Farmers in Ghana and five other African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania will benefit from the second phase of the Commercial Products (COMPRO-II) project, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) announced in a statement April 30, 2012.
The COMPRO-II project is a $7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that aims to institutionalize quality assurance mechanisms and facilitate the rapid dissemination of top quality agricultural commercial products to increase yields and improve the food security of smallholder farmers in the region.
The project will be led by IITA and will work with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa – Soil Health Program (AGRA), Farm Input Promotions (FIPS), the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Research Area of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (TSBF-CIAT), the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI), and universities, national research organizations, extension organizations, and quality control entities in the different target countries.
“The plan is to raise awareness among over two million smallholder farmers on effective and profitable commercial products by 2016 through public-private partnership,” said Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, IITA Director General.
COMPRO-II is expected to leverage on the gains earlier made in phase one, which covered Kenya, Ethiopia, and Nigeria.
The phase II of the project proposes to transit these technologies into Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda; institutionalize regulatory and quality control processes; disseminate effective products through public-private partnerships; develop communication tools, and strengthen human capacity.
At the end of the project, IITA expects more farmers to confidently use these products because their safety, efficacy, and quality will be ensured through institutionalized regulatory and quality assurance mechanisms.
By Ekow Quandzie