Sustainability planning meetings were held respectively in Nigeria on 30th -31st of March, 2021, and in Tanzania on 22nd – 23rd of April, 2021. The essence of the meetings was to develop plans for continuous use of AKILIMO by ACAI partners and other initiatives beyond June 2022, when the ACAI project comes to an end. The meetings, hosted by IITA’s ACAI project, brought together 39 participants from the two countries (25 participants in Nigeria, 14 participants in Tanzania) cutting across various organizations. The workshop successfully harnessed the experiences and resources of partners, reaching a wide range of agreements on how AKILIMO will be sustained.
ACAI anticipates that partners will recognize AKILIMO as a significant tool, disseminating it throughout the countries in order to ensure that the tool benefits the majority of cassava farmers. This will strengthen the close relationship between partners and cassava farmers, resulting in increased cassava production.
This meeting provided an opportunity for partners to identify key factors that will help sustain AKILIMO in their organizations such as bundling of services, continued data collection, Model for National Community of AKILIMOand AKILIMO packages, these include preparing packages that will contain all AKILIMO materials, especially in paper forms such as booklets, fliers and brochures. At the same time, there will be online videos that can be easily downloaded from the website.
The meetings presented a roadmap for partners’ further interaction because it brought the inauguration of AKILIMO Nigeria and AKILIMO Tanzania as a name that brings partners together for an active forum for the simplification and possession of the sustainability process at which the partners will have full access to using it in their sustaining processes.
For the continuity of AKILIMO, a 10-member committee was initiated in Nigeria and a 12-member committee was initiated in Tanzania as well. For Nigeria, Samson Oguntoye from Notore Chemical Industries was appointed as the Convener while Patrick Kichao from Esoko was appointed as the Convener for Tanzania and Linda Byaba from Kilimo Joint was appointed as the co-convener from Tanzania as well. The committee’s task is to develop and share the Terms of Reference (ToR) and establish the structures for the associations within 30 days.