Fred Kanampiu, Central Africa Hub, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture-Nigeria, Nairobi, KENYA, Theresa Ampadu-Boakye, Central Africa Hub, The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nairobi, Kenya, Edward Baars, West Africa Hub, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Abuja, Nigeria, Bernard Vanlauwe, Natural Resource Management, IITA, Nairobi, Kenya and Ken E. Giller, Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands
Increase in BNF and the productivity of grain legumes among African smallholder farmers enhances grain yield and expands farm area cropped with legumes to improve incomes and food and nutrition security. To achieve this, we need sustainable, long-term partnerships to enable African smallholder farmers to benefit from symbiotic BNF by grain legumes through effective production technologies, including effective inputs supply of improved seeds, inoculants and fertilizers; and output markets chains. Our focal legumes are soybean, cowpea, groundnut, common bean, chickpea and faba bean. The main vehicle of delivery is through PPPs, comprising agricultural research institutes, universities, local governments, private input suppliers, legume buyers, processors and development partners. To sustain delivery, capacity building focused on both partner and value chain actors with 32,717 persons trained to date. Further, we have supported 50 students to undergo formal training. Over 374,717 smallholder farmers have been reached with various technologies including improved seeds of legumes, fertilizers and inoculants using key dissemination approaches such as demonstrations, adaptations, field days, media events, and video shows. Last year, 89,260 farmers used a combination of improved legume seed, fertilizer and inoculants technologies. Various input and output market models are integrated in the PPPs to support input access. Stimulating access to profitable output markets and consumption of legumes for improved nutritional status is key. Up to 2016, a total of 119,690 farmers were involved in collective marketing and value addition activities serving as business opportunities. Value addition activities were related to soybean and groundnuts and resulted in various high value products, such as soybean flour, beverages, blend of soybean flour and other cereals, soybean cake, groundnut oil and cake. Over 8 years, building on local expertise, legume production increased and new value chains are being established and the food and nutritional security of the poor enhanced.