18 Dec 2015

The Country Level Soil Health Consortia Moving Forward

Participants at the training

The Country level Soil Health Consortia held a training workshop at the Oak Place Conference and Training Centre, Nairobi in November, 2015. The workshop attracted a total of 23 participants drawn from the 8 consortia countries, IPNI and AGRA. The workshop sought to build capacity of the project coordinators on data synthesis & quality control, communicating science to non-scientific agricultural stakeholders, enhancing impact of existing agricultural information through easily accessible databases & targeted communication products, website management, consortia partnerships with policy, research, extension and private sector and finally consortia sustainability through development of resource mobilization plans. Speaking at the workshop, the Leader of Farmers Solutions at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Dr. Bashir Jama cited the project as one of the best projects AGRA has had as it focuses on bringing together research information in a way that will create an impact to the smallholder farmers who are distributed across various agro-ecozones by creating data driven solutions that can be easily executed by extension workers, policy makers and the private sector actors. He also highlighted the major challenges facing crop production in sub Saharan Africa and emphasized on the need for site specific fertilizer recommendations and creation of partnerships between major stakeholders in the agricultural industry. Dr. Shamie Zingore, Director for the IPNI sub Sahara Division program echoed his sentiments by emphasizing on the use of the current information and knowledge that has been collected to make a difference to the different actors in the agricultural sector and influence their decision making. The coordinators showcased their various achievements in the first phase of the project which included development of communication products such as policy briefs, extension manuals, education materials for academic institutions, demonstration videos and widespread dissemination of knowledge through media. The country database officers were trained on how to manage and update the country specific websites. In his closing remarks, Dr. James Mutegi of IPNI emphasized on the need to ensure sustainability of the project through identifying the gaps and building on the work that has already been done.

More about: Soil Health Consortia for Eastern and Southern Africa