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The magazine

for agricultural and


rural development
in ACp countries

http://spore.cta.int
INTERVIEW

e,
Sean de Cleen
sident
senior vice pre
ational
for yara Intern

NICHE MARKETS

Venturing beyond
certification
DAIRy pRoDUCTS

Local milk
a hot item

LABOUR CONDITIONS

Ongoing
projects

N162

FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013

Informed Analysis
Expert Opinions
http://agritrade.cta.int

agritrade

The latest information on ACP-EU


agriculture and fisheries trade issues

TABLE OF CONTENTS
NICHE MARKETS

SpoRE N 162 - FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013


SEAN DE CLEENE

Venturing
beyond
certification

Africas brave
new world

COVER STORY 12

INTERVIEW
LABoUR CoNDITIoNS

Ongoing
projects

13
4
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

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DOSSIER
Cover story
News
Crops
Fisheries and livestock
Environment
Research
Business and trade
Interview

13 | DOSSIER
Labour conditions: ongoing projects
Health and safety in the agricultural sector, an ongoing challenge.

17 | Viewpoint
Tometo Kalhoul: good legislation and ratification
Legislative progress in French-speaking Africa to protect farm workers.

18 | Field report
Mali: agricultural work - beware!
Smallholder cotton farmers in Sikasso region are seriously concerned.

International Labour Organization/J Maillard

20 | Sector
Dairy products: local milk a hot item
21 | Publications
25 | Get on board with CTA
is the bi-monthly magazine of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). CTA
operates under the Cotonou Agreement between the countries of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)
group and the European union and is financed by the Eu. Postbus 380 6700 AJ Wageningen, The Netherlands Tel: +31
317 467 100 Fax: +31 317 460 067 Email: cta@cta.int Website: www.cta.int PuBLISHER: Michael Hailu EDITORIAL BOARD:
Thierry Doudet, Stphane Gambier, Anne Legroscollard, Isolina Boto, Vincent Fautrel, Jos Filipe Fonseca, Krishan Bheenick
MARKETING: Thrse Burke EDITORIAL STAFF: Executive editor and Editor of French version: Joshua Massarenti Vita Societ
Editoriale S.p.A., Via Marco dAgrate 43, 20139 Milano, Italy Editor of English version: Susanna Thorp (WRENmedia Ltd)
Fressingfield, Eye, Suffolk, IP21 5SA, UK Editor of Portuguese version: Ana Gloria Lucas, Rua Aura Abranches 10, 1500-067
Lisboa, Portugal CORRESPONDENTS: The following contributed to this issue: M Aka Aka (Cte dIvoire), O Alawode (Nigeria),
B Bafana (Zimbabwe), K Bescombe (Trinidad and Tobago), T P Cox (USA), S. Diarra (Mali), C Docherty (Barbados), W Gibbings
(Trinidad and Tobago), G. Kamadi (Kenya), J. Karuga (Kenya), O Kiishweko (Tanzania), M A Konte (Senegal), P Luganda
(Uganda), C Nforgang (Cameroon), C Njeru (Kenya), J Ojwang (Kenya), F Pereira (Guinea-Bissau), P Pink (Jamaica), P Sawa
(Kenya), S Rantrua (France), F Tafunai (Samoa), A Twahirwa (Rwanda) and M Waruru (Kenya) OTHER CONTRIBuTORS: N
Brynaert, S Federici, ISO Translation & Publishing, D Juchault, D Manley, F Mantione, C Pusceddu, Tradcatts, G Zati LAYOuT:
Lai-momo, Italy DESIGN: Intactile DESIGN, France PRINTER: Pure Impression, France CTA 2013 ISSN 1011-0054

Editorial
Investing in
agriculture
Who is the largest investor in agriculture in developing
countries?
According to FAOs
report, The State of
Food & Agriculture
2012, farmers themselves are by far
the largest investors, putting in as much as
four times more than governments and 50
times more than foreign development assistance. These investments include equipment,
irrigation canals, tree planting and farm
houses. Studies have shown that investing
in agriculture offers one of the best means
of reducing poverty and hunger. However,
many governments fail to allocate adequate
budgets to their agricultural sector despite
commitments made through initiatives such
as the Comprehensive African Agricultural
Development Programme.
The report calls for a significant increase
in the amount and the quality of investment
and argues that farmers must be central to
any strategy aimed at increasing the quantity
and quality of investment in agriculture. A
conducive investment climate - including
legal, policy and institutional environment
- as well as market incentives are key in
spurring investment by farmers and other
private investors. The report touches on the
sensitive issue of large-scale investments in
agriculture, especially by foreign companies,
and notes that while such investment can
offer opportunities for capital inflows,
technology transfer and earnings, it can
displace local land users and have negative
environmental impacts. Contracts that
offer positive outcomes for local people,
governments and private investors can be
negotiated to overcome these problems.
Finally, the report calls on governments
and donors to help smallholder farmers
overcome
severe
constraints
through
more secure property rights, better rural
infrastructure, risk insurance and stronger
producer organisations.

Michael Hailu
Director - CTA

FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013 | SpoRE 162 |

COVER STORY
NICHE MARKETS

Venturing beyond
certification
Certification programmes such as fair trade and organic have allowed
small producers to step out of bulk commodity export markets and
into higher value niches in the last two decades. But as these markets
too are filling up, with increased competition from developing
countries, ACP producers are faced with having to carve out niches
of their own - and there are no simple criteria for success.

hen shoppers in 61 countries buy coconut


oil-based cosmetics at The Body Shop, that
oil comes from Samoa - an island that, like
many in the Pacific, struggled for decades to
overcome the collapse of the copra trade. Now virgin coconut oil is produced on-farm through whole nut processing, and the cosmetics giant buys all the oil that Samoan
farmers can produce. The product is not only opening up
a new market for an iconic tree crop in Samoa, its also
allowing farmers to earn a larger share of the price, and
to develop the countrys own high quality brand within
that market.
Over the last two decades, these and other producers
have benefited from access to niche markets that reward
the very attributes which usually disadvantage smallholders in the crowded commodity trade. During that time,
certifications such as fair trade and organic became almost
synonymous with the idea of niche markets. In crops such
as bananas, coffee and sugar, some farmers overcame the
costs and challenges of compliance to reach for the price
premiums that came with special certification marks.
Ethical consumers in the developed world were willing to
pay these premiums for marks like Fairtrade and Rainforest
Alliance Certified. More than 6,000 fair trade products
are now on sale in 25 countries, while sales of organic
products have more than tripled in the past decade. In UK
supermarkets, more than a quarter of all bananas and a
third of all sugar is sold under a fair trade label, including
major brands such as Tate & Lyle sugar.
As certified products move into the mainstream, they
may not remain niche for long. When fair trade bananas
from a small Caribbean island sit on the shelf next to
much cheaper fair trade bananas from advanced exporters such as Ecuador, customers take the low price, secure
in the knowledge that they are still supporting fair trade.
At this point, small producers fall back into a market of
fierce competition and marginalisation, further burdened
by the costs of earning certified marks. With these markets
filling up, a more creative diversity of approaches will be
needed, with individual countries and producer groups
defining their own niches. Venturing beyond certification,
products have to stand alone, earning premiums based

| Spore 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

on processing, branding, unique qualities, or exotic origins, all catering to a wider range of tastes and cultural
connections.

From commodity to brand


Sugarcane has driven Caribbean economies for centuries, but today this strongly commodified crop seems to
offer little scope for growth or development. Fair trade
and organic markets have become nearly as crowded as
the main channels, with cheaper certified products edging
out small island developing states.
Striking out beyond these labels, Barbadoss West Indies
Sugar & Trading Company (Wistco) has spent years

Drying coconut
gratings for coconut
oil production,
Samoa

COVER STORY
building its own brand around the sugar grown on the
island. This includes the Plantation Traditional line, which
can be found in stores across the Caribbean and the UK, and
the premium quality, amber-coloured Plantation Reserve,
sold in top-end supermarkets. Branding commodities is a
special challenge, says Chris Docherty, Wistco chairman and
managing director of Windward Strategic, which helps others build brands around sustainable supply chains. Making
an eye-catching brand out of something as simple as sugar
wasnt easy, quick or cheap, but Wistco discovered that the
expertise they needed is also going global. We used a local
designer for our packaging, a UK public relations agency
to launch publicity, and we contracted website design in
continental Europe, Docherty says. Profitable by its fourth
year, the company now brings Barbadoss sugar industry
more than US$1 million (774,000) in income above the
world price every year.
Another approach is promoting local products and
varieties to diaspora populations living in the developed
world. Many Caribbean nations export products such as
yuca (cassava), and chilli sauce to customers who have
settled in the United States and elsewhere. But this model
is not always easy to follow. In 2009, the government of
Nasarawa State, Nigeria, started an attempt to export
yams to Britain. While unknown in British supermarkets,
yams are a huge part of Nigerian diets, and Nasawara State
is famous for its crop. The export brand Pepa Yam was
launched in Britain to national publicity. But the costs of
export proved too high, and the state firm abandoned the
project after the first season. A new coordinated attempt if it can overcome export costs, create a recognised brand,
and pass on a greater share of the price to farmers - could
create a durable conduit of trade between Nigerians at
home and abroad.

Women in Business Development Inc

Key role of policymakers


Many producers who have
found a safe haven in certified
markets will need to differentiate
and add value beyond the certification mark, as these niches
fill up. While there are successes
for Samoas coconut farmers
and Barbadoss sugar plantations, further work needs to be
done on how these changes can
be made sustainable and scaleable. Alone, ventures that aim
to become household brands like Pepa Yam - often fall short
of the enormous investment that
is needed to carve a new niche.
A policy environment that supports these endeavours is one
essential factor. Policymakers
can help improve the availability and quality of crops through
national integrated agricultural
strategies, by making export
less costly and burdensome, and
bring financing to the table. In
this environment even small
companies should be able to

launch differentiated products - though most likely with


support from the state, NGOs or donors.
At the very least, pump-priming funds are often necessary to carry through the transition to new production and
marketing strategies. This is likely to be a growing focus
for national investment, as well as aid for trade funds
that help developing countries build trading capacity. The
EU, the leading provider of aid for trade, already devotes
a proportion of its budget (10 billion a year) to helping producers meet European health and safety standards.
Looking beyond this to supporting unique market strategies could produce more benefits. In ACP countries,
niche exports are already supported by the Centre for the
Development of Enterprise established under the Cotonou
Agreement, and by COLEACP, an interprofessional network promoting sustainable horticultural trade between
ACP countries and the EU.
Domestically, export promotion boards can lead the
way, helping firms identify requirements and source consistent produce that meets the quality they promise to
buyers. All of these forms of support will have to be committed and farsighted. New ventures take years to generate returns - and a great many fail outright. Where certification schemes promised to calm the waters of global
markets, niche marketing rewards dynamic entrepreneurism. For many farmers, however, this simply translates to
high costs and high risks. If this is the future they see, ACP
policymakers in cooperation with the private sector, NGOs
and development partners need to plan carefully to avoid
placing these burdens on farmers alone.

ore
To find out m
IIED

Pro-poor Certication: Assessing the Benets of


Sustainability Certication for Small-scale Farmers
in Asia
http://pubs.iied.org/14604IIED.html
Branding Agricultural Commodities: The Development
Case for Adding Value through Branding
http://pubs.iied.org/16509IIED.html

Women In Business Development


Standing proud on Samoan soil
http://tinyurl.com/at7aqte

West Indies Sugar & Trading Company

Producer of Plantation Traditional and Plantation


Reserve sugars from Barbados
www.wistco.co.bb

Windward Strategic Ltd

www.windwardstrategic.com
Address by the High Commissioner of Nigeria on the
introduction of Pepa Yam from Nasawara State to the
UK, 2009
http://tinyurl.com/ao87hed

CTA

Agritrade Executive Brief Update 2012: Product


Dierentiation
http://tinyurl.com/c46yuau

FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013 | SpoRE 162 |

NEWS
JAMAICA

M DeFreese/CIMMYT

FOOD SECURITY

Heartening prospects

The agricultural and food prospects in the Sahel and West Africa
are generally good according to FAO and WFP. Initial estimates
indicate that cereal production in these regions should be
around 57-64 million tonnes in 2012/13, a 5-17% increase in
comparison to the previous season. In southern Africa, a prolonged dry spell led to a
slump in cereal production in 2012, particularly in Lesotho. In East Africa, however, the
overall food security situation began improving following strong crop harvests and the
onset of heavy rainfall.

POLICY

Fdration Nununa

Reducing climate
vulnerability

Nununa womens federation


members shelling shea nuts

Lessons learnt from 120 farmers and


pastoralists involved in a four region
initiative across Kenya will provide policy
recommendations for making communities
less vulnerable to climate variability. In
particular, the project focused on how the
use of localised, demand-driven weather
forecasts could increase farmers production
of maize and sorghum.

PRIZE

The third Grands Prix de la Finance


Solidaire, co-organised by the socially responsible finance association Finansol and the
French daily Le Monde, rewarded five projects
deemed to be highly beneficial for society
and the environment, and the federation
Nununa (natural fat in Nuni dialect, Burkina
Faso) was one of the winners. Nununa, a
cooperative of 4,500 sesame and shea butter producers, was founded in 2001 to pool
their know-how and production resources in
order to enhance the quality and marketing
of their products. The cooperative succeeded
in meeting its targets with the support of
Tech Dev, an association that offers small
African companies specialised technical support, and the socially responsible investment
fund GARRIGUE. Nununa exports 100-150
tonnes of shea butter certified by Fairtrade
International, some of which is processed
into soap and other cosmetics. The federation is renowned for its commercial success
but also its social initiatives (literacy training
centres for rural women, orphan sponsorship, etc.), which is why it was rewarded by
Finansol and Le Monde.

| Spore 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

Wreaking havoc on the northern


Caribbean island of Jamaica, Hurricane
Sandy resulted in millions of euros in
island-wide damage. The agriculture sector
was among the most affected, with damage amounting to over 11.8 million. Over
20% of its world-famous Blue Mountain
coffee berries valued at 850,000 were
destroyed and the Ministry of Agriculture
and Fisheries estimate that over 37,000
farmers have been affected.
To resuscitate the sector, the Government
has pledged to provide farmers with seeds,
fertiliser and one-day old chicks. A 770,000
loan from the Peoples Cooperative Bank
and grants from the EU-funded Banana
Support Programme will help support
banana farmers. Prime Minister Portia
Simpson Miller said, Even before the hurricane we faced serious economic challenges. Now, we must accelerate our work
to ensure that we are even better prepared
in the future. The Ministries of Agriculture
and Labour and Social Security of Jamaica
have also implemented a voucher system to
assist smallholder farmers and encourage
replanting.

INSURANCE

Crop losses
Since 12 October 2012, 20,000 Rwandan
farmers have been eligible for a low-cost
insurance to make up for losses incurred
when extreme climatic conditions are
recorded at the eight weather stations set
up for this purpose in the southern and
western provinces of the country. Maize
and bean crop farmers will be the first
beneficiaries of this scheme.

Banana fields devastated


in Jamaica

JIS

Nununa, a social
enterprise model

Hurricane havoc
in Caribbean

G Kamadi

AGROECOLOGY

A triple win

Soil nutrient management and improved livestock feed help


farmers increase productivity, adapt to climate change and
reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says a joint study by the
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, the International Livestock Research Institute and
the International Food Policy Research Institute. John Otip (picture) used to get three
litres of milk per day from his seven goats, but now gets up to eight litres, by feeding
them with Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) and Desmodium. Maize yields have
been increased from one tonne per ha to 3.5 tonnes by intercropping with Desmodium,
which fixes nitrogen and repels the stem borer pest.

CROPS
TECHNOLOGY

RICE

CIRAD/P Grard

In Benin, tablet computers help


in the fight against weeds

INSURANCE

Rural sector support raises


incomes

Support by the World Bank and the Government of Rwanda


to rehabilitate and develop Rwandas marshlands has
resulted in doubling of rice yields, from three to six tonnes per ha. Through the use of
improved technologies, including irrigation, incomes have tripled over the last three
years for about 50,000 farmers. Fertiliser use, for example, has increased by 34-86%
since 2001. Market access has also increased through formation of cooperatives, with
over 70% of farmers able to sell their produce, nearly double the national average.
The Rural Sector Support Project is part of a Government plan to revitalise the rural
economy.

CASHEW NUTS

A priceless SMS
The SIM-Anacarde cashew nut market
information system was founded in Cte
dIvoire in 2009 to simultaneously inform
all stakeholders in the cashew nut sector
and foster transparency. This European
Commission and Fondation de France
funded project is coordinated by the NGO
RONGEAD and the African Institute for
Economic and Social Development. The
Institute pools information on local, national
and international cashew prices. Business
risk management advice is then sent via
SMS to Ivorian cashew nut farmers (price
changes, lack of partners, non-compliance
with contracts, etc.) so that prices can be
adjusted in the five cashew cropping areas
in northern Cte dIvoire. Two hundred and
sixty-nine farmers relay the information to
8,500 cashew nut farmers targeted by the
project. SIM-Anacarde has succeeded in
boosting selling prices by 4% and farmers
income by 2.4%, while reducing their poverty level by 6.3%, according to the Cotton
and Cashew Nut Regulation Authority in
Cte dIvoire and the beneficiaries of the
project. This has laid the groundwork for
the development of a cashew nut market,
with Cte dIvoire being the worlds leading
exporter.

Safer investments

In Cte dIvoire, cashew processing


creates jobs for women

BREEDING

Drought-tolerant maize
Zimbabwean farmers have harvested the
first crop of SIRDAMAIZE 113, a new hybrid
released by the Scientific and Industrial
Research and Development Centre. The
new variety is resistant to several key
diseases, including maize streak virus and
grey leaf spot, takes only 136 days to
mature, and provides reasonable yields even
during drought conditions.

DISEASE
IFAD/R Chalasani

Twelve thousand Kenyan farmers have


insured their agricultural investments
against the risk of crop failure. An
index-based weather insurance plan is
encouraging farmers to take loans provided
by the Agricultural Finance Corporation,
whilst APA insurance provides cover against
weather-related losses. Over 20,000
farmers are expected to join the scheme in
2013.

RONGEAD

The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) has


developed an interactive tool for identifying
nearly 200 different species of weeds of lowland rice in East and West Africa. The target users of this tool - which was unveiled
in October 2012 - are agronomists, students,
farmers associations and extension services.
Weeds are identified through a knowledge
base that can be accessed online, offline on
CD-ROMs, or as an app on smartphones.
Weeds are perhaps the most important
constraint in rice production, so this is a
valuable resource for all those involved in
research, training and management of rice
weeds in sub-Saharan Africa, where total
rice production losses attributable to weeds
are estimated at 1.1 billion, said Dr Jonne
Rodenburg, AfricaRice weed scientist. This
tool was designed as part of a research project
on African weeds of rice (AFROweeds), coordinated by the French agricultural research
institute CIRAD and AfricaRice, with the support of the ACP-EU Science and Technology
Programme.

IFAD/S Beccio

An interactive tool
to protect rice

Twig borer threat

The coffee twig borer (CTB), unknown in Uganda before


2004, now affects 35 out of 84 coffee growing districts,
causing stunting and drying of coffee trees and leading
to a severe reduction in output. Farmers have been
advised to spray the trees with insecticide to stop the
spread of CTB, which the Ministry of Agriculture and the Uganda Coffee Development
Authority have said is fast emerging as the leading threat to coffee production in
the country. According to Dr Africano Kangire, head of the National Coffee Research
Institute, CTB has already destroyed more than half of the coffee trees in the Robusta
growing areas.
FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 | Spore 162 |

FISHERIES AND LIVESTOCK


DAIRY

DIVERSITY

Making the most of


milk

Womens crucial role

ILRI/S Mann

According to FAO, 22% of the worlds livestock breeds are


classified as at risk of extinction, although population
figures are often unreported or out of date, making
the true state of livestock diversity difficult to estimate.
Countries are beginning to put programmes into place
to reverse the decline in indigenous livestock breeds but
a new FAO study suggests that initiatives will not be successful if the role of women
as keepers of indigenous livestock is ignored. Women are the guardians of livestock
diversity, yet their contribution to indigenous livestock breeding and conservation is
often poorly documented and undervalued.

BREEDING

Nile tilapia, a valuable resource for


the fishing industry in Ghana

CERTIFICATION

A taste for rabbits


A high demand for rabbit meat was
identified following a local market study
by the Trinidad and Tobago Agribusiness
Association. To partake in the venture,
farmers must be trained by the Rabbit
Industry Association and become certified
with a Farmers Badge, which allows
producers to receive subsidies as part of
the Government Agricultural Incentive
Programme.

CATTLE

Genetic potential

BIOTECHNOLOGIES

Nguni cattle genome


sequenced

R Enslin

The genome of 10 Nguni cattle - an indigenous breed favoured


for its resistance to disease and tolerance to heat - has been
sequenced by the Biotechnology Platform, a DNA sequencing
project funded through the Agriculture Research Council in
South Africa. The data will be shared through the 1,000 Bull
Genomes Consortium, a global bovine research community
project that provides information on genetic variation for cattle breeds all over the world. Dr
Jasper Rees, head of the Biotechnology Platform, says that the aim is to discover genetic traits
that enable Nguni cattle to tolerate heat and disease and introduce these into commercial
breeds that produce more milk or meat.

A milk bar in Kenya

WRENmedia

Two improved fish varieties that grow


30% faster than non-improved types are
boosting productivity and income for fish
farmers in North and West Africa. The
Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) varieties - one suitable for the Mediterranean
(Abbassa) and the other suited for West
Africa (Akosombo) - have been developed
in Egypt and Ghana by WorldFish and local
partners. Faster growing fish means greater
income for tilapia farmers, and could have
significant economic benefits for the aquaculture industry. The response is phenomenal. The tilapia industry in Ghana is booming
with the new Akosombo strain, explains Dr
Attipoe from the Water Research Institute,
which bred the variety in partnership with
WorldFish. At the current pace, tilapia production in Ghana is projected to increase
ten-fold by 2015. Other countries in West
Africa are also benefitting, with surplus fish
exported to Cte dIvoire and fingerlings
sent to Burkina Faso and Nigeria for breeding. The Egyptian variety is under trial in
Mediterranean countries and parts of West
Asia with a similar climate.

WorldFish/S Stacey

Improved tilapia

Kenyas six year old Smallholder Dairy


Commercialisation Programme has enabled
smallholder dairy farmers to increase their
resilience to drought and boost their income.
Funded by the International Fund for
Agricultural Development and implemented
by the Government of Kenya, the programme
has taught farmers how to manage pasture,
plant the right fodder varieties, preserve dry
matter from crops and formulate their own
feeds to increase milk production in dry periods. Zero grazing has also been promoted,
with some farmers making their own hay
pits to cut the cost of purchasing fodder from
shops. Biogas generation has not only enabled farmers to save trees but also to fertilise their kitchen gardens using biogas waste
products, thereby improving their nutrition.
Through 14 dairy commercialisation areas
in Kenya, groups of farmers have developed
five year business plans and some have
formed dairy cooperatives to process milk
or run milk bars. One group has started
an informal table banking system, while
another group is adding value to milk by
producing yoghurt.

| Spore 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

Senegal is currently enhancing the genetic


potential of its cattle herds via crosses with
highly productive breeds (Montbliarde,
Holstein, Jersey) imported mainly from
Brazil, France and India. Three thousand
cows were inseminated annually for 10
years but the rate has increased since
2008. More than 30,000 cows a year are
now inseminated, with a pregnancy rate
reaching as high as 47.7%. The country still
has to import around 91 million worth of
milk to offset the low local milk production
level and fulfil the growing demand for this
product.

ENVIRONMENT
PESTICIDES

TECHNOLOGY

Tanzania cleans up

Planting for arid areas

A biodegradable planting technology that reduces water


usage by 80% is being piloted in Africa. Dubbed the Groasis
Waterboxx (GWB), the technology protects and waters tree
seedlings until their root system is developed enough to reach underground water
sources, which can take up to two years, depending on the environment and tree
species. GWBs have been used for 18,000 trees in Zaragoza, Spain, where temperatures
rise to 40 degrees centigrade. The technology can also be used to grow arid land fruit
trees. In Africa, GWB is on trial in Ethiopias Wukro region and Shanta-Abaq in Kenya.
Worldwide there are over 100,000 GWBs in use.
P Hoff

BIODIVERSITY
SOIL FERTILITY

An exhausting business
An innovative technology, dubbed BioAgtive, which converts harmful tractor
exhaust emissions to fertiliser, is being
trialled in Tanzania. According to Canadian
innovator Gary Lewis, Bio-Agtive boosts
soil carbon and nitrogen by injecting
cooled gases through the seed tines into
the soil air spaces. Over 170 farmers are
currently using the technology worldwide.

A former storage site for


obsolete pesticides

GENETIC RESOURCES

O Kiishweko

Profits from plants


Jamaica has passed a bill in relation to
its accession to the International Treaty
on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and
Agriculture. Sixty-four Jamaican crops are
listed in the treaty including yam, coconut
and plantain. The bill will help to protect
genetic resources and enable local people
to benefit from profits arising out of the
use of these plants.

World Agroforestry

EVERGREEN AGRICULTURE

Fertiliser-making trees

A 12 year study conducted in Malawi and Zambia by the World


Agroforestry Centre has concluded that intercropping maize
with Gliricidia - a fertiliser tree - produces more stable yields
than applying inorganic fertiliser to monocropped maize. Gliricidia draws nitrogen
from the air and converts it into a form that plants can use. The shed leaves increase
organic matter in the soil, improving the structure, resistance to erosion and water
storage capacity. Researchers from the World Agroforestry Centre and national research
institutes in Africa have been evaluating and promoting the use of fertiliser trees since
the late 1980s.

New protected
areas
Biodiversity protection areas in GuineaBissau will increase from 15% to 25% of the
countrys land surface in 2014 on completion of the new generation protected areas
project, which has been under implementation for the last 18 months by IBAP, the
Institute of Biodiversity Protected Areas. The
project aims to create two parks in the interior of the country, Dulombi-Bo, with three
corridors connecting them to the six existing
parks in coastal areas. The new parks will
preserve forest areas rich in wildlife, particularly the forests along the Corubal, the largest freshwater river in the country. GuineaBissau is one of the countries in the world
with the highest percentage of its territory
devoted to biodiversity reserves.
In Mozambique, the Government has
approved the establishment of an environmental protection zone around the Primeiras
and Segundas islands in the north, which will
become Africas largest marine reserve. The
area, which covers 1 million ha and extends
along 250km of the Nampula and Zambzia
coastal provinces, is rich in biodiversity: coral
reefs, seagrass meadows, green turtle nesting
beaches and mangroves. Its inhabitants, who
are predominantly artisan fisherfolk, called
for the conservation of resources threatened
by industrial fishing and illegal tourism. The
Governments decision is the culmination of
eight years of work by WWF.
Park Dulombi-Bo, a new protected
area in Guinea-Bissau

F Pereira

Stockpiles of obsolete pesticides in


Tanzania are being eliminated as part of the
Africa Stockpiles Programme (ASP), which is
also working to prevent the future build up of
similar wastes, including raising awareness
about chemical hazards. The Programme is
targeting persistent organic pollutants - considered the most toxic form of waste - and
pesticides no longer in use or regarded as
effective.
ASP has discovered about 700 tonnes
of agricultural waste in 135 sites across
Tanzania, of which over 100 tonnes of pesticides have been successfully disposed of.
Stockpiling of agricultural waste has been
attributed to inappropriate procurement
practices, untimely distribution, inadequate
storage facilities, poor stock management,
donations in excess of local needs and product bans. Tanzania is one of the first countries
to implement phase one of ASP; Ethiopia,
Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and
Tunisia are following suit. ASP is supported
by FAO, the World Bank, WWF and Pesticide
Action Network.

FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 | Spore 162 |

RESEARCH
ICT

Sharing information

DISEASE

Seven coffee varieties resistant to coffee


wilt disease have been released in Uganda
to revive the countrys leading cash crop;
over 50% of coffee trees have been wiped
out by the disease. A private tissue culture
company, Agro-Genetic Technologies, has
been awarded a contract to supply 2 million
coffee plantlets per year, although more are
required to meet demand.

An integrated mobile phone and web information platform,


facilitating access and sharing of reliable and timely
agriculture and rural development information, has been
launched in Zimbabwe. Developed by Knowledge Transfer
Africa Ltd and Afrosoft Holdings, key features of eMkambo
include an email list and a user database providing
information on agricultural commodities, input providers, financial institutions,
weather forecasts and food processors. The platform, which functions across all local
languages in Zimbabwe, has already attracted 31,000 users, including farmers, agrodealers, traders and farmers associations.
C Dhewa

Resistant coffee released

BIOFORTIFICATION

AFLATOXIN

Scientists at the Namulonge National


Crop Resources Research Institute in Uganda
are in the advanced stages of developing
cassava varieties enriched with vitamin A
and have begun research to introduce zinc.
Biofortification - a process of breeding new
varieties of staple food crops that contain
higher levels of vitamins and minerals seeks to address widespread micronutrient
malnutrition which can result in blindness,
stunting, impaired development and premature death. Vitamin A deficiency is a serious
health concern in poorer countries, accounting for more than 600,000 deaths a year
among children under five. According to the
UN Childrens Fund, 2.4 million stunted children under five live in Uganda.
In 2012, the Nigerian Government
launched three pro-vitamin A cassava varieties, bred by the International Institute of
Tropical Agriculture in collaboration with
the National Root Crops Research Institute.
Consumption of these pro-vitamin A varieties
is expected to help Nigeria reduce economic
losses in gross domestic product estimated at
1.1 billion.

An experimental biological control initiative has been underway since 2010 in the
groundnut cropping region of Senegal to
quash the problem of aflatoxin contamination of groundnut oil. The results have just
been published, revealing a 90% decrease
in aflatoxin contamination of groundnuts in
fields and storage areas. For Ablaye Ndiaye
who heads the seed and legislation division
of the Senegalese Crop Protection Service,
this result was obtained using a scientific
method named Aflasafe SN01, whereby a
nontoxic fungus was introduced to compete
with a virulent strain that produces more aflatoxin, thus reducing the level of this contaminant in groundnuts in the field. Aflatoxin
- which is highly carcinogenic to humans
and animals - is a mycotoxin produced by
fungi growing on groundnuts stored in a hot
humid atmosphere. Following these results,
a workshop was held in Dakar in November
2012, which gave rise to an aflatoxin biocontrol extension initiative in Senegal and the
Sahel. The aim is to ensure that groundnuts
produced in the Sahelian region comply
with the maximum aflatoxin level of 2-3 mg
per groundnut, as required under current
European food safety standards.

Vitamin A-rich
cassava

HarvestPlus

Biocontrol - the
wager has paid off

Selection of new cassava varieties

MALNUTRITION

Quality protein maize


To counter malnutrition and low maize
yields, the International Maize and Wheat
Improvement Center and Tanzanian
National Agricultural Research System have
launched a project to introduce two new
varieties of Quality Protein Maize (QPM) to
24,000 farmers. QPM contains nearly twice
as much usable protein compared to traditional maize varieties and yields 10% more.

STRIGA

Maize to fight witchweed

A farmer about to apply aflasafe


SN01 to his groundnut field

10

| Spore 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

IITA

G Kamadi

New maize varieties which emit toxic chemicals that


suppress the growth of Striga, also known as witchweed,
have been developed by Maseno University in Kenya. The
maize varieties - Maseno EH 10, EH 11 and EH 14 - have
taken 10 years to develop and be field tested. The first of
their kind in East Africa, the varieties mature 20-50 days
earlier than conventional varieties and have been cleared
by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service. Striga is
a parasitic plant that attaches itself to the roots of cereal
crops, depriving them of nutrients and causing losses of about 60 million to Kenyan
farmers each year.

BUSINESS AND TRADE


COMPETITION

Labelled Penja
pepper

MARKETS

Access to credit

C Nforgang

Penja pepper (named after a coastal


region of Cameroon) is well liked for its fine
aroma and is about to be granted a label of
origin. The specifications that the experts
and consultants hired by the representative
Penja pepper geographical designation group
are using to obtain this label were validated
by the Cameroon Government. Penja pepper growers chose to label their peppers to
thwart competition from peppers grown at
other locations in the country or imported.
Market sellers always showcase peppers as
Penja peppers in their stalls because they are
popular amongst consumers. With the support of the Cameroonian Agricultural and
Rural Professional Integration Centre and the
African Intellectual Property Organisation, a
group of Penja pepper growers founded an
association that brings together Penja pepper nurserymen, growers and distributers
through a pepper cluster. The group then
completed the geographical identification
process, which is a prerequisite
Drying Penja
for obtaining a label of origin.
pepper

In partnership with commercial banks, the Government of Rwanda is implementing


a new approach to provide low interest loans to farmer cooperatives in remote rural
areas, in order to increase their production and their ability to access modern market
chains. To boost national food self-sufficiency while also reducing imports, the
Government has also established several food processing factories, for example, to
process cassava into flour and soya bean into vegetable oil. The new facilities also
provide a ready market for local farmers, improving their ability to secure credit and
expand their income-generating activities.

PROCESSING

Certifying cashew
To improve the competitiveness of
Africas cashew industry, the African Cashew
Alliance (ACA) has introduced the ACA
Quality and Sustainability Seal. The Seal
is an industry-accepted mark that demonstrates compliance with internationally
recognised quality, food safety, social and
labour standards. Since the programme
began in 2012, Tolaro Global of Benin and
Mim Cashew of Ghana have been awarded
the Seal. The ACA Seal has brought us up
a whole new level, says Jace Rabe, CEO of
Tolaro Global. Weve only been processing
cashew for a few months now and we can
compete with anybody.
At the seventh ACA Annual Conference in
Cotonou, Benin, Jeffery Read, of the US Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) emphasised
that third party certifications are increasingly important for determining food safety.
We believe the ACA Seal provides a great
opportunity to meet the requirements of
the FDA law, says Dan Phipps of Red River
Foods in the US. Buyers are supporting the
Seals value - theyve been asking for it for
a long time, explains Jim Giles, ACA Seal
Team Advisor.

FOOD SECURITY

Promoting cassava

O Alawode

The Nigerian Cassava Growers Association has selected


60 entrepreneurs to produce cassava flour for the
Governments strategic grain reserve. Nigerias
Federal Government is also encouraging increased
cassava production, so that cassava flour can be
combined with imported wheat flour to make
bread. Incentives include low interest loans and
opportunities to buy chemical inputs at fair prices. The primary aim is to empower
smallholder cassava farmers, who typically earn low prices from selling cassava in local
markets or to middlemen. The initiative will also reduce imports, saving billions of
dollars in foreign exchange annually.

ONIONS

Boosting production
Jamaicas Agri Investment Corporation is
partnering with 60 growers to establish
agro-parks, a collection of individually
owned farms dedicated to the production
of one crop. The first onion park aims to
boost production and enable locally grown
onions to compete on the import dominated
market. The growers have a target of
producing onions worth 2 million by 2014.

PEPPER

Increasing exports
In So Tom and Prncipe, organic pepper
production - which is all exported to
France - exceeded 20 tonnes in 2012,
doubling figures for 2011. The Pepper
Production Cooperative has invested in
organic production as a means of combating
poverty in a project involving 26 farming
communities. Cooperative president,
Antnio Pinto, said that given the small
size of the country and corresponding levels
of production, emphasis on quality was
essential.

These 6 pages were produced with contributions


from: M Aka Aka (Cte dIvoire), O Alawode
(Nigeria), B Bafana (Zimbabwe), K Bescombe
(Trinidad and Tobago), C Docherty (Barbados),
W Gibbings (Trinidad and Tobago), G Kamadi
(Kenya), J Karuga (Kenya), O Kiishweko
(Tanzania), M A Konte (Senegal), P Luganda
(Uganda), C Nforgang (Cameroon), C Njeru
(Kenya), J Ojwang (Kenya), F Pereira (GuineaBissau), P Pink (Jamaica), P Sawa (Kenya),
F Tafunai (Samoa), A Twahirwa (Rwanda)
and M Waruru (Kenya).

FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 | Spore 162 |

11

interview
SEAN DE CLEENE

Yara

Africas brave
new world

Sean de Cleene, senior vice president


of global business development and
public affairs for Yara International,
a leading fertiliser company based in
Norway and member of New Vision for
Agriculture, a public-private initiative of
the World Economic Forum which aims
to promote market-oriented sustainable
agricultural development strategies.

How do you see the challenges


and opportunities for Africa
to help feed the world?
Almost 1.2 billion people are going hungry in the world; a third of those are in
Africa and sadly a lot of those are actually
farmers themselves. And yet in many ways
this challenge is Africas potential. There
is nowhere else in the world that has the
amount of available arable land: 60% of the
uncultivated arable land (excluding land
under forest and natural cover) globally is
in Africa. Africa also has some of the lowest yields in the world and yet by doubling
yields - which equates to achieving just half
the global average - Africa would not only
be able to feed itself, but could have significant exports.
As a businessman operating in Africa I
could be very pessimistic, given all of the
challenges related to food security or governance. But there has been so much change
in the last couple of years that I am actually
very optimistic; there is a willingness now to
really find solutions.

Can Africa really be at the centre


of global economic growth?
The Economist says that seven out of the 10
fastest growing economies between 2010 and
2015 could well be African countries. Nigeria
and Ghana were two of the fastest growing
economies in the world in 2011 and are likely
to be in 2012. I am probably more optimistic
today than I have been at any point during
my last 15 years, living in Africa and working with its agriculture sector. Why? Because

12

| Spore 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

With 60% of the worlds uncultivated arable


land and agricultural yields far below global
averages, African countries have the scope to
make a significant contribution to increasing food
production globally. The development of new
public-private partnerships for agricultural growth,
and positive signs of government investment
to support agri-businesses, provides a more
optimistic outlook for Africas agricultural future.
we are seeing Africa start to take control of
its own growth agenda, to move away from
agriculture as a development programme to
agriculture as a business.

How do you see agricultural


development being done differently?
One of the exciting things we are seeing
happening is actors being prepared to work
together: international NGOs, local civil
society, donors and international businesses
actually coming together in new innovative
public-private partnerships to work on sustainable agricultural development. You have
companies now putting a lot of effort into
sustainable sourcing models, local procurement and production in out-grower schemes
at smallholders farms. Partnerships are
developing frameworks which can double or
triple yields but keep the water impact and
carbon footprint unchanged. Admittedly, we
all come from very different backgrounds and
have very different motivations for why we
are in this, but I have seen an unprecedented
interest in trying to figure out how we work
together, and how we take on some of these
key challenges for feeding the world.

Are African governments


sufficiently playing their part?
2013 is the 10-year milestone for the
Maputo Declaration, which committed African
governements to spending 10% of their gross
domestic product on agriculture. Since that
time, more than half of African governments
have signed up to the Comprehensive Africa
Agriculture Development Programme - the

Africa-owned and Africa-led initiative of the


New Partnership for Agricultural Development
- and we are now getting more governments
making that 10% commitment. Under the
Grow Africa banner, nine countries, including those fast growing economies, have now
come together to develop agricultural investment strategies that really engage local and
international investors. Many of these strategies focus on inclusion of smallholder farmers
into new business ventures.
Nigeria is making US$120 million (91
million) of its own money available through
a working group for banks to finance seed
development and a range of other agricultural
technologies. This is not the Government
giving money to supply seed. This is them
financing the business of entrepreneurship
to make this happen.

By when should we be looking


to achieve change?
I believe we are going to be at this tipping
point for several years. Change is not going
to happen overnight; it is going to take several years of solid engagement. However,
if we can set ourselves some very clear targets for an agreed time after 2015 when the
Millennium Development Goals come to an
end, and say that by this particular time we
really need to have changed the game; we
need to have gone to scale in a way that is
much more inclusive and really has the ability to change the way agriculture is done for
the better in Africa; then I think we will have
really achieved something remarkable. And I
think we are at the cusp of doing that.

dossier
From large farms to small plots, working conditions, even for children,
are often harsh and dangerous - accidents, health problems related
to the misuse of pesticides, environmental pollution. Improvements
will require increased ratification of International Labour Organization
conventions, stricter legal frameworks, and implementation of policies
and programmes to ensure adequate protection for agricultural workers.

LABOUR CONDITIONS

International Labour Organization/M Crozet

Ongoing projects

17 | VIEWPOINT
Tometo Kalhoul:
Good legislation and ratification

18 | FIELD REPORT FROM Mali


Agricultural work - beware!
FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013 | Spore 162 |

13

DOSSIER

ollowing the miners strikes in South Africa, farm


workers in the country have been demonstrating since early November 2012 to demand wage
increases. Most of these workers earn ZAR69 to
75 (6 to 6.4) a day, which is close to the lowest pay in
the country. The working and housing conditions are also
often deplorable and were denounced by Human Rights
Watch (HRW) in its August 2011 report on the situation on wealthy fruit farms and vineyards in the Western
Cape region. HRW singled out the lack of decent housing, exposure to pesticides without proper safety equipment, the absence of access to toilets or drinking water
at working sites and the efforts of the employers to deter
farm workers from forming unions. In developing countries low pay and harsh working conditions are often the
common fate of farm workers and smallholders.

Poverty and child labour


This precarious situation encourages the use of
child labour in the fields and forces large numbers of
people out of rural areas and into cities. According to
the International Labour Office, the agricultural sector
alone accounts for around 70% of child labour worldwide. Some agricultural activities - mixing and applying pesticides, using certain types of machinery - are so
dangerous that children should be clearly prohibited
from engaging in them, indicates Parviz Koohafkan,
Director of FAOs Rural Development Division. However,
not all of the work that children do is harmful to their
development. When it comes to subsistence and family
agriculture, childrens participation in family farm activities helps them learn valuable skills, build self-esteem
and contribute to the generation of household income,
which has a positive impact on their own livelihoods,
says Koohafkan.
At the international level, several conventions drawn
up by the International Labour Organization (ILO) have
been adopted to combat child labour, including the
Minimum Age Convention No. 138 (1973) and the Worst
Forms of Child Labour Convention No. 182 (1999). The
first specifies that light work, which does not prejudice
attendance at school, may be tolerated from the age of
12, while work that is not classified as dangerous may be
carried out by youths of at least 15 years old. The second
convention aims to eliminate the worst forms of child
labour, i.e. slavery or comparable practices, such as the
sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom, forced or compulsory labour, and work which, by
its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out,
is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.
Convention No. 182 was ratified by 176 countries in April
2012. Among ACP countries, only Eritrea, the Marshall
Islands, Somalia and Vanuatu have not yet signed.
The child labour situation varies, however, in different ACP regions. In Caribbean countries, child labour is

14

| SpoRE 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

used to different extents but it is believed that the worst


forms are not widespread. A 2005 study by the Bureau of
Statistics of Guyana on child labour revealed that children
working on farms were subject to most of the common
hazards including, heavy workloads, inappropriate use of
agrochemicals and cutting tools, as well as other physical hazards. Agricultural child labour in the Caribbean
is usually carried out on family farms or, but less commonly, as part of a community activity. In Amerindian villages in Guyana, for instance, children naturally take part
in the agricultural, fishing and hunting activities of their
community.

A child
ploughing
a field in
Burkina Faso

R Faidutti

DOSSIER

Cocoa sector exposed


The situation is harsher in other areas. The forms of work
that children are subjected to in the cocoa sector in Cte
dIvoire have been regularly denounced in many reports
and documentaries since the late 1990s. Over 250,000 children work in the cocoa sector in West Africa according to
the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and 60%
of them are under 14 years old. The US State Department
documented many cases of child trafficking in its report
on human rights practices in Cte dIvoire in 2000. These
children, mostly Malian, had been sold by their families or
kidnapped to work on cocoa plantations in Cte dIvoire.

Accused of turning a blind eye, chocolate manufacturers


have been forced to revise their policies and to be more
concerned about the conditions under which their raw
materials are produced. In 2009, the Nestl Cocoa Plan,
entitled Improving the Living Conditions of Cocoa-growing
Communities, was launched. However, in February 2012,
when the group delegated the Fair Labour Association
(FLA) to investigate its supply sectors in Cte dIvoire, this
was the first real sign of its commitment to combat the
worst forms of child labour. In its final report, published
in June 2012, FLA submitted detailed recommendations
to Nestl, the Government, and other international buyers
on how to mitigate the risks to workers throughout the
global supply chain. The Swiss food giant committed itself
to following these recommendations.
The International Partnership for Cooperation on Child
Labour in Agriculture (ILO, FAO, IFAD, CGIAR, IUF) assists
countries in developing and applying labour policies. In
Mali, the partnership has underpinned the development
of a roadmap outlining priority initiatives to be implemented, and a study was conducted on child labour in the
rice and cotton sectors with the aim of identifying viable
alternatives. Special attention is focused on labour-saving
technologies and safer agricultural practices.
Health hazards are also prevalent in the agricultural
sector - according to ILO, out of a total estimated number
of 335,000 fatal accidents that occur at work every year
worldwide, some 170,000 are agricultural workers. The
hazards range from burns to accidents caused by machinery, intoxication by pesticides, fertilisers or fuels, and
exposure to dust.
Half a million tonnes of obsolete pesticides are dispersed in developing countries according to FAO, which
has made disposal of these products a priority through its
Programme on the Prevention and Disposal of Obsolete
Pesticides. Stockpiles that remain in place will degrade,
frequently contaminating the environment and endangering local inhabitants. Those most affected are often poor
rural communities, sometimes not even aware of the toxicity of the chemicals that they are exposed to daily.

Prevention is better than cure


Since 2009, however, national inventories of obsolete
pesticides have been, or are currently being, drawn up in
Caribbean countries. A stock of 260 tonnes of obsolete pesticides was registered by June 2012, but this excludes the
Dominican Republic and Haiti which had not yet completed
their inventories. A US$7 million (5.21 million) funding
request was submitted to the Global Environment Facility
to cover the disposal of 300 tonnes of obsolete pesticides.
Initiatives were also carried out in Pacific regions, where
the staff of the Samoan Ministry of Natural Resources and
Environment as well as members of the Secretariat of the
Pacific Regional Environment Programme participated
in environmental assessment training. A review of all
FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013 | SpoRE 162 |

15

DOSSIER
registered pesticides in five target countries is planned
in the region, with technical assistance from the Australian
Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. In Africa,
the quantity of stockpiled obsolete pesticides is estimated
at 50,000 tonnes according to FAO, which participates in
the Africa Stockpiles Programme that was launched in
2005. Apart from the disposal of pesticide stocks, prevention is also essential. Locust outbreaks in Africa require
large-scale control measures as well as efforts to avoid
stockpiling of obsolete pesticides following locust control
campaigns and to reduce the environmental impact.
The health, safety and environmental hazards faced
by farmers in ACP countries are compounded by a lack
of information and protective equipment. These farmers
are also facing new dangers due to the increasing use of
chemicals that are sometimes very toxic. Users often do
not have access to information on the dangers associated
with the use of such products, or on precautionary measures to be taken during their use and proper dosages.

Prevention without borders


Promoting labour risk prevention to ensure decent working conditions
and enhance agricultural competitiveness in Cte dIvoire is the goal
of Prventeur Sans Frontire (PSF). This NGO was founded in 2005 by
occupational health and safety specialists to raise the awareness of civil
society on the prevention of professional hazards such as accidents and
diseases, with the support of the International Labour Office and the
International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering,
Tobacco and Allied Workers Associations. PSF has gradually broadened
the scope of its interventions to encompass all activity sectors in several
West African countries. PSF recently intervened at around 30 places in
the Aboisso and Agboville agricultural regions of southern Cte dIvoire
to inform farmers as to health dangers associated with uncontrolled
pesticide use. This prevention initiative included modules on hygiene,
food and health and a word of caution on reusing drums in which
chemical products have been stored. Paul Gode, the founding president
of this NGO, is satisfied that these drums are now being detoxified prior
to household use.

Indispensable ratifications
construction and maintenance of agricultural facilities.
Fifteen countries have currently ratified this Convention,
including Burkina Faso, Fiji, Ghana and So Tom and
Prncipe.
Much remains to be done to improve working conditions in the agricultural sector, internationally with the
ratification of ILO conventions on this issue, and nationally through the adoption of suitable legal frameworks
and policies.
At the country level, ILO and FAO are collaborating to
establish links in the fields of social protection and

FAO/Y Chiba

ILO recognises that agricultural workers, especially


those on large farms, are at risk of contracting some
cancers, respiratory diseases and injuries. At the international level, ILO promotes the 2001 Safety and Health
in Agriculture Convention (No. 184), which outlines the
framework for the development of national policies in
this field with the participation of workers organisations
and employers. It proposes prevention
Technicians
and protection measures concerning the
with protective
use of machines, handling and transport
equipment for
of materials, management of chemical
pesticide use
(Madagascar)
products, contact with animals and the

16

| SpoRE 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

dossier

International Labour Organization/M Crozet

An Ethiopian
farmer,
carrying 50 kg
of firewood
to sell at a
local market

Key figures

the average daily wage of a farm labourer in South


Africa, one of the lowest wages in the country.

250 000

260

children are working in the cocoa sector in


West Africa.

tonnes of obsolete pesticides were registered in the


Caribbean region in June 2012.
ACP countries have ratified the ILO Safety and Health in
Agriculture Convention (No. 184) which came into force in
2003.

Viewpoint
Tometo Kalhoul is an occupational
health and safety specialist for the
International Labour Organizations
(ILO) Decent Work Technical Support
Team for West Africa.

ILO

safety and occupational health. In its outreach programme, especially through farmer field schools, FAO is
increasingly focusing interventions on matters related to
occupational health and safety.
ILOs technical cooperation activities concerning health
and safety in agriculture are focused on promoting voluntary, participatory and action-oriented activities to improve
agricultural working conditions and methods in Member
States. A training module entitled Work Improvement in
Neighbourhood Development has been developed and promoted by ILO. This programme is designed to promote
specific improvements in agricultural households through
family initiatives and is being implemented in Africa, Asia
and Latin America.

Good legislation and


ratification
How would you assess the application of ILO
Conventions on agricultural labour in African
countries, especially Convention 184?
Conventions pertaining to agriculture, particularly
Convention 129 on labour inspection and 184 on
health and safety, have only been ratified by a few
countries. In French-speaking Africa, for instance,
only Burkina Faso ratified 184. This makes it hard
to fully assess labour conditions in the agricultural
sector, but some countries have enacted labour
code laws to protect agricultural workers. Farmers
unions also have a very important role to play,
especially in boosting awareness and overseeing
the application of international standards in the
agricultural sector.
What are the main challenges in applying these
conventions effectively?
Although Convention 184 protects agricultural
workers, family smallholdings are excluded.
Another major issue concerns agricultural land
grabbing, which is a growing phenomenon in
Africa. Some agricultural labourers working on
lands procured by foreign public or private operators do not benefit from occupational health and
safety provisions available in French-speaking
countries.
Has legislative progress been achieved regarding
child labour in agriculture?
Yes. Many French-speaking African countries have
passed laws to ban child labour, especially the
worst forms. Some laws are very clear-cut, especially for controlling the use of chemicals such as
pesticides, or humiliating and degrading work.
These initiatives are important because labour conditions are often harsh, even on family farms.
What is known about working conditions for
migrants in the agricultural sector?
In Africa, many migrant workers are working illegally, which makes it hard to gather accurate information on their working conditions. Everything
depends on the type of agricultural company that
has hired them. If it is a legal company and under
their administrative control, then migrants will
experience the same working conditions as local
agricultural workers. The situation gets complicated
when the employer is a sub-contractor because
there are no health and safety controls, hence less
information.

FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013 | Spore 162 |

17

DOSSIER
FIELD REpoRT FRoM

MALI

Agricultural
work - beware!
Sikasso, in southern Mali, is one of the countrys most prosperous
agricultural regions, producing 95% of the countrys cotton. Smallholders
are, however, worried because working conditions threaten their health
and safety, and that of their children.

Sokola inhabitants would like to avoid these health


concerns, but they are poor and the closest doctor is over
10 km away, in the town of Bougouni. If you cut yourself with the blade of a daba [short-handled hoe], youll
spend the rest of the cultivation season in bed because
you wont be able to cover the treatment costs, claims
Sibiry Coulibaly.
The children tend livestock in the fields and help with
the harvests. They are the primary victims of diseases and
accidents associated with field work, such as being injured
by work animals, cut with a daba or intoxicated by chemical inhalation. Over a year ago, an ox gored my son in the
belly. I had to borrow money to treat him, says Ali Diarra,
another villager.

S Diarra

armers from Sokola wish to overcome their health


problems. Over the cultivation period from June until
December, during the rainy season, they are highly
susceptible to injuries and diseases generally associated with their activities.
There is a dispensary in the village, but its poorly
equipped, so access to health care is difficult, explains Yadji
Kon, sitting under a lean-to, sometimes staring at a group
of village youths carrying cotton bales in yellow containers.
Kon is the head of his family and it is his responsibility
to supervise the work of these youths. Farmers in this village of a few hundred inhabitants located 180 km south
of Bamako are anxious about the health and safety risks
facing them.

18

| SpoRE 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

Below:
Villagers from
Sokola preparing
cotton balls (left)
and loading
onto containers
(centre) to be
delivered to
the Compagnie
malienne de
dveloppement
du textile (CMDT)
Right:
Cotton flower

dossier
Agriculture is the main source of income for inhabitants
in the Sikasso region. A report published by the Malian
Ministry of Agriculture in 2011 on child labour in agriculture indicated that Sikasso is the main upland crop region,
accounting for 37% of the millet and sorghum, 63% of the
maize, 13% of the groundnut and over 95% of the cotton
produced in the country. According to the same report,
17% of those interviewed declared that they had fallen ill
or been injured at least once over the last 12 months.
Farmers and their children also contract diseases as a
result of field pesticide treatments in the cotton production zone. The Ministry of Agriculture report goes on to
say: The link between the working conditions and these
injuries and diseases was noted by 43% of the children
interviewed, while 57% explained them by malaria,
humidity and various infections that affect all categories
of the population.
In Mali, however, farmers like Ali Diarra from Sokola
are trained by the Compagnie malienne de dveloppement
du textile (CMDT) to increase the awareness of villagers on
ways to protect themselves from chemical products that
are absorbed via skin pores. Every year, extension services
such as the Office du Niger conduct awareness campaigns
via the local media on the dangers of handling chemical
products. These campaigns can be very effective when the
national authorities obtain the support of international
organisations. As part of an FAO programme on integrated
management of crop production and pests in West Africa,
one survey carried out in 65 cotton planters villages in
Mali - that had been the focus of awareness campaigns
in 2007-2008 - highlighted a 94% reduction in the use of
chemical pesticides. There is still hope for the village of
Sokola, even regarding the childrens situation.

Soumaila T. Diarra

re

o
To find out m
FAO

International Partnership for Cooperation on Child


Labour in Agriculture, launched in 2007 by FAO,
IFAD, ILO, CGIAR, IFAP and IUF
http://tinyurl.com/a9mdex7
Prevention and Disposal of Obsolete Pesticides
FAO collaboration with developing countries to
prevent stockpiling of obsolete pesticides and
disposal of existing stocks
http://tinyurl.com/a8xjcfb
Integrated Production and Pest Management
Programme in West Africa
FAO programme devoted to crop protection through
minimal use of pesticides
http://tinyurl.com/canoa3h
Food, Agriculture & Decent Work
National Information Sharing Report on Child
Labour in Agriculture in Mali, Bamako,
8-9 December 2011
(in French)
http://tinyurl.com/crpogp2

Human Rights Watch

South Africa: Farmworkers Dismal, Dangerous Lives


- Workers Protected by Law, but Not in the Fields
www.hrw.org/node/101158

IER

Institut dconomie rurale (Malis National


Agricultural Research Institute)
www.ier.gouv.ml
Child labour in agriculture in Mali:
A Case Study in the
Rice and Cotton Sectors. Final report, December 2011
(in French)
http://tinyurl.com/bryatg5

Nestl

Assessment of Nestl Cocoa Supply Chai


in Cte dIvoire
http://tinyurl.com/b6rdtlw
Nestl sets out actions to address child labour in
response to the Fair Labour Association report
http://tinyurl.com/abjyhxh

ILO

International Labour Organization


Ratification by Convention
http://tinyurl.com/afedwsr

D Bigand

S Diarra

ILO Regional Office for Africa

Safety and Health in Agriculture: Convention 184/


Recommendation 192 (in French)
http://tinyurl.com/cudktcf

FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013 | Spore 162 |

19

Sector

Dairy products

Local milk a hot item


Local dairy companies and
consumers in ACP countries
generally source their
powdered milk via imports,
but this should not hamper
the organisation of a highly
promising local dairy sector.

20

| Spore 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

ILRI/D Elsworth

he Laiterie du Berger (LDB), which


was founded in 2005 by the young
Senegalese
businessman
Bagor
Bathily, is promoting and developing
dairy production in Richard Toll, northern
Senegal. This dairy currently collects over
2,500 litres of milk per day. Its Dolima dairy
products have a prime spot in refrigerated
sections of supermarkets and small retail
shops in Dakar and they are much cheaper
than imported yogurt. The key to LDBs success has been financial backing received from
the French Development Agency, AFD, and
investment fund Investors & Partners, along
with the support from international dairy
business, Danone, which provides capital and
expert advice on marketing and distribution.
The returns from these efforts are now benefiting both rural and urban centres. In addition to generating a regular income for livestock farmers in pastoral regions in northern
Senegal, LDB helps by supplying them with
livestock feed, technical advice and veterinary
services.
The example of LDB is unusual. Most other
dairy companies in West and Central Africa
depend on imported powdered milk, which
has created an external dependence to the
detriment of the development of local livestock production. However, powdered milk
is a more uniform raw material that can be
readily stored which facilitates the work of
dairy companies. In most cases local milk is
consumed by the dairy farmers themselves or
is marketed locally.
In sub-Saharan Africa, milk production
increased from 17.4 to 21.8 million tonnes
between 2005 and 2010, but imports of milk
also rose from 2.5 to 3.1 million tonnes over
the same period. Hence the supply of dairy
products is not sufficient to cover consumer
demand, which is increasing partly because of
growing urbanisation and changing diets in
African countries. Despite a twofold increase
in milk production between 1981 and 2006

(rising from 1 to 2 million litres per year), the


level of self-sufficiency has not risen above
50% in West Africa.
A policy that imposed lower tariffs for
imported milk while also facilitating the
import process has impeded development of
the local dairy sector. There are also structural
handicaps such as a lack of road infrastructures
between production and consumption centres and low herd productivity. Milk farmers
are also geographically scattered and poorly
organised, thus hampering effective organisation of the milk sector. Some countries such as
Burkina Faso and Mali have adopted national
programmes to promote the local dairy sector.
However, FAO, in its Pro-Poor Livestock Policy
Initiative study published in 2012, states that
existing mini-dairies are not accounted for in
these programmes. Global milk demand is
nevertheless growing by 15 million tonnes per
year, mostly in developing countries.

Kenya sets the example


Some countries like Kenya, Tanzania and
South Africa have long been investing in local
dairy sector development, sometimes even
focusing attacks directly on powdered milk.

Dairy bar
Imported milk has become
in Kenya,
much more expensive than
a national
local milk in Kenya since the
model for the
country raised the tariff by
development
of the local
60% in 2005. Although such
dairy industry
State intervention has been
effective in Kenya where
there is a well structured dairy sector, the situation differs in many other countries. Kenya
has been backing the development of the sector since the 1950s, while supporting rural
livestock farming. The State had the means to
apply its policies and was able to raise import
taxes on milk powder because high volumes
of local milk were available for collection,
claims Guillaume Duteurtre, a researcher
with CIRAD, the French agricultural research
for development institute. The debate on
customs tariffs should not mask the real challenges to the development of the dairy sector
today. They concern initiatives necessary for
developing local production of milk collected
from peri-urban farmers and agro-pastoralists
in rural areas, continued Duteurtre. The customs tariffs issue is crucial, but unfortunately
it would not be feasible in the short run to
replace powdered milk by local milk.

PUBLICATIONS

Root crop reference

How to write
Scientic Writing for
Agricultural Research
Scientists: A Training
Resource Manual

Cassava in the Third Millennium:


Modern Production, Processing,
Use and Marketing Systems

Edited by A youdeowei, p
Stapleton & R obubo
CTA, 2012; 192 pp.
ISBN 978-92-9081-506-8
CTA no. 1700
20 credit points

By B ospina & H Ceballos


CIAT/CLAyUCA/CTA, 2012; 584 pp.
ISBN 978-95-8694-112-9
CTA no. 1712
80 credit points

Downloadable as pDF file from:


http://tinyurl.com/c8n2s4e

Practical Handbook
for Managing Cassava Diseases,
Pests and Nutritional Disorders
By E lvarez et al.
CIAT/CLAyUCA/CTA, 2012; 120 pp.
ISBN 978-95-8694-113-6
CTA no. 1713
5 credit points

Whether as a food or a raw material


for the animal feed and starch industries, cassava production in the tropics has
many advantages over its rival, maize.
Tolerance of low soil fertility, acidity and
drought are just some of the attributes of
a crop which is synonymous with stability, even during extreme weather events.
But despite its natural advantages, cassava
needs to be more competitive, with more

Green economies

Home to more than 50


million people, Small Island
Developing States (SIDS) tend to be
extremely vulnerable to environmental
and economic shocks. To enhance
the resilience of SIDS, this brief
highlights the importance of making
small islands part of the global green
economy, increasing power through
unity, economic diversification,
mainstreaming agriculture and
stemming the brain drain.

productive cultivars that meet the differing


needs of industry and consumers, strengthening of new markets, and value addition,
such as further development of nutrientrich varieties.
This comprehensive volume, updated
from the 2002 publication La Yuca en el
Tercer Milenio, summarises the current state
of knowledge in cassava cultivation and
research, including agronomic practice,
approaches to pest and disease management, improved methods of breeding and
field operation, and postharvest management technologies for different markets. It
is complemented by a practical field handbook to aid identification of major cassava
pests, diseases and nutritional disorders.

Effective science writing is


essential, not only for career
progression, but to ensure that research outputs are disseminated and used. Preparing
a paper for publication in a scientific journal can be a daunting challenge, not least
because of the myriad conventions that must
be observed. But the well structured guidance presented here, complemented by suggestions for training activities, should instil
confidence in those new to paper-writing, or
looking to improve their rate of acceptance.
This highly practical manual explains the
technicalities of effective science writing in
clear, reader-friendly language. Topics covered include: choosing the target audience
and selecting the most appropriate journal to
reach them; identifying significant results;
understanding the main component sections of a paper; language and style; using
tables and illustrations; reporting statistics;
and making citations and references. Further
chapters discuss oral presentations, writing
posters, proposals and reports, online publishing and communicating with non-scientific audiences.

Sustainability

To feed the worlds rapidly


expanding population,
farmers will have to produce as much
food in the next 40 years as they have in
the past 8,000. Meeting this challenge
will be made all the more difficult by
climate change. In response, this brief
calls on governments to promote policies
that encourage climate-smart agriculture
and encourage research into the best ways
of helping farmers reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and adapt to climate change.

Building Resilience in Small Island Economies:


From Vulnerabilities to Opportunities

Promoting Climate-Smart Agriculture


in ACP Countries

By J Haskins
CTA, 2012; 4 pp.
CTA no. PB008E

By C pye-Smith
CTA, 2012; 4 pp.
CTA no. PB009E

Downloadable as pDF file from:


http://tinyurl.com/bhdj5bh

Downloadable as pDF file from:


http://tinyurl.com/c5zc6w8

Funding
To help determine future agricultural
policy and research directions, this
paper synthesises knowledge on the
impact of public investments in and
for agriculture in developing countries.
The paper highlights, for example, the
potential for agricultural investments
to have significant effects on health
and nutrition, with biofortification
programmes shown to be particularly
cost-effective.
The Impacts of Public Investment in and for
Agriculture
By T Mogues et al.
IFpRI, 2012; 72 pp.
Downloadable as pDF file from:
http://tinyurl.com/bko5e8b

FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013 | SpoRE 162 |

21

PUBLICATIONS
Seasonality

Cutting edge

The Last Hunger Season:


A Year in an African Farm
Community on the Brink
of Change

Profiting from waste

By p R Gildemacher
KIT publishers, 2012; 184 pp.
ISBN 978-94-6022-211-5
25
Downloadable as pDF file
from: http://tinyurl.com/
bgpeayg
KIT publishers
postbus 95001
1090 HA Amsterdam
The Netherlands
www.kitpublishers.nl

Hunger
With almost 870 million people, or one
in eight, chronically undernourished in
2010-2012, the number of hungry people
in the world remains unacceptably high;
the vast majority about 850 million
- live in developing countries. The UN
hunger report reveals that progress
in reducing hunger has slowed since
the 2007-2008 economic crisis, but
that agricultural growth is particularly
effective in reducing hunger and
malnutrition.

Livestock and Renewable Energy

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012

Downloadable as pDF file from:


http://tinyurl.com/cmqfxe4

22

Potato yields in eastern Africa are well


below the world average. To boost farmer
incomes and improve food security in the
region, Innovation in Seed Potato Systems
in East Africa highlights the importance of
improving the quality of seed potatoes as
a key strategy for increased production.
Currently, farmers largely rely on farmsaved seed potatoes, given the absence of
affordable high quality seed potatoes and
limited market security. Other technology
based opportunities for innovation include
integrated management of bacterial wilt and
late blight, and soil fertility management.
Improvement of potato supply chains
and enhancing knowledge exchange in
the sector are identified as more systemic
opportunities to strengthen the potato sector. The author also highlights the central
importance of innovation, and of researchers room to manoeuvre and immerse themselves in partnerships with practitioners. It
is worthwhile to search for opportunities for
incremental innovation, the author concludes, and these opportunities can be of a
surprisingly simple nature.

Today, 2.5 billion people rely on


wood, charcoal and dung as their
principal sources of energy for cooking
and heating. This paper assesses
the potential of the livestock sector
as a renewable energy source and
considers the viability of biogas and
other technologies for small-scale
farmers and livestock keepers. It aims
to support the design of appropriate
livestock development interventions.
By A Rota et al.
IFAD, 2012; 42 pp.
ISBN 978-92-9072-334-9

| SpoRE 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

Living with the Trees


of Life: Towards the
Transformation of
Tropical Agriculture

Innovation in Seed
Potato Systems in East
Africa

By R Thurow
public Affairs, 2012; 304 pp.
ISBN 978-16-1039-067-5
US$26.99 21
public Affairs
1094 Flex Drive
Jackson, TN 38301
USA
www.publicaffairsbooks.com

Most of Africas food production is from


small subsistence farms; the aim of this
book is to demonstrate how small farmers,
often dismissed as marginal by policymakers, can, with the right assistance, sustainably increase yields without damaging
their environment. The author recounts the
struggles of four host families in western
Kenya, who are assisted to improve their
subsistence farming practices through loans
and training made available by a US-based
NGO, One Acre.
The Last Hunger Season describes the conditions of village life, the social interactions,
and the poverty that limits or denies health
and education. Written in the form of a
diary, successive chapters chronicle the lives
of the farmers from the dry season to the
rains, the hunger gap, harvest and second
planting, and the festival days that close
the year. It highlights the challenges the
villagers face and the choices they have to
make as they struggle to overcome hunger.
By trial and error, the farmers learn how to
grow more to feed their families and provide better lives for their children.

Forestry

By FAo, WFp & IFAD


FAo, 2012; 63 pp.
ISBN 978-92-5107-316-2
Downloadable as pDF file from:
http://tinyurl.com/ar3cw63

By R Leakey
CABI, 2012; 200 pp.
ISBN: 978-17-8064-098-3
27.50 34
CABI publishing
Nosworthy Way
Wallingford
oX10 8DE, UK
www.cabi.org

As the global population has doubled and


doubled again during the last 100 years,
agriculture has managed to meet the hugely
increased demand for food. But it has been
achieved at a high cost, with depleted and
eroded soils and compromised water supplies, while many remain impoverished,
malnourished and hungry. How to transform
agriculture to achieve even greater output
but without such environmental and human
costs is the challenge answered by Living
with the Trees of Life.
The book critiques the successes and shortcomings of modern agriculture before considering how incorporating trees in farming
systems - agroforesty - could make good the
lack of soil nutrients, while improved management of water would simultaneously halt
erosion and better utilise available moisture,
all to the benefit of producers and consumers. Agroforesty systems are low input but
provide potentially much higher output than
many widely practised cropping systems. The
only obstacle in adopting the practise more
widely, argues Leakey, is a lack of political
will and appropriate policies.

Biodiversity
Many of the worlds poorest people
depend on resources they gather from
highly diverse ecosystems. This paper
examines how interventions to improve
the livelihoods of forest users can also
conserve biodiversity. With case studies
from Burkina Faso, Mali and Uganda,
the paper argues for a landscape
approach, where livelihoods are
improved through restoring the
functionality of forest landscapes.
Improving Ecosystem Functionality and
Livelihood
By E Barrow, R Fisher & J Gordon
IUCN, 2012; 20 pp.
ISBN 978-28-3171-496-7
Downloadable as pDF file from:
http://tinyurl.com/b6kv52z

PUBLICATIONS
Expert opinion
What is the Matter with
African Agriculture?
Veterans Visions Between
Past and Future
Edited by H Mutsaers & p
Kleene
KIT, 2012; 384 pp.
ISBN: 978-94-6022-178-1
24.50
For KITs address, see p22

Drawing on half a century of experience, 40 veteran agriculturalists review the


achievements, failures and challenges facing
African agriculture. Most argue strongly in
favour of family farming, but emphasise that
in order to feed the ever growing population
it must evolve, becoming more mechanised,
commercialised, diversified and sustainable.
Secure land rights and equitable access to
land are seen as essential for vibrant and progressive farming, and there is consensus on
the importance of value chain approaches
to agricultural production, as well as the
value of strong farmer organisations and
cooperatives, strong research and extension
support, improved infrastructure and private
sector development. Another key area is the
formulation of policies and trade regulations
that create an enabling environment, liberalise markets, ensure equity and protect the
environment.
We hope that the next generation will
take advantage of our experience and learn
from our errors, thereby becoming more successful in pulling African farming out of its
stagnation, the authors conclude.

Biofuel

Green revolution

Land rush
The Global Farms Race:
Land Grab, Agricultural
Investment, and the
Scramble for Food
Security

One Billion Hungry: Can We


Feed the World?
By G Conway & K Wilson
Cornell University press, 2012;
427 pp.
ISBN 978-08-0147-802-4
15.50 20
Cornell University press
Box 6525, 750 Cascadilla Street
Ithaca, Ny 14851-6525
USA
www.cornellpress.cornell.edu

Six decades after the technological innovations of the Green Revolution, hunger
remains a daily reality for a billion people. With an increasing population, climate
change, rising food prices and a limit on
our natural resources, feeding the world
on no more land with less water becomes
an even greater challenge. Yet Professor Sir
Gordon Conway is optimistic about a food
secure world in 2050. In One Billion Hungry,
Conway calls for a doubly green revolution
a revolution that needs to be at least as productive as the first, and yet more conserving
of natural resources.
Conway stresses the need for greater
breeding focus on previously neglected cereals, pulses and tubers, for increased emphasis
on home gardens for nutritionally rich vegetables, more widespread intercropping, relay
cropping, using leguminous trees and shrubs
for shade and for mulching in the tropics and
for more irrigation in Africa with better utilisation of water everywhere. Another priority,
he believes, is genetic modification research
to boost performance and stress-resilience of
plants and livestock.

Food security

By M Kugelman & S
Levenstein
Island press, 2012; 248 pp.
ISBN: 978-16-1091-187-0
US$25 20
Island press
2000 M Street NW, Suite
650
Washington, DC 20036
USA
www.islandpress.org

Nearly 230 million ha of farmland - an


area equivalent to the size of western Europe
- have been sold or leased since 2001, with
most of these transactions occurring since
2008. As the deals continue, understanding them, and their consequences, is vital,
not least because the trend has considerable
implications for several major 21st century
challenges, including food security, natural
resource management and climate change.
The Global Farms Race aims to equip readers
with a proper grounding in this scramble for
the worlds soils.
In supporting a more sophisticated understanding of large-scale land acquisition, this
book offers diverse perspectives, featuring
contributions from agricultural investment
consultants, farmers organisations, international NGOs and academics. The book
addresses historical context, environmental
impacts and social effects, and covers all
the major geographic areas of investment in
order to examine this growing trend in all
its complexity, considering the implications
for investors, host countries, and the world
as a whole.

Food intake

The global demand for bioenergy is


growing rapidly because of climate
change mitigation policies and
increasing oil prices. This can create
income opportunities and improve
access to energy in rural areas but
bioenergy development can also
increase the pressure on land and water
resources. This report aims to help
policy-makers understand and manage
the risks and opportunities of bioenergy
development for food security.

The 2012 Global Hunger Index, which


tracks global hunger by region and
country, reveals 20 countries with
alarming or extremely alarming levels
of hunger. The report focuses on how to
ensure sustainable food security under
conditions of water, land and energy
stress. On-the-ground perspectives on
land tenure issues are provided, as well
as the impacts of scarce land, water and
energy on poor people in Sierra Leone
and Tanzania.

While over 900 million people in


the world suffer from hunger, about
1.5 billion are overweight or obese
and an estimated 2 billion suffer
from micronutrient malnutrition. To
improve the health of humans and the
planet, this paper calls for immediate
action to promote sustainable diets,
emphasising the positive role of food
biodiversity in human nutrition and
poverty alleviation.

Impacts of Bioenergy on Food Security

2012 Global Hunger Index

Edited by H Thofern & A Rossi


FAo, 2012; 60 pp.
ISBN 978-92-5107-151-9

By K von Grebmer et al.


IFpRI/Concern Worldwide/Welthungerhilfe, 2012; 70 pp.
ISBN 978-08-9629-942-9

Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity

Downloadable as pDF file from:


http://tinyurl.com/c54dohz

Downloadable as pDF file from:


http://tinyurl.com/967sc3k

Edited by B Burlingame & S Dernini


FAo, 2012; 308 pp.
ISBN 978-92-5107-288-2
Downloadable as pDF file from:
http://tinyurl.com/9ojo26t

FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013 | SpoRE 162 |

23

PUBLICATIONS
Statistics

Agro-ecology
Sustainable Food
Production Practices in
the Caribbean
Edited by W G Ganpat & W
p Isaac
CTA, 2012; 458 pp.
ISBN: 978-97-6637-624-6
CTA no. 1699
40 credit points

Big Facts: Where Agriculture and Climate


Change Meet
By CCAFS
www.ccafs.cgiar.org/bigfacts

To highlight the complex relationship


between climate change and agriculture,
the CGIAR Research Program on Climate
Change, Agriculture and Food Security
(CCAFS) has launched a suite of 30 key
facts. The website, which features infographics and photographs, covers everything from undernourishment and population to forestry and fisheries. To avoid
oversimplification of complex issues and to
provide additional information, a sub-set of
facts supports each Big Fact.
One of the most striking facts is that globally, roughly one-third of food produced
for human consumption gets lost or wasted.
Another is that the livestock sector in 2008
accounted for about 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions from
the sector are expected to increase by 70%
by 2050. Regarding mitigation, the sequestering of carbon in the soils of croplands,
grazing lands and rangelands are shown to
offer agricultures highest potential source
of climate change mitigation. These soils can
store between 1,500 and 4,500 million metric
tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

Livelihoods

Wild swings

Over the next 40 years,


Africas population is
predicted to double. Soon, 20 million
young people will be entering the labour
market each year, but tens of millions
of rural Africans currently lack sufficient
work to lift themselves out of poverty.
This brief proposes a range of measures
to increase rural employment, including
policies to stimulate farm and nonfarm sectors, investment in education
and vocational training, and equal
opportunities for women.

Volatile food prices in


2008 increased import
costs and disrupted local food markets
in many ACP countries, hitting poor
households, exacerbating malnutrition
and triggering civil unrest. This brief
recommends measures to limit price
swings, or mitigate their effects. Creating
small-scale emergency food reserves and
safety nets for the most vulnerable are
short-term measures. In the long-term,
increases in productivity, particularly
among smallholders, must be promoted.

Increasing Rural Employment


in sub-Saharan Africa

Coping with Food Price Volatility in ACP


Countries

By C pye-Smith
CTA, 2012; 4 pp.
CTA no. PB004E

By p piro
CTA, 2012; 4 pp.
CTA no. PB005E

Downloadable as pDF file from:


http://tinyurl.com/ctwd36u

Downloadable as pDF file from:


http://tinyurl.com/ctnv2m6

24

With a food import bill in excess of


3.4 billion, the Caribbean is the
least food secure region in the western
hemisphere. Sustainable Food Production
Practices in the Caribbean reveals how it
is possible to increase yields by more than
100% in many cases through the application of sustainable agricultural practices,
especially at the small-scale farmer level.
Although scientific and technological
aspects are discussed, the contributing
authors use their accumulated research and
field experience to focus on tested, simple
production systems and practices that sustain soil fertility, ecosystems and people.
They provide practical guides on sustainable tree crop production, crop protection,
aquaculture practices, greenhouse vegetable production, how to manage difficult
soils, and appropriate post-harvest activities. In so doing, they consistently advocate
crop and livestock production techniques
that require an agro-ecological approach,
aimed at reducing the use of water, chemicals and pesticides and the preservation of
the regions soils.

| SpoRE 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

TO OBTAIN
PUBLICATIONS
publications marked @
may be downloaded from the
following website:
http://publications.cta.int
Titles marked with the logo
can be obtained as follows:

If you are a subscriber to


CTA publications:
Use one of these options.
If you have an account with
http://publications.cta.int, go
on-line and select your books
depending on the credit points
you have, then click on Add to
shopping cart and proceed to
checkout.
If you do not have Internet
access, you can continue using
the order form supplied by CTA.
If you are an ACP organisation
involved in agriculture but are
not yet a subscriber to CTA
publications, you can:
Request a subscription online at
http://publications.cta.int, by email
to pdsorders@cta.int or by mail
to CTA - pDS, po Box 173, 6700
AD Wageningen, the Netherlands.
organisations that subscribe in
2013 will receive 200 credits
points. Those already subscribed
will receive 200 credit points
plus half of the amount of credit
points spent in 2012, i.e. a
maximum of 400 credit points.

If you are not an ACP


organisation involved
in agriculture:
you can either buy the
publications from the publisher
or in a book shop. Alternatively
you can download certain
titles on the website http://
publications.cta.int.
More than half of our publications
are downloadable free of charge.
Titles marked with the symbol
can be purchased from
the publishers cited or
from bookstores.

GET ON BOARD
www.cta.int

www.sxc.hu

Crucial knowledge

5 questions for

CTA helps its partner organisations to better analyse and organise


their knowledge management internally and in their interactions
with other institutions. This improved management should
ultimately enable these organisations to streamline their information
and communication management (continued on page 26).

SAMUEL MIKENGA

CTA

Media Programme Coordinator


A graduate in forestry and
science communication
(Imperial College of Science,
Technology and Medicine,
UK), with a diploma in media/
public relations (UK), Samuel
has a wide range of experience
working with a number of
international science-based
non-profit organisations
including WWF.

In the new strategic plan, CTA will engage


the media to raise awareness about
agricultural and rural development (ARD)
issues and facilitate value chains and ARD
policy processes and dialogues. A media
policy is therefore essential to guide the way
staff interact with the media and handle
media-related activities.

Key dates
1988 Learn Apple Macintosh
computer and internet skills
2000 Graduate from Imperial
College (London), celebrate
millennium and visit Deep
Sea World in Scotland
2001 First visit to Asia: Japan,
Thailand and Vietnam
2003 Work with WWF International
2008 Eat the best tasty organic
food (in Ghana)
2013 Participate in leadership
and management course
at HEC, Paris, France

Why is it important for CTA


to have a media policy?

What are its main thrusts?

The media policy provides guidelines


on (i) media coverage of special events
organised or co-organised by CTA, which
include: writing media releases and
advisories, organising media appearances at
key events, monitoring press coverage and
procurement of media services; (ii) media
relations activities such as proactive and
streamlined media engagement or crisis and
risk management. In such guidelines, roles,
languages, tone of voice, target audiences
and contacts are spelt out.

What is the relationship


between the media and
agriculture in ACP countries?

Research shows that despite the fact that


agriculture contributes greatly to GDP in
developing countries media coverage of
agriculture is low compared to trivia and
politics. There are few journalists interested
in reporting on agriculture and when they

do, it is mostly negative stories. This is a


worrying trend as media creates awareness,
informs ARD debates, challenges the status
quo, and shapes opinions and agenda.

How can the situation


be improved?

We need revolutionary approaches to bridge


communication gaps between agriculture
and media, and change attitudes, especially
of the youth and media workers, towards
agriculture. Media owners, publishers and
editors should be brought on board as they
determine publishing/broadcasting policies.
We should also harness the potential
of science media groups to support the
reporting drive.

What role can CTA play?

CTA has already championed an


award-winning initiative that puts
media workers at the centre of any media
interventions aimed at promoting ARD. It
has teamed up with partners to conduct
media research studies in ACP countries.
The Centre has developed demand-led
capacities of media workers and facilitated
their engagement in key ARD policy
processes and dialogues. CTA is also training
its staff to enable them to confidently
interact with the media, and strengthen
capacities of key partners to work with the
media and/or develop communication and
advocacy strategies.
FEBRUARY-MARCH 2013 | Spore 162 |

25

get on board
Crucial knowledge
(continued from page 25) Sending information to the right people at the right time
so that they will have access to key information for making the necessary decisions
is vital. This requires effective knowledge
management at the institutional level.
How does this management work?
Michel Sergheeraert offers a clear definition. Knowledge management, is a set of
initiatives, techniques and methods that
enable the collection, identification, analysis, organisation, storage and sharing of
information between organisation members, especially knowledge created by the
organisation itself (in its marketing and

SMS
CTA is organising a
conference on ICTs in
agriculture to be held in
November 2013. More news in

R&D activities) or acquired externally (via


economic intelligence) for the purpose of
meeting a specific goal.
Knowledge management is a priority
theme in CTAs Strategic Plan. This is why
the Centre has recently organised extensive consultations with some of its partner
organisations. These consultations have led
to the development of an action plan for
knowledge management assessment within
and between institutions/organisations and
drawing up of a common questionnaire that
could be tailored to the needs of each organisation. Each institution will therefore conduct an in-house investigation to determine

DEPARTURE

Our colleague Julia Nijhof


moves on
Passing on a little helpful advice can
change the course of your career. Julia Nijhof
was called upon 28 years ago, while working
for the International Centre for Development

upcoming issues.
CTAs Policy Brief no. 8
on small island economies
and no. 9 on promoting
climate-smart agriculture
have been published. Check
them out at www.cta.int.
CTA is launching a new
book collection:
Farm-to-market in order
to promote the inclusion

26

| Spore 162 | FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013

CTA

of smallholders in value
chains.

how it manages knowledge and plans interventions with the aim of improving this
management internally and in its interactions with other institutions and organisations. The institutions can in turn develop
documented knowledge management strategies with the help of specialised consultants. CTA intends to facilitate all processes
that will pave the way to successful project
completion during the development of different knowledge management strategies.
Decisions made by these institutions will
thus be more hard-hitting.
Does this topic interest you? Contact
Krishan Bheenick (bheenick@cta.int).

Oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA), to


give some tips to the first secretary of CTA
to help this new organisation get on its feet.
She had been involved at ICRA from the
early days and was recognised for her practical approach. As her conversation with the
secretary was coming to an end, as an idle
comment, Julia mentioned that if she had
the opportunity again to work for a company starting up she would grab it. A couple
of weeks later she received a call from Dr.
Werner Treitz asking her to attend an interview for CTA, and the rest is history!
Describing those early years as the most
challenging and rewarding of her career,
Julia reflects with pride at how she was
there from the very beginning and helped
to establish CTA.
She has witnessed much in 28 years. As
the seventh member of staff to be hired, she
has seen five directors and dozens of colleagues join CTA. The 20th Anniversary celebrations stand out for her as a milestone
because, it was on this occasion, with former
colleagues, partners and other dignitaries
from all over the world gathered, that she
fully understood the impact CTA and its
work has had.
While she is now looking forward to more
quality time with friends and family, she
acknowledges that she will miss CTA and the
unique experience of being among so many
diverse nationalities. We wish her all the best
for whatever her future might bring.

M@il Box
Supporting
farmers

After reading the article on the onion sector


in Spore 159, N. Clestin Koudougou
commented that, Different
research studies on African
development have
confirmed that
agriculture has the
potential to pull the
continent out of its
infamous underdeveloped
situation. Agriculture could
be a bulwark to foster the
emergence of African peoples. There are,
however, still huge obstacles that stand
firmly in the way of its development. The
article onions: a ourishing market clearly
illustrates this situation. Besides the lack
of trade ow for onions and the dearth
of outlets, other bottlenecks such as the
lack of organisation amongst producers, of
involvement of public authorities
and of adequate equipment for
production, etc., should also
be kept in mind. All efforts
should focus on maximising
the chances of successful
agricultural development
because our development
is dependent on it.

Organic chocolate
Kouassi Sylvain Konan reacted
to a report he read in issue 160 on a
cooperative that produces organic
chocolate in Grenada. I would like
to congratulate the editors of your
magazine for the Field report from
Grenada published in Spore 160
which highlights the extent of
healthy chocolate production
by an environment-friendly
company (Grenada Chocolate
Company). It is hoped that such
initiatives will now be taken by many
other companies attentive to sustainable
environmental management and that
they will be encouraged by rewards like
the medal awarded by the Academy of
Chocolate. Stakeholder companies in
Cte dIvoire (the first country for cocoa
production and export) should follow
this example, even though some of them
have already opted to produce cocoa in a
sustainable manner. Note that it is possible
for organic cocoa to be produced in Cte
dIvoire since all the necessary
human and technical resources
are available. This option could
encourage young people to
become growers, thus revitalising
cocoa production, which is currently
being managed by an ageing
population.

GET ON BOARD
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Serious
disadvantages

Idenge Malebo Adolphe reacted


to olivier De Schutters opinion on
food reported in issue 158, Mr De
Schutter points out that governments
can take action at the local level by
guaranteeing prices to producers and offering
subsidies to consumers. He gives examples
in China and India, where governments have
launched schemes to stockpile foodstuffs so
as to bolster producer revenues while releasing
these stocks when the need arises. This article
really struck us because we, in Kamanyola

(South Kivu), have a serious


problem regarding markets for
selling our harvested produce.
We have developed synergy
between 18 cooperative
maize farmers and benefit
from a storage depot for
our harvested produce. Marketing is
the main chronic problem. Here, buyers and
consumers set and impose purchase prices and
conditions to their own benefit. Farmers who
do not know where to market their produce
stay poor all their lives, even though they
continue working in their fields year-round.
The scarcity of rainfall and prevalence of bush
fires are another problem.

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FEBRUARy-MARCH 2013 | SpoRE 162 |

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