Micronutrient deficiencies in soils limit crop yields and nutritional quality, which in turn negatively affect human health. Especially in sub-Saharan Africa, soils have multiple micronutrient deficiencies which makes soils non-responsive to NPK fertilization. Poor crop yields in combination with diets that are mainly based on staple crops, causes widespread micronutrient deficiencies among the population, with severe health problems as a consequence. Worldwide over 2 billion people suffer from iron, zinc and/or other (multiple) micronutrient deficiencies. Iron deficiency anemia, for example, causes 115,000 maternal deaths per year.
A suggested strategy to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies is agronomic biofortification, particularly of staple foods. This is the fertilization of soils or plant leaves with mi... Read more
During the Food Otherwise conference, several debates took place about how to make sure farmers get a fair income. Many male and female farmers in low and middle income countries live in poverty. For them, a more sustainable food system would address both their economic and social and ecological challenges. In Europe, even if many circumstances are different, some challenges are similar. Dutch farmers currently earn prices for milk and other farm products which are far below the cost price. Farmers unions’ representatives said during an interesting workshop that it would not be affordable to include more sustainable practices on their farms, which bring extra costs, as long as even the current cost price is not adequately covered. They suggested the European market for milk, poultry and products such as cereals should be regulated more stringe... Read more
A plenary debate at the Food Otherwise conference on Friday 12th February paid ample attention to the issue of ‘yield gap’. Is the agroecological approach capable of producing enough food for a growing African population? The panellists Martin van Ittersum (WageningenUR) and Irene Cardoso (Brazilian Agroecology Alliance) addressed this question. Van Ittersum said agroecology could raise yields, but added other things are also needed at the same time. Cardoso recommended one should look at other gaps, such as income and power gaps, as these are the cause of food insecurity. In Brazil, there is some success in addressing that income gap, as a result of effective governmental programmes. She also addressed the issue of food wastage: food is not processed nor properly marketed around Brazilia... Read more
(in Dutch: Voedsel Anders)
Towards fair and sustainable food and
On 12 and 13 February, the ‘Food Otherwise’ conference took place in The Netherlands. 1000 participants gathered at Wageningen University Campus to discuss opportunities to change the food system, based on principles of sustainability, responsible management of natural resources, fair prices for farmers everywhere, and farmers’ and citizens’ voice. The ‘Food Otherwise’ conference took place for the second time, about two years after its 2014 edition, and can be seen as a meeting of a passionate movement and network which relies on the expertise and innovation power of many different stakeholders in The Netherlands, Europe and globally. This conference shows ‘power’ said Prof Jan Douwe van der Ploeg in his concluding remarks.
The Food Otherwise conference stressed the need for a system change. Root causes of hunger and malnutrition, and main bottlenecks in the current agr... Read more
Après Sikasso, le Centre mondial des légumes ouvre un bureau à Mopti au Mali
Le Centre mondial des légumes (AVRDC) a ouvert en janvier un bureau à Sevaré sur la route de Mopti au Mali pour mettre en œuvre dans la région le projet financé par l’USAID « Déploiement des technologies améliorées de légumes pour surmonter la malnutrition et la pauvreté au Mali ». Ce projet implanté avec succès à Sikasso, selon l’AVRCD, vise à réduire la pauvreté, la faim et la malnutrition en favorisant la production, la transformation et la consommation de légumes et la création d’activités basées sur l’eau, l’assainissement et l’hygiène (WASH).
Les activités dans la région seront mises en œuvre à Koro et Bankass avec dix Vegetable Technology Immersion Clusters (VTICs) et un Best Practices Hub (HBP).
Pour plus d'infos sur le
During this open market, agro-food companies, knowledge institutions, civil society organizations, social entrepreneurs, and other interested organizations can present themselves with an exhibition stand and/or claim a pitch in the speakers corner. Partners can also choose to just visit the open market place for networking with the Embassies and other organizations. The last Open market space Food and Nutrition Security in Spring 2014 was a great success and an ideal network opportunity.
See more at: //agriprofocus.com/home#sthash.QLVY9Paa.dpuf
On Tuesday 22 March in the afternoon, a lively open market space will be created at the Wageningen campus. During this market, agro-food companies, knowledge institutions, civil society organizations, social entrepreneurs, and other interested organizations can present themselves with an exhibition stand and/or claim a pitch in the speakers corner. Partners can also choose to just visit the open market place for networking with the Embassies and other organizations. The last Open market space Food and Nutrition Security in Spring 2014 was a great success and an ideal network opportunity.
The open market place will start at 13:00 and is closed at 16:00 with drinks. Please subscribe by sending an email to Ilse Hennemann of Wageningen UR/CDI (Ilse.email@example.com). Please indicate how many people from your organization will attend, including their names and email addresses, specify the contact person, and i... Read more
Friday February 12, 2016 and Saturday February 13, 2016
Link to all information: http://www.voedselanders.nl/towards-fair-and-sustainable-food-systems/
Link directly to the conference programme: here
The first Voedsel Anders conference at the University of Wageningen in 2014 was a great success with over 800 participants. In the second edition, farmers, fishermen, citizens, scientists and grassroots organisations will convene again to take further steps towards contemporary, sustainable and fair food production and consumption, with new relationships between food producers and (urban) citizens.
Would you like to learn about, experience and discuss new and viable food and agriculture practices and policy? Would you like to help build bridges and contribute to a more sustainable and fair system? Would you like to meet sustainable (young) farmers and fishermen, and be inspired by innovative examples from the Ne... Read more
With great pleasure we herewith share the final report of the regional event ‘Promoting Innovation and Trade in Horticulture’ organised in November 2015 as a joint initiative by the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF), the National Agricultural Export Board of Rwanda (NAEB) and the AgriProFocus network, in collaboration with a group of national and international partners and sponsors.
The event provided a space to meet, exchange about innovations and do business in horticulture, for about 300 conference participants, 96 exhibiting companies, and 600 exhibition visitors. The conference and exhibition were considered as highly relevant by the participants: interviewed farmers said they developed useful contacts with suppliers of seeds, fertilizers, etc. Many participants to the event said they would use the insights right away to improve th... Read more
This breakout session facilitated by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform and AgriProFocus (Nicole Metz).
This post includes the link to the powerpoint presentations used during the session as well as a short outline of the session's conclusions. The full conference report will be available later today.
* Botany Hang’ombe - Profit+ of Zambia (programme of USAID Zambia)
* Nicole Metz - Food & Business Knowledge Platform and AgriProFocus, Netherlands
Discussion and conclusions
Regarding impact on nutrition:
- Fruit and vegetable consumption patterns are highly influenced by cultural factors and people’s mind set. It depends for example on the mind set of people whether people sell vegetables instead of consuming them; on the culture of people whether they leave the consumption of fruits and vegetable to the children.
- Cooking... Read more
Please find below the powerpoint presentations used in this session, and a short summary of issues discussed and conclusions. This text is an extract of the full conference report which will be published later today.
Maarten Suzan - Financial Access East Africa, Uganda
Alexis Bizimana - Kenya Commercial Bank, Kenya
Munyaneza Jackson - Urwego Opportunity Bank, Rwanda
- Input finance is risky and borrowing is expensive. Focus needs to be on saving mobilisation in rural areas. This will help to mitigate the risk and borrow less and generate more savings to make yourself less dependent on the bank
- Cold chain supply is challenging for banks to finance (capital expenditure) and currently no solution for this. This is been taken up in dialogue with stakeholders in different fora
- The risks are shared between many stakeholders, not only the bank wh... Read more
The importance of product and food safety was highlighted by many key note speakers during the conference. One breakout session dealt with food safety issues, it was chaired by ADECOR, Rwanda's consumer organisation, Mr. Alphonse Karabaranga. Key powerpoint presentations used in the session is available via the link below:
Ms. Antoinette MBABAZIi - Rwanda Standard Board
The full report of the conference is available HERE.
A key breakout session during the horticulture conference dealt with access to markets for horticultural producers. The session was facilitated by AgriProFocus Uganda, Ms. Lucy Asiimwe Twinamasiko. Powerpoint presentations used in the session are available via the links below.
1) For development partners: Enterprises (firms) and farmers should both be empowered to develop their technical and business management capacities for sustainable market access opportunities unlike the current limited focus on empowering farmers to supply to modern markets.
2) For horticulture value chain actors: There should be joint action, exchange and learning especially on capacity building initiatives and market information sharing at a regional level so as to promote sustainable development through effective and efficient regional trade initiatives.
3... Read more
A breakout session on product development in horticulture was facilitated by AgriProFocus Zambia's Claire van der Kleij. Key note speakers' powerpoint presentations are available via the links below. A few conclusions of the session are listed below too. The full conference report including this chapter is available HERE.
Best practices in value addition. Rodney Miselo - Ronipam, Zambia
Value addition involves transformation of raw produce for economic gain which is driven by consumer need for convenience on the product usage. Value addition brings uniqueness in products leading to a premium and stable price. Challenges in value addition include inefficient harvesting and poor storage of produce. Improved infrastructure, processing of a variety of crops and integrating barcoding in packaging can improve value addition and processing.Read more
During the regional conference organised in Rwanda, two breakout sessions concentrated on production innovations. The current post includes links to the powerpoint presentations used during this session, which was chaired by
Mr. Charles Murekezi (MINAGRI) and Mr. Jan Willem Eggink (AgriProFocus).
A full report of the conference is available HERE.
Please find the powerpoints of key note presentations here:
Women’s Leadership in Horticultural Planting Material Production: New Roles and Technologies
Mr. Olivier Habimana - Oxfam, Rwanda
Pollination in Horticulture Crops: its practices and farmer benefits
Mr. Kelvin Odoobo - East Africa Hive Group, Rwanda
Dr. Telesphore Ndabamenye - Rwanda Agricultural Board, Rwanda
During the regional conference organised in Rwanda, two breakout sessions concentrated on production innovations. The current post includes links to the powerpoint presentations used during this session, which was chaired by SNV's Rik van Keulen and Anja de Feijter, and included contributions of a number of Dutch companies and experts participating in a NABC trade mission.
A full report of the conference is available HERE.
Please find the powerpoints of key note presentations here:
Demand Driven vegetable breeding for Africa. Adrian Roelofs – RijkZwaan, Tanzania
Importance of nursery raising in vegetable productions. Anja De Feijter – SNV, Uganda
The African Greenhouse. Anne Elings – Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), Netherlands
Safe solutions for increased crop health, resilience and production. Patrick Koome – Koppert Biological System... Read more
During the regional conference in Rwanda, plenary presentations and a panel debate concentrated on the opportunities of regional trade in horticultural products. The key recommendations from the panel session are as follows:
Urgent steps to reduce obstacles farmers face in accessing regional markets in horticulture:
1. Harmonisation in regulatory functions of countries in the region (EAC or COMESA members) makes it easier to do business; streamlining operations of regulatory authorities.
2. Governments need to reduce trade tariffs, and limit the non-tariff barriers to ease the movement of products across borders.
3. Tax exemptions on agricultural inputs that support the horticultural export business e.g. packaging material, improved production equipment.
4. Stable policies on export bans.
5. Higher investment in road and railway infrastructure to facilitate easy... Read more
Women’s rights, supporting women’s economic participation and female entrepreneurship are priorities on the Trade and Development agenda of the Dutch government. However, how can we effectively support this agenda in a complex sociocultural context in programmes with so many other priorities? In the East African context, focusing on family business and recognizing the specific contributions women can make within agricultural small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and on family farms can be inclusive, sustainable and effective ways in supporting this agenda.
Read further and feel free to post your comment via the following link:
In 2016 YPARD is celebrating ten years since its official launch at the GFAR Triennial meeting in New Delhi, November 2006. It was born from the challenges facing young professionals in agricultural development and the need for a support structure. This year is the occasion to celebrate YPARD’s 10 year achievements and reaffirm our focus on supporting youth in today’s fast-paced, changing environment. A series of YPARD online and onsite events (campaigns, meetings, series of testimonials etc) will take place throughout the year, within our community and with partners. In this post we refer to the 2016 Celebratory Blog Series, please find them following the link below: