Since 2009, the N2Africa project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is working with smallholder farmers in the South and North Kivu Provinces in Eastern DR Congo to raise agricultural productivity and soil fertility through Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF), thereby improving the livelihoods of those farmers. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF) grant, from 2012 to 2014, strengthened and extended N2Africa activities in Ruzizi plain/ South Kivu and Rutshuru & Masisi/ North Kivu, which are major agricultural zones with extensive agricultural land and human capital to enable sustainable agricultural development.
February 3rd 2014, the IITA Kalambo station was hosting the planning meeting on the N2Africa project, Putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers in Africa, Phase II under IITA coordination.
The overall objective of the workshop was to evaluate Phase I of the project, including implemented activities since season B 2010 and to set up the workplan of season B2014`s activities. This was achieved by focusing on the following specific objectives:
- To develop of a workplan for season B 2014
- To establish a platform which will be working with the project in south Kivu
The official opening was done by the Regional Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Adolphine MULEYE. "Thank you for this special occasion you have given to us, to discuss again about the future of agriculture, the key factor of the development of DR Congo", she said. "Thank you IITA for creating projects that are complementary to government goals in agriculture especially in enhancing yield of grain legumes, which is an important food component in the region. I suggest to widespread all the activities of this new project in all territories of South-Kivu and always associate government’ services which have many facilities to support the project"
Dr Okafor, head of IITA-Kalambo station, was the second to talk to participants. Indeed, the project which is now in its second phase is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and led by Wagenigen University under the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Bukavu, DR Congo.
Left: Input distribution
Right: Demonstration fields in Walungu
Other speakers of the workshop, such as the National Coordinator of N2Africa in DRC, Jean Marie Sanginga, gave the overview of the project master plan work and invited all participants to bring their knowledge and experience together for developing the strategy to achieve the project’s objectives. The objectives are dissemination of technologies developed during the first phase of the project, institutionalization of the N2Africa program, promotion of commercial products and increasing capacity building at different levels.
Jean Marie Sanginga (firstname.lastname@example.org), Despines Bamuleke, Noel Mulinganya, Isaac Balume. N2Africa/ IITA, Bukavu South Kivu DR Congo