Beneficiaries of the Africa RISING’s large-scale diffusion of technologies for sorghum and millet systems (ARDT-SMS) in a sorghum field in Sikasso region of Mali. Photo: ICRISAT
19
Jun

Innovation Platforms in Mali set up to sustain impact of Africa RISING project

Beneficiaries of the Africa RISING’s large-scale diffusion of technologies for sorghum and millet systems (ARDT-SMS) in a sorghum field in Sikasso region of Mali. Photo: ICRISAT

Beneficiaries of the Africa RISING’s large-scale diffusion of technologies for sorghum and millet systems (ARDT-SMS) in a sorghum field in Sikasso region of Mali. Photo: ICRISAT

Farmers in Mali got as much as 60% increased sorghum and pearl millet yield as a result of four years of intensive work. This was achieved through the Africa RISING project on sorghum and millet technologies. The big question was could the impact be sustained after the project completed its five-year cycle? In many development projects there is no assurance that impact will continue when project funding ends. However, here, the exit plan included mechanisms and a strategy to capacitate partners to take the lead after the project completion in 2019. To do this, work has begun on setting up Innovation Platforms. These platforms allow different actors to identify solutions to common problems and to achieve common goals.

The project – Africa RISING’s large-scale Diffusion of Technologies for Sorghum and Millet Systems (ARDT-SMS) – was initiated in partnership with the Institute of Rural Economy (IER). It focused on large-scale dissemination of sorghum and millet technologies in Mali, to enhance production, productivity and profitability. A consortium of multi-stakeholder institutions came together to strengthen the sorghum and millet value chain to create increased demand for improved agricultural technologies.

Project impacts:
(Results from an economic analysis on microdosing completed in 2017 in Mopti and Sikasso regions in Mali, involving 244 pearl millet and sorghum farmers).

Farmers in Mali got as much as 60% increased sorghum and pearl millet yield as a result of four years of intensive work. This was achieved through the Africa RISING project on sorghum and millet technologies. The big question was could the impact be sustained after the project completed its five-year cycle? In many development projects there is no assurance that impact will continue when project funding ends. However, here, the exit plan included mechanisms and a strategy to capacitate partners to take the lead after the project completion in 2019. To do this, work has begun on setting up Innovation Platforms. These platforms allow different actors to identify solutions to common problems and to achieve common goals.

60% higher grain yields were recorded from the application of Integrated Striga and Soil Fertility Management (ISSFM) strategy when compared to farmer practice.

Benefits generated by the application of microdosing treatments are largely higher than farmer practice for both sorghum and pearl millet production.

An analysis of farmers’ perceptions showed that about 98% of the sorghum and pearl millet farmers who participated in the project activities were satisfied with the technologies promoted by the project, with reasons including increased grain yield (91.21%), increase in marketable surplus (45.19%) and adaptation to drought (42.26%).

After four years of implementation, Innovation Platforms (IP) were set up to ensure that project impact continued. This would mean access to inputs, including improved seeds, pesticides and fertilizers, through links with private sector suppliers and links to sorghum and millet marketing initiatives to finance access.

At the training program held in April, partners had an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on how to initiate, facilitate, monitor and evaluate an IP to ensure sustainability.

Mr Souleymane Traore of Compagnie Malienne pour le Développement du Textile (CMDT), the Malian textile development company, said that CMDT will use the IPs to link sorghum producers and seed producers. They would raise awareness among farmers on importance of IPs, identify problems related to sorghum productivity as well as create an entry point for seed producers and suppliers of agricultural inputs. Dr Seriba Ousmane Katile, researcher at IER, suggested a ‘training of trainers’ program to initiate and facilitate IPs that continue to better farmers’ access to improved millet and sorghum technologies.

During the training, participants developed individual work plans towards the creation and implementation of IPs in their respective communities.

The training was organized from 25-27 April by ICRISAT for 28 participants representing the project partners.

Workshop participants at Sikasso, Mali. Photo: M Diakite, ICRISAT

Workshop participants at Sikasso, Mali. Photo: M Diakite, ICRISAT

ICRAF staff Dr Ann Degrande, socio-economist based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and Dr Djalal Ademonla Arinloye, marketing specialist based at Bamako, Mali led the sessions. Dr John Nzungize, project coordinator, was the overseer.

Project: Africa RISING’s large-scale Diffusion of Technologies for Sorghum and Millet Systems (ARDT-SMS)
Funder: USAID-Mali (Window 3)
Partners: Compagnie Malienne pour le Développement du Textile (CMDT), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Mali Agricultural Market Trust (MALIMARK), European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD), Association des Organisations Professionnelles Paysannes (AOPP), Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER), Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), my Agro, World Vision (WV) and ICRISAT.
CRP: Dryland Cereals (till 2016); CRP-Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (from 2018)
This work contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goal
17-partnerships-goals

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