SARD-SC has boosted the development of wheat projects by running two recent meetings to review results of the 2013/14 season and plan for work to come.
Highland regions were represented in a meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Among the 21 participants were scientists from each of the highland countries of the SARD-SC wheat project: Ethiopia, Lesotho, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, as well as staff from the ICARDA project management unit.
Planning for the wheat growing season spanning 2014 and 2015 included agronomy and breeding trials, but also featured strategies for partner countries to put into practice at least one innovation platform. Innovation platforms enable members of the program to collectively identify innovative processes and put them to use, and include education sessions to advise people on the advantages to be had. Hub countries will also start socio-economics activities that include value chain analyses, surveys, and beneficiary farmers’ registration.
Representatives of the lowland regions met in Khartoum, Sudan. Among the 50 participants were researchers, extension personnel, seed production specialists, NGO representatives, and delegates from farmer groups across Sudan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.
Plans for further agronomy and breeding trial activities were developed during the meeting along with strategies to put into practice lowland innovation platforms developing advanced techniques to benefit the wheat growing industry. Socio-economic activities were also planned in Sudan and Nigeria encompassing value chain analyses, annual surveys, and beneficiary farmer’s registration.
One of the promising achievements of the 2013/14 season highlighted at the meeting was the over 80 farmers who employed improved technology to increase their wheat crop yields to around 4–5 t/ha, and in some cases up to 6t/ha.