This year the FoodAfrica work package leaders held their annual meeting in connection to the supervisory board’s meeting at the end of January in Kampala, Uganda. It provided an opportunity for constructive discussions regarding the progress of the programme.

During the meetings each work package leader presented the progress, possible challenges and results to date for the supervisory board. The supervisory board members and other FoodAfrica researchers had a chance to comment and share their expertise with the presenters. The interaction was highly appreciated by both parties.

annual%20meeting%202014%20copyThe interactive meeting resulted in new ideas and improvements for the dissemination plan of the programme. One of the main goals of the FoodAfrica research for development programme is that the results are well disseminated to the local communities. Therefore it is of utmost importance that the plans are prepared well when it comes to choosing tools, channels and target groups for the dissemination.

Even though the seven FoodAfrica work packages have a common goal, i.e. improving food security, there are also many differences between them. The results will be of different kind and at different levels, and therefore also the target groups and methods differ. Some of the work packages are targeting authorities and other decision makers and will be producing policy briefs. Other work packages will produce new information which can be directly disseminated to farmers e.g. by developing educational materials like videos.

sb_yhteiskuvaThe research scientists who attended the meetings found it very useful to hear about the other work packages’ activities and progress. At the same time new synergies and linkages were identified. The work package leaders also got plenty of good advice from the supervisory board members presenting the following institutions: MTT Agrifood Research Finland, ILRI, IFPRI, ICRAF, Bioversity International, University of Helsinki and HAMK University of Applied Sciences.

Next year the work package leaders’ and supervisory board’s annual meetings will be organized in Kenya.