EU-Funded LEG4DEV Visits Uganda and The Netherlands

13 – 17 June 2022

In June 2022, Prof. Charles Spillane and Dr Kieran Fitzpatrick travelled for LEGDEV related activities. Prof. Spillane engaged in an AgriFood Entrepreneurship Workshop in Uganda, while Dr Fitzpatrick visiting project partners in Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Prof. Charles Spillane attended a 5-day Workshop in Kampala, Uganda on the topic of “Strengthening Agribusiness Incubation Ecosystems in Africa”, which was co-organized by African Union, FAO, African Agribusiness Incubators Network (AAIN), the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), Agripreneurship Alliance, and Sustainable Food Systems Ireland (SFSI). The workshop brought government, NGOs, farmers organisations, research organisations and accelerator/incubators together from five African countries to jointly plan a capacity development program to Strengthening Agribusiness Incubation Ecosystems in Africa. The workshop was extremely relevant to LEG4DEV activities on Legume-derived enterprises and bioeconomies for more resilient bioeconomies. The initiative discussed at the workshop focuses on five countries in SSA, with two of those being countries in which LEG4DEV is working: Malawi and Zambia. 

Image: Meeting of international agricultural development experts from Ireland with Dr. Janet Edeme, Director of Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union Commission. L-R: John Rae (SFSI), Patrice Lucid (IFIAD), Janet Edeme (AU), David Butler (SFSI), Charles Spillane (NUI Galway / SFSI), Brendan Allen (NUI Galway). 

20 – 21 June 2022

LEG4DEV’s most recent hire, Dr Kieran Fitzpatrick (LEG4DEV Project Manager), met with key team members at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) for discussions and planning regarding WUR’s activities within the LEG4DEV Project. He listened and responded to presentations by doctoral researchers, Thomas Delaune and Mukoma Kilakila, on their respective research activities within LEG4DEV, which are focused on the southern highlands of Tanzania. These LEG4DEV research activities build on a previous research project in the area, TAMASA, and help to facilitate the scaling of legume-maize crop rotations through digital applications that channel Management Based Advice (MBA) to smallholder farmers.

In addition, Dr Fitzpatrick met with senior academic staff in WUR, such as Dr Jens Andersson one of LEG4DEV’s co-investigators, and Helena Posthumus, the facilitator of the DeSIRA Lift programme, which assists in supporting all of the research projects funded by the European Commission’s DeSIRA funding programme. 

Blog by Kieran Fitzpatrick, Isabel McLaughlin, Charles Spillane