AR-NAFAKA project team meeting-April2016

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Africa RISING - NAFAKA Project
Team Review Meeting
18 - 19 April, 2016
SG Resort Hotel, Arusha - Tanzania
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Purpose of Meeting:

  1. Share updates on implementation progress of project activities;
  2. Discuss achievements and lessons learned;
  3. Plan for project outcome survey;
  4. Visit Babati site

Participants (by team):

  1. Francis Muthoni(IITA)
  2. Mateete Bekunda (IITA)
  3. Silvanus Mruma (NAFAKA)
  4. Haroon Sseguya (IITA)
  5. Gloriana Ndibalema (IITA)
  6. Sophia (ARI Dakawa)
  7. Charles (ARI Dakawa)
  8. Andreas Gramzow (AVRDC)
  9. Hassan (AVRDC)
  10. Jumbo Bright (CIMMYT)
  11. Fred Kizito (CIAT)
  12. Job Kihara (CIAT)
  13. Yangole (ARI Selian)
  14. Anthony Kimaro (ICRAF)
  15. Elvis(ICRAF)
  16. Swai (ARI Hombolo)
  17. Zubeda (Aminata Seeds)
  18. Chacha (Meru Agro)
  19. Inot (CIAT)
  20. James (CIMMYT)

DAY ONE: 18 April, 2016
08:15 - Opening and Welcome Remarks - Mateete
08:25 - Introductions and Briefing on Agenda - Haroon
08:40 - Remarks from NAFAKA - Silvanus
09:00 - Progress on activities implemented by maize team (incl. challenges and lessons) - Bright
09.40 – Progress on activities implemented by vegetables team (incl. challenges and lessons) - Andreas
10.15 - TEA BREAK - ALL
10.40 - Progress on activities implemented by rice team (incl. challenges and lessons) - Sophia
11.20 - Progress on activities implemented by postharvest technologies team (incl. challenges and lessons) - Adebayo
12.00 - Discussions (shared between presentations) - All
01:00 - LUNCH - ALL
02:00 - Lessons and plans for remainder of the year - Francis, Haroon
03:15 - Plans for outcome survey - Haroon, Silvanus, Francis
04:30 - Plan for field visit to Babati - Fred
04:50 - Wrap-up of day 1 - Haroon, Mateete

DAY TWO: 19 April, 2016 - Field trip to Babati
07:00 am: Depart Arusha for Babati
09:00 am: Arrive in Babati (courtesy visit to DAICO Offices first)
09:30 am: Depart Babati
10:30 am: Arrive at Seloto (courtesy visit to Seloto village chairman’s office first)
10:30 am: Farmers from Sabillo also arrive in Seloto at Antoni Leonsi’s farm (Group headed by extension agent: Ezekiel Mngumi (0688202489)
10:45 am: Group from Arusha depart from Seloto chairman’s office to arrive at the field at to meet Sabillo group at Antoni Leonsi’s farm (Session: 11 am to 1 pm)
nnnnnnnnnn(a) Brief introduction of the Project: Job Kihara
nnnnnnnnnn(b) Show group on-going work and treatments: Job Kihara and Inot Ibrahim
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnExplanation of implementation activities: Yangole Luhenda
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnDemonstration of nutrient studies: Job Kihara
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnDemonstration of soil moisture measurements; soil and water conservation measures with forages along contours: Patrick Kisamo
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnDemonstration of soil traps/runoff detectors: Patrick Kisamo
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnShow met station and how data is used: Job Kihara
nnnnnnnnnn(c) Group discussion on lessons learned and questions: Job
nnnnnnnnnn(d) Ask for insights from Sabillo farmers on how different this farm setting is from their own and lessons learnt: Job Kihara
nnnnnnnnnn(e) Ask for insights from other districts on what can be done better or what they have learnt: Haroon Sseguya
1:00 - 1:30 pm Group Lunch (in shade near Seloto church)
1:30 pm: Depart for Sabillo with farmers from Seloto and other farmers from visiting Districts
2:30 pm: Arrive at Petro Lohay’s farm (a 1.5 hour session hence be done by 4 pm)
nnnnnnnnnn(a) Introduce Group to on-going work: Yangole Luhenda/Inot Ibrahim
nnnnnnnnnn(b) Show group on going field experimentation: Yangole and Inot
nnnnnnnnnn(c) Conduct brief participatory field assessment: Petro Lohay leads farmers
nnnnnnnnnn(d) Group discussion on lessons learned and questions: Job Kihara
nnnnnnnnnn(e) Ask for insights from Seloto farmers on how different this farm setting is from their own and lessons learnt.
nnnnnnnnnn(f) Ask for insights from other districts on what can be done better; what they have learnt…. Haroon Sseguya
4:00 pm: Depart for Arusha/Seloto. The group to Seloto (led by extension agents: Elda Mary: 0658852058 and Jackson Mbwambo: 0784620173)


Introduction remarks / Opening session
The meeting started at 8:45 am with a short prayer and introduction of the meeting facilitated by Dr. Haroon Sseguya, the project coordinator (and Technology Scaling Specialist, IITA). He noted that it’s a tradition for the project team to get together and review the progress of activities and plan ahead. Haroon also noted the meeting is also a special opportunity to welcome the new rice team led by ARI Dakawa through, among others, interaction with other team members.

Welcome/Opening remarks

Mateete Bekunda, Chief Scientist, Africa RISING ESA, IITA

  • Welcomed the participants and emphasized on how good it is for the team to get together to review progress of the activities.
  • He also noted that the team has to work together so that it leaves a legacy for farmers after project completion.
  • Bekunda informed the team that there is an increasing emphasis among the donor community and other stakeholders for research scientists to shift from ‘research for development’ to ‘research in development.’ Thus, scientists on the project should focus and work on meeting the new demand. In addition, packaging of what we are scaling needs to be better articulated. By the time we end the second year, what we are scaling in terms of protocols, costs and benefits need to be well packaged.

Haroon Sseguya, AR-NAFAKA project coordinator/ Technology Scaling Specialist - IITA

  • Informed the team that NAFAKA project will be ending this year and a new phase is expected. However, with this change, there are some activities that were conducted with NAFAKA which Africa RISING has to prepare to handle.

Silvanus Mruma, Leader of Productivity theme, NAFAKA

  • Shared with the participants on how Phase 2 of NAFAKA will be conducted, noting that it will most likely have a stronger focus on farm mechanization, processing, marketing and inputs. He noted also that there will most likely be an additional activity focusing on fortification of milled flour from cereal crops to improve nutrition. This work was one of activity done by TUBOCHA.
  • He also noted that it will be necessary for the successor project for NAFAKA to work with Africa RISING on marketing/scaling strategies for the proven technologies.

Team presentations

Bright Jumbo (CIMMYT): Progress on activities implemented by the maize team

  • He noted that the team focuses on: improved technologies; good agronomic practices, natural resource management and community empowerment. He shared the different villages (39) in seven districts, where 84 mother demos and 622 baby demos have been established with maize, legumes and soil and water management technologies to serve as learning sites for the farmers.
  • One key item to note is that all the selected maize varieties for the different agroecologies are doing well despite the dry spell in semi-arid Dodoma region and delayed rains in some villages in Morogoro region.
  • There was a poor germination problem for one of the varieties (NATA H105 and NATAH104).
  • There were delays in rains in Mvomero district (Morogoro region). Planting is just starting.
  • Planned activities include:
  • Conducting field days, harvesting the crops and processing yield data, finalization of writing of extension materials and monitoring of progress/advisory visits.

Andreas Gramzow (AVRDC): Progress on activities implemented by the vegetables team

  • He reported that the project is being implemented in the districts of Babati: (Maweni, Endadosh Sagara villages); Kiteto ( Kaloleni, KibayaSunya); .Kongwa(Chamkoroma, Tubugwe, Songambele); Kilombero ( Misufini, Kisawasawa, Ichonde); Kilolo Luhindu, Lukani, Mtitu, Mbigili); and Iringa rural (Kalenga, Mangalali)
  • He noted that the team has managed to conduct Training of Trainers sessions in twelve pilot villages for 381 lead farmers and 12 village extensionists and have 381 baby trials which generated 761 grandbaby trials Among the extension trainees were CRS staff who are implementing the vegetables component for the NAFAKA main project.
  • Market access training was also conducted for 21 farmers in Endadosh village (Babati district) as a means of facilitating markets for scaling. This activity will be extended to other villages for the project.
  • He informed participants that demonstration plots in Ifakara, Babati, Kiteto and Kongwa districts suffered from heavy rainfall.
  • He informed participants that noted that the next will include establishing nurseries and 10 demonstration plots in Kilolo and Iringa rural Districts, continuing with training in the other districts, conducting baseline studies in new pilot villages and testing small-scale screen houses from an equipment company – A to Z textiles.

Charles Chuwa: Progress on activities implemented by the rice team

  • He noted that the mean rice production is2.5 t/ha in Tanzania, which is slightly higher than that of Sub-Saharan Africa at 2.2 t/ha but much lower than the global average productivity of 4.3 t/ha.
  • He noted that some of the production constraints are associated with farmers growing local/traditional varieties many of which have low yield potential; low soil fertility and abiotic stresses (drought, salt affected soils and floods).
  • Other constraints biotic stresses (weed infestation (including Striga); diseases (blast, rice yellow mottle virus, blast, bacterial leaf blight); pests (African rice gall midge and stem borers); and poor irrigation infrastructure.
  • It was also noted that inadequate postharvest technologies result in low-quality rice and low prices. About 95% of farm operations are done manually. The infrastructure for transportation, storage, and processing is often lacking. Farmers and processors do not have easy access to credit.
  • He reported that four technologies were selected for scaling, beginning March 2015: (i) use of improved rice varieties; (ii) Use of fertilizers to improve soil fertility; (iii). management of salt-affected soils through use of salt tolerant varieties (SATO1 and SATO 2)and soil amendments; and (iv) Safe alternate wetting and drying (AWD) to minimize water competition while improving productivity
  • The team is conducting activities in Mvomero, Mbarali, Iringa Rural and Kilombero districts.
  • Charles informed the team that the team is preparing the training materials and plan to conduct training for farmers, lead farmers, VAEOs, WAEOs and NAFAKA staff beginning in late April May 2015.


  • It was inquired whether the successor project for NAFAKA will be able to help big processors in Mbeya and Iringa regions to get markets. Assurance was given that there is availability of market for the big processors that NAFAKA is currently working with, and some have already got contracts to supply produce to neighboring countries. And this will be possible since Government of Tanzania has revised the export barriers in favor of processors.
  • It was noted that there is a big potential for rice production in Rukwa and Katavi regions all in the Southern region (SAGCOT) but this project and NAFAKA are only focusing on Mbeya and Iringa regions. A clarification was given that the project is concentrating on Mbeya and Iringa because they are within the USAID FtF zone of influence but more discussions will go on to seek additional funding from other development partners for possible expansion to other regions in the SAGCOT but outside the FtF ZoI. It was also suggested that a strong case can be presented to the USAID mission for consideration to expand to the two regions.
  • All teams were requested to ensure having a scaling plan for successful technologies being promoted. This will ensure linkages with private sector for farmers to be able to get necessary inputs like seeds, fertilizers and farm equipment when they adopt the technologies. In this regard, NAFAKA requested the maize team to work more closely with Meru Agro as many farmers are interested in their seeds but cannot access them.
  • Dr Jumbo emphasized the need to inform the farmers participating in the project about the importance of varieties being promoted, such as quality protein maize (QPM) that have high protein content for improving nutrition. They should be informed that the focus is not only the increased yields since some varieties like those of QPM may have relatively lower yields but with additional nutrition benefits.
  • On the poor seed germination for NATA seeds, Dr. Zubeda noted that there was a problem with seed treatment in last year’s consignment which has been since resolved.
  • It was inquired whether the people receiving seeds can be categorized as adopter or beneficiary since some farmers are supplied with seeds but do not plant. A clarification was given that a farmer who receives seeds is a beneficiary but if he/she doesn’t plant that’s another case.
  • It was emphasized that respective themes need to monitor the performance of the demos more closely by keeping records on how technology is performing at different stages e.g. germination, tolerance to drought, yields etc. Proper records will ensure that if a problem is noted it is acted upon or communicated to stakeholders for relevant action. Zubeda from AMINATA seeds informed the team that in other projects, the secretary of the group running the demos are given a book to record all the activities and observation in the demo for reference. This should be encouraged inn all the demos for scientists to be able to draw from the records.
  • Low participation of women in the vegetable demos was noted as a concern. The team clarified that the cultural context of the target sites is the main hindrance to women participation. Facilitating this change is a long term issue that will be addressed gradually. .
  • The good working relationship between the vegetables team and the Village Extension Officers (VEOs) was recommended and other teams were encouraged to learn and emulate that model. Active participation of village extension staff is key in ensuring the sustainability of the project achievements as well as one of the exit strategy components.
  • The maize and PHH teams were requested to synchronize their activities since they are complementary.
  • Gender imbalance in implementing rice activities was noted whereby men avoid activities that are done when bending. To reduce gender imbalance, it was recommended that the rice team explore alternative means for mechanization e.g. the direct paddy seeder that is preferred by men.
  • It was advised all teams provide GIS data to facilitate development of recommendation domains for further scaling.
  • It was recommended that scientists need to show the technologies that they are taking to NAFAKA for dissemination and not to do technologies that NAFAKA have been working on. This is one of the added value of scientists and development practitioners working together.
  • It was informed that Meru Agro has a striga resistant variety for areas that face the striga weed problem. This variety should be promoted in selected locations next year.
  • The team discussed on modalities of estimating the spill-over of the demonstrated technologies. Examination of GIS/GPS data for grandbaby demo plots could be one of actions for understanding the spatial spread of spill overs.

Lessons learned/observations so far

  • Haroon made a presentation on the status of the scaling operations drawing from his experience of visiting the different sites. It was noted that:

  • Exchange visits despite being suggested as part of the scaling operations are missing are – many teams are not conducting them.
  • The teams had no training material documents that they use during training of farmers.
  • Many mother demo plots had no identification tags/posters in all locations. Some have English language only. It was suggested that since the main target is the farmer, Swahili should be prioritized over English when developing the posters. Haroon promised to share samples of the templates that the participants can advise which one to use for uniformity and branding.
  • Many team leaders do not monitor their sites physically and they were advised to do that more regularly.
  • In many case, there is no clear communication between the scientists and people they are working with including technicians, farmers, VAEOs and NAFAKA agronomists. This too needs to improve for the rest of the project life.
  • Data collection and reporting activities are going on well. The project expects a team from the USAID mission to do data quality assessments. So, all the data should be well organized. The deadline for sending all the data to Haroon will be mid-May, 2016.
  • It is difficult to report all ongoing activities quarterly as is currently the case. Therefore, teams were advised to intensify work with VAEOs so that they can be reporting on a monthly basis.
  • Team members were also encouraged to use the available project communication tools (Yammer, wiki, etc.).

Way forward

  • M&E training for field liaison staff from all project teams has been organized. The focus will be on overview of M&E, data collection (both monitoring and outcome survey) and documentation. The training will be held on 3-4 May 2016 at Morogoro, NAFAKA offices.
  • Scaling plan for innovations will be developed starting with Post harvest technologies in May 2016.
  • Haroon informed the team of the upcoming annual review and planning meeting that will be held on 4-5 July 2016. An invitation will be sent to participants.
  • Mateete requested the teams (by theme) to submit the training manuals, protocols of technologies being delivered and scaled before the annual review and planning meeting. He insisted that those who will not submit the documents by mid-June to Haroon will not be welcome at the meeting.

Closure Dr. Francis Muthoni, the project GIS scientist, gave the closing remarks. He thanked all participants for high turnout and active participation. He noted that all the team members are showing high commitment to accelerate achievement of the project goals that will eventually help increase yields and reduce poverty for our farmers. We should continue with the same spirit and commitment. Silvanus mruma.jpg Silvanus Mruma (NAFAKA) giving remarks at the opening

Rice team.jpg Rice team projecting the rice producing areas in Tanzania and main AR-NAFAKA project focus

Bright Jumbo.jpg Bright Jumbo (CIMMYT) presenting the progress on activities implemented by maize team

Fred Kizito.jpg Fred Kizito (CIAT) elaborating a point during a discussion session.