N2Africa is being implemented in close collaboration with many partners. The key partners include Technoserve, CLUSA, IIAM, IFDC, IKURU and many Farmers Associations. The project is conducting dissemination campaigns, demonstration plots, training and awareness creation through these partners, with support from the project.
Ninety soyabean and cowpea demonstration plots were established in December 2013 and January 2014. The crops are currently being harvested. The plots were established to demonstrate the effects of inoculation, SSP application, a combination of SSP and Inoculant, and early and late planting on soyabean and groundnut yields. In total, 48% of the farmers involved in the demonstration plots are female. In addition, three hectares each of soyabean and groundnuts seed multiplication fields were established to produce seeds for project activities during the 2014/2015 growing season.
The project and its partners also distributed small quantities of inputs to farmers and farmers associations across the project areas. In this way farmers can test these inputs on their own farms and under their own management. This will allow them to compare with their current practices and facilitate adoption and demand for the inputs. In addition, several training events were conducted across project sites to enhance the knowledge and skills of farmers in legume technologies and crop management in general. The training focused on inoculation procedure, handling and storage of inoculant, variety selection, best time to plant, row spacing, plant population, scouting, disease prevention and control and record keeping.
In terms of Rhizobiology research, the N2Africa PhD student (Amaral Chibeba) completed his work isolation of rhizobium strains collected from 15 project sites in Mozambique. He obtained about 256 isolates and tested seven isolates from each site in the greenhouse (See also the article below on Amaral’s PhD reseach). Elite strains will then be tested in the field in both Mozambique and Brazil.
From 6 month country report by Wilson Leonardo (compiled by Greta van den Brand).