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Africa RISING West Africa Virtual Exchange Seminar (WAVES)
3 February 2021
Virtual via Ms TEAMS
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  1. A. Weseh, ICRISAT
  2. A. Folorunso, ICRISAT-KANO
  3. A. Berdjour, IITA – Ghana
  4. A. Ayantunde, ILRI
  5. B. Kotu, IITA – Ghana
  6. B. Mateete, IITA – Tanzania
  7. B. Zemadim, ICRISAT
  8. E. Panyan, CSIR-ARI
  9. E. Annan, KNUST
  10. E. Thuijsman , WUR
  11. F. Kizito, IITA – Ghana
  12. F. Muthoni, IITA - Tanzania
  13. G. Fischer, IITA – Tanzania
  14. I. H. Zeledon, IITA – Ibadan
  15. I. Sugri, CSIR-SARI
  16. J. B. Tignegre, WorldVeg
  17. J. Groot, WUR
  18. J. Odhong, IITA – Ibadan
  19. K. Jimah, IITA – Ghana
  20. M. Magassa, ICRISAT
  21. N. Worou, ICRISAT
  22. N. Y. Asafu-Adjaye, CSIR-STEPRI
  23. N. A. Rahman, IITA – Ghana
  24. O. Cofie, IWMI
  25. S. Karamoko, ICRISAT
  26. T. Ansah, UDS
  27. T. Minh, IWMI
  28. W. O. Duah, IITA – Ghana


  1. Welcome and introduction
  2. Communication from the project management
  3. Reactions to the communication from project management
  4. Progress on the handbook:Anecdotes and experiences from ESA
  5. West Africa handbook guidelines
  6. Way forward

Welcome and introduction - F. KIzito,IITA, Chief Scientist West Africa Project

  • Thank you all colleagues for attending our first meeting of 2021.
  • Some updates from my end:
    • Relocations: Fred relocated to Accra (Ghana) and Birhanu relocated to Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania)
    • Team members were requested to start future meetings 1 hour earlier to accommodate other team members from WUR with a schedule clash.
  • Meetings will continue to be held every first Wednesday of the month at 10 AM GMT (Accra time)
  • The year 2021 will like to remain the same as the way 2020 was, hence it will be good for us to catch up on in-country initiatives, and ensure that we are aware of who is doing what through the West Africa Virtual Exchanges Seminar (WAVES) meetings. The purpose is to give updates to all members. We have a couple of slots that are still available for each month and a link to contribute to these series is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cjOwICLbRu_0RMQkZ_Gu3lCNIz3JL79L/edit

Communication from the project management - I.Hoeschle-Zeledon, IITA, ESA and West Africa Project Manager

  • During 2020, many activities suffered from the travel and meeting restrictions and these restrictions continue. While travelling within Mali and Ghana between is now possible, crossing borders is still a challenge. In any case, nobody should neglect the safety measures required by the governments and by our own institutions when doing our jobs. We can congratulate ourselves for what has been achieved despite the difficult circumstances.
  • Official project end of the Africa RISING program is September this year. However, the donor indicated that chances are high for a one-year extension until September 2022. For me, the reasons for such an extension are several:
    • since 2017, we received our funding every year several months delayed,
    • the donor is interested in studies and analyses across the Africa RISING program (all three projects) which we have not yet embarked on,
    • USAID is awaiting the final shape of the new CGIAR research agenda. There will be 5 big research areas and donors are expected to invest in these. On-going projects will be embedded in these areas. To which extent USAID will still support stand-alone projects is not yet clear.
  • Confirmation of the one-year extension of Africa RISING is still to come. With or without the extension, we must prepare for winding down the Program, not only the ESA project. We have started this process already in 2019 and continued in 2020 by scaling-down field research, not starting new field research, and focusing on areas in our logframe that had been neglected in phase 2. These are mainly:
    • Outcome 3: Farmers and other value chain actors have greater and equitable access to production assets and markets (input and output) through enabling institutions and policies, and
    • Outcome 4: Effective partnerships are built with farmers, local communities, and research and development partners in the private and public sectors to ensure delivery and uptake at scale of SI technologies, innovations, and practices
  • We will achieve the project objectives only if we have produced all planned Outcomes. We are now on a good way. An extension of one year would allow us to close any gaps and consolidate our results in these areas.
  • In view of the CGIAR reform and the approaching end of Africa RISING, the Program Coordination Team and the chief scientists held a virtual workshop in early November 2020. The objectives were:
    • To review and agree on existing and yet-to-be-produced legacy products of Africa RISING.
    • To reflect on the future of Africa RISING beyond September 2021.
    • To reflect on lessons and principles to help guide future programs on SI & systems research.
  • On this last objective, we are convinced that new investments of donors in agricultural research should target sustainable intensification and our Assessment Framework (SIAF) provides a good guide. We are also interested that systems research as attempted by Africa RISING deserves continuation in the new CGIAR research programs. Two PCT members are working on a publication on our achievements through systems research and the SIAF.
  • Another topic addressed in the workshop was an assessment where we stand with answering our project and program research questions which we have asked in our proposals for phase 2. It became clear that we still have a good deal of work to do by analyzing existing data which would allow us to answer these questions.
  • In terms of some of the legacy products we would like to leave behind for future use by others, in addition to the scientific publications and the handbook, we identified:
    1. the capacity building aspect within AR,
    2. our experiences with:
      • cross CGIAR centre and national institutions collaboration,
      • a long-term research program,
      • a program that was premised on a package of innovations rather than a single one like most other projects,
      • a program that acted as an integrator mobilizing and coordinating complex partnerships to contribute to unifying efforts different approaches to scaling and their successes; a publication by the chief scientists is in progress.
  • All these experiences have to be document, and this will keep us busy during the remaining project life.
  • The workshop also reflected on the aspects our final report to the donor should address. Impact of the program and the projects will feature high. Impact includes the extent of use and adoption of our research products by direct and indirect beneficiaries. I expect that to determine this will surely take up a lot of our time and financial resources in the remaining lifetime of the project.
  • Returns on investment is also of high interest to the donor, i.e., how much has been achieved in each SI domain for each dollar invested in Africa RISING, we should not only look at gains in productivity but also in all other domains.

Reactions to the communication from project management

  • B. Zemadim: Thanks for the presentation and the highlights of the November mini workshop that took place. Does the restructuring of the CGIAR, have a quick impact on the operation of Africa RSING during the 1-year extension, or it is just after the completion of the project?
    • I. Hoeschle-Zeledon: If we get this extension, and the project is not completed in September this year, it’s difficult to tell what impact this reform of the CGIAR will have, but I guess for ongoing projects, at such a mature stage, it will not. We could probably be asked to contribute to concepts and also share results with new research initiatives in the near time. I think structurally and organizationally, I don’t expect much impact on the Africa RISING Program. The whole reform progress and the picture of how the one CGIAR will look like is not very clear to me yet.
  • F. Kizito: Based on the way one CGIAR is evolving, it’s in our best interest as partners on this program to be proactive and engage in where the ‘big lifts’ i.e., the CGIAR initiatives will take place but we don’t know really yet how the exit/end of the Africa RISING Program will look like and how we will evolve after the re-organization of the one CGIAR and closure of Africa RISING. However, I guess this will become clearer over time because there are many bilateral discussions just as Irmgard said regarding the mini workshop we had. The donor was actively seeking for ideas on where they can invest, how we can estimate the returns on investments for the technologies that Africa RISING has been promoting. So, I think it’s better to be proactive and engage and see where we will be in position to build on the knowledge products that we’ve generated over the last couple of years and moving forward, to fit these as supporting structures into the ‘big lifts’ projects project that are coming on board in the One CGIAR.
  • Ayantunde: Assuming there’s a one year extension, what will be the implication in terms of project implementation because that will mean there will still be some activities that will continue or that year will be used to wrapping up?
    • I. Hoeschle-Zeledon: The wrapping up will consist of filling this gap we have and are doing analysis. We have a lot of data that haven’t been used, not published. There will be a big effort to look at a cross regional analysis that I mentioned. I think we still have few gaps where data collection will have to go on, and that should be a major aspect of our work in the last year. We would all be busy enough with the publication, extension materials, analyses, documenting and preparing for the final report. We will have to see to which extent everybody will be involved, but we still have our Handbook. Those who have drafted their work already should not think that this will be the final stage; there’s still a lot to come.
  • M. Thai: I would like to raise a point in relation to outcome 4, in the context of extension to September 2022, because we do action research approach, so when we say field work, it’s not only data collection. Data collection and analysis can act on that in building partnership with private sector partner and public sector partner to scale really innovation or package innovation. We (IWMI) are starting this process. One partnership just started afresh and they are now asking us to expect continuation in this scaling part to another region together with them. In this demand, how can we upscale in order to fit into the extension in wrapping up the project and also to reach its impact?
    • Hoeschle-Zeledon: – I’m not immediately clear what our role is with the partnership with this development partner and upscaling partner. What should be ensured is that developing partners are sufficiently prepared to take our research findings, our validated technologies to beneficiaries. It is better to prepare them well and for a longer period so that the benefits and advantages of our research outputs are really seeing and can convincingly be transferred to the users. That’s better than to say that now we leave you alone. We have to see that on a case to case basis what we still have to do and to which extent we still have to engage. But if such a partnership is promising and promises a wider range of beneficiaries, which means a wider range of our work, then I think we should continue it.
  • F. Akinseye: I think we should support the idea of that extension beyond September 2021 if it’s possible, considering the challenge that COVID has caused in the last year of the project. That extension will enable us to work. Even if we don’t want to go to the field for any data collection, we have a very huge amount of data available siting on our computers that have been submitted and we have not explored for analysis and publications. Thus, if the project has opportunity beyond September 2021, and at least with the possibility of supporting it with finance, that will be excellent for us to consolidate on the achievement of the project especially in the last five years for this phase two activities.
    • H. Zeledon: It’s very likely that we will have this extension, but it’s not yet confirmed. We have nothing in writing. As long as we have nothing in writing, they consider September 2021 as the end of the project.

Progress on the handbook:Anecdotes and experiences from ESA - M. Bekunda,IITA, Chief Scientist ESA Project

  • We started this proposal three years ago. This should have been a legacy of phase one, and we just talked about partnerships with developing partners. When you say you have a partnership with an extension agent, and you want that partner to take your technology to scale, where is that technology, where is it defined, and can that scaling partner actually understand what the technology is about? That’s why I said we should have a handbook that is produced for scaling partners (development partners).
  • We thought that it would be a simple exercise, but the challenge we have met is that scientists have refused to jump out of the science box and become development partners so we asked scientists to write something simple for an extension guy and this scientist writes like he is going to publish a paper in a journal. And that has been the biggest problem we have in writing a handbook for development partners.
  • Over time, it was due to delay in funds that happened sometime back. But at that time, we thought that during that time, we could actually develop the chapters to a higher level, but still it was slow. It was slow and it kept evolving. And eventually, we have come to a stage where we are committed to publishing it, we are engaged to cabin with and we are waiting for our chapters.
  • Chapters in the ESA handbook: They are eleven chapters and have been arranged in a flowing pattern. They are thematic but we are working on integration. The way to have them as to be seen as integrated is that each chapter should be referring to other different chapters within each of the thematic chapters.
  • The Handbook is organized as below:
    • Preface
    • Chapter 1: Deploying new resilient and nutrient dense cereal and legume crop varieties
    • Chapter 2: Enhancing resilience adaptation through cereal-legume cropping systems
    • Chapter 3: Management of soil fertility through application of industrial and organic fertilizers
    • Chapter 4: Soil and water conservation interventions for promoting resilient agriculture
    • Chapter 5: Land management through conservation agriculture (CA) and associated technologies
    • Chapter 6: Improved technologies for mitigating post-harvest food loss
    • Chapter 7: Improved feeding for smallholder dairy cattle and poultry production
    • Chapter 8: Improving household nutrition through consumption of innovative home-developed nutrient-dense crop and livestock products
    • Chapter 9: Integration of Sustainable Intensification technologies
    • Chapter 10: Weaving Gender into Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Interventions
    • Chapter 11: Approaches for taking technologies to scale
  • We decided that chapter one should start with growing new varieties. Following the ISFM paradigm, the starting point will be new varieties.
  • Summary of our experiences include:
  • Thematic, but cross country; therefore, several authors on same chapter. The chapters look thematic, they are not country based. If someone has been doing intercropping in Tanzania, and another one doing intercropping in Malawi, and another one doing intercropping in Zambia, we consider that these people should come together and write about intercropping, rather than having a chapter with subsets in intercropping in Tanzania and intercropping in Malawi. So, there is synthesis of activities which are similar from the different countries. Product should not be country-based products; that’s the way we approached it.
  • Integration through cross-referencing and an integration chapter. Integration of the chapters is through cross-referencing. Chapter 1 can reference livestock for example; livestock can reference conservation agriculture. So there are several cross referencing within the individual chapters and in addition, we considered we should have a case of an integration chapter and we focus how integration can be done.
  • Quantitative evidence a must, to justify validation. Data from at least 3 domains – productivity and economics appear basic. This handbook should be quantitatively informed because we are validating these technologies, so we should be having numbers. It should not be written like it is written by an NGO. It is written by a scientist so it should be quantitatively evidenced. When we started, we had not grown into these SI domains but in ESA we had at least considered productivity, economics and the environment as important integrating information. We have gone ahead to say that each chapter should have information in at least three domains, and in the review, it seems productivity and economics appear the basic requirements, at least from our external peer reviewers.
  • Not heavily scientific; put yourself in the shoes of an extension agent, jump out of the scientist’s shoes. The extensionists including learned farmers, were the ESA’s target; they are the users. If this handbook is going to be for extension agents, it should not be heavily scientific. I will give an example that so far Irmgard has guided us. For example, if you put a box plot in a chapter of an extension agent, how does the extension agent interpret a box plot? That’s more difficult than a simple bar diagram. So if you have a box plot in your publication and you are referring it back to a chapter of the handbook to an extension agent, convert that box plot into a simple bar diagram with some statistics that are easily explainable and are understood by an extension agent. We have to go down from being very scientific and jump into being extensionist or even some of the farmers who are learned enough so they can use this handbook.
  • External peer review of the chapters. Look for those with extension experience. We could have done this book without referring to anybody but we thought that if we have some external reviewers, they would add value, and indeed, they have added value. It is important to look for those with extension experience because one of our external peer reviewers had really done a lot of work – working on the document to show that the language actually is reflecting of an extension document rather than a science document. So if you get a good peer reviewer, I think you have added value to what you present. All the eleven chapters have gone through peer review and the authors are working on the comments. Four chapters are ready to go to cleaning up and we go for publication. So I hope that by June, our ESA handbook will be over. If I can be of help to West Africa, I’m available at a fee.
  • It is doable, if committed, dedicated. Two chapters were drafted in less than three months. Although we started four years ago, and we are still going, what I can see is that it is doable. What we have to do is to be committed and dedicated. I have always wondered why if we think it is legacy product, why can’t one commit? I think Africa RISING can fund this – commit five full days and synthesize your work into a chapter that can be put in a handbook.
  • Our chapters are not big, they are about 20 pages. The extension guy does not need to read a whole newspaper. Maximum 20 pages including diagrams, illustrations and photographs – it should not take a whole lot of time to do. What is important, to me is that you should be referencing your work. The problem we have in Africa RISING is that, many of us have been funded a long time, and many of us haven’t published what we have done. It is difficult to write a handbook and say ABC is what happened when you produced this technology and you have not published it. So if someone wants to follow up on this recommendation, where should that person actually go to get the scientific feel of what you are thinking about? So it is much easier when you are referencing your published materials that you have presented in conferences like posters and others. Legacy outputs depends on other legacy outputs but it does not mean that should stop us from producing these chapters because we can as well show how we arrived at the information that we have given in the handbook.

West Africa handbook guidelines - F. KIzito,IITA, Chief Scientist West Africa Project

  • B. Mateete has helped me provide a good steppingstone on what is needed for the hand book. We have prepared some guidelines that are available on the online document that I will share the link with the rest of the team to go over it for any questions or clarifications.
  • What is the structure in terms of the proposed elements of the handbook? How should the quality of the product appear like? Should it be to a non-scientific audience including farmers and extension agents?
  • Tentatively I say this is the chapter outline because all the chapters that are appearing are the same (1 – 10), except for chapters 5 and 6. Chapters 5 and 6 were added by the efforts of the livestock team (Augustine Ayantunde, Sadat Salifu, Addah Wesseh, Franklin Avornyo). We had a discussion with the livestock team and it would be good to add these chapters to the handbook. We are trying to metamorphose them and adapt to the structure of the handbook. The way it appears is not the ‘et al’.You can see one chapter like chapter 3 that is on ‘strategies for improving land, soil and water resources management’
  • It’s going to be thematic. There’s a component that has been written by the Mali team and another one written by the Ghana team. We are going to put those into the same chapter but really speaking about the theme. There are other things that are cross country like the work Augustine Ayantunde, Jean Baptiste, Bekele Kotu, Gundula, Minh is doing separately. This is really nice that we have a lot of cross-country areas of emphasis where we showcase where work straddles from one country to the other and how it can be weaved in into one chapter.
  • We have not really made a lot of progress from the context of synthesizing, providing feedback. There is an online document that has all these contents put together. With effect from today, I will share that link so we all know where we are. More importantly, we need to agree on timelines as to when we need feedback on this; we need to agree on content. The Handbook can be accessed here:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HaMpUNUxNxiu8yLDvP2jCZ-gXiHwkGRynMd2J3Q67Jw/edit
  • The template with the respective Chapters, coordinating authors & contributing co-author teams can be accessed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CEuVHUi5ZhWwwGmscc2SULb1XeAERUjH/edit

Discussions about West Africa handbook guidelines

  • Hoeschle-Zeledon: I want you to comment on the structure of the chapters of the handbook. Looking at the ESA handbook and the recommendation by our external reviewers – to have gender as a stand-alone chapter, I wonder whether we should do the same in the West Africa handbook. Gender is an important topic and I think we should make it prominent in this handbook.
    • F. Kizito: I agree. Fortunately, G. Fischer is doing quite couple of activities with the various teams both in Ghana and Mali, so we need to have a discussion and have that included. I noticed a glaring gap between ESA and West Africa – it’s something around mechanization; this is missing from both handbooks. Based on the work we are doing, in terms of enhancing farmers’ access to land preparation, maybe through some of the agronomic activities that Nurudeen is doing, Bekele’s as well as Sugri’s work on post-harvest mechanization with the threshers, this could also land itself a good place here.
  • B. Zemadim: Is there a chapter that is related to any institutional works, because we have started a work with IWMI on institutional works. Is there a chapter or sub chapter that includes the works from Ghana and Mali.
    • F. Kizito: Not explicitly, but the one on institutional frameworks could come in when we deal with water resources management, but it may stand alone. It builds on the work being conducted by the Animal Research Institute, CSIR: ‘Developing a guide for Small Ruminant Value Chain’ and has many governance issues and partnership . I think we need to flag that and say this could stand alone. Some of the work that G. Fischer will do on gender perspective could also weave in to that. We could have a discussion on how we can have that as a stand-alone chapter.
  • B. Mateete: In a meeting, it is easy to propose things. If colleagues can put something on paper, and we see who’s going to contribute, either as an independent chapter or they can me merged and become some company of other chapters. The important thing is that people should put down what they think they are going to produce within the handbook, then we can sit together to form which chapters.
  • Ayantunde: I’m a bit confused about the target audience for the handbook. The information on West Africa is not specifically for extension agents but also for developing practitioners, donors as well as researchers.
  • F. Kizito: In my mind, I really had it with four of these – development practitioners, extension agents, donors and researchers and that’s correct to the extent that researchers are really reading a simple language that has been transposed in something that is more practical, easy to follow with the other public audience. So it’s not really research. I like Prof B. Mateete’s example about box plot. We need to simplify the way we deliver our information.
  • B. Mateete: The handbook will be available to anyone who wants to read it but there has to be a main target audience. For us we think if this handbook can be read and understood by the development partners and the scaling partners, that’s our main target. They may add a reference that can take a scientist back to the original science to understand the science. F. Akinseye: Are previous early submission towards the handbook suspended?
  • F. Kizito: They are not suspended; they are alive. It was in a state of dormancy. The process is being resurrected. They are still valid and alive. The Handbook can be accessed here:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HaMpUNUxNxiu8yLDvP2jCZ-gXiHwkGRynMd2J3Q67Jw/edit#
Ayantunde: If we look at previous messages on this handbook for West Africa, it’s not targeting only the extension agents. We actually started with the donors, making requests. We will be making a mistake if we think the donors are not scientists. Some of these donors are highly educated and they provide some critical comments even on scientific publications. It would be difficult to manage it but if donors want it, then that’s an immediate need to address. We can write it in a language that the extension agent can understand; and at the same time not too basic that people are saying it’s purely unscientific. This is because at the end of the day, we are still researchers who are conducting research for development.
  • F. Kizito: The target audience is stated as farmers but it means non-scientific public audience including farmers and extension agents. We need get a delicate balance from the CKM coordinator, with his experience in publishing reports with such terminologies, to help write this product.
  • Hoeschle-Zeledon: Can we not have the same audience as the ESA handbook? We have to bear in mind that we need a publisher for this book, and the publisher will not publish anything. The publisher will ask certain experts whether it is worth for them to publish this book. Example is CABI. We have to bear in mind that CABI could say, they don’t want the handbook for farmers. Why can’t we have the same audience as we did in ESA?
    • F. Kizito: It’s a good point. At the end of the day, researchers are able to read what the extension agents are given with a less degree of complexity. I am happy to be consistent with what is happening in ESA. We can target extension agents.
    • J. Odhong’: With the issue of target audience, we will also refine it, eventually when we get content and start writing and focusing on the phrasing of the language. The first step is to have the content.
    • I. H. Zeledon: Is your writing style of the content not determined by the audience?
    • J. Odhong: The fact that you are now aiming for an extension agent should not stop the drafting process. The editors can also help us on that.
    • I. H. Zeledon: Farmers being the target audience, then the handbook cannot be in English or in French. The handbook has to be in the local languages, rather than many versions.
    • J. Odhong’:For the fewer lower-level farmers, the handbook is not for them. There will be secondary and tertiary users – someone will have to read and interpret for them.
    • F. Kizito: Some of the knowledge products that are in the handbook have already been pre-developed for farmers’ consumption, in terms of manuals, briefs and brochures. Moving forward, let us tentatively come to an understanding that the audience should not cripple our process moving forward. Let us try and be in line with the handbook that is being released for ESA. We will have to aim for extension agents but to the extent that it will be palatable for both development partners and scientists.
  • G. Fischer: I would like to know the teams that are formed for the chapters because I understand there are already drafts and is that still in process or is that already been done. We will keep an eye and we will be contributing as well, but to me it is not clear who the lead authors are and who we will contact as well.
    • F. Kizito: There are respective teams that are set up for the chapters. There is a document available online (will share link) on the different themes. It is not a stepping stone but it is adaptable and we can adapt along the way. For all the respective chapters (1 – 12), there are respective teams that have been set up to take care of. I do agree that a couple of others could have moved on. We can make those adjustments along the way. The template with the respective teams can be accessed here:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CEuVHUi5ZhWwwGmscc2SULb1XeAERUjH/edit
  • O. Cofie: For the publication, it will be difficult to have one product that can meet the needs of the various audiences. If it’s going to be for extension workers and the implementers, implementation agencies and development agencies and donors, and that will be possible, then we can begin to think about repackaging – repackaging some of them if they want to target farmers in forms that will be easily accessible for farmers or the policymakers in the form of policy briefs. Some of the activities in outcome 3 and outcome 4 probably may not be well represented in the chapters. Though there is chapter 10 that has approaches for scaling, maybe we have to think about these partnerships and output – input linkages helping to strengthen agricultural intensification. It can be captured on the partnership and all the other things so maybe we may have to think of another chapter or broaden chapter 10 if it will not be too broad for that.
    • F. Kizito: The points around institutional linkages, we need to reflect further on how best we can put them together. The other points of synthesis of other products may speak more to the farmers. E.g. brochures and leaflets
  • B. Kotu: This is a way of promoting our technologies and keeping very close to what we have. I think our focus should be on technologies that are validated where we have published evidence. We need to bring technologies that have been extensively used. For some technologies, we don’t have very strong evidence. We have tried some technologies in Mali and Ghana but not all of them are very strong. We started some but had to stop them. So we have to screen out our technologies. Regarding the target audience, targeting the farmers in the case of this handbook, practically it does not make much sense to me. This is because most of our farmers are illiterates, so they can’t use the handbook. Practically, we are targeting the extension agents and development practitioners. We have to be bold enough on that. It is preferable to target farmers but the existing situation in our case does not allow us to target farmers directly. We may leave out the target on farmers. We reach the farmers indirectly through the extension agents and development practitioners and the NGOs so I think we have to indicate that we are targeting the extension agents and developing practitioners or partners working in those areas.
  • A. Ayantunde: We should be quite pragmatic as to the chapters to be included. We should include chapters that people are willing to write and commit to within given deadlines instead of increasing linguistic volume.
    • F. Kizito: The idea of pragmatism falls in line with what Prof B. Mateete was saying – let someone come up with something that they have written about. We will set specific deadlines. We are ready to go with those willing to go along.
  • A.R. Nurudeen: The farmers we are dealing with in West Africa are illiterates, so our audience should be extension agents and the development partners who may reach farmers indirectly through what we want to do. We want to be more practical; and if we want to consider farmers, then we will have to translate the handbook into so many languages. For instance, in northern Ghana, we will have to translate into five languages for the Africa RISING farmers we are working with.
    • F. Kizito: We have agreed to target extension agents and development partners as our primary audience and the others will be indirectly reached.
  • T. Minh: I fully agree with Irmgard about the fact that the target audience needs to be well defined before we start writing. At the moment when I see the outline, I can see that the target audience and the writer are the same which is hard researching. From our point of view, it is very difficult to define that. If the target audience is development partners and extension agents, then, within the development partners there are different categories of partners – the government, NGOs and Donors and all partners in one way or the other. These should be well defined also. When we define that, we need to reflect on what their needs and their interests are; and what are their roles and responsibility in this innovation research development and scaling. Based on that, the structure of the handbook need to be strategically structured in a sense that if I am the government, what kind of chapters should I focus on which reflect my roles and my interests; what kind of chapters should I need if I’m a businessman or a donor? For extension agents, they are more interested in the technical content of it. There will be an opportunity to target multiple audiences but the way we sometimes strategically frame the handbook is very important.
  • F. Kizito: Moving forward, we should be more explicit in the way we deliver our messages. We are very thankful to everyone for the time accorded to this meeting. Your comments and points have been well noted and meeting minutes will be shared.

Way Forward

  • We need to form deadlines on when we need to achieve what. We have to form teams on which content to include, which one will be on which chapters, etc. We have noted the respective additions each of us have contributed.
  • The template with the respective teams can be accessed here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CEuVHUi5ZhWwwGmscc2SULb1XeAERUjH/edit
  • Lead authors: Please take responsibility to:
    1. Confirm the composition of your team
    2. Review the Chapter sub-sections and confirm if you are OK with these. Are there missing components? Are there components that need to be deleted because you do not have contributing editors?
    3. Let us get feedback on points 1 and 2 above from the Lead Authors during the meeting of 3rd March 2021.
  • Next meeting is scheduled for 3 March 2021