The network identified four overarching thematic areas that will guide us in the years 2018-2022: Inclusive agribusiness, Climate smart agribusiness, Circular economy agribusiness and Nutrition-sensitive agribusiness. These four themes are also closely aligned with the objectives of the Dutch development agenda regarding food security.
Around its thematic focus the AgriProFocus network will develop and implement network programmes, globally and in the country networks.
Within this thematic focus members in the Netherlands and in country networks have expressed a clear need to target the work of AgriProFocus to specific issues based upon the following criteria:
Zoom in on issues that currently block the development of a vibrant agripreneurs sector, and to opportunities to overcome this.
Choose those issues that various stakeholders encounter, but that no-one can solve individually - so-called ‘wicked problems’ or ‘complex problems’.
The networks joint solutions should be on sharing, co-creating and scaling-up practical action perspectives and business strategies for agripreneurs.
For 2018 AgriProFocus has selected, based on member interest, global ‘burning issues’ per theme. On each issue/opportunity we will facilitate exchange and reflection on results, experiences and lessons learned of members. Every theme will lead to a ‘publication’ (print/video) for members and broader audiences. Our ambition is that these insights spark opportunities for further network activities, using our signature network solutions (Linking, Learning, Leadership) to create joint network programmes.
Circular Economy Agribusiness
The current infrastructure pattern of production, logistics and consumption leads to an enormous flow of food waste and missed business opportunities (an estimated 30 percent of agricultural production in Africa and Asia is lost). Logistics, trade, and processing infrastructure are considered as critical bottlenecks. Most wastage occurs within and between agribusiness companies during agricultural production, post-harvest handling and storage, processing and distribution. AgriProFocus members support initiatives, innovations, entrepreneurial farmers and agribusinesses that integrate the reduction of food losses in their business models, for example by exploring opportunities for post-harvest technologies and for making profitable new products from rest and by-products. The following burning issues have been identified with members:
There is no such thing as waste: Innovative solutions to reduce post-harvest losses and food wastage. The goal is to jointly explore and showcase the innovation in LMIC countries that post-harvest losses (food wastage) can be reduced and/or prevented: to make the business case that waste = value. The availability of rest- and byproducts can be a driver for new food ventures, or help completing the business case for existing ventures. Particular attention will be given to tackling post-harvest losses in fresh fruits and vegetables value chains, in view of maintaining the nutritional value, and enhancing access for low income consumers.
Soil Fertility – Closing nutrient loops through smart business solutions. The goal is to gather some of the best ‘circular economy’ solutions that work to enhance soil fertility, both at farmer level and in value chains (e.g. local compost traders; value addition to byproducts). This work will help demonstrating the investment opportunities created in integrated soil fertility management, and mitigating the risks associated to climate change and scarcity of natural resources (particularly, specific nutrients).
Keep an eye on this page for updates around these burning issues!
Global Lead Circular Economy Agribusiness: Lisette van Benthum
Kebena, Addis Ababa
The rivers of Addis Ababa serve as a default sewer system and dumping site for a very significant quantity of Addis Ababa's residential and industrial waste. At the same time, the river banks of the city are one of the most-used sites for urban agriculture. It is not surprising that chemical and biological contamination is a common constraint to safe and healthy urban food systems. (I recently learned that my home is connected by pipe directly to the river in my neighborhood, and the same is true for many other Addis Ababa residents).
Mintesenot Urban Agriculture is a youth-led urban farm, established by a group of young residents of Kebena, who decided to clean up and afforest the river banks, and start growing food and keeping livestock to make affordable quality nutrition and youth jobs available to neighborhood residents. ... Read more
(free download of article until March 2 , 2019 via link: https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1YNVO6fSi9gLHQ )
This article is co-authored by Gidi Smolders, who as an expert for PUM worked with AgriProFocus in various APF dairy learning labs. It is an easy to read 11pager with some scenarios for improved crop-livestock interactions.
Go to full article here:
The Youth Business Challenge Developed by Ethio-Netehrlands Trade for Agricultural Growth, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands and AgriProFocus Ethiopia seeks to bridge the gap between university graduates and agri-food industries in Ethiopia.
With a focus on circular economy, the Youth Business Challenge connects businesses with a waste product with teams of interdisciplinary graduates ready to help these businesses find a profitable way to use their waste.
Five Dutch and Ethiopian companies working in the agri-food sector have joined the challenge. Teams of youth are now invited to apply to help these business find profitable ways to deal with their waste. The youth teams will be invited to learn about the waste challenges that these companies face, connected with a local technical expert on the waste issue at hand, given basic training in business problem solving, then charged to find and assess... Read more
As part of the Hawassa University's Nutrition and Agro-Inudstry Conference, a visit to the largest exporter of halal certified meat in Africa was organized on August 15th, 2018. Frigorifico Boran Foods is located in Tulu Dimtu, near Ziway. Having a capacity to slaughter 3,000 cattle and 6,000 goats daily, this Indian company represents an 80 Billion USD investment. The company decided to invest in Ethiopia because Ethiopia has the highest population of livestock in the continent, and the fourth largest livestock population in the world. Core products include chilled and frozen goat and cattle carcasses.
Annually Ethiopia exports millions of live animals, and with them, we export all the jobs and bi-products associated with animal slaughter. Local value addition in the meat sector is very important for jobs and foreign exchange. “At Frigorifico Boran Foods, our only un-used bi-product i... Read more
If so, apply for the youth business challenge and get a team of young experts to help you solve your problems.
The Youth Business Challenge is organized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ethiopian Netherlands Business Association, Ethio-Netherlands Trade for Agricultural Growth & AgriProFocus Ethiopia where a group of interdisciplinary youth and a few seasoned technical experts come up with a business plan for waste management practices in different agribusinesses working in the agri-food sector.
Apply now or no later than the 11th of September through this form.
New types of packaging can extend the shelf life of produce, helping to combat food waste. Wageningen University & Research is one of the bodies worldwide testing prototypes to see what works best.
How can we reduce food waste through packaging? It’s a question research centers around the world are focused on. The answer is not straightforward, says Dr. Jenneke Heising, who specializes in smart packaging that monitors food quality.
Different packaging materials affect the quality of food differently, she explains. “At Wageningen we are conducting research into new solutions with extra features, like active and intelligent packaging.”
Heising: “Active packaging protects food by reducing negative factors. For example, oxygen in the air affects the quality of many products. You can embed oxygen scavengers into the packaging material. These scavengers ensure the oxygen level inside th... Read more
As a child growing up in Tanzania, Azalia William Kyando always dreamed of making a difference. He watched as his hometown of Dar es Salaam quickly became the largest growing city in East Africa and the third largest on the continent. As Kyando grew, the city grew as well, experiencing a level of development and change that has left the metropolis grappling with massive waste.
While studying business and marketing at the University of Dar es Salaam, Kyando and his friends Noah Bendera, Ahad Katera and Latifa Mafunbi, were concerned about the amount of waste being produced by the city and decided to act.
"We spent a lot of time thinking about different options to address the need we had identified while still being able to make a living," Kyando said. "Then we realized that in Tanzania, a country of farmers, 95% of fertilizer is imported into the country."
It was through that realization that Guavay Company Limited was born. Guavay is the first company in... Read more
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) continues its activities to improve vegetable production and to strengthen private sector development in Indonesia. A two-year program funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta succeeds the vegIMPACT program that finished in 2017. The new vegIMPACT NL program was officially launched during the Wageningen Indonesian Network Exposure Scientific Meeting 2018 in Bogor, Indonesia, July 6th.
To read more about the vegIMPACT NL program, in which also AgriProFocus and members are involved, please follow this link.
For more information on the activities of AgriProFocus and its members regarding post harvest losses in shallots as part of VegImpact NL, follow this link.
Are you looking for an update on the latest technologies for storage, packaging and handling of fresh horticultural products? Would you like to broaden and deepen your knowledge of the biology of postharvest development, ripening and deterioration? Then this course might be something for you. 35% of all harvested crops is lost during storage and distribution. Increasing globalisation necessitates long-term transport and the demand for high quality products stresses the need for innovative and sustainable postharvest technologies. Prevention of postharvest losses therefore is of major importance for global food and nutritional security.
Organised by Wageningen Academy, Horticulture & Product Physiology Group, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research
This course gives participants an in-depth view on:
• The latest insights in the biology of postharvest development, ripening and deterioration processes in fresh horticultural produc... Read more
The transition towards a circular economy is expected to generate multiple economic, social and environmental benefits. Financiers play an important role in accelerating this transition by facilitating finance for businesses and projects applying circular economy business models.
In December 2014 the FinanCE working group was founded by PGGM and brought together a group of organizations related to the world of finance that were interested in the transition to a more circular economy. The group was supported by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
For this publication the FinanCE members ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank sought active support and feedback from all FinanCE Working Group Members. The overarching goal is to create and stimulate a common understanding of circular economy finance.
This common understanding will accelerate financing and investing in c... Read more
By definition, a circular agrofood system is ‘zero waste’. All products leaving an agricultural farm are used as an end product or raw material for one of the other links in the circular economy.
Take a look at this infographic:
Resource Use Efficiency stands for the sustainable use of resources such as water, energy, fuel and soil. Although the term may sound new and complex, Wageningen University & Research (WUR) researchers have been working on this theme for years. They are always looking for ways to use renewable and green resources in the production of food and non-food, new and existing crops and technologies that can be used to this end, and feasible changes within the chain for a more sustainable production. All under the motto: Beyond recycling, towards upcycling. This long read explains how WUR is initiating a revolution in the use and reuse of resources, to allow our available resources to go a much longer way.
This long read is a relatively long article on how WUR is contributing to Resource Use Efficiency. The article consists of the following chapters:
- What is Resource Use Efficiency?
- Towards a circular... Read more
All things considered, the entire biobased & circular economy starts with the soil, which provides the biomass that will form the basis for a post-fossil economy. It is therefore essential to keep the soil ‘in shape’; it is a storage cupboard that can only deliver what it contains and needs to be refilled at set times. Peter Kuikman recognises this analogy and takes it one step further: “The soil is in fact a finite, fossil station that provides nutrients for plant growth. If we do nothing, it will eventually run out,” says the soil specialist from Wageningen Environmental Research. And this also applies to the physical aspects, such as the sponge effect and water retention capacity. “Not only do we have to preserve the contents of the pantry, we also have to respect its construction by cleaning the cupbo... Read more
A short movie (in English) about the approach and services of Wageningen University regarding Circular Economy in Food.
You can watch this short movie:
In this short video Mr. Martin Scholten, director of the WUR Animal Sciences Group, explains how Circular Agriculture can be a solution for producing sufficient, healthy and sustainable food production in the future.
Follow this link to see the video in Dutch on YouTube
At the the National Conference on Sustainable Development in Hanoi-Vietnam, Heineken Vietnam - the Most Sustainable Manufacturing Company in Vietnam in 2017 - shared their success story of incorporating sustainability to its core business strategy, enhancing competitiveness and providing long-term socio-economic benefits.
The sustainability strategy of Heineken on a global level as well as in Vietnam is in line with and designed to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through innovative partnerships with relevant stakeholders from both State and private sectors, focused on key areas where the Company believes it can have the greatest impact in Vietnam, Heineken has contributed to implementing 8 out of 17 SDGs:
Taking care of our people by Advocating Responsible Consumption; Promoting Health and Safety; People Development; and Growing with Community. In particular:
In 2017, Heineken Vi... Read more
The competition 'Sustainable Technology for Africa' (SusTech4Africa), is organised by Belgian organisations Entrepreneur Entrepreneurs, VITO, The African Diaspora Projects Initiative and Thomas More highschool. SusTech4Africa helps (aspiring) entrepreneurs with African roots by developing their idea and transforming it into a complete business plan. During the past weeks, eleven young shoots were intensely accompanied and assisted.
Project of the year is from Zilipa Nyirabyago - a circular economy based social project in Rwanda, supporting rural farmers to grow mushrooms on coffee waste and using the waste from mushrooms as compost for farming.
The Agroecology Platform collaborated with the University of Padova (Italy) and with Catholic University (Ethiopia) to make the 6-day Sustainable Use of Biodiversity and Agroecology course (Jan 22-27) a success, contributing particularly through expertise of the network members on the first day and by organizing the field visit to a Botanical Garden and Organic Farm on the 6th and final day of the course. On the opening day of the course three Agroecology network members made presentations:
• Dr. Fentahun Mengistu of AKLDP presented What is Agroecology? Issues and Examples from the Ethiopian context
• Dr. Zewdie Kassa of AAU presented on Ethiopian Agrobiodiversity
• Dr. Hailu Araya of Pelum Ethiopia presented recent Research Findings on Agroecological Practices in the Horn of Africa
AgriProFocus organized Agroecology Network member participation and the field visit learning activities. About 35 professionals p... Read more