KYEEMA Foundation at the DFAT round table

On the advent of the release of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, KYEEMA Foundation was invited to be part of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade roundtable on Agriculture and Food Security. The Agricultural Productivity and Food Security Section (AFS), with support from CSIRO’s Food System Innovation (FSI) initiative, hosted the one day event in Canberra in June this year.

The purpose of the meet was to present the new strategy for Australia’s Aid investment in agriculture, fisheries and water to key representative groups from government, NGOs and Universities. Members were able to present their organisation’s key works and strategic frameworks with opportunities for synergies across sectors to be identified. Activities involving improved agricultural markets and value chains, agricultural productivity, women’s economic empowerment and food and nutrition security were highlighted.

The path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals was discussed in depth through three main themes: 1) new NGO-private sector partnerships; 2) women’s empowerment; and 3) agricultural innovation. The crucial role of NGOs in the agriculture and food security sector in this respect was emphasised. Considering their existing knowledge, resources and networks, their propensity to embrace innovative approaches and practices, and their skill in delivering extension and scale-out of agricultural technologies, they are well placed to deliver programs in collaboration with smart partners.

The CEO of KYEEMA Foundation, Celia Grenning, presented to the roundtable on our organisational focus within the agricultural sector – Newcastle disease (ND) control in Africa and improvements to rural poultry in developing countries. She outlined our current and planned programs. She further discussed the key challenges and opportunities for our work in the future.

Many of these were shared and resonated with other groups and organisations. Take home messages for taking the work forward were articulated simply.

Impacts of women’s economic empowerment have clear impacts for growth and development.

This is well evidenced and particularly relevant to KYEEMA’s work with rural poultry development. We are committed to understanding how the key role of women can be enhanced to strengthen household nutrition and livelihoods.

Actively include the private sector in further discussions about new partnerships for development.

At KYEEMA we recognise the need to “talk the language” of the private sector, and to relate what we have to offer with their interests.

Setting up a demand-driven system for the ND vaccine, starting in communities, using a sustainable, cost-recovery system is the challenge for us, as reliable government funding for ND vaccine is problematic. Working with governments and new private partners to set up a “user pays” system is paramount to the work we do. We are currently investigating several opportunities.

We need to recognise what we already know is innovative and that enabling the conditions for delivering and practicing innovation – a process which by very nature is unpredictable – is the challenge

A big part of this is breaking down the siloed units of activity or organisation to uncover where innovation is already happening and allowing it to be up-scaled through an interdisciplinary approach that is better connected to the needs of users.

At KYEEMA we aim to use the skills of a wide range of disciplines in our programs. For example, a project in Tanzania and Zambia, led by the University of Sydney includes nurses, doctors, nutritionists, veterinary virologists, veterinary epidemiologists, economists, ecologists, agronomists, sociologists and an anthropologist. Here, in collaboration with the University of Sydney and the respective in-country government and university institutes, we are supporting the modelling of integrated poultry and cropping systems to maximise food security in different climatic settings.


We look forward to partaking in further stakeholder meets, events and relevant trainings that come out of this event.