Africa has untapped potential for creating monetary value from origin products in the same way ham from Parma and other highly valuable EU agricultural origin food products registered with ‘protected’ Geographical Indications (GIs) add 15 billion Euros per annum to European agriculture. Aiming to accelerate valorization of green inclusive growth in Africa, VALOR will create new knowledge on how African origin product (OP) producers can add value to their products by documenting and incorporating territory specific cultural, environmental and social qualities. In the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) context VALOR will thus promote wise use of market forces. VALOR involves research capacity strengthening in 3 partner countries, Ghana, Kenya & Tanzania, pursuing its objectives via 5 work packages (WPs). WP1 investigates institutional environments for valorization via OPs & GIs, WP2 collects & analyzes data on private sector practices with OPs and GIs, and WP3 provides an in-depth strategic case study of honey as a GI product embodying the smallholder stewarded ecosystem service pollination.
WP4 provides crosscutting analysis & synthesize research findings for policy relevance, and WP5 coordinates the project, including the research capacity building activities through the WPs, 6 PhD students, 5 universities & knowledge dissemination. Project methodology ensures data collection and fieldwork, involving agencies in the public & private sector.´Articles, conference papers, policy briefs, website & other VALOR outputs feed into an impact pathway including country roundtables & review mechanisms of the CAADP, helping Africa leapfrog into a green economy allowing geographical indications (GI´s) add billions of Euros to its monetary economy and allowing smallholders create employment and build monetary value, stewarding pollination services, and so increasing qualities and volumes of the wider food economy.
Project completion report:
5 articles published in international peer reviewed journals, 1 PhD thesis published, 1 PhD thesis in press, at least two further PhD theses submitted, in addition two international journal manuscripts accepted and 10 manuscripts submitted for peer reviewed journals, with at least twelve other ones in various stages of submission or preparation. In Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya double stakeholder workshops have been held, with consultations between VALOR staff and Policymakers as well as producer representatives. All Ph.D. students from each partner country (Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania) completed 2 study/research stays at UCPH (IFRO) in Denmark, carried out in September to October 2014, and September – November 2015, respectively and including individual supervision. By June 2018 already two of the VALOR Ph.D. students graduated or successfully defended their theses: Dr. Innocensia John, UDSM, 2017 (PhD Degree granted 8 Nov. 2017) and Mr. Courage Besah-adanu, University of Ghana Cape Coast, PhD Dissertation submitted December 8 2017, and successfully defended in April 2018. The remaining four PhD student´s are ready for submission of their theses, pending acceptance of a minimum of 2 of their manuscripts submitted to international journals, since such acceptance are required as per their respective university regulations. They all expect to graduate by second half of 2018.
Two Master theses published. One Policy Brief already published, and 5 drafted in various stages for publication in Copenhagen Development Centre series or similar channels.Details on results (summarized above) can be found in the appendices to this report (App 3a and 3c) as well as at the webpages of VALOR, including www.ifro.ku.dk/valor, at http://valor.alphafilm.dk and http://alphafilm.dk/produktion/valor. See also 2014 Report (submitted june 2015) and Mid-term Report (for 2014 and 2015, submitted june 2016) and appendices to this completion report for 2017 and 2018.
Outcomes of the VALOR project includes a Pan-African team of six Ph.D students across three countries (Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania) educated as researcher´s with a specialty in identification and valorisation of origin products with potential for registration with geographical indication (GI) - a type of registration believed - in the EU context - to add more than 15 billion Euro to the European agricultural economy - and therefore representing a potential for African valorisation and food sovereignty. Another outcome is awareness raising among policy makers and contribution to putting GI back on the policy agenda, e.g. in Kenya, a national GI bill had been lying idle for many years, but during the stakeholder workshops focus on GI for food sector development was re-energized.
Brief popularized abstract:
VALOR strengthened research capacity in East & West Africa to enable valorisation of African Origin Products with potential for registration with Geographical Indications (GI´s). VALOR identified a range of Ghanaian, Kenyan & Tanzanian Origin Products with various degrees of promise, when labelled with GI´s. Thanks perhaps to an inception workshop held at the MSTCDC in Tanzania, the project has been functioning well, with all six Ph.D students attending academic courses at university of Copenhagen, contributing to deliveries as stipulated, and graduating/submitting their dissertations generally as planned. Therefore, the main challenge is to help sustain project achievements, the human resources developed and capacities built. VALOR plausibly impacted the African academic community, African origin food producers and policymakers in terms of awareness about hugely underexploited potential of valorizing African origin foods through geographical indications. The project has raised new perspectives concerning the dozens of millions young Africans unable to find gainful employment within conventional value chains, and therefore potentially able to work as agricultural and rural entrepreneurs in GI producer alliances.