Newsletter A+FS and e+i|EPS / June 2019

The A+FS Network publishes its Newsletter together with the Employment and Income Network and the Competence Center for the Engagement with the Private Sector (EPS). Please select your area of interest: Agriculture and Food Security | Vocational Skills Development / Private Sector Development / Financial Sector Development / EPS

Feature | Your comments join the network!

Step out of your comfort zone! - Sort de ta zone de confort !

For this June newsletter, we highlight a recent peer coaching that took place between José Luis Pereira, a national program officer (NPO) from Bolivia, and Salihou Mamadou Alidou, an NPO in Benin.
Please take note that the Agriculture and Food Security Network encourages such exchanges by posting relevant requests of Swiss cooperation offices for peer exchanges on the Shareweb, because NPOs and thematic desks in headquarter are the thematic experts in the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation! Even though they face different country realities, some of the solutions or approaches chosen in one country may be adopted in a similar way elsewhere or adapted to another context.
To learn more about the value of peer coaching, watch this short video (French with English subtitles) where we interviewed José Luis Pereira, NPO in Bolivia. If you are in a hurry: here is the very short version.

Members' Articles | Your comments join the network!

Mali and Horn of Africa exchange on pastoralist livestock production

[by Abdikarim Daud from SCO Nairobi]
SDC offices in Mali, Kenya and Ethiopia have organized a learning exchange between officials of these countries. Abdikarim Daud’s (see who is who) short article highlights the key-findings of the give-and-take, including perspectives from research organizations, NPOs and local farmers. It even provides the reader with an anecdote of how Scotland’s tea rooms can be a market opportunity for small scale livestock business … [read more]

Simple machines of immense utility to women

Different machineries to improve the shea butter production. ©Fabian Biasio

[by Manuel Gautschi and Vérène Morisod from Caritas]
A simple machine, developed by local professionals, allowed women in the Sarh region in Chad to increase the production of shea butter six fold, while simultaneously reducing the total working hours by a factor of twenty. With rising demand for shea butter from cosmetic manufacturers, negotiations for the export to the European market are being conducted… [read more]

Policies to change the state of malnutrition

[by Liliane Ortega, our GPFS colleague in Rome]
Malnutrition in at least one of its forms affects every country in the world. While around 820 million people are undernourished, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight also present big challenges. Food systems and diets are a major contributor to this nutritional instability. Relevant changes within and across food systems are needed. The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is currently leading the policy process … [read more]

Greening largescale drylands at minimal cost

[by Kris Schürch from the Focal Point Team A+FS]
“Tony Rinaudo’s modest nature is heart-warming and encourages the notion that big developmental changes occur in small steps, through local stakeholders” concludes Kris Schürch in his review of the biography of Tony Rinaudo, who is amongst the winners of Sweden’s Right Livelihood Award. The agronomist revolutionized reforestation in Africa leading to the restoration of 7 million ha’s of land in Niger alone … [read more]

Improve income and nutrition through horticulture

[by SDC CHAIN Project Cambodia]
Rising concern for food safety, gives locally produced vegetable a competitive advantage over imported vegetable in Cambodia. The Cambodia Horticulture Advancing Income and Nutrition project (CHAIN), has supported farmers to exploit this opportunity through technical training, while putting a strong focus on increasing synergies between the public and the private sector. Local farmer Troy Chork, reports … [read more]


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Leave No One Behind in Agriculture and Food Security

Mr Bekele from Shelfo village in Ethiopa grows carrots for home use as well as for market production.  ©FAO/IFAD/WFP/Petterik Wiggers Recently, the SDC has published its new guidance on Leave No One Behind, recognizing that “eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.” We have worked on this A&FS guidance with the Poverty & Wellbeing Network and think that this working document is useful for you. Please send your suggestions for modifications … [read more]

Agroecology is climate smart – How can it be supported by advisory services?

On 14 May 2019, the Swiss Forum on Rural Advisory Services met at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (Frick, Switzerland). The main topic discussed was Climate Resilient Agriculture, with four presentations from different stakeholders. Presentations were followed by a reflection session on what agroecology exactly is and on what role the Rural Advisory Services should play to support agroecological food production … [read more]

A local chief’s alternative to microfinance institutions

“Community members can more easily borrow money from the group than they can from microfinance institutions” reports Lok Li Sung (deputy chief of a credit scheme in Cambodia). In search for a creative solution to stop the degradation of the forest and to improve the livelihood of his community, commune chief Keang Seng Ky pioneered in a community forestry credit scheme … [read more]


Events | Your comments join the network!

How to operationalize LNOB in practice

On Friday morning 5 July 2019, the Poverty & Wellbeing Network is organizing an event on the Leave No One Behind (LNOB) Approach. Two guest speakers, Ida McDonnell, Senior Analyst and Team Leader at OECD, and Thomas Gass, ambassador and Head of the South Cooperation Department at the SDC, will discuss how to operationalize leave no one behind in practice. If you are in Switzerland, you are cordially invited to attend … [read more]

Who is who | Your comments join the network!

Abdikarim Aden

Abdikarim Aden
Program officer – Food security, SDC – Horn of Africa
(Nairobi, Kenya)

What do you love about your work, what is special about it?
In the space of food security, I not only think through the challenges faced by pastoral and agro-pastoral communities, but also wear the lenses for identifying the simplest opportunities and capacities of such communities. I feel motivated when I see communities, some of them in fragile and conflicted affected areas engaged in reconstruction of their livelihoods, markets and institutions. Being part of a transformational agenda is what keeps me going!

If you retired tomorrow and wanted to start a different second career, what would it be?
A trainer/coach or a certified facilitator.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from your work?
Enabling programs to deliberately engage with local institutions and communities, provides a fundamental basis for developing pathways that can help us graduate them out of poverty. It is important to give the decision and ownership to the people we work for, in order to develop their longer-term capacities.

Abdikarim Aden has vast experience working with private and Non-governmental organizations in the Horn of Africa. He has a strong expertise in sustainable market systems development and has applied approaches such as making markets work for the poor (M4P) in in the areas of dryland food systems, water services, natural resource management and livestock economies. He was previously the head of a UKAID (DFID) funded livestock sector transformation program implemented by Kenya Markets Trust (KMT).

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