The African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) paid a visit to Ghana to help the nation integrate AKILIMO, an agronomic advisory tool. ACAI partnered with existing business, non-profit and government institutions as well as foreign NGOs, to integrate AKILIMO into their operations.
The integration was done through the Ghana Cassava Centre of Excellence (GCCE). Virtual meetings have been taking place since 2020 since real meetings were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The purpose of the field trip was to follow up on earlier encounters and determine the GCCE’s desire to integrate AKILIMO into their operations and enhance their ties with cassava growers in their networks.
The goal was to use existing maps to assess already identified significant cassava production regions, classify interested partners, and determine whether AKILIMO decision support tools (DSTs) or formats were of interest. The ACAI team also wanted to look at current opportunities as well as the ecosystem in which partners collaborate to align AKILIMO DSTs.
GCCE organised the field meeting and engaged seven institutions from Eastern, Volta and Central regions in discussions. These institutions are Sky 3 Investment Ltd, Asuogyaman Agro Industries and Processing Ltd, Tropical Starch Company Ltd, Caltech Ventures Ltd, Ministry of Foods and Agriculture (MoFA), Kpeve Agric Station, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (Africa Trade House, Accra), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in North Ridge, Accra.
These institutions are private, public or donor organisations. They are mainly operating in cassava production, processing (garri, high-quality cassava flour, starch, and ethanol), seed multiplication (stem cuttings for high starch yielding varieties, for example Sika Bankye, Ampong, Amansan, Doku Duade, Duade Kpakpa, AGRA, Otuhia, Broni Bankye, Esam Bankye, Bankye Hemaa, etc.), out-grower schemes, extension services, policy advocacy for digital agriculture and access to finance for cassava production.
In a recent development, ACAI team members – data scientist Meklit Chernet, agronomist and West Africa coordinator Christine Kreye, and scaling specialist Thompson Ogunsanmi – discussed how GCCE would train identified partners to accelerate using AKILIMO in Ghana. They also agreed to showcase AKILIMO nationally in the 2021 edition of Ghana’s national farmers’ day.