Newsletter A+FS and e+i|EPS / June 2020

​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!

Photo: World Bank / Sambrian Mbaabu

This food market in Kenya is open, but with social distancing and hygiene rules in place (Photo: World Bank / Sambrian Mbaabu, April 2020). Food systems around the world are affected in many ways by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and government measures to contain it.

From 4 to 26 May 2020 the SDC Agriculture & Food Security Network has organized a 3 weeks e-discussion followed by a concluding webinar on governance in City Region Food Systems under the current COVID-19 reality. The discussion did not only give a good overview of what is happening on the ground. It also provided pathways for action to overcome this crisis.

The main take-aways, the summaries of the e-discussions as well as the slides and recordings of the webinars are now available in three languages:

Outcomes of E-Discussion
Conclusion de la discussion en ligne
Resultados de la discusión electrónica

Listen to what Marie Rachèle Léxidort, NPO at the Swiss Embassy in Haïti, has to say about the e-discussion and the webinar. (Interview in French, with English or Spanish subtitles)

 en français | English subtitles​                         en français | subtitulos en español

NOTE for EDA staff: As Youtube is currently blocked you can download the video from SDC's video platform Interlake (takes some time to load): with English subtitles | con subtitulos en español or just scan the above QR-code with your mobile.

Members' Articles | Your comments join the network!

CORIGAP project reaches over 700,000 farmers across Asia 

[by Reianne Quilloy] “Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprints” (CORIGAP), an SDC-funded IRRI project supports farmers in six countries - China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The key approach is adaptive research with farmer groups through close collaboration with national partners … [read more]

Keur Yakaar offre une formation en hôtellerie-restauration durable​​

[Par Francesca Bove et Isabelle Lejeune] Elargir les horizons des futurs professionnels et enrichir leurs pratiques durables : c'est l'ambition de l'enseignement offert par le Centre Keur Yakaar au Sénégal. Leur formation en hôtellerie-restauration accorde une large place aux questions d'écologie et biodiversité … [en savoir plus] [summary in English

Better storage technology improves farmers’ security and income

[by Tamiru Legesse, FAO Ethiopia] "The loss happening during storage is painful for us taking into consideration the money and labor invested in agricultural production" sais Amarech Heliso, a female farmer in Southern Ethiopia. With the support of SDC the FAO assists farmers in Ethiopia to adopt improved technologies to reduce postharvest losses of grain. The use of locally produced metal silos is one successful measure … [read more] ​

CHAIN supports hortic​ultural market actors in Cambodia​

[by Marieke Van Schie and Hem Sovannarith] The SDC mandated CHAIN project improves the situation of Cambodian smallholders with interventions along the value chain: The farmers receive support with horticultural techniques. Local input retailers get training in business development, and they are better linked to farmers and to nationwide input suppliers. On the demand side, CHAIN stimulates interest in and access to local produce … [read more]​

News | Your comments join the network!

COVID-19 Stories from the Field: Securing Value Chains in Malawi 

The GFRAS and YPARD recently launched, with IFAD support, a call for stories asking for local solutions that enable the agricultural sector to operate under the current partial or full lock-down of societies. Here is an example, from a young livestock farmer in Malawi who adapted his business activities to the COVID-19 situation … [read more

Mozambique is hit hard by the current health crisis because it depends on exports of raw materials, tourism and remittances. While adapting its activities to the new situation, the Program Food Security through Climate Adaptation and Resilience (FAR) adheres to a systemic approach to food security… [read more]

This comprehensive report describes the scale of acute hunger in the world. It provides an analysis of the drivers that are contributing to food crises across the globe and examines how the COVID-19 pandemic might contribute to their perpetuation or deterioration. The report is produced by the Global Network against Food Crises, an international alliance working to address the root causes of extreme hunger. [read more​]

This policy brief, based on research carried out by CETRAD in Kenya and the University of Bern in the context of an r4d project, calls for a phasing out of “highly hazardous” pesticides. Double standards for the regulation of these substances, which are harmful to farmers and the environment, should be eliminated. Training and incentives for pesticide-free farming should be promoted, such as use of push–pull technology for crop protection. [read more​]

Events | Your comments join the network!

Online event on how agripreneurs are responding to COVID-19

On 18 June 2020, 16.00-17.00 CET, Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation Director Laura Harwig will discuss with three female agricultural entrepreneurs on their experiences adapting to the pandemic and what it means for the future of their respective businesses. [read more]

4th International Conference on Global Food Security

The 4th International Conference on Global Food Security addresses the topic of food security at all spatial levels from local to global, and from an interdisciplinary and systemic food systems perspective. The Conference will be held 6-9 December 2020 in Montpellier, France. – Early registration deadline is 1st September [read more] ​

Who is who | Your comments join the network!

Lou Curchod

Academic Intern in SDC’s Global Programme Food Security and Global Programme Health​

What do you love about your work, what is special about it?

I am very excited to be part of two Global Programmes at SDC and to have insights into the work done by the Swiss Cooperation Agency in those two highly interesting and important subjects. Being in charge of fostering exchange between the members of the A+FS Network through the Shareweb and the newsletter allows me to be in contact with people from different countries with different backgrounds which I find particularly enriching.

What is your favourite place in the region you work in and why?

The Alps! I think that spending times in the mountains is the most inspiring activity and that you can learn a lot by walking in the nature.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from your work?

I think that communication between the different members of the network represents a real opportunity to connect people and to pass lessons learnt in a specific project to other projects in other parts of the world. The motivation of members to share and connect is the most important driver of enriched and fruitful exchanges. We are therefore depending on your contributions to increase the impact of our common learning!  

Lou Curchod recently graduated from ETH Zurich with a master’s in environmental sciences focused on “Human Health, Nutrition and Environment”. Specifically interested on the effect that the environment can have on human health, Lou has been working in research projects about the impacts of pesticides on health in South Africa. She thinks that current conventional farming practices have no future and is therefore very interested in alternative, innovative and sustainable farming practices. Besides her job, she is volunteering in a small-scale gardening association aiming to produce and deliver seasonal, organic and carbon-emissions-free vegetables in Lausanne.

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