In response to the First call for Concept Notes on Adapting to Climate Change in Agriculture and the Environment in Eastern Africa, the Bio-Innovate Program received a total of 44 Concept Notes from applicants within the six Bio-Innovate participating countries of Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The Bio-Innovate Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) at its first meeting held on 18-19 August 2010 selected (shortlisted) 15 concept notes to be further developed into 7 full proposals, comprising innovation consortia of related projects.
The external peer-review evaluation process of the 7 full proposals was carried out from 4 – 15 October, 2010. All the full proposals that met the eligibility criteria were presented to the TAC for consideration for funding. The TAC at its 2nd meeting held on 22-23 October 2010, TAC recommended 5 full proposals comprising innovation consortia of related projects for funding by the Bio-Innovate Program. Attention was paid to the creation of a balanced portfolio of projects, taking into account the objectives of the call, quality of the proposals, advice from the evaluators and the availability of funding. Implementing Institutions of the five successful projects signed subcontracting agreements with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in late December 2010.
We are pleased to report that Bio-Innovate will support the five innovation project consortia over a period of three years (2011-2013). The projects supported from the first cycle are:
1. Delivering New Sorghum and Millets Innovations for Food Security and Improving Livelihoods in Eastern Africa : Lead Institution – Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
2. Enhancing Food Security through Improved Seed Systems and Varieties of Cassava, Potato and Sweet potato Resilient to Climate Change in Eastern Africa : Lead Institution – Makerere University, Uganda.
3. Value Added Bean Technologies for enhancing Food Security, Nutrition, Income and Resilience to cope with Climate Change and Variability Challenges in Eastern Africa : Lead Institution – Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kenya.
4. Sustainable Utilization of Agro-industrial Wastes through Integration of Bio-energy and Mushroom Production : Lead Institution – University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
5. Integrated Process for Sustainable Agro-Process Waste Treatment and Climate Change Mitigation in Eastern Africa : Lead Institution – University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. All the successful innovation project consortia are targeting crop productivity and resilience to climate change in small-scale farming systems (thematic area 1), and improving the efficiency of the agro-processing industry to add value to local bio-resources in a sustainable manner (thematic area 2) in the Eastern Africa region, to bring impacts on the ground.