IFAMA names Johan Van Rooyen as new President-Elect

IFAMA names Johan Van Rooyen as new President-Elect  of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association.

IFAMA names Johan Van Rooyen (above) as new President-Elect of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association.

IFAMA is pleased to announce that Johan van Rooyen, Director, Standard Bank Centre for Agribusiness Leadership & Mentorship Development at Stellenbosch University in South Africa has been selected to serve as the next IFAMA President; a term beginning in June 2015-2017.

“I’m honored to be selected for this appointment,” said Van Rooyen “Globally, the ag sector faces some awesome challenges ahead and I believe IFAMA sits at the apex of finding solutions through engaging high-level thought leaders in industry, government, NGO’s, policy makers, academia and students.”

“Johan is a natural choice for IFAMA,” says current president, Thad Simons. “He understands IFAMA’s fundamental commitment to talent development in the ag sector and is able to straddle both the private and academia sectors. He is also the first IFAMA President to come from Africa which will help us continue to expand our global foot print on this continent,” said Simons.

Van Rooyen is Director of the Standard Bank Center for Agribusiness Development Leadership and a Professor in Agricultural Economics at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He teaches agri-business strategy, agricultural and rural development and business problem solving at the universities of Stellenbosch, Free State, Pretoria, and the University of Ghent, Belgium.

Van Rooyen brings extensive agribusiness experience and industry know-how to IFAMA through his work previous work as CEO of the African Wine Industry Council and as Executive Director of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa. As Co-Chair of program planning for the 2014 IFAMA conference in Cape Town, he was able to mobilize and partner with many local and global organizations to shine a spotlight on the issues impacting agribusiness in Africa.

“I’m looking forward to working at a new level of engagement in IFAMA,” said Van Rooyen. “The 2015 IFAMA conference in St. Paul, USA will roll out a new type of platform for IFAMA where all participants are engaged and contributing to the solutions.“

IFAMA is an international management organization based in Washington, D.C. bringing together current and future business, academic and government leaders along with other industry stakeholders to improve the strategic focus, transparency, sustainability and responsiveness of the global food and agribusiness system. IFAMA has over 700 members in more than 50 countries, and serves as an effective worldwide networking organization, bridging the agribusiness industry, researchers, educators, government, consumer groups and non-governmental organizations.

Click here to download the press release.

University of Pretoria partners with the Australian Institute of Building

Mr Norman Faifer, National President of the Australian Institute of Building (right) and Prof Tinus Maritz, Head of the Department of Construction Economics at the University of Pretoria (left) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of establishing closer cooperation between the two organisations.

Mr Norman Faifer, National President of the Australian Institute of Building (right) and Prof Tinus Maritz, Head of the Department of Construction Economics at the University of Pretoria (left) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of establishing closer cooperation between the two organisations.

University of Pretoria (UP) is a Research-Intensive University that joined the RUFORUM Network in 2014 as a full member. The University fosters a holistic approach to education with academic activities that are enriched by community engagement and collaboration with other institutions, government and industry.

The University of Pretoria recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Australian Institute of Building (AIB) with the aim of establishing closer cooperation between the two organisations in an effort to enhance the professionalism of builders, construction managers, academics and graduates in the profession of construction management in Australia and in South Africa.

The MoU was signed by Mr Norman Faifer, National President of the AIB, and Prof Tinus Maritz, Head of the Department of Construction Economics at UP, on 17 April 2015 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth, Australia.

Prof Maritz says the relationship between the two organisations will be characterised by collaboration, goodwill, a professional approach and the constant pursuit of excellence. ‘Our activities will be conducted based on mutual respect for each other’s systems of work, structures, culture and values and will support, in an effective and integrated manner, operations being carried out. To measure the progress and success of the agreement we shall meet annually to review the understanding and to identify opportunities to strengthen the relationship.’

Both organisations are eager to enter into additional agreements to support collaborative activities and to enhance their commitment to the profession of construction management and to education in this field. ‘Our aim is to promote the values of membership of professional institutes, to promote and encourage research in the field of construction management, and to promote student and graduate engagement in student groups and in the industry,’ says Prof Maritz.

Click here to download the press release.


Seeking agronomist for short-term paid position

Deadline: May 31, 2015

A three-month assignment from July 2015

The Manda Wilderness Community Trust is a UK-based charity which for the past 10 years has supported over 20,000 inhabitants of a 240,000-hectare area in northern Mozambique known as Manda Wilderness. Working from a base at the Nkwichi Lodge ecotourism site on the shores of Lake Malawi/Niassa, the Trust has supported community-inspired educational, health and economic development schemes, as well as backing cultural and sporting events.  It has also worked to conserve the fragile environment of hills and forests along the lakeshore and its hinterland, at the same time seeking to help farmers go beyond a subsistence, mono-crop agricultural existence which itself places stress on land and livelihoods.

Last year, the Trust completed an agroforestry project aimed at helping local people understand the importance of better land use and the retention of indigenous trees and plants. Some 350 people were trained in agroforestry techniques and are now putting their new skills into practice.

This year, backed by a two-year grant from the US-based Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), the Trust is extending all aspects of its work to include the full range of Ecological Farming.

  •  to provide a valuable training programme relevant to the region and past experiences;
  • to enhance Social Capital by creating centres of excellence in the villages;
  • to integrate conservation agriculture with economic development aims;
  • to promote school gardens as a practical education tool for the farmers of the future;
  • to link our achievements with a government-supported 25-year Conservation Plan.

A vital part of the Project is to recruit an agronomy expert to examine and advise on every aspect of the Project, working with our own skilled staff and increasingly knowledgeable villagers to tap the full potential of the area in terms of both conservation and agricultural development.

The post described below will be for a period of three months, starting in July 2015 at Nkwichi Lodge (include full board and lodging), which is well equipped as a communications and support base (as well as a very beautiful site on the shores of the lake).  Transport costs to and from the Lodge will also be covered. The possibility of a similar assignment in 2016 will be considered.

This post is an opportunity for an experienced, self-motivated individual, prepared to trek across the Wilderness, propose and implement improvement schemes, pass on skills to eager villagers, and ultimately to make a marked difference to the lives of everyone.  A detailed description of the tasks is set out below.

Applications for the post, to include a full CV, a detailed record of relevant experience, and two references, should be sent to Trust Chair Jeremy Toye at jemtoye@gmail.com by May 31, 2015 at the latest.  Queries about any aspect of the position should be sent to Juliana Castellanos at Manda Wilderness on julicastellanos@hotmail.com.  Further details of the Trust and its work are on www.mandawilderness.org.


Continue reading “Seeking agronomist for short-term paid position”

TWAS Fellowships for Research and Advanced Training

Deadline: 1 October 2015

TWAS offers fellowships to young scientists in developing countries to enable them to spend three to 12 months at a research institution in a developing country other than their own. The purpose of these fellowships is to enhance the research capacity of promising scientists, especially those at the beginning of their research career, helping them to foster links for further collaboration.


  • The fellowships are for research and advanced training. They are offered to young scientists holding at least an MSc or equivalent degree.
  • Eligible applicants for the fellowships are young scientists working in any area of natural sciences who are citizens of a developing country and are employed by a research institution in a developing country.
  • There is no age limit. However, preference is given to young scientists at the beginning of their research career and those working in Least Developed Countries.
  • Institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China, are not eligible host institutions under this programme. Applicants interested in conducting a fellowship in China are required to check whether their chosen host is a CAS institute. For a complete list of CAS institutes, see: english.cas.ac.cn/CASI/ . Applicants wishing to attend a CAS institute should either apply to the CAS-TWAS President’s Postgraduate Fellowship Programme or consider the CAS Fellowships for Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholars from Developing Countries.

Terms of the Fellowships

  • The fellowships are offered for a minimum of three months and a maximum of twelve months.
  • TWAS covers international low-cost airfare plus a contribution towards subsistence amounting to a maximum of USD 300 per month. No other costs will be provided by TWAS.
  • The host institution is expected to provide accommodation and food as well as research facilities.

Application and Selection Procedure

  • Fellowships are awarded by the TWAS Fellowships Committee on the basis of scientific merit.
  • Applications should be completed in English.
  • Part 1 of the application form should be completed by the applicant and the head of the applicant’s HOME institution, and sent to theTWAS secretariat. Material requested:
    1. the completed application form;
    2. passport-style photograph as a separate JPEG file;
    3. copy of passport page giving personal details (even if expired);
    4. the applicant’s curriculum vitae;
    5. full list of publications (do not enclose reprints of articles!);
    6. letters of recommendation submitted separately to TWAS by two referees who are familiar with the applicant’s work.
  • Part 2 must be sent by the applicant to the head of the institution he/she intends to visit, together with a copy of Part 1 (for information). Part 2 should then be completed by the head of the host institution and sent to the TWAS secretariat. NB: Applications cannot be considered unless Part 2 has been completed by the head of the host institute.
  • Only for applicants selecting the S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, India, as their host choice: please direct the request for Part 2 to Prof. Chakrabarti (Dean, Academic Programme by email: deanap@bose.res.in), accompanying your request with a copy of your CV, research proposal and two reference letters.
  • The deadline for receipt of applications (Parts 1 and 2) is 1 October of each year.
  • Applications should be sent to:
    TWAS Exchanges Office
    ICTP Campus, Strada Costiera 11
    34151 Trieste, Italy
    Phone: +39 040 2240-330
    Fax: +39 040 2240-689


  • Note that the Fellowships are provided for South-South visits only, i.e. for visits by researchers from developing countries to institutions in other developing countries.
  • Applications that are unsigned, incomplete, illegible or filled out in a language other than English cannot be accepted.
  • Applicants should be aware that they can apply for only one TWAS or OWSD fellowship per year. With the exception of the Visiting Scientists programme, all other fellowship programmes offered by TWAS and OWSD are mutually exclusive.

Visit the world academy of sciences to download access the full call.

Press Release: European Union pledges support for academic mobility programmes


Head of Cooperation at the EU, Mr. Theo Hoorntje (Right) at the RUFORUM tent during the exhibition attended to by Mrs. Uwituze Solange and Mrs. Mkandawire Sylvia (left) from the RUFORUM Secretariat.

The European Union recognizes knowledge and innovations as key ingredients for economic and social development. At a recent visibility event held at Makerere University in Uganda, Mr. Theo Hoorntje, Head of Cooperation at the European Union delegation to Uganda, pledged support to higher education through academic mobility between countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific regions including exchange programmes with academic institutions in Europe.

This event, reinforced the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM)’s role as a dynamic regional platform fostering collaboration, coordination and learning amongst its member universities. Through the exhibition, various European Union funded projects showcased their interventions in the areas of institutional capacity building, innovative and collaborative graduate mentorships programs, enhanced research linked to farmer needs and universities working with communities to address development issues.

“International mobility of students is the most widespread and powerful vehicle for internationalisation for higher education, and more and more students are willing to gain international experiences” said Mr. Hoorntje while addressing the audience. In its strategy, the European Union recognises the importance of people – to – people contact.

“Students and staff mobility is at the heart of the European Union higher education programmes, which help universities set up partnerships to manage mobility, and provide scholarships such as under the Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme[1] and the Erasmus+[2]”. Mr. Hoorntje.

Since 2004, more than 100 Ugandan students and staff have benefited from the Erasmus Mundus program to undertake masters and PhD studies or to teach, benefiting from full scholarships. The scholarships help to develop a highly–trained academic pool with international experience benefiting from the high quality courses and professional skills. At the event, Ms. Lorenza Gambacorta, the Programme Manager Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission from Brussels made a public presentation about the Erasmus+ opportunities available for Africa.

Please follow the link to download the full press release at http://repository.ruforum.org/node/33692

[1] The Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme offer scholarships for students and academics from Uganda to carry out studies, research or teaching in another African country.

[2] Erasmus+ offer scholarships to carry out studies at a range of academic levels in European universities. One can study for a part of their degree in Europe or follow an entire degree in Europe (http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/discover/index_en.htm).

ARPPIS-DAAD doctoral scholarships available for study at icipe, Kenya


Deadline: 6th June 2015
3­–year doctoral training in insect sciences for development

The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Kenya, in partnership with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) In-Country/In-Region Scholarships Programme and African university partners, requests applications for doctoral research scholarships in the African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Sciences (ARPPIS).

icipe is an international scientific research institute, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya that works towards improving lives and livelihoods of people in Africa. The centre’s main objective is to research and develop alternative and environmentally-friendly pest and vector management strategies that are effective, selective, non-polluting, non-resistance inducing, and which are affordable to resource-limited rural and urban communities. icipe‘s mandate also extends to the conservation and use of the rich insect biodiversity found in Africa. icipe works in a holistic and integrated approach through a 4-H paradigm – Human, Animal, Plant and Environmental Health – with the aim of improving the overall health of communities in tropical Africa by addressing the interlinked problems of poverty, poor health, low agricultural productivity and degradation of the environment (for more information go to http://www.icipe.org).

DAAD is the German national agency for the support of international academic cooperation, and offers programs and funding for students, faculty, researchers and others in higher education. They also represent the German higher education system abroad, promoting Germany as an academic and research destination, and help build links between institutions around the world (for more information go to http://nairobi.daad.de/en/).

ARPPIS PhD Programme

Capacity building of individual researchers and institutions in Africa is an integral part of icipe’s research and development activities. icipe‘s Capacity Building Programme aims to promote the development and use of sustainable arthropod management technologies by enhancing the research and training capabilities of countries in Africa. ARPPIS is a partnership with African universities – with financial support from DAAD – offering three-year doctoral research scholarships aimed at preparing young researchers from Africa for regional leadership roles, as well as internationally competitive research careers, in arthropod-related sciences.

At icipe ARPPIS scholars are provided with excellent research conditions in an interdisciplinary environment within a structured, three-year training programme that includes research, training, and participation in scientific meetings and international conferences. Scholars conduct their research at icipe’s laboratories and field sites located in various agro-ecological zones.

  • Twelve DAAD-ARPPIS PhD scholarships are available in 2015.
  • Scholarships cover all costs of the PhD programme, including travel, living expenses, medical insurance, university fees, and research and training costs. Financial support for the scholarships is provided in part by DAAD and also by icipe.
  • Successful candidates will carry out their research in selected projects at icipe (see Annex 1 for a list of Eligible Projects and specific applicant requirements).
  • Successful candidates will develop a full proposal and register with an ARPPIS partner university in Africa after they commence their PhD programme at icipe.
  • The PhD programme will commence in September 2015.

To download full call, please follow this link: http://www.icipe.org/index.php/component/content/article/43-capacity-building-/937-daad-arppis-doctoral-scholarships-available-for-study-at-icipe-kenya.html

60 African University Deans/Principals to Converge in Khartoum on Higher Education

Above: RUFORUM Deans and Principals at a deans meeting during FARA@15 conference in South Africa

Above: RUFORUM Deans and Principals at a deans meeting during FARA@15 conference in South Africa

African University Deans and Principals (60) of Agriculture and related faculties will come together 8-10 June, 2015 in Khartoum, Sudan for a three day retreat to discuss issues related to strengthening higher education, Science technology and innovation in Africa. A key issue to be discussed by the Academic heads will be how to enhance regional science partnerships to strengthen higher education. They will also discuss opportunities for responding to the upcoming Call for the World Bank IDA supported African Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE) Initiative.

The meeting is being organized under the auspices of the RUFORUM Network. The hosts are the Universities of Gezira and Kordofan in collaboration with the Government of Sudan. Both University of Gezira and Kordofan University are member universities of RUFORUM. This is the first Deans/ Principals meeting this year, with a further meeting planned for August, 2015 in Windhoek, Namibia at the time of RUFORUM’s Annual General Meeting.

The meeting will provide opportunity for universities to provide further input into the development of the RUFORUM Strategic Business Plan (2015-2020) that is expected to be approved by Vice chancellors of the 46 universities in Windhoek. The Plan represents an evolutionary step for RUFORUM following ten year celebrations, marked at the 4th Biennial Conference held July 21-25 in Maputo, Mozambique. The Deans and Principals play an important role in implementing the mission of RUFORUM particularly to monitor student performance and innovations to enhance quality of training programs. The Deans/ Principals Committee makes up one of seven organs of the RUFORUM network.

Outcomes of this meeting will be shared on our website at www.ruforum.org

Connecting student research to community needs

For years, universities have tried to shake off their reputation as ivory towers churning out research that is of little relevance to the local communities around them. AgShare is a powerful road-tested model that provides strategies for a coherent institutional approach to teaching, research and community development. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led by Michigan State University and OER Africa, AgShare Phase I was piloted from 2010 to 2012 in four African universities in three countries: Makerere University, Uganda; Haramaya University, Ethiopia; Moi University, Kenya; and United States International University, Kenya.

Building on the success of AgShare I, AgShare II was launched in September 2012 to create a scalable and sustainable method of filling critical gaps in agriculture related curricula through a redesigned process for Masters research. In this new process, students engage in action and participatory research while directly connected to communities and smallholder farmers. The students have produced high quality peer reviewed research, case studies and extension materials which can be accessed through the AgShare Indigenous Knowledge Database. Some of these resources will be shared on the RUFORUM Knowledge Repository. Agshare II is being implemented in collaboration with the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE) as the lead, RUFORUM, Makerere University (Uganda), Michigan State University (USA), Mekelle University (Ethiopia) and Haramaya University (Ethiopia).

What makes the AgShare Model Different?

  • All projects commence with field-based research into farmers’ practices and needs This research is carried out by students working closely with their faculty supervisors and relevant community-wide partners within respective value chains.
  • Students, faculty and staff participate in capacity-building workshops in research, Open Education Resources (OERs) and media production skills to empower them with data capturing and presentation skills
  • Student work is published in three forms: as OER multimedia learning packages for incorporation into degree programs; as extension materials for farmers; and as research theses
  • The OERs are published in appropriate platforms and conferences such as the RUFORUM Biennial Conferences leading to recognition for scholarship, teaching, research and extension.

Continue reading “Connecting student research to community needs”

Reflection and Learning Workshop for African and European Partners


The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) under the auspices of the Platform for African-European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) hosted representatives of several consortia and Regional Farmers’ Associations at a Learning and Reflection Workshop.   Thirty participants representing various institutions (including regional and national farmers’ organizations, NGOs, universities and research institutes) from 11 countries (Africa and Europe) participating in the Extension Phase of the PAEPARD II project attended the workshop, which was held in Entebbe, Uganda.

The workshop, facilitated by the International Centre for Development Oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA), drew lessons from Phase I PAEPARD implementation. Strategies to achieve impact during the four-year extension (scheduled to close in 2017), now entering the second year of implementation, will build on these lessons. Participants expressed their satisfaction with this meeting that enabled all PAEPARD partners to meet and exchange, reflect on the project implementation status as well as previous achievements and challenges with a view to enhance multi-stakeholders’ collaboration in agricultural research for development (ARD). A key challenge in the implementation of PAEPARD is related to ensuring a balanced partnership that equally sustains engagement with European partners. This was discussed extensively and the meeting resolved to undertake an in-depth analysis and use the outcomes to provide recommendations for future engagements. The meeting also recognized the importance of enhancing efforts within the project to engage with sub-regional organizations under the FARA fraternity as well as private sector in implementation of activities.

Continue reading “Reflection and Learning Workshop for African and European Partners”

RUFORUM Student Scores a Double

Winner: Blessing Odugwu (Second left)

Winner: Blessing Odugwu (Second left)

Blessing Adanta Odogwu, a Nigerian PhD student of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology at Makerere University, Uganda, has won the 2014 African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) and the 2014 fall Norman Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Programme (LEAP) fellowships.

AWARD is a career-development program that equips top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills, through tailored fellowships. Fellowships are competitive and awarded on the basis of intellectual merit, leadership capacity, and the potential of the scientist’s research to improve the daily lives of smallholder farmers, especially women. As a fellow, Mrs. Odogwu will benefit from a two-year career-development program focused on fostering mentoring partnerships, building science skills, and developing leadership capacity. She will be mentored by Dr. Mildred Ochwo-Ssemakula, a Lecturer and Coordinator for Graduate Studies at the School of Agricultural Sciences, Makerere University.

Mrs. Odogwu was awarded the Borlaug LEAP Fellowship for her research on Resistance to rust in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) in Uganda. The common bean, which has been a major food security crop and source of income to Ugandans for over 4 decades, has experienced decreasing yields in recent years. These yield losses are attributed to abiotic and biotic disease factors that her research aims to quantify and characterize in hopes of identifying sources of resistance. Her mentors are, Dr. James Kelly of Michigan State University, and Dr. Clare Mukankusi of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), both experienced plant breeders who will assist her with her experiments, analysis, and the evaluation of rust disease in the common bean.


DAAD in country/In region scholarships for East Africa

The Faculty of Agriculture of Jomo Kenyatta University, in conjunction with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is pleased to announce the availability of DAAD funded scholarships for students interested in the following programs;

  • Sc. Food Science and Technology
  • Sc. Horticulture
  • D. Horticulture
  • D. Food Science and Technology

Outstanding candidates seeking to apply for these scholarships must meet the following criteria;

  1. Be citizens of a country in Sub-Saharan Africa
  2. Hold a Bachelor’s and / or Master’s degree qualification with at least above average results
  3. The last university degree must have been completed less than six years ago at the time of application.
  4. Candidates for PhD scholarship should be staff members of a public or private university, or candidate considered for teaching or research staff recruitment.
  5. Meet the minimum Faculty requirements for admission, as detailed in the links below;



For further details, please contact the following;

Prof Losenge Turoop: losenge@agr.jkuat.ac.ke, Mr. Bonface Nyagah: bonface@daadafrica.org

Other Documents:

1._DAAD Application Form for Scholars_In Country/In Region Scholarships

2._DAAD_Information Sheet for Scholars_In Country/ In Region

NB:  Applications must be received not later than Friday, June 12th, 2015.

Securing Water for Food (SWFF): 3rd Call for Innovations


In March 2015, Securing Water for Food announced its third call for innovations. This $12.5 million call for proposals focuses on identifying market-driven, low-cost, and scalable solutions that will enable us to improve water efficiency and waste water reuse; enhance water capture and storage; and reduce the impacts of salinity on aquifers and food production.

The third call has an increased focus on cutting-edge, advanced technologies and business models, as well as those that prioritize the engagement of women. Up to an additional $2.5 million is expected to be available for innovations implemented in the MENA region as part of USAID’s new Middle East Water Security Initiative. The focus of the Challenge is to support game-changing innovations at two stages, both of which must be post-pilot and present viable business models:

  • Stage 1: Market-driven product in the process of business development
  • Stage 2: Established innovations ready for scaling and commercial growth

The third call for proposals will close on May 22, 2015 at 5 PM EST. Winners will be announced in October 2015. Up to 30 innovators are expected to receive between $100,000 and $3 million in funding and acceleration support.

Review the Request for Applications for the third call for proposals here.

Questions and answers for Securing Water for Food’s third call for applications have been posted! View them here


Read more about the call by clicking here http://www.securingwaterforfood.org/round-3-call-3

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