Project results show that mainstreaming gender and youth is critical to improve smallholder farm adaptability in sub-Saharan Africa .
The InnovAfrica project team will submit its first mid-term report due on 31t Jan, 2019, followed by a review conducted by a European Commission appointed committee. In the course of the first mid-term (June 2017–Nov 2018), the project focused on developing base line scenarios, actively engaging stakeholders through Multi-Actor Platforms (MAPs) in all the 6 case countries, and conducting farmer led field demonstration of selected Sustainable Agriculture Intensification (SAI) technologies: (maize-legume, millets-legume cropping system, Brachiaria forage systems). The team introduced an IIA (seed delivery system), and three selected innovative Extension and Advisory Services (EASs) such as Village Knowledge Centres (VKCs), Integrated Farm Plan (PIP) and Farmer to Farmer (F2F) were introduced.
Value Chains maps for 3 agri-food value chains (maize- legume, sorghum/millets-legumes, and Brachiaria forage grass) were developed with the help of MAPs. In addition, policy and institutional analysis was done to identify adoption barriers and opportunities for upscaling SAI systems at the smallholders’ level.
The KIPUS on line knowledge system linked on the project website will help in dissemination along with a range of other tools and measures to bring key results to farmers in the project areas and outside. Two VKCs were established to improve farmer connectivity in Kenya and Tanzania.
Overall, there is a positive trend in the uptake of results as evident from the performance of SAIs in the different project sites in terms of productivity and contribution to food and nutrition security. Upscaling strategies are being prepared for selected innovations like the Brachiaria forage systems in Kenya and Rwanda, seed delivery system in Tanzania, F2F exchange in Malawi. MAPs, Scientific Expert Advisory Board (SEAB), and Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB) will be the main channels for exploitation of these innovations and other results that will be ready for exploitation in the project.