Sustainable Food Systems
SASS: First field mission to Nairobi and Naivasha, Kenya
ECDPM’s new consortium project on Sustainable Food Systems for Sustainable Development, or SASS, is taking off. In a new video, Francesco Rampa gives an introduction on how the project aims to foster sustainable food systems for people, planet and profit. More videos on this topic will follow.
Video: Francesco Rampa explains our new programme SASS on Sustainable Food Systems
A first mission was organised from 4 until 9 June in Nairobi and the Naivasha region in Kenya. It involved Francesco Rampa, Hanne Knaepen and a small group of researchers from Italian partner universities, with support from the Naivasha Basin Sustainability Initiative (NBSI).
The aim of the mission was to meet national government officials, local companies, farmers, cooperatives, and so forth, to test the SASS hypothesis: the integration of neglected and underutilized species (NUS) and commercial, large-scale food products (e.g. dairy or maize) is key to make food systems sustainable from an environmental, economic and social perspective.
The SASS team also organised a one-day multi-stakeholder workshop to understand local dynamics and ensure local stakeholder’s ownership of our project. The feedback from participants was very positive. The mission also allowed us to start selecting geographical areas of focus and local partners in Kenya. The next field trip will be organised in October, to begin the SASS multidisciplinary research.
Francesco Rampa presenting SASS during a workshop in Naivasha, Kenya, 8 June 2017 (picture by Hanne Knaepen)
Multi-stakeholder workshop on “Sustainable Food Value Chains” in Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia
On 9-10 May, Hanne Knaepen presented the study "Options and opportunities to make food value chains more environmentally sustainable and resilient in Sub-Saharan Africa", commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), during a two-day expert validation workshop in Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia. Francesco Rampa facilitated the workshop.
The key objective of this expert validation workshop was to discuss and validate the study, that will ultimately be used to provide practical guidelines to GEF Integrated Pilot Approach (IAP): “Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa” and to feed into the training manuals to be developed for the Regional Child Projects of the IAP.
The workshop was organised to encourage optimal dialogue among the 30 participants from various backgrounds, including governments, farmers’ organisations, private sector and development partners. The feedback from participants was extremely valuable as final input into the study. An evaluation showed that participants were pleased with the organisation, content and logistics of the workshop.
AU-EU Agriculture Ministerial Conference
On 2nd July, Francesco Rampa attended the first ever AU-EU Agriculture Ministerial Conference, hosted by FAO in Rome and aimed at building up political engagement on a common vision on how to generate sustainable and inclusive jobs for African youth in the agri-food sector and rural economy. The Conference was co-hosted by the European Commission, the African Union Commission and the Estonian EU Presidency, and will contribute through a report (not yet available) to the preparation of the 5th EU-Africa Summit that will take place in Abidjan on 28-29 November 2017.
Francesco was invited to be a panellist in one of the four high-level thematic sessions, discussing “Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Losses and Waste”. H e made the point that the AU and EU Ministers should commit to support implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in the agriculture sector within the “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) and "national adaptation plans" (NAPs), in particular by using the Green Climate Fund to finance programmes such as the Adaptation of African Agriculture Initiative. This proposal was welcomed by several participants and hopefully will feature amongst the concrete outcomes in the Conference Report.
Regional value chains in Eastern and Southern Africa
Sean Woolfrey at the 2nd COMESA Business Council (CBC) Agro-Industry Dialogue
Promoting private sector engagement in the dairy sector in COMESA
Building on ECDPM’s ongoing efforts to support COMESA to establish a regional dialogue platform for the dairy sector in East Africa (Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda), Sean Woolfrey was invited to facilitate a dairy-focused session during the 2nd COMESA Business Council (CBC) Agro-Industry Dialogue, held on 17 and 18 May in Nairobi, Kenya.
The aim of the Dialogue was to bring together private sector stakeholders from prominent agro-industries in Eastern and Southern Africa to formulate policy recommendations for promoting inclusive growth linking smallholder farmers to regional markets. The dairy session brought together representatives of small, medium and large dairy companies from across the region as well as representatives of national dairy platforms in countries such as Rwanda and Uganda.
Some of the key issues discussed during the session included structures for regulating the dairy sector, inclusive business models that ensure farmers capture a fair share of added value, harmonisation and enforcement of dairy standards in the region, consumer awareness of safe dairy consumption and the value of establishing national and regional dialogue platforms for the sector. A CBC Dairy Working Group was also established during the Dialogue.
Sean Woolfrey at the 6th Global Aid for Trade Review in Geneva
Connecting Trade and Agriculture in Least Developed Countries
ECDPM is also collaborating with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) on a project to pilot an approach to better connect trade and agriculture policy-making processes and improve cross-sectoral linkages in four African least developed countries (LDCs): Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.
In this regard, Sean Woolfrey moderated an FAO-EIF side event on ‘Connecting Trade and Agriculture in Least Developed Countries’ on 12 July at the 6th Global Aid for Trade Review in Geneva. The side event consisted of a panel session during which the participants – representatives of the African Union Commission, USAID, the FAO, the EIF and the Governments of Rwanda and Zambia – discussed the rationale for the project and the initial findings of the country studies conducted under the project. The session also generated discussion with participants to explore more broadly the connections between agriculture and trade in development.
Policy coherence for agricultural development and food security
Regional value chains in West Africa
We published a new report titled Policy coherence for agricultural development and food security in Burkina Faso (available in French only), analysing the links between trade and food security and assessing the coherence of policies around this nexus at different levels. The analysis focuses on relevant national, regional and European policies and presents several recommendations to increase inter-sectoral policy coherence in favour of inclusive agricultural development and food security. The study was conducted in partnership with the Centre d'Études, de Documentation et de Recherche Économiques et Sociales of Ouagadougou (CEDRES)
On 12 July, Fabien Tondel held a presentation at the UN in New York at the High-Level Political Forum side event (co-organised with the World Committee on Food Security, CFS) ‘Addressing the hunger-poverty nexus: What policy coherence means for the 2030 Agenda’. Fabien’s presentation also drew on this study.
Food market in Burkina Faso. Photo by Fabien Tondel
On 2 June, an ECDPM delegation including Carmen Torres went to Luxembourg to present ECDPM’s research on policy coherence to the Interministerial Committee on development, and an audience of NGOs and wider public. The goal was to outline a possible way forward for Luxembourg on policy coherence within the 2030 Agenda framework, including by addressing the concern of development practitioners that their business can be undermined by an all-encompassing PCSD (policy coherence for sustainable development).
Carmen’s presentation of the work with CEDRES on policy coherence for agricultural development and food security in Burkina Faso was particularly well-received, with a high level of interest from both the committee and the public.
Photo courtesy of USAID via Flickr
The nexus between food and nutrition security and migration
International and particularly European development efforts are increasingly directed towards addressing the ‘root causes of migration’ in an attempt to curb migration flows from Africa. In this context, a particular attention has been given to the relationship between food security and migration.
In May, we published a paper explaining why an overly simplistic interpretation of this link - assuming that investment in agriculture and rural development will automatically reduce migration - leads to using development cooperation for ‘securitarian’ purposes instead of pursuing genuine objectives for food and nutrition security.
To avoid this, complex dynamics need to be taken into account when addressing migration in the context of policies regarding food and nutrition security, and vice versa. And priority should be given to actions that acknowledge human mobility as a pillar of sustainable food systems and inclusive territorial development.
Carmen Torres at the ‘EU Global Strategy’ conference
In June, Carmen Torres presented the paper at the ‘EU Global Strategy - Energy and climate securities in a geostrategic context’ conference (organised jointly by the EEAS and CEPS, IDDRI and IAI), where she was part of the panel discussing ‘Reducing climate risks as a driver of migration’.