The launch of an Innovation Platform recently at the Regional Office of Institute of Agricultural Research for Development IRAD, Bambui, Cameroon is yet another milestone in the implementation of the SARD-SC Maize project. When the Government of Cameroon requested to participate in the SARD-SC Project, several bottle necks were identified along the maize value chain that could be addressed using the innovation platform model. It is heartening to report months of consultations involving the Government of Cameroon, SARD-SC Project Team at IITA and key Officers of African Development Bank finally enabled the launch of the Maize Component of the Project in Cameroon. This brings to five the number of countries where the Maize Component of the SARD-SC Project is being implemented. The Other four countries are Ghana, Mali, Nigeria and Zambia. Having implemented the project in the four countries for over three years, the lessons so far learnt are being applied in Cameroon and tailored to meet the challenges and opportunities in a manner that can rapidly raise maize productivity and incomes of targeted farmers in addition to stakeholders along the maize value chain.
A total of 41 participants comprising 16 females and 25 males representing 10 stakeholders- categories attended the launch of the IP. Some of the Stakeholders present included, the Ministry of Scientific Research and Development, represented by the Regional Delegate, The DG of IRAD represented by the Director of farming systems along with a handful of staff representing the Research Community, Traditional Rulers, IITA SARD-SC Project Team, North West regional authorities, farmers, NGOs, maize merchants, processors, financial institutions and input dealers.