Podcaster 16


N2Africa Podcaster 16

September-November 2012

Title Summary Newsletter item #

It’s hard to believe it comes around so fast, but N2Africa has just entered the fourth and final year of the project. How to increase the uptake of the best N2-fixing legume technologies in this last stage of the project was a major topic of discussion at the N2Africa Leadership Team and Steering Committee meetings held in Nairobi in October. This was a great opportunity for Jeroen Huising to get to know the N2Afica team and establish himself as Project Coordinator. You can read more about some of the outcomes in this edition of the Podcaster, along with a wide range of news from different countries. The first article reports of the recent conference on integrated soil fertility management in Nairobi, where N2Africa had a very strong representation. It was an exciting conference with more than 250 participants that provided an ideal forum to showcase the diversity of work conducted through N2Africa, and to learn from other ongoing initiatives. Further, you’ll find reports from the work in Liberia and Sierra Leone funded by the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, plus a report from a workshop just held in Tanzania to establish new partnerships. And of course more news items.

The next podcaster will be coming soon – ahead of the Christmas break – so please send your contributions soon!

Ken Giller

Honing in on Dissemination and Delivery (D&D) as a research theme

N2Africa steering committee member Louise Sperling reflecting back to the latest leadership team and steering committee meeting in October in Nairobi. Her story focusses on D&D which was one of the major subjects discussed there.

Photo: Participants of the meeting looking at raw video footage that will be used for films on the website

N2Africa representation at the Integrated Soil Fertility Management in Africa: from microbes to markets Conference, Nairobi 2012

Impressions from the N2Africa contributions to the ISFM conference in which, for the first time and all the way (from microbes to markets), the world of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) was captured in six themes: Starting with (1) advancing plant-microbe interactions we then moved to the field scale in (2) enhancing BNF in smallholders and to a broader level of (3) exploring options for intensification and diversification of farming systems and (4) identifying bottlenecks for implementation of ISFM. In combination with (5) commercializing breakthrough technologies and (6) building capacity in ISFM these themes allowed for a true exploration of ISFM. The conference incorporated the 14th meeting of the African Association of Biological Nitrogen Fixation.

Fragment of a poster presented by one of the N2Africa MScs

Biologial Nitrogen Fixation - N2Africa in DR Congo “ from despair to hope”

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF) grant is strengthening and extending N2Africa activities in South and North Kivu Provinces of the East of DR Congo. The targeted provinces face persistent food insecurity due to poor or inadequate crop production systems, despite agriculture being a major activity of the population. Interestingly, both partner NGOs and small-scale subsistence farmers involved in N2Africa – HGBF in DR Congo expressed satisfaction, and projected a strong potential to move the agricultural sector from "Despair" to "Hope".

Photo: IITA & CDC inspect soyabeans seeds multiplied by CDC for dissemination

Exploring opportunities for N2Africa in Tanzania

After workshops in Ethiopia and Uganda earlier this year, Tanzania was the last country under the newcomers to be visited. On 6 and 7 November, a workshop was held in Morogoro, with the objectives of exploring the opportunities for extension of N2Africa to Tanzania, identifying suitable legume niches and developing a ‘roadmap’ for N2Africa activities in the country. The workshop was organized by Wageningen University and IITA, and participants ranged from government organisations (Ministry of Agriculture, Uyole and Naliendele Agricultural Research Institutes), to the Nelson Mandela Institute of Science and Technology, international organisations (USAID – Feed the Future, McKnight Foundation, Catholic Relief Services - CRS), and the private sector (Minjingu Fertiliser Company).

It was worth the ride: A Transcription of Partner’s Visit to N2Africa Liberia Project Site

Dr. John Fitzsimons telling about his visit to the N2A legume trial in Lofa County", in the northeast of Liberia, during the rainy season.





N2Africa project offers hope for Sierra Leone farmers

Something beyond the traditional farming experience in Sierra Leone is being introduced to let farmers benefit from grain legume crops. The common practice upon which the farming of these crops had been centred lacked maximum productivity and did not focus on nutritional and economic values. With the introduction of the N2Africa Project, however, those setbacks and disadvantages will soon become an experience of the past.

Greenhouse commissioning and commencement of greenhouse work in Zimbabwe

On the 2nd of May, 2012, a commissioning ceremony for the renovated greenhouse was held at the Soil Productivity Research Laboratory (SPRL) in Marondera. The renovations were funded by N2Africa and implemented by Blackpuck (pvt) Ltd.

Photo: SPRL staff working in the renovated greenhouse


Announcement First International Conference on Global Food Security

The First International Conference on Global Food Security, that will take place from 29 September till 2 October 2013 in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, aims to deliver state-of-the-art analysis, inspiring visions and innovative research methods arising from interdisciplinary research.

We hope to welcome you next year to the First International Conference on Global Food Security - see http://globalfoodsecurityconference.com/

Announcement Pedometrics 2013 conference in Nairobi

We received the announcement that The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) will be co-hosting the Pedometrics 2013 conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

For more information see the flyer.


The Podcaster is published six times per year – we look forward to receiving news and contributions – particularly from partners. Please send in contributions well in time. Contact address for this newsletter is: N2Africa.office@wur.nl

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