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Week 3 of the Africa-UK AgriFood Innovation Online Missions Eastern Round-up

Posted on 18/06/2020

Recordings are now available for Western Region

The Western region was our point of call for Week 3 of our virtual missions. Here is an overview of our activity.

 

Registration now open for Week 4

 

Week 3 continues the success of the previous week for the Africa-UK AgriFood Innovation Online Missions brought to you by the GCRF AgriFood Africa Programme. These missions are our way of maintaining progress for the programme in response to the Covid-19 situation which has prevented any face-to-face meetings between potential partners. We continue our efforts to build a community of stakeholders from numerous African countries and the UK, to realise sustainable management of the food production systems in Africa in a way that alleviates poverty, enhances economic prosperity and delivers improved well-being.

 

This week (15-19 June 2020), followed a similar format with a programme overview, funding mechanisms and general funding information for the next round of the Agri-Tech Catalyst, we have also looked at feedback and topics raised from week 1 and have provided further opportunities to engage with members of the GCRF AgriFood Africa programme. We were joined by an exciting line up of speakers kicking off the week with the Hon. Amie Faburay, Agriculture Minister for the Gambia and an overview of Western Africa from David Akana from CORAF. We then had a briefing session which gave us the updated information on the upcoming funding competition AgriTech Catalyst Round 10 in the afternoon. On Tuesday, Rishi Raithatha, AgriTech Programme at GSMA, gave us some insights into the financial landscape in which smallholders operate, Ben Bennett from the University of Greenwich giving us his insights into Inter-African trade and Sandra Hill from Biopolymer solutions telling us about her interesting insect protein case study.

 

The highlight from Wednesday was our pitching competition which gave us a varied lineup of presentations from Africa and the UK, with congratulations to the winner: GEden and their village based cold store technology.

The pitch competition, where prospective partners provide 2-minute videos outlining their competencies and what they are look for in partners were well attended. We also added an additional opportunity for Meeting Mojo and networking after the pitch sessions for this week as a result of the feedback received. Two other networking sessions with Meeting Mojo were available to help set up meetings with potential collaborators on Tuesday and Friday.

 

On Thursday we had four great speakers showcasing the agri-food landscape of Western Africa with a focus on Ghana. Ernest Teye (University of Cape Coast, Ghana) outlined Ghana’s academic landscape and Rob Ogden (Roslin Institute, Edinburgh) described their AgriTech Catalyst project setting up a breeding programme for the domestication of a rodent, the grasscutter, to improve availability of a nutritious meat in Ghana. Harry Wilder from Barfoots UK outlined the strategic and practical benefits of farming in Senegal, and Edwin Zu-Cudjoe from Social Farm rounded off the session with a view on how social enterprises can improve farming incomes and take-up of agriculture by women and youths.

The panel Q&A Session was an excellent way to end the week’s fruitful discussions on Friday and included Calum Murray – Head of Agriculture and Food at Innovate UK, Professor Ben Bennett – Deputy Director, Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich, and Edwin Zu-Cudjoe – CEO, Socialfarm Company Ltd.

 

A full programme agenda for week 3 can be found here.

 

This week has drawn to a close the first phase of the GCRF AgriFood Africa missions, we would like to thank all the Speakers, Organisers and of course the Attendees!

 

We would also like to remind everyone that the second phase of the GCRF AgriFood Africa missions take place over July and August and we welcome your participation. These will focus on targeted sessions to enable participants to progress with funding applications or make new and relevant connections.

These sessions (mission weeks 4, 5 & 6) will inform you about:

1.     New funding opportunities and guidelines

2.     Collaboration and networking opportunities

3.     Round table discussions from leading experts on specific African AgriFood areas, and opportunities to network with other delegates interested in these areas.

 

Further details and a registration page can be found here.

We look forward to continuing the progress we have made so far and engaging with you further.

 

So how can you access all of this fantastic online material?

We are live streaming our online missions, and also publishing recordings following the events to our dedicated YouTube and Facebook channels, click on the links below.

 

Do make sure you subscribe, like and follow our channels for up to date notifications of when new videos go live.

 

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For more information about this article please contact our sector lead
Tim Messeder
KTM ‑ Agri‑food ‑ Livestock and Aquaculture