In 2015 the Platform has been working hard and delivered actions to enhance the capacity to manage agricultural risks in eight African countries. PARM aims to empower farmers, businesses and governments in developing countries to assess and manage their agricultural risks with appropriate access to practices, tools and policies. Our motto is “Managing risks to improve farmers’ livelihoods”, on the conviction that unmanaged risks prevent small and big investments that can make the differences in poor households.
PARM Annual Report 2015
We are pleased to share with you the Platform for Agricultural Risk Management Annual Report for the year 2015. This Annual Report 2015 presents PARM achievements against the 2015 Annual Work Plan and Budget. The Annual Report is available to all partners for transparency and public scrutiny. We are looking forward to constructive suggestions to improve our activities and interactions with partners.
The year 2015 has been a crucial year for the global development agenda, with conferences and agreements that highlight the global relevance of Agricultural Risk Management (ARM). A new set of Sustainable development Goals or SDGs, including a zero hunger goal for 2030, was established in New York in September 2015. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) was adopted in March 2015. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development was approved in July 2015. And the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was achieved in December 2015 pushing on both the mitigation and adaptation agendas. For different reasons, the management of risks in agriculture can be a major contributor to these global goals: for reducing rural poverty, hunger and vulnerability; for avoiding that manageable risks become disasters; for leveraging financial resources and investment in agriculture; and for making agricultural households more adaptive and resilient to climate change.
“ARM can be a major contributor to the new global development challenges defined in crucial summits in 2015”
In 2015 PARM , has deployed all its elements and tools to respond to these challenges, working in eight sub-Saharan countries. We are now proud of having a fully working platform that is guided by rigour and transparency, steered by its committees and partners, and engaged with different partnerships in many fronts. 2015 has been the year in which PARM has developed some kind of “business model”, based on activities and methods that have a common denominator: a dynamic management of knowledge on ARM in developing countries. This is the main purpose and result of our concrete activities along the country processes, with risk assessment studies, capacity development seminars and stakeholder workshops. Three milestones deserve special attention in 2015: the progress made in country processes, particularly in three countries; the definition and alignment of PARM objectives and main strategies, guided by inputs from our partners; and the additional contribution from BMZ/KfW to PARM through NEPAD.
Despite the difficulties and challenges in some countries, significant progress has been achieved in the risk assessment process in PARM countries, in particular Uganda, Ethiopia and Niger. In Uganda, the Government has included ARM as an specific section of the Agricultural Strategic Plan that was approved in June. PARM was engaged in facilitating this process and, as a result, the first PARM Risk Assessment Study was published in October 2015 with a launching event in Kampala and a webinar hosted by the Forum on Agricultural Risk Management for Development (FARM-D) in November 2015. In Ethiopia, the support of PARM to keep the continuity of the work on ARM from the Policy Forum in November 2014 to the Workshop in December 2015 was very much appreciated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. PARM engagement with the Government continues and the partnership with the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) and FAO is being reinforced. The Risk Assessment Study on Ethiopia will be published in early 2016. In Niger: the WS and CD seminar confirmed the engagement of the HC3N.
“Significant progress has been achieved in the risk assessment process, in particular Uganda, Ethiopia and Niger”
The Platform has developed appropriate guiding instruments to achieve its goals in a coherent manner. This has been possible thanks to the active role played by the members of the Steering Committee (SC) that has met in three occasions during 2015: one in Paris and two by teleconference. The SC has approved key strategic documents that provide clear direction to PARM such as the Logical Framework, the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, the Knowledge Management Plan and the Operational Guidelines. With the guidance of the SC, the Advisory Committee and other partners, significant progress has also been made in developing a new strategic plan and the capacity development strategy. The consistency of the PARM work has been re-enforced with these developments.
Finally, the Platform has attracted a new development partner that will contribute to PARM. BMZ/KfW has been working with NEPAD to develop the details of a EUR 5 million contribution to PARM through NEPAD. This is a great opportunity for re-enforcing the capacity of implementation of PARM, developing specific investment actions and attracting other partners that share the interest on Agricultural Risk Management. It will also consolidate the already vigorous synergies between NEPAD and the PARM Secretariat and starting from 2016 BMZ-KfW will officially be a member of PARM Steering Committee.
Apart from these three milestones, there are many other specific achievements of PARM that are being discussed in the Annual Report 2015. In particular, Knowledge Management has naturally become the driving force that vertebrates most of PARM activities. This has been reflected in a new website and workspace, the presence in social media, the implementation of capacity development activities, and the development of a whole set of factsheets, Newsletters and publications.
“Knowledge Management has naturally become the driving force that vertebrates most of PARM activities”
Among the publications, the studies are becoming an important instrument to create knowledge and disseminate it to country stakeholders and practitioners on ARM through different means such as webinars, summaries and mailing list. Two main studies were published and publically launched in 2015: the Warehouse Receipts study in nine African countries, in partnership with AFD, CTA and IFAD; and the Risk Assessment Study on Uganda. Other important publications in 2015 were the Workshop and capacity development reports on Uganda, and the first country risk profile. Several publications corresponding to work done in 2015, will be published in early 2016.
PARM has engaged in many national and international events and initiatives related with Agricultural Risk Management in Lusaka, Johannesburg, Rome, Kampala, Milano, Dakar, Paris, Niamey and Addis Ababa. For example, PARM was one of the few organizations invited to lead a session during the African Day of Food and Nutrition Security in October in Kampala. The Platform has also brought its holistic approach to other initiatives that are focused on specific instruments such as the Global Insurance Index Facility that organized a Conference in Paris in September.
Capacity Development (CD) is becoming a pillar of PARM approach for the country processes. The demand for CD seminar is large among the stakeholders participating in the PARM processes. These capacities are needed to improve the active participation and the empowerment to manage agricultural risks. For this purpose PARM has been working with local institutions with experience in CD such as the Makerere University in Uganda and Agrhymet in Niger. The positive results of these experiences pushes PARM to look for other local partners in different countries to ensure the sustainability of these actions with a longer term perspective. PARM has also played an active role in supporting coordinated initiatives to create a curriculum on ARM, in particular through is participation in the FAO Workshop on ARM e-learning organized in IFAD Headquarters in June. This provided a very good occasion for collaboration between Rome Based Agencies.
“Creating ARM capacities in developing is a priority for PARM that can only be sustainable in paertnership with local institutions”
This collaboration has been always present in the country activities and processes, where FAO, WFP and the World Bank are among the most active partners of PARM. 2015 has been a very busy year in terms of the country activities. One country (Uganda) has fully finalized the risk assessment phase and it is expected to achieve the tools assessment phase by the end of 2016. Two other countries (Ethiopia and Niger) have had their risk assessment stakeholder workshop and expect to finalize the risk assessment phase first semester 2016. Three countries (Senegal, Cape Vert and Cameron) have already had first PARM/NEPAD missions to launch the PARM process and will enter into the risk assessment phase in 2016. Mozambique and Liberia will receive their first mission in early 2016. Three workshops were organized in Uganda, Ethiopia and Niger. Two additional countries, namely the Gambia and Zambia have expressed interest in collaborating and engaging with PARM and opportunities will be explored in 2016 to be able to respond to this increasing demand.
Indeed, PARM has now a lot of elements for a successful implementation of its long term strategy and plan. Looking ahead two main priorities have to drive PARM activities: good implementation of the planning, and enlarging the scope of partnerships. First, the implementation of the long term plan requires that the new PARM strategy is deployed with rigour, energy and flexibility to ensure that progress is done in all countries at the same time. Second, PARM needs to reinforce and find new imaginative ways for mainstreaming agricultural risk management in policies and development and investment plans. This will require enlarged and new partnerships that facilitate this process. PARM is ready to meet these challenges in 2016.