Prof. Willis Owino invited to present experiences from the BAOFOOD and BAOQUALITY projects at the 10th Anniversary Nagoya Protocol Celebrations

The 10th Anniversary of the Nagoya Protocol was celebrated in Kenya on the 3rd to 7th November 2020 at the Lake Bogoria Spa Hotel. Chief Guest  was the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife IG (Rtd.) Joseph Boinnet. Other invited guests included, UNEP regional representative for Africa Dr. Juliette Biao; The Principal Secretary in the State Department of Wildlife – Prof Fred Segor, The Deputy Governor, County Government of Baringo -Jacob Chepkwony; Director general KWS – represented by Dr. Patrick Omondi, Director General NACOSTI, Prof. Walter Oyawa, CEO Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Associations (KWCA – Lucy Ng’anga, County Executive Committee Member for Environment, Natural, Resources, Tourism and wildlife, Dr. Maureen Rotich, County Executive Committee Member for Tourism (Laikipia), County Executive Committee Member for Tourism (Kakamega), representatives from UNDP, NEMA, Universities, NGOs and private sector.

Speaking on behalf of KWS’ Director General, the Director of Biodiversity Research and Planning Dr. Patrick Omondi said that Kenya joined the world in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Nagoya Protocol. Dr. Omondi stated that KWS is collaborating with several partners among them UNDP global ABS project and GIZ ABS initiative on implementation of various activities in line with Nagoya Protocol. Dr. Juliette Biao congratulated Kenya for making broad steps in the domestication of the Nagoya Protocol both at national and county levels. She praised the Soda Lake project – which focuses on actualizing the benefits from genetic resources in Kenya – as being one of the few in the world where practical aspects of embracing the Nagoya Protocols are being done. She reiterated that the Nagoya Protocol ensures that no one is left behind. It calls for inclusivity of local communities and all stakeholders, with attention to the needs of women, children and people with disabilities. Prof. Fred Segor indicated that Nagoya protocol requires the establishment of domestic measures, with clear legal clarity, certainty and procedures guidelines for both users and providers.

Among the projects invited to share their experiences at the event, Prof. Willis Owino shared the experiences of the Baofood and the Baoquality projects in the acquisition of the needed permits concerning the Nagoya Protocol. The baobab projects attracted interest from the participants in that it was different being a food and nutritional security based, noncommercial project, which was different from the other projects subjected to the Nagoya permit process to date. The following recommendations can be derived from our experience:

  • Simplified process for non-commercial research in comparison to commercial ventures.
  • Shorter and more standardized procedures. Since the Nagoya protocol permit process cuts across a number of government agencies, there is need of a one stop shop for the permits
  • Consideration of a longer permit term limit since 1-year permit is just too short considering the process that is required. There is need of at least a 2 year of 3-year permit.  

Baobab training videos online

Two training videos on baobab which were developed during the BAOFOOD project are now online. Based on experiences in Kilifi, Kenya, the first video illustrates how baobab fruits should be handled during and after harvest in order to ensure high-quality baobab pulp; the second video shows how baobab fruit juice can easily be used to enrich porridge and thus your diet. The videos are available in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Kiswahili. Enjoy watching!

BAOFOOD Final Workshop in Kilifi, Kenya

The final BAOFOOD workshop took place from the 4th to the 6th of September in Kilifi, Kenya. The different MSc and PhD students in the project from all partner countries (Kenya, Sudan, Malawi, and Germany) had the chance to present their research findings in front of the entire project consortium as well as experts from the broader baobab sector. Furthermore, a stakeholder workshop was conducted to illustrate the project findings in brief for policy makers as well as members from the local communities which were involved in the research activities in Kilifi County. The community members also showcased currently available local baobab products to the workshop participants.

Community-based baobab processing pilot in Kilifi nearing completion

The construction of the community-based baobab processing facility for the production of high-quality baobab powder and oil with and for the local communities is nearing completion. With the harvesting season for baobab starting in a few weeks’ time in Kilifi, construction works have been finalized and the majority of equipment has been installed, so that as of now the final finishing touches are in progress.

Alongside the construction works, approximately 60 farmers from the local communities have recently been trained in baobab harvesting, storage and processing in order to ensure that high quality baobab products will be produced.

BAOFOOD @ Fourth World Congress on Agroforestry

Different results from the Baofood project were presented at the Fourth World Congress on Agroforestry, which took place from the 20 – 22nd of May in Montpellier, France. Mr Ismail Adam, one of the MSc students within the project from the University of Kordofan presented his work on livelihood strategies and baobab fruit use of rural households in Kordofan, Sudan. Mr George Kaimba from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology presented first results of his PhD research (Supply response of baobab pulp to price and non-price incentives in Kenya). Furthermore, Ms Katja Kehlenbeck presented the results which were achieved in terms of characterization and domestication of baobab in Sudan and Kenya. Last but not least, Ms Katie Meinhold presented the ongoing project activities with regards to establishing the pilot baobab processing facility in in Kilifi Kenya, which made it to key-note speech in the session ‘Agroforestry in Practice’.

BAOFOOD Consortium Meeting in Kilifi, Kenya

The BAOFOOD project partners met in Kilifi, Kenya, to discuss the progress of the project and the necessary next steps. Results from ongoing research activities were presented and upcoming surveys discussed amongst the different work streams in order to be able to finalize the project in 2019.

The site of the pilot plant was visited where construction works have already started to set up the community-based baobab processing facility for the production of high-quality baobab powder and oil with and for the local communities. This was alongside an open-day where members from the local communities showcased currently available local baobab products. Furthermore, new baobab food products such as cookies, curry sauces and savory pancakes with a potential for the local market were presented and tested.


Members from the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences visited the BIOFACH trade fair for organic food and agriculture to broaden the network with the baobab community and inform about the project. Project partners (e.g. PhytoTrade Africa) as well as different producers of baobab products (e.g. Berlin-based africrops!, B’Ayoba from Zimbabwe, Baobab Products Mozambique, EcoProducts South Africa, Biomega from Austria, or Matahi from France) and further potential scientific collaborators (e.g. Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin) were met and opportunities for further collaborations explored.

Meeting Sarah Venter from EcoProducts South Africa (left), the africrops! team and Prof Schweikart from the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin (right), as well as Gabriele Fernsebner from Biomega (below) 

Visit of africrops! at Rhine-Waal University

The German company africrops!  recently visited the Rhine-Waal University in Kleve to exchange on baobab-related activities in Eastern and Southern Africa and discover opportunities for future cooperation. africrops! is a German supplier of fairly traded and sustainably produced plant products from Africa, particularly baobab and moringa, as well as a provider of capacity building and training activities for partners on site in Africa. Continue reading Visit of africrops! at Rhine-Waal University