The SARD-SC project of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, held a three-day cassava value chain review and planning workshop from 19 to 23 October 2015, in Abuja, Nigeria. The workshop was among other things; to review project achievements in 2015 and strategize for 2016, develop work plan and budget for 2016, develop strategies to mainstream gender in the project and how to turn output into outcomes for transformational impact.
While welcoming participants from all SARD-SC cassava value chain countries as well as partners from NARS and other stakeholders, Dr Chrys Akem, the Project Coordinator implored all to take the annual gathering seriously and see “how it could be used to develop a transformational impact within the cassava value chain.” He said the project had passed the era of focusing only on outputs, “It is time to show impact or outcomes of our various activities. We may have new varieties of crops released, how did these help our farmers? We have built many processing centers in Sierra Leone, Zambia, DRC and Tanzania, how are these helping the target audience? The use of Innovation Platforms, how are they helping to achieve the transformational impact in cassava value chain, he queried? Dr. Akem admonished all to embrace the IP approach for value chain development and more meaningful impact. “The special challenge for this year, he said was to focus on what we can demonstrate as impact of our outputs to our stakeholders,” urging all to pay attention to Component two.
The various cassava value chain team members, led by the Commodity Specialist, Dr Marie Yomeni, made presentations which were followed by both group and open floor discussions to review achievements and plans on how the project could make impact in the cassava value chain within the next year. They also developed work plans, and budgets and procurement plans for 2016 and reviewed cassava output indicators. All these were geared towards achieving the project outputs/outcomes so as to foster better understanding of the SARD-SC cassava value chain.
Dr.Paul Dontsop Nguezet, the project Impact Economist, presented a paper titled Turning output into outcomes/Impact: Plans to showcase our SARD-SC cassava achievements while Dr.Amare Tegbaru’s presentation was on Mainstreaming Gender-Plan of Activities. The group discussions were held on basis of country team representatives: DRC, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Zambia. The Socio-economists and gender group was lead by Dr. Nguezet, while points of discussion were on: Prioritization of interventions(Technologies, practices by countries),mainstreaming gender into different project’s activities, ex-ante analysis, return on investment analysis at the national level, others were gender and youth specific case studies.
Mr. Seyi Fashokun, Project Accountant, presented a summary of uses of funds by component, and reviewed the 2015 budget and expenditure by component as at 31 August 2015.Dr. Issaka Amadou,Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist made a presentation in his field. Other presentations were on procurement and communication.
The meeting was attended by country coordinators of the cassava value chain, project Field Fellows, NARS partners, other stakeholders and implementing partners from DRC, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Zambia.