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Agronomy projects learn about Legume Alliance

31 March 2017: SILT & UPTAKE partners Farm Radio International, yesterday, played host to a visit from a group of Bill & Melinda Gates Funded agronomy projects today.

The visiting projects cover maize and cassava (which are UPTAKE priority crops); legumes (which is the focus of the work in SILT, GALA and the focus of the Legume Alliance) and highland banana (which is one of the crops that ASHC is exploring for a campaign next season).  The agronomy projects are meeting to explore the soil, crop data and yield predictions that they are generating.  This meant a good fit with the projects that Farm Radio, CABI and partners have jointly developed to share information to intermediaries and directly to farmers at scale.

Ken Giller said: “It was important to see the work that is happening by the Legume Alliance and the other projects that have been developed.  These are not just passive information channels there are real opportunities to gather farmer data in these campaigns. I have seen the work on legumes at first hand in my role in N2Africa and also because I am project champion for the work that is happening here on legumes.”

The Farm Radio International team described how they work with broadcasters to develop interactive radio shows, and played some radio clips from recent shows. The visitors had the chance to test out the “beep2vote” polling system and see  how radio plus mobile phones can be used to provide information but also gather audience feedback, answer questions and gather project data.   

Gates agronomy projects at FRI legeume alliance JPG

Partners in the communication project include Shujaaz the youth media platform that produces 500,000 comics each month, the Farm Radio Listening Post and the Africa Soil Health consortium – all of which are also funded to work in Tanzania by B&MGF to some degree.

N@Africa podcast 45