In response to Covid-19, the CCRP made a number of grant amendments in 2020 to address Covid-19 specific needs among active grantees in CCRP’s Communities of Practice (CoPs).
East and Southern Africa CoP
IDEMS International Community Interest Company received a grant amendment for the Manor House Agricultural Centre (MHAC) Hub project to keep the stakeholders of the Anchor Hub at Manor House Agricultural Centre in Kenya active and connected during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. More specifically, the funds will enable a group of organizations that support ecological agricultural in eastern Africa to share their findings with farmers through rural radio and other means. Rural radio is an important means for farmers and their organizations to share agroecological findings, particularly at a time when gathering in person is discouraged. The funds will be used to compensate the experts who will mentor the Anchor Hub communications team; to cover personnel costs for partner organizations who need extra support for their staff to devote time to the effort; and to provide some payment for the farmers who will serve as correspondents.
Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (LUANAR) received a grant amendment for the Best Bets project to identify strategies for experimenting and sharing information on agroecosystems support while reducing the spread and impact of Covid-19; support capacity building of FRNs in communicating across communities; create awareness among community members of the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated impacts on food and agroecosystems and identify potential ways of addressing these; and generate information for understanding how the Covid-19 pandemic impacts on food security of farmers from different socioeconomic groups.
Volunteer Efforts for Development Concerns (VEDCO) received a grant amendment to enable projects in Eastern Uganda to make adjustments needed to sustain engagement of stakeholders in FRN activities given the Covid-19 restrictions. The projects plan to work together and share knowledge using common remote methods in their research activities. This increase will involve capacity building of the project teams. The major planned activity is to use of radio enable continuation of communications and dialogue between farmers and other partners in agroecological research. Translated videos from Access Agriculture will also be used for training and creating awareness of AEI using mobile projectors. The projects also plan to use shared smart phones for teleconferencing with clusters of farmers.
West Africa CoP
Arouna Bayoko Rural Economic Department (AMEDD) received a grant amendment to be used by all active CCRP-funded projects in Mali. The funds will assist in enabling better communication, providing sanitary equipment and materials, and training and sensitizing rural communities regarding Covid-19. AMEDD has kindly agreed to organize the group purchases and distribute the funds for specific activities within Mali.
Association Minim Song Panga (AMSP) received a $13,000 grant amendment to be used by all active CCRP-funded projects in Burkina Faso. The funds will assist in enabling better communication, providing sanitary equipment and materials, and training and sensitizing rural communities regarding Covid-19. AMSP has kindly agreed to organize the group purchases and distribute the funds for specific activities within Burkina Faso.
FUMA Gaskiya received a grant amendment to the Women’s Fields project to improve communication and equity during Covid-19. By providing mobile phones to all unions, farmer organizations, and villages participating in the project, communication and connectivity will improve, while also limiting travel and contact between people, reducing the spread of COVID-19. To increase gender equity, phones will be made available to field animators, relay farmers, and technicians regardless of gender or age. Additionally, funds will assist in enabling better communication, providing sanitary equipment and materials, and training and sensitizing rural communities regarding Covid-19 for all active CCRP-funded project in Niger.
Institut de Recherches en Sciences Appliquees et Technologies (IRSTAT) received a grant amendment for the Child Nutrition II. This grant amendment will help improve communication and equity in the West Africa region in times of the pandemic. Funds will be used to enable internet access at the headquarter of the partner farmer organization AMSP in Kaya, and for additional mobile telephones. Having internet access in Kaya would benefit several CCRP-funded projects in West Africa (Child nutrition, Networking4Seed, 3F, Farmer Knowledge, FRN-AMSP, AEI in Burkina) and enable participation in important virtual meetings and virtual exchanges with project partners. The additional telephones would be an important contribution to enable /improve communication with the female animators/village leaders of the child nutrition project – made more challenging under the combined threat of Covid-19 and security in remote parts of the Centre Nord region, that is home to the project.
Wageningen University (WUR) received a grant amendment for the Pathways to AEI project to extend a student’s stipend. The Covid-19-related lock down in the Netherlands and the resulting isolation combined with worries about the student’s family in Mali, reduced the student’s working efficiency to advance his work. Assessment of his progress suggested he will need additional time to complete his PhD. Adding another 4 months to his stipend will increase his chances of finalizing his thesis when his stipend ends, for sending him back home prior to completion might put his degree progress at risk.