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OFRA reviews and planning meetings scheduled

A meeting of the Optimising Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA) partners from southern and east Africa will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 10-14 November. This will be followed a west African gathering in Accra, Ghana, between 25-28 November. OFRA operates in 13 sub-Saharan countries. The West African partners are from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. The partners in the East are Ethiopia, Kenya Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

In the OFRA project National Agriculture Research and Extension Systems (NARES) are working with CAB International (CABI) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to conduct field research. This will provide information needed to develop fertilizer recommendations. The project will develop tools that enable advisors to assist farmers in applying this information on their smallholdings.

The fertilizer recommendations will cover main food crops including maize, sorghum, pearl and finger millet, teff, rice, cassava, beans, groundnuts, soybean, pigeonpea, and cowpea.

Lydia Wairegi, the  CABI project manager for OFRA said that the purpose of the meeting is ‘to discuss progress made in the project to-date and to chart our way forward taking into account experiences to date.  We will specifically be looking for opportunities that may be available for the project to increase its effectiveness and ultimate impact at farm level. I am very much looking forward to seeing how our colleagues and partners have progress in the fertilizer response trials they have undertake to-date.’

The meetings will be opened by Rebbie Harawa in Nairobi, and  Zacharie Zida in Accra, both from the AGRA Soil Health Program, which has funded the OFRA project.

There will be a different focus on each day of the gathering:

Day one:

  • Sharing successes and challenges; Country presentations from principal investigators
  • The OFRA protocol and discussion related to trial implementation
  • Working better in OFRA

Day two:

  • Legacy data
  • Use of AfSIS and other spatial data
  • Decision support tools

Day three:

  • Trial data
  • Monitoring, Evaluation and reporting

Day four:

  • Training and Communication
  • Finance
  • Interactive session on GPS
  • Closing remarks

OFRA will be reporting on these events in the coming months.