Published by Agricultural Systems, February 1st, 2017
This special of Agricultural Systems focuses on prioritising climate-smart agricultural (CSA) interventions at different scales. Currently, there are few tools that can comprehensively evaluate the range of potential technologies and practices and their possible impacts on food production, environmental sustainability, and mitigation in any context. Therefore, what remains is the prioritization of interventions for investment and broad dissemination. There is a growing body of work by several CGIAR centres and their partners on tools and methods that can be used to prioritise CSA interventions and investments at a range of spatial and temporal scales. This special issue brings together nine papers describing a wide range of approaches and tools. One of the papers (PDF) by Notenbaert et al. describe a generic framework for evaluating and prioritising poten... Read more
Sustainable intensification has recently been developed and adopted as a key concept and driver for research and policy in sustainable agriculture. It includes ecological, economic and social dimensions, where food and nutrition security, gender and equity are crucial components. This book on Routledge by Ingrid Oborn, Bernard Vanlauwe, Michael Phillips, Richard Thomas, Willemien Brooijmans and Kwesi Atta-Krah, describes different aspects of systems research in agriculture in its broadest sense, where the focus is moved from farming systems to livelihoods systems and institutional innovation. Much of the work represents outputs of the three CGIAR Research Programs on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics, Aquatic Agricultural Systems and Dryland Systems. The chapters are based around four themes: the conceptual underpinnings of systems research; sustainable intens... Read more
This review article (PDF) in Global Food Security Journal summarizes key evidence from the HarvestPlus program on how biofortification has helped improve nutrition worldwide between 2003 and 2016. Delivery experiences in various target countries (Bangladesh, DR Congo, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia) are discussed, as well as farmer and consumer adoption. Since 2003, HarvestPlus and its partners have demonstrated that this agriculture-based method of addressing micronutrient deficiency through plant breeding can be successful. More than 20 million people in farm households in developing countries are now growing and consuming biofortified crops. The article highlights a few common themes that have emerged among successful delivery programs. First, multiplication of sufficient planting material is a crucial first step. Second, demonstration trials have be... Read more
The Food Connection Challenge Ghana (FCC), an initiative of BoP Innovation Center and CrossWise Works facilitated by F&BKP and IBA, was launched as a business-led response to post-harvest losses in Ghana. The FAO indeed reports that post-harvest loss amounts up to 30-40% of the total food produced in Ghana, due to poor harvesting, storing and transportation facilities.
In June 2016, After an open application process targeting Ghanian agribusiness SMEs, FCC selected four Ghanaian agribusinesses producing tilapia, pineapple, peanut and groundnut products. Lack of proper storage facilities being one of the main causes of losses in their operations, FCC matched them with Dutch companies offering cold and non-cold storage facilities. Four student teams were involved to adapt the Dutch technologies for scaling in the context of the Ghanaian entrepreneurs.
On Thursday February 16, NpM Platform for Inclusive Finance, Rabobank Foundation and the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) organized the conference “Geodata for Inclusive Finance and Food”. The conference aimed to show, share and discuss the latest technological applications based on satellite data in relation to inclusive finance and food security.
Recent developments in technological applications such as satellites provide good sources of information to increase outreach of financial services especially to rural areas and for smallholder farmers. Geo-data and information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as geographic information systems, drones, and cloud computing are now being used to boost smallholder’s production and their income.
Current innovations and possibilities of satellite data and other ICT applications we... Read more
Published by IFPRI, March 23rd, 2017
The Global Food Security Report (PDF) is a reoccurring IFPRI publication that provides a synthesis of all major developments regarding food policy. This edition pays special attention to the challenges of urbanization for food and nutrition security (FNS) since rapid urbanization and population growth are expected to put growing pressure on the global food system as agricultural production comes under stress. In addition, urban poor face unique challenges since they are highly dependent on the informal sector, are more vulnerable to income and price shocks and have limited access to basic services. While informal markets are key to ensure FNS, government policies tend to focus on control, regulation or eradication of urban informal food economy. Urbanization also reshapes the agricultural value chains since commercial flows of agricultural goods increase, diets change, and commercial markets become more important.... Read more
Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University has been granted funds by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) to carry out a pilot study on the role of agro-based clustering in sustainable upscaling in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
The SustUpscaling project aims to understand the drivers of sustainable upscaling by Dutch firms in agribusiness in LMICs. The project investigates the impact of firm network characteristics and institutional conditions on sustainable upscaling performance in value chain clusters to understand the role of agro-based clustering in competitiveness.
The project encourages the active participation of private seed breeders and multipliers, farmer cooperatives/growers, local government representatives, NGOs and research institutes. It is piloted in the seed potato sector in Kenya and Ethiopia to:
The Dutch Knowledge Platforms are said to ‘have gold in their hands’. A recently launched learning review provides insight into the achievements and added value of the five Knowledge Platforms since their kick-off three years ago.
While the Knowledge Platforms are diverse in their organization and strategy, the reviewers identify common “gems”. These include the multi-stakeholder approach that lies at the core of their institutional strategy. The Platforms do not operate in a vacuum, they are positioned in a context of diverse actors (ministries, NGOs, research institutes, consultancies, businesses, etc.). This shows that their approach is not installed to fulfil only the needs of the Dutch government, but a meaningful way to take stock of multiple perspectives in order to achieve a greater good. Other achievements mentioned in the learning review are t... Read more
European tea consumers are increasingly looking for high value specialty teas. They want a unique and authentic experience when drinking tea, and are more knowledgeable about tea varieties and origin. Young consumers are also increasingly searching for innovations and healthy teas, which offers opportunities for producers of unique tea blends, flavours, and ready-to-drink teas. As sustainability remains a relevant issue in the European tea market, so do certifications and transparency in tea trade.
“Although so far a small niche in the tea market (experts estimate: 5%), specialty tea is becoming very trendy in Europe. The search for individual, gourmet quality tea follows the same path coffee has travelled. Tea will become very fashionable for young people.”
Joost Pierrot – CBI tea consultant
Visit the website to read more on:
+ Premiumisation trend in the tea market
+ Specialty teas are becoming increasingly
(Dutch nationality only)
Impact Terra is a fast growing start up technology company based in Yangon. We at Impact Terra develop and implement mobile solutions for farmers, agribusinesses, and other agricultural stakeholders. Our mission is to improve the livelihoods of rural population and improve food security and safety.
Our Mobile Application: Shwe Thee Nhan
Our mobile application Shwe Thee Nhan provides our users, whom are mostly farmers in Myanmar, with an easy-to-use visual interface and real-time, targeted content such as weather forecasts, input crop market prices, product information, farming best practices, news, risk announcements, and much more.
We are looking for a motivated, hard-working, social and entrepreneurial strong Project Manager. As Project Manager you will take part in the YEP programme, financed by the government of the Netherlands. As part of the programme, you will have a three weeks trainin
During the AgriProFocus event Making Business Work for Development the book Dairy Matters was launched. Rik Overmars from SNV, handed a copy to Jeroen Steeghs from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme is run by SNV Kenya plus partners and is financed by the Dutch Embassy in Nairobi. The inspiring book showcases eighteen case studies of farmers, cooperation's and businesses. Most of the stories in this collection describe the changes that dairy farmers have made in their own farms and the impact of their dairy business on their families and peers. After all, development is not about projects, but about people.
You can download the book via this link.
In 2015, the University of Zambia, together with five partner organizations, started a project on Zambian traditional non-alcoholic fermented foods. Mabisi (based on milk) and Munkoyo (based on cereal) were chosen for the study. These products are formed through the activity of fermenting microbes that convert raw materials into products with higher value. The aims of the study are to formalise current artisanal processing practice based on a best practice of current local house hold level processing and to design starter cultures of defined mixtures of bacteria to optimize and standardize the fermentation process.
Local farmer cooperatives as focal groups as owners of the tradition. Local farmers and their cooperatives and organisations are involved in our project as key stakeholders.... Read more
We are excited to send you this special edition of our newsletter, fully dedicated to the research projects funded within the first call of the Global Challenges Programme (GCP), that is managed by NWO-WOTRO. GCP research is carried out in consortia consisting of Southern and Northern scientific and other partners. The projects have a duration of four to five years and are aimed at enhancing the understanding of food and nutrition security in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. The five projects funded within the first GCP call (GCP-1) started in 2014 and now have interesting midterm results on food chain efficiency and inclusive sustainable increase of quality food.
Please have a look at the various articles on how these GCP-1 projects work on different continents on a range of themes via co-creation and research uptake, engaging smallholders and other stakeholders throughout their research execution.
Europe has the largest number of coffee buyers in the world and each has its own approach to business, its own expectations and specific demands. As a result, finding the right buyer can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Be prepared that it takes time. Work through the following tips to help you find your European buyers.
+ Explore your target market
+ Use sector and trade associations
+ Participate and visit trade fairs and events
+ Contact trade promotion agencies, embassies and chambers of commerce
+ Use online trading sites
+ Get to know your buyers
+ Use the trade press for market information
+ Use online marketing
+ Tell your story – make it marketable
+ Be persistent
Extended information on these tips can be found on the website of CBI.
CBI is the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries, a lot of useful information can be found on their website. CBI is a member of the AgriProFocus Dutch... Read more
Europe plays a dominant role in the global cocoa sector. The largest European ports of Antwerp (Belgium) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands) are important, as well as the large European grinding and processing industry. This means plenty of opportunities for finding buyers. Use the following tips to help identify the right buyers for your products:
+ Know your product and its potential and then define your ideal buyer profile
+ Identify preferred market channels
+ Build and expand your business network
+ Visit the websites of sector associations
+ Contact your countries embassy in your target market
+ Study online trade directories
+ Search for buyers at trade fairs
+ Use social networks
+ Team up with buyer missions, matchmaking programmes and trade missions
+ Contact your buyers with confidence
+ Invest in online marketing
Extended information on these tips can be found on th... Read more
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seek to transform the world for the better by 2030 and Gender Equality (SDG5), is without a doubt integral to achieving all these ambitions.
But progress in achieving gender parity is still slow. At the end of 2016, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report estimated that, at the current pace, it would take another 170 years for the gender gap to be closed. This calls for immediate action. Everyone, from individuals and households to organisations and policy makers, needs to commit to accelerating gender equality and ensure that half of the world’s population gets an equal chance to realise their full potential. In addition to being a moral imperative, gender equality is bound to have a great impact on economies.
According to FAO studies, if women had the same access to production resources as men, they could increase their farm yields by 20–30%. This could reduce... Read more
Hopes are high that the private sector will take the lead in tackling unemployment in Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, such confidence should not negate state responsibility for employment creation. National governments have a key role to play in making job creation inclusive. This implies lifting the constraints that especially young and female entrepreneurs face, creating a stable business environment, and promoting links to the local economy so that (international) businesses and entrepreneurs can innovate, invest and grow and, hence, create jobs.
This was the main message from INCLUDE’s roundtable discussion on ‘Productive Employment’, hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 15 December 2016. During separate breakout sessions, participants discussed the employment potential of key econom... Read more
The Netherlands Land Academy (LANDac) and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP), together with CIFOR and Shared Value Foundation have started the Learning Platforms on Land Governance and Food Security. Building on activities of the LANDac and F&BKP, the Learning Platforms will facilitate exchanges and dialogue between private sector partners and local stakeholders in investment hubs in different countries. Activities are part of the LANDac/F&BKP learning agenda on land governance and food security, including the scoping study Flowers for Food? and three country-specific workshops on Land Governance and Food Security (LGFS).
In the coming two months, Emilinah Namaganda and Gemma Betsema will start working in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor in Tanzania to collaborate with stakeholders and identify common objectives and action plans for the coming year. Investment areas i... Read more
Blog by SNV
One cooperative in the Mushishiro sector of Muhanga district, Rwanda, is fully sold on renewable energy technologies. The awakening came through the president, Epiphania Mukarubariza.
The cooperative began in 2010, conceived by women who wanted to collectively farm and market maize. Now, the group of 19 women and two men, own 2ha of land on which they produce arrowroots, sweet potatoes, maize and cassava. Their biggest customers are schools in the sector.
“We encourage people to join and take advantage of the collective marketing. Being a group increases our chances of getting funds for new ventures we embark on”, Epiphania explained, adding that the purchase of improved cookstoves is one such fringe benefit. “I cannot tell you how much SNV has helped us; even the poorest member has a stove!”.
Epiphania lights up when she remembers how she came across the revolutionary cookstoves that have transformed live... Read more