Podcaster 6


N2Africa Podcaster 6

April/May  2011

Title Summary Newsletter item #

In this issue of the Podcaster we inform you about the N2Africa Communication work stream and we report on a wide-ranging set of activities of partners in the East, West and southern Africa. We hope you enjoy reading of the developments and that this will encourage you to send in your own news items for inclusion in future issues.

The beautiful book entitled "Legumes of the World" was presented to Professor Barbara Maasdorp, a forage legume specialist from the University of Zimbabwe who came up with the name N2Africa Podcaster........ 


N2Africa communication

Alastair Simmons from UK based Strategic Communications, Project and Knowledge Management Consultancy, Taskscape Associates Ltd has joined the project as the acting work stream leader for Project Administration and Communications. Last year Alastair directed some videos to promote and explain the work of the project: and in February this year he facilitated the Annual Project Meeting in Harare. Here he explains briefly, why he believes good communication is key to the success of N2 Africa.


Participatory evaluation of an agronomic trial, a farmer field day organized by Development Rural Durable (DRD)
In Rwanda, N2Africa has 5 partners, among which 1 research institution (ISAR), and 4 non-government organizations (NGOs), namely DRD, COCOF, EPR, and CARITAS, involved mostly in technology dissemination.


Rapport de la formation sur les droits de la femme en matiere d’acces a la propriete fonciere et aux autres ressorces liees a la terre, par COCOF dans le cadre du projet N2Africa

Sur la position de la femme rwandaise.

(2 versions: original version in French, translated into English)


Field days in Malawi

N2Africa Malawi is conducting field days from the 11th February 2011 to 5th May 2011. The field days were attended by N2Africa farmers, CIAT as well (the IFAD project staff), DAES and WVI as partners, the Government Departments, Chiefs and local people. The field days act as a forum for farmers and stakeholders to interact and learn from each other on the crops that have been demonstrated.


Field Days in Zimbabwe

The months of March and April earmarked the harvesting season in Zimbabwe and farmers who participated in the N2Africa Project showed their appreciation and how much they gain the project by organising field days in their respective Districts and wards. 


N2Africa partnering with ISFM
The N2Africa project is partnering with a new project called “Increasing smallholder farm productivity, income, and health through widespread adoption of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) in the Great Lake Regions and Southern Africa.” The leader of this project in Zimbabwe and Malawi is Nelson Mango. 


Dissemination Update from West Kenya

BNF dissemination activities in west Kenya are entering their second year and are built around some great new legume varieties, recently commercialized rhizobium inoculant and some key accompanying technologies. During its first year, the project mobilized the efforts of 14 grassroots farmer associations and local NGOs to install 87 grain legume technology demonstrations and conduct 3410 on-farm BNF technology tests. During the second year, the number of collaborators will increase to 23 grassroots groups and 4000 new farmers examining soybean (SB 19 and 24) and climbing bean (cv. Tamu). MEA Ltd., a Kenyan-based fertilizer company, has licensed production of BIOFIX inoculant from the University of Nairobi MIRCEN and is meeting the project’s needs through a series of advance orders. MEA is also blending a fertilizer formulated by the project for symbiotic legumes (SYMPAL 0-23-16+) composed of 7 parts TSP, 7 parts SSP, 5 parts KCl and one part MgSO4. This blend is packaged into two kg bags and distributed with one kg of legume seed and 20 g of BIOFIX inoculant to farmers joining the project. Clearly, all the necessary components are in place to promote BNF and grain legume enterprise and the challenge before us is to assist farmers to adopt these technologies on a large scale.


In Zimbabwe, Isaac Chabata has recently joined the N2Africa team as Farm Liaison Officer.

Isaac is an agronomist with more than 10 years of experience in rural development, food security and agricultural projects. Isaac has worked for the Department of Agriculture Technical Research and Extension in the Ministry of Agriculture in Zimbabwe. He has also worked for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), USAID – FEWS NET, and the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society. He has experience in all the stages of agricultural and soil fertility projects, he has provided a wide range of trainings for farmers and extension workers and has experience in research, M&E and impact assessment. 

He holds a Bachelor of Science honours degree in Agriculture, Crop Science from the University of Zimbabwe, a Diploma in Agriculture, a Certificate in Agriculture, and an Executive Certificate in Project and Program Monitoring and Evaluation. Isaac Chabata is happily married and has three kids.

N2Africa Ghana Planning Meeting Held

In anticipation of the imminent arrival of the rainy season in northern Ghana any time from the month of May, the annual N2Africa planning meeting was held to develop implementation work plan for the forth-coming season. The meeting was held in Tamale, the capital of the Northern Region, on 28-29 March 2011.

Nigeria Holds Annual Planning Meeting

The N2Africa 2011 planning meeting was held in Kano, Nigeria, on 23-24 March 2011. The meeting was attended by about 50 participants, made up of staff from N2Africa and partners from international organisations, governmental and non-governmental organisations, research institutes, universities and the private sector. Participants reviewed the activities of the previous year, drawing lessons from challenges, successes and failures and developed an implementation work plan for the 2011 season. 

TechnoServe Boletim Informativo Soja-nr.2

The Soya team from TechnoServe sent us their newsletter in Portugese.

Boletim Informativo SOJA-nr.2, Boletim Soja Suplemento nr.2


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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