A flavour of the N2Africa Annual Planning Meeting and field trip in Zimbabwe

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Professor Regis Chikowo (left) and Dr Endalkachew Wolde-meskel and Dr Peter Thorne (right) in Goromonzi, Zimbabwe (Photo Obrian Mudyiwenyama, 2016)

The N2Africa Annual Planning Meeting held in Victoria Falls on March 4th-6th focused at exchanging 2015 project wide experiences and country-specific learnings. Informed by annual country plans 2015, legume technologies studies and the M&E evaluation, the meeting gave country coordinators and staff the opportunity to review project progress and tailor this year’s country plan. The subsequent field trip in Zimbabwe on March 7th – 9th showed farmers’ legume knowledge and its use in the fields and the community.

The participants

The Annual Planning Meeting and field trip in Zimbabwe brought the Project Advisory Committee, country coordinators, project staff, farmers and Zimbabwean representatives of the inoculant factory and dissemination partners together. This mix ensured addressing project successes and field learnings from a multi-disciplinary point of view.

Participants and field practices and learnings in Wedza, Zimbabwe (Photo Obrian Mudyiwenyama, 2016)


The agenda

Discussions and presentations on the first day of the Planning meeting deepened learnings and scaling issues with regard to sustainable supply of inputs, women specific businesses, agronomy feedback loops and trials, nutrition research and usage of project M&E data. The second day of the meeting focused on emerging challenges and ideas that could be followed up at country-level. Ideas were further explored and discussed during an informal Zambezi Cruise.

Visiting the farmer communities and fields in three different districts in, Zimbabwe showed the extensive knowledge farmers had and the variety of treatments, practices and produce among participating farmers. During the seminar at the University of Zimbabwe students, staff and teachers were informed about the latest research results with regard to cultivating legumes in various agro-ecological settings.

Explanation legume production by Mrs Chawonza in Goromonzi, Zimbabwe, recorded by next generation (Obrian Mudyiwenyama, 2016)


The outcomes

Inspiration and new ideas, recommendations from the advisory committee, amongst others, and learnings resulted in prioritised activities at country level, and are used to tailor the country-specific action plans and partner work plans for 2016. The follow up is to put solutions into practice to strengthen further implementation in 2016, as discussed below.

Legume products produced by female farmers in Wedza, Zimbabwe (Photo Obrian Mudyiwenyama, 2016)

Minke Stadler