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Spirit Newsletter nº24 / November 2017

Dear Spirit Forum member,

Last month we launched new documents in the resources section of the Spirit portal. Especially, the booklet Cooperation Across Continents: Success stories from the ERAfrica Partnership which highlights the projects funded from ERAfrica and conducted in the spirit of the EU-Africa partnership in science, technology, and innovation.

Moreover, the Nyeri County Government will build a Sh6 million store in Kieni as it seeks to cushion Kenyan potato and onion farmers against post-harvest losses. The store will provide an information centre and proper storage areas, which will prolong the shelf life of the harvest by four to six months and maintain consistence in quality.

New topics were added to our LinkedIn group this month. Check out and join at East Africa Potato Value Chain!

Next 3rd -6th December, the Third International Conference on Global Food Security will be held in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference aims to deliver critical analysis and innovative science that address the biggest threat ever faced by mankind.

Kind regards,

The Spirit Project Coordination Group


Cooperation Across Continents: Success stories from the ERAfrica Partnership
November 2 2017 by INKOA

The ERAfrica project, funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, was the first to bring together research funders from Africa and Europe to jointly design and launch instruments, regulations, and procedures for funding collaborative, bi-regional research projects. With a total of 8.29 million euros granted, ERAfrica funded 17 bi-regional projects with 65 institutions (31 Africa, 34 European) from 18 countries (8 African, 10 European).

RINEA has published a booklet highlighting the projects funded from ERAfrica. Although not all of the projects have finished their work, each has been conducted in the spirit of the EU-Africa partnership in science, technology, and innovation and shows the commitment of African and European countries to contribute to finding solutions to challenges that affect both regions.

Integrated farming system for sustainable hill agriculture: an option for Climate Smart Agriculture and natural resources management
November 9 2017 by INKOA

Sustainable development on our planet cannot be achieved without a major contribution from agriculture. People must be fed, and agriculture has to face the challenge of producing sufficient food for a rapidly growing world population whilst maintaining the world’s fragile resources. Modern farming systems have evolved to meet this need in a way that combines the essential requirements of profitability and productivity. Sustainable development must encompass food production alongside conservation of finite resources and protection of the natural environment so that the needs of people living today can be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Economic and ecological access to food could be only ensured by adopting farming system approach consisting of change from commodity-based to resource-based planning and integrated use and management of land, water and human resources to maximize income and employment. The primary goals of farming system is to maximize the yield of all component to provide study and stable income at higher level, rejuvenation of systems productivity and achieve agro-ecological equilibrium. Biotech stress management through natural cropping systems management and reducing the use of fertilizers and other harmful agrochemicals to provide pollution free, healthy produce and environment to the society. The Training Manual on "Integrated Farming System for Sustainable Hill Agriculture : An Option for Climate Smart Agriculture and Natural Resource Management" deals with various aspects of integrated farming system in a holistic way.

Potential of golden potatoes to improve vitamin A and vitamin E status in developing countries
November 9 2017 by INKOA

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is the third most widely consumed plant food by humans. Its tubers are rich in starch and vitamin C, but have low or null levels of essential nutrients such as provitamin A and vitamin E. Transformation of potato with a bacterial mini-pathway for β-carotene in a tuber-specific manner results in a “golden” potato (GP) tuber phenotype resulting from accumulation of provitamin A carotenoids (α- and β-carotene) and xanthophylls. Here, it is investigated the bioaccessibility of carotenoids and vitamin E as α-tocopherol (αTC) in boiled wild type and golden tubers using in vitro digestion.

View all resources



New app diagnoses crop diseases and notifies farmers

October 13 2017

A team of scientists has developed a mobile phone application which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to accurately identify crop diseases in the field. The app also delivers the latest advice to manage all major diseases and pests that affect root, tuber and banana crops, and helps farmers identify the nearest agricultural extension support for the farmers. The project which is being implemented by a global network of scientists is part of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research’s (CGIAR) research programme on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB).

Rwandan farmers welcome new deal to boost potato production

October 20 2017

The newly signed deal between the International Potato Centre (CIP) and BlackPace Africa Group to advance potato production in Africa, including Rwanda, is a timely intervention that will help improve production, farmers have said. Commenting on the agreement that was signed last week, Jean Damascene Ntawushobora, the president of Irish Potato Farmers’ Union (IABINYA) in Nyabihu District, said farmers still need high yield varieties that are suitable for the different soil types across the country. “We are planting Irish potato varieties developed by former Agricultural Research Centre while others are imported from neighbouring countries such as Uganda and DR Congo. Therefore, any research and initiatives that focus on improving potato varieties is welcome,” he told The New Times in a telephone interview on Monday.

The African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative to grow Africa’s food security

November 6 2017

A new African Development Bank (AfDB) initiative aims to lift African farmers out of poverty and ensure continental food security by 2025. The African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative will use proven technology and new research to scale up agriculture on the continent.

View all news

Science Forum South Africa

From 07/12/2017 to 08/12/2017 — The CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa

The Science Forum South Africa 2017 will take place during 7 – 8 December at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.

Registration is open and will close on 5 December 2017.

The AHDB Agronomists’ Conference 2017

From 05/12/2017 to 06/12/2017 — Peterborough Arena, East of England Showground

The AHDB Agronomists’ Conference is a two-day technical conference covering the latest research developments to help agronomists stay ahead of the game.

The conference is designed to make people think a little differently about agronomy. Across the two days, around 300 delegates – predominantly agronomists, advisers and BASIS-qualified growers – gather to hear respected researchers present evidence-based papers.

The first day has an emphasis on potatoes and the second day has an emphasis on cereals and oilseeds. Both days, however, include cross-sector papers.

Third International Conference on Global Food Security

From 03/12/2017 to 06/12/2017 — Cape Town, South Africa

Global food security will require a holistic approach to address socio-political, natural, health, agricultural and food sciences to feed the 9 billion people. The food security challenge will must address the triple burden of malnutrition – undernutrition, obesity and micronutrient deficiencies.

The Third International Conference on Global Food Security therefore aims to deliver critical analysis and innovative science that address the biggest threat ever faced by mankind.

View all events

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The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the consortium and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

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