More than 60 participants from across Ethiopia stepped away from their work last week to take part in a review and planning workshop of the N2Africa project held 16–17 March 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), N2Africa is a science-based research-in-development initiative that is putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers growing legume crops in the Africa.
The workshop brought together project partners and representatives from national organizations including the private sector (Menagesha Biotech Industry (MBI), Guts Agro, Tsehay Union and ACOS Ethiopia), non-governmental organizations (Facilitator for Change), and development/research institutions (Amhara Regional Agricultural Research Institute, Oromia Agricultural Research Institute, Areka Agricultural Research Center, Gondar Agricultural Research Center, Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Sinana Agricultural Research Center, Bako Agricultural Research Center and Pawe Agricultural Research Center).
At the meeting, participants reviewed the levels of performance of technology dissemination, knowledge transfer, input supply and grain market access in the project. They also discussed progresses of the public-private partnership clusters, which helps to institutionalize N2Africa legume technologies, approaches, and expertise.
In an address to participants, Azage Tegegne, project manager of the Livestock and Irrigation Value chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) and ILRI’s deputy director general’s representative in Ethiopia, emphasized the need for engaging public-private partners to ensure long-term sustainability of the project.
Endalkachew Wolde-Meske, N2Africa country coordinator, presented the overall achievements of the project in the past three years which includes successful Training of Trainers (TOT) for lead smallholder farmers through PPPs, productive demonstrations, adaptations, evaluation and field day events in the different regions of Ethiopia and institutionalization of N2Africa research and development at a national level and integrate the research in country-level agricultural transformation agendas.
‘The success of N2Africa public-private-partnerships will depend on good agronomy’ Endalkachew.
The seven partnership clusters (north, south, central, south-east, Chewaka, Jimma and Pawe) and four partner organizations (MBI, Guts Agro, Tsehay Union and ACOS Ethiopia) presented their 2016 progress reports that showed their achievements, challenges and opportunities. Participants noted that progress has been made in delivery and dissemination of grain legumes among smallholder farmers, but gaps remain in input supply and market access, mainly due to poor demand and a lack of access to information by value chain actors—private sectors, government institutions and farmers’ cooperatives’ unions.
The workshop was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Soil and Fertility, Ministry of Agriculture, Federal Crop, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Ethiopia Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) and Wageningen University.
Outcomes from the meeting will guide the N2Africa project planning in 2017.
More information on the event:
Story by: Liya Dejene and Tsehay Gashaw