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ASHC Newsletter March 2017

26 March 2017: We have changed the way that we share information with you about the African Soil Health Consortium (ASHC). This quarterly e-newsletter will help you to understand how the new strategy is being implemented with news from the project: Gender and the Legume AllianceOFRAScaling-up Improved Legume Technologies and UPTAKE.

We are also launching a Twitter alert, so that, in future, you will be able to receive information about news and new publications as soon as they are announced.

ASHC is now focusing on fewer countries, so far we have active project work in Ghana and Tanzania with Nigeria & Uganda at an advanced planning stage. We have been working with partners in these countries to set up campaigns delivering messages that support the integrated soil fertility management approach. In Ghana and Tanzania this has meant a strong focus on legumes (soybean and common bean) and close working with N2Africa and IITA .

Developing campaigns and materials

Our campaigns use a variety of complementary media that deliver messages into farming communities. By using multiple media (print, film shows, radio and SMS/voice telephony) alongside approaches (extension, demo plots and farmer training events) we hope that we will be able to learn which combinations are most effective at delivering attitude and behaviour changes. We are also especially interested in how different gender groups, especially women farmers and younger farmers, respond to the information.

Gumboot close up TZ copy550 soybean manualSILT campaign materials and nodualtion March 2017

Developing input and output markets (value chains)

Another significant change is that we are working more effectively with private sector partners within the supply chain to build access to the inputs required in the different technologies. Whilst information is essential, alone it is not sufficient to deliver sustainable change in farming systems. We are also developing much more systematic approaches to monitoring and evaluation.

554 maize nutrient management guideDSC02610Daniel Lungo (Right), Utiga village Wanging’ombe District Njombe Region556 rice nutrient management guide

Sharing lessons from research on communication and value chains

Finally, we are committed to shortening the lead time to share the findings from ASHC. Over time there will also link to publications and reports sections of the website, as well as news and blogs.

SILT students and their supervisorsOFRA book2016-11-15 10.48.23-1.jpg Group work crop

If you have any feedback or comments on anything you have read here, please do not hesitate to contact me.

James Watiti, ASHC project manager