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Articles on this Page
- 08/28/14--17:37: _Giving voice to rur...
- 08/29/14--04:32: _Organic farming can...
- 08/29/14--06:27: _Does conservation a...
- 08/31/14--19:11: _Growing food, tappi...
- 09/03/14--14:40: _More than fire danc...
- 09/08/14--05:06: _Muyu Raymi - Tales ...
- 09/12/14--05:05: _Visita FIDA a Oaxaca
- 09/12/14--05:53: _The Sixth South-Sou...
- 09/16/14--04:46: _Reintegration of ex...
- 09/21/14--06:53: _IFAD President Kana...
- 09/24/14--05:17: _There is no 'Planet B'
- 09/29/14--07:19: _Agricultural Market...
- 08/02/14--01:05: _U.S.-African Leader...
- 08/05/14--01:01: _Traditional weather...
- 08/05/14--06:49: _Sixth China-Mozambi...
- 08/05/14--07:36: _Initial research hi...
- 08/06/14--23:28: _Gender empowerment ...
- 08/08/14--02:14: _Not just another wo...
- 08/11/14--07:24: _The Sixth South-Sou...
- 08/13/14--10:03: _Remembering our fri...
- 08/29/14--04:32: Organic farming can counter deforestation #islands2014
- 09/03/14--14:40: More than fire dances, cocoa and coconuts
- Adalberto Luis, Responsible for the Cocoa Value Chains at the Cooperative for Export and Market of Quality Cocoa (CECAQ-11), São Tomé and Principe
- Isikeli Karikarito, Cicia High School Principal, Fiji
- Byron Campbell, Project Manager ‘’Market Access and Rural Enterprise Development Project (MAREP)’’, Grenada
- Andrea Serpagli, Country Programme Manager for São Tomé and Principe
- It is key to pick the right partners and build trust.
- Trust needs time to develop.
- Good partners are those with a long term development vision.
- 09/08/14--05:06: Muyu Raymi - Tales of Diversity from the Sierra of Ecuador
- 09/12/14--05:05: Visita FIDA a Oaxaca
- China needs to hear the African voice in terms of ownership of the decision at all levels and demand driven strategies in order to have common understanding on both sides
- Improve on the cross cultural understanding on win-win and there is need to borrow what works well in both cultures
- China should set up factories in Africa to produce the technologies in Africa to increase cost effectiveness
- China needs to change the mindset on the view of Chinese technologies by providing after sale service and the technologies should be simple, adaptable and affordable to the African farmers
- China should provide information on the technologies available and the price ranges of the technologies for different markets
- The trade imbalance between Africa (Exports 2.8 billion) and China (imports 2.5 billion) should be improved and there is need for preferential trade agreements to increase trade e.g. add value to the technologies in Africa and value addition for the raw materials that China imports
- China should provide additional technical assistance to support the countries from USD30 million to assist in the development of investment policies to support the cooperation
- African countries need to avoid supply driven development through the review of investment policies, identification of financial needs, and allocation of budget to the cooperation
- Every country should have a clear entry strategy for the cooperation which highlights what is required to be shared with development partners.This should include land issues, human resource capacities and other gaps that need to be addressed in the cooperation
- Improve research extension linkage to enable technological transfer to be speeded up in the host country
- Improve Africa's participation and engagement in the cooperation and learn from the Nigerian example of active participation in the cooperation for a common cross cultural understanding on the win-win strategies
- More access to information on Chinese technologies provided through Government, set up demonstration of these technologies (include TORs of consultants, specifications, etc.), and strengthen the bureaus of standards to reinforce on standards
- There is need for a centralized information on the development partners investment requirements
- Government should encourage private sector involvement in the agricultural sector through enabling policies to encourage them into the sector.
- Understand and improve the quality of agricultural products to meet the requirements for the Chinese markets.
- 09/24/14--05:17: There is no 'Planet B'
- 09/29/14--07:19: Agricultural Marketing Improvement Programe Photo Blog
- 08/05/14--01:01: Traditional weather knowledge essential for building resilience
- 08/06/14--23:28: Gender empowerment through family farms
- 08/11/14--07:24: The Sixth South-South Cooperation Workshop - Closing Ceremony
- Participants were impressed with the rice technology transfer programme as demand driven given the shortfall of the domestic supply of rice. The Chinese in the SSC tried to solve it by aligning it to Mozambique existing agricultural policy programme
- The rice technologies transfer focuses on food security and inclusiveness in that it involves the young agroprenuers extension workers, and private sector partners
- The importance of the multiservice extension centre in training and learning as well as technology demonstration
- Participants appreciated the SSC practical learning approach rather than theoretical approaches and felt it should be replicated in Africa for the benefit of farmers
- One striking problem rural-urban migration where the young are leaving the old in the rural area to do agriculture. China addressed these issues through policies
- Participants highlighted the need to introduce knowledge management into the SSC to enable the documentation and a repository of the knowledge generated which is important for skills transfer for the benefit of the scientist and farmers
- There is need for a cultural centre to address the cross cultural issues and language barriers for the smooth transfer of the technologies.
- 08/13/14--10:03: Remembering our friend and colleague, Simone Camilli
By Antonella Piccolella
August 28, Apia, Samoa. Today young people from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific gathered together at the To’oa Salamasina Hall, Sogi, Apia for the second and last day of the Youth Forum as part of the preparatory activities for the Third International Conference for Small Island Developing States.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is committed to enhancing opportunities for rural youth in small island developing states and has supported the participation in the Forum of Aulola Silua Toomeilangi ‘AKE, a young M&E coordinator for the Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovation (MORDI) project in Tonga.
Aulola Silua Toomeilangi ‘AKE attending the Youth Forum, |
Apia, Samoa. Photo: IFAD/Antonella Piccolella
|Participants at the Youth Forum, Apia, Samoa. |
Photo: IFAD/Antonella Piccolella
The thing that Aulola loved the most about taking part in the Youth Forum was the South-South learning experience. She was really interested in an initiative from the AIMS region and she will be in touch via e-mail with the AIMS representative. “The best was that we did not stay within the Pacific circuit but were able to interact with people from the different countries”.
By Faumuina Felolini Tafunai
|IFAD’s Sakiusa Tubuna says people need to go back to|
how their forefathers farmed and look at crops that fare
better with the effects of climate change
Sakiusa Tubuna is the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) sub-regional co-ordinator, based in Suva. He says that traditional farming uses processes like mulching that help maintain healthy soils, which means farmers are less likely to clear additional land for farming.
“We encourage traditional mixed farming systems instead of mono cropping which can lead to soil erosion. We also encourage the use of technologies and better methods so that farmers can produce smaller volume but high-value crops.”
Tubuna says people need to go back to how their forefathers farmed and look at crops that fare better with the effects of climate change.
“Coconut tree varieties like Fiji Tall and Samoa Tall don’t yield as many coconuts as some other varieties but they are able to withstand cyclones much better and cope with sea spray.”
Tubuna is part of an IFAD contingent participating in the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa.
IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations, established as an international financial institution in 1977.
Since its creation it has invested a USD476 million in 23 Small Island Developing States. This has benefited over 5 million people living in the Indian Ocean, Caribbean and Pacific region.
At the conference, IFAD is hosting the ‘More than cocoa and coconuts: investing in rural people developing agriculture ‘side event on 2 September.
The side event will show how IFAD forges partnership with different groups, including case studies from Cicia Island in Fiji, Sao Tome and Principe, and Grenada.
The following day it has co-sponsored a Government of Tonga side event that looks at partnerships between civil societies and government, and a Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) side event on food security in the context of climate change. It has also set up a field trip to visit local farms including Women in Business Development demonstration farm at Nu’u and the Samoa Farmers Association Tahitian Lime export process at Atele.
On September 4, it is co-sponsoring the Organics Islands side event that looks at how organic agriculture can be used as a tool for sustainable agricultural development.
Related blogpost: Spotting deforestation from the space
Isei Namacamaca (right) grows lettuce and other vegetables in the highlands. Bevatu Settlement, Nadrau, Viti Levu, Fiji. |
I stopped off in Fiji for a few days last week, before arriving in Samoa for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States. I wanted to see some of the work that IFAD is doing in the country. Through the Partnership in High Value Agriculture Project (PHVA), farmers are learning to grow a variety of produce and to tap into the high-demand tourism and hospitality market.
|A commercial farm in Sigatoka sells produce directly to buyers from the hospitality industry. Viti Levu, Fiji |
|Workers at the Manasa Trading company sort long beans and cut off the tips in order to conform to export standards for a New Zealand buyer in Sigatoka, Viti Levu, Fiji ©IFAD/Susan Beccio|
|Sereana Rakalo is a member of the women's group who grow citrus. Here she is outside her home in Naiyaca Village, Viti Levu, Fiji ©IFAD/Susan Beccio|
By Susan Beccio and Antonella Piccolella
Traditional Samoan fire dance, at the opening ceremony of the SIDS conference.
|Participants of the side-event, from left, Ron Hartman, Andrea Serpagli, Adalberto Luis, Byron Campbell, Isikeli Karikarito. ©IFAD/Susan Beccio|
|Complimentary bottles of virgin coconut oil from Kiribati and copies of our approach paper. ©IFAD/Susan Beccio|
|Maize and bean varieties presented by grant|
beneficiaries at the Muyu Raymi seed fair
|Kanayo F. Nwanze, el Presidente del FIDA|
La agenda del viaje versó sobre diferentes actividades, sobre las cuales resaltan las reuniones con algunos de los representantes de Alto Nivel del gobierno Mexicano dedicados a la Agricultura, Hacienda, Desarrollo Social y asuntos forestales.
Además, se presentó un estudio regional sobre la agricultura familiar en América Latina, elaborado conjuntamente entre Centro Latinoamericano para el Desarrollo Rural (RIMISP) y el FIDA.
Parte de la misión consistió en una visita de campo a Oaxaca, en la que el sr. Nwanze, junto con delegados de la Comisión Nacional Forestal, visitaron un grupo de mujeres que han recibido capacitación en la producción de seda, en la sierra norte de dicho Estado mexicano. "Creemos que la población rural es parte de la solución a los problemas del mundo", mencionó el Presidente del FIDA. "Cuando las inversiones se han dirigido a las zonas rurales, hemos observado una y otra vez que las personas se han visto empoderadas para cultivar más alimentos, poner en marcha sus propios negocios, mejorar la nutrición de sus hijos y enviarlos a la escuela. Hemos visto como mujeres y hombres de las zonas rurales transforman sus comunidades".
|Tejedoras de seda Oaxaca|
©IFAD/Mariana Castro Álvarez
Junto al Fondo para el Medio Ambiente Mundial y en asociación con la Comisión Nacional Forestal, FIDA financia en México un proyecto que está creando nuevos sistemas de aprovechamiento forestal sostenible y de fijación de carbono, al tiempo que introduce programas para el fomento de emprendimientos rurales, gracias a los cuales la población de las comunidades Santo Domingo Xagacía y Santa María Yalina se han visto beneficiados.
El proyecto con las mujeres de Santo Domingo Xagacía, está enfocado principalmente a la capacitación en la producción de seda, un proceso heredado de generación en generación, que además de su potencial para la generación de ingresos, contribuye a preservar la cultura local. A pesar de que esta es una región en la cual la pobreza extrema afecta a más de la mitad de la población, el Presidente del FIDA comentó que "las desigualdades pueden eliminarse si nos damos cuenta hasta qué punto las zonas urbanas y las rurales son interdependientes".
|©IFAD/Mariana Castro Álvarez|
“Hay que ver cuál es la manera de hacer al producto menos costoso y de calidad homogénea, para que pueda tener un mayor mercado (…) y mantener en la mente la importancia de conversar con algunas tiendas en Oaxaca o en la Ciudad de México, para ofrecerles la compra de prendas elaboradas con el mismo trabajo de las mujeres, el cual es de excelente calidad, mencionó Josefina Stubbs. Asismismo, comentó sobre un programa regional de apoyo a emprendimientos de mujeres rurales, el cual es financiado por el FIDA y ejecutado a través de ONU Mujeres.
|©IFAD/Mariana Castro Álvarez|
Ahí se pudo constatar la viabilidad que tienen los negocios rurales liderados por jóvenes, con un enfoque de aprovechamiento sostenible de los recursos naturales. “El éxito de las poblaciones rurales depende de cuán bien estén organizadas. La estructura organizativa es sumamente importante para lograr cohesión, trabajar conjuntamente y diseñar planes de negocios que luego puedan generar mayores ganancias”, comentó el Presidente del FIDA con los jóvenes empresarios.
Al finalizar la visita, el sr. Nwanze recalcó: "Si las economías rurales no son dinámicas, las personas continuarán migrando hacia las ciudades en busca de trabajo. Necesitamos un mundo en el que la población, el empleo, los servicios y las oportunidades estén distribuidos de forma más equilibrada".
The 6th China-Mozambique-IFAD South-South Cooperation workshop held in Maputo, Mozambique on 4-8 August 2014 conference focused on three important policy reforms in China that resulted in unblocking agricultural development and the China Africa Development Fund (CADFund).
The policy reforms focused on Chinese agricultural policy and impacts, agribusiness reform and mechanization, and research and development. The progress in the Chinese agricultural policy and impacts was presented by Prof Zhang Xiaoshan. Various agricultural policies reforms enabled China to put in place incentives for smallholder farmers. The aim was to increase their participation in the agricultural sector development through improved property rights. The result has been an increase in grain production and incomes for farmers. The paper elicited an interesting discussion on the similarities of the challenges faced by China and Africa in rural urban migration and small parcels of land and property rights. The other was to understand how China has managed to change but Africa has not been able to change. The policies are in place but the difference is in the implementation of these policies in Africa.
|Participants follow Discussions|
The agribusiness reforms and agricultural modernization in China was presented by Prof Zhang Xiaoshan. Although there existed diversified patterns on achieving China’s agricultural modernization, the policy makers favored the development of specialized households based on family farming and regarded it as mainstream in the agricultural management system. The households were encouraged to form cooperatives or associations. This enabled farmers to enter into secondary and tertiary industry and gain added value through the marketing and processing of their primary products. The mixed and diversified agricultural production system will continue to exist in China’s agriculture these are also inter-connected with China’s urbanization and industrialization process. This will inevitably influence the reform direction of rural land tenure system and rural governance structure. The key issue during this development is how to protect the interests of small farming households and protect the scarce resources of arable land, water and protect the environment. The plenary discussion centered on the weaknesses in the cooperative model on governance and management and this remain a challenge in China as well.
Investment in agricultural research and development was presented by Dr Chen Qianheng. The paper explained why the public sector is the main financier for R&D. R&D is a public good and returns take a very long time to realize. The investment in agriculture research comprises about 0.5% in China’s GDP, lower than the world’s average level (1%). In china, there are 2 million enterprises but only a few large-scale or technology-oriented enterprises are engaged in agricultural R&D. The future of agriculture technology is in the area of biotechnology, water saving technologies, agricultural mechanization and precision agriculture. In all OECD countries, modern agriculture focus mainly on high efficiency and competitiveness of agriculture, food security and increase in farmer’s incomes. The plenary discussions centered on private sector involvement in R&D; how farmers can participate in R&D and how R&D can be revamped to bolster productivity. The discussions drew on the similarities on R&D and how to make R&D relevant for the stakeholders to invest in it.
The China Africa Development Fund (CADFund) was presented by Henry Liu. In 2006, at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the President Hu Jintao announced the establishment of CADFund to encourage and support Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa. It has four offices in Africa namely Johannesburg, South Africa; Lusaka, Zambia; Accra, Ghana; and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Fund determines investment terms according to the industrial features, return on investment, risks, exit timing and approaches etc. of the projects. Investment term of the Fund towards a single project is mainly 5 - 8 years, and will not exceed 10 years in principle. On a single project the Fund can invest USD5-50 million. It has 78 projects worth USD2.9 billion with a specific fund for Lusophone countries; Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique. The CADFund is supporting the Wanbao project through a loan of USD60 million from China Development bank and equity of USD58 million (49%) from CADFund and USD60 million (51%) from Wanbao Enterprise joint venture of USD200 million. The CADFund signed a memorandum of understanding with IFAD in 2007. Now they are working on the modalities to link to the IFAD operating model and develop a CADFund-IFAD partnership.
The motives for China’s enterprises’ Overseas Foreign Direct Investment (OFDI) in agriculture are very complex. It cannot be attributed to a single factor motive such as land grabbing overseas. The Chinese argued that so far, only a very small part of the agricultural products grown abroad was taken to China. A large portion is sold in the local market or exported to third markets. Therefore, China’s OFDI in agriculture has little impact on guaranteeing China’s food security. Most imported agricultural products from Africa are non-food items, including cotton, hemp, silk, oilseeds and other such products. The Chinese admit that China’s firms compete with local growers and some enterprises do not have a strong awareness of environmental protection and social responsibility but this is not the whole story. It is important to note that China’s enterprises’ agricultural OFDI increased agricultural investment, employment and expanded the supply of agricultural products in the local market of the host country. In the long run, the presence of China’s firms with advanced technology will benefit competition: through the expansion of local supplies while providing cheaper technologies that can be adapted and adopted by local farmers. China’s enterprises’ agricultural OFDI is win-win for the host country and China.
With the rising demand for food in China and the world, more and more Chinese enterprises will venture out. In order to eliminate anxiety about land grabbing from local farmers, Chinese companies should choose the suitable mode of agricultural OFDI. Deborah and Tang (2009) pointed out: “Any efforts by foreigners to produce on a large scale are likely to continue to be controversial. Systems of outgrowing, where farmers maintain control over their own land but have incentives to produce under contract to a central company, could be a middle ground.” Considering many host countries’ food insecurity, China’s companies can come to some agreement with the host country government on the share of land output. In order to benefit local agricultural firms more, China’s firms can set up co-operative enterprise or joint venture with local company to produce agricultural products. The discussion focused on land grabbing and environmental impact assessment citing the scale of these investments. The win-win strategy at the moment seems to favour China and needs to be revisited in terms of cross cultural issues, value addition of raw products, further technical assistance to improve governance and ownership, and more trade between China and Africa.
The strategy for agricultural development in Mozambique was presented by Mr Adriano Ubisse. Mozambique has a population of 24 million. Agriculture is fundamental for food security and economic development. The focus is on increasing production and area and improving the genetics. The strategy is linked to CAADP and PRSP to create competitive and sustainable agriculture, access to markets, food security, and ensure social equality. The initiative has four pillars: (i) increasing agricultural productivity and production; (ii) access to markets for improvement; (iii) sustainable natural resource; and (iv) strengthen institutions. The implementation is focusing on three corridors; (i) Nagala corridor in the north (ii) Beira Corridor in the central and (iii) Limpopo corridor in the south. This is coupled with the technical centres in each of these areas to support the development of the corridors. The participants will visit some of these technical centres during the field visits.
The IFAD Mozambique investment was presented by Mr Cândido Jaque, Directorate of Investment and Cooperation, Mozambique. IFAD began operations in Mozambique in 1983 and has provided more than US$200 million in financing for 12 programmes and projects in the country. Currently there are five on-going projects – PRONEA (supports the government's National Programme for Agricultural Extension); PROSUL (improve the climate-smart livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the Maputo and Limpopo corridors), a small EU project that focus on MDGs; ProPESCA (support to artisanal fisheries), and PROMER (supporting the Markets). The Chinese cooperation is focusing on Maize, Cotton, and Rice as well as development of the research centres.
The PROMER presentation on the development of markets was done by Ms Carla Honwana. Agriculture is the main source of income in rural Mozambique. She mentioned that the project is driven by a reference committee in the various regions with representatives of public, private, civil society and farmers. The projects support (i) extension services focused on market access to advise the smallholder farmers to produce according to market demand; (ii) production and quality; (ii) adult education; iii) support to rural traders, access to financial services through savings and association groups; and iv) support market information systems which include prices, products, etc. The programme is supporting knowledge management in its parent ministry, DNPDR to ensure the Ministry has ownership of the lessons learned.
The Wanbao Project was presented by Mr Armando Ussivane, Chairman of Agriculture Sector Strategic Plan (PEDSA). In Mozambique there is a total of three million hectares of irrigated land. The demand for rice is 550,000 tonnes with only 300,000 tonnes produced locally, leaving a gap of 250,000 tones to meet. This led to the development of the Wanbao project or PEDSA. It has three objectives namely: (i) increase production and productivity; (ii) access to markets; and (iii) sustainable national resource management. In 2007 there was a twinning arrangement with China for technological transfer, and value addition in storage and processing.
Before the project, the main problems have been (i) poor land preparation; (ii) use of low branching variety of rice (yield 6 tonnes/ha); (iii) direct planning which uses a lot of seed; and (iv) poor control of water. The technological transfer will address these problems by (i) focusing on land levelling; (ii) use of high branching variety (12 tonnes/ha); (iii) use of pre-germinated seed when planting (35kg/ha) and (iv) regular control of water. The lower Limpopo irrigation project is worth USD250 million with irrigation infrastructure costing USD113 million. The approach is a private public producer partnerships arrangement targeting direct support to small-scale farmers and partial support (50% start-up) to emergent farmers who own 5-10 hectares. The project is on course to achieving the target set on the irrigated area; at the moment it has achieved 8,000ha. There was a number of cross cultural issues and adjustments (Chinese and Mozambican) that needed to be addressed for the project to remain on course.
|Rice Drying Facilities at Wanbao Project|
Discussion on what can be improved on the China-Africa agricultural cooperation:
What can Africa do?
The importance of the south-south cooperation to IFAD was explained in the presentation of the scaling up agenda by Mr Cheik Sourang, Strategy and Knowledge Management. This presentation showed south-south triangular cooperation as an entry point for improved efficiency and impact at scale in agriculture and rural development. He mentioned the pathways, drivers and spaces for scaling up. He emphasized on the need for more systematic and proactive approaches, in order to reap the benefits of scale through learning, replication and partnerships. A learning event on the south-south and triangular cooperation will be hosted by IFAD on 12 September 2014 in Rome, Italy.
A photo blogpost by Mariajose Silva Vargas
|An ex-combatant waiting to receive inputs for production in Korhogo, Côte d’Ivoire. © IFAD/Mariajose Silva Vargas|
In June 2014 I went to four different cities in Côte d’Ivoire to collect data for my master's dissertation and for this reason, I visited the IFAD Projet d'appui à la Production Agricole et à la Commercialisation (PROPACOM). Specifically, I met with a special cluster of the project's beneficiaries: the ex-combatants.
Indeed, the country’s last civil conflict ended in 2011, and nowadays there are around 74.000 ex-combatants that need to be reintegrated into the socio-economic life. Thus, IFAD is assisting the Authority of Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (ADDR) by forming, supporting and installing 2000 ex-combatants into the agro-pastoral sector.
“The project's objective is to integrate ex-combatants, because they had nothing after the two crises. After years of fighting they had to go back to their life,” said Mr Pierre Soro Seydou, coordinator of the PROPACOM team in Bouaké.
|Ex-combatant and his family work in the field near Ferkessédougou, Côte d’Ivoire. © IFAD/Mariajose Silva Vargas|
|The children in an ex-combatant’s community in Ferkessédougou, Côte d’Ivoire. © IFAD/Mariajose Silva Vargas|
|Mr Yefarguia Kone explaining facts to me in the field, Côte d’Ivoire. © IFAD/Mariajose Silva Vargas|
|A woman from the community producing shea butter, Côte d’Ivoire. © IFAD/Mariajose Silva Vargas|
|Mr Nakoudjana Silue got a tricycle to transport food to the markets, Côte d’Ivoire. © IFAD/Mariajose Silva Vargas|
|IFAD President with members of Edget Cooperative a register member of Yetsanet|
Fana Union supported by IFAD supported RUFIP in Butajira, Ethiopia.
The IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze traveled to Ethiopia to make an inaugural opening speech on 3rd September 2014. During the opening speech he urged for investment in the agricultural sector as a means for economic growth to transform the lives of the rural poor and particularly engaging the youth; “Yes many African economies are growing strongly, but too often this is on the back of extractive industries that do not yield jobs and income for Africa’s poor and hungry,” he said.
The AGRF brought together 1,000 agriculture officials, farmers, entrepreneurs, scientists, civil society organizations and pioneers in agribusiness representing 60 countries to discuss how the African continent may successfully launch and sustain a Green Revolution. Closing the conference Former President of Ghana concluded that it was time for less talk and more action, “Africa is ready to catch up with the rest of the world,” he said. To pave a way forward H.E. Tumusiime remarked, “Discussions this week at AGRF are an important step towards the actions we must take collectively to accelerate agricultural transformation in Africa.”
The IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze at the IFAD exhibition stand with IFAD staff |
who participated in the African Green Revolution Forum.
Members shared their personal experiences of taking loans to launch small enterprises and to develop their farming activities. Loans have been used to invest in activities such as, rearing small ruminates, to purchase inputs (seeds and fertilizers) for their farms and to launch dairy processing activities. The President commended their efforts, encouraging them to continue to invest with their business plans in mind, ensuring to better the livelihoods of their families.
The IFAD President also visited Bati Futo marketing group that was established by the Agricultural Marketing Improvement Programme. The project established the 150 member strong marketing group providing them with training on basic marketing. Members have been able to qualify for loans from OMO micro-finance institution (MFI) that is supported by the project credit fund. A majority of members took loans to purchase animal drawn cart or to purchase boxes to transport their produce, tomatoes, fruits and onions to the market. While discussing the challenges the farmers continue to face to access markets, he emphasized that IFAD hopes to focus its future investments in Ethiopia to create better access to markets and the lessons learned while implementing AMIP will contribute to strengthening future efforts.
|The IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze addresses Bati Futo marketing cooperative members|
|IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze is welcomed by the Arata Chufa water user association that manages a 100 hectare irrigation scheme supported by the IFAD supported Participatory Small Scale Irrigation Development Programme in Ethiopia.|
|Melake Zige the Chairperson of Arata Chufa water user association (r) discusses their annual work plan and expected profits from the irrigation scheme with the IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze (c)|
|Joseph Bayena a model farmer and former chairperson of the Arata Chufa WUA in 2004. Over ten years he has expanded his 0.25 hectare farm to 10 hectares by investing gains from his harvest of tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and beans.|
The eyes of the world are on the UN Secretary General's Climate Summit in New York. Over 120 heads of state are roaming the halls of the UN building, telling the world about their perspectives, actions and intentions on climate change. Although some key players are missing, such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, most commentators have good things to say about this Summit. The strategy of the UN Secretary General to request 'bold and decisive action' has clearly left a mark - the announcements countries have made at this Summit to date have mostly been substantive (overview).
The project also established a credit-line of USD970, 000 disbursed by the Federal Bank of Ethiopia to micro-finance institutions (MFIs). As a result, farmers have been able to apply for loans by using group collateral thus enabling small holder farmers to gain access to post-harvest technologies such as; coffee hand pulpier, fruit & vegetable boxes, processing & packing machines, milk handling and processing technologies amongst many other technologies. This is a photo blog to share the results of the project AMIP.
|AMIP established Bati Futo marketing group, in Butajira woreda in Southern Ethiopia. The group has 150 members who have received training through the project on basic agricultural marketing practices.|
Statement by Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (@knwanze)
Today's generation of young people – not only in Africa but worldwide – is the largest in history. Sheer force of numbers means that we urgently need to harness the power and creativity of youth on every continent, from the Americas to the Middle East and Asia. In Africa, that need arises with particular urgency.
As I wrote in my open letter to African Union leaders before their summit in June, there sometimes seem to be two Africas: one is a new land of opportunities, the other a poor, hungry and hopeless place. But in fact, Africa is rich in resources, and its people are the greatest resource of all – especially the 200 million Africans between the ages of 15 and 24. Each year at least 10 million young people, more than ever before, enter the labour force on the continent. Yet tens of millions of young Africans remain unemployed. Many who have jobs are trapped in poorly paid or part-time work, leaving their vast potential underutilized and untapped.
At IFAD, we know from experience that young people are the most precious resource a rural community can have. Today, however, many rural areas in Africa are losing their young people, because there are often so few incentives for them to stay. When young rural women and men cannot get an adequate education, make a living or create a secure home, they move to sprawling cities or to foreign countries that, they believe, offer more hope. Some make good and contribute to their communities by sending money home. Too many others become mired in urban poverty. This is a tremendous loss for their families and their nations.
So if we are serious about investing in the next generation in this, the AU Year of Agriculture and Food Security, we must recognize that increased support for agricultural and rural development is essential. How could it be otherwise when some 60 per cent of Africa's people depend wholly or partly on agriculture for their livelihoods? As I noted in my letter to the AU, a thriving small-farm sector helps rural areas retain the young people who would otherwise be driven away.
Targeted investments can make a difference. To start with, support for basic education is critical in rural areas where schools are underfunded and poor children are often taken out of school early and put to work. Young rural people also need vocational training, apprenticeships and further education to give them relevant knowledge and skills.
An IFAD-funded project in Madagascar, for example, provides apprenticeships and job opportunities for thousands of young rural workers, building a stable, skilled workforce for Malagasy small businesses. In Tanzania, IFAD supports farmer field schools that use experiential learning to help farmers of all ages solve problems and acquire new techniques. Those who apply what they learn are reaping the benefits of higher yields, productivity and profits.
But education and training alone are not enough to guarantee sustainable livelihoods. Young adults’ access to finance in rural areas is also vital. In Benin, IFAD supports the establishment and growth of financial service associations − owned by rural people − that offer credit and savings products in more than 190 village banks. Nearly half of all the credit extended by these associations has gone to young women and men.
When basic education, training and credit are widely available to Africa's young rural people, they seize the opportunity to invest in their own farms and businesses. They are empowered to build their skills and confidence. They participate in community decision-making and assume leadership roles in local organizations.
On an even more basic level, investing in Africa's next generation means making nutrition-sensitive agriculture a top priority. You can't de-link agriculture and nutrition, since up to 80 per cent of the food consumed in Africa is produced locally. Yet more than 4 in 10 children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa are undernourished. Failure to expand, sharpen and accelerate our efforts on nutrition will impose a heavy cost in opportunities missed and potential unmet.
One study found that undernutrition in Africa causes economic losses that vary by country from 1.9 to 16.5 per cent of GDP. In addition, governments end up spending billions of dollars on programmes in order to deal with poor nutrition and its effects. Investing in nutrition through agriculture, therefore, is more than a social good. It is sound development policy and good economics. It encompasses partnerships with other sectors, including health, water and sanitation, and education. And it demands careful attention to the social context – notably the status of women – as well as farming practices that protect the environment and foster biodiversity.
As African leaders gather for the summit in Washington in a spirit of partnership, it is important to remember that they, in particular, must take the initiative in fulfilling the promise of the continent's next generation. More than a decade ago, their governments pledged to allocate at least 10 per cent of their national budgets to agriculture, yet only a handful of countries in Africa have consistently reached that threshold.
Even as they seek responsible, transparent foreign investment to alleviate poverty and boost food security, it is time for African leaders to deliver on their commitments. The next generation deserves nothing less.
By: Marie Clarisse Chanoine
The Upper Tana project promotes an integrated approach that aims to improve livelihoods through effective natural resource management. The project demonstrates that small investments in livelihoods improvement have a significant impact on natural resource management. With the school greening component, for example, we learnt that the establishment of environmental awareness is crucial for Natural Resource Management (NRM), especially during early childhood development when it is easier to influence attitudes and mind-set. Indeed, these pupils were ambassadors of natural resource management initiatives at community and household levels.
Day One – 4 August 2014
Session 1: Progress of Chinese Agricultural Policy and Impacts and Mozambican Agricultural Development Experience
Progress of Chinese Agricultural Policy and Impacts by Prof Zhang Xiaoshan– Lifetime academician of Chinese academy of social sciences and councillor of Agricultural Committee, Chinese National people’s Congress
Mozambican Agricultural Cooperation with China and IFAD
· Mr Adriano Ubisse National Director of Investment and cooperation, Ministry of Planning and Development
· Ms Carla Honwana Project Coordinator, PROMER - Promotion of Rural Markets
· Mr Armando Ussivane, President of Limpopo Irrigation Company
Session 2: Contributions of Agricultural Scientific Research & development & Technical Extension to Agricultural Modernization
Mr Chen Qianheng Associate professor of China Agricultural University
Day Two – 5 August 2014
Session 3: China-Africa Agricultural Cooperation
China-Africa Agriculture Cooperation: experience challenges and Best Practices by Mr Chen Qianheng, Associate Professor of China Agricultural University
Empirical studies on the investment of CAD Fund by Mr Liu Jianguo, CAD Fund
Session 4: Agribusiness Reforms & Agricultural Modernization in China
Prof Zhang Xiaoshan - Lifetime academician of Chinese academy of social sciences and councillor of Agricultural Committee, Chinese National people’s Congress
Day Three: 6 August 2014
Session 5: South-South and Triangular Cooperation on Family Farming for Impact at Scale: Concepts, Issues and Partnership Opportunities
Mr Cheik Sourang, Senior Program Manager Strategy and Knowledge Management Department IFAD
Field Visit to China-Mozambique Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centre
Day Four: 7 August 2014
A. Field Visit to China Wanbao Grain and Oil Farm
B. Field visit to Experimental Land and Storage Facilities of China Wanbao Grain and Oil Farm
Day Five: 8 august 2014
Leigh Winowiecki (Soil Scientist CGIAR)
|Integrative approach in data collection for climate smart agriculture|
CIAT led a Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA), an integrative approach to data collection, in Northern Uganda to guide further research in a bid to improve food security and climate change resilience of small holder farmers; part of a new IFAD funded project*.
An interdisciplinary team included CIAT, IITA, IFAD, Gulu University, and NARO members conducted the research in Adjumani, Gulu, Kitgum and Nwoya districts, to begin the process of building a representative picture characterising the physical and socio-economic dimensions shaping the local environment. As per RRA principles, the nature of the team bolstered differing conceptual perspectives, skill-sets and institutional inputs, resulting in broad-based knowledge outcomes. The essential background gained from the appraisal will enable contextualized thought to support subsequent project objectives.
Local agricultural conditions were assessed utilizing a combination of communication and learning tools, whilst facilitating local knowledge gathering on priorities and constraints faced by farmers. Key-informant interviews, participatory workshops, transect walks, resource mapping exercises, village and farm visits, as well as gender-disaggregated methods proved effective in gaining a comprehensive insight.
Households surveyed averaged ten people each, of which seventy percent were male headed, twenty-five percent female headed and five percent child headed. Across these households in the four districts, it was found that agricultural labour is largely supplied by the family members, yet farmers felt that this was not adequate for purpose with regards to the amount of labour required. Gender-disaggregated data revealed further details, showing that the labour itself, regarding both crops and livestock, was pre-determined by gender. ‘Male crops’ and ‘female crops’ were a generic concept amongst the farming communities with men
Crop association by gender; blue papers indicated men and pink papers indicated women
Land management practices in the study districts were also explored with reference to Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA). It materialized that the most common ways to prepare fields was through a non-CSA-compliant practice, slash and burn, however the CSA practice of intercropping was commonly used for land management; often intercropping cassava with groundnut, maize or foxtail millet. Socio-economic determinants were found to influence land-use practices, with for example population increase resulting in the decline of fallowing, where as the longer term limited use of inorganic and organic fertilizer was attributed to financial cost and a perception that the soil is fertile. Constraints to agricultural productivity in the district prompted numerous ideas including the need to improve seed quality and accessibility; soil and water conservation; crop, land and soil management; road networks; provision of climate information; grain storage; market development and promoting value addition of produce.
|SLASH AND BURN IS A NON-CSA COMPLIANT LAND MANAGEMENT PRACTICE|
|INTERCROPPING IS A COMMON CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE PRACTICE|
Knowledge acquired will guide selection of locally appropriate CSA practices for implementation at the local level followed by further appraisal supported by local perceptions on benefits and barriers to adoption, with full consideration given to variations between socially differentiated groups. Integrated data from the participatory research, intra-household gender surveys and biophysical baseline assessments aims to ultimately produce a model set of locally appropriate approaches to CSA to out-scale in East Africa, via work with development institutions such as ‘CSA; Agricultural Research For Development’ (CSA AR4D) and through strategic policy partnerships.Detailed analysis of the RRA data will now support project objectives of conducting an informed, locally specific, assessment of the current use of agricultural practices in the area that satisfy CSA criteria of sustainably increasing productivity, resilience to climate change and reduction of green house gas emissions. Subsequent objectives include clarification of on-the-ground potential impacts of these CSA practices, considering scientific data on land health and suitability, and assessment of any associated trade-offs.
*Project title, “Increasing food security and farming system resilience in East Africa through wide-scale adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices” led by CIAT (Soil Research Area and Decision and Policy Analysis (DAPA)) in collaboration with IITA, ICRAF as well as local and national NGOs and institutions.
Dr. Leigh Winowiecki is a Soil Scientist with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in the Soils Research Area. Her research includes soil and landscape health monitoring, employing the Land Degradation Surveillance Framework (LDSF) globally. Dr. Winowiecki maps and analyzes soil conditions to help provide options for improved soil management and adaptation to climate change.
Dr. Winowiecki holds a PhD in Soil Science and Tropical Agroforestry. A joint Program between the University of Idaho, Moscow, ID and CATIE.
Click here for a link to the Report
by Kanayo F. Nwanze and M.S. Swaminathan
At the Global Gathering of Women Pastoralists, women pastoralists from |
India participate in a discussion. ©IFAD/Michael Benanav
These figures underscore the fact that sustainable, inclusive rural transformation is essential to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. The importance of rural livelihoods is also the focus of the International Year of Family Farming in 2014. The year-long UN observance puts a spotlight on the 2 billion people who live on more than 500 million family farms worldwide, working to ensure food and nutrition security for a growing global population. It reminds us of the cruel irony that the people who produce up to 80 per cent of food in some areas are also the ones who often go hungry.
The post-2015 development agenda must factor in a further reality: over 70 per cent of poor people now live in middle-income countries. India, for example, is still one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world. Yet according to MPI 2014, it is also home to more than 340 million destitute people — 28.5 per cent of the population — who suffer multiple extreme deprivations. More than half the country’s population is classified as poor.
The position of women, both in home and society, is another huge challenge. Gender-based violence is endemic in South Asia — as in other parts of the world — drastically limiting women’s freedom to move, work outside home and take advantage of economic opportunities. Eradicating violence against women is fundamental to the eradication of poverty, deprivation and hunger. It is essential in the name of justice, and it allows countries to draw on the strengths and skills of their entire population to make shared prosperity a reality rather than a dream.
Today, the official statistics show that South Asia has one of the lowest rates of women’s participation in the overall labour force. At the same time, however, International Labour Organisation data suggest the increasing feminisation of agriculture in the region, as measured by the proportion of women whose main source of employment is farming. According to the ILO, 69 per cent of working women in South Asia were employed in agriculture in 2011, compared with 44 per cent of working men.
In addition, women in the region put in longer hours and earn significantly less than men, often working unpaid on family farms or toiling as day labourers. They typically spend a larger proportion of their meagre incomes on household nutrition, health and education. And with men migrating increasingly to urban areas, they are left behind, struggling to manage family farms and care for dependants young and old.
In the face of such odds, there is no magic bullet for small farmers, in particular, poor rural women. Existing laws must be enforced, and a raft of new measures taken to secure their entitlements as farmers and equals. In 2011, a Women Farmer’s Entitlement Bill was tabled in the Indian Parliament, but this was not passed. Experience also shows that women themselves hold a key part of the answer if they are given the opportunity, necessary support and access to resources and markets. Among other outcomes, we have seen that women play an important role in conserving agricultural biodiversity, promoting nutrition security and enhancing household incomes.
In Kolli Hills of Tamil Nadu, for instance, women have joined together to share millet seeds and revive a hardy, highly nutritious staple crop. With assistance from the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, the women have increased yields by 30 per cent and turned their millet into a marketable brand. Now their products are being distributed across the state and the women are earning income to pay for their children’s education and family expenses.
Elsewhere in India, small self-help groups, set up primarily to allow women to save money and provide loans to members, have been shown time and again to empower women in many ways within the broader community. There have been many heartening examples of women’s groups, often working with men, campaigning on critical social issues such as domestic violence and alcohol abuse. Such achievements, however, are not a signal that women can change their lives acting alone. Both gender empowerment and rural transformation must be at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda.
As featured in The Asian Age
Kanayo F. Nwanze is president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Dr M.S. Swaminathan is founder and chairman of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. Mr Nwanze will be speaking about the changing role of women in the economic transformation of family farming at a regional conference organised by MSSRF in Chennai on Friday 8 August 2014.
“I thought it was just another workshop,” said Programme Manager Martin Liywalii, “but in three-and-a-half days we actually made a product, which would otherwise have taken us months!”
IFAD staff and their partners in the field along with farmers from Ethiopia, Swaziland and Zambia have recently taken part in a series of workshops where they produced communications products in the form of articles and short films. Overseen by the Centre for Learning on Sustainable Agriculture (ILEIA), the purpose of the workshops was to distill important lessons from IFAD’s work with poor rural farmers in the East and Southern Africa region.
The Swaziland team listed what was, in their opinion, the takeaway messages of the workshops:
• Family farmers should take the lead in development initiatives on their land
• Traditional authorities should always be involved
• Family farmers learn more easily from each other than from outsiders
• Women are crucial in the sustainability of any initiative
• Regardless of the benefits, communities will always have their own reasons for participating in a project, or for not doing so
• Unity in a community is paramount to any success
• It is possible to learn much more from failure than success
During the workshops participants evaluated their own work, highlighting lessons for themselves and others to benefit from. The workshops focused on the basic steps of the documentation process, which is critical for recording lessons gleaned from a project. These steps include deciding who needs to participate in the workshops, making resources available, setting the boundaries of the experience (what, when, where) and describing the project activities, achievements and unexpected outcomes.
Finally they proceeded with the most difficult part – the analysis. This was a critical review of their experiences, looking at the practices employed and whether or not the objectives were met. Most importantly it looked at why, or why not objectives had certain outcomes. More often than not, institutions focus on what has been achieved, without analysing the factors that helped or impeded the process. There is a tendency to miss important lessons, especially what can be learnt about crucial contributing factors. As mentioned in the Swaziland outcomes, sometimes failure can teach us more than success.
The team working out of Ethiopia created a booklet entitled “Learning for rural change: 14 stories from Ethiopia”. They described it as 'a kaleidoscopic view of a variety of agricultural initiatives taking place in Ethiopia’ and covers the four main themes of: Pastoralist Communities, Markets, Irrigation and Organisation and Knowledge Sharing.
The Zambia team created a similar booklet to the Ethiopia team, consisting of eleven articles covering three focal areas: Spreading Practices, Organising Farmers and Partnership and Participation.
To see the original story on the ILEIA site please click here
For the Ethiopia articles please click here
For the Swaziland articles please click here
And finally for the articles from Zambia please click here
|Simone on assignment in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, March 2014.|
ROME – Many of you have probably heard or read about Simone Camilli's tragic death in Gaza on Wednesday. Simone, 35, was working for the Associated Press at the time and was killed when Gaza police engineers attempted to disable an unexploded bomb.
Although Simone had been working on contracts for AP since 2005, for three to five months each year between 2009 and 2013 he came to Rome and worked as a consultant in the broadcast unit of the IFAD Communications Division. He was a true team player who integrated seamlessly into the division each time he returned to us.
Simone was a highly skilled editor and cameraman as well as an aspiring documentary filmmaker. He had been based in Jerusalem for several years. Working with IFAD gave him an opportunity to spend more time in his hometown, Rome, but also to explore more of the issues he felt passionately about – namely, telling the stories of those who were less fortunate than he was.
During the time he worked for IFAD, Simone edited dozens of short documentaries filmed at IFAD project sites around the world. He produced his own video stories as well, travelling to both the Philippines and Sri Lanka to cover issues related to remittance flows in rural areas. Simone also worked on many internal productions, the most legendary being the first 'Men in Black' video for an Asia-Pacific Regional Division staff retreat. The comedic short was a far cry from the PowerPoints and flip charts that usually characterize such meetings, and it reflected Simone's well-honed sense of fun.
In fact, despite all he accomplished at IFAD, what people who crossed paths with him here are most likely to remember are his smile and good humour. He was quite simply a good and decent human being, a pleasure to be around and a pleasure to work with. In January 2014, Simone, his life partner Ylva and young daughter Nour moved from Jerusalem to Beirut, where he continued to take on assignments for AP. Although he had spent the last few summers back in Rome working at IFAD, this year he decided against it. He said it was just too hard being separated for months at time from his daughter.
Those of us at IFAD who knew Simone will miss him deeply. Our sincere condolences go to his family and his many friends around the world.