Between 22 and 26 April 2013 the Parasite Programme mid-term workshop was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The workshop was attended by 19 participants from the Netherlands, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Among the participants were the programme leaders, PhD-candidates, postdoctoral researchers, supervisors, advisors and the FAO Weed Officer who was one of the original co-applicants of the Parasite programme.
The main objective of the mid-term workshop was to explore the overall progress of the different sub-projects, to discuss the integration and alignment of the sub-projects, and to develop an adapted log-frame for the rest of the project.
The workshop was opened by Dr Paul Kiepe, the Regional Representative of AfricaRice in Eastern and Southern Africa. His opening speech was followed by an overview of the project presented by Dr Lammert Bastiaans, the Parasite programme coordinator.
During the first two days, PhD-candidates, the postdoctoral researcher and MSc-students presented their research. PhD-projects I (Stella Kabiri – biology and ecology) and PhD-project III (Simon N’cho – socio-economics) show good progress. The majority of fieldwork and experiments have been conducted and the PhD-candidates have developed good ideas about the thesis outline and what work still needs to be conducted. Each of the PhD-candidates provided three presentations that are available on the website.
PhD-project II (agronomy and management) is currently without PhD-candidate. Therefore Jonne Rodenburg provided an overview of the progress and preliminary results of the field experiments and farmer participatory exercises conducted. Mamadou Cissoko presented photos of the field experiments. Over the coming weeks, a new PhD-student will be recruited for the position.
The postdoc project (Marc Schut – sociology and institutional innovation) is also progressing well. Two publications have been finalised of which one is accepted for publication. A literature review on systems approaches to innovation in crop protection has been finalised and submitted. A third paper that describes the fieldwork conducted in Tanzania will be finalised over the coming weeks. Between June and August 2013, the postdoctoral researcher will conduct fieldwork in Benin, which will result in a comparative publication. The presentation can be accessed by clicking here.
On Tuesday afternoon three MSc-students presented their work. Elifadhili Daniel presented results from a farmer-extensionist survey conducted in Kyela and Morogoro. Saidi Msangi and Constantine John presented findings from pot experiments conducted at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro, Tanzania. An overview of the MSc-thesis research of students connected to Wageningen University was presented by Aad van Ast. The afternoon was finished by identifying discussion topics for Wednesday and Friday.
On Wednesday morning integration of the different subprojects was discussed. This resulted in several follow-up activities and joint publications and research activities were explored. A lively discussion was held on communication and dissemination strategy. The postdoc will take the lead in this and will take into account the results of the institutional analysis in Tanzania and Benin. Wednesday afternoon the project members travelled to Morogoro, where several (field) visits were conducted on Thursday. Thursday morning Matombo village was visited, where several Striga infected rice fields were observed and farmers were interviewed. In the afternoon, the District Agricultural and Livestock Development Officer (DALDO), the farmer network MVIWATA and Sokoine University of Agriculture were visited.
On Friday morning the group travelled back to Dar es Salaam. After lunch, discussions on the integration of the different subprojects continued. Also the overall Parasite Programme objectives were discussed and a strategy for developing an update log-frame were discussed. An action list with follow-up activities was generated. Around 17:00 hr, Lammert Bastiaans formally closed the Parasite Programme mid-term workshop. It was a fruitful workshop which generated new energy and focus towards achieving the Parasite Programme objectives and ambitions.
Below, a selection of workshop photos can be found.