Newsletter A+FS and e+i|EPS / December 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!

"C'est le vécu qui est le plus important à partager"
(The experience is the most imporant to share)


Recently, a peer coaching took place between José Luis Pereira, a national program officer (NPO) from Bolivia, and Alex Salihou, an NPO in Benin. In our June Newsletter, José Luis talked about his experience as a coach. Now Alex tells us about his thoughts on the coaching.
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 Alex Salihou, NPO in Benin.

Members' Articles | Your comments join the network!

What members think of the A&FS Network

[by the focal point team] “Exchanges and documents in relation to the learning journey rural urban linkages have deepened my insights in challenges, potentials and ways to conceive support …” This is one statement from the annual monitoring survey of the A&FS Network. The survey suggests that the average participant is satisfied with the network. While members do benefit, the level of active participation is still quite low … [read more: English | French | Spanish]

Horticulture project improves life of Cambodian farmers

[by SDC CHAIN Project Cambodia] Mrs Sun Heak was able to work her way up and become a commercial farmer within the two short years she has been part of CHAIN. She is one of over 7400 farmers involved in this project that aims to improve income and nutrition of rural households through safe horticulture production and trade … [read more

Postharvest loss reduction in Africa – Lessons learnt

[by Mélanie Surchat & Addis Teshome] Around 14 % of the grain produced across Sub-Saharan Africa is lost after harvest. Since 2008 SDC has been funding programs to reduce such losses. A recent capitalization workshop has shown: Available storage technologies can only be spread successfully with a market-based approach, with massive information campaigns and by institutionalizing postharvest loss reduction at government levels … [read more]

Why we need Agroecology for human and planetary health

[by Mélanie Surchat] Hunger is on the rise. And yet many countries experience a transition from under-nutrition to obesity. Agroecology and sustainable food systems are highlighted as key to reach sustainable diets and therefore healthy people. The link between the agricultural and health sector have recently been expressed by a joint publication of FAO and WHO. More recent findings are reported from the 46th Committee for World Food Security… [read more]

News | Your comments

 Launch of the R4D knowledge - platform

The joint SDC-SNSF Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d programme) launched its new Knowledge for Development platform. All published content emerges from evidence – based research of r4d projects and is targeted to interested public and professionals in the field of development cooperation. The platform will be growing constantly, as new outputs are published... [read more]

Joining forces to enhance water productivity

Agriculture uses 70% of the world's water. With climate change and a growing world population we are threatened to face water and food shortages. The innovative "push-pull-policy" approach interlinks all stalkeholders and thereby enhances water productivity. The approach brings benefits to farmers, private sector and governements… [read more]

Scaling Up Nutrition – main results from global gathering

61 countries are part of the scaling up nutrition (SUN) movement with the goal to end malnutrition in all its forms. In the global gathering of 2019 many members reported of a successful reduction of stunted children under the age of 5 by at least 40%.On the contrary no SUN-country is likely to reach the goal of reducing anemia in women of reproductive age. More results of the gathering are summarized in the report… [read more]


Events | Your commentsjoin the network!

F2F "Transformation of Food Systems" - Save the date

The Agriculture and Food Security Network is organizing a 4-days Face to Face event all around the topic of sustainable food system transformation. It takes place from 31 August to 3 September 2020 in Switzerland. Don't miss this excellent opportunity to learn and network! [read more]

The role of plant health in sustainable food production

BFH-HAFL organizes this symposium on 23 January 2020 in the context of the International Year of Plant Health. The event looks at plant health in a broad sense – touching on agronomic, economic and ecological aspects. It aims to bring together interested people from all sectors to learn, network and exchange experiences and views on the topic [read more]

Who is who | Your comments join the network!

Abdikarim Aden

Hans Ramm

Senior Policy Advisor – Agricultural Finance & Responsible Investments

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

It is rewarding for me to contribute a little bit towards facilitating systemic and responsible agricultural/rural and financial market development that helps empowering smallholders and rural poor to escape poverty and enhance their resilience. I love to learn about innovative approaches of local people, social entrepreneurs, and impact investors in overcoming the multiple challenges and risks faced.

Who is your personal hero?

Maybe Prof. Yunus who demonstrated that social problems can be best solved through a market approach with high social commitment, but also the many women who fight hard in building their micro businesses to help secure the livelihood of their families and invest in the education of their children.

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

We can achieve the Agenda 2030 only, if we work effectively with the private sector to facilitate systemic changes towards more inclusive market development that work for the benefit of our target groups (“Making Markets Work for the Poor”). The still pre-dominant, but highly ineffective top-down project approach needs to be abandoned, including the ‘classical’ project cycle management tools, like log-frame from the 1960’s. It is a costly illusion that we can plan of what should happen in 3-4 years.

Hans studied economics and political science and did the post-graduate course in development cooperation at the German Institute of Development. He worked first for the United Nations in socio-economic development planning & management before managing financial inclusion programmes, mainly in Asia and Central Europe, as freelance consultant for 12 years. He headed the Finance-Enterprise-Market division of Intercooperation before joining SDC as focal point for responsible financial inclusion in 2008. He just joined the Global Programme Food Security (GPFS) for the clusters of "Responsible Agricultural Investments" and "Agricultural Safety Nets".

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