Thursday, March 8, 2012
Stakeholders fine-tune notes on the commercial products (COMPRO) project
Partners working on the Commercial Products (Compro-II) project met in Ibadan to finalize partnership arrangements and draft action plans towards the institutionalization of quality assurance mechanism and the rapid dissemination of top quality commercial products to increase yields and improve the food security of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
With the demand for food taking the center stage, Sub Saharan Africa has been inundated with different types of commercial products that claim to boost agricultural productivity. In the last three years, researchers working on the first phase of the Commercial Product otherwise known as Compro-I sought to verify the authenticity of claims of these products.
“The project team has identified some products that could improve yield and the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers in Africa,” says Dr. Bernard Vanlauwe, who will this month take the role of Director for NRM and Central Africa with IITA.
The Compro-II project aims to raise awareness among over two million smallholder farmers on effective and profitable commercial products by 2017 through public-private partnership. Of these households, 420,000 will have tested at least one effective commercial product and at least 50 per cent of these will adopt the technology and achieve 15-30 per cent yield increase with substantial impacts on food security and income.
At the end of the project, it is envisaged that more farmers will confidently use these products because the safety, efficacy and quality of the products will be ensured through institutionalized regulatory and quality assurance mechanism.
Declaring the meeting open, Dr. Robert Asiedu, who represented the IITA Director General, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, described the meeting as an important occasion for the institute as it sought to reduce the number of hungry people and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
Participants at the meeting were drawn from IITA, CIAT TSBF, CABI, FIPS, AATF, NAFDAC, KNUST and MoFA in Ghana.