We are delighted to announce the mid-term review meeting of CIALCA that will be held between 29 and 31 October 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda.
In September 2017, we received the fantastic news that the Belgian Directorate General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD) had decided to continue its support to the Consortium for Improving Agriculture-based Livelihoods in Central Africa (CIALCA). With that, we believe we broke a record and became the longest funded agricultural research for development consortium within the CGIAR.
Now that we are halfway into the current CIALCA phase, we can already report good progress. We entered into several co-investment agreement with scaling partners such as One Acre Fund in Rwanda (serving approx. 300,000 farmers) and the International Fertilizer Development Center in Burundi. Also, we identified four new PhD students from Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern DR Congo that are starting their doctoral studies with Belgian universities and have five additional students that conduct their PhD under the CIALCA umbrella. CIALCA also attracted considerable additional investment of US$7.25 million that complement or build upon previous and ongoing CIALCA work. Last but not least innovative research for development work with the Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition Laboratory (SWMCNL) of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division is providing insights in increased water use efficiency to counteract drought effects on cassava production in Central Africa. We build on big data platforms such as RHoMIS and AKILIMO to better understand household heterogeneity and cassava agronomy at scale.
In sum, there are a lot of exciting developments going on in CIALCA, and solid progress is being made along our impact pathway and results framework. The CIALCA Management Team has identified the following key objectives for the mid-term review meeting:
- Share and discuss progress and lessons learned by the CIALCA consortium under the current phase of CIALCA;
- Present our science, capacity development and partnership highlights in relation to the CIALCA themes (entrepreneurial farming, climate change, nutrition, and ICT4agriculture) within among the CIALCA team, partners, and our broader group of collaborators;
- Receive feedback from our CIALCA partners, beneficiaries and donors on the current and future directions of the CIALCA work, and the CIALCA governance model
- Provide hands-on (field) impressions of current CIALCA investments in cassava- and banana-based systems research and development in Rwanda;
- Create space for face-to-face interactions for CIALCA staff and PhD research teams to meet in person, discuss scientific progress and further planning of CIALCA work for 2020.
- CIALCA consortium, partnership and team building.