Researchers in ACP countries are facing a growing range of challenges. They are required to respond effectively to the demands of policy makers, private sector investors and donor agencies, farmers and other stakeholders in the agri-food chain. They are being asked to deliver research outputs that will improve agricultural productivity, food quality and food safety, in order to increase their countries competitiveness in global markets, and contribute to food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable development. At the same time, researchers must be socially and ethically responsible and contribute to the advancement of science and technology. As the demands for accountability increase and the levels of funding diminish, researchers need to prioritize and strategize their responses.
ACP farming systems are very diverse and the scientific community must be able to provide adequate responses to meet the varied needs of small subsistence farmers who make up the majority of the ACP farming community while simultaneously addressing the needs of the medium to large-scale farming enterprises to compete on price, quality, responsiveness to changing consumer demands and reliability in supply in all markets. Therein lies the challenge as there is no one-size fits all approach that will enable researchers to respond to the needs of small scale farmers who are primarily concerned with sustainable livelihoods or medium to large-scale farms who wish to remain competitive and take advantage of any opportunities despite deteriorating environmental conditions and trade and economic restrictions. Within the last few years, the ACP region has seen a resurgence of emphasis on family farms which are being valued not only for their contribution to maintaining social order but to environmental sustainability. This dossier provides guidance and lessons learned on the need for the ACP region to apply a differentiated strategic approach for using science to enhance the performance of ACP agricultural sector.
The poultry value chain in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) countries involves both large-scale integrated enterprises and small-scale production systems. The former have benefited from capital investments, access to information and scientific research, whereas the latter remain isolated despite their significance. Family poultry comprises approximately 80% of the world's total poultry stock and plays a key role in many households in ACP countries for food and nutrition security, livelihoods and conservation of indigenous breeds. An analysis of the family poultry value chain, including its poor productivity and low financial and technical inputs, shows that it contrasts markedly with conditions in large-scale commercial poultry enterprises. Governments and researchers would be well advised to thoroughly review the family poultry value chains to identify priorities for science and innovation that can contribute to improved efficiency for the provision of eggs, live birds, fresh-chilled, frozen and other value-added poultry products. This summary is provided by CABI and CTA, July 2012.
The ACP Group of States need to adjust the approach to agricultural production, marketing and distribution to be able to compete in national, regional and international markets. Traditional commodities such as banana are no longer assured of guaranteed prices and ready access to international markets. How then should the ACP region respond? Commodities, traditionally considered as food security crops are now being looked at in a different light. Can scientists assist the countries in making informed decisions to improve efficiency, cost effectiveness, quality and competitiveness?
The ACP Group of States need to adjust the approach to agricultural production, marketing and distribution to be able to compete in national, regional and international markets. Traditional commodities such as coffee are no longer assured of guaranteed prices and ready access to international markets. How then should the ACP region respond? Commodities, traditionally considered as food security crops are now being looked at in a different light. Can scientists assist the countries in making informed decisions to improve efficiency, cost effectiveness, quality and competitiveness?
This dossier is intended as a guide to European S&T and ARD policies and programmes for the ACP community of scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders in the agricultural and related sectors and disciplines.
The adoption by the European Parliament of Written Declaration 45 on Science Capacity Building in Africa has given practical effect to a vibrant Africa-EU partnership by supporting stronger collaboration in radio astronomy projects. This collaboration will bring the importance of research, development and innovation into clearer focus and expand the relationship between African and Europe beyond the traditional emphasis on aid cooperation. (via AfricaBrains, 27/03/2012) 31/05/2012 Read more...
The SENSE project (Harmonised Environmental Sustainability in the European food and drink chain) brings together researchers, producers, transformers and distributors in order to achieve a harmonised, integral methodology that can be used to evaluate the environmental impact of food products accurately and efficiently. The project SENSE (7th FP) aims to contribute towards getting the food and drink sector to engage in more environmentally sustainable production, transformation and distribution of its products. The current situation presses the need to have tools that will help to reduce the environmental impact of food and drink throughout their production chain, starting with their production and transformation and going right up to their commercial distribution. The SENSE members will be focusing specifically on creating a methodology applied to the juice, dairy, meat and aquaculture sectors, chosen for their importance in the European market. (EurekAlert, 22/02/2012) 01/05/2012 Read more...
The initiative ALLEA (All European Academies) released April 2012 the Declaration ‘Open Science for the 21st century’ to acknowledge Open Access as part of the future of Open Science. The declaration describes the vision of Open Science in the 21st century and lists the requirements that need to be fulfilled to realise this vision:
Open Scientific Content arising from publicly funded research
Open e-Infrastructures for public and private research
Towards an Open Science Culture
It describes under the title ‘Making it happen’ how ALLEA and its member academies will advocate the adoption of Open Access and Open Science.(Via AIMS, 04/2012) 31/05/2012 Read more...