AAAE News Brief

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June 30, 2021 | No. 27
Webinar: Food prices and the economics of food system transformation

Please join the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE), the African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE), and Tufts University for a 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit Science Days side-event, "Food prices and the economics of food system transformation: Making markets work for inclusive growth, sustainability, and health."

The event will take place on Wednesday, 7 July 2021 at 12:00 GMT (08:00 Boston/13:00 London/15:00 Nairobi/17:30 Delhi).

This event addresses the economics of food system transformation. Our focus is prices and markets, and how food supply interacts with a demand under the influence of policies and programs, environmental change, and technological innovation. We aim to link economists in universities, governments, and civil society with practitioners in other disciplines and institutions to drive food system change. REGISTER

New IAAE Board of Directors: Tahirou Abdoulaye (Member-at-Large)

Between Monday, June 28, 2021, and Sunday, July 25, 2021, all eligible IAAE members will vote electronically for the members of the new IAAE Board of Directors who will take office for three years at the close of the upcoming 2021 virtual ICAE conference from August 17 - 31, 2021. Tahirou Abdoulaye is an Agricultural Economist working for IITA. He is currently the Director for the IITA Sahel hub based in Bamako, Mali. He has been involved in technology evaluation combined with dissemination and impact assessment of several projects mainly in West Africa. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and numerous reports, conference papers, extension materials and policy briefs on a wide range of issues facing the agricultural and food system in Africa. His research work covers a wide range of rural economic issues including seed systems, farm-level efficiency and technology evaluation and transfer. His more recent research interest focuses on innovation systems and how they can help increase technology uptake by smallholder farmers. Tahirou is also a member of the Editorial Board of the AfJARE Journal. Read more

source: IAAE
World Bank Group Increases Support for Climate Action in Developing Countries

New Climate Change Action Plan will increase high-impact support to deliver climate results, targeted towards reducing the trajectory of emissions and strengthening adaptation and resilience in developing countries. “Our new Action Plan will identify and prioritize action on the most impactful mitigation and adaptation opportunities, and we will drive our climate finance accordingly. This means helping the largest emitters flatten the emissions curve and helping countries achieve successful adaptation and resilience to climate change,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “We will be delivering climate finance at record levels and seeking solutions that achieve the most impact.” Read more

source: World Bank
Kenya National Biosafety Authority Approves Genetically Modified Cassava

The Kenya National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has approved the environmental release of genetically modified (GM) cassava event 4046, resistant to cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) developed by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). The NBA Board approved the application as stated in the decision document dated June 16, 2021, following the necessary review in accordance with the country's Biosafety Act. KALRO scientists have been developing CBSD-resistant cassava varieties using event 4046 under-regulated confined field trial conditions authorized by NBA. The approval paves way for conducting national performance trials of these varieties before registration and release to farmers. The approval is valid for five (5) years from the date of authorization. Read more  

source: ISAAA
The First African Country to Receive Payment for Reducing Carbon Emissions

Gabon has become the first African country to receive payment for reducing carbon emissions by protecting its rainforest. The UN-backed Central African Forest Initiative (Cafi) has handed over $17m - the first tranche of a $150m deal struck in 2019. Nearly 90% of Gabon is covered by forest, which captures more carbon than the country emits. Rainforests are vital for absorbing the globe's climate-heating emissions. Gabon has been able to show that it managed to reduce deforestation and so lower its carbon emissions in 2016 and 2017 compared to the previous decade, Cafi says. As a result, Norway, through Cafi, has paid Gabon $17m based on a formula relating to the number of tonnes of carbon that would otherwise have been released. The rest of the $150m should be handed over in the coming years. The initial payment represents just 0.1% of Gabon's annual GDP, but Forest Minister Lee White told the BBC that it was a significant first step. Norway has validated Gabon's systems for monitoring deforestation and carbon emissions, which could be used to help high carbon-emitting countries pay Gabon for managing its resources in the future, the minister said. Gabon's forest minister now wants to push forward with a bolder plan to sell carbon credits to allow rich countries to reduce emissions from tough sectors like transport and home heating. Read more 

source: BBC
Tunis Leads the Charge in New Maritime Economy

Workers in northern Tunisia harvest red seaweed, in a nation, dubbed a Mediterranean "trailblazer" in cultivating the in-demand plant. Red seaweed or algae is used for gelling, thickening and texturing agents that are increasingly a substitute for animal-based products in processed foods, and it is also being used increasingly in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The harvest, the Selt Marine Company’s first on an industrial scale, comes after years of research and a wait of more than two decades for authorisation to use the lagoons, said French-Tunisian entrepreneur Mounir Bouklout. Several countries including nearby Morocco have seen their natural reserves of red seaweed diminish in recent years due to overexploitation. Instead near Bizerte, north of the Tunisian capital, 10 percent of what is harvested goes back into the water, said Bouklout, another seaweed expert. Read more

source: Africa News
Newly Launched Green Cities Regional Action Programme for Africa

Nairobi and Kisumu Counties are part of the pilot phase of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)’s Programme which aims to apply innovative solutions and turn urbanization into an opportunity for cities to become more sustainable, more resilient, provide access to healthy foods and ensure a better life for everyone. The initiative aims to scale-up fast-action measures for large, medium and small cities to be more resilient, and food and nutrition secure, with pleasant natural environments, and more integrated nutritious food production and distribution systems benefiting residents and farmers alike. Letters of intent were signed with six African cities: Praia in Cabo Verde, Kisumu and Nairobi in Kenya, Antananarivo in Madagascar, Quelimane in Mozambique and Kigali in Rwanda. The six cities will be embarking on the pilot phase of a programme designed to involve 1 000 cities worldwide by 2030. FAO will help participating countries use geo-referenced data and other indicators to provide rapid and systematic understanding of potential vulnerabilities to shocks, identify potential biodiversity hotspots and strategic mapping of food retail environments to boost access to nutritious food where it is lacking. Read more

source: Ventures Africa
Apply For Funding: 2021 Call For Proposals

The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) Steering Committee has launched its sixth GAFSP Call for Proposals and is currently accepting proposals for grant funding for new (i) Country-led and (ii) Producer Organization-led projects in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. This funding will support medium- to long-term COVID-19 response efforts for a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient recovery of agriculture and food systems in a changing climate. The Country-led modality aims to fund projects that support eligible countries to address priority public sector investments and enable private sector development opportunities in line with country-owned agricultural investment plans. The Producer Organization-led modality builds on the experience of the Missing Middle Initiative (MMI) pilot to strengthen the institutional capacities of Producer Organizations as key economic players in the value chain. The GAFSP Steering Committee expects to allocate an indicative amount of US$125 million to the 5-8 highest-ranked Country-led proposals, and approximately US$25 million in funding to 8-10 successful Producer Organization-led proposals. The Steering Committee intends to make allocation decisions at the end of 2021. Read more

source: GAFSP
Rekindling the Slow Magic of Agricultural R&D

Much of the world’s attention over the past year has been focused—as it should be—on combating the COVID-19 pandemic. By some estimates, more than 1.7 million people worldwide died directly from the disease last year. And yet, a separate, more familiar threat killed even more people. At least 2 million children under the age of five died from hunger and related illnesses—a typical yearly toll. The deaths of additional millions of older children and adults are annually added to this dismal tally. And deaths measure only part of the harm done by severe lack of food and the “hidden hunger” of micronutrient deficiencies, which cause stunted growth, wasting, and greater vulnerability to infectious diseases and other preventable illness. As staggering as these statistics are, they could have been much worse. Agricultural research conducted in the 1950s and 1960s led to the so-called Green Revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. Thanks in large measure to the development of higher-yielding varieties of wheat and rice, among other advances, agricultural R&D has since helped to save hundreds of millions of people from poverty and famine. Indeed, over the past several decades, economic studies show that R&D-driven improvements in farm productivity have helped drive down food costs and global poverty rates. Read more

source: Issues
Call for Paper Submissions

The African Farm Management Association (AFMA) invites interested farm management and agribusiness professionals and practitioners to submit papers for the forthcoming Congress planned from 21 - 25 November 2021, at Panari Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya. The Forum, "Commercialization of African Agriculture for Sustainable Development" will provide an avenue for farm and agribusiness specialists and other stakeholders in the public and private sectors for exchanging knowledge and experiences in an effort to reposition African agriculture in the global environment. Read more

source: AFMA
African Association of Agricultural Economists
c/o University of Nairobi, C.A.V.S, Upper Kabete Campus
Loresho Ridge Road, Nairobi, Kenya


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