Nicole Metz

Knowledge Facilitator

Utrecht, Netherlands

About Me

Knowledge facilitator at Agri-ProFocus (50%)
Senior Knowledge Broker at the Food and Business Knowledge Platform (50%)

Responsible for the facilitation and network brokering in multistakeholder and cross-country learning processes. Both with AgriProFocus country teams, and with the members of AgriProFocus in Netherlands and with the strategic partners collaborating in the Food & Business Knowledge Platform.

Skills and Expertise


Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 22 April 2015 at 01:50

Sustainable Intensification Revisited

This briefing by IIED revisits the term ‘sustainable intensification’. The paper makes a distinction in what it should be according to the authors — a useful guiding framework for raising agricultural productivity on existing arable land in a sustainable manner; and what it should not be — a paradigm for achieving food security overall. The paper summarises the history of and controversy surrounding the term, its main assumptions and risks, as well as its value for the future. 

The key recommendations when implementing sustainable intensification, aimed at decision makers, are: 1) provide incentives to drastically reduce the environmental impacts of crop and livestock production; 2) promote low-cost approaches that farmers can control; 3) promote low-cost approaches that farmers can control; 4) discourage the use of highly productive croplands to grow animal feed; 5) address the energy needs of smallholders while limiting fossil fuel intensity

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 17 April 2015 at 02:01

New portal on Theory of Change! (by CDI-Wageningen University)

This new portal presents current thinking and work on the use of Theory of Change thinking in complex change processes. 

Click this link


Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 17 April 2015 at 01:22

Interview: ‘Sugar Make It Work: improving yields, income and employment in Rwanda’s sugarcane sector’

The sugarcane industry in Rwanda is facing multiple challenges: shortage of suitable land and severe floods of the Nyaborongo river lead to low productivity and yields. This forces Rwanda to import sugar, which leaves customers dependent on volatile prices. The ‘Sugar: Make It Work’ project aims to strengthen the local Rwandan sugarcane industry. Therefore it develops and implements intervention strategies on water management, precision agriculture, and value chain improvements. PPPLab’s Marleen Brouwer spoke with Steven Gajadin of TechForce Innovations, who is the project coordinator of this award-winning PPP. (...) 

Read the full blog by Marleen Brouwer (CDI Wageningen) on the website of PPPLab.  

Espérance Mukarugwiza Good news about that project. Thanks Nicole

3 years 9 months ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 17 April 2015 at 11:53

Adopting agro-ecological approaches for a food-secure Latin America

Adapting to climate change needs smart interventions in the way food is produced, but even smarter strategies are needed to holistically redesign the way in which the food system works. Dr. Fernando Funes Monzote, a farmer and distinguished agroecologist from Cuba, has spent the last 20 years working to meet the challenges small-scale farmers face, through agroecological approaches on a large scale.

A blog by Farming First outlines the work of Dr. Fernando Rafael Funes Monzote, nominated for the Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for Outstanding Career in Agriculture.  

Posted By in AgriProFocus Benin
Posted 16 April 2015 at 11:40

Lancement du project de recherche IRIF, voir ce lien vers le site de ACED. Et aussi ce lien au site du Food & Business Knowledge Platform (pages sur le Applied Research Fund, ARF).

La pêche continentale fournit près de 75% de la production halieutique nationale au Bénin. Ce secteur fait face à plusieurs défis dont notamment la croissance de la population, la pollution urbaine et les changements climatiques. Le projet d’amélioration de la résilience de la pêche continentale au Bénin (IRIF) initié par le consortium ACED-LHA-SOW a pour objectif d’améliorer la résilience des communautés de pêcheurs continentaux et des systèmes aquatiques à la surpêche et à la dégradation des eaux. La phase de démarrage du projet se déroulera selon le calendrier suivant :

  • 15 avril : Visite de terrain
  • 16 avril : Atelier de travail entre les membres du consortium
  • 17 avril : Atelier de lancement du projet

L’atelier de lancement aura lieu à l’Hôtel du Port à Cotonou et réunira tou

... Read more

Georges Djodji Akibodé Au Mali nous partageons le meme immeuble avec un projet de chaine de valeurs POISSON et Oignon. Cet projet vise à accroître la contribution de la pêche , de la pisciculture et oignon à l’économie nationale et améliorer les conditions de vie des communautés de pêche; accroître la contribution du sous - secteur à la satisfaction des besoins alimentaires du pays;et de promouvoir un aménagement durable des pêcheries maliennes.

3 years 9 months ago

Nicole Metz Merci Georges, c'est très intéressant. Est-ce que vous pouvez m'envoyer (à le nom et l'adresse e-mail d'une personne de contact de ce projet de chaîne de valeurs poisson et oignon? Je pourrais passer ce contact à l'équipe de recherche béninoise. Merci et bonne journée.

3 years 9 months ago

Georges Djodji Akibodé Oui, avec grand plaisir. La chaine de valeur Poisson et Oignon a comme Deputy Manager Mr Idrissa Ba, le coordonnateur APF-Mali.

3 years 8 months ago

Nicole Metz Merci - c'est un lien très direct! Je vais passer le contact d'Idrissa à l'équipe de recherche béninois.

3 years 8 months ago

Posted By in Gender in Value Chains
Posted 14 April 2015 at 01:52

Just saw this blog written by Louise Anten (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Task Force Women’s Rights and Gender Equality & Department for Sustainable Economic Development)

Find the link to the blog here

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 9 April 2015 at 08:17

Ecosystem services, agriculture and neonicotinoids   

A new scientific overview study is highlighted in the Dutch & international press today, about the use of a certain type of pesticides (neonicotinoids) and their effects on biodiversity. Worth reading for those with an interest in sustainable agriculture! This study is not only of relevance for European farmers and agribusinesses, policy makers, civil society organisations and scientists, but also to members of in AgriProFocus country networks in Africa and Indonesia: the challenges of using the right agricultural inputs - that do no (long-term) harm to ecosystems - are global in nature.  

There is more and more evidence that widespread use of neonicotinoids has severe effects on a range of organisms that provide ecosystem services like pollination and natural pest control, as well as on biodiversity.

Public and political attention has focused on whether honey bee colonies are being affected by neonicotinoids. But studying hone

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 8 April 2015 at 11:47

Medium-sized, mixed family farms to feed the future: A vision for farming in Africa

"Agricultural development programmes have too long focused on semi-subsistence smallholders in an effort to achieve food security. This has not contributed to the African green revolution that is sorely needed to feed the future. We have to aim instead for an agricultural sector based on medium-sized, mixed family farms", argues Melle Leenstra, First Secretary for Economic Development and Food Security at the Netherlands embassy in Nairobi.  

Mr. Leenstra has published an article on the Food & Business Knowledge Platform website, which is worth reading for AgriProFocus network members from Kenya and other countries! Please click on the link below, and feel welcome to post your comments on the article on the website of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform.

Link to the full article

Stephen Senkomago Musoke Enlightening article, one which I have been arguing for the last couple of years. My thoughts for Uganda are

3 years 9 months ago

Nicole Metz Dear Stephen, Thanks for your reaction and the link to your own blog. Would you be so kind also posting the same link on the website of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, using the 'comments' function at the bottom of the article of Mr. Leenstra? (or else, I could do it for you, please send me a direct e-mail in that case, to ). best regards

3 years 9 months ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 2 April 2015 at 11:50

Newsletter Food & Business Knowledge Platform

In its fifth newsletter, the Food & Business Knowledge Platform proudly presents the newly launched Knowledge Portal, where you will find continually updated references to knowledge items and innovations in Food & Nutrition Security on selected topics. The knowledge presented is expected to be of relevance to AgriProFocus members in different countries; you may select the topics of your interest when visiting the Portal pages. In order to make the continuous updating of the Knowledge Portal an interactive process, you – as a professional in the field – are warmly invited to suggest relevant additional items to be included in it. Please refer us to relevant articles, briefs or reports by contacting us here.

Other items in the fifth newsletter include expert opinions on medium-sized family farming and building resilience for farmers. You will also find reports of our recently organized meetings on fruit & vegetables, global nutrition and th

... Read more

Posted By in Youth
Posted 26 March 2015 at 10:36

NEPAD and FAO launch rural youth project at the 11th CAADP Partnership Platform

25 March 2015, Johannesburg - The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), today launched a 4-year project that aims to create decent employment opportunities for young women and men in rural areas, through the development of rural enterprises in sustainable agriculture and agribusiness along strategic value chains. The USD$ 4 million project is funded by the African Solidarity Trust Fund. 

Juma Bruno Ngomuo So many projects launched but they ended up collecting data and workshops. Its time we realise that the only people to develop agriculture is family famrmers who can graduate to agropreneurs through sustainable business models.

3 years 9 months ago

Nicole Metz Thanks for your reaction Juma Bruno Ngomuo. I agree with you that as AgriProFocus network members, we should critically look at what new projects bring, and monitor whether they have the desired outcomes, and - in the end - impact. If you think this NEPAD/FAO rural youth project should put family farmers central stage, would it be an idea for you to communicate that recommendation to them directly (as part of existing dialogues between your network & these agencies, or via your ministry of Agriculture)?

3 years 9 months ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 18 March 2015 at 03:49

The following study was shared today in the context of the Climate Smart Agriculture research conference.

Barriers, incentives and benefits in the adoption of climate-smart agriculture – Lessons from the MICCA pilot project in Kenya

This study examines the incentives and constraints to adoption of the promoted climate-smart agricultural practices in Kaptumo, Nandi County of Kenya. Findings and insights from this study provides useful knowledge on the dynamics of adoption of the Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices and lessons learnt to further inform extension, projects and up-scaling. The results from this study are valid for the population in the MICCA pilot site and may be generalized to similar areas in Nandi County and other counties in the country, which are characterized by tea-maize-dairy farming system and small land sizes. The study considers wider policy, institutional and social structures and processes that may affect adoption. In addition the assessment also provides fa

... Read more

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 18 March 2015 at 02:25

Un livre sur l'Agroécologie, récemment publié, que l'on ne peut accéder qu'en version imprimée. Pour plus d'information ou pour commander, voir ce lien

TITRE: Agroécologie - Enjeux et perspectives. Point de vue du Sud.

VOLUME: Vol.XXI - 2014, n°3

DATE: 09/2014

COORD. / AUTEUR Laurent Delcourt



PRIX 13,00 EUR (Frais de port compris)


Posted By in Youth
Posted 16 March 2015 at 01:09

Involve and empower young farmers and agro-entrepreneurs to secure the future of our food

Youth should be part of an inclusive (agricultural) development policy. This is necessary to secure stable food supplies, and to innovate the agricultural sector. National governments, private parties, donors and development agencies all have their role to play to involve and empower young farmers and entrepreneurs in agricultural value chains.

Please read a new article by Marleen Brouwer, Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) of Wageningen UR, via the following link:  

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 9 March 2015 at 02:59

Africa Celebrates Africa Environment Day and Life of Wangari Maathai - See more via this link 

This kind of dates of the political calender may be relevant for the AgriProFocus network to keep in mind when planning cross-country or national activities related to the theme Sustainable Agriculture, in some of our countries.

Do people have suggestions for key dates of international relevance, regarding ecological sustainability, climate, agro-ecology, in the course of 2015? Earlier suggestions were: Earth Day; meetings of the UNFCCC. Please let us all know. 

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 26 February 2015 at 11:19

The first Food & Business Knowledge Platform newsletter of 2015 has been sent out! 

In this newsletter the Platform proudly presents the new website section featuring all Food & Business Research projects funded by NWO-WOTRO. Other items of interest include news from various partner networks as well as upcoming events. Of special interest is the article about the Kenyan Horticulture and Food Security Programme, as AgriProFocus Kenya was leading on the knowledge management of this programme in which Solidaridad, SNV and Hivos as well as the Dutch Embassy were key partners.

Please follow this link to read the complete fourth newsletter of the Platform.

The next edition will be published by the end of March: please click here to subscribe to the F&BKP newsletter.

By visiting the Platform's website (  and following the Platform's twitter account you can stay informed of all the developments and opportunities for you to join the Platform and contribute to its Know

... Read more

Vincent Mangeni Thanks Nicole for the heads up.

3 years 10 months ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Mali
Posted 13 February 2015 at 08:14

Take a new look at markets for climate change adaptation. 

Research by CIFOR and CIRAD, a/o refering to Mali and Niger

Follow the link

Posted By in AgriProFocus Tanzania
Posted 11 February 2015 at 02:03

Climate Smart Agriculture rapid appraisal and prioritization tool tested in Tanzania 

Using participatory methods, scientists are now working with farmers to understand climate impacts on farming systems and rural livelihoods and to identify locally appropriate climate-smart solutions.  

CIAT, SAGKOT and SUA involved.

OMARY A. MWAIMU interesting , hope the will come with reasonable findings

3 years 11 months ago

Posted By in Post Harvest and Food Industry
Posted 9 February 2015 at 01:59

Post Harvest Network

This is where you can access additional knowledge related to how to improve on food processing, storage, and other post-harvest handling issues. The network is a Dutch initiative that brings together stakeholders from universities, ministries, private sector, civil society. 

It is closely collaborating with the Food & Business Knowledge Platform around the theme 'Food Wastage'. See the Platform's website too: Link 

Booker Owuor Ochieng Great stuff. I've also done alot in Kenya's food security arena.

3 years 11 months ago

Nicole Metz Thanks for your response Booker Owuor Ochieng. If you have particular experiences to share, please let the readers of this platform know!

3 years 11 months ago

MATHIAS OKURUT Great initiative. Will keep following. Poor post harvest handling is a major challenge for country "Uganda".

3 years 10 months ago

Mebit Kebede This is very crucial and timely initiative to discuss more on this matter which is the major challenge for Ethiopia agriculture system

2 years 4 months ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 5 February 2015 at 09:29

Dutch breweries investing in Ethiopia 

The Dutch news programme ‘Nieuwsuur’ of Saturday 31st January included an item on Dutch breweries’ investments in Ethiopia. (most text in Dutch, though some English and Amharic)

"The project is exactly what the Dutch government wants: combining trade and aid” says one interviewee.

The programme shows the new Ethiopian breweries of Heineken and Bavaria. Ethiopia is a grow market for beer; the two companies have the ambition to contribute to a higher beer consumption per capita. Different stakeholders are interviewed: representatives of the two companies, a representative of ICCO, a representative of the Dutch Embassy (Mr Hans van de Heuvel). The Embassy expects the investments to contribute to food security, generating income for farmers. 

 In my opinion, the programme could have been more informative if it had addressed challenging issues such as whether barley production com

... Read more

Nicole Metz See also an interesting blog (in Dutch only) about the practice of the Dutch breweries in several African countries to source locally. The author says that other private sector actors should follow the example of the breweries, purchasing more produce locally, as this contributes to more and better opportunities for local farmers.

3 years 11 months ago

Posted By in AgriProFocus Netherlands
Posted 29 January 2015 at 08:53

Food & Business Applied Research Fund 

Three projects (Benin 2x, Indonesia 1x) have been granted with a contribution from the Food & Business Applied Research Fund. NWO/WOTRO, the Dutch research agency responsible for managing the grant, has just announced this decision. The awarded ARF research proposals are the result of the first round of the second call for proposals. 

Please find more information on the three approved projects here

Please find the list of ARF projects approved earlier, here.

Evans Wafula Any news on the second call rounds?

3 years 11 months ago

Nicole Metz Dear Evans Wafula, The three projects I refered to in my post of 29 January were approved as a result of the 1st round of the Second Call for Proposals, which had a deadline of October 2014. The 2nd round of the Second Call for Proposals had a deadline of 12 January 2015. No information is yet available on the outcome of that Second round - which I understand as the WOTRO advisory and decision making authorities need some time to process what they received. See the schedule of the Second Call: "This call closes at 12 May 2015. Proposals received will be collected and assessed in three different rounds: Call 2014/2015 Deadline for submission First round 1 October 2014 (formal approvals Jan/Feb 2015) Second round 12 January 2015 (formal approvals: May 2015) Third round 12 May 2015 (formal approvals: September 2015) Whilst NOW-WOTRO aims to meet the target dates provided above, they reserve the right to change these dates at any stage. "

3 years 11 months ago