LEG4DEV project holds multi-stakeholder planning & research prioritisation workshop in Lusaka

Legumes are critical to agriculture, food security and economic development in Zambia. The EU-funded LEG4DEV project is conducting research & innovation activities with scaling partners in Zambia which can enable them to more effectively scale legumes for production, consumption and other development outcomes.

Following an intensive schedule of bilateral meetings with stakeholders and potential scaling partners in Lusaka, the LEG4DEV project with IITA Zambia organised and ran a “Legumes for Development” multi-stakeholder planning and research prioritisation workshop on September 30th 2022 in Lusaka. The workshop was held at Lusaka’s Protea Hotel and was opened by Mr. Shadrack Mwale, Acting Director of Agriculture, representing the Zambian Ministry of Agriculture. He highlighted the importance of legume scaling to national development goals of Zambia in relation to agricultural productivity, health & nutrition, sustainability and livelihoods.

The LEG4DEV workshop brought together a wide range of stakeholders (39 attendees) from government ministries and departments, donors, NGOs, farmers organisations and private sector companies, all of whom are engaged in the scaling of legumes.

30 September 2022, Lusaka working group at LEG4DEV stakeholder planning and prioritisation workshop.

The LEG4DEV Project Leader (Lead-PI), Prof. Charles Spillane (Director of Ryan Institute, University of Galway, Ireland) explained the goal of LEG4DEV and how it aims to conduct research with scaling partners so they can scale legumes better, deeper, quicker for improved outcomes and impacts.  He indicated that the purpose of the workshop was twofold (1) to bring together stakeholders across the legume value and supply chains in Zambia and (2) to get consensus views of Zambian national stakeholders and scaling partners on what are the highest priority research questions, which if answered would allow them to scale legumes more effectively.

Dr. David Chikoye, IITA Regional Director and Co-PI on the LEG4DEV project indicated that a focus of the LEG4DEV workshop was pinpointing opportunities for legumes in Zambia. He noted that there is a serious shortage of improved seeds on the market, so that is a first opportunity – research to enable scaling of seed production. Other research needs and opportunities present themselves in the scaling and expansion of mechanisation, aggregation and logistics. He indicated that the workshop was a great example of bringing actors from different sectors and viewpoints together to identify and pursue opportunities together.

The Executive Director of the National Association for Smallholder Farmers (NASFA) in Zambia, Frank Kayula, welcomed the EU-funded LEG4DEV project, and highlighted that research and development is a key ingredient towards achieving national development outcomes. He stressed the importance of engaging stakeholders, including farmer organisations, to ensure that the research activities are focused on real challenges and key gaps that farmers and rural households face in relation to adopting, growing, consuming and selling legumes.

The workshop was organised around the six work packages of the LEG4DEV project where workshop participants worked in five teams to identify highest priority research questions (both technical and policy/institutional) that the LEG4DEV project research could focus on in Zambia to better enable legume scaling.

The one day LEG4DEV Multi-Stakeholder Zambia workshop was attended by 39 attendees from government, research organisations, universities, donors, NGOs, farmers organisations and companies.

LEG4DEV multi-stakeholder planning & research prioritisation workshop in Lusaka (30 Sept 2022)