WA planning Mar2015

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West Africa (2014) Review and (2015) Planning meeting
24-25 March 2015
Mensvic Hotel,Accra, Ghana
[edit | edit source]

Objectives: Review progress and mid-term review team recommendation
Plan activities for 2015

Prior to the workshop (on Monday 23 March), every participant will have an opportunity to create their profile on the Africa RISING wiki and Yammer.

Tuesday, 24th March, 2015
08:30 Registration
09:00 Welcome and introductions

- Robert Asiedu (IITA)
- Jerry Glover (USAID)

Dr.Viktor AgyemanDirector General (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research)
Asamoah Larbi

Facilitators (agenda)
09:30: Group photo and networking break around coffee/tea
10:00: Review of progress: Situation analysis (Research Output 1)
Baseline surveys Ghana and Mali (IFPRI - Apurba Shee) - See the presentation
Farming systems analysis Ghana and Mali (WUR - Katrien Descheemaeker) - See the presentation
11:00 2014 achievements : Integrated systems improvement (Research Output 2&3)
Ghana- Short overall presentation (SARI / IITA) - see the presentation
Mali - Short overall presentation (ICRISAT) - see the presentation

Mini share-fair to present major achievements around:
R4D Platforms: David Maawula
Theme 1: Socio-economics of intensification (B. Kotu / IITA)
Theme 2: Intensifying crop production (S Buah / SARI, Jean-Baptiste T / AVRDC; Abdul Rahman Nurudeen / IITA)
Theme 3: Livestock and integrated crop/livestock production (A. Ayantunde / ILRI, A. Larbi / IITA)
Theme 4: Land, soil and water management (F. Kizito / CIAT + K. Davie / IWMI)
Theme 5: Nutrition, post harvest (food storage), value addition and mycotoxin management (M. Saaka, UDS;Joseph Atehnkeng, IITA; Abass Adebayo, IITA; Francis Appiah, KNUST)

Theme 1: Socio-economics of intensification (J. Binam / ICRAF)
Theme 2: Intensifying cereal-legume-vegetable production (A. Rouamba / AVRDC)
Theme 3: Livestock and integrated crop-livestock production (S. Jarial / ICRISAT)
Theme 4: Land, soil and water management (B. Zemadim / ICRISAT)
Theme 5: Nutrition, food storage, value addition and mycotoxin management (C. Sobgui / AVRDC)

Research work packages, R4D platforms, nutrition, gender etc.
Mid-term review recommendations and responses - See the presentation
Management issues – Irmgard
Research issues – Asmoha

Q &A / discussion buzz group
12:35: Feedback and recommendations from the annual program learning event - See the presentation by Jonathan Odhong
12:50: lunch break
13:50: Recap on the marketplace
14:00: Presentation of 2015 work plans:

Theme 1: Socio-economics of intensification (B. Kotu / IITA)
Theme 2: Intensifying crop production (S Buah/ SARI, Jean-Baptiste T / AVRDC; Abdul Rahman Nurudeen / IITA)
Theme 3: Livestock and integrated crop/livestock production (A. Ayantunde/ ILRI, A. Larbi / IITA)
Theme 4: Land, soil and water management (F. Kizito / CIAT + K. Davie / IWMI)
Theme 5: Nutrition, post harvest (food storage), value addition and mycotoxin management (M. Saaka UDS;Joseph Atehnkeng, IITA; Abass Adebayo, IITA; Francis Appiah, KNUST)

15:15 Tea & coffee break 15:45 Presentation of 2015 work plans: Mali Theme 1: Socio-economics of intensification (J. Binam / ICRAF)
Theme 2: Intensifying cereal-legume-vegetable production (A. Rouamba / AVRDC)
Theme 3: Livestock and integrated crop-livestock production (S. Jarial / ICRISAT)
Theme 4: Land, soil and water management (B. Zemadim / ICRISAT)
Theme 5: Nutrition, food storage, value addition and mycotoxin management (C. Sobgui / AVRDC)

17:00 Presentation Mali by E. Weltzien about the [http:www.icrisat.org/newsroom/latest-news/happenings/happenings1651.htm#4| FARMSEM project]
www.slideshare.net/africa-rising/ar-wa-reviewplanweltzienmar2015| See the actual presentation]
17:15 Closing remarks
17:45 Open slot for people to create their Africa RISING wiki and Yammer.
21:00 Cocktail at the roof top

Wednesday 25 March

The West Africa project steering committee will be having a meeting in parallel in the morning.
08:00 Communication training and sharing

- General introduction to communication in Africa RISING
- Finding area/country-specific solutions for communication
- Hands-on training (Yammer, wiki)

08:00 Steering committee meeting starting in parallel
10:00 Coffee / tea break
10:30 Group work: Revision of 2015 work plans by national teams
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Group work: Revision of 2015 work plans by national teams (continued)
15:00 Group reporting back
16:00 Coffee / tea break
16:15 Feedback from steering committee meeting
16:30 Closing remarks
17:00 Close and option for additional hands-on training on Africa RISING comms tools
18:00 Meeting Mali team with Asamoah Larbi & Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon

Background materials Work plan 2015 (draft before the workshop): File:Revised GhanaMali_WP_22March15AL.docx



Photos from the Meeting

Meeting notes[edit | edit source]

Welcome notes by:

  • Robert Asiedu (IITA), IITA regional representative for West Africa.
  • Jerry Glover (USAID), Account manager for .
  • Dr.Viktor Agyeman Director General (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research)
  • Asamoah Larbi, chief scientist Africa RISING Ghana/West Africa.

Research output 1 presentations[edit | edit source]

Baseline data Ghana, Mali[edit | edit source]

See the presentation by Apurba Shee (IFPRI):

Farming system analysis[edit | edit source]

See the presentation by Katrien Descheemaeker (WUR):

Research output 2 presentations[edit | edit source]

See the presentation by Asamoah Larbi for Ghana: Sdf

See the presentation by Birhanu Zemadim for Mali: asd.

The FARMSEM project See the presentation by Eva Weltzien (ICRISAT):

Recap from the country teams Ghana:

  1. Market participants - economic analysis etc. so how are researchers??? Who are the end users of research?
  2. Analysis of profitability beyond...
  3. Include institutional analysis into our broader analysis.


  • Importance of undertaking the???
  • Do we consider different ?? in our analysis e.g. nitrogen can be omitted etc.
  • Can we subsidize fertilizers? Is there any evidence from the research to indicate that policy-makers prioritized subsidies etc.?
  • Africa RISING is a participatory project involving farmers in the cropping season but what about the off-season?
  • Livestock research involves different types of livestock (e.g. poultry etc.)
  • Disseminating our research outputs through leaflets is missing for livestock...
  • Engage the ministry of food etc. and ensure participation of this ministry etc.
  • Aflatoxins: use Afla-safe? But how safe is AflaSafe? --> It's safe for use by farmers for improvement of their own crops etc.
  • How can we reach our traditional forage in Ghana?


  • How do we combine IP recommendations with research interventions etc.?
  • Platforms are not used properly: one of the review recommendations is that we have to use these platforms. A first step is to have an innovation platform (IP) meeting in Bougouni
  • What are linkages between technology hubs and IPs? >> tech hubs demonstrate different technologies etc. IPs are communication tools.
  • Theme 2 (cropping): Options to increase cropping intensification which is found to be useful for food consumption etc. and combine with cereals etc. AR is an intensification project.
  • 3rd theme on NRM - no reporting on biomass / feed quantity & quality, as the data is huge but there's ongoing activity in this.
  • Water availability and access: very good recommendation about getting more sources of water so how can we show technologies that contribute to this.
  • Water storage issue: Getting difficult to store water based on retention capacity
  • Nutrition: 3 important points: Selection of crops needs to be based on nutrient value and local acceptance + capacity building that includes women and youth also + processing requires support in this area etc.

Comments, Q&A:

  • We have to clarify what are innovation platforms and R4D platforms --> this was discussed at our learning event... Let's not focus on semantics and call them platforms (e.g. in Babati they're R4D platforms, in Ethiopia Innovation platforms). The important aspect is the role of IPs.
  • Data on water availability etc. in Koutiala but it seems that water is contaminated so there's a problem of water quality - any water quality analysis planned? >> (Birhanu) I have discussions with colleagues in Koutiala...
  • Go back to IPs, share research plans etc. with them. Are you sharing for information purpose or to seek their input? Would you rather have an engagement process with the platform so it maps onto your research plans...? >> We take into account feedback from the platform folks before getting on to the next plans...

Mid-term review recommendations[edit | edit source]

See the general presentation by Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon (IITA):

See the presentation covering scientific recommendations by Asamoah Larbi (IITA): The

Feedback from bus stops planning exercise/ Ghana team

Theme 1

  • Most of issues raised was question for R4D platforms, clarification how to go about it, in forming the platforms, technologies verifications, economic analysis ,including social assessments
  • Technology evaluations, how the outputs will be used by the farmers
  • On adoption studies, what are the technologies and how do we incorporate
  • What are the methodologies in the adoption of multiple technologies
  • In the R4D platforms, who owns the platforms, who are the stakeholders?
  • Theme one is seen as connecting link with other themes
  • The platforms are there to link knowledge and capacities
  • We don’t really know if the farmers are presented well in the platforms
  • Recommendations
- The land owners should be incorporated in the platforms
- At the community level farmers are incorporated but women groups are not enough heard or incorporated in the platforms
- It should involve all types of farmers
- The women groups and different typologies has to be incorporated in the R4D platforms


  • Suggestion made in particular technologies, the technologies mentioned was cereals and vegetables
  • To focus on legume vegetable inter cropping than cereals
  • It was suggested to double up cereals legume rotation
  • Under vegetable. How are we linking the nutritional component to vegetable
  • Under activity 5 cross linkage b/n the nutrition and vegetable is required
  • Under activity intensifying sesame cereal production; it was suggested to share experience of other countries like Tanzania and Burkina Faso
  • We need more expertise and skills to analyze our data


  • Under theme3 increasing feed option under cropping activities? We don’t know if we have budget for this
  • We need integration b/n vegetables, irrigation and land
  • Postharvest issues needs to be addressed
  • We need the business link with activities and identify opportunity for mechanization
  • The integration of the feed component is missing


  • Use R4D platforms to identify available options, on feeding and animal diseases
  • If we use R4D platforms to screen and prioritize available option it would be good for farmers
  • What are the key factors for adoption to use the technologies?
  • Gender labor, the technologies could affect the house labor and we need to look into that
  • Livestock theme should link with soci-economic in the plan
  • The issue of sustainability needs to be addressed
  • Couldn’t private sector involved in the plan?
  • Crop-livestock integration it is suggested to improve feed from farming
  • Suggested to plant napier grass
  • Issue of crop residues for various activities, look at testing options to improve feed
  • Linking nutrients flow in smallholders to theme 4
  • More focus on grazing land and fodder irrigation if possible
  • Integration of fodder irrigation is needed
  • We look into business scale of fodder irrigation
  • Farmers need training on the power of composing feeds

Theme 4:

  • Small scale irrigation, it is suggested to follow up with it
  • Soil water conservation, we have to consider regional issues in this theme
  • Make sure all this technologies will involve the farmers, farmers should be involved on the selection and testing of technologies, get their input and involve them in various stages
  • Rain water harvesting, sharing farmers experience with technologies
  • Water sources if they are useful, farmers has to be aware about different water sources specially for irrigation
  • Knowledge sharing, training, capacity building highly suggested this point has emerged from all the different themes
  • Recommendation:
- Under the activity 1.4, we need to address socio-economics
- Mechanization of soil and water conservation needs to be in place, specially mechanization procedures
- Feedback from farmers is a critical issues and it flies as a cross cutting issue in all the themes
- The labor input is a particular issue when we evaluate the data, how do we do that in the drylands area, is it based on interview or measuring the data?
- Platforms could be a good method for this,
- Interviewing the farmers could be another way
- Rain water harvesting will it be at farmer level

  • We are planning water harvesting but not at the farm level may be using some tanks and it is not labor intensive
  • Sharing knowledge with farmers should be emphasized before we do some testing
  • In rain water harvesting which particular farmers are you targeting?
  • For now small scale irrigation is the focus
  • The targeting will come for next year
  • Lets show the community how water harvesting will be important

Theme 5:

  • We shouldn’t have to replicate what has been done already
  • The nutrition people has to test the hypothesis
  • Brining in the cost benefit analysis in the option we test
  • Value addition concept of activities, what we need to do in this regard
  • Collaboration and partnership has been recommended with GIZ
  • We need to collaborate with livestock component
  • Behavioral change in communicating our work, this should be included in the evaluation
  • We need to give feedback to communities when testing technologies
  • Share findings with stake holders
  • How to measure impact has been discussed as well

[edit | edit source]

Feedback for the Mali team[edit | edit source]

(Immediate responses to feedback given are indicated with >>

Theme 1[edit | edit source]

  • Why do an evaluation of the platforms' effectiveness so early? >> There is a report from the Ministry of Agriculture about the impact of platforms on the adoption of innovations. We will use this to assess the sustainability of platforms...
  • Flexibility of innovations. When we organise workshops to gather feedback, if farmers are not interested by xyz, will we have the flexibility of adapting/modifying our agenda?
  • What will make farmers mobilize themselves in the platforms? Shouldn't we focus the platforms around value chains? >> there are strategic interests at communal level
  • Sustainability of the platforms: We already started some discussions with NGOs so the platforms can organize themselves and to ensure platforms are financially independent.
  • Four activities planned this year

Theme 2 - intensification of crop-legume-vegetable production[edit | edit source]

  • Can we introduce 'witnesses' in villages. We have formed some associations around cereals-legumes etc. or forestry-vegetables etc.? >> Yes
  • Feedback - how did it work? >> In each village research teams give feedback with partners and villages. This is currently ongoing in Koutiala.
  • Economic analysis: University of Wageningen could provide some support in this (activity 4 around estimate efficiency of component and whole farm systems)... How can we calculate economic value? >> This was not just about activity 4 but also about trials. We've started doing this type of analysis of raw margins ('marges brutes') but we need to work in a more detailed way on this. We will collect more information this year to know how to do this. Our analysis has to be reliable and show clear results. So we have to use students, interns. > Although we also have some experience with this with integrated striga management and we can use video. We can't do that kind of analysis with small plot. Only with larger plots can we extract meaningful data.
  • What type of model to use in the protocol? >> It's actually covered in the work plan (biophysical, socio-economic).

Theme 4[edit | edit source]

  • Watershed level mapping of existing crops
  • Adoption of NRM technology?
  • Water harvesting structures to include. That may not be possible with one-year data but could be over a longer period.
  • Impact analysis is coming up
  • Biomass estimation - We collected a lot of data and are calculating data that is replacing satellite imaging. This is data coming from Dryland Systems.
  • Land use / land cover?
- Perhaps we can do some small videos around the remote sensing work?
- How will he help establish local conventions? Perhaps we can use local radio to urge neighboring communities to adopt such ideas etc.
- Livestock-Meat (betail/viande) association works on pastoral schemes etc. At communal level, we have to be associated with them.

Theme 5 - Nutrition, post harvest etc.

  • Mostly questions for clarification... Generally very positive feedback.

Feedback on the work plans[edit | edit source]

Ghana team[edit | edit source]

The connective tissue for the Ghana team is the theme 1 on socioeconomics, partnerships and platforms...
Theme 2 on crops. Connection with theme 1 on training and adoption. We need to address these issues in theme 1.
Theme 3 on fodder/livestock
Theme 4 on land, soil and water management
Theme 5 on nutrition, post harvest and mycotoxin management

Under theme 1 are pathways of making change.
The themes 3 & 4 anre connected around nutrients, irrigation and outreach/education.
We discussed how to make things happen on the ground. E.g. during field experiments we need to wonder where are key connections e.g. when doing irrigation work or soil & water conservation.

12 points that came up consistently: Platforms, adoption constraints, gender, communication and farmer feedback, training and capacity building, cost-benefit analysis, partnerships, farming systems (WUR), common protocols, needs assessment, Involve community leaders, traditional challenges. We are not doing enough on e.g. cost-benefit analysis (how much would it cost a farmer to use technology xyz as opposed to another one). Functional partnerships allow you to address issues of mechanization, unfriendly/expensive technology, needs assessment to do a lot of outreach, training etc. and get feedback.

Comments / Q&A:

  • Congratulations on this mind map.
  • Cross-cutting issues come up again and again but have you developed activities to address these issues? E.g. on gender
- Yes. E.g. we discussed partners in terms of their ability to address key concerns.
- On gender, we brainstormed specific gender issues or key ideas that Gundula Fischer can add on to.
  • On adoption: What are you adopting? Where is the technology?
- For each of these specific technology approaches/practices - which we'd like to sell to farmers etc. - we realize that there's a lot that hasn't been taken up. This is a key research theme that questions why a technology wasn't taken up. We have to think sequentially about this. There are technology parks under investigation and their M&E looks ::- into ease of use, affordability etc. and once that assessment is done the technology can go on the shelf and onto scaling.
- For example one adoption constraint would be when there's no difference in price depending on the season...
- But what about a package/system that combines all of this? We shouldn't go for single component...
- We expect technology to be adopted but at the very beginning, we have to think about potential constraints for technology development.
- It's a research question. How to make the technologies attractive ahead of time, not just at the end of the day (it's not about adoption studies). This is a cross-cutting issue.

If you look at the draft work plan, there are various packages that form combinations.
The technology is not on the desk!
The crux is how the technology packs (how do farmers modify these packs into niches)? We have to look at how these are modified..

I wouldn't want to see Africa RISING ignore/dismiss other technologies that others have developed strictly because they are not a novel product by Africa RISING. One of our novel approaches is to consider how existing technologies can be adopted differently etc.
This framework we've presented serves as a unique selling point of combining all components.
From your experience, how practical is it to ???

- We hinted a lot at internal comms and planning to think about planning when to be in the field with experiments and running it + having someone on the ground to ensure this framework is effectively applied on the ground from the onset. The communication about when activities should start is really important. Internal communication is essential because land preparation is our starting point. If we have specific issues around mulching etc. we have to get together and ensure it's done. The minimum we can do is to ensure we're on the ground to execute our plans. That's the catalyst to make sure this plans.
- Perhaps you could have research assistants on the ground e.g. AVRDC agreed to have two research assistants on the ground planning things together and these assistants are collecting data. This has seriously improved their outputs.
- Yes, and we do have research assistants now.
- If we share our experimental designs, we'll see experiments feed into work - using common protocols before (e.g. next month) for each theme - we'll have a useful approach.

Yes, good idea, all can upload the protocols onto the wiki page by 20 April.

Mali team[edit | edit source]

Integration here happens through:

  • Management and communication among project parties
  • Integrated activities around innovation platforms and technology parks that should be related to innovation platforms
  • Sharing tools and protocols
  • Organizing exchange visits (Ghana-Mali scientist exchange visit but also having an exchange visit from Bougouni to Koutiala or between farmers from Ghana and Mali)

We tried to address communication and gender across all themes:

Communication: Focus on:

  • Farmers
  • IPs and local partners
  • Researchers
  • Development community / general public

Some activities:

  • Videos (farmer to farmer)
  • Research briefs and notes that can be shared at different levels
  • Capacity building
  • Using local radio


  • Ensure that planning of activities is done with women as well as men ("everyone" often means "men")
  • Involve women in data collection
  • Consider impact on womens' jobs with regards water quality / availability

Changes in the work plan:

  • Re-organize theme 1
- Include technology parks
- Feedback and planning with IPs
- Innovation fair with the farmers
  • Better coordinate activities within theme 2 + theme 4

Comments / Q&A:

  • On the reorganization, can you say a little more about what will be included and changed?

We have looked at this in detail in the sheets on the wall e.g. establishing communal platforms, having a feedback workshop etc. Doing social network mapping of those platforms... (under platform implementation). Looking at the sustainability of the platforms etc. About the sustainability of the platforms, we discussed the strategy we need to make concrete propositions...

  • Did this group think about some kind of mind map? >> Not really
  • Is the sharing of protocols enough to ensure integration? We may not work closely with each other so that sharing alone is not enough but perhaps we can think of a time when individuals come together to agree on their approach.
  • Are we going to get protocols from the Mali team as we decided for Ghana?

>> The answer is yes and the question of Nureddin is valid: It's not just about sharing protocols but about developing joint protocols. When we go back and finish the contracts we have to develop joint protocols. But it's actually about having complementary protocols. It's not about having all the same but rather having all the pieces of the puzzle

  • When is the deadline for these protocols?

End of April - we'll discuss this.

  • One final comment: This is an experience that I learnt from Malawi: we organize field visits in the middle of the season which may increase the working of the whole team. Is it possible to do a meeting in the middle of the season or a collective visit to share ideas etc.?

The exchange visits the Mali team mentioned are talking to this.

Focal people identified for communication from different team and some suggested ideas: Ghana team:

  • Theme 1, 2, 3, and 5 agreed the data management expert who assist the scoi-economics data collection at Tamale to be the focal person (Bekele can provide here name)
  • And Mama Saaka to link and work with Scientist on the nutrition issues
  • The focal person and the communication people like Jonathan has to send a reminder two weeks ahead to collect information.

Theme 4:

  • Davie Kadyampankeni to be the focal person from IWMI
  • We need reminder from the comms person to the focal person at least 2 weeks ahead
  • The focal person should send a request to collect information/stories from everyone
  • We need reporting in monthly basis


  • Agathe and Marc Traoré to be the focal person
  • It is the job of the scientist to share stories of their work and centers but the focal person should send a reminder at least 2 weeks ahead
  • Everyone has to produce report when they go to travel, travel report should be on the wiki
  • The minutes of the meeting should go on the wiki
  • To have monthly meeting, minutes of those minutes should be collected and posted on wiki
  • We need to have a reporting template
  • Think about standard reporting template for the future

Feedback from the Steering Committee Meeting – Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon[edit | edit source]

Main decisions taken during the Steering Committee meeting were as follows:

  • Baseline Surveys: Apurba Shea (from IFPRI) working on the baseline survey results summary will be shared with all scientists by end of April
  • Brief write ups of most promising technologies by the Africa RISING WA team to be written down in a flyer. This will be completed by 30th August, 2015.
  • A criteria for characterizing the technologies as best bet to be developed by the program coordination team.
  • The West Africa project document is being revised based on the comments and feedback from scientists by end of the April, document to be finalized by end of June
  • Addition of new activities (in terms of field trials): Irmgard, Asamoah and Birhanu to review these proposals and check whether there is proper justification for them. All decisions will be made before the final revised work plans are concluded in mid April.
  • New theme 3 activity in Mali: The proposal should be resubmitted after consultations between ILRI, IER and ICRISAT. To be done by
  • Composition of the Steering Committee: AVRDC’s membership/seat in the steering committee extended for 1 year
  • Data sharing policy needs to be adhered to. This will be a requirement in the next contracts
  • Teams need to continue holding regular meetings. If holding monthly meetings is not possible then they are required to at least hold them bi-monthly. All these meetings need to be minuted and minutes shared with the Africa RISING Program Coordinator and the Communication Specialist for upload to the wiki.
  • West Africa needs to be more visible on the Wiki and website. Scientists need to provide the information, link up and provide the Communication Specialist (Jonathan) with information on activities and events.
  • Program-wide scientific symposium for Africa RISING will be held during the learning event later in 2015 as a two-day event preceding the Annual learning event

General feedback/ Reflections on the review and planning meeting

  • Eva:- Farmers are missing from the meeting
  • Jerry:- We discuss about involving farmers and private sector player in our project discussion, but they were not part of this meeting. Let us also think of including them in our meetings......Are the planning and review meetings the appropriate meetings for this? Probably not, but a different meeting should be organized where the scientists can interact and integrate with these groups.
  • Mark:- from Mali; I really appreciate the different group activities, the format helped us understand the theme activities in two countries
  • Sapna:- The process format was very engaging and useful and the communication team, facilitation and the training was really great.

Closing Comments – Irmgard[edit | edit source]

Thank you very much everybody for coming. I am happy that the two days experiment with the planning meeting really worked out well. From what I’ve heard it that we have also managed to make good progress with finalizing our work plan and this was the main objective of this workshop. I have also seen very good team spirit and collaboration. This complex program needs these kinds of of physical meetings despite the numerous electronic communication tools that we use in the project. We really appreciate the efforts by the facilitators, who have done an excellent job….not for the first time, I must say. I thank the IITA staff in Ghana who worked in the background to make this meeting a success….Linda and team. The IITA management too represented by the R4D Director , thank you for your support. Last but not least, a big thank you to Jerry Glover, who is always very involved and committed to our meetings.

Organizers' agenda