Agricultural projects showcase produce and knowledge at Afghanistan’s largest agricultural fair

Directorates of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) - supported by the EU-funded MAIL Transition Project, managed by Landell Mills - exhibited at the 18th AgFair and Farmer’s Day on 22nd March in Kabul. The fair is the largest in Afghanistan and seeks to boost trade and increase the local and international markets for Afghan products.

The Perennial Horticulture Development Centers (PHDCs) showcased a variety of produce, attracting 8,000 visitors over the three days. They also provided information on breeding and certified planting material from the National Collection of fruits and nuts.  The governor of Kabul Province praised the role of PHDC, saying “There are too many challenges in the horticulture sector in Afghanistan and PHDC is playing a strategic role in this industry. In the northern zone of the country farmers are facing some problems with apricot disease. The PHDC can conduct a research programme in the northern zone of Afghanistan and tackle the farmers’ problems.”

PHDC booth at the Kabul AgFair

PHDC booth at the Kabul AgFair

Visitors at the SPCD booth at AgFair

Visitors at the SPCD booth at AgFair

The Seed and Planting Materials Certification Directorate (SPCD) provided information on the production of tissue cultures in Afghanistan that producers can utilise in their own private labs. Ahmad Jawad, one of the SPCD booth’s visitors said, “We import saplings from other countries which cost us $8 per sapling, but when I discussed this with SPCD staff they suggested that I establish my own lab here in Afghanistan to produce the same sapling for no more than 25 cents.”

Attendees included the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), the Kabul Governor, parliament members, farmers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers, producers, input suppliers, service providers and private sector representatives.

 

 

Landell Mills managed project supports evidence-based policy on food security in Afghanistan

The EU-MAIL Transition Project managed by Landell Mills supported the Agricultural Statistics and Information Management Directorate (ASIMD) of the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) in producing the Annual Prospect Report 2016. This is the first time that accurate data on the annual wheat crop has been established. Whereas data was previously estimated, the Annual Prospect Report provides policy makers with evidence-based information to develop policies addressing the food shortage in Afghanistan.

Stakeholders such as Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), WFP, FAO and FewsNet are now using the Annual Prospect Report data and this is helping with providing assistance to food security issues as needed. According to Mr. Noor Habib Arwall, IPC Advisor, ‘The Annual Prospect Report is the only reliable data source on wheat that we use for food security purposes.’ The project has also impressed the President of Afghanistan who wrote a letter of appreciation.

A surveyor conducting a pre-harvest survey

A surveyor conducting a pre-harvest survey

Wheat crop cut survey

Wheat crop cut survey

The project hired 267 surveyors in 24 provinces to conduct surveys using GPS and remote sensing technology to conduct pre-harvest and wheat crop cut surveys and accurately collect data from the field. MAIL and ASIMD staff members were trained in the use of relevant software and how to produce the report to ensure data is collated and analysed consistently to better inform policy makers in the country.

Success for Landell Mills at the British Expertise International Awards

We are very pleased to announce that Landell Mills has won two awards at the recent British Expertise International Awards, which celebrate the achievements of UK companies providing services internationally.

Our Mainstreaming Climate Change Risk Management project in Nepal won the International Development Project of the Year award, and the Working in Partnership to Accelerate Technology Transfer (AgriTT) Programme won the International Collaborative Project award.

Landell Mills’ Senior Evaluation Consultant, Eunica Aure, was also highly commended in the competitive Young Consultant of the Year category, in recognition of the strength of her evaluation work in Africa and Asia for UK Aid, the European Union, ADB and the World Bank.

We are very proud of these achievements which reflect the positive impact of our projects and the hard work and dedication of our staff and consultants.

The winning projects

Working in Partnership to Accelerate Technology Transfer (AgriTT)
Landell Mills successfully delivered this £9.4m DFID-funded development project, focused on improving food security in low income countries through technology transfer and knowledge sharing. The innovative trilateral programme brought together British, Chinese and African government partners, research institutions and the private sector to trial Chinese technologies in support of agricultural development in low income countries.

Mainstreaming Climate Change Risk Management in Nepal
This NDF and ADB-backed project assessed the viability of scaling up biochar-based fertilisers as a climate-friendly technology for farmers in Nepal. Field trials were carried out in over 100 communities, testing the most effective ways to use biochar. This was the most extensive research of its kind to date, and it saw average yield increases of over 100% across all the crops trialed. This has led to the incorporation of biochar technologies into national programmes which will improve the livelihoods of many thousands of farmers, as well as increasing soil fertility, decreasing use of chemical fertilisers, and reducing carbon emissions.

Further information

British Expertise Awards

Working in Partnership to Accelerate Technology Transfer (AgriTT)

Mainstreaming Climate Change Risk Management in Nepal

Eunica Aure shortlisted for International Young Consultant of the Year

 

 


 

Landell Mills supports the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency to manage, monitor and evaluate ‘climate smart’ agricultural initiatives

The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency was created to help accelerate the growth and transformation of Ethiopia’s agriculture sector. The Agency’s mandate is focused on improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers across the country, and it is charged with implementing the Agriculture Transformation Agenda under the second Growth and Transformation Plan (2016-2020).   

As part of its mandate, the Agency is keen to promote climate friendly (or ‘climate smart’) agricultural practices. As such, it has engaged Landell Mills to provide expertise to bring climate-related issues into its Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation framework for the agriculture sector.

The project is funded by Danida, Denmark’s development cooperation agency; and it will be managed by the Agency. By working alongside relevant Agency staff in Addis Ababa, Landell Mills’ support will aim to strengthen and further develop local capacity within the Agency. It will also ensure the transfer of appropriate knowledge and the sustainability of the results.

Specifically, Landell Mills’ outputs relate to “green indicators”, a sector-wide knowledge management and learning system, and guidance to operationalise the sector’s Monitoring and Evaluation system, as informed by international best practice.

Landell Mills trains NGO partners under the Sudan Food Security Project

Landell Mills recently organised two NGO training sessions as part of the rural smallholders’ component of the Sudan Food Security Project.

The events, held in Khartoum, focussed on Project Cycle Management and Grant Contract management and were designed to support the NGOs that are implementing EU-funded grant contracts in the Food Security sector.

Training participants with the Landell Mills Chief Technical Advisor, Abdul Hamid Rhametalla (on right)

Training participants with the Landell Mills Chief Technical Advisor, Abdul Hamid Rhametalla (on right)

The Landell Mills Team Leader, Mark Witcomb, addressing participants at the PCM training closing

The Landell Mills Team Leader, Mark Witcomb, addressing participants at the PCM training closing

Trainees during a Grant Contract Management training session

Trainees during a Grant Contract Management training session

Participants from 15 different NGOs and the Ministry of International Cooperation took part in the training, along with a number of EU Delegation staff members. A two-hour Q&A encouraged NGO partners to discuss common problems with the Finance and Contracts team at the EU Delegation. Attendees also benefitted from networking with staff from other NGOs that are implementing similar projects and facing similar challenges.

The Food Security Programme Manager and the Head of Finance and Contracts from the EU Delegation attended the opening and closing ceremonies.

Attendees praised both the trainer, Tony Acheampong, and the interactive nature of the training.

Find out more about the Sudan Food Security Project here.

Landell Mills shortlisted for British Expertise International Development Project Award

We are pleased to announce that a Landell-Mills-managed project, 'Mainstreaming Climate Change Risk Management in Development – Sustainable Rural Ecology for Green Growth' has been shortlisted for the International Development Project of the Year at the British Expertise International Awards 2017. The Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding international achievements by companies in the UK professional services sector.

The project was a two-year pilot project between the Government of Nepal and the Asian Development Bank, co-financed by the Nordic Development Fund, to assess the viability for scaling-up biochar-based fertilisers as a climate-friendly technology for farmers.

Landell Mills designed and oversaw government and farmer field trials in over 100 rural communities, testing the most effective ways to produce and utilise biochar. This has been the most extensive biochar field trial carried out worldwide to date and we saw average yield increases of over 100% across all crops trialled.

Following the success of the project, the government is now incorporating biochar technologies into national programmes, which will impact upon many thousands of farmers. It will also improve soil fertility, decrease reliance on imported chemical fertilisers and reduce carbon emissions.

Biochar is essentially charcoal, but it is used as a soil conditioner instead of being burnt. It is produced by burning biomass, such as crop residues, in a kiln at over 400°C in the absence of oxygen. While not in itself a fertilizer, biochar acts like a sponge, soaking up water and organic nutrients, for example, from animal urine, making them available to plants. When biochar is soaked in cattle urine, as was demonstrated in the project, it then becomes a highly effective organic fertiliser.

For Sita Lamsal, one of the women participating in the trials, the benefits of the project are clear, “Since the price for fertiliser has massively increased, we are very happy that we now know how to make our fertiliser for free!”

Find out more about the project and the Awards here:

Application of biochar to crops

Application of biochar to crops

Producing biochar

Producing biochar

Results of biochar in a pumpkin trial

Results of biochar in a pumpkin trial

British Expertise shortlists Landell Mills for International Collaborative Project Award

We are pleased to announce that Landell Mills has been shortlisted for the International Collaborative Project award at the British Expertise International Awards 2017 for its implementation of the AgriTT programme (Working in Partnership to Accelerate Technology Transfer).

The British Expertise International Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding international achievement by companies in the UK professional services sector. Each category is fiercely  competitive and included entries from the brightest and best of the UK’s professional and infrastructure service companies. The International Collaborative Project Award celebrates an exemplary approach to collaboration between UK companies and international partners.

A Research Challenge Fund Project led by CABI in Rwanda

A Research Challenge Fund Project led by CABI in Rwanda

Malawi Pilot Development Project

Malawi Pilot Development Project

AgriTT appears at Africa Agriculture Science Week in Kigali

AgriTT appears at Africa Agriculture Science Week in Kigali

AgriTT is an innovative trilateral programme, bringing together Chinese agricultural technology expertise and UK research and project management know-how, with the local knowledge of Malawian and Ugandan governments, and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa. The programme facilitates the sharing of successful experience in agricultural development with developing countries in order to improve agricultural productivity and food security.

The £10 million UK Department for International Development funded programme demonstrated Chinese technologies for cassava value chain transformation in Uganda, and shared techniques for modernising aquaculture production in Malawi. The AgriTT Research Challenge Fund has contributed to the transfer of five technologies from China and contributed to the development of 12 low-income country value chains. AgriTT has broken new ground by leveraging strategic and technical inputs from high-level experts within China’s commodity system management institutions for cassava and tilapia.

Find out more about AgriTT and the Awards here:
AgriTT
British International Awards

Seed cultivation success boosts crops and revenue in western Afghanistan

Herat SPCD staff testing the seeds in their laboratory for certification.

Herat SPCD staff testing the seeds in their laboratory for certification.

The Seed and Planting Materials Certification Directorate (SPCD) project, supported by the Landell Mills-managed EU-funded Transition Project within the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, is successfully building the capacities of seed certification companies. The project promotes the production of high-quality certified seeds, which will in turn improve Afghan farmers’ livelihoods. Due to the project’s efforts in raising the awareness of the benefits of choosing certified seeds, the western region has seen an increase in their usage and as a result local farmers’ crops, as well as their revenues, have increased compared to previous years.

One of the companies supported by the SPDC in Herat, The Khawaja Mohammad Mosafer Private Seed and Agricultural Services Company (KMSASC), has experienced a substantial increase in seed production. Mr. Haji Ahmad Farid, CEO of KMSASC, said, “We are processing around 10 tonnes of wheat seed on a daily basis which fulfils the western provinces’ requirements. However, we have potential to produce more certified seeds and sell them to other provinces of Afghanistan.”

KMSASC Company where certified seeds are produced.

KMSASC Company where certified seeds are produced.

The SPCD addresses a lack of awareness about the use and benefits of certified seeds, without which there can be significant losses of wheat and other harvested crops each year. Afghan farmers also face limited access to certified seeds and improved varieties, and lack adequate knowledge of methods to save seeds.

Mr. Enayatullah, the SPCD Regional Manager said, “We are closely monitoring all seed companies in Herat and other western provinces in order to ensure that they produce high-quality seeds for farming.” The SPCD Herat regularly visits companies like KMSASC to observe activities, certify their seeds and provide technical advice to improve seed production. Mr. Haji Ahmad Farid, CEO of KMSASC said, “Should we face any technical problems during the seed certification process, we contact the SPCD staff to assist us. They provide us with excellent technical advice which solves our problems.”

Eunica Aure of Landell Mills shortlisted for International Young Consultant of the Year Award

We are pleased to announce that Landell Mills’ Senior Evaluation Consultant, Eunica Aure, has been shortlisted for International Young Consultant of the Year. This is a highly competitive category in the British Expertise International Awards 2017. The Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding international achievements by companies in the UK professional services sector.

Since joining Landell Mills in 2013, Eunica has played a leading role in developing and expanding the company’s monitoring and evaluation portfolio. This has led to key successes in new areas of work, including in complex evaluations for UK Aid and the EU.

At age 33, Eunica has acted as evaluation specialist for more than twenty development projects in Africa and Asia for UK Aid, the EU, ADB and World Bank. Her academic work has also been internationally successful. She was awarded a fellowship (2008) by the United Nations Development Programme and also received the prize for New and Emerging Scholar (2011) by the Gender, Place and Culture Journal for Feminist Geography.

We would like to congratulate Eunica and wish her good luck!

Please click here to find out more about the Awards. 

Landell Mills unveils new brand identity

Landell Mills officially launches its new brand identity today. The identity presents a contemporary image, which reflects our professionalism and straightforward commitment to delivering high-quality products for our clients.

New logo

New logo

In the process of developing the new identity we consulted clients, consultants and staff for their views, and explored a variety of routes before arriving at the final design concepts.

The identity comprises a modern typographic logo, sans serif font and fresh shade of green which references our agricultural roots. A graphic arrow device, derived from the logo, ties the communications materials together and symbolises forward progress and focus.

Business cards and report covers

Business cards and report covers

Rosie Smith, Marketing, Communications and Knowledge Management Manager at Landell Mills, commented that ‘the brand update communicates a dynamic, forward-looking, image that mirrors our work and values.’

Branded materials

Branded materials

Lessons learnt from Afghanistan Business Innovation Fund project

A series of knowledge briefs, highlighting lessons learnt from the DFID-funded Afghanistan Business Innovation Fund (ABIF) project are now available for download.

ABIF, managed by Landell Mills, contributed to poverty reduction in Afghanistan through pro-poor market development, driven by private sector investment. It worked through a competitive grant mechanism, collaborating with entrepreneurs to develop commercially viable investments, and support their implementation.

Throughout the course of the project, grants of £3 million have incentivised private sector investment of £7.6 million and provided direct benefits to 250,000 workers, producers and consumers across Afghanistan. The results speak for themselves, proving that the private sector can drive development in Afghanistan.

We have produced three knowledge briefs on the project to help feed into the design of other private sector development projects in Afghanistan as well as other fragile and conflict affected states. The topics covered are ‘Challenge Funds in Fragile States’, ‘Women’s Economic Empowerment in Afghanistan’ and ‘Overcoming the Access to Finance Paradox in Afghanistan’. These highlight factors that have contributed to the project’s success as well as challenges faced. The reports are also available on the BEAM Exchange.  

Successful completion of project design to reduce poverty in Afghanistan

We have successfully completed the design of a new Asian Development Fund/EU funded investment project with total funding of US$76 million in Afghanistan. The design has been completed both on time and within budget, and has now been approved by the Asian Development Fund board for implementation.

The Panj-Amu River Basin Sector Project will increase agricultural productivity in the Panj-Amu River Basin through improving access and use of water at farm, scheme and river levels. The project supports the government’s strategy, which aims to increase per-capita income and reduce poverty among rural and pastoral communities.

Afghanistan is one of the least developed countries in the world; the poverty headcount rate is 39%. While 79% of the national work force depends on agriculture for a living, only 12% (or 64.4 million hectares (ha)) of the country's terrain is arable. Limited access to irrigation water and sporadic irrigation has been the primary cause for crop yields below the world average.  

The project will improve cropping intensities, irrigated areas, and crop yields on a command area of 74,500 ha. As a result, annual farm incomes will increase in the range of $123-615 per household for over 55,000 households, and approximately 11,000 full-time rural jobs will be created per annum, with an estimated value of $10.4 million per annum.

We will also see an improvement in food security, as home-grown wheat takes the place of imported food stuffs, leading to greater food self-sufficiency, as well as an increase in exports of high-value products such as fruit and nuts. The project will also create more economic opportunities for agribusiness development, particularly for input suppliers and processors of agricultural products and for market intermediaries.

For further details on the project please click here.

Fruits produced by Landell Mills-managed horticultural project impress Afghanistan’s Chief Executive, H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah

From left H.E Assadullah Zamir, MAIL Minister, Amrullah Saleh, Former NDS Director, H.E Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive, and Shershah Stanikzai, PHDC Coordinator.

From left H.E Assadullah Zamir, MAIL Minister, Amrullah Saleh, Former NDS Director, H.E Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive, and Shershah Stanikzai, PHDC Coordinator.

Fruits cultivated by the Perennial Horticulture Development Centers (PHDCs) met with an enthusiastic response from H.E Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, at a recent agricultural fair in Kabul.

Dr. Abdullah remarked: “This is the first time that I have seen a seedless pomegranate and a big pear like this in Afghanistan. I never thought such fruits could be produced in the country, but now I can see that the Perennial Horticulture Development Centers are doing it.”

The Centers, which are supported by the EU-funded Transition Project in support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), managed by Landell Mills, were amongst 200 organisations to take part in the event, which attracted more than one hundred thousand people. The Centers took the opportunity to display a collection of national fruit that they have cultivated, including varieties of pomegranate, citrus, apple, persimmon, grapes and dates.

The overall aim of the Centers is to enable the Afghan horticultural industry to respond profitably to market demand through activities such as:

People visiting the PHDC booth at Badam Bagh during the AgFair.

People visiting the PHDC booth at Badam Bagh during the AgFair.

  • cultivating a national collection of fruit and nut varieties
  • introducing varieties to domestic demonstration orchards
  • developing pollination trails and breeding programmes
  • undertaking evaluation, characterisation and data collection

The Centers’ most ambitious target is to provide Afghanistan with a national germ-plasm collection to preserve over 950 accessions for all major types of perennial fruit trees and vines.

The €14 million EU-MAIL Transition Project aims to facilitate the sustainable transition of the Perennial Horticulture Development Centers and similar projects into the government structure of the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock. Find out more here.

Panj Amu River Basin Programme delivers practical training course for students

Dr. Claude de Patoul, team leader for the Panj Amu River Basin Programme during the training.

Dr. Claude de Patoul, team leader for the Panj Amu River Basin Programme during the training.

Thirty-two students from the Hydraulics and Hydraulic Structures Department at Kabul Polytechnic University recently took part in a five-day training course organised by the Panj Amu River Basin Programme team. The programme, managed by Landell Mills and funded by the EU, aims to foster equitable and sustainable water management practices. Training future water management experts is one component of this goal.

The course helped equip the students with practical lessons to complement their studies and enhance their field work. They learnt how to design a gated off-take structure and a weir on permeable foundations. They also learnt about hydraulic, irrigation and social parameters to be taken into account in the design process. Students were also provided with a good practice guide and trained in the use of an Excel spreadsheet, which was formulated to generate the data required for the design process.

In total, forty-nine students have benefitted from the training to date. The first module on the hydraulic design of a cross regulator was delivered in a previous training session in March 2016 (find out more here).

The course, and the training tools provided, are expected to be extremely useful for future hydraulic structure design, both in the Panj-Amu region and in river basins across the country. The programme aims to continue to provide this kind of training on an ongoing basis. 

Landell Mills organises Jucar River Basin study visit for the Tajikistan Ministry of Energy and Water Resources

Landell Mills has supported staff of Tajikistan’s Ministry of Energy and Water Resources on a study tour as part of the Zarafshon Integrated Sub-Basin Project. The visit, which was organised by the UK Irrigation Association, provided insights into water resource management at the Jucar River Basin Authority in Valencia, Spain. The Authority is one of the most advanced water management systems in Europe.

View of Tous Reservoir from the dam

View of Tous Reservoir from the dam

The Authority’s office, along with the river basin’s lake and wetlands, a dam, reservoir and canal were visited during the tour. The Authority, which is a partnership between the Government, the Polytechnic University of Valencia and civil society, is equipped with sophisticated water and weather information systems to help with drought management and flood control decision making. It has also developed practical decision making criteria to effectively deal with drought management and flood control.

Group members with representatives of the Turia River Water Tribunal

Group members with representatives of the Turia River Water Tribunal

The group also attended a session of the Turia River Water Tribunal on conflict solving and decision making. This has been in operation for more than 1,000 years and is one of the oldest legal courts in the world. Eight democratically elected farmers, a chair person and representatives of seven canals meet weekly. Together, they resolve problems related to irrigation distribution issues, disagreements between irrigators, or illegal water extractions in any of the seven irrigation canals of the Turia River. The tribunal therefore serves as a very successful model for other institutions.

The two organisations agreed to set up a twinning and sign a memorandum of understanding. This agreement forms part of a wider project that Landell Mills is managing. Its overall aim is to strengthen water management community organisations and set up river basin organisational structures, which will help advance sustainable integrated water resources management in Tajikistan. This will result in: enhanced rural livelihoods and food security; improved electricity and domestic water supply; and better sanitation.

Daler Holmatov, Chief Specialist of the Tajikistan Department of Water and Energy Policy said:

“The study tour to the Jucar River Basin Organisation was very well organised. We saw sophisticated practices in water management and actual management issues in the Tous Reservoir and environmental protection of the Albufera lake. The Tribunal must be such a good conflict resolution mechanism to address water-related disputes, as it has survived for almost 1,000 years. Our trip to Spain was very productive, we were received with great hospitality and we now know much more about the importance of basin management in the water sector.”

Landell Mills and the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources would like to thank Melvyn Kay, Ruth Gage, David Haro and Joaquín Andreu for their enthusiastic support to the Tajik delegation.

Sudan Food Security Programme smallholder success stories

We are pleased to share the success stories of a number of smallholders benefiting from the Sudan Food Security Programme. The programme is funded by the EU with technical advisory support provided by Landell Mills. It focuses on improving the food security and livelihoods of rural smallholders and in so doing, helps in combatting the drivers of migration from the area. It targets four states in Sudan, focusing on rain-fed sorghum production in Kassala, Gedaref and Blue Nile States and on fisheries and horticulture in Red Sea State. 

The beneficiaries' stories show how productivity and incomes have increased in the target areas due to the introduction of improved agricultural practices and new technologies. This has led to production surpluses and lifted smallholders out of a subsistence-based way of life. Beneficiaries’ knowledge and understanding of the new production techniques have grown through training conducted under the programme and they now have access to farmers and fishermen's associations, which give small-scale producers a voice and purchasing power beyond their village's boundary.

While much of the support is currently coming from EU funds, beneficiaries are required to pay a small contribution towards the cost of technical support. The aim is to gradually increase this contribution to 100% by the end of the project.


Case studies

Farmer 50 years old WHH Wad Elhilew, Kassala State

Farmer
50 years old
WHH
Wad Elhilew, Kassala State

Mahgoub Said Mustafa

Since joining the programme a year ago, the sorghum produced from Mahgoub's five feddans (about two hectares) has increased from 25 to 40 sacks. He said, 'this is a result I could never have dreamt possible.' He is also chairman of the Wad Elhilew Small Scale Farmers Association established under the programme and through the training provided by the project he commented that, 'I now understand my important role and responsibilities in making the association a success.'


Farmer 40 years old ZOA/Zenab Um Sinebra village, Central Gedaref locality, Gedaref State

Farmer
40 years old
ZOA/Zenab
Um Sinebra village, Central Gedaref locality, Gedaref State

Seif Eddin Mohamad Mustafa

Since Seif's grandfathers’ time, the land has been cultivated year after year using traditional methods which have caused a loss in soil fertility and falling productivity. Seif had been aware of the problem for a long time, but did not know how to address it. In 2014, he became a beneficiary of the programme and the situation has already improved. He has gained an average yield of four sacks of sorghum per feddan and can cultivate additional land for cash crops. On top of this, there is decreased need for his children to provide farm labour and they have been able to keep going to school.


Farmer 40 years old ZOA/Zenab Madag village, Eastern Galabat locality, Gedaref State

Farmer
40 years old
ZOA/Zenab
Madag village, Eastern Galabat locality, Gedaref State

Sharifa Ishag Adam

Since deciding to join the programme, life has transformed for Sharifa. She had suffered from back pain caused by traditional farming techniques that kept her in the field all day. She couldn’t take adequate care of her small children or maintain her home. Now she has more time to spend with her family, her health status has improved, and her yield has increased from one to six sacks per feddan. She has plans to build a grain store with the extra income she has earned from the project as she needs storage space for the surplus harvest she is producing.


Farmer 55 years old ZOA/Zenab Mahala village, Eastern Galabat locality, Gedaref State

Farmer
55 years old
ZOA/Zenab
Mahala village, Eastern Galabat locality, Gedaref State

Adam Ahmad Mohamad Hurun

In 2013 Adam had a complete failure in his crop production which resulted in him being imprisoned as he was unable to repay money he had borrowed. Despite his release, Adam remembers, 'I felt like my life had reached a point of no return.' This all changed in 2014 when Adam became a beneficiary of the programme. In the first year he produced 75 sacks from 5 feddans, the highest production ever seen in his neighbourhood. The harvest allowed Adam to pay back his debts, cover his family’s basic living expenses as well as save some money for the following season. For the first time in many years Adam knows that he will be able to take care of his family and their needs. Other beneficiaries in neighbouring villages who have achieved similar results are thinking about forming an association so they are able to continue to use the packages even after the programme ends.


Farmer 35 years old WHH Al Alim village, Wad Elhilew, Kassala State

Farmer
35 years old
WHH
Al Alim village, Wad Elhilew, Kassala State

Mohammed Ali Asharif

Owing to the new agriculture packages provided by the programme, Mohammed's most recent harvest has doubled from previous years. The increased production has improved his household food security as well as his financial situation. He has learned valuable knowledge and information by participating in the farmer field schools organised by the project. Mohammed commented, 'A lot of farmers have decided to join the project next year because they saw our success.'


Horticulturalist 36 years old SOS Sahel Bilaib village, Gunub & Awlieb, Red Sea State

Horticulturalist
36 years old
SOS Sahel
Bilaib village, Gunub & Awlieb, Red Sea State

Mohamed Musa Mohamed

Mohamed plants alfalfa to fatten his sheep, as well as growing cucumbers, tomatoes and egg-plant on about five feddans of community land. Since Mohamed joined the programme he has seen production and profit from his farm increase. His family are now picking 60-70 boxes (10-12kg per box) of tomatoes every other day during the season. As a result Mohamed has been able to buy a vehicle which means he can now take his tomatoes to market by himself. Mohamed said, 'This is very convenient as now I can choose exactly the right time before the crop is spoiled so I get the best price.' He also saves on the cost of transport which previously took away 25% of the profit. Mohamed also helps other farmers from nearby farms take their produce to market at the right time.

This year he is able to extend his area of farmland by an additional 1.5 feddan, which means that next year he will be able to produce even more. 


Fisherman 51 years old SOS Sahel Suakin Town, Red Sea State

Fisherman
51 years old
SOS Sahel
Suakin Town, Red Sea State

Hashim

A few years ago Hashim lost his right leg in a mine explosion while he was fishing close to the Sudanese border with Eritrea. As a result, it became even harder to meet his family’s needs while working as a fisherman. However, once he received a complete package of subsidised fishing gear from the project including fishing nets, lines, hooks, ropes, leads and an icebox, his life has changed for the better. Hashim's said, ' My income has increased and I am now able to meet my family expenses and I have even paid fees in advance for my youngest son to study at a private college.'

Biochar fertiliser trials in Nepal bear fruit

Read about the successes of field trials across Nepal’s three main agro-climatic zones using biochar as a fertiliser in the Nordic Development Fund’s latest newsletter. The positive results will now help the Government of Nepal explore upscaling opportunities that can build on the trials and apply the project’s recommendations. Please see the last page of the newsletter to find out more about the  biochar interventions implemented by Landell Mills. Download the newsletter here

Read more about Landell Mills work with the Nordic Development Fund here.

Landell Mills improves the conditions for widening rural energy access in Kenya and Uganda

Landell Mills has developed a series of Energy Compacts between DFID and national governments in Africa as part of the initiative to help Africa achieve universal energy access by 2030. So far, we have developed Energy Compacts for Kenya and Uganda through a consultative process involving key stakeholders from government, the solar industry, the financial sector, NGOs, civil society and the donor community.  

Picture: Flickr. Russell Watkins/Department for International Development. Elizabeth Mukwimba is a 62-year-old woman who now has solar lighting and electricity in her home at the flick of a switch, thanks to a scheme backed by UK aid. Elizabeth has had an M-Power solar panel and lights fitted in her home by Off Grid Electric, a private sector company dedicated to providing sustainable, affordable energy to people in developing countries who aren't connected to the electricity grid.

Picture: Flickr. Russell Watkins/Department for International Development.
Elizabeth Mukwimba is a 62-year-old woman who now has solar lighting and electricity in her home at the flick of a switch, thanks to a scheme backed by UK aid. Elizabeth has had an M-Power solar panel and lights fitted in her home by Off Grid Electric, a private sector company dedicated to providing sustainable, affordable energy to people in developing countries who aren't connected to the electricity grid.

There are currently more than 600 million people in Africa who do not have access to electricity, and cannot get the enormous benefits that modern energy services provide. The UK’s Energy Africa campaign, launched in 2015, seeks to accelerate the market for solar home systems by improving market conditions through coordinated donor support to governments and industry.

The Energy Compacts define the coordinated support in each specific context between DFID and national governments. This support will improve the enabling environment and accelerate the market for off-grid solar expansion, widening access to electricity for rural populations. If the current trajectory continues, it will take until 2080 for there to be universal electricity access on the continent.

While grid extension is an objective for many national governments, it will be costly and take decades to reach the most remote rural populations. In the meantime, off-grid electricity solutions - and particularly solar home systems - are becoming a more affordable, reliable and accessible solution. This is partly due to the fall in the price of solar photovoltaic panels, more efficient appliances such as LED lighting, and the increase in mobile payment systems such as ‘pay as you go’. 

As stated by DFID, the Energy Africa campaign will:

  • overcome financial hurdles and the series of market failures that are preventing firms from raising capital by testing new approaches and reaching the poorest
  • overcome the policy and regulatory barriers to household energy access, for example by drawing African countries into the compact to accelerate clean energy access
  • make the most of exciting developments in research and innovation
  • position this campaign within broader global efforts to ensure access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all

Please click here for more information.

Success for the Animal Health Development Programme II in Afghanistan

Landell Mills is pleased to report on excellent results delivered by the Animal Health Development Programme II (AHDP II), funded by the EU Delegation to Afghanistan.

Building on the initial achievements of the Animal Health Development Programme (AHDP I), which Landell Mills also managed, AHDP II has worked to strengthen the Directorate of Animal Health (DAH), as well as the livestock sector generally. This has had a positive impact on those whose livelihoods depend on the livestock sector.

Staff doing routine lab testing of samples at Central Veterinary Diagnostic and Research Laboratory. Photo: Willy Schauwers

Staff doing routine lab testing of samples at Central Veterinary Diagnostic and Research Laboratory. Photo: Willy Schauwers

Under Landell Mills’ implementation, AHDP II has had some great successes in strengthening the capacity of the government to provide public veterinary services. Key achievements include:

  • Growth of the national veterinary laboratory network from one small central lab and one regional lab, into today’s network of laboratories, based in 21 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
  • Development of one fully functioning central veterinary laboratory, six regional and 15 provincial laboratories.
  • An increase in the volume of tests performed at the Central Veterinary Diagnostic and Research Laboratory from 486 samples and 840 tests in 2008, to 6,996 samples and 17,482 tests in 2015.
  • Expansion of the delivery of animal health service provision and monitoring from 14 to 34 provinces.

As a result of AHDP II’s support, the DAH now has stronger departments that provide the following:

  • Disease surveillance and control programmes
  • Epidemiologic analysis of disease incidence and prevalence
  • Diagnostic laboratory support
  • Licensing and regulation of private sector veterinary services
  • Production of Afghanistan’s own animal vaccines
  • Veterinary public health services to ensure safe products of animal origin
Lab testing training at Central Veterinary Diagnostic and Research Laboratory. Photo: Willy Schauwers

Lab testing training at Central Veterinary Diagnostic and Research Laboratory. Photo: Willy Schauwers

AHDP’s achievements, spanning almost ten years, have demonstrated that long term commitment, vision, and planning play a vital role in strengthening government functions, particularly when it comes to rebuilding a country and sector devastated by decades of war.

It is a testament to the project that local farmers were able to convince the Taliban to leave a new regional veterinary laboratory in tact when the city of Kunduz fell briefly under the Taliban’s control in September 2015. The farmers stressed its importance for their livelihoods and the laboratory remained untouched and resumed its activities. 

The Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health has remarked that the Sanitary Mandate Control Scheme, a creative public-private partnership launched under the Animal Health and Development Project, is an enviable model for other countries to consider, and the initiative is recognised for its merit far beyond the borders of Afghanistan. 

Landell Mills is working in partnership with Atrevia to produce communication material for the EU Emergency Trust Fund

Landell Mills is pleased to be working on the communication material for the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa in conjunction with Spanish communications consultancy, Atrevia.

The European Commission has set up the Emergency Trust Fund to address the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa by promoting economic and equal opportunities, security and development.

The project aims to increase the awareness of the initiative and its ongoing achievements in Africa’s most fragile and affected countries through both online and offline activities. Planned activities include the development of two animated videos, the production of interactive presentations along with infographics, and the creation of a visual identity for the Trust Fund in order to increase visibility of the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and to share information with different audiences.

If you would like to find out more, or are interested in working with us on upcoming communication projects, please email COMLOT2@landell-mills.com.

Please click here to access the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa website.