Positive developments! despite the absence of N2Africa in the first three months of the 2013/2014 season: (a) huge interest by farmers to use soybean inoculants despite facing hurdles to access the product; (b) the pass-on program of legumes seed from farmer to farmer continued with facilitation by DAES, WVI, CRS, NASFAM and Clinton-Hunter Development Initiatives, among others.
Rhizobiology work: (a) about 13,000 (50g sachets) of a local Chitedze inoculants were produced and sold to mainly farmer organizations during the 2013/2014 season, demand for inoculants was quite high; (b) research findings by an MSc student, Joseph Mhango identified three local rhizobia strains for soybean and are potential candidates for further evaluation. (c) Six technicians and three Research Attendants from Chitedze, Bvumbwe and Lunyangwa Research Stations were locally trained on inoculant production and quality control; (d) Installation of a heavy duty autoclave is expected to be completed by mid-May 2014.
All documents, reports and data have been compiled by a consultant until mid-March. The Country Coordinator visited all seven N2Africa impact districts of Lilongwe, Dedza, Ntcheu, Salima, Dowa, Kasungu and Mchinji. Met the following partners: Department of Agricultural Extension Services (DAES) district offices; World Vision International (WVI); Catholic Relief Services (CRS); National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) and Agri- Input Suppliers Limited (AISL), the Tier 1 country planning meeting was attended.
Demand driven training-of-trainers: a workshop on harvesting and post-harvest management of legumes was conducted in April 2014 in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Research Services (Crop Storage). 28 Extension Workers were trained.