Scientists from Africa and other parts of the world, under the umbrella of the African Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) held a meeting on the 11th – 15th December 2017 with policymakers in Mwanza, Tanzania.
The chief focus of the meeting was to discuss and review the progress made in the area of solutions to agronomy of cassava (a project managed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture) in the space of last two years and also to plan for the year ahead.
In his address, the Permanent Secretary, who was represented by Dr. Geophrey Kajiru, Assistant Director, Research and Development, Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, was optimistic that the ACAI project would proffer solutions to the problems of cassava farmers in his country and sub-Saharan Africa in general.
The Director for Central Africa Hub with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Bernard Vanlauwe, said ACAI will explore opportunities as well as partnerships to ensure the sustainability of the project.
Furthermore, ACAI’s Senior Systems Agronomist, Dr. Pieter Pypers, said that the discussion among project managers will generate concrete ideas that will be incorporated and adapted.
ACAI is a 5-year (2015 – 2020) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded project in 5 countries in Africa (Nigeria, Tanzania, DRC, Ghana and Kenya) aiming to increase the availability of appropriate and affordable technologies to sustainably improve short and long-term agricultural productivity in cassava in the target countries.