Knowledge for Development

CTA S&T Programme updates 2012

Communiqué "Safeguarding the ACP Food System through Science, Technology and Innovation” - 10th Meeting of the Advisory Committee

The report of the 10th meeting of ACP/EU think tank comprising senior level ACP and EU scientists, policymakers and other key stakeholders in the Commonwealth of Dominica from 9–13 October, 2011 is now available. The theme of the meeting was ‘Science and Technology for ACP Agricultural & Rural Development: Safeguarding the ACP Food System through Science, Technology and Innovation’. The Advisory Committee concluded that ACP countries face a daunting challenge regarding food and nutrition security and climate change and need to act urgently by adopting systematic, focused and evidence-based approaches in partnership with strategic allies (north-south and south-south). The opportunity for the private sector to fund research also needs to be tapped. The AC agreed that, there is clear evidence that research and development are central to agricultural reform and modernization and for increased national funding to support public sector research and for leveraging the best in international scientific cooperation. There is also the critical issue of data and information gaps to support development of evidence-based approaches to inform policy and action: e.g. points along the value chain where post harvest losses occur; the different attributes of different commodities; and market intelligence and the use of foresight methods, to be applied. Analysing postharvest knowledge systems was considered a priority within the context of the ACP food system.Click to access earlier documents and key notes related to the 10th meeting.


Launch of the 2012 - 2013 Africa-wide Women and Young Professionals in Science competitions

//**// UPDATE May 15th, 2012: the deadline has been extended to June 4th, 2012. More information here. //**//Call for Abstracts: ´Feeding 1 billion in Africa in a changing world´. Deadline: 14 May 2012.The CTA/ FARA/IFS/ ANAFE/ RUFORUM consortium, in collaboration with AGRA and NPCA, is pleased to announce the launch of its 2012-2013 Africa-wide women and young professionals in science competitions. With a population of approximately 1.03 billion in 2011, and a growth rate of 24 million per annum, Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050. The continent needs to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner as well as find endogenous solutions to respond to the challenges. Africa’s investment in science and innovation remains low; and only one African university is listed among the top 500 in the world. Women are under-represented in all areas of policy, education and research and many of Africa’s youthful population; 70% aged 30 or younger, do not see a future in agriculture or science. The continent faces a knowledge and skills gap as ageing scientists and academicians retire. The 2012-2013 Africa-wide competitions will evaluate, recognize and reward the contributions of women and young professionals who are involved in: (i) Pioneering and innovative research; (ii) Communicating their research results and technological developments; and (iii) Advocating for policy change as well as influencing policy processes through their research. They will also raise awareness of the need for valuing and sustaining the engagement of women and young professionals and facilitating their contribution to Africa’s socio-economic transformation.Get the Women in Science competition announcement here (updated as of May 15th, 2012): English version française the Young Professional in Science competition announcement here (updated as of May 15th, 2012)English version française the related concept note here:English Version française


Communiqué from the CAADP sensitization conference for French-speaking African universities and agricultural higher education institutions

In November 2011, CTA, in collaboration with ANAFE and several partners, hosted a CAADP sensitization conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso for rectors and senior-level officials from French-speaking tertiary agricultural education institutes in Africa. The objectives of the workshop were to: (i) Sensitize leaders of universities and other agricultural higher education institutions and their partners to the CAADP and its processes (ii) Improve the involvement of African universities and agricultural higher education institutions; (iii) Develop a regional action plan to reinforce the involvement of universities and other African agricultural higher education institutions into the CAADP processes; (iv) Define the accompanying measures to increase the involvement of universities and other French-speaking agricultural higher education institutions. A number of papers including a draft CTA/WUR methodology for engaging universities in CAADP were presented, debated and discussed, and propositions were made. The following were achieved: (i) An increased awareness of the objectives, the constraints and the expected outputs of the CAADP; (ii) A better understanding of the role of universities and other agricultural higher education institutions in cooperation with their supervisory ministries and those in charge of agriculture; (iii) Increased willingness to be involved in the attainment of the CAADP objectives.


Caribbean Young Professionals in Science and Agriculture Video Competition

The winning video of the CTA/CCST/CARDI/UWI film and video competition, ´Bee wise´ by Vincent Lewis, was a compelling docudrama about using scientific evidence to influence national policy on agro-biodiversity. This presentation demonstrates the potential for engaging with young professionals in getting the message across on complex science and policy issues. The video can be viewed at


Report of the 2009 Pacific Regional Universities Workshop ´Science for impact - Building critical mass´

CTA has released the report of the 2009 CTA/UNRE/USP regional workshop which aimed to contribute to the building of a cadre of scientists well connected to other stakeholders and able to advance teaching, research and innovation processes for sustainable economic development through agriculture and the utilization of renewable natural resources. The workshop provided an opportunity for Pacific universities to network and created greater awareness on the critical role that research, innovation and entrepreneurship can play in enhancing the contribution of knowledge for improving the performance of the agricultural sector and to sustainable socio-economic development.The main issues discussed included: (i) International and regional reports on status of agriculture, higher education, research and training and the role of knowledge, science, technology and innovation; (ii) Success stories and new programme initiatives such as the Vudal and USP experiences that respond to the challenges and priority needs of the agricultural stakeholders in the region; (iii) New modalities for research and innovation partnerships, teaching and learning including the development of web-based techniques for learning, interaction and inter-institutional cooperation so that education is relevant to the changing needs of the 21st century; (iv) New funding mechanisms, modalities for achieving synergy and economies of scale. The report also carries links to presentations given during the workshop. These presentations can also be downloaded at


Nightmare 2020 - CTA/CCST/CARDI/UWI Caribbean agriculture and science film and video competition

Kevin Richard Bhall has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the West Indies. His winning film titled ´Nightmare 2020´ was done in the medium of hand-drawn animation, which he drew and co-written by Bhall and Aaron Ramsingh (both of whom are citizens of Trinidad and Tobago). The novel aspects of the film relates to an apocalyptic vision of Trinidad and Tobago. Based on global trends and predictions of the effects of global warming, the visuals of the film ´Nightmare 2020´ attempt to demonstrate a picture of Trinidad and Tobago if these effects continue unchecked. It is hoped to bring these global issues closer to home and to encourage people to actively choose to make proper informed decisions, regarding the development of their country on every scale. Their hope is that the film inspires people to be more aware of the local issues regarding climate change, so that they may choose to make contributions, in any and every way, to the fields of agriculture and science within the region.


Technological and institutional innovations triggered by a farmer-to-farmer rice parboiling video in Central Benin

The Training and Visit (T&V) system was the principal agricultural extension approach in Benin from 1985 to 1999. This approach was based on producing large amounts of purely technical advice, using standardised, detailed and rigorously monitored schedules of contact farmer visits and staff training sessions. T&V drew heavily on the adoption and diffusion of innovation. However, farmers were dissatisfied with these extension activities because their real needs were not taken into account, and there were calls for changes in the traditional public extension systems, which were seen as outdated, top-down, paternalistic, inflexible, bureaucratic and inefficient, and therefore less able to cope with the dynamic demands of modern agriculture.


Integration of farmers in technology developments as a basis for enhancing sweet potato productivity in Kenya

Sweet potato is a food security crop for smallholder farmers in Eastern Africa. Pest and disease constraints are the most important biotic stresses, with viral diseases being the most devastating. Through a focus-group discussion, it was established that lack of clean sweet potato planting vines is a major constraint in production. Consequently, most farmers establish a new crop from virus-infected volunteer plants or an old sweet potato crop.


Extended Deadline: Call for Abstracts “3rd Africa-wide Women and Young Professionals in Science Competitions“ – June 4th, 2012 Deadline

Please note the deadline for the Africa-wide Science Competitions has been extended: Submission of extended abstracts: June 4th, 2012 Announcement of semi-finalists: July 20th, 2012 Submission of full draft papers: August 20th, 2012 Scientific writing & Communication training workshop for semi-finalists: September 24-28th, 2012 Get the "Women in Science" competition announcement with the new deadlines here: the "Young Professionnals in Science" competition announcement with the new deadlines here: the original announcement with the concept note here.


Update on 3rd CTA/FARA/IFS/ANAFE/ RUFORUM/NEPAD/AGRA Africa-Wide Women and Young Professionals in Science Competitions

The 3rd edition Africa-Wide Women and Young Professionals in Science Competitions received an overwhelming number of abstracts which covered a cross section of thematic issues. A total of 316 extended abstracts were received for both competitions; 131 for the Women in Science Competition and 185 for the Young professionals in Science Competition respectively. A comprehensive break down by competition, country, sub-region, gender, top countries and language of the extended abstracts received can be downloaded below (PDF).


Call for Tender and Terms of Reference – Limited Market Consultation – Smallholder Dairy Consultancy: Deadline 27 July, 2012

CTA is seeking a consultant or consultants for undertaking a project which is divided into two lots. Lot A, focuses on the Opportunities to improve the reproductive performance of smallholder dairy cows in Africa. The primary objective of the project is to undertake a detailed literature review of established practice to assess opportunities to improve the reproductive performance of smallholder dairy cows in the context of sub-Saharan Africa and propose technical options on the feasibility of artificial insemination for development of the smallholder dairy sector. Lot B focuses on the Technical and Economic Evaluation of Oestrus synchronization in Ethiopia. The primary objective of the project is to undertake a field assignment of not more than two weeks to assess the technical and economic feasibility of oestrus synchronization in smallholder dairy cows kept under Ethiopian conditions to provide guidance for policy and practice. The detailed Terms of Reference can be downloaded below.


Re-Launch: Call for Expressions of Interest -- Management of CTA's "Knowledge for Development" website

The deadline has now been extended to 19 October 2012.The CTA web portal "Knowledge for Development" seeks to put information on science, technology and innovation (ST&I) issues at the fingertips of ACP and EU scientists, policy makers and stakeholders and their international colleagues. It also provides them with a platform to publish lead opinions on critical issues as well as dialogue on relevant ST&I issues in support of agricultural and rural development.The website is fully operational and bilingual offering content in both English and French. It includes RSS feeds and new social media (Twitter, Facebook). K4D currently operates on the Ezpublish platform and will move to either a Wordpress or Joomla! Platform latest mid-2013. This call for expression of interest is to identify a shortlist of companies/organizations who will be invited to submit a full tender to provide services for Lot A - the content management or Lot B - the compilation of new folders.The migration to and (re)design in function of this new open source platform is not part of the current request for service, nor is the technical infrastructure or maintenance. Download the full details of the call below.


Register now for the 2012 international conference ‘Making the connection – value chains for transforming smallholder agriculture’

Registration is now open for the 2012 International conference ‘Making the connection – value chains for transforming smallholder agriculture.’ Bringing together a ‘Who’s Who’ of the private and public sector agricultural value chain world, this event is not to be missed. Join the impressive line-up of experts in Addis as we discuss how best to incorporate smallholders into value chains and help foster entrepreneurship. Don’t miss out! Avail of our special Early Bird Discount. Register before 31 July and save €100 on the conference price. For more information, visit


CTA - Supporting Dairy Sector Development

CTA recently identified a team of consultants to lead a project to review established practice and assess opportunities to improve the reproductive performance of smallholder dairy cows in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. This also includes a technical and economic feasibility of oestrus synchronization in smallholder dairy cows kept under Ethiopian conditions. The lead consultant, Dr Alastair Gavin Paterson, and his assistant Mr. Louis le Roex of Paterson Agri-Services, South Africa were chosen for the assignment. The project includes two lots (Lot A and Lot B).Lot A: Opportunities to improve the reproductive performance of smallholder dairy cows in Africa.Lot B: Technical and Economic Evaluation of Oestrus synchronization in Ethiopia.Professor Arthur Lishman, a top reproductive physiologist in South Africa is also an advisor to the consulting group. Given the extensive knowledge of the team on reproductive physiology and the realities of the dairy sector in Africa, CTA is confident that this project will contribute to improving the performance of smallholder dairy cows and the wider dairy industry in sub-Saharan Africa as well as provide lessons for policy and practice in the wider ACP region.Click the link below to read the original call


Update: Announcement of Semi-Finalists -- CTA/ FARA/ IFS/ ANAFE/ RUFORUM/ NEPAD/ AGRA 3rd Africa Wide Women and Young Professionals in Science Competitions

The Expert panel for the 3rd Africa wide science competitions has selected the semi-finalists from among the 316 abstracts received in response to the calls launched in May 2012. During the second Expert Panel meeting which took place at FARA Secretariat in Ghana from 12-14 July 2012; 55 abstracts (26 for Women and 29 for Young Professionals in Science) were chosen using the established criteria; logic (10%), content (20%), communication (20%), impact (20%), innovation (15%) and originality (15%). A complete list of all the semi-finalists, their research topics and country of origin can be downloaded. All semi-finalists and other unsuccessful entrants have been informed of the outcomes of the selection process. 


CTA/WUR Inception Workshop “Mainstreaming Tertiary Education in ACP ARD Policy Processes: Increasing Food Supply and Reducing Hunger”

Dates: 18-21 September  2012Venue: CTA Headquarters, Wageningen, The NetherlandsUPDATE NOVEMBER 2012:The workshop report has been published. Find it hereCTA and WUR in collaboration with ACP partner networks and organizations have chosen food security as the initial content domain to determine the extent of engagement of ACP tertiary education institutes in ARD policy processes. Firstly, this is one of the most pressing issues nationally, regionally and internationally and universities are currently looking for ways to (re)orient their education, research and community outreach towards addressing food security. Secondly, food security links to the core business of Wageningen University and its recently established Centre for Sustainable Development and Food Security. Thirdly, capacity development is seen as a key strategic intervention area and designing and piloting methodologies for learning lessons for enhancing the engagement of tertiary education institutes in ARD policy processes specifically CAADP and the major ARD policy instruments in the Caribbean and Pacific are deemed necessary by CTA.The objective of the inception workshop is to generate consensus, understanding and commitment with respect to the project’s ambitions and methods for mainstreaming tertiary education in ACP ARD policy processes with a focus on increasing food supply and reducing hunger.

Tuesday 18 September 2012 - Friday 21 September 2012

Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) in Africa Phase II - Practices, Programmes and Policies for Seed Entrepreneurship

The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), proposes to build upon the strengths of phase 1 of The Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) project which was carried out by a consortium led by the Centre for Development Innovation of Wageningen UR, the African Union Commission /African Seed and Biotechnology Programme, Plantum NL and, Self Help Africa (SHA) and support the engagement of African universities in Phase II of the project. The Objective of Phase II is to strengthen the development of a vibrant, commercial and pluralistic seed sector in Africa.  Specifically, the objective will be to (i) conduct a survey and assess practices of seed entrepreneurs at multiple scales; (ii) assess relevant programmes and policies; (iii) explore and document ways in which practices, programmes and policies can be strengthened in promoting seed entrepreneurship; (iv) enhance the capacity of seed sector professionals promoting seed entrepreneurship; (v) enhance the capacity of universities acting as facilitator and catalyst in increasing food security and promoting seed entrepreneurship.The project will operate in the following countries: Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. Instead of a linear approach, ISSD fosters pluralism in matching food seed security to private sector development. It embraces variations among seed systems and thereby facilitates seed programmes and policies becoming coherent with the practices of farmers and a diversity of entrepreneurs in the seed sector. At the end of the ISSD Project phase I in 2010/2011, results were confirmed during national multi-stakeholder workshops.  The main conclusions were the following: (i) The co-existence of multiple seed systems; (ii) Seed systems require targeted policies and programmes to enable their development; (iii) The seed sector in Africa faces common challenges in fine tuning roles and responsibilities of the public, private, NGO and civil sector; (iv) The transformation from Government and NGO distribution or relief seed provision to sustainable market-based systems. 


Key Messages - CTA/WUR ACP-EU Think Tank on S&T at GCARD 2 'Partnerships for research, capacity building, innovation and foresighting: Managing water for agriculture and food in ACP countries'

CTA in collaboration with WUR organised a side event on Partnerships for Research, Capacity building, Innovation and Foresighting: Managing Water for Agriculture and Food in ACP countries on 28 October 2012 at the GCARD 2 in Punta del Este.Click to download the concept note.Click to download the programme.  Read the summary and download the presentations here.


CTA launches case studies on ACP Postharvest Knowledge System

In September 2012, CTA commissioned four case studies on postharvest knowledge systems in Ghana, Sénégal and Trinidad and Tobago. The case studies are being led by lecturers/researchers attached to national universities and research organisations.Download the terms of reference at the bottom of this page.


CTA / UNESCO / USP / PNG / PACENet Pacific Islands Regional Universities Network and Science Policy Dialogue: Networking universities and defining a regional science policy framework

Dates: 5 - 7 November 2012 Venue: Fiji CTA, UNESCO, USP, UNPG and PACENet will host a three day workshop from 5-7 November entitled 'Pacific Islands Regional Universities Network and Science Policy Dialogue: Networking universities and defining a regional science policy framework'.Click to download the concept noteClick to download the programme