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The Third Consortia Annual Planning meeting and Training Workshop

  • Posted on:  Tuesday, 24 March 2015 10:21
Participants of the annual planning and training workshop meeting

The Country Soil Health Consortia held its second annual planning meeting and training at the Oak Place CConference and Training Centre, Nairobi from the 17th to the 20th February 2015. the workshop attracted a total of 34 participants from the 8 consortia countries. The facilitators were drawn from AGRA, CABI, aWhere and Tabarin Consulting. The main objectives of the meeting were to evaluate the progress of the consortia over the 2 year period, train consortia members on database building and financial management and develop Perfomance Implementation Plans (PIPs). The consortia project has made great strides in terms of development of communication products, website development, data collection, database development and stakeholder involvement. So far, the consortia has increased its stakeholder membership to over 100 national, regional and international institutions with over 10 key agricultural projects represented. Furthermore, the consortia have developed over 60 effective communication products ranging from policy briefs, extension bulletins, training modules and videos. It is hoped that these materials will increase understanding of ISFM among various stakeholders thus contributing to better yields through access to appropriate knowledge. Dr. Rebbie Harawa of AGRA emphasized on the ever increasing need to close yield gaps in sub Saharan Afica through accessibility to knowledge, providing incentives to support development of national policy, building institutional capacity and access to input and output markets. She gave a clear demonstration of how the consortia should aim at achieving all these ingredients of agricultural production value chain in a bid to facilitate the green revolution. She pointed out that in the third year of the project, it will be important to assess the impact of the project in terms of the extent to which the database and communication products are being utilized by the various stakeholders and the various partnerships formed between the consortia and the stakeholders. Echoing her sentiments, Dr. Shamie Zingore and Dr. James Mutegi emphasized on the need to bring together intellects from different disciplines to facilitate sharing and consolidation of information as well as minimizing the duplication of efforts. The consortia has so far consolidated over 9000 datasets of ISFM from across sub Saharan Africa aiming at transforming them into online searchable databases and fertilizer recommendation maps. To achieve this, the participants were trained on aWhere, an open data management platform that enables management of agricultural data providing high quality data for evidence based decision making for organizations. The third year will therefore focus majorly on outcomes and impacts of the consortia as well as ensuring sustainability of the project. The consortia is also planning to organize a major conference to showcase the activities and products of the consortia to mark the International Year of Soils in orde to increase visibility and ensure sustainability of the project.


 



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