Thursday, 31 January 2008
Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) of the Consultative Group on Internacional Agricultural Research (CGIAR) c/o CIMMYT, México
IFAR annually provides grants to professionals from national agricultural research systems in developing countries (NARS). Applicants should be in the early to middle stages of their careers and undertake research in partnership with a CGIAR Centre to support sustainable development of agriculture in developing countries. See further details
Applications must be submitted by 26 February 2008.
Galillee College, Israel is offering three programmes at the International Agricultural Training Centre (IATC) from 27 March-14th April 2008 in Water Management and Crop Production, Dairy farming and in Agribusiness, Marketing and Export Management. Tuition scholarships are available to eligible African applicants
EU-funded masters degrees in Sustainable Tropical Forestry and Sustainable Forestry and Nature Management. Funding is available for 40-60 non-EU students to take this course (course fees and living allowance paid).
The 2008 Global Development Marketplace competition (DM2008) seeks proposals from all development innovators—civil society groups, social entrepreneurs, private foundations, government agencies, academia and the private—on the theme of Sustainable Agriculture for Development. This competitition offers a unique opportunity to turn your innovative idea for sustainable agriculture in developing countries into reality. If selected, your idea could receive up to US$200,000 in grant funding for implementation over two years.
A call for applications is expected soon for the Women in Science and the Young Professionals in Science competitions being supported by CTA, FARA, RUFORUM and AYFST. These competitions will be available to both individuals and groups and, in addition to prizes, are designed to provide mentoring, greater exposure and recognition.
Commenting on a DFID research consultation, he recommended that DFID support "multi-actor communication teams in producing regionally relevant and locally appropriate learning tools/programs."
In an article in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, he describes how the 'Zooming-in Zooming-out' approach helps extension service providers create regionally relevant learning materials that are locally appropriate.
For an overview of the videos or click on the following links to view the video on YouTube:
Cashing In with Parboiled Rice
Improving Rice Quality
Spotted Seeds Means Diseased Seeds
Seed Sorting by Flotation
Well Dried Seed is Good Seed
Rice Seed Preservation Technique
To obtain copies of the videos in either mpeg or VCD format please contact: Paul Van Mele.
WARDA and its partners also established links with rural radios to enhance farmer-to-farmer extension. Farmers involved in PLAR or video-supported learning sessions gave testimonies to rural radios. Also, local innovations were turned into radio scripts and hosted on the website of the Developing Country Farm Radio Network. Currently over 300 rural radios in 38 SSA countries receive their quarterly newsletter, including the scripts.
FAO and YouTube
IRRI video channel on YouTube
ICRISAT video channel on YouTube
Accessing rural information by voice
GCP is the organization dealing with the international cassava research and development community (R&D) and is now assuming the traditional roles of the former CBN. GCP is, first and foremost, the focal advocacy platform for global cassava issues, and it leverages cassava R&D through:
- Facilitating discourse amongst key cassava stakeholders - farmers, end-users, researchers, and donor agencies;
- Organizing scientific and technical meetings;
- Collective seeking of funding opportunities;
- Catalyzing the overcome of major bottlenecks such as cassava genomics…
More information on Casavanet: Casavanet wish to bring as much information as possible together in once place and to make this accessible to a worldwide audience of laypersons and specialists. The goal is to provide an interactive portal for knowledge concerning cassava, thereby improving access and links to information which can increase the understanding of the crop. Casavanet's ultimate aim is that facilitating access and exchange of information will contribute to the well-being of cassava farmers throughout the tropics.
Cassava is multifaceted crop that is finding many industrial applications, worldwide. Some of the current applications include; adhesives, corrugated boards, gums, wallpaper, foundry, well drilling, paper industry, textile industry, wood furniture, particle board, biofuels, alcohol products, dusting powders, drugs, plastics, packaging, stain remover, concrete stabilizer and moisture sequester. Key words: cassava, multifaceted crop, industrial applications, non-food uses
The briefing will host two panels:
- Panel 1 - Climate change and Development - Overview of some key and emerging issues;
- Panel 2 – Impacts of climate change on rural development.Speakers include the EC, ODI, ACP Secretariat, ENDA, Development Commmittee of the European Paliament, Concord, African farmers organisations (SACAU), the Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly.
Climate change and agriculture was also the topic of a CTA-Euforic side session at the EU Development Days.Earlier Brussels Briefings looked at 'Aid for Trade', 'Advancing African Agriculture' and 'Challenges to rural development in ACP countries.'
See also Euforic news on rural development and climate change.
Thursday, 24 January 2008
The global consultations organised as part of DFID’s research strategy for 2008-2013
including agricultural research in Africa are now available on line. A number of opportunities and constraints have been identified as well as following research priorities for Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda and China (related to Africa).
DFID Research Strategy (2008 - 2013). Consultation - Africa. Country Report for Ethiopia
2007 CABI Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, 64 pp. View PDF 414.7 kbs
See: p. 13 - 16
- Agriculture Livestock (breed, feed, health);
- high value cash crops, and crop diseases and pests;
- optimum crop-livestock integration; v
- alidation and integration of indigenous knowledge;
- post-harvest technologies;
- marketing research; biotechnology;
- irrigation, soil and water conservation;
- strengthening linkage between relevant actors, and communication of available research findings.
DFID Research Strategy (2008-2013). Consultations in South Africa
2007 Ainslie, A.; Asma Hassan Khanya-African Institute for Community-Driven Development (Khanya-aicdd), Bloemfontein, South Africa, 52 pp. View PDF 235.8 kbs
See p. 14 - 21
- Assessment of the impact of changes in global and national agriculture over the past 2 decades on small producers
- Rural production systems (to involve multidisciplinary teams)
- Improvements in agricultural production
- Improvements in water security
- Innovations in water harvesting
- Development of an agricultural research agenda
DFID Research Strategy (2008 - 2013). Consultation - Africa. Country Report for Nigeria.
2007 CAPPS 43 pp. View PDF 348.6 kbs
see p.10 - 14
- Addressing pressing threats to farming such as those posed by erosion, desertification and flooding, as well as HIV/AIDs and climate change
- Increasing agricultural productivity
- Creating an enabling environment for productive farming
- Making research work for farmers
DFID Research Strategy (2008 - 2013). Consultation - Africa. Country Report for Uganda
2007 People Innovations and Change in Organisations (PICO), Uganda, 83 pp. View PDF 837.6 kbs
p. 23 - 28
- Improvements in post-harvest handling to reduces losses (estimated at 30% of production) and adding value to agricultural products
- Markets and market access
- Development of sustainable production systems for crops and livestock
- Development of technologies, such as biotechnology, for increased production and productivity
- Study of the inter-relationships between agriculture and other disciplines such as health and environment
- Generation of evidence needed for policy formulation to support agricultural financing and attract investment in agriculture
- Methods of increasing the uptake and utilization of agricultural research products
- Knowledge management systems for agricultural development
- Doing agricultural research for impact
China: development research priorities. Report on consultations for DFIDs global research strategy 2008-2013
2007 Institute of Development Studies , Brighton, UK, 27 pp. View PDF 147.7 kbs
p.16 - 17
- Joint work with the Chinese on agriculture in Africa
- Documentation of research and other activities concerning agriculture in Africa which have been supported by China
- Sharing of agricultural innovations and approaches between practitioners and researchers in China and Africa
- Need to explore linkage of Chinese research with major international initiatives on African Agriculture
The African Climate Change Fellowship Program is coordinated by the global change SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training (START), the Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA) at the University of Dar es Salaam, and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) provides financial support for the Fellowship program under its Climate Change Adaptation in Africa program
Environmental change in Africa - call for proposals 2008PACOM, the Pan-African Committee for START, calls for research proposals related to environmental change from African research community. Priority will be assigned to proposals that focus on the following three themes: Climate Variability & Climate Change; Impacts/ Adaptations/Vulnerability to Climate Change; Land Use Change/ Ecosystems/ Biogeochemical Change/ Biodiversity.
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
The development of biofuel has been hailed as a sustainable way to combat dependency on declining oil reserves, but a new study suggests there are substantial obstacles to large-scale deployment of biofuels. It is still an open question whether biofuel can meet a significant proportion of the world’s energy needs, say John Fike and co-authors in a paper in CAB Reviews. There are numerous practical questions about biomass systems, from feedstocks to logistics to pretreatment/process technologies, to be addressed. While policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions may support biofuel, other environmental impacts are also of concern, say Fike and his colleagues at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
The cost of hauling the feedstock to the refinery is a key issue, and so a high proportion of farms within a given radius of the refinery would have to commit to producing the feedstock, as a need to transport the feedstock over long distances would make bioenergy production uneconomic. The distance of the refineries from the energy user is also an important factor. There are many logistic and socio-economic issues that will need to be resolved along with the purely technical issues, say the Virginia Tech team.
Challenges for deploying dedicated, large-scale, bioenergy systems in the USA by John Fike, David Parrish, Jeffrey Alwang and John Cundiff appears in CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources2, December 2007, No. 064, 28 pp.
Biofuels - our future in the balance? interview with Trevor Nicholls, CEO CABI (Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International - UK).
Posting of 11/01/2008 on the CABI blog
The act of telling a story is a deceptively simple and familiar process, a way to evoke powerful emotions and insights. By contrast, working with stories in organisational settings – to aid reflection, build communities, transfer practical learning or capitalize experiences – is more complicated.
A Guide STORY GUIDE Building Bridges Using Narrative Techniques was designed by the Thematic Service Knowledge and Research of the Swiss Development Co-operation (SDC) to be both thought provoking and of some practical use to SDC and its collaborators and partners. The materials contained in the guide should help develop competence and confidence as tellers or facilitators of telling and may also support the development of more complex methodologies and programmes involving knowledge sharing, change and communication. In it you will find:
- Tips, templates and tools to help you find,
share and capitalize experience.
- Reflections on the practical and the emotional
aspects of story telling.
- Consideration of the challenges and risks in
institutionalising these approaches.
- Illustrations from SDC’s experience so far of
putting stories to work.
Story Guide: Building bridges using narrative techniques
A workshop in Kampala 14/01-17/01/2008 organised by Bellanet Africa under its Harambee program gave the opportunity to the participants to be trained in digital story telling during a 1 day training (!) using Movie maker. Hereunder one of the movies produced by Reseau Sida Afrique on the use of mobile telephone. The story is in French but undertitled in English.
Insights into Participatory Video: A handbook for the field
Indigenous knowledge and local initiatives are usually documented and disseminated by outsiders, who make their own interpretations in the process. Participatory Video (PV) provides an opportunity for rural people to document their own knowledge and experiences and to express their wants and hopes from their own perspectives.
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
(BAACH) was formed in 2006 by a group of CEOs and public leaders who outlined an action plan for business to help reduce hunger. Since then the Alliance has launched pilot work in Kenya, and is working with a broad array of global and regional companies and partners to promote business models that contribute to sustainable food production and raise incomes in poor regions. The Alliance is a cross-industry, multi-stakeholder initiative championed by the Consumer Industry Partnership community of the World Economic Forum.
Report (PDF 2.2 KB)
The Need and Opportunity for a “Uniquely African” Green Revolution 6
Harnessing Private Sector Capabilities to Drive the Green Revolution Forward 7
The Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger: A New Approach 9
The Alliance’s 2007 Pilot Initiatives in Kenya 13
Integrating Alliance Work into a Broader Regional Development Strategy 17
Scaling Effective Business Models 18
The Way Forward 22
Appendix: The Business Alliance Approach - A Guide for Partners 23
Heads of State and Government also called for the improved management of the region’s water resources so that it can be used further as a tool for improved agricultural production and in the fight against desertification.
Upcoming congress scheduled for Uganda next September 2008. Organized by the World Agricultural Forum, the congress aims at bringing together agricultural companies, African government leaders and non-profit organizations to discuss ways of improving crop yields and increasing profits.
Monday, 14 January 2008
A round table discussion between FARA (the F
The objectives of the meeting were to arrive at a consensus on (a) how FARA, AFAAS and other continental bodies that contribute to FAAP relate to each other, (b) what the contribution of AFAAS to FAAP should be, and appropriate institutional arrangements f
The FTC (Framew
The FTC (Framew
Thursday, 10 January 2008
The report argues that if technology is going to reduce poverty and hunger, it must be based on the principle of social inclusion. The report highlights the impact of agriculture research in India derived from public funds. Key achievements include:
- foodgrain production increased from about 45 million tonnes in 1951–52 to over 200 million tonnes at the beginning of this century
- productivity of major cereals increased from 700 kg per hectare in 1961–62 to over 1700 kg per hectare by 2001–02
- groundwater irrigation has played the lead role in bringing more area under irrigation, thanks to technological advances
- science and technology coupled with social engineering have helped to promote conservation, restoration and commercial forestry and the regeneration of coastal mangrove wetlands
- significant progress has been made in the development of affordable drugs for the control of malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, cholera and other diseases
- rural drinking water supply has been made nearly universal through the design of simple water pumps and the application of remote sensing and hard rock drilling techniques
- rural energy systems have gained enormously from scientific work related to the harnessing of biogas, biomass, solar and wind and other forms of renewable energy
The report concludes that the progress in production with regard to crops, milk, eggs and fish, improvement in health status, and growth in access to electric power and drinking water for India’s rural population over the post-Independence period is the result of the proactive role played by the state in promoting research and development. This research has contributed the technologies crucial for a breakthrough in production and promotion of people’s access to basic facilities. Full text of document / Publisher details
State of the World 2008 cites two major economic modeling studies that find that the damage from global climate change could equal as much as 8 percent of global economic output by the end of this century. Citing World Bank data, the report also notes that some 39 countries experienced a decline of 5 percent or more in wealth when accounting measures also included factors such as unsustainable forest harvesting, depletion of non-renewable resources, and damage from carbon emissions. For 10 countries, the decline ranged from 25 to 60 percent.
To avoid economic collapse at the global level, the State of the World authors call for major reforms of government policy to steer investment away from destructive activities such as the extraction of fossil fuels and toward a new generation of environmentally sustainable industries. Specific recommendations include making prices tell the ecological truth by reducing subsidies and adopting environmental taxes.
“We have the tools today to steer the global economy onto a sustainable path,”The report urges a full assessment and valuation of the services that nature provides free of charge to the human economy and describes several efforts to create markets to protect biodiversity. The report cites a recent assessment that found green accounting programs in place in at least 50 countries and identified 20 other countries that were planning to initiate such programs.
say project co-directors Gardner and Prugh. “The task now is to bring them
together and scale them up so that they become the norm across today’s
See also: Greenteck Media: Climate Change Redrawing World Economy, Worldwatch Says
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
The Contributed Papers Committee of the Food Agriculture and Nutrition Division (FAN) of the Special Libraries Association invites submissions for its session at the 2008 SLA Annual Conference to be held in Seattle, Monday, June 16, 2008, 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
The theme of the contributed papers session is: Increasing access to Agriculture, Food and Life Sciences Information. Papers should discuss original research, innovative projects, or other professional activities of interest relevant to the theme.
Presenters do not need to be a member of FAN or of SLA to submit a proposal for consideration.
Presentations are 20 minutes followed by a 5 minute question and answer period.
An LCD projector will be provided.
Deadline: January 31, 2008.
Notification of Acceptance: February 15, 2008
Submitting a proposal indicates a commitment to attend the conference as a presenter at this session.
To Submit a Proposal:
Proposals may be submitted by e-mail, mail, or fax and must include the following:
Full mailing address
Phone and fax numbers
Abstract (at least 300-500 words clearly describing the paper to be presented)
Proposals and questions should be directed to:
Food Science & Technology Librarian
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1048
Phone: (517) 432-6123, ext 131
Fax: (517) 432-8050
University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIllroy Avenue
Fayetteville, AR 72701-4002
Toll Free: 866-818-8115
Monday, 7 January 2008
The Neuchâtel Initiative (NI) is an informal platform of experts for rural and agricultural advisory services that had been established 13 years ago. In this forum, major bilateral and multilateral donor organisations of the North are affiliated; additionally several resource organisations and universities are participating during annual meetings. The initiative is informal in the sense that it works without a permanent secretariat. It meets once a year on a voluntary basis in different locations. Due to the expertise and the quality of NI products (common frameworks), the initiative is leading in policy dialogue on agricultural and rural advisory services. It publishes harmonised common frameworks on policies, implementation and monitoring of agricultural advisory services for development assistance as joint products. These common frameworks are covering various topics of extension (which can be downloaded from the NI website http://www.neuchatelinitiative.net/) and are used as internationally recognised reference documents for the implementation of extension programs and the harmonisation between different stakeholders (e.g. donors) in the development of agricultural services.
With the financial support of CTA, following booklets were re-printed (1,500 copies of each booklet):
¨ Common Framework on Agricultural Extension
¨ Note de cadrage conjointe sur la vulgarisation agricole
¨ Common Framework on Financing Agricultural and Rural Extension
¨ Note de cadrage sur le financement du conseil agricole et rural
¨ Demand Driven Agricultural Advisory Services (DDAAS)
¨ Services des conseils agricoles pilotés par la demande
The translation of the DDAAS into French (Services des conseils agricoles pilotés par la demande) was offered by CIRAD. GTZ translated the same document into Spanish and financed its editing and printing.
Resource Notification: FAO E-Conference Summary -- FAO (1/4/2008)
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released a summary document of its March 5 - April 1, 2007 e-mail conference on "Coping with water scarcity in developing countries: What role for agricultural biotechnologies". The main topic discussed during the conference was the application of biotechnology for the development of crops with improved drought resistance or water use efficiency. Most discussion on this topic was dedicated to marker-assisted selection and genetic modification. The two other main issues discussed were how to deliver real solutions to farmers and the role of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Seventy-eight emails were contributed during the four-week e-mail conference. These were from 50 people living in 24 different countries. Approximately 70 percent of the messages were from individuals working at universities and at national or international research organizations. The 11-page summary document is available on line
Thursday, 3 January 2008
The Beijing summit has indeed given priority to the Sino- African cooperation in the agricultural sector which, according to Chinese and African leaders, has great potential given the strong complementarities between China and Africa in the agricultural field.Since the mid-1990s, China, through its policy of reform and opening up, has encouraged agricultural firms to "go outside the country" and participate in international competitions in order to accelerate the process of restructuring the Chinese agricultural sector. Many agricultural enterprises, which emerged through the provision of soft loans and favourable policies, have taken charge of various farming projects across the African continent.Suddenly, farms are springing up like mushrooms all over the continent, especially in countries such as Zambia, Gabon, Tanzania, Guinea, Ghana, Niger and Cameroon, where the Chinese companies were very active. --> More information
The second African Sub-Regional Forum on ICT Best Practices, dedicated to the whole of East and Southern Africa, will be held in
This Second Forum is an initiative of Microsoft, organised in partnership with the Government of Tanzania. The Forum also presents a unique opportunity for meetings between international financial institutions, international governmental organisations, representatives from government and civil society, as well as the private sector.
The first ICT Best Practices Forum, held in
The Inter Islamic Network on Space Sciences & Technology (ISNET) in collaboration with Pakistan Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH), with the co-sponsorship of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is organising a Seminar on Space Technology and Applications for Sustainable Development in
The 3-day Seminar will provide a forum where representatives of OIC countries with diverse ethnic, social and cultural backgrounds will share their development experiences and the crucial role of space technology in sustainable development. Practical examples of projects undertaken in one country will benefit other OIC countries with possible chances of joint projects for sustainable development in fields like natural resources management, environment, tele-education, tele-medicine, agriculture, forestry and costal resources. --> More information
During the 13 th UN Climate Change Conference in
Under this new initiative, the CGIAR is calling on the international community to boost investment in research that is vital for enabling rural people to cope with the rising threat. In 2006, the CGIAR’s combined expenditures on research related to climate change amounted to nearly US$70 million, or 15 percent of its total budget of $470 million. But now, under a policy formulated during the CGIAR’s 2008 Annual General Meeting, held at
In support of Sierra’s call for a major increase in research investment, the
- Gauging the vulnerability of agriculture, natural resources and rural communities
- Breeding crops for stress tolerance, while developing better practices for sustainable crop and environmental management
- Supporting the development of policies that are conducive to sustainable agricultural growth
As a result, the Centers are now poised to expand current research and undertake new collaborative efforts that are fundamental for enabling developing country agriculture to adapt to and mitigate the expected impacts. --> More information
Strengthening Agricultural Education and Training in Sub-Saharan Africa from an Innovation Systems Perspective
Specifically, the paper looks at how AET in Sub-Saharan Africa can contribute to agricultural development by strengthening innovative capabilities, or the ability to introduce new products and processes that are socially or economically relevant to smallholder farmers and other agents in the agricultural sector.
--> More information
A new grant, worked between Uganda and World Bank hopes to revamp farming. The World Bank has partnered with the Uganda government to offer a grant of USD 840, 000 to Agricultural research institutions in the country. According to Dr. Emily Twinamasiko, the Director of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), both the public and private research institutions would benefit from the competitive grant. --> More information