Africa RISING WA planning meeting Feb2017

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Africa RISING West Africa Planning Meeting
1 - 2 February, 2017
Best Western Premier Hotel - Accra, Ghana
[edit | edit source]

media type="custom" key="29004013"[edit | edit source]

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Review phase 1 outputs, achievements and lessons learnt
  • Discuss the phase 2 proposal and implementation guidelines, and review a pre-developed project log-frame
  • Draft 2017 work-plans

Participants (click to download)[edit | edit source]

Agenda[edit | edit source]

Tuesday, 31 January[edit | edit source]

Arrival of participants[edit | edit source]

Wednesday, 1 February
8:00 Registration
8:30 Welcome address - I. Hoeschle-Zeledon
8:35 Opening remarks - M.Abberton
8:45 Participants introduction, agenda overview and facilitation process introduction - Facilitators
9:30 Phase 1 achievement by research theme (2-4 posters per theme)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx(1) Socio-economics of intensification (Theme 1) – Leads (Bekele Kotu for Ghana, Felix Badolo for Mali)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx(2) Intensifying crop production (Theme 2) – Leads (Nurudeen Abdulrahman for Ghana, Jean Baptiste for Mali)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx(3) Intensifying livestock and integrated crop/livestock (Theme 3) – Leads (Augustine Ayantunde for both Ghana and Mali)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx(4) Land, soil and water management (Theme 4) – Leads (Cofie Olufumke for Ghana, Birhanu Zemadim for Mali)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx(5) Household nutrition, food safety, mycotoxin, postharvest (Theme 5) – Leads (Mahama Saaka for Ghana,Caroline Sobgui for Mali)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx(6) Gender (Gundula Fischer for both Ghana and Mali)
10:30 Coffee/tea break and group photo
11:00 Phase 1 achievements by research theme (con'td)
12:30 Guided plenary: Take-away insights from the bus stops
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Africa RISING Program Phase 2: Whats new? - I. Hoeschle-Zeledon
14:20 West Africa Phase 2 (what’s different/transitions from phase 1, new areas of work, loose ends from phase 1, R4D platforms) - A.Larbi
14:40 Sustainable intensification indicators - M.Musumba
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxHandouts for this session
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx- A framework for selecting and analyzing indicators of sustainable intensification
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Radar chart data entry sheet
15:30 Working coffee/tea break
16:30 M&E Framework for phase 2 - C. Azzarri
17:00 General discussion on Phase 2
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx - 15 minute table buzzing on the four presentations above and we will collect Q&A
17:30 End of day 1
19:00 Reception cocktail

Thursday, 2 February[edit | edit source]

08:20 Agenda overview
08:30 Achieving the vision of success – introductory presentation - I. Hoeschle-Zeledon
09:00 Phase 2 scaling opportunities and partners – Ghana (A proposal on strategies and partners for scaling selected proven technologies will be presented and discussed. This will involve identifying opportunities and partners for scaling prior to the meeting in each country) >>>>>>>>>>Linkages between Africa RISING and development partner projects - Mateete Bekunda
09:45 Phase 2 scaling opportunities and partners – Mali (same as Ghana above)
10:15 Coffee/tea break
11:00 Intro. presentation of draft logframe - Thomas Wobill
11:30 Review of the draft Phase 2 log-frame - Participants
12:00 Comments on draft Phase 2 project log-frame - Group representatives
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Presentation of budgets - I. Hoeschle-Zeledon
14:30 Review & development of the draft work plan - Current and potential partners will fill sections of the work plan with intended activities for 2017, activity leaders, and estimated budget per activity. Leaders will have up to end of February 2017 to submit detailed 2017 work-plans. A draft listing activities under each output will be circulated to participants before the meeting.
15:30 Review & development of the draft work plan (cont'd)
17:00 Next steps - A.Larbi
17:15 Evaluation - Facilitators
17:35 Reflections and closing - M. Abberton

Friday, 3 February[edit | edit source]

08:30 Project Steering Committee meeting

NOTES[edit | edit source]

Welcome remarks - I. Hoeschle - Zeledon

Thank you all for coming to the meeting and it is also my pleasure to welcome you to this first review an planning meeting (in phase 2) for the Africa RISING project in West Africa. I would like to mention that it is a unique signal and vote of confidence for the project from our donor. USAID is a donor that is convinced that investing in farming systems research is a good investment. We therefore have the obligation to make sure that we deliver.We are now in phase 2 of Africa RISING - both in terms of quality and quantity. While we remain a research project we have to provide evidence of how our research outputs reach farmers at scale and that they are making differences in their lives. Yesterday we had a training on research design - to stimulate our planning in the next phase. This meeting makes the official beginning of AR phase 2 and this requires your commitment - preparing quality reports and submit on time in addition to doing a good research work. Also compliance to the project policies is going to be critical factor for our commitment in the phase 2 e.g. for data upload etc. For example yesterday was the deadline for submission of technical reports for example, I have so far only received one. Something we have to do better is to ensure we publish the data we gather from our research activities. So I welcome you once again to the meeting. Looking forward to two very fruitful days of the meeting.

Opening remarks - M. Abberton

On behalf of IITA management I welcome you to the meeting. Within IITA management there is a lot of support to Africa RISING. The emphasis on phase 2 will be largely in demonstrating our impact (at scale) to farmers. This is the real evolution that we have to make our reality. So that mean we have to work with more farmers to ensure delivery and impact for the future. I am very much looking forward to the next couple of days.

Phase 1 one output: Bus stops
Crop Production

  • Explore water plus nutrient interactions to maximize yields of maize.
  • Give farmers a basket of options to choose from.
  • What is new in the experiments that were implemented in phase 1.
  • Value addition in our work to make an impact.
  • Access to improved seed especially vegetable remains a problem.
  • Consider climate smart agricultural practices eg. Drought tolerant crop varieties
  • Put results together to come out with a recommended production package.
  • Study the demand and supply of vegetable seed –involvement of women and also look at the markets
  • Women’s access to land for crop production.
  • Over reliance on nature for crop production many not be sustainably in the long-term eg. Explore use of irrigation facilities
  • No participatory variety selection program in west Africa as done in Ethiopia highlands.
  • How do we manage GHGS emission (climate change mitigation ?
  • How to adopt interdisciplinary approach to crop livestock integration work closely with the livestock scientists to sustain the maize legume inter-crop because the system will take up more nutrients for the soil.

Nutrition, Food Safety and Post Harvest

  • It was generally agreed that Agricultural productivity without awareness creation/education for the better utilization of the food was unlikely to contribute to the nutritional well-being of most farm families. Therefore, moving forward, the focus should be effective promotion of nutrition sensitive agricultural interventions coupled with nutrition education to increase availability and consumption of micronutrient-rich foods (fruits and vegetables and animal source foods) may better contribute to the nutritional well-being of poor households.
  • Technologies like malting should be vulgarized to improve energy density of young child complementary food.
  • Participants wanted to know to what extent are nutrition activities are linked to the key sectors of Agriculture (e.g. livestock, crop production) to promote better nutrition. It became that this link was currently very weak and needs to be improved through harmonized targeting and policy directions.
  • How to address adverse climatic changes in order to protect nutritional well-being of the population was also brought to the fore. Some of the measures to address this problem include the development of drought resistant crops, early maturing crops
  • The business man/private sector wanted to know in ways he/she could get involved nutrition activities that were presented. It became clear that there are business opportunities such as product development and packaging of complementary foods for children e.g. malted flour for enrichment of child porridges
  • Male involvement especially husband’s involvement in nutrition promotion activities will facilitate decision making by mothers but the group noted that this was currently not the case. So the presenters hinted that in Phase 2 of Africa RISING Programme, there is the urgent to do effective community social mobilization in all programme communities to get all community opinion leaders including husbands to be active participants in all nutrition activities
  • Though the presentations cover dietary diversity as a measure of dietary quality, the scientists expressed the need to have information on the nutritive value of the foods people consume.
  • The extension worker was concern that though aflatoxin has potential danger for cancer and malnutrition, they were worried that there was low public awareness of the problem and no strong regulatory enforcement measures put in place to check the menace

Questions from Farmers:

  • Do you have a comprehensive package or model for the different sectors of the livestock production system for livestock farmers?
  • Was there any cost-benefit analysis for this project?
  • What is the best option for bridging the gap in fodder production in the dry season? Will you consider growing fodder for feeding in the dry season?
  • Did you consider trade-off/cost benefit analysis of using crop residues as feed compared to leaving them on the field to improve soil quality?
  • Was gender analysis of returns to selling forages to the household considered? Does all the return go women? DO women really benefit from the sale of crop residues directly?
  • How sustainable is it to keep removing residues from the field without returning them?
  • ow do women benefit from crop residue conservation?

Questions from Scientists:

  • Does this project has consideration for climate-smart methods of feeding livestock
  • What types of mechanism are being employed to ensure nutrient cycling? Return of manure to the soil.
  • How is this project integrated with crop production Is there any opportunity to study effects of continually removing residue from the field?
  • Was there any gender analysis? Any differential response between women and men?

Questions from Extension officers

  • In all this, what is the technology you will recommend to farmers?
  • What aspects of the livestock project can be integrated into the other projects for scaling up?
  • What are the possible challenges with scaling up the silage project? Is ensiling legumes not a problem?
  • Do farmers really appreciate the benefits crop conservation of crop residues

Land, Soil and Water Management
Missing links that need to be addressed by the team:

  • Consider impact of sowing dates?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Shifts in sowing tie could be helpful(windows of planting dates)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Types of varieties – short/long duration crops
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Agronomic practices and markets

  • How can work on land, soil and water integrate with crops?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Need to integrate crops, livestock and water at both field scale and watershed levels
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Research design for impact
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Watershed approach can be used for integration and modeling

  • What can be done about water availability during the dry season?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Explore ground water resources
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Compliment with other practices – agronomy & markets
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Sufficient water resources – management / enablers

  • Sowing dates? Does it work?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Need to emphasize onset of rains
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Exploit valley bottoms
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Water capture and storage – dug outs, rainwater harvesting
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- How can farmers access recommendations
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Maps exist for northern Ghana for flood recession farming

  • ICT in farming

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Modeling in irrigation
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Snapshot for recommendation sent back to farmers

  • Explore opportunities in all 3 regions of northern Ghana
  • Integration of research with other interventions

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Co-location of activities

  • Why are farmers not doing it?
  • Access to information

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Water availability
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Resources – pumping/ solar etcxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Markets – timing
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Need for demonstration pilots
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Training
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Labor constraints require innovative approaches

  • Decision support tools needed for farmers decision making

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Markets
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Agronomy
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Climate variability
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- High value crops for market distribution and delivery

  • Governance issues

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Water users association (CLEs)
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Regulations based on abstraction volumes
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx- Explore use of solar pumps


  • Results from gender evaluations should be compared for different countries/regions
  • How can capacity building for negotiating access to land be done? In Ghana such kind of negotiations are already ongoing with involvement of NGOs, R4D platforms. These negotiations should also include young people’s limited access to land.
  • Differences between documented ownership of land (title), control and access to land have to be taken into account.
  • Women’s increased work in agriculture may negatively impact on childcare.
  • Does religion have an influence on what roles women are assigned in agriculture? Are women in Muslim regions more confined to the domestic sphere and therefore less actively involved in agriculture?
  • Gender work needs to take into account age and other criteria of intersectionality.
  • Important topic: How do gender and household decision-making impact on household nutrition?
  • How does Africa RISING deal with the opposition of cash crops and food crops? This opposition is not always applicable for our target groups since smallholder farmers often use the same crops for consumption and sale. That is, they manage the share for sale and the share for consumption in a flexible manner.
  • How far does Africa RISING consider institutions in its gender work? Africa RISING’s gender team works with Kabeer’s social relations approach that pays attention to formal and informal institutional rules in four domains (household, community, market, government). If changes made in one domain are not supported by rules or changes in other domains, sustainable development is more difficult to achieve.
  • Research concept notes should be submitted to the gender team so that gender issues can be integrated in research activities at an early level.
  • Africa RISING should place emphasis on gender capacity building since the social science team is small.

Question & Answer - Program Phase 2 - I. Hoeschle-Zeledon /// West Africa Phase 2 - A. Larbi 1. Where are the partnerships for climate smart agriculture?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx• This is indeed an area which we will pay more attention and this is partly addressed by the level/ number of participates we have in this room

2. With regards to the typologies presented in the umbrella proposal – what happens to the two groups are the extremes?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx• We are not saying that these farmers are not deserving of our technologies, but rather it is just a result of the reflection of the types of farmer categories that
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxare likely to adopt our technology. Our project that deals with sustainable intensification may not be the best to target them – they are very risk averse.

3. Instead of putting gender as a theme under output 3 – gender should be a cross-cutting issue across all the themes. This may pose a challenge with regards to implementation in future.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx• Gender and capacity building are cross-cutting themes. Probably the way it was presented didn’t portray that, but that is the case.
4. We are aiming at targeting 80,000 household for the project in West Africa. What is the household and how will you classify a beneficiary household? Must a household have received all the technologies before being classified as beneficiaries?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx• There is no complete answer from me at this stage yet n this? Are there technologies that we have evaluated and considered as mature or not Considering that
5. Where is scaling up going to happen within Ghana? Is it the 25 communities mentioned? Are the technologies we are planning to scale market driven? xxxxxxxxxxxxxx• Our plan is actually to scale beyond the 25 communities by establishing partnerships that actually go beyond these 25 communities.
6. What kind of mechanization are you talking about in our presentation of AR West Africa proposal?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx• This is a new area that is in the plans for phase 2 proposal and there are no concrete ideas at the moment.
7. Application of typology for targeting – what kind are we referring to? Are they all inclusive?
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx• IFPRI and Waggeningen have worked on this and developed statistical typologies and participatory typologies respectively. There are ongoing efforts in the
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxsecond phase to merge the two types of typology to come up with a more complete typology that will be applied in Africa RISING West Africa and other region xxxxxxxxxxxxxxtoo.

Phase 2 scaling opportunities and partners in Ghana and Mali[edit | edit source]

After listening to both presentations of proposals on scaling from Mali and Ghana. Participants offered the reflections below:

  • Particularly for the Mali presentation, nearly all technologies that Africa RISING has worked on are completely left out. I think it is best to stick to what we have developed already.
  • Yesterday, we were all talking about integration, crop-livestock integration. Yet, both of these presentations on scaling are more single commodity based. Each country has rural development strategy which actually involves a lot of scaling, a lot of partners which we can really tap into and there will be a large scale scaling.
  • How will these scaling proposals integrate with the rural development strategies in both Ghana and Mali and Mali and how will they tap into the existing organizations at work in those regions to ensure synergies are created for scaling?
  • We saw the role of private sectors in the issue of guinea fowl, but we did not see the role of private sector in crop production especially that of the cereal legumes system, I think that should be taken into consideration. The other thing, I want to draw your attention to is that; we must see clearly how we can implement gender responsive scaling.
  • The presentation from Mali was really broad and that the presentation from Ghana was narrow. And I wonder when we are going to have a broader and more explicit discussion about what exactly we have to move from phase one to phase two and which technologies and how we are going to proceed to phase two with different approaches we intend to pick from phase one
  • Particularly in the Mali presentation, if I understood correctly, and I might be wrong, I think that Africa RISING has not been involved in developing the technologies presented. We should really scale what we have technically validated because with those we know how it works and with who. That limits already the options.
  • The project does not have a pot of money for scaling. It is therefore amazing that both presentations didn’t give suggestions for how to raise the money for scaling or build partnerships that don’t necessarily require money, but can ensure we meet the scaling objectives. Africa RISING does not give any budget to partners. Are the partners aware of this thing? That they are going to finance these scaling activities.
  • I think we should be more strategic in the way we are approaching the scaling. We shouldn’t see scaling as an activity we need to implement, that will kill the partnership! For example, let me talk about what am involved in - vegetable production. I know that there are products out there; there are organisations that are ready to scale. It is therefore not a matter of platform that need to be created, but rather an individual consultation process that involves engaging directly with the potential partners.There are big programs where they are looking for the research technologies that we have. We do a link up, and see how they can make use of our research technologies while they also fund our scaling activities. We can’t do all the scaling by ourselves; it’s going to be complicated. Like she (Irmgard) said, we don’t have the funds to do it alone.

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