Innovative Approaches to Process Local Food in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia

4 August 2016. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) funds research projects with innovative approaches in food processing of German agricultural and food research institutions with partners in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. BLE is the funding manager.

BMEL launched a call for proposals. The full title of the call is: “Innovative approaches to process local food in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, which contribute to improved nutrition, as well as qualitative and quantitative reduction of losses”. The German title is: “Innovative Ansätze zur Verarbeitung lokaler Lebensmittel in Subsahara-Afrika und Südostasien, die zu einer verbesserten Ernährung beitragen sowie qualitative und quantitative Verluste reduzieren”

  1. The call documents in German are the legally binding documents.
  2. Institutes outside of Germany are not eligible for DIRECT funding, thus non-German institutes cannot apply individually. But, German research institute(s) have to work closely together with institutes in the target region and are authorized to forward grants to their non-German partners. Therefore the German institute(s) will submit the short proposal as coordinator of international consortia.
  3. International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR) and the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA) are not eligible for funding.

Documents and Links


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FMARD, IWMI launch ‘Wetin App’ for flood forecast, control

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) have launched a smart phone application tagged “Wetin App” for flood forecast and control, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The app, NaijaAgroNet gathered is available on Google App Store, and would be focusing on forecasting flood reports especially along the Niger and Benue rivers.

FMARD officials informed NaijaAgroNet that the application, would assist Nigeria in management of flood and its associated exigencies.

Speaking at the launch in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, represented by the Director of Agricultural Businesses, Processing and Marketing, Alhaji Azeez M. Olumuyiwa said Nigeria sought the help of the IWMI to develop the application following the devastating flood of 2012, which led to huge destruction of farms, houses and human lives.

He also said the country had decided to turn that bitter experience into a blessing by looking at the various ways farmers and government could take advantage of technology.

In his remark, the Regional Director for Africa at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Professor Timothy Olalekan Williams, said the application was developed using data from the Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency (NHSA), the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NMA) and the satellite.

… Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

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UN, Japan, Belgium, EU, CERF raise $4.9m for Northeast farmers return to land

The United Nations agency known as Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has drummed fiscal support worth $4.9m, about N1,569,225,000 billion for its programme in northeast Nigeria, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This is coming as FAO informed NaijaAgroNet that the fund so far was contributed from its internal special emergency fund alongside the Japan, Belgium, the European Commission (ECHO) and the United Nations Central Emergency Fund (CERF).

The agency also said its currently targeting an additional 85,000 people with horticulture packages to prepare for the upcoming irrigated season.

FAO’s Emergency and Response Manager in Nigeria, Mr. Tim Vaessen, lamented that by growing their own healthy and nutritious food would reduce need for future external food assistance.

“Families who have access to land and are ready to farm can harvest in six to eight weeks,” Vaessen said.

FAO’s activities in Nigeria, he said, remained constrained by a serious lack of funding, but pointed out that till-date, FAO has received just $ 4.9 million, of which almost 20 per cent came from FAO’s own Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities.

Whereas, FAO’s programme in northeast Nigeria is also funded by Japan, Belgium, the European Commission (ECHO) and the United Nations Central Emergency Fund (CERF).

Ugo Nwocha/GEE

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Open data critical to Africa’s agricultural revolution – Chinje

Open data has been described as critical to solution of the African continent, especially in the agriculture sector, says the chief executive officer of the Africa Media Initiative (AMI) Mr. Eric Chinje, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“Programme on open data is critical to solution of the continent challenges,” he declared.

He made this assertion while addressing participants at the weeklong open data training for members of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Journalists Network ongoing in Hilton Hotels Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday.

He urged African media practitioners to discharge themselves of the maxim of being ‘watchdog’ or ‘forth estate of the realm’ when they cannot use their tools to enthrone good governance and leadership on the continent for the common good.

According to him, any supposed dog watching over certain part of the society on behalf of the people or less privilege must be able to stand up to be counted at all times through holding of those in leadership or authorities adequately responsible for the path or direction the society goes to.

“The purpose of the media is helping Africa to address the change we all wanted,” Chinje enthused.

He further urged media practitioners to live above board by ensuring that they bridge the gap through reportage that are evidence-based that will not be disputed by anybody because such a report has sufficient data to show or vindicate itself.

Chinje was optimistic that Africa and media practitioners precisely have a brighter future by offering adequate coverage on what unites the continent like agriculture than what divides Africa.

He, therefore, urged for practitioners to live up to their primary responsibilities in order to build a legacy worthy of emulation in no distance future.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the Open Data training is organized in line with the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) -led partnership as part of the Global Open Data for Impact and Capacity Development on Agriculture and Nutrition (GODIVAN) scheme; a Department for International Development (DFID) project, implemented under a joint venture of international partners with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency as facilitated by Local Development Research Institute (LDRI).

Remmy Nweke in Nairobi, Kenya/ED, Ops



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Pix: Research Analyst, Gro Intelligence Kenya, Antal Neville, Executive Assistant at Local Development Research Institute (LDRI) Ms Wangui Muriu, chief executive officer, African Media Initiative (AMI) Mr. Eric Chinje, Project coordinator-Global Open Data for Impact and Capacity Development in Agriculture & Nutrition (GODIVAN ) at Centre for Technical Agriculture (CTA-EU) , Ms Isaura Lopes Ramos, Executive Director, LDRI, Mr. Muchiri Nyaggah and LDRI director, Mr. Stephen Nyumba at the open data training for CAADP journalists in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Experience Sharing on ICT4Ag

28 June until 1 July 2016. Wageningen, the Netherlands.This CTA workshop was to help document the experiences across the seven activities for cross-border and cross-sectoral learning and exchange across ACP countries.

Five grants were awarded following a call in 2015 and the activities have been implemented between August 2015 and October 2015 in Antigua, Belize, Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, and Sudan.

The granted organisations were:

  • eLEAF Competence Centre, a Netherlands-based high-tech company that uses reliable, quantitative data on water and vegetation coverage to support sustainable water use, increase food production and provide environmental protection systems, will be scaling up its satellite-based information services at the Gezira Irrigation Dam in Sudan to provide targeted delivery of extension services to farmers. Read more.
  • RONGEAD, a France-based international network system made up of NGOs, technical specialists, international institutions and businesses that provides market information services, will use the grant to improve its current initiative and scale it up through market analysis, training and capacity building, provision of information and advice and delivery of a business intelligence service to improve the competitiveness, profitability and ability of smallholder farmers to manage business risks in food chains in West Africa. Learn more.
  • Syecomp Business Services, a private-sector provider of geographic information system (GIS) services based in Ghana, will use its grant to develop a proof of concept and explore business models for the adoption of geospatial technology (GIS/global positioning system applications), dissemination of agro climatic information and mFarm actor-chain interactions in Ghana.Read more.
  • The University of West Indies, a public-sector research institute located in Trinidad and Tobago, will use its grant to extend and scale up an existing suite of web and mobile applications (mFisheries) for small-scale fisheries. It will also explore a novel co-management delivery model for ICTs amongst various agents in the small scale fisheries ecosystem in the Caribbean. Read more.
  • Yam Pukri, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Burkina Faso, will use the grant to improve the monitoring and implementation of agricultural policies using ICTs, thereby empowering smallholder farmers to contribute to the agricultural and rural development policy processes. Read more.

In 2015, CTA followed up with a second activity that targets mobile applications in specific as a result of the ubiquitous nature of the mobile technology in almost every household, particularly in developing regions, such as Africa. Two mobile applications were chosen for this proof-of-concept activity:

  • Farmerline Ltd. Farmerline has a mobile-web based application that communicates timely and relevant agricultural information (such as weather alerts, best farm practices, financial tips, market prices and market access) to farmers. Its challenge lies in ensuring mobile app users are fully capable of using and benefiting from the functions of the app. Read more.
  • Ensibuuko. It is an early start-up technology enterprise that facilitates development solutions geared to increasing access to finance and information services to smallholder farmers. With its core banking and information platform, “Mobile Banking Information Systems” (MOBIS), Ensibuuko seeks to increase access and efficiency to financial services and information to both the rural financial institutions and farmers. Ensibuuko won the first ‘Hackathon’ organised by CTA during the ICT4Ag Conference 2013. Their main goal for the Apps4AgLO was to build capacity of target users to ensure successful adoption and use of MOBIS platform to improve agricultural productivity. Read more.

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