Announcements

Brussels Briefing: climate challenge and ACP responses

Briefing on 'The climate challenge and ACP responses'
13th February 2008

In order to improve information sharing and promote networking, CTA, the EC-DG Development, the EU Presidency, the ACP Secretariat, Euforic, Concord and IPS organise bimonthly briefings on key issues and challenges for rural development in the context of EU/ACP cooperation. The fourth Brussels Development Briefing will be held on 13th February 2008, from 8h30 to 12h30, to discuss 'The climate challenge and ACP responses'.

The Briefing will be organised in two Panels:

Panel 1 - Climate change and Development - Overview of some key and emerging issues
Panel 2 – Impacts of climate change on rural development

Speakers include the EC, ODI, ACP Secretariat, ENDA, Development Commmittee of the European Paliament, Concord, African farmers organisations (SACAU), the Joint ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly.

A more detailed programme will be available soon. See outcomes of previous meetings at http://brusselsbriefings.net

Conference venue: European Commission, Building A. Borschette, rue Froissart 36 .- 1040 Brussels Room 0D

You need to register to: boto@cta.int or purro@cta.int.
25 January 2008

Seminar: Promotion of indigenous vegetables

The Promotion of Indigenous Vegetables in African Urban and Peri-urban Spaces: Production, Consumption, Poverty Alleviation and Policy seminar

Venue and dates
Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa; 23 - 26 January 2008

Background and justification
Urban agriculture is widely practiced in many cities of the developing world, providing income, nutrition and often a safety-net function to the poorest sectors of society, and as such is an important, but underexploited vehicle for poverty alleviation. It makes productive use of undeveloped land, but is frequently not considered in urban land use planning and zoning processes and outcomes. Simultaneously, many small-scale farmers and market-gardeners in these cities and the surrounds propagate and make use of species largely overlooked by research and development agencies. The species are collectively termed “indigenous vegetables”, and represent a vital store of biodiversity for local, national and international gene pools. Within the last decade national and international agencies have realised that the neglected species offer significant opportunities for development of new varieties and crops, provided swift action is taken to conserve the local knowledge and genetic strains.

With this realisation has come a flurry of research activity over the last several years. The time is ripe to pull together the research effort to date, distil the policy implications and consider further research requirements for the next decade. This is particularly so on the African continent, where as yet there has been no informed synthesis of current knowledge, its policy implications and the knowledge gaps to be addressed.

Problem statements
This seminar seeks to overcome the following constraints with regards to the promotion of indigenous vegetables in urban and peri-urban agriculture:
  • The neglect of indigenous vegetables by the research and development community (or uncoordinated scattered research and development actions;
  • Inadequate engagement of the policy-making community around the benefits of urban agriculture and indigenous vegetables;
  • The need for a broad multidisciplinary understanding of the issues which concern the production, market chain and consumption of indigenous vegetables in urban and peri-urban agriculture.
  • The decline of indigenous vegetables in people’s diets in many sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, particularly amongst the young urban population, and the accompanying loss of indigenous knowledge on the production methods, preservation, use and nutritive value.

Beneficiaries
The seminar has two types of primary direct beneficiaries:

  • Policymakers from the seven IndigenoVeg African partner countries of Benin, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa (drawn from the relevant urban planning offices and agricultural ministries).
  • SSA and EU researchers working on research in indigenous vegetables and urban and peri-urban agriculture. Participants will comprise representatives from the 14 IndigenoVeg partners (in Africa based in Benin, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Uganda, three in South Africa; in Europe based in the UK, Spain, Denmark and two based in Germany), and various other interested external participants (from Universities, national research organisations, international research organisations based in SSA and Europe).

By informing policymakers about the benefits which could accrue from promoting indigenous vegetables in urban/peri-urban agriculture, the seminar will influence the policy agendas of these countries, thereby indirectly benefiting in the longer term indigenous vegetable farmers and consumers (both in rural and urban/peri-urban environments).

Overall objective
To contribute to increased food and livelihood security for the urban poor, especially women.

Project purpose

To develop a multidisciplinary forum to allow researchers in the fields of indigenous vegetable and urban agriculture research to engage with policy researchers in a task of transforming scientific concepts and lessons into policy recommendations, and to discuss these during the same forum with SSA policymakers, capable of influencing local and regional policy agendas, so as to reverse the declining trend of indigenous vegetable consumption, and hence enhancing food security for the urban poor.

Expected results
R1: Improved awareness by IndigenoVeg network partners and external researchers, scientists and multilateral agencies and donors on the synergies and research opportunities between the fields of urban agriculture and indigenous vegetables, pertaining particularly to: “Sustainable management practices for indigenous vegetable production”, “Opening niche markets for indigenous vegetables” and “Development of policy for the promotion of indigenous vegetables in urban and peri-urban areas”.

R2: New skills acquired by participating scientists in transforming scientific messages into policy recommendations.

R3: Policy recommendations relating to the promotion of indigenous vegetables in urban and peri-urban agriculture in SSA.

R4: Improved awareness by policymakers from each IndigenoVeg African partner country on the potential benefits arising from the promotion of indigenous vegetables in urban and peri-urban agriculture, and the constraints which need to be addressed at policy making level.

Organisers/sponsors
EU funded Coordination Action “IndigenoVeg – Networking to promote the sustainable production of indigenous vegetables through urban and peri-urban agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa (http://www.indigenoveg.org)/”, Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC)-Regional Centre for Africa (RCA), Rhodes University and Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).

Contact
John Woodend (woodend@cta.int)
Charlie Shackleton (c.shackelton@ru.ac.za)
Detlef Virchow (Detlef.virchow@avrdc-rca.co.tz)

Further information
http://www.indigenoveg.org

16 January 2008

Tech for Food - registration open


International Agricultural Show in Paris, Parc des Expositions, Porte de Versailes
Tuesday, 26th February 2008

Innovative technologies enhancing South countries agriculture are numerous: satellites (telecommunication, Earth observation, localization, navigation), chip cards, solar energy pumps, etc.

Place of encounters in between global agriculture and development experts and role-players, Tech For Food’s objectives are to list and gather initiatives taken around the world as well as specifying propositions on the following topic: new technologies at the service of agriculture and the fight against hunger in the world.

The 2008 symposium edition will focus on mobile phone and internet applications - two technologies more and more accessible in the South:

* access to information (stock exchange prices of staple products in Cameroon)
* access to training (market spies in Tanzania)
* online trading and exchange possibilities (e-money in the Philippines)
* better market adaptation (production diversification in Colombia)

Further information available here.



Consultancy assignment

CONSULTANCY ASSIGNMENT TO CONDUCT A REVIEW OF THE OUTREACH AND IMPACT OF SELECTED CTA PROJECTS, PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

The Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation (CTA) urgently requests expressions of interest from consultancy firms based in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and European Union (EU) states for the above-mentioned assignment.

1. BACKGROUND

CTA regularly conducts well-targeted reviews and evaluations aimed at providing information on key strategic issues such as:

  • whether its products and services are known in a given country / in potential partner organisations
  • how the products and services are appreciated by previous participants and/or beneficiaries
  • how previous beneficiaries rate the performance and impact of CTA's projects, products and services
  • whether potential beneficiaries would have different priority needs, and hence require different information products and services to those currently provided by CTA, whilst ensuring that the Centre stays within its mandated field of operation.

The proposed review will focus on a selection of eight projects, products and services that the Centre implements annually:

i) Rural radio resource packs

ii) TV and video

iii) Digital satellite broadcasting programme

iv) Publications Distribution Service (including DORA)

v) Question and Answer Service

vi) Selective Dissemination of Information Service

vii) Database Subscription Service

viii) Training courses in information and communication management (ICM)

The review will be complemented by a comparative study of costs which will focus on a much wider range of projects, products and services and will be carried out by CTA staff as an internal exercise.

2. PURPOSE

CTA’s projects, products and services (P/P/S) efficiency will be improved and better adapted to the needs expressed by current and potential beneficiaries.

3. SCOPE / Approach OF REVIEW

The review will involve case studies in 10 countries in the six ACP regions:

  • West Africa: Ghana & Mali
  • Central Africa: Cameroon & Chad
  • Eastern Africa: Kenya & Madagascar
  • Southern Africa: South Africa & Malawi
  • Caribbean: Jamaica
  • Pacific: Papua New Guinea

The consultant should be prepared to collaborate with a CTA representative during the assessment each country.

4. EXPECTED RESULTS

  • Up-to-date understanding of how the selected P/P/S are known and used
  • An understanding of how these P/P/S compare to other institutions' assistance programmes (i.e. in terms of CTA's niche in the market and its comparative advantage)
  • Potential and tangible impacts of the selected P/P/S identified
  • Shortcoming of existing P/P/S identified and guidance obtained on how the P/P/S can be improved / made more efficient (future orientation);
  • Elements for reviewing CTA’s internal policy relating to the selected P/P/S identified

5. DURATION & DATES

  • February/March 2008: Appointment of consultants
  • April – June 2008: Implementation of review/ submission of draft report
  • July 2008: Submission of final report

6. QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

Key requirements for the lead consultant:

  • University degree or equivalent
  • At least 10 years experience in conducting marketing studies or similar reviews
  • Knowledge of the role of information projects in agricultural development
  • Fluency in English or French and a working knowledge of the other
  • Ability to use Web2 tools (especially D-groups and wikis) and IT-based M&E tools (especially survey monkey)
  • Experience in coordinating a multinational team of consultants
  • Working experience in ACP countries
  • National of an ACP or EU state

Key requirements for other team members:

  • University degree or equivalent
  • At least 5 years experience in marketing studies or similar reviews
  • Knowledge of the role of information projects in agricultural development (with particular reference to the products and services mentioned covered by the review - see under point 1 above)
  • Fluency in English or French and a working knowledge of the other
  • Ability to use Web2 tools (especially D-groups and wikis) and IT-based M&E tools (especially survey monkey)
  • Specific country / regional experience

7. SUBMISSIONS OF EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

Interested consultancy firms having the relevant expertise are invited to submit their application to CTA by Thursday 31 January 2008 at the latest with a brief résumé (not more than 3 pages) outlining their capacity to undertake the assignment. The letter of interest and résumé should be sent to:

Dr Ibrahim Khadar

Manager, Planning & Corporate Services - CTA

E-mail: khadar@cta.int; Fax: +31 317 460067 ; website: www.cta.int

Only short-listed firms will be contacted, provided with the detailed terms of reference and requested to submit a complete proposal.

14 January 2008
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