2nd Regional Stakeholders Meeting: A productive gathering to discuss critical success factors and challenging issues

Name of the event: 2nd Regional Stakeholders Meeting

Date: The meeting took place on the 16th and 17th February 2023

Venue: The meeting was organized by the UPSCALE project consortium in Mwanza, Tanzania

On February 16th and 17th, 2023, stakeholders and the UPSCALE consortium from around the region gathered in Mwanza, Tanzania for the 2nd Regional Stakeholders Meeting. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the progress of the project, identify critical success factors and challenging issues, and develop strategies to address these challenges.

Country MAC representatives gave feedback on identified roadblock removal and how to be more successful in the future. The project progress comprised all Work Packages (WPs) and stakeholders’ views on the way forward and objectives, expected achievements and deliverables attained were also mentioned.

Since this project has a big influence on numerous farmers in five African countries, one of the main topics was the synthesis of Agricultural policies in East Africa and stakeholder feedback and value chain and market integration:

  • Desmodium value chains in East Africa
  • PPT products value chains in East Africa
  • Involvement of SMEs in PPT Value Chains

Besides policy and value chain, socioecological modelling workshops also took major attention in MAC this time. Social-ecological modelling as one of the tools for promoting PPT was mentioned at the national level. Most of the challenges are institutional factors among the barriers hindering linkages among actors and Desmodium seed availability at affordable cost. It was agreed that there is a need to advocate for institutional linkages and decentralization of Desmodium seed systems to enhance the scaling up of PPT.

It was also reported that there will be a Socioeconomic survey (mid-line survey) between May and July 2023 as a follow-up to the baseline survey which was conducted at the start of the project in the East African countries.

Finally, the meeting participants agreed to strengthen communication among MAC platforms’ international and national partners. The use of simple and easily understandable communication pathways will enhance the adoption of PPT by farmers. Each project implementing country was urged to map actors of the seed value chain and identify challenges and weak areas for rectification/strengthening.

The meeting concluded with a feedback session, where stakeholders provided their feedback on the project progress report and the discussion. There was general satisfaction with the progress of the project and appreciation for the opportunity to discuss the critical success factors and challenging issues.

The MACs and stakeholders meeting ended with closing remarks from Hon. Adam Malima, the Regional Commissioner for Mwanza who explained to the participants the importance of agriculture in his region and the country in general with emphasis on maize production which is a major food crop in the country. He appreciated the benefits of PPT and he promised to be among the team to advocate PPT in his region through agriculture and administrative organs in the region. He urged the UPSCALE implementing partners to establish user-friendly PPT information dissemination pathways and to ensure the technology is within reach/accessible by farmers. The meeting was attended by eighty-three (83) participants including farmer and MAC management team representatives, administrators, policymakers, scientists/ researchers, input suppliers, invited MSc and PhD students and other potential stakeholders.

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