A+FS Network Newsletter 04/2014

PDF pdf print print version

Dear Agriculture & Food Security Network members

Please find below this year's second edition of our A+FS Network Newsletter.

We very much appreciate all recommendations concerning this Newsletter. Please feel free to send us any ideas, news or documents that might be relevant to the Network. Your feedbacks will help us improve the Newsletter and to make learning more effective.

With Best Wishes
Felix Fellmann & Simon Weidmann


World Bank Land and Poverty Conference 2014

World Bank Land & Poverty Conference
- SDC Commitment to Land Governance

The WB Conference (24-27 March 2014) is a good opportunity to assess global and regional trends in a complex and multisectoral environment. It also helped to identify commonalities among various past and ongoing SDC-supported interventions in land governance:

  • long-term commitment
  • demand orientation
  • bottom-up approach (with an empowerment focus)
  • harmonization of land governance with wider policy processes
    (governance/decentralization/improving sustainable management of natural resources)
  • working simultaneously and in an interactive manner at multiple levels
    (micro- and country-level, as well as regional and global levels, co-funding arrangements with another donor)

The WB Conference has grown to approx. 800 participants from a wide range of groups: Ministers and high-ranking civil servants (mainly from Africa, Eastern Europe & Central Asia), academics and researchers (economics, social anthropology, etc.), service providers (consultancies, ICT specialists), global agri-food and trading companies, bilateral and multilateral development agencies and CSOs (mainly but not exclusively international NGOs).

More information on SDC-supported interventions in land governance presented at the Conference:

Global Programme Food Security

Desertification: The Invisible FrontlineDesertification: The Invisible Frontline

A new publication by the UNCCD examines desertification as a cause of global conflict and instability and calls for urgent action to support communities in crisis. More than 1.5 billion people in the world depend on degrading land, and 74% of them are poor. As the effects of climate change undermine livelihoods, inter-ethnic clashes are breaking out within and across states, and fragile states are turning to militarization to control the situation.

The effects of desertification are increasingly felt globally as victims turn into refugees, internally displaced people and forced migrants or they turn to radicalization, extremism or resource-driven wars for survival.

Desertification: The Invisible Frontline >>

Farming families on FacebookFamilles d’agriculteurs sur Facebook

A l’occasion de l’année internationale de l’agriculture familiale plusieurs familles paysannes Suisses maintiennent des sites sur Facebook pour donner un aperçu de leurs exploitations, leur travail et leurs vies.

La DDC cofinance la participation de quatre familles non-Suisse de la Bolivie, la Roumanie, le Honduras et le Kirghizstan dans ce projet qui vise à mieux connaitre les personne qui produisent les aliments que nous mangeons.

Projet Mon paysan. Ma paysanne.
Projekt «Mein Bauer. Meine Bäuerin.»
Progetto «Il mio contadino. La mia contadina.»

Agreement between FAO and GFRASNew collaboration FAO - GFRAS

The FAO and the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) have signed a collaboration agreement. The general objectives of this MoU are to advocate for rural advisory services within global policy dialogues and to promote improved investment in pluralistic, demand driven and market oriented RAS.

The MoU will support the development and synthesis of evidence-based policies and approaches for improving the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of RAS as well as the accountability to clients, particularly smallholders, youth, women and other disadvantaged groups. It will also strengthen actors, networks and fora in RAS through facilitating interaction and networking at national, regional and international level.

FAO News: FAO and GFRAS sign a collaboration agreement >>


Investing in the Livestock SectorInvesting in the Livestock Sector

This World Bank / FAO publication tries to close knowledge gaps in African Livestock data. It serves as a sourcebook for decision makers on how to improve livestock data. The publication represents a first step towards a demand-driven and sustainable approach to enhance the livestock information available to decision makers.

Investing in the Livestock Sector – Why Good Numbers Matter >>

see also: Buisness and Livelihoods in African Livestock >>

Who is Who?

Some of the A+FS Network members are probably familiar to you, others are not.
In order to give a face to the names on the members list, every Newsletter shortly presents some of the A+FS Networkers:

Mkuhululi Ngwenya

Mkuhululi Ngwenya

holds a BSc in Forest Sciences (Specializing in Community Forestry) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). He has 23 years of experience as a development practitioner. 15 years in the field of Forestry extension having started as an Extension Officer and rising to the level of a Regional Extension Manager working for a quasi-government organization, the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe. Work there included community based forest management initiatives, beekeeping, utilization of non-timber forest products by communities for own use or business e.g. edible forest insects, mushrooms, thatch grasses and establishment of community woodlots and orchards. For another 3 years he was involved in community business enterprise development looking at businesses based on natural resources (commercialization of under-utilized plants); agro-business, irrigation and general income generation activities working with a Regional Non-Governmental Organization with operations in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Mozambique (Southern Alliance for Indigenous Resources – SAFIRE). There he lead and coordinated the work of a team of experts in business development, natural resources management, agriculturists and social scientists.

Since 2010 he is working for SDC Zimbabwe in the topics of food security and agriculture (food aid, irrigation rehabilitation, market development and value-chain development and strengthening for agro-products). He also works in close liaison with the Regional Programme for Southern Africa with offices in Pretoria South Africa which funds most of the developmental projects under the portfolio.

From the A&FS Network he expects the sharing & exchange of experiences and best practices with other members. Topics he is interested in are: development of enterprises around agriculture, natural resources and resilience building of vulnerable communities, agro-value chain development and strengthening around high value crops and also looking at contract farming.


Rupa Mukerji

Rupa Mukerji

has a background in zoology with a management degree from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA). Her first job was with Development Alternatives, an NGO, introducing appropriate technologies and promoting rural micro enterprises. Later, she established a research and advisory company, TARU. The years with TARU provided much learning as the company grew from 5 to 40 people and carved a niche in the domains of watershed management, agricultural extension, water supply and sanitation; post disaster damage assessments, reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Rupa joined Intercooperation as its Country Director/ Delegate for India in 2005. There she gained a lot of experience in vulnerability and impact assessments, design of concrete adaptation measures and setting up an M&E system. Later the government of India proposed her as Lead Author for the IPCC’s 5th Assessment of the ‘Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability to Climate Change’ (Working Group 2), a 4-year process that brings together scientists and researchers from diverse streams of work. She is part of the team drafting the first chapter, ‘Point of Departure’.

Rupa has been working as the Co-Head of the Advisory Services dept. of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation since mid-2011. She would love to share information about both the IPCC process and the key outcomes from the assessment with members of the A+FS network. During the assessment process the gap between the communication styles of the development community (which ‘report’) and the expectations of the scientific community (analytical, rigourous) became apparent once again as they could not include a lot of practical experiences in the assessment.

She expects the A+FS network to contribute to bridging many such gaps that exist between different communities of practice, institutions and cultures..

A+FS Network members list >>

Further Information

SFIAR Award 2014SFIAR Award 2014: Call for Applications

The Swiss Forum for International Agricultural Research (SFIAR) offers an annual Award for graduates and scientists of a Swiss institution who work in agricultural research for development.

With this award the SFIAR aims to support relevant agricultural research for development (ARD) and to promote knowledge on and visibility of Swiss ARD. Take advantage of this opportunity!

  • The best PhD or Post Doc project wins CHF 5’000 and the best Master thesis project CHF 1’000.
  • Submission is not complicated.
  • The SFIAR Award may help the winner enter into development work, or receive project funding.

Deadline for applications: 15 July 2014

For details on scope, eligibility and application see the SFIAR website: http://www.sfiar.ch/award.htm


SDC Call: Food Security & Nutrition

The SDC Global Programme Food Security (GPFS) has launched three calls for abstracts of project proposals. For the full tender description, please consult the simap website at www.simap.ch (to find the calls enter the below numbers at the bottom of the simap search form):

Nutrition-sensitive agricultural practices and food systems
simap: Projekt-ID 109914 | Meldungsnummer 811483

Realization of the right to adequate food
simap: Projekt-ID 109927 | Meldungsnummer 811469

Reduced water consumption in food production for enhanced food security
simap: Projekt-ID 109923 | Meldungsnummer 811447

The proposals have to be relevant at global level and show a clear link to policy frameworks. Research projects are not considered. The abstract shall not be longer than 5 pages! The project duration is planned for 3 years, with a possible extension for another phase of 3 years.

Submission deadline: 23.4.2014


Upcoming Events

2-6 June 2014, Thun, Switzerland
F2F Meeting of the A+ FS Network

16 June 2014, Zollikofen, Switzerland
Food Waste Forum 2014 (in German only)
Dieses zweite nationale Forum zur Reduktion von Lebensmittelabfällen präsentiert Erfolgsprojekte und zeigt Handlungsmöglichkeiten unterschiedlicher Akteure auf. Die Tagung ist als vernetzender Dreh- und Angelpunkt im Diskurs um Lebensmittelabfälle gestaltet und ermöglicht einen sektorübergreifenden Austausch. Die Veranstaltung richtet sich an ein Fachpublikum aus Wirtschaft, Forschung, Politik und Zivilgesellschaft.