Invited Panels

Invited Panels are 90-minute sessions that involve significant interaction with audience members. An effective session may include a group of experts invited to debate a topic or theme, enact some aspect of their expertise, or reflect on and compare their diverse experiences. Panels must include involvement from the audience, through questions and answers, voting or critique of the experts’ presentations, extensive discussion, or other mechanisms.

Panel organizers are encouraged to minimize the number of panelists to provide for fruitful and satisfying discussion.

NOTE: The best panels tend to have fewer speakers and more interaction, debate and discussion with the audience. 

Session Requirements

A projector and computer will be available in every session room for presentations.

Presentation Requirements

Speakers must arrive in their session room at least 15 minutes before the start of their session to report to the chairpersons. An assistant from the local organization will also be available for technical assistance.

Files from a memory stick can be uploaded to the laptop in your specified rooms during the breaks between the sessions. To avoid software compatibility problems, speakers are advised to embed all fonts in their PowerPoint file and bring a backup PDF-version of their presentation. Please include your full name in the footer of the slides for your presentation. 

General Considerations

  •         Use a font type that is clear and easy to read
  •         Use large enough fonts size to be visible to all attendees.
  •          Limit the number of words per visual to no more than 20.
  •          Graphs and charts should have bold lines and symbols that contrast sharply with the background.


2. Transforming agrifood system to facilitate economic transformation and youth employment opportunities

Sunday 25 September 1100 - 1230


Session organizersKwame Yeboah and Thomas Jayne

Session Chair: Thomas Jayne

Discussant: Bekele Shiferaw, Bruno LOSCH

Section Description: Most projections indicate that the agri-food system remains a major vehicle for achieving economic transformation in most African countries. Strong economic growth linkages between the agrifood system and other segments of the economy mean that a focus on expanding and improving the quality of economic opportunity across the agrifood value chain holds considerable prospects for a more inclusive pattern of economic growth, equip youth with skills and experience that will be transferable to other sectors in the future, and slow urban migration. Summary description

4. Building Capacity for Understanding and Managing Climate Change in Agribusiness Value Chains: Insights from North-South Partnerships

Sunday 25 September 1100 - 1230 


Chair: Prof. Willis Oluoch-Kosura, Professor, University of Nairobi
Session Organiser: David Otieno Jakinda, University of Nairobi

Presenters: Prof. Wolfgang Bokelmann, Beatrice Muriithi, Dorcas Anyango, Lawrence Moranga, Mengistu K. Aredo
Abstract: This symposium is based on a European Union EDULINK project that brings together four Universities (Humboldt University, Haramaya University, the University of Nairobi, and Karatina University) in a collaborative research and capacity building for climate change management in horticulture value chains. The symposium seeks to engage professionals in Agricultural and Applied Economics in sharing experiences and insights to develop a common understanding on agricultural ‘value chain analysis.  Continue reading...

6. Transforming agriculture through investments in African seed systems: Lessons from studies in East Africa

Monday 26 September 0830 - 1000 


Session organizers: Miltone Ayieko, Mary K. Mathenge, and Mercy Kamau

Chair: Mary K. Mathenge

Presenters: Mercy Kamau, Tim Njagi, Miltone Ayieko
Discussants: Melinda Smale, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics

Description: Agricultural productivity growth in Sub-Saharan Africa remains relatively low compared to other developing countries. Although progress has been made in the development of high-yielding, more nutritious and resilient seed and plant varieties, numerous challenges abound with regard to availability, access to, and utilization of quality seed and plant varieties by smallholder farmers. Low adoption rates and the influence of markets, coupled with time lag between release and adoption of improved seeds continue to pose problems in increasing productivity and farm incomes, thereby impeding and/or slowing down the process of transforming African agriculture. Read more

8. Policy-Oriented Action Learning and Research on Agricultural Micro Policy and Regulatory Reforms in African Countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania
Saturday 24 September 1600 - 1800


Session Organiser:  Joseph Rusike and Boaz Keizire 

Chair: Nega Wubuneh
Presenters & Discussants: Boaz Blackie Keizire, Joseph Rusike, Liston Njoroge, Gungu Mibavu, Jean-Marie Byakweli, Josephine Ivy Quagraine, Daniel Ohemeng-Boateng, Nega Wubeneh, Mengesha Tadesse, Abdelaziz Ouedraogo, David Tiemtore, Anthony Bello, Mandivamba Rukuni

Session Rationale: Under the Malabo Declaration of 2014 for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods, African government leaders committed to Accelerated Growth and Transformation of agriculture and agribusiness and to put in place appropriate policy and institutional framework support systems for facilitating domestic and international private sector investments in agriculture, agribusiness and agro-industries. Priority is given to domestic investors to ensure African ownership of the approach and results to drive sustainability. Continue reading

10. Graduate Students & Young Scholars' Case Study Competition

Saturday 24 September 1600 - 1800


Session organizer: Francis Darko, Purdue University

ChairDidier Kadjo, Purdue University

PresentersHambulo Ngoma, Justice Tambo, Oliver Kirui

Rationale: The Case Study Competition is an initiative of the young scholars of the AAAE aimed to encourage graduate students and young scholars with an interest in the development of African agriculture to share their views. The aims of the Young Scholars Section will include, but not limited to:

  1. Support the leadership of the association in such activities, as writing needed reports, planning future conferences and reviewing articles for conferences.
  2. Members will serve as ambassadors of the association in their schools and organizations.
  3. Promote the professional development of young scholars in agricultural and applied economics
  4. Promote the involvement of young scholars in the association
  5. Serve as the mouthpiece for young scholars to the leadership of the association.

12. Policies, Institutions and Agricultural Transformation 

Saturday 24 September 1600 - 1800


Session organizer: Karen Brooks, PIM-IFPRI


Presenters: T. S. Jayne, Bachewe, F., Berhane, G., Xinshen Diao,

Rationale: Despite significant efforts, Africa has struggled to imitate the successful Green Revolution that took place in Asia. As a rare but important exception, Ethiopia’s agricultural sector has recently recorded remarkable rapid growth. Over the last decade, there have been significant increases - more than a doubling - in the use of modern inputs, such as chemical fertilizers and improved seeds, explaining part of that growth. However, there was also significant land expansion, increased labor use, and Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth, estimated at 2.3 percent per year. 

15. Smallholder Agriculture, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management

Sunday 25 September 1100 - 1230


Session organiser: Innocent Matshe, African Economic Reseacrh Consortium (AERC)

Chair: Prof. Lemma Senbet, AERC

Presenters: Dambala Gelo, Juana J., Fekadu Gelaw

Q&A: Witness Simbanegavi

Symposium Objective: To offer an opportunity for presentation and discussion of Small-holder farmer development and climate change research findings. The session will offer researchers and AAAE delegates an opportunity to dialogue on emerging findings and their policy implications for smallholder development especially as the affect aspects of Africa’s food system.

1. The future of African food and nutrition security

Sunday 25 September 1100 - 1230 


Session organizer: Nicolas Gerber

Chair: Joachim von Braun

Speakers: (1) Hans van Meijl - LEI (2) Alessandro Olper - LICOS (3) Nicolas Gerber - ZEF (4) Maximo Torero - IFPRI (5) Karen Macours - Paris School of Economics.

Presenters: Muatha, Apata, Obisesan, Lakoh, Gitonga, Tsvakirai, Wabwile, Kergna

Summary description: Despite global progress, poverty and food and nutrition security remain pressing issues in the world. In Africa, on average 41% of the population lived in extreme poverty during the decade 2003–2012 and the decrease from the previous decade is too small to prevent absolute extreme poverty from rising. Although the prevalence of underweight children showed a stronger decrease, reaching 20.9% in that period, it also reflects on the failure of the continent to achieve MDG1 because of an important number of countries not being able to reduce extreme poverty to the necessary levels. DownloadFoodsecure Symposium_summary | Organized Symposium FoodSecure_final

3. From Implementation to Impact: Targeting and Measuring Biofortification Interventions

Sunday 25 September 1100 - 1230 


Presenters: Ekin Birol, Jose Funes, Caitlin Herrington, Adewale Oparinde and Michael Tedla Diressie

Session Organiser: Ekin Birol, Head, Impact Research Unit and Senior Research Fellow, HarvestPlus

Chair: Manfred Zeller, Professor, University of Hohenheim

Closing remarks: David Spielman

RationaleAt the 4TH AAAE Conference in 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia, HarvestPlus held a symposium titled “From Research to Implementation: Informing Development and Delivery of Biofortified Staple Crops”.   The aim of that symposium was to present the portfolio of economic research conducted in the preceding three years to inform the efficient, effective and targeted development and delivery of biofortified staple food crops in Africa. Continue reading...

5. Moving Beyond Maize: Successes and Failures in Farmer Adoption of Climate-Smart Technologies

Saturday 24 September 1600 - 1800


Session Organizer: Jeffrey D. Michler


Presenters: Anna L. Josephson, Jacob Ricker-Gilbert, Jeffrey D. Michler, Patrick S. Ward, Kai Mausch

Discussant: David J. Spielman

Focus and Motivation: The focus of this session is to foster discussion on adoption of alternative crops and methods designed to help farmers adapt to climate change. Much of the research in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) on climate-smart technologies has centered on the maize cropping system. This work has included breeding of drought tolerant maize varieties as well as promotion of maize-soybean crop rotation as part of Conservation Agriculture (CA) or maize-legume intercropping. Continue reading 

7. The Economic Potential of African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) for African Food Markets

Monday 26 September 0830 - 1000 


Session organizers: Dube, Praxedis; Ihle, Rico; Heijman, Wim; Struik, Paul

ChairRico  Ihle

Discussants: Victor Afari-Sefa, Hugo De Groote, Justus  Ochieng

Abstract: The modern agriculture has made significant contributions to hunger and poverty alleviation worldwide. This led to a decline in the total number of plant species upon which people depend for food, in particular, wild plants, indigenous plants, semi domesticated and cultivated vegetables and fruits. Historically, these plants supplemented staples with the provision of micronutrients and bolstered food security during crop failures. Continue reading

9. Addressing Human Zinc Deficiency through Agriculture Innovations in Ethiopia

Saturday 24 September 1600 - 1800


Session Organiser: Hugo De Groote
Chair: Tesfaye Hailu Bekele

Presenters: Nilupa Gunaratna, Tesfaye Hailu Bekele, Demissie Belayneh, Samuel Gameda, Tekalign Mamo

Discussants: Bart Minten, Tekalign Mamo, James Warner, Namukolo Covic

Session Rationale: Zinc deficiency is a major public health problem in Ethiopia and other African countries, affecting nutrition and health outcomes particularly in young children and women of reproductive age, but some widely-used interventions such as food fortification can be less effective in reaching rural populations. To address zinc deficiency in children and women in Ethiopia, several research activities are currently taking place, conducted by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), the Harvard Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), and the Gent University in Belgium. Continue reading

11. Market Transformation in Africa

Monday 26 September 0830 - 1000 


Session organiser: Bart Minten, IFPRI


Presenters: Tschirley, D., S. Liverpool-Tasie, Thomas Woldu, Bart Minten 

Rationale: Major changes are happening in agricultural and food markets in developing countries and in Africa. First, supermarkets are taking off quickly in a large number of these countries. Second, the share of high-value crops—such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, fish, and meat—is rapidly increasing in the diet of consumers. Third, quality demands by consumers in developing countries are on the rise. Fourth, food safety requirements for export agriculture from developing countries have important effects on the structure of value chains.

13. Livestock on the Move in Eastern Africa Improving Policy and Governance through Economics

Sunday 25 September 1100 - 1230 


Session Organizer: Ugo Pica-Ciamarra, FAO

Chair Maria Mashingo, Permanent Secretary, Livestock – Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries

Presenters Paul Gamba, Egerton University; Longin Nsiima, Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; Florian Blum, London School of Economics

Symposium focus and structure: This symposium focuses on the microeconomics that helps decision-makers to improve livestock sector policy and governance, allowing them to design in detail and implement in practice interventions that tap into the major development opportunities that the livestock sector offers.

The economics that improves livestock sector policy and governance measures poverty and well-being and understands their determinants, including the role of livestock. Continue reading

14. Science, Technology and Innovation in Transforming African Smallholder Agriculture—

The Need for Greater Rural Innovation Capacity

Monday 26 September 0830 - 1000 


Chair: Dr. David Spielman, IFPRI
Session organisers: John Lynam, Consultant; Nienke Beintema, ASTI/IFPRI

1. Paul Nampala: Human capital
2. Joseph Rusike: Institutional change
3. Michael Waithaka: Capacity within AIS 
4. Gert-Jan Stads: Investment capacity

Rationale: A critical requirement in transforming smallholder agriculture in Africa is increases in farm productivity, which remains low by international standards.  The constraints on smallholder productivity are an interacting set including underdeveloped input and output markets, lack of access to credit, and inadequate rural innovation capacity. Contextually appropriate technology, however, is the driver of increasing productivity with the other factors providing the incentives for the adoption of these technologies.  Continue reading


Monday 26 September 0830 - 1000 


Session organiser & Chair:  Olagoke Oladapo - Chief Agricultural Economist
Presenters & Discussants:
  1. Olagoke Oladapo : Chief Agricultural Economist
  2. Leandre Gbeli: Principal Agricultural Economist
  3. Mark Eghan : Agricultural Economist

Session Description: Agriculture is a major source of income in Africa; however, untapped agricultural potential has contributed to persistent poverty and deteriorating food security, resulting in a projected increase in the number of undernourished people from ~240m in 2015 to ~320m by 2025. Falling commodity prices for a broad range of natural resources are creating an increasing imperative for African nations to diversify their exports and reduce current account deficits. At the same time, increased food demand and changing consumption habits driven by demographic factors such as population growth and urbanization are leading to rapidly rising net food imports, which are expected to grow from US$35bn in 2015 to over US$110bn by 2025. Read more