Policy Advocacy & Awareness

Policy Advocacy & Awareness

Side-event on NUS

Enabling policies are important for the upgrading of value chains of Bambara groundnut and amaranth, and other neglected and underutilized species (NUS). To help creating awareness of the role of NUS for food and agriculture, the project partners organize a side-event on NUS at the 1st African Agri-Business Incubation Conference & Expo 2015, Nairobi, Kenya, on 29 September 2015.

The one-day event brought together more than forty scientists, lecturers and young innovators with interest in developing underutilized crop, trees and animals into a profitable business. The programme featured keynote speeches, a panel discussion and an open forum.  

The side-event concluded with a set of recommendations, going forward:

  • Exploit NUS crops, animals and even insects for food, medicines, and other benefits, including environmental services
  • Develop relevant curricula on NUS for different levels of education
  • Capacity development for teachers on NUS
  • Networking, partnership and coordination of NUS
  • Raise awareness and promote NUS in agricultural diversification programs
  • Develop quality value-added products for the market 
  • Consider insect as a way to address food, feed and nutrition security. 
  • Invest more in vocational and technical training in agriculture in order to strengthen innovation and industrial skills.

The full report from the side-event will shortly be available.

Forthcoming activities

In 2016, the policy advocacy will continue both at national and regional levels:

  • A series of policy briefs will be published
  • Three regional workshops, targeting both policy actors and higher education will be arranged
  • The national partners in Benin, Kenya and Zimbabwe will organize various activities to share the project results with key stakeholders in the respective country.

These actions will sensitize African agricultural leaders on tools and methods for bringing NUS into national and regional agricultural strategies and programmes and higher education curricula. 

The project’s communication and visibility plan play a role in policy advocacy and awareness. Media in their respective countries have already covered project activities at national TV in both Benin and Togo. Such exposure contributes to public awareness that helps raise consumer demand for products based on Bambara groundnut and amaranth.

Related Policy Materials

An earlier ACP-EU project (FED/2009/217072) and several other organizations co-financed the 3rd International Conference on Neglected and Underutilized Species – NUS2013, held in Accra Ghana in Sept 2013. The conference outputs are captured in several policy products:

  • Drawing on scientific presentations and a policy panel discussion, the Accra statement sets out nine policy recommendations for realizing the promise of these valuable species.
  • Secondly, a policy brief describes the roles of NUS in addressing five critical development challenges: conservation of agricultural biodiversity; agricultural and rural development; climate change; food and nutrition security; and gender, culture and empowerment of women. The policy brief is available in four languages (EnglishFrenchSpanishPortuguese)