Outcome of the selection of the Dutch ARF call for proposals

Outcome of the selection of the Dutch ARF call for proposals

The Dutch WOTRO has awarded funding for ten Food & Business (F&B) research proposals . Five projects fall under the F&B Global Challenges Programme (GCP), the other five will receive funding from the F&B Applied Research Fund (ARF).

GCP-funded research projects aim to generate research-based advanced understanding of emerging key issues in food security and their impact on regional and local food security, and the role of private sector development. As a result of the first call for proposals, five research projects were awarded funding in April 2014. 3 projects are related to Africa

Zambian traditional fermented foodsPartners: Dr Sijmen Schoustra – Wageningen UR, Laboratory of Genetics (NL). Consortium partners: University of Zambia, Tropical Diseases Research Centre (Zambia), Heifer International (Zambia), CSK Food Enrichment (NL), Yoba-for-Life Foundation (NL) 
Research: Local fermented foods are nutritious and safe and are part of Zambian and African culture. Their potential to promote development is currently neglected. This project will optimise the entire value chain of these products from local (female) producers to consumers, resulting in better health and nutrition as well as increased income for local people.

Helping Poor Farmers Grow MoneyPartners: Prof. Erwin Bulte – Wageningen UR, Development Economics (NL). Consortium partners: Theobroma BV (NL), Njala University (Sierra Leone), Agroproduce Management Services (Sierra Leone)
Research: Commercially-driven investments in cash crop production aim to provide benefits in terms of both productivity and poverty alleviation, providing a win-win strategy for rural development. In this project, we examine the direct impacts in post-conflict Sierra Leone for farmers, their communities as well as the cocoa value chain.

Inclusive business-smallholder partnerships in Ghana and South AfricaPartners: Dr Mirjam Ros-Tonen – University of Amsterdam. Consortium partners: Institute of Social Science Research (NL), Royal Tropical Institute (NL), University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR, Ghana), Ghana Agricultural Associations Business & Information Centre (GAABIC, Ghana), Agricultural Research Council (ARC, South Africa), University of Limpopo (UL, South Africa)Research: Business-smallholder partnerships may enhance farmers’ innovation potential and food security. This research examines how partnerships can be better aligned with tree crop farmers’ livelihood trajectories and be made more inclusive, to contribute more effectively to food sovereignty (farmers’ access to food and autonomy over production and marketing) and sustainable landscapes.

ARF-funded research projects focus on innovations that are readily applicable and contribute to sustainable food security for the most vulnerable populations. The latest five awarded ARF research proposals are the result of the second round of the first call for proposals for the fund. They are added to the two projects that were awarded in the first round. The new ARF-projects will start in the next few months and will take up to three years. 

  • 15 projects were selected out of the 104 applications.
  • 13 projects are related to Africa

First ARF call, round 1

Building on Fertile Ground
Partners: Dr Geoff Andrews, ZOA Burundi. Consortium partners: Alterra Wageningen UR (NL), Centre for World Food Studies (NL) and Salvator Kaboneka University of Burundi
Research: Chemical fertilisers are not widely used in mountainous Burundi and advice given to small holder farmers is standardised. The researchers will identify the different farming areas, provide tailored advice on dosage, and test fertiliser recommendations with farmers so that the dosage is optimised. Results will be disseminated to farmers.

Cashew nuts for farmers’ income Uganda
Partners: Ms Hellen Ketty Acham Elungat, North East Chilli Producers Association LTD (Uganda). Consortium partners: National Forestry Resource Research Institute (Uganda), Away4Africa B.V. (NL), Agency for Sustainable Rural Transformation (Uganda)
Research: The introduction of cashew nut as cash crop for farmers in Uganda will contribute to increasing their income. The research aspect of this project aims to identify the critical success factors for adoption and socio economic impact of Good Agricultural Practices in the existing farming system.

First call, round 2

Farmer-led innovations to sustainable food production
Partners: Mr Gerard Hoogveld, ZOA Uganda. Consortium partners: College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of Makerere University (Uganda), Alterra / WUR (NL)
Research: Conservation farming practices initiated by individual farmers in Northern Uganda have the potential to prevent further nutrient depletion of the agricultural land. The most promising initiatives will be optimized and promoted further to achieve optimal soil fertility management and achieve a more sustainable farming system.

Mozambique: land, inclusive business & food security
Partners: Mr Amade Suca, ActionAid Mozambique. Consortium partners: Utrecht University/International Development Studies Group (NL), ActionAid Netherlands
Research: The project examines in two different rural settings how gender, land rights and business models impact on food security. Gaps between policy and practice are studied. Research outcomes will be translated into policy recommendations via knowledge platforms, and feed policy dialogue and changes.

More potatoes – Secure food in Burundi
Partners: Mr Pierre Nahayo, Confédération des Associations des Producteurs Agricoles pour le Dévelopmment (CAPAD, Burundi). Consortium partners: Institut de Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU), Innovative Technology Development for Rural Entrepreneurship Center (ITEC, Burundi) and Wageningen UR (NL)
Research: Potato in sub-Saharan countries is rapidly becoming a crop that substantially contributes to food security and well balanced diets. As ‘seed’, potato tubers are planted that need special care to make sure they are well sprouted and avoid diseases. Research, development and knowledge transfer involving growers are aimed at this.

Indigenous African Vegetable systems for better livelihoods
Partners: Ms Margaret Komen, Mace Foods (Kenya). Consorium partners: University of Eldoret (Kenya), The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture – RUFORUM (Uganda)
Research: Indigenous vegetables have unique production and nutritional characteristics that can solve a myriad of problems in sub-Saharan Africa. This project seeks to establish a robust Indigenous Vegetables value chain and incentive system that responds to the smallholder farmer conditions to increase production and access to the local, national and international markets.

First call, round 3

Solar Drying Technology for Smallholder Farmers in Ghana
Partners: Mr. Kwasi Etu-Bonde (Agribusiness & Rural Development Consultant), Sustenance Agro Ventures (Ghana). Consortium Partners: Eucharia Farms Ltd (Ghana), Ujuizi Laboratories (NL), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana)

Research:Low-cost entry solar drying technology is expected to catalyze small-scale processing of fruits which otherwise would have gone waste, thereby increasing smallholder farmers income and nutrition. This study will address questions relating to best suited designs for drying large volumes of fruits and develop technologies for remotely controlling processing parameters.

Improving agricultural productivity using organic waste
Partners: Ir. Richard Yeboah – MDF Training & Consultancy BV (The Netherlands and Ghana). Consortium partners: University of Ghana, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Ghana), Ga West Municipal Assemby (Ghana)

Research:Ga West municipality faces compounding issues in soil productivity, land degradation, livelihood loss, food security and waste management. This project will build infrastructure and organizational capacity of a youth-operated waste collection business and compost production to contribute to economic development, promotion of organic fertilizers utilization and municipal waste management.

Affordable protein fortified cereal products developed in Uganda
Partners: Dr. Gaston A. Tumuhimbise, Value Addition Institute, Uganda. Consortium partners: University of Wageningen (NL) and Nutrition Solutions (FONUS) Ltd, Uganda

Research: Most cereal fortification efforts to address malnutrition challenges focus on micro-nutrients. This project seeks to fortify first line cereals with milk protein in a bid to address the rampant malnutrition in the country. The initiative is expected to provide affordable protein rich cereal flours especially for children and women. The study will offer a model for macronutrient fortification in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Improved varieties of Spider plant for Africa
Partners: Mr Deguenon Edgar – Coordinator of NGO Hortitechs Developpement (Benin). Consortium partners: University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin), University of Wageningen (NL), KENRIK – Centre for Biodiversity (Kenya), African Orphan Crops Consortium (Kenya), AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center (Taiwan)

Research: Spider plant is a leafy vegetable harvested in the wild or cultivated throughout Africa. Raising awareness of its nutritional and health benefits results in higher demand. This project will bring together researchers, farmers and consumers in order to develop nutritious, drought-tolerant and high-yielding varieties of spider plant for improved food security.

Water and Weather Monitoring Services for Cocoa Farmers in Ghana
Partners: Mr. Alloysius Attah : Co-Founder/CEO, Farmerline, Ghana. Consortium Partners: Delft University of Technology (NL), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana)

Research: To help farmers better manage their crops, it is vital they have access to reliable information from water and weather forecasts, based on data from on-the-ground monitoring stations as well as satellite data. This project will provide these data by text- and voice-message through widely available mobile phones to cocoa farmers in Ghana.

Agroecological Food Resources for Heathy Infant Nutrition
Partners: Ms. Sébastienne Adjadogbedji-Avouzoukan, Group Pépite d’Or (Benin) Consortium partners : Université d’Abomey-Calavi (Benin). Agence Béninoise de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments (Benin), Wageningen University (NL)

Research: In Benin, several infant foods are locally produced and commercialized on local and regional markets. These foods do not meet the nutritional and safety requirements. This project brings together researchers, food quality managers and private food companies to develop, certify and disseminate healthy and nutritious infant foods using agro-ecological food resources.

Stabilizing sesame productivity in northern UgandaPartners: Mr. Francis Ouruma Alacho – Commodity Value Chains Programme, Africa Innovations Institute (Uganda). Consortium partners: National Semi Arid Agricultural Research Institute (Uganda); Uganda Oilseeds Processors Association (UOSPA), Uganda; FICA Seeds Ltd (Uganda)

Research: Sesame is valued for its nutritious seeds, quality oils and high export potential. However, yields are low and production is unstable due to frequent extreme weather events. This proposal will develop and promote technologies and innovations that will increase and stabilize productivity, income and food security for smallholder farmers.

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