14 Nov 2014
No. 1649


Irish President visits ICRISAT-Malawi
Strengthening partnerships in seed technology

Mr Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland, being escorted by Dr Siambi at ICRISAT-Malawi office. Photo: Photo: S Njoroge, ICRISAT

The Malawi Seed Industry Development Project, which has directly reached at least 2.2 million households in providing legume seed, demonstrates the potential of partnerships with national agencies. The project, funded by Irish Aid and being implemented by an ICRISAT-led consortium, has also benefited neighboring countries such as Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique.

The achievements were shared during the visit of the President of Ireland, Mr Michael D Higgins, and his wife, Ms Sabina Higgins, to ICRISAT-Malawi on 12 November. The Irish Ambassador to Malawi, Ms Aine Hearns, was also present on the occasion.

“The Malawi Seed Industry Development Project is crucial. I wish many more people from Ireland could see what a great result is coming from Irish Aid assistance and the multiplier effect it has where it is most important,” Mr Higgins said.

The Malawi Seed Industry Development Project, which started in 2008, works with small-, medium- and large-scale seed producers. The project contributes to the government’s Agriculture Flagship Program, the Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP), by supplying 4,500 tons or 54% of seed planted in 2013 alone. The 2013 seed infusions into the FISP translate into revenue of about US$ 5.7 million per annum from seed and grain sales and US$ 3.3 million worth of consumed legumes and grain in households.

During his address the President said, “I’m very pleased to see how research is being communicated to where it really matters - the smallholder farmers - whose welfare is the welfare of Malawi.”

He attributed the success of the project to the unique partnerships and relationships that had developed over the course of the project's implementation. He added that he was happy to see that the project was making a difference in the lives of smallholder farmers, which was evident from their stories on their ability to build better houses or engage in other livelihood strategies such as transportation.

The President was also pleased to note that the project results went beyond Malawi. "I congratulate you on the fact that what you are achieving in relation to seed distribution has crossed borders into Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique and that in itself is an enormously important achievement,” he said.

President Higgins was welcomed to Malawi and to ICRISAT by the Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Dr Allan Chiyembekeza, who once served as the ICRISAT-Malawi Country Representative. He discussed the importance of grain legumes outlined in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, which earmarked groundnut, beans and pigeonpea as key crops whose technologies, especially seed, must be targeted for investment.

In welcoming the President and the dignitaries, Dr Chiyembekeza revealed that ICRISAT and Chitedze Research Station had been instrumental in his career development – in reference to the time he had worked for ICRISAT. He applauded the role played by ICRISAT and project partners in reaching out to communities to promote the production of legume seed.

Dr Allan Chiyembekeza, Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Malawi, addressing the gathering. Photo: S Njoroge, ICRISAT

“ICRISAT and Chitedze Research Station that hosts it have been instrumental in my career development. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you here and to share the achievements of the investments by your Government through Irish Aid via this ICRISAT-led consortium. The Malawi Seed Industry Development Project is one of the research systems which in partnership with national actors have directly reached at least 2.2 million households in providing legume seed,” he said.

On behalf of ICRISAT, Mr Felix Sichali, Project Manager; Dr Patrick Okori, the Country Representative for Malawi; and Dr Moses Siambi, Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, who was also representing ICRISAT Director General Dr William Dar, gave an overview of ICRISAT programs  and discussed the Malawi Seed Industry Project in detail.

“The main aim of the project is to improve smallholder farm productivity and income through provision of high quality affordable seeds,” Dr Okori said. The project has made available 7,672 tons of improved legume and cereal seed to farming communities.

“The projected impact of seed provision include coverage of 128,000 ha of land, which represents roughly 33% of cropped area under groundnut and pigeonpea in Malawi. This also represents a revenue of US$ 54 million from seed and grain sales into the cash economy, and US$ 30 million worth of grain from legumes and cereals consumed in the homes,” Dr Okori said.

Two smallholder farmers for each of the crops in the project (groundnut, pigeonpea and rice) exhibited their seed products and narrated their stories during the President’s visit. Small-scale agro-processors and local seed companies under the umbrella of Seed Traders Association of Malawi also exhibited their products.

The project works with partners such as the NARS, National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM), Grain Traders and Producers Association of Malawi, Seed Services Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Seed Traders Association of Malawi.

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Soil nutrient mapping initiative across India

Dr Dar and team with Mr Ananth Kumar (2nd from right) and Mr Piyush Goyal, Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister (extreme right). Photo: ICRISAT

A roadmap to take up soil nutrient mapping across India in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers was discussed at a meeting between ICRISAT Director General Dr William Dar and Mr Ananth Kumar, Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers.

The minister emphasized on the need for balanced fertilizer management taking into consideration the impacts on food security, consumption of fertilizers and necessary policy and institutional support needed to ensure food security in the country.

“Poor soil health is due to imbalanced nutrition and integrated nutrition management is necessary to fix the problem. Current farmer yields are 2 to 5 folds lower than achievable yields,” Dr Dar informed Mr Ananth Kumar.

The soil nutrient mapping will be done in collaboration with reputed laboratories/institutes in the country.

“Using soil mapping as an entry point, we could come up with prescriptions and put in place a knowledge-based fertility management rather than input-based management,” the Director General reiterated to the minister during their meeting on 11 November in New Delhi, India.

Efforts to bring about a shift in fertilizer use across India and means to achieve sustainable development in smallholder agriculture were also discussed at the meeting.

Dr Dar also met Dr PK Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary in Prime Minister’s office and discussed various ideas aimed at achieving food security by adopting sustainable intensification in the country.

Dr Mishra served on ICRISAT’s Governing Board during his tenure as Secretary, Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India.

At the meeting Dr Dar highlighted the establishment of the ICRISAT Development Center for undertaking scaling-up integrated technologies emerging from research and applying science-based participatory research for development approach to benefit millions of smallholder farmers.

Dr Dar briefed Dr Mishra on the soil health mapping initiative.

Other ideas discussed were:

  • India Genome Centre for Agriculture (IGCA) initiative
  •  Pulses revolution in India through rice fallows, improved cultivars and management practices
  • Nutri-smart climate-ready cereals
  • GreenPhablet-based extension systems for empowering the farmers
  • India-Africa Summit:  Bhoochetana initiative between India and group of countries in Africa

Dr Dar was accompanied by Dr Suhas Wani, Director, ICRISAT Development Center and Dr Narendra Kumar, Director, Country Relations & Business Affairs. 

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Rural women farmers as drivers of progress and change

ICRISAT stall at the Sharefair. Photo: ICRISAT

Engaging with rural women farmers for technology dissemination and value chain development was the focus of the United Nations’ regional “Sharefair for Rural Women’s Technologies” held in Nairobi, Kenya. ICRISAT was represented by Dr Esther Njuguna-Mungai, Scientist – Gender Research, CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes, and two women innovators of the ‘Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement’ (HOPE) Project.

Some highlights of the discussions were:

  • Focus on consulting women about their views when working in research and development; giving women’s voice an opportunity in agricultural conversations
  • Ensuring tools are designed and developed that can ease the burden of labor for women, especially the smallholder farming systems that are currently labor intensive and dominated by women
  • Connecting the dots in agriculture and nutrition conversations
  • Linking women farmers to agricultural finance; promoting development of investment ideas so that finance is an enabler
  • Women’s participation in decision making process that influences investments into agriculture
  • Women’s participation in data collection, interpretation and retention in their communities, to avoid the ‘pirate approach’ in data collection
  • Consideration of farmers’ adoption curve, packaging information to suit different categories of farmers to enhance innovations and adoption of technologies;
  • Review agricultural curriculum in universities and other academic institutions to accommodate the dynamics in the field, and train graduates to add value.

Two women farmers working with ICRISAT on the HOPE project demonstrated the possibilities of empowerment through agriculture. Ms Esther Moshi, from Tanzania displayed different value added products that her group – JAGEF - makes from sorghum which is high in micronutrients. Some of the products include sorghum composite flour, snacks and wine, which were key in informing the participants of the potential of sorghum not only as a food crop but also as an industrial crop.

Mrs Margaret Osuru, a finger millet farmer from Kenya, demonstrated how to make value-added products from finger millet, which is naturally high in calcium, including buns, chapatti, millet flakes while sharing their key nutritional values.

These products generated a lot of interest from participants and were in line with the nutrition theme of the event.

Explaining the importance of sorghum and millets. Photo: ICRISAT

The ICRISAT stall also displayed the improved varieties of grain legumes that were developed under the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes in collaboration with partners and National Agricultural Research System in Kenya.

Three roundtable discussions were held at the event: (i) Technologies to promote rural women’s productivity and empowerment, (ii) Gender, Food security and Nutrition and (iii) Research-Farmer Linkages. 

Dr Njuguna-Mungai, represented ICRISAT on the ‘Research-farmer linkages’ round table session.

The capacity of women to organize and generate a ‘voice’ was also highlighted in sectors that have been subsidized by women – women in HIV-AIDS care where women have contributed greatly in home-based care, women in education and women in agricultural extensions.

The discussions ended with a call to invest in women and build on their current knowledge in groups, organization and inclusiveness.

The UN Women’s Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa, in partnership with the African Union, Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme hosted the event at the United Nations Office in Nairobi from 15-17 October.

The initiative that coincided with the International Day of Rural Women (15 October) World Food Day
(I6 October) and the International Day for Eradication of Poverty (17 October).

The three-day event aimed to focus attention on rural women as drivers of rural progress and change, and showcase small-scale innovations led by women from eastern and southern Africa.

It offered a platform for policymakers, academics, food producers, investors, technology innovators and others to interact with the women innovators with the aim that women-led innovations are shared, incubated and scaled up.

The HOPE project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

New projects launched in Mopti and Sikasso region of Mali

(L-R) Dr John Nzungize with Dr Monica Petri, Agronomist, ICRISAT and Mr Moumouni Damango. Photo: A Diama, ICRISAT

Furthering its commitment to sub-Saharan Africa, ICRISAT and its partners launched two new projects in Mali recently.

The first project ¬– Africa RISING’s (Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation) large-scale diffusion of technologies for sorghum and millet system (ARDT_SMS) – focusses on diffusion of technologies of proven efficacy for enhancing sorghum and pearl millet production systems.

“This project complements and creates synergies with other projects of ICRISAT and partners. Focusing efforts on marketing and value chains, capacity building of producer organizations by providing them with new technologies and knowledge, will help increase the incomes of sorghum and pearl millet producers,” said Dr John Nzungize, Project Manager and Technology Uptake Specialist, ICRISAT.

The technologies available for large-scale diffusion are: improved and hybrid seed varieties of sorghum and millet, integrated soil fertility and Striga management options, biological fighting technologies against millet head miner and intercropping.

The second project – Disseminating learning agenda on resilient-smart technologies to improve the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers in the Mopti region – is the first Climate Change Adaptation program financed by USAID in Mali to implement ground based resilient-smart technologies.

Objectives of this project include:

1. Development of innovative solutions to set the stage for long-term impact through:

  • Participatory planning and implementation of integrated adaptive practices
  • Production and dissemination of high quality climate information
  • Accelerating climate change adaptation process through identifying social and cultural barriers to adoption and identifying critical issues of marginalized population, women and youth

2. Development of learning agenda:

  • Tackling the issue of weak capacity of local partners to implement the action research and the mechanisms to upscale proven successful options
  • Establishing mechanisms for downward communication with farmers
  • Diagnosing opportunities and constraints; what works where; why some practices work in some areas and why not in others
  • Developing tools and approaches to empower smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change and for defining priority investment needs.

The launch was attended by high-level officials who expressed support of their respective institutions for both projects. Mr Moumouni Damango, the Representative of the Governor of Mopti region, said, “Learning programs on climate change must be integrated into the current policy and should include several aspects of technical management, community mobilization, advocacy, and the provision of meteorological data of good quality.”

As part of the event, participants visited two testing plots in two villages of the target zones where producers are already experimenting with new technologies towards adaptation to climate change and a large-scale diffusion of technologies for sorghum and millet systems.

The ARDT_SMS project will be conducted under the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals and the second project is under the CGIAR Research Program on Resilient Dryland Systems. Both projects are part of the USAID Feed the Future (FTF) program.

ICRISAT is committed to strengthening its research activities for development in sub-Saharan Africa, through new investments as confirmed during its last board meeting in India in September.

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Harnessing the power of community radio in Mali

ICRISAT Scientific Officer, Dr Mamourou Sidibé interacting with the radio producers during the training session. Photo: ICRISAT

We will create programs and micro-programs in collaboration with technicians and pilot producers of hybrid sorghum seed. We realized that fertilizer can significantly improve yields of our producers and we intend to capitalize on these to better inform our listeners, Youssouf Sanogo of ORTM - Rural Radio summed up the impact of ICRISAT’s 4-day capacity building sessions targeting community radio producers in Sikasso region of Mali.

A total of 54 radio producers and hosts (including women) attended the trainings held in Koutiala and Bougouni.

Dr Samba Traoré’s session dealt with factors that influence the development and growth of sorghum plants, soil fertility (importance of phosphate), the density of plants in the field and information on how to optimize productivity and yields in the context of increasing climate challenges being faced by West African farmers.

Dr Abdoulaye Diallo’s presentation was on sorghum hybrid seed production techniques and methods.

Participants were shown ‘Fighting Striga’ videos to give them an idea on how researchers and producers are working together against Striga and dealing with soil fertility management.

Each training ended with exchanges between participants and trainers to clarify strategies and plans for better communication of research results in the national languages Bambara, Minianka, Senufo and French in the Sikasso region.

Working groups were formed to chalk out an action plan for information sharing on sorghum hybrid demonstrations and testing plots. For wide dissemination of information on sorghum hybrid, micro-programs, large public shows, sketches, interviews and magazines were proposed.

The training was also beneficial to communication officers of ICRISAT partners who learned more about seed production, marketing and processing, and interacted with community radio programmers.

“I learned a lot about the correct use of fertilizers to optimize productivity and crop yields. I have a better understanding of the complementarity of different technologies for farmers,” said Alfousseiny Sidibé, Cereals Value Chain project (CVC).

As follow up, participants suggested organizing regular trainings sessions for radio producers to help consolidate their knowledge, create more synergies between community radios and farmers’ organizations and various NGOs in Sikasso region. Some of the sorghum producers who attended the trainings were given the opportunity to share their expectations with the radio producers about the type of program that could impact the members of their cooperatives.

This training was organized as part of the Farmers seed managed enterprises (FARMSEM), under the CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals.

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Leveraging the strengths of farmer producer organizations

Participants visiting the Food development laboratory of the NPK Program of ICRISAT. Photo: S Vemu, ICRISAT

ICRISAT recently organized a capacity building program for Farmer producer organizations (FPOs) to provide better understanding of the gaps and opportunities for FPOs in agribusiness, best practices on running an FPO, seed production and effective business plan development initiatives for FPO developers and funding agencies.

“The FPO capacity building program is quite useful for emerging FPOs, and participants have benefitted greatly as the program provided them with inputs on converting their agri-business ideas into reality,” said Mr AV Poomurugesan, Executive Director, Kazhi Kadaimadai Farmers Federation from Tamilnadu and a speaker at the workshop.

The participants visited the Mulkanoor Cooperative Rural Bank and Marketing Society (MCRBMS) Ltd, a self-sustainable cooperative run by farmers of 14 villages in Karimnagar district of Telangana, India. The operations of MCRBMS range from dairy to a modern rice mill and seed production. Mulkanoor also has one of the largest paddy seed growing and selling operations in the country, with three seed-processing plants with a capacity to process 64 tons of seeds per day.

“Three units of paddy seed processing plants; a milk collection, packing & distribution center run by the local women farmers; a cotton ginning mill, all under one cooperative of over 7,500 farmers! This is one of the best examples of a cooperative group, and is a role model in several ways,” said Mr Sanjeev Prabha, Director of Jaikishan Multi foundation, Bidar, Karnataka.

“The exposure visit to a food processing unit particularly was interesting where we got an opportunity to see how food processing has been mechanised and I have gained knowledge on various food marketing related aspects,” Mr Shivaram, State-Coordinator from Chetna Organics, Hyderabad, India, a group which works with small and marginal farmers towards improving their livelihood.

Five FPOs expressed interest in receiving business incubation support from ICRISAT’s Agri-Business Incubation (ABI) program. Participants interested in seed business have also placed orders for foundation seeds of chickpea (39 tons), pigeonpea (1.6 tons), millet (0.1 ton) and groundnut (13.4 tons).

Participants visiting a dairy unit. Photo: H Mane, ICRISAT

“The participants were exposed to extensive knowledge and information, as well as managerial inputs on effective FPO management. They were given detailed sessions on marketing and branding, food quality control, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) policies and regulatory compliances, best practices in establishing and governance for FPOs, seed processing, packaging and certification, and field visits to seed and food processing units for better understanding,” said Mr SM Karuppanchetty, Chief Operating Officer, ABI-ICRISAT.

FPOs bring farmers, especially smallholder farmers, on a common platform to foster technology penetration, improve productivity, enable improved access to inputs and services, and increase farmer incomes. This helps create and strengthen sustainable agriculture based livelihoods. Turning these collective ventures into sustainable and profitable models would help smallholder farmers actively participate in emerging high-value markets.

Mr A Praveen Reddy, President of MCRBMS, advised the farmers to start with small-scale operations with a concentrated and a long-term plan approach.

Training on seed production was given by Drs P Janila, Senior Scientist, Groundnut Breeding; A Ashok Kumar, Senior Scientist, Sorghum Breeding, S K Gupta, Senior Scientist, Pearl Millet Breeding, and Pooran Gaur, Asst Research Program Director, Grain Legumes.

For participant feedback please watch http://youtu.be/gn25dVAw2ko Video: Sangya S, ICRISAT

The five-day training, held from 28 October to 1 November, was attended by 50 farmer producers from the Indian states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Rajasthan. Participants explored areas of FPO management, financial management, seed business, agro and food processing management.

The activity was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Programs on Dryland Cereals and on Grain Legumes.

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Attractive net returns promote adoption of cultivars

Experience of the Tropical Legumes II (TL II) project showed that profitable net returns, rather than physical yield of cultivars, is a stronger motivating factor for farmers to adopt cultivars.

Key lessons learnt during the two phases (2007-2011 & 2011-2014) of project implementation are:

  • The price fetched by the farmer as well as the physical yield of the cultivar should be considered when deciding the cultivars to be released to farmers.
  • Farmer-Participatory Varietal Selection (FPVS) trials have demonstrated their potential in hastening the formal release and encouraging farmers to adopt them
  • Attractive seed subsidies given by respective state governments have motivated the farmers significantly to enhance adoption
  • Due to lack of interest by major private companies in legumes seed multiplication, community seed systems approach should be followed to hasten the adoption of farmer-selected cultivars


Challenges and opportunities

Chickpea: Some of the challenges were sustaining the production and productivity beyond project period; indiscriminate use of agricultural inputs leading to unsustainable cultivation of chickpea, especially in Andhra Pradesh; and falling ‘output prices’ due to duty free imports from Australia and Canada.

New opportunities include development of ‘tall cultivars’ suitable for mechanical cultivation. In the rice-fallows of India (Andhra Pradesh and Bihar) and Barind in Bangladesh, heat and herbicide tolerant cultivars are in high demand.

Groundnut: Enhancing the adoption of project-introduced cultivars is the biggest challenge. Seed multiplication and distribution is critical due to frequent crop failures with recurrent droughts and poor seed multiplication ratio.

The existing formal seed systems are weak and policies are unfavorable. There is also stiff competition from other crops like soybean, cotton, maize, etc.

Opportunities exist for high-yielding, drought-tolerant cultivars and there is a growing demand for groundnuts that are suited for confectionery.

Pigeonpea: Frequent droughts limited the spread of cultivars and resulted in lower productivity levels. The newly introduced hybrid technology faced problems in isolation distances and seed setting.

New opportunities are open for high-yielding and medium-duration cultivars that are tolerant to terminal moisture stress. 

Learnings from the TL II project in South Asia were shared at the 8th Annual Conference of Asian Society for Agricultural Economists. The conference was held from 15-17 October at Dhaka, Bangladesh. Learnings on three targeted legumes – Chickpea, Pigeonpea and Groundnut were presented at the session ‘Targeting of Grain Legumes for Income and Nutritional Security in South Asia’.

ICRISAT team comprising Drs D Kumara Charyulu, D Moses Shyam, S Nedumaran, N Nagaraj and Madhusudan Bhattarai together with NARS partners: Drs K Suhasini from Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, India; K R Karunakaran from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India; Debdutt Behura from Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, India; and Abdur Rashid from Bangladesh Agricultural research Institute, Bangladesh presented the key results.

The organized session was moderated by Drs Ranjit Kumar and N Nagaraj from ICRISAT-India.

The TL II project is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information on grain legumes see
ICRISAT’s scientific information site EXPLOREit @ ICRISAT http://exploreit.icrisat.org/page/grain_legumes/684

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Nigerian seed companies respond to Groundnut Value Chain initiatives

Participants of the meeting. Photo: B Motagi, ICRISAT

Nigerian seed companies showed their commitment and readiness to supply 54 tons of certified groundnut seed to 1,080 farmers. At a sensitization meeting organized recently, ICRISAT and the state Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs) assured them of support through trainings and linkages to trusted out-growers. Seed companies were asked to move closer to the farmers for sale of certified seeds as well buy-back from out-growers.  ADPs were advised to contact seed certification officers in their states to certify their fields for linkages.

The exercise was part of the Groundnut Value Chain (GNVC) project of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) initiative across 16 states of Nigeria. Facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) ICRISAT is currently executing the GNVC project in collaboration with other partners.

The overall goal of the project is to increase incomes and enhance livelihoods of the actors along the groundnut value chain through increased productivity by way of enhanced seed production and adoption of farmer- and market- preferred groundnut varieties.

This will be achieved by improving the profitability of groundnut production by broadening the genetic base and promoting improved cultivars and agronomic practices that meet farmers’ needs and market requirements; and developing groundnut seed supply systems to ensure timely access and availability of seed to the farmers.

The sensitization meeting, held on 29 September, was a follow-up to a meeting held at FMARD Abuja between FMARD, ICRISAT and National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC).

At this meeting it was recommended to bring all stakeholders together, especially the seed companies and ADPs. Twenty-five participants, including six seed companies, state and national officials of NASC, representatives of four states ADPs, representatives of GNVC and ICRISAT scientists attended.

The meeting focused on the need to produce and market high quality seed of improved groundnut varieties to increase productivity and cater to the increasing market demand.

It was agreed that the stakeholders should take advantage of the increased interest by government and donors on the need to increase groundnut production through adoption of improved varieties that were resistant/tolerant to major biotic and abiotic constraints.

It highlighted the need for 54 tons of certified groundnut seed to be supplied to 1,080 farmers through Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) which will be used in 2014-2015 dry season for multiplication to produce a minimum of 1,080 tons of certified seeds for the 2015 rainy season.

The NASC promised to issue indents to seed companies after their certification officers finish field supervision and submit the report on the situation of the crops. NASC emphasized that community seed production is recognized but quality must be ensured by linking the producers to research institutions, ADPs and ensuring certification.

These activities were undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes.

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Better project management with PRINCE2


ICRISAT staff based in Nairobi, Malawi, and Zimbabwe attended a PRINCE2 project management foundation training course on 28 – 31 October. PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a project management methodology that benefits projects of different types and sizes. The Foundation course provides a comprehensive coverage of PRINCE2 and demonstrates the application of the elements that make up this methodology.

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Building capacity of national partners


ICRISAT helped build capacities of its partner organization on research evaluation and impact assessment using the Dynamic Research Evaluation for Managers (DREAM) model. Six socio-economists from partner organizations Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, National Semi-Arid Resources Research Institute, Uganda, and Department of Research and Development, Tanzania, participated in a three-day training.

DREAM is an impact assessment tool, developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) that enables analysts to calculate the size and distribution of the economic benefits from agricultural research and development activities using a range of market model options. The training was conducted by ICRISAT’s Dr Albert Gierend, Agricultural Marketing Economist, under the Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement (HOPE) Project. The training was held at the ICRISAT Nairobi office on 15 – 17 September. Using ICRISAT’s experience in this field, participants discussed pros and cons of best-practice options for future GIS-based impact studies in their countries.

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