Sunday, 27 February 2011

FARA weekly update

1.       News and Events

2.       Opportunities

Friday, 25 February 2011

Special report on feeding the world

A special report on feeding the world
Feb 26th 2011
From The Economist print edition

The 9 billion-people question

The world's population will grow from almost 7 billion now to over 9 billion in 2050. John Parker asks if there will be enough food to go roundFeb 26th 2011

17th CABI Review Conference

Celebrating 100 years of sharing knowledge and supporting agriculture

17th CABI Review Conference 15-16 February 2011
To coincide with CABI's 100 year anniversary, CABI held its 17th Review Conference in London. The event brought together environment and agriculture ministers from around the world and representatives from international development and major funding organizations. The event provided an opportunity for members to review the progress of CABI’s development and publishing initiatives, develop partnerships, and discuss ways in which CABI could work with member countries to address issues of concern in each region. 

Presentations related to Africa:
100 years of CABI: weevils, weeds and the world wide web
Regional breakout session: member country review and centre highlights Africa - presentation

CABI in actionCoffee revitalisation in Rwanda and Ethiopia, Charles Agwanda, Project Manager, CABI - presentation

Donor presentations: funding priorities in the international development arena
Pio Wennubst, Head Global Programme Food Security, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation- presentation
Philippe Petithuguenin, EIARD Executive Secretariat- presentation
Guy Sneyers, Chief Operations Officer, Common Fund for Commodities- presentation
Anton Mangstl, Director, Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension, FAO - presentation

Regional breakout session on Plantwise
Africa - feedback

CAADP Pillar 4 stakeholders met in Zurich

Pillar 4 stakeholders met in Zurich

31 Jan –. 4 Feb 2011. Development partners, sub-regional organisations and other agencies with a stake in African agriculture met during the first week of February to discuss how best to mobilise development partner support for CAADP’s Pillar 4.
The objectives:
  • To renew the commitment  of Pillar 4 organisations to continued collaboration
  • To expand the scope of Pillar 4 to thoroughly incorporate the areas of agricultural advisory services and agricultural education
  • To discuss plans, approaches and next steps for mobilizing increased funding for Pillar 4 programmes
  • To finalise arrangements and agree on next steps for development partner support for CORAF, CCARDESA, AFAAS and GFRAS

Announcement: Food Security, Health and Impact Conference

Food Security, Health and Impact Conference

Date: 22nd to 24th June
Location: University of Leeds, United Kingdom
The Africa College, a research partnership between IITA, ICIPE and University of Leeds is holding an international conference to share lessons on translating research results into impact for food security, nutrition and human health.

The conference includes knowledge brokering sessions and workshops and is asking two questions:
  • How can the results of basic science and inter-disciplinary research lead to increased impact on food security and human health?; and,
  • How can partnerships between research and development organisations deliver innovation and impact?

Geopolitics of Food

Jethro Greene speaks at the Brussels Briefing
Jethro Greene speaks at the Brussels Briefing.
On February 2nd, 2011, the CTA organized a Brussels Briefing on Geopolitics of Food in cooperation with DG DEVCO of the European Commission, Concord and other partners. 159 policy-makers from the European Commission, the Council and EU and ACP embassies followed the discussions live in the European Commission, with another 80 followers of the internet webstream.

Dr. Hans Herren, Millenium Institute, IAASTD (EN)

Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Doaa Abdel Motaal, WTO

Sunday, 20 February 2011

FARA weekly update

1.       News and Events
d.      Call for papers and registration CIALCA Conference- 24-27 October 2011, Kigali. Click English / French for details.
j.        NIABI 2011 Global Conference on Agri Business Incubation- 8-10 March 2011, ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India
  1. Opportunities

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Future of Food and Farming: Challenges and choices for global sustainability

'The Future of Food and Farming: Challenges and choices for global sustainability' report was launched last week by the British government and written by its Foresight think tank, in consultation with researchers from 34 countries from across the developed and developing worlds.
The report provides a uniquely broad view of what causes food scarcity, identifying the factors that make up a complex political, social, economic and scientific web.
And it includes less obvious causes of hunger, such as the distressing fact that nearly a third of the food that is grown is wasted, for example by spoiling through poor storage.
It also conveys the sheer scale of the problem, demonstrating that food scarcity will eventually affect us all, even those of us whose bellies are full. Because, as we have seen in Tunisia and elsewhere, hunger leads to civil unrest and migration, and because farming, as it is currently practised, is destroying key resources and emits too much greenhouse gas.
Guilty by omission
In the sphere of research, many omissions have contributed to hunger. The report points out that existing innovations have not reached many of those who could benefit from them. In Africa, if these alone were implemented, productivity could rise as much as three-fold.
But three-fold, in only a few regions, is not enough.
New knowledge is essential. Yet for most countries, research into agriculture and fisheries is a low priority, says the report, and studies have now correlated the previous two-decade apathy with today's slowdown in productivity gains.
The report offers no support for 'knee-jerk' commentary seeking obvious scapegoats for hunger, such as the failure to adopt genetically modified crops, or the politics of food distribution. There is no single cause to rail against, and there is definitely no single solution.
And it makes clear that every approach must be harnessed in the quest for a new food system that "needs to change more radically in the coming decades than ever before, including during the Industrial and Green Revolutions". 
Investing in research is one of the report's "key priorities". It points out that modellers agree that the science and technology yet to be done will be "one of the most critical drivers" of future food supply: "These challenges will require solutions at the limits of human ingenuity and at the forefront of scientific understanding," it says.  
A priority for research
To achieve the required levels of research investment, says the report, more incentives must be provided for research into public goods that benefit low-income countries. New models of research funding are necessary. And research funders from the public, private and third sectors should sort out their differences and coordinate better.
The question is: can this report, and the others, propel hunger to the top of the political agenda? Calestous Juma, professor of international development at Harvard University, and author of a recent book on African food production [4], argues that the crucial step is getting heads of state to wantto solve the problem.
But achieving this degree of political will is hard, if only because hunger has the biggest impact on those who are in the weakest position to influence policy.