AAAE News Brief

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February 16, 2022 | No. 37
World Food Prize Nominations Now Open for 2023!
Do you know an agricultural or food security expert who has made exceptional progress in improving the availability of or access to food, enhancing nutrition or ending hunger through their work? If so, then nominate them for the most esteemed accolade in agriculture – the $250,000 World Food Prize! Nominations for the 2023 award are open now until May 1, 2022 – learn more about the eligibility criteria and submit your nomination here. Read more

The criticality of climate finance for Africa
Climate finance will be critical for enabling Africa to adapt to the growing impacts of climate change and to ensure that its future development path is consistent with the goal of limiting global warming to no more than 1.5°C. Africa has contributed little to global emissions so far, but it is already being disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. How Africa develops will also be critical to future emissions given that its energy use is projected to grow rapidly to meet its development needs, with its share of the world’s population projected to increase from 17 percent to 40 percent by 2100, even as the world population increases from 7.9 billion to almost 11 billion by the end of the century. Read more

source: Brookings
Agrekon Call for Papers
Agrekon – the journal of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa – is planning a special edition on the measurement of productivity in agriculture under the guest editorship of Jenifer Piesse and Nick Vink. The focus will be on South and Southern Africa but contributions that address other parts of the African continent will also be considered. We are specifically looking for aggregate total factor productivity (TFP) and profit functions, studies of important industries (e.g. beef cattle, broadacre crop farming, deciduous fruit, citrus, table grapes, sugar cane, vegetables); irrigated agriculture; meta-frontiers spanning emerging and commercial sectors; and studies that use propensity score matching to form control groups for club data. Analyses of recent weather anomalies are also welcomed, while large panel datasets and new methods are preferred. Express your interest by dropping a brief concept note to Nick Vink at, preferably before the end of March. First drafts will be due by the end of September 2022. Papers will comply with the submission requirements of Agrekon, which are available at. Read more

source: Agrekon
Nestlé Presents a Miracle Solution to Help Improve Incomes for Africa’s Cocoa Farmers
The Swiss-based multinational is proposing a new system, which aims to increase cocoa farmers’ incomes, fight against child labour and improve bean traceability. Welcomed by Abidjan and Accra, the system must prove that it works not only in theory but also in practice. The two African countries account for about 70% of the world’s bean production: Abidjan produces about 2m tonnes per year and Accra about 1m tonnes. Nestlé has established four virtuous practices that it wants to encourage: children’s education, using efficient agricultural techniques (including pruning), agroforestry (including planting shade trees) and crop diversification (combining cocoa production with that of cassava and/or livestock, poultry and beekeeping activities). For each of these, the group plans to pay $109 per year to farmers who adopt them and a $109 bonus if all four are implemented. On paper, Nestlé’s plan ticks many boxes. Presented with great fanfare, it adopts a global and responsible approach and is in line with the efforts made in recent years by the actors in the cocoa chain – chocolate makers, bean buyers and processors, certifiers and governments – to rebalance the relationship in favour of the farmers. Read more

Call for Applications: Editorship of Agricultural Economics
The IAAE Board invites ap­plications for a third Editor for Agricultural Economics, the official journal of the IAAE, to complement the work of our current editorial team. Editors will be members of the Association in good standing and will maintain their membership throughout their tenure. IAAE is particularly interested in candidates who will bring ideas and innovations for helping Agricultural Economics to further its mission. The Board is specifically seeking an Editor who adds diversity in terms of geography and research interest to the current team of Awudu Abdulai (Germany) and Ashok Mishra (USA), both of whom focus on issues related to Sustainable Agricultural Development and Food Security. Female applicants are expressly encouraged to apply. The three-year term will commence upon filling the position and is renewable. Read more

source: IAAE
Engineered bacteria could boost corn yields
Bacteria isolated from the roots of a corn plant and endowed with an unwavering ability to break the bonds between two nitrogen atoms could help minimize the use of fertilizer in farming, according to a new study (ACS Synth. Biol. 2021, DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.1c00049). The microbes, created and commercialized by the agricultural start-up Pivot Bio, fertilize soil more sustainably than synthetic fertilizer and are the first gene-edited bacteria developed for growing cereal crops such as corn.
Plants need nitrogen for efficient growth. Each year, farmers worldwide use more than 100 million metric tons of nitrogen fertilizer, which consists of ammonia, nitrates, or other nitrogen-containing compounds. However, at least half of nitrogen fertilizers that farmers put down gets washed away in rainstorms, which are becoming more severe as climate change accelerates. The runoff is a notorious source of water and air pollution. Read more

source: C&EN 
Food Policy Special Issue: Applying Behavioral Science to Agriculture, Food, and Agri-Environmental Policy
We invite submissions of original research papers, synthesis reviews, meta-analysis studies, and perspective essays that would help both academics and policymakers understand the opportunities and limitations of behavioral science-inspired tools to design better agricultural, food and agri-environmental policy. For this special issue, we take a broad definition of behavioral science-inspired interventions to include not only nudges. Consistent with the priorities of Food Policy, we want all papers to make a clear connection to policy. We especially invite papers authored by members of under-represented groups and researchers based at institutions in developing countries. This special issue will target key actors in the food system: producers, supply chain actors, and consumers, while also evaluating the impact of various insights from behavioral science: non-material individual, non-material social, material, and mixed approaches. Read more

source: Food Policy
Slowing Productivity Reduces Growth in Global Agricultural Output
Increasing agricultural productivity is key to ensuring an abundant and affordable food supply for a growing global population while still conserving limited environmental resources such as land. A main driver of productivity growth is the development, adoption, and diffusion of new agricultural technologies and management practices. With technological progress and innovation, not only have agricultural yields increased, but opportunities to better manage the land, labor, and capital (inputs) needed for production and reduce the environmental impact of production also have emerged. The benefits of new agricultural technologies, practices, and knowledge have been widespread across farms of different sizes, income levels, and agro-ecological environments. Read more

source: USDA
Call for Papers for Innovations in Teaching and Extension Education
Applied Economics Teaching Resources (AETR) is putting out a general call for papers for innovations in teaching and Extension education. Over the past two years, higher education has seen dramatic shifts in teaching and extension, which has resulted in significant innovations in instructional delivery, new methods, new pedagogy and innovations in how we teach and do Extension. AETR seeks manuscript submissions highlighting these innovations and new methods, content, and approaches. Manuscript submissions can include research articles, commentaries, methods and case studies. Please email abstracts of your submission idea to the editor at The abstract should include a proposed title, up to 500 word abstract for the proposed manuscript, and list of authors. The editor will review abstracts, provide feedback and invite submissions for regular submissions, thematic sections and feature articles on this topic. Read more

source: AAEA
How Blockchain Can Help Transform Agriculture In Africa
So much technological advancement is happening within the agricultural space globally, and Africa is riding the wave. Last year, we curated 11 mission-driven agritech startups in Africa utilizing cutting-edge technologies to boost agricultural productivity. Last month, we looked at agricultural trends to watch out for this year. Agritech startups are critical to spreading the gospel of technology adoption in agriculture across the continent. Precision farming, aerial mapping, IoT sensors, vertical farming, location intelligence, and agricultural robotics are already being deployed on the continent. However, the continent’s technological-agricultural synergy is not yet at its peak. More technology is needed to transform agriculture on the continent. One of which is blockchain technology. Read more

source: Ventures
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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