We are approaching exciting times as we are getting the first full set of results from all the M&E tools employed in N2Africa from Ghana and Nigeria. Not long after, East-Central Africa will harvest and provide data, while the Southern Africa region will harvest their legume crops in April/May. Although some information may come available during the season, most of it is collated after the season has ended.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The world never stands still! This Podcaster contains a number of important news items, as well as some updates on M&E, inoculant production and guidelines for co-authorship of publications.
The Tropical Legumes II project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has recently published a research report on six major tropical legumes (chickpea, common bean, cowpea, groundnut, pigeonpea and soyabean). The report Tropical Grain Legumes in Africa and South Asia: Knowledge and Opportunities brings together information on all six legumes.
Interest in enhancing inputs from N2-fixation legume integration into production systems continues to rise. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced a partnership to improve the quality of soil in Africa through support for the N2Africa initiative.
N2Africa is a learning grant through which we hope to deliver technologies for enhancing nitrogen fixation in grain and forage legumes in farmers’ fields to contribute to improved livelihoods. As illustrated in the diagram below – dissemination and delivery (D&D) form the core of the project activities. M&E provides the data on D&D that allows us to research the underlying reasons for performance of technologies, or for adoption by farmers, and the overall impacts of the N2Africa project.
We close the year with a number of ‘good news’ items from N2Africa. As you will see there is growing confidence in our approach and ability to put nitrogen fixation to work for the African farmer. We now have the opportunity to reinforce our work in the existing eight focus countries and to extend our activities to another five countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has just awarded a grant of $1,700.147 (including $420,376 in co-funding from other sources) to Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria, South Africa, to undertake capacity building in Legume Sciences for Africa. The project will focus mainly on training and research to increase yields of major food legumes in Africa such as cowpea, groundnut, common bean and soybean. The funding will be used for basic and applied training of 12 MSc and six PhD students over a five-year period.
Wednesday, 28th September 2011, was a big day for N2Africa when Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visited one of the project’s soybean-inoculant demonstration sites in Kano State, Nigeria. Mr Gates was accompanied by Jeff Raikes, the foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Sam Dryden, Director of Agricultural Development, and Prem Warrior, Senior Project Officer with specific responsibility for N2Africa,. The team was received by the N2Africa Nigeria Coordinator, Dr Abdullahi Bala.