: Partnerships should aim to develop ARD proposals targeting published or expected calls or existing other funding opportunities offered by identified donors.

Support offered
Depending on needs, the successful applicants will benefit from the following support from PAEPARD:
1.      Support for participation in a facilitated “partnership inception workshop”.
  1. Support for capacity strengthening, including training of an innovation-facilitator proposed by the partnership.
  2. Support to facilitation and coordination of partnerships.
Partnership inception workshops
The objective of the inception workshops is to allow the proposed partners to establish their partnership and to develop an action plan for their innovation process, including clearly agreed principles for working in partnership, and roles, responsibilities and commitments of the partners. These workshops will follow a “learning-by-doing” approach to help partners to learn from each other and acquire competencies, tools and principles for efficient and effective collaboration in a multi-stakeholder innovation partnership. Through these workshops partners will produce the following results: a shared analysis of the challenge identified by the non-research partners; a consensus on what they want to achieve together; an in-depth analysis of the interests of the partners and other actors to be involved in the innovation process, and of their expected roles and responsibilities in the process; an action plan for the joint innovation process and research proposal development; the governance and management mechanisms for the partnership. These workshops are facilitated by PAEPARD partners and/or the innovation-facilitators proposed by the individual partnerships. Facilitators also capitalise on the achievements. Three to four partnerships may take part in each workshop. Workshops are expected to take 6-8 full days. The amount of support from PAEPARD for participation in inception workshops is limited to €6,000 per partnership. This amount includes travel, subsistence and accommodation costs.

Support for capacity strengthening
Selected partnerships will benefit from generic and tailored needs-based capacity strengthening. This includes the learning achieved through the partnership inception workshops, training of the innovation-facilitators proposed by the selected partnerships and coaching of these innovation-facilitators while they  facilitate the interactions, negotiations and knowledge sharing between the partners, help level the playing field and strengthen partners’ and other actors’ capacities. Coaching support is also provided to help partners formulate demand-driven research proposals for submission to their targeted funding window. PAEPARD supports the travel, subsistence and accommodation costs for participation of innovation-facilitators in a training workshop offered by PAEPARD. It also supports the cost of coaching of innovation-facilitators and the coaching of research proposal formulation by PAEPARD partners.

Support to the facilitation and coordination of partnerships
Successful partnerships established through this process will benefit from support from PAEPARD through the training and coaching of their innovation-facilitators. The latter will help facilitate and coordinate the partnerships, provided that the partners provide the resources for this themselves.

Application form
Applicants should use the application form
Applications should be received at the address indicated in the application form no later than 28 January 2011. Applicants will be informed of the result of their application on 18 February 2011.
Inception workshops will be planned in consultation with the successful partnerships and are expected to take place between March and June 2011.

More information
For more information you can visit the PAEPARD website at or or contact or