Between 29 July and 4 August, members of the R4D platforms in DRC, Rwanda, and Burundi action sites organized planning meetings to determine the R4D activities they will implement in the coming crop season.
The key objective of the meetings was to finalize actions and partnership commitments for the implementation of Phase III of the Consortium for Improving Agriculture-based Livelihoods in Central Africa (CIALCA) under Humidtropics. The meetings were attended by members of the platforms as well as representatives of the Humidtropics Coordination Office, IITA, and Bioversity who assisted in moderating the sessions.
Participants discussed and identified best-fit options for integrated systems research addressing productivity, natural resource management, nutrition, market, and institutional issues. A convener was identified for each research theme to coordinate the development of the research protocols. In DRC, the planning meeting was held on 29 July and facilitated by Sylvain Mapatano, the Action Site Facilitator.
The research themes identified and prioritized by the platform were crop-livestock integration; improving access to market for beans, soybean, and cassava; improving banana-based system; enhancing dietary diversity; developing postharvest activities of preferred crops; and improving access to credit. The research themes will be implemented in the Mushinga field site.
In Rwanda, the meeting which was facilitated by Dr Leon Nabahungu, Action Site Facilitator, identified and prioritized the following themes: scaling out nutritious banana and legume varieties, legume-banana-livestock and agroforestry integration, maize-soybean associations, and cassava-legume systems that will be implemented in Kadahenda field site.
The Burundi planning meeting, facilitated by Cyrille Hicintuka, Action Site Facilitator, also identified five themes: cassava-bush beans association, rotation of Irish potato and bush beans, association of maize-soybean in rotation with climbing beans, banana-soybean association, and rice-legume rotation that will be implemented in Gitega field sites. Follow-up meetings at the field sites with the innovation platforms were scheduled for each site.