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As we approach the end of 2012, the N2Africa team would like to thank all Podcaster readers for your continued interest, collaboration and support. Our work would not be possible without the huge range of partners who fulfill an enormous diversity of roles. Success in securing greater inputs and impacts from N2-fixation in smallholder farmers’ fields depends on the contributions of all of you!

A week ago, N2Africa, represented by Bernard Vanlauwe and myself, had the opportunity to speak at a ‘learning lunch’ hosted by Prem Warrior at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle. We were delighted that Dr John Lynam, the independent reviewer of N2Africa appointed by the foundation, also joined us. The presentation was a ‘thick sandwich’ of three talks. Bernard started with a 25 minute update on progress of the project. After a short discussion, John Lynam presented his perceptive and thoughtful reflections on the project. In particular, John highlighted the unique nature of N2Africa in that we work to improve smallholder crop production at scale, and try to do this in a way that we can learn about what works where and when and for whom. He commended N2Africa for the novel ‘Development to Research’ model which focuses on reflexive learning loops. He noted that this is difficult to integrate effectively on time to guide the project from season to season.

As the slide from the presentation shows, based on the most current information N2Africa has now reached more than 200,000 farmers after three years of activities across the eight countries. This is a massive achievement! After discussion of John Lynam’s report, we were then given the opportunity to present ideas of how N2Africa should develop into the future and preliminary plans for the new countries Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. The good news is that the foundation have given us the go-ahead to start activities in these three countries in 2013 and we are already actively doing this.

In this Podcaster we have an update from Ben Ahiabor and Robert Abaidoo in Ghana, case studies in Zimbabwe, two reports from Paul Woomer and the Kenya team and reports on Jeroen’s travels to N2Africa partners in various countries.

If you feel that your work is not given enough attention in the Podcaster, we can only include news if we receive reports – so please send in a contribution for the next Podcaster.

Wishing a peaceful and relaxing festive season to all of you!


Ken Giller