Blog Archives

Research proposal writing courses

Many African farmers, especially in marginal areas, rely on neglected and underutilized species (NUS) for their livelihoods. But the commercialization of NUS is constrained by a weak knowledge base, poorly developed value chains and inadequate capacity and policies. Often, bottlenecks require biophysical and socio-economic research to generate new knowledge that value chain actors can apply to increase sales and profits.

The project ‘Strengthening capacities and informing policies for developing value chains of neglected and underutilized crops in Africa’,  through a grant from the EU-ACP Science & Technology programme, is seeking to develop such research capacity.

Bioversity International, the International Foundation for Science (IFS) and our partners now offer young African scientists training in the art of developing research project proposalsthat solve problems related to the value chains of Bambara groundnut and amaranth in particular, and NUS in general.

This Call for Research Applications is focused on the value chains of priority NUS plants in three sub-regions: Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa, respectively. We are interested in applications that focus on:

  1. The value chains of two target crops:  Bambara groundnut and amaranth (grain or vegetable). Preference will be given to applicants working on these crops.
  2. Priority species of NUS plants, as identified at two regional workshops in 2010 (please refer to the call).
  3. Other NUS plants of national/regional importance.

Three regional courses will be held, targeting scientists in eligible countries only (see table below).

Download the Call for Research Applications and the Application Form on this page. Please read both carefully and follow the instructions and guidelines for submitting an application and writing the research note on your proposed project.

Deadline for application is 24 August, 2014.

Submit your complete application to the relevant email indicated in the Call and Application form. Late applications will not be considered. Only the selected participants will be notified by 10 September 2014.

Date Venue Eligible countries Organizer
27-31 Oct 2014 Zimbabwe Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique,  South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe Africa University, Zimbabwe
3-7 Nov 2014 Kenya Burundi, Kenya,  Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda University of Nairobi, Kenya
17-21 Nov 2014 Benin Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast,  Mali, Niger, The Gambia, Togo Laboratory of Agricultural Biodiversity and Tropical Plant Breeding (LAAPT), Benin, in collaboration with University of Lomé, Togo

Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition

The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is an exciting new opportunity to develop your innovative ideas and projects to create positive change in your community and the world. With support and feedback from peers around the world, you can turn your passion for a better world into reality.

The Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition is an international contest launched by The Goi Peace FoundationStiftung Entrepreneurship (Berlin) and UNESCO. The competition provides a global platform for young entrepreneurs who aspire to create positive change in their communities.

By highlighting the best examples of youth entrepreneurship, the competition aims to empower the young generation to take the initiative in social innovation and become pioneers in building a harmonious and sustainable society. With their innovative ideas and leadership, these global citizens will tackle some of the key challenges of today and offer a model of the entrepreneurial potential that will fuel our future.

All participants will receive free training at the online Entrepreneurship Campus. This training provides methods and techniques for developing ideas into solid business models, to turn a budding idea into a fully developed concept, or to improve on an existing business model.

Everyone has the potential to become an entrepreneur.

You do not have to be born as an entrepreneur,
you do not have to work twelve hours a day,
and you do not need a patent or a lot of capital.
You do not even need detailed knowledge of business management,
legal issues, marketing, or finance.
You only have to start your company from pre-existing components or by working in a team
to complete the missing competencies, instead of building everything yourself.
It is not easy, but you can do it!
You have the power to become a successful entrepreneur!

Deadline for submission of Idea: 30th June, 2014

Competition guidelines

Global Energy Initiative – Energy Essay Contest 2013

Deadline: 28 Oct 2013

The Global Energy Essay Contest invites university students to discuss real and practical solutions on how energy can be used and provided in a sustainable and accessible way. The essay contest is open to all students worldwide that are currently enrolled in a university degree program (any discipline). The first and second-place winners will receive US$1,000 and US$500, respectively, as well as an invitation and travel expenses to the Global Energy Conference at the United Nations in December 2013. The submission deadline is 28 October 2013. Click here for details and application.

Howard G. Buffett Foundation and University of Wisconsin – Agricultural Innovation Prize

Deadline: 28 Feb 2014

The Agricultural Innovation Prize is jointly sponsored by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the University of Wisconsin to encourage teams of university students to identify how to achieve food security for the world’s population while keeping within sound environmental boundaries. The competition invites business plans that focus on a process, product, service, or technology. The competition is open to teams comprising at least 50% students (U.S. and/or international) who are enrolled half-time or more at accredited U.S. colleges and universities. Cash prizes are US$100 thousand for the winning team, US$25 thousand for finalists, and travel grants to enable 25 teams to make presentations. Online entries are invited between 01 December 2013 and 28 February 2014.Click here for details and application.

Second Edition of the YoBloCo Awards launched

Deadline: 31 Jan 2014

Submit your individual or institutional blog and win up to 3000 Euros!

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), in collaboration with FARAYam-PukriCAFANAYFANAFESPC/PAFPNET and e-Agriculture is pleased to launch the 2nd Edition of the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards).

This contest is organised in the framework of the ARDYIS project, which aims to raise youth awareness and improve their capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

The aims of this blog competition are to:

  • Put into limelight issues, successes and challenges faced by youth engaged in: agriculture in urban and rural areas;
  • Encourage the production of information and the use of new information and communication technologies by young farmers’ groups and organisations interested in the “youth in agriculture” question;
  • Promote the sharing of information on the issues of agriculture and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

Who can participate?

The YoBloCo Awards are open in two categories:

a. Individual category

This category is open to students in agricultural training courses, young farmers, journalists or other young people interested in ICT or agriculture.

b. Institutional category

This category is open to local or national

  • young farmers’ organisations;
  • young members of farmers’ organisations;
  • young members of any organisation interested in agriculture, rural development and ICT.

For this competition, an organisation is understood as any type of non-profit or for-profit association, cooperative, forum, network or related grouping, excluding government institutions. Organisations that receive funding from governments but are not formal governmental institutions can be eligible if they fulfil all criteria.

If the organisation or grouping submitting an entry is not officially registered in the country, it should be recommended, via a letter of recommendation, by a national partner organisation, which is officially registered.

When young members of an organisation are submitting an entry in the “Institutional category”, they should apply on behalf of their organisation. If the entry wins an award, it is the organisation, which will be declared winner and will receive the cash prize. The blog creator or a representative of blog creators (if it is a team) will be invited for the prize giving ceremony and receive a trophy on behalf of the winning organisation. When a team applies on behalf of their organisation, the person representing the team must be specified in the application process. The cash prize won would be sent to the organisation.

For both categories, the young people participating must be between 18 to 35 years old (by the time of submission) and be nationals of ACP countries signatories of the Cotonou Agreement (see Note 1 below).

How to participate?

Individuals or organisations who wish to submit a blog and take part in the competition will have about 4 months to prepare or update their blogs with content related to agriculture (see Section 3 below). Blogs and all required information/documents will be submitted via an online form between December and January 2014 (the link to the blog submission form will be provided on this page as from 2 December 2013).

Prior to the blog submission, all people/organisation interested to be updated regularly on the competition can subscribe on this link.

Content of eligible blogs

The blog submitted can be a newly created one, or an existing one but which has been recently updated with content related to agriculture. However, mainly blog posts from the commencement of the competition will be judged.

A blog that deals with, or contains posts/articles on subjects other than agriculture must include, consistently (see Note 3 below), new articles related to agriculture, in order to be considered eligible.

In the context of the YoBloCo Awards, “new articles” or “new posts” refer to texts published between the launch of competition until its closure (please check section 7 below for the deadline). Posts/articles considered for the competition must be in French or English and can be related to one or several ACP countries.

Articles on the blog should cover themes or issues such as:

  • Challenges, success and issues faced by Youth in agriculture and related activities;
  • Climate change, environmental conservation, natural resource management;
  • Agri-business (marketing, commercialization, processing, etc.);
  • Agricultural production and Food security;
  • Agriculture value chains and agricultural policy;
  • Actions, policies and strategies related to youth involvement in agriculture;
  • ICT use in the agricultural sector (how can ICTs promote agriculture or how can ICT support innovation in agricultural value chains, ICT and agriculture policies, ICT and extension services etc.);
  • How are ICTs improving (or can improve) youth opportunities in rural areas;
  • Agro-tourism;
  • Contribution of Diaspora in ACP Agriculture;
  • The role and importance of Family Farming and Smallholder Farming in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas. (see Note 4 below);
  • Any other agriculture related theme or issue.

Selection process

There are two different processes for the two blog categories.

a) Individual Category

The eligible individual blogs submitted will first go through a public evaluation process, whereby the online audience will vote for, and comment on the blog that they like the most. Following the public evaluation, 15 finalists will be selected based on the number of votes they will receive, and they will finally be evaluated by an independent jury composed of expert in the field of ICTs and Agriculture. The first prize for this category is 1500 Euros and other prizes will be awarded!

b) Institutional Category

Blogs in the institutional category will also go through the public evaluation process, whereby the online audience will be required to leave comments on the blogs that they like the most (there is no limit on the number of blogs to comment). The jury will then choose the best blogs per region for this category and will take into account comments made by the public. The prize for this category is 3,000 Euros per winning organisation. In addition, some of the most appreciated blogs by the public may receive special rewards from organisers if the jury does not select them.

Updates on the whole voting process and results will be shared regularly on the YoBloCo Blog and entrants who are subscribed and submitted a blog will also be informed by email.

Votes and comments on blogs will end in March, 2014.

Selection criteria

The main selection criteria are the following:

  • Quality of language in posts
  • Originality of posts/articles (most posts should be written by the entrant)
  • Quality of analysis in the posts
  • Frequency/Consistency of blogging
  • Animation of the blog
  • Presence of agriculture related content (especially since the launch of the contest for existing blogs)
  • Overall technical quality of the blog

For the institutional category, additional criteria are:

  • Presence of information on the organisation’s activities
  • Presence of information in youth in agriculture issues

Prizes

A. Individual category

  • 1st Prize:  1,500 Euros
  • 2nd Prize: 1,000 Euros
  • 3rd Prize: 800 Euros

B. Institutional category

  • 3000 Euros per region (West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, East Africa, Caribbean and Pacific)

C. Special Prizes

  • Best female blogger: 1000 Euros (only individual blogs will be eligible for this prize)
  • Best blog on Family Farming (see Note 4 below): 1000 Euros (an individual or institutional blog may be eligible for this prize)
  • Best blogs with business potential: at least two blogs will be selected, out of the best finalist individual blogs selected by the public, to receive mentorship and incubation opportunities  (See Note 5 below)

D. Runners-up

  • A number of runners-up in will receive a certificate of participation

Winning blogs and other best blogs will be promoted by CTA and its partners’ various channels.  In addition, authors of winning blog or other best blogs will have the opportunity to be involved in future activities of CTA or its partners.

Deadline and key dates

Launch of the competition: 8 October 2013

Submission of Blogs: 2 December 2013 – 31 January 2014

Online Evaluation (public): February – March 2014

Jury Evaluation: April – May 2014

Winners Announced: June 2014

The date of the prize giving ceremony will be announced subsequently.

Additional terms and rules

a. Winners of the 1st Edition of the YoBloCo awards (3 winners from individual category and 3 winners from institutional category) are not eligible to submit their blog again for the competition. However, best entrants who did not receive a prize for the 1st Edition of the YoBloCo Awards can submit their blog for this new Edition.

b. The organisers reserve the right to reject any application that does not meet the contest criteria and the present regulations.

c. Participation in the competition implies an explicit agreement given to the CTA to make public, as needed, the experiences described, as well as participant’s identity. Moreover, it constitutes an agreement given to the CTA to use the experiences described in its publications and for promotional activities.

d. CTA will not return to the participants documents submitted.

e. By entering, participants warrant that content on the blog does not infringe on any third party’s rights.

f. All local taxes on prizes, if required, are the sole responsibility of the winners.

g. If, for any reason, the contest cannot be conducted as planned, the CTA reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, close, change, or suspend it.

h. Youths directly working for CTA or ARDYIS advisory Committee organisations are not eligible to participate. However young people working for partners of these organisations are eligible.

i. Applicants will be informed about the competition results by email to the addresses provided in the blog submission form.

j. Apart from the public result announcement, each winner will be notified through the e-mail address he/she provided. A reminder will be sent if necessary. In case of non response to the reminder message and 10 days maximum after the result announcement, the next best candidate in the same category will be declared winner;

k. Decisions taken by the jury and the CTA are final and are beyond dispute;

l. All contest participants implicitly accept the rules presented in this document.

Notes

Note 1: The ACP countries targeted here are those that have signed the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement : Angola – Antigua and Barbuda – Belize – Cape Verde – Comoros – Bahamas – Barbados – Benin – Botswana – Burkina Faso – Burundi – Cameroon – Chad –  Central African Republic – Congo (Brazzaville) – Congo (Kinshasa) – Cook Islands – Côte d’Ivoire – Cuba – Djibouti – Dominican Republic – Dominica – East Timor – Equatorial Guinea – Eritrea – Ethiopia – Fiji – Gabon – The Gambia – Ghana – Grenada –Guinea – Guinea-Bissau  – Guyana – Haiti – Jamaica – Kenya – Kiribati – Lesotho – Liberia – Madagascar – Malawi – Mali – Marshall Islands – Mauritius – Mauritania – Federated States of Micronesia – Mozambique – Namibia – Nauru – Niger – Nigeria – Niue – Uganda – Palau – Papua New Guinea – Rwanda – Saint Christopher and Nevis – Saint Vincent and Grenadines – Saint Lucia – Solomon Islands – Samoa – São Tomé and Principe – Senegal – Seychelles – Sierra Leone – Somalia – South Africa – Sudan – Suriname – Swaziland – Tanzania – Togo – Tonga – Trinidad and Tobago – Tuvalu – Vanuatu – Zambia – Zimbabwe

Note 2: The main elements that will be evaluated are the blog animation and content.

Note 3: To be evaluated by selection committees.

Note 4: This theme is designed directly along the core theme of the United Nations 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF).

Note 5: For the special prizes for the best blogs with business potential, the jury may contact potential winners for more details on their projects. Mentorship opportunities will include advice for the finalization of the blogs, capacity building opportunity, etc.

Contact

Feel free to contact us if you have any question or if you want to join the ARDYIS project discussion list to exchange/receive information about youth, ICT and agriculture.

ARDYIS project/ICT4D Programme
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA)
Email : ardyis-project@cta.int
Telephone: +31 (0)317 467 100
The Netherlands

Arthur W. Perdue Foundation Fellowship (PhD) in Avian Biosciences – Fall 2014

Deadline: 15 Feb 2014

The Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Delaware, USA has a new fellowship opportunity available through The Arthur W. Perdue Foundation (starting Fall 2014) for a highly motivated individual to pursue their Ph.D. in avian bioscience at the University of Delaware.

Successful applicant will work with Drs. Behnam Abasht, Erin Brannick and Jack Gelb in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences to participate in ongoing research aimed at characterizing muscle cell development and muscle disorders in broiler chickens. The student will use diverse histology, genomics, metabolomics, and computational biology techniques to gain an in-depth molecular, cellular, and tissue level understanding of muscle disorders with an emphasis on meat quality in broilers chickens.

The 12-month fellowship includes a stipend of $25,000, as well as covering 100% of tuition and health insurance, and funds for presenting the research results at regional, national and international scientific meetings. The student will also have opportunities to perform internships or on-site research with Perdue Farms, Inc., a leading broiler company in the U.S.

Applicants should have a bachelors or masters degree in animal science, poultry science, biology or related field and should send a letter of interest; a curriculum vitae; GRE and TOEFL (if foreign students whose primary language is not English) scores; and three letters of recommendation to Dr. Behnam Abasht (abasht@UDel.edu) no later than Feb 15, 2014.

The University of Delaware is an equal opportunity employer, which encourages applications from minority group members and women.

Web 2.0 and Social Media Learning Opportunity, Botswana College of Agriculture, Sebele, Botswana, 09-13 December 2013

Introduction

Technological innovation is taking place at a breath-taking pace. Simple, open source internet-based applications and services designed to enhance on-line collaboration are now available to the wider public at little or no cost at all. These new online technologies known as Web 2.0 and Social Media applications enable people to collaborate to create, share and publish information.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation EU-ACP (CTA) has a mandate to facilitate access to and dissemination of information in the fields of agriculture and rural development in 78 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). Supporting the adoption of Web 2.0 applications and Social Media represents a great opportunity for meeting it.

The Botswana Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in collaboration with CTA will host a 5-day Web 2.0 Learning Opportunity on 09-13 December 2013 at the Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA). Participants will be introduced to selected web 2.0 applications including social media and will learn how to use them hands-on.

The Learning Opportunity will cover advanced online searching, getting information served via alerts and RSS, collaborating remotely using wikis and Google Docs, using VoIP, online mapping and social networking. Participants will get a chance to see what others have done, get hands-on experience on how to use innovative applications, and assess how they could adopt these innovations within the context of their work and organisation.

This Learning Opportunity forms part of CTA initiatives that support development partners in networking, accessing and disseminating information more effectively.

Programme of the Learning Opportunity

  • Introduction to the participatory World Wide Web (Web 2.0) and to social media;
  • Search Magic: How to conduct advanced multilingual online searches;
  • Information Self Service: How to get selected information served to you via alerts and RSS feeds;
  • Remote collaboration: How to develop content remotely using wikis and Google Docs;
  • Online mapping: How to locate your organisation and your projects on an online map;
  • How to communicate voice over the internet at no cost;
  • Online publishing (micro-blogging and blogging);
  • Professional / corporate social networking (LinkedIn and Facebook);
  • Web 2.0 self-instruction (introduction to IMARK).

Participants – Eligibility and responsibilities

Participation in the Learning Opportunity is free of charge, but subject to acceptance by the organisers. 25 participants will be accepted for the event.

Eligibility criteria

  • be computer literate and conversant with browsing the Internet;
  • have regular access to a computer (ownership of a computer is an advantage);
  • be in a position to take along a WIFI-enabled laptop to the training;
  • be competent in the use of the English language;
  • have an active e-mail account;
  • be actively engaged in agriculture and rural development / natural resource management / biodiversity conservation in the domains of ICT for development (ICT4D), policies, markets; publishing, communication and media; and
  • be resident in Botswana.

Responsibilities

Accepted participants will be responsible for all costs related to their travel to and from the venue at the Botswana College of Agriculture, Sebele, accommodation, breakfast and supper, daily subsistence allowances, and for bringing their own WIFI-enabled laptop to the event.

Entitlements

During each event, the organisers will provide lunch and refreshments and distribute copies of CTA publications and instructional material.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying, please click on this link to complete the online form.

Venue: Botswana College of Agriculture, Sebele, Botswana.

Dates: 09-13 December 2013

Deadline for applications: 3 November, 2013

Feedback

The organisers will inform successful applicants about the status of their application ~two week before the commencement of the course. Successful applicants will receive confirmation letters. Others will be duly informed about the results of their application.

Download PDF

YPARD Report 2012 – Success story of what youths can do

Young Professionals’ Platform for Agricultural Research for Development (YPARD) is proud to share its YPARD 2012 report.  This was a year of growth for YPARD where it made its mark in agricultural research for development. YPARD is an international movement by Young Professionals FOR Young Professionals in Agricultural Research for Development. YPARD operates as a network; it is not a formalized institution.

The strong showing by YPARD at the GCARD2 demonstrated to the international community that youth can have a strong voice and be an integral part of international events and proceedings and that they have a valid role to play.

Local representatives established themselves and YPARD reached out to YPs on the ground, throughout the world. The network has matured, as well as its activities and its plan for the future is ambitious.

Some highlights of 2012 include a 44% increase of new members, New YPARD country representatives for Sierra Leone, Malawi, Mali, Benin, Nepal, South Africa, Switzerland and France and Strong youth representation at the GCARD2 with a prolific group of young social reporters and a youth pre-conference session which fed into a youth and gender focused plenary.

YPARD expanded to create a new region in YPARD Europe and also had a YPARD representative in place on the Steering Committee of the European Forum for Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD).

YPARD also had a significant launch of YPARD China at CAAS in Beijing and released a report on ‘Working towards a generation of new professionals in ARD’, and much more!

Read YPARD report 2012!

Source: YPARD webiste

THE INK FELLOWS PROGRAM

The INK Fellows program mobilizes young innovators and changemakers from emerging economies, providing them the support necessary to leverage their impact on society. We seek out budding luminaries in any field, who have proven their potential to be the architects of tomorrow.

We have two main goals:

To create a cross-disciplinary community of like-minded peers, be they entrepreneurs or artists, scientists or social advocates, musicians or technologists. We understand that the experience of being a changemaker can be isolating, as it can lack the financial security, clarity of direction, and social support network that comes with traditional jobs. Being an INK Fellow provides the development, mentorship and peer-support necessary to take brilliant ideas to the next level.

To provide public exposure, so that our changemakers gain access to potential customers, funding opportunities, accolades and other forms of support critical to their development and success. We aim to give our fellows not only a platform from which to make their ideas heard, but also the tools of communication to ensure they’re noticed.

INK Fellows receive:

  • All expenses covered to attend the annual INK conference (including the conferencefee, airfare and hotel accommodation)
  • The opportunity to network with prominent speakers and attendees
  • The opportunity to be selected for a speaking slot at the INK conference
  • In-depth coaching in compelling public communication, and how to give an INKtalk
  • Fellows located in India: local speaking engagement at least one INK event during the Fellowship year
  • The opportunity to have their INKtalk selected to be posted online at INKtalks.com
  • The support and camaraderie of the Fellows peer community
  • INK social media exposure throughout the Fellowship year
  • Customized assistance dependent upon the needs of each fellow

 INK Fellows already have:

  • A powerful vision for the world
  • Taken tangible steps to fulfill this vision
  • Demonstrated serious accomplishment at a young age
  • A compelling and inspiring story
  • A need of active support from the INK community
  • The capability to actively support and enrich the INK community
  • The ability to articulate and communicate succinctly

  Apply here to be an INK2013 Fellow (Applications open 15th April, 2013)

Youth for International Development — Grants Program 2013

Youth for International Development (YFID) invites applications from youth-based and community-based organizations worldwide for grassroots projects in agriculture and agribusiness, environmental initiatives, capacity building, and other themes. The proposal deadline is 08 April 2013

More details: http://yfidnetworks.org/index.php/initiatives/programmes