Esther Ronner has recently joined the N2Africa project team at Wageningen University. Within N2Africa she will be working on the extension of project activities to Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda, including pilot studies and writing project proposals. She will also contribute to ongoing research activities in the current N2Africa countries. Esther has a background in irrigation/water management and in international development.
This month we highlight some emerging results from East and Central Africa. It’s great to see some concrete outputs starting to show up which repay the enthusiasm and hard work put in by our partners and staff on the ground. We also introduce some of the new national staff who are working in various countries, and projects of students working within N2Africa. Read on!
Working with farmers to evaluate the impact of inoculating soybean seeds with nitrogen fixing rhizobia was one of the first field tasks in East and Central Africa. Farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, and DR Congo observed exceptionally vigorous soybean plants with deep green leaf color and prolific nodulation on plants growing in some plots inoculated with rhizobia which translated into increases in yield.
The rank of the N2Africa team continues to swell following recent recruitments in the West African Hub. Since November 2010, three staff have joined the project in Nigeria and one in Ghana.
The N2Africa West Africa Hub recently held a two-week training course on basic rhizobiology skills at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria.
The programme was designed for laboratory technicians and postgraduate students that are involved in activities of the N2Africa project to enhance their knowledge and skills in the isolation, identification, characterisation and storage of rhizobia, as well as mobilising these organisms for inoculant production and inoculation for enhanced nitrogen fixation.
We plan to bring out N2Africa Podcaster on a trial basis each month in 2011: but that depends on you! Please send in your news items – by the end of third week each month - so we can include them in the next edition!
I join Kenton in saying thanks to all of you - our partners, collaborators and wider community of N2Africa friends - for your support over the past year. We look forward to your continued commitment in 2011 as we start to scale up activities.