WAf Regional Representative Batamaka Somé, David Stern of the research methods support team, and researcher Angela Mkindi from Tanzania were part of a November 2020 panel organized by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa. The panel, “Healthy Soil, Healthy Food,” focused on collaborative communication within farmer-centered research and farmer research networks. Their paper, “Sharing Experiences with Farmer Research Networks and Implications for Improving Soil Health,” caught the attention of the organizers, who decided to publish it as a chapter in an upcoming book. A hat tip to Rebecca Nelson, CCRP scientific director, and Mary Richardson, CCRP lead, for their help in making the opportunity possible.
The WAf regional team’s virtual monitoring tour in November 2020 was inclusive and highly instructive. The format allowed principal investigators and researchers to present information, while also offering a platform for students, farmers, and field animators to share project highlights and challenges.
In December 2020, McKnight’s International program director Jane Maland Cady and Batamaka Somé participated in a meeting of the agroecology donor working group on West Africa led by the Economic Community of West African States. They discussed the CCRP’s trajectory and the foundation’s farmer-centered agroecology activities in West Africa.
Batamaka Somé was interviewed for a study commissioned by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), with the involvement of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Researchers from Michigan State University and the French National Research Institute or the Sustainable Development (IRD) led the study, which identifies programming approaches and reports the conditions under which interventions have led to agroecological impacts and transitions at large scales. The CCRP’s CoP approach was cited as one of the winning models of implementation for achieving scale.
The WAf CoP meeting will be held April 12-15, 2021, using a hybrid approach of on-site and virtual participation. Country-specific Covid-19 restrictions will be closely monitored and observed.