Improving communication, of project outputs to users, the two way flow of information for joint learning between researchers and non-researchers and, advocacy to inform policy has been a neglected area of research in CCRP. This project, led by Danish Management, has begun with an inception year with activities implemented by ICRISAT Malawi, Naliendeli Agricultural Research Institute (Tanzania) and local media providers. The ultimate goals to which the project contributes are decreased exposure by people to aflatoxin contamination, associated improved health and nutrition, increased availability of and income from trade in higher quality nuts. The aim is to demonstrate the potential of participatory communication methods and processes for increased aflatoxin mitigation and for uptake and use of improved groundnut cultivars. The project builds upon established stakeholder relations (farmer and trader communities, professional media organisations, extension services, local leaders and policy makers) to develop and pilot communication interventions. These include face to face group meetings, radio programs and video documentaries. The work is implemented as an informal Learning Alliance to learn from the methodology for encouraging stakeholders to meet, debate, share and build linkages and commitments for action. At periodic meetings stakeholders from local, national producer, entrepreneur and policy spheres are invited to discuss the issues, contribute to design of communication interventions and subsequently participate in evaluation of results and decisions on next steps.
To explore and develop the use of video and other novel communication media and methods for more effective aflatoxin mitigation, variety uptake and use interventions along the groundnut value chain.To test video and other novel communication media, equipment and procedures for more effective learning and sharing of research among CCRP Groundnut and Post Harvest projects and partner networks.
Outputs and Outcomes:
Project research institute staff in both countries have successfully taken steps to broker dialogue with additional groundnut sector stakeholders who have demonstrated interest in responding to the aflatoxin agenda, and improved variety promotion.Project research staff in both countries appreciated the benefits of the ICMM cyclic activity plan or ‘learning cycle’. This feedback loop approach has enhanced experience of internal project progress monitoring and evaluation.Work team staff in both countries have acquired more experience of visual mapping tools, open-ended ethnographic probing interview methods and basic video documentation skills.Groundnut traders and processors in Tanzania and Malawi acknowledged that current storage practices might not be the most appropriate, and that some of their practices contribute to aflatoxin poisoning risk.The team has partnered communication focused NGOs to facilitate information meetings for groundnut traders and to produce radio debates and programs with information on aflatoxin and improved groundnut cultivars.