2021 – 2022 TAAT Annual Report

Pages: 48

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This report is a production of the TAAT Program Management Unit and the TAAT
Clearinghouse. The Editors received contributions in stories and photos from TAAT Compact
Coordinators. The TAAT Communications Unit provided complimentary photographs
included in this report.

Wheat Production Brochure – TAAT Wheat Compact in Nigeria

Pages: 25

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The project in its sustained efforts to create awareness, enhance collaboration and linkages through National Farmers Field Day, which is an annual event that brings Farmers, Researchers and Policy Makers together to interact in the field.

The case of Sorghum Iron Millet Technology

Pages: 9

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Size: 1.5MB

The case of Cassava Weed Management Technology

Pages: 9

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Size: 1.8MB

The Cassava Compact is led by IITA with a partnership in 12 countries (Benin, Togo, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, DR Congo, Cameroon, Rwanda, South Sudan, Zambia and Burundi). As cassava is suited to a wide range of climatic conditions, its toolkit approach varies across agro-ecological zones. The Cassava value chain compact aims to shift Africa towards a sustainable cassava transformation by increasing production, productivity, promoting mechanization, value addition, strengthening market linkage and catalyzing investment in the sector.

TAAT records transformational breakthroughs in African agriculture as Phase I ends – Taat-Africa


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Beneficiaries of GEM rice parboiling technology at the TAAT Innovation Platform in Malanville, Benin Republic (PHOTO: TAAT/Atayi Opaluwah)

Stakeholders in African agriculture have hailed the string of remarkable achievements recorded by its Feed Africa flagship programme, the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT). This was made known on Friday at the just concluded Project Closing Mission of the programme’s first phase.

Launched in 2018, the programme aims to double the productivity of crops, livestock and fisheries by making proven technologies available to more than 40 million agricultural producers by 2025. This will produce an additional 120 million tonnes of food and lift 130 million people out of poverty.

The closing mission for the first phase of the programme comprised representatives of the African Development Bank and those of international agricultural research institutes and technical institutions led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the lead executing agency for the programme.

In an address delivered by Innocent Musabyimana of the African Development Bank, TAAT, in its first phase, has achieved its developmental objective by rapidly expanding smallholder farmers’ access to high-yielding agricultural technologies that improve their food production, ensure food security and raise rural incomes.

According to Mr Musabyimana, “TAAT has worked across 28 African countries in just three years, deploying 76 proven agricultural technologies across 15 crops, reaching 11 million farmers, and expanding food production by over 12 million metric tons.”

“Indeed, TAAT is the game-changer for African agriculture as it has saved countries’ food imports worth $814 million,” Musabyimana added.

Dr Kenton Dashiell, IITA’s Deputy Director General, partnerships for delivery, commended giant strides recorded by TAAT. He added that “successes recorded in the implementation of the TAAT programme prove that increased investments in innovative technologies can help boost agricultural productivity, with significant results for the overall strength of African food systems.”

The TAAT Programme Coordinator, Dr Chrys Akem, stated that right from 2018, TAAT and partners have accelerated technology deployment along priority commodity value chains. These efforts, according to him, “have addressed the challenge of low yields by tackling transversal problems that have plagued the agricultural sector for decades.”

Reeling out some of the outstanding achievements of the programme in selected value chains and countries, Dr Akem announced that the programme had enabled 12 million farmers across the continent to receive drought-compatible technologies while delivering NERICA rice varieties to 3.2 million households across Africa. “Advanced Rice Varieties for Africa (ARICA), ORYLUX (aromatic) and SAHEL (adapted to the stress conditions of the Sahel ecology) and hybrids have also been delivered on a large scale.”

For wheat, Dr Akem revealed that TAAT financed the provision of 65,000 metric tons of heat-tolerant wheat varieties, which Sudanese farmers grew on 317,000 hectares, and in just two years, Sudan reduced its wheat import by 50%.

He added that TAAT further financed the provision of 61,000 metric tons of seeds of heat tolerant wheat varieties to farmers in Ethiopia. “The farmers cultivated 5,000 hectares of these heat tolerant wheat varieties in 2018, expanded to 167,000 hectares two years later, and by this year, they had grown 400,000 hectares.

TAAT-supported wheat field in Awash region, Ethiopia (Photo TAAT)

Dr Akem recalled that when drought hit the Eastern and Southern Africa regions, TAAT came to the rescue. “We deployed drought-tolerant maize varieties which were cultivated by 5.6 million households on 841,000 ha, and as a result, farmers survived the drought from Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia, allowing maize production to expand by 631,000 metric tons, with a value of $107 million.” “we equally led a collaboration with 15 private sector seed companies in deploying 6,000 MT of water-efficient maize varieties treated with specialised dual-purpose pesticides with demonstrated capabilities to control Fall Armyworm.

In other commodities like Cassava, High iron Beans, Orange-fleshed Sweet Potato, Sorghum and Millet, Dr Akem stated that TAAT has deployed several path-breaking, climate-resilient technologies ranging from high-yielding varieties, good agricultural practices, mechanised farming techniques, agro-processing tools to integrated soil fertility inputs.

Through its emphasis on capacity building in Better Management Practices (BMPs) on feed formulation, breeding, improved fish and livestock rearing systems, and value chain development, the programme has contributed to increasing technical know-how, boosting production, and improving food and nutrition security.

Dr Akem revealed that over 23,000 fish farmers across Africa had been trained on cutting-edge technologies, with over 159 million fingerlings of catfish and tilapia of improved brood stock produced and distributed, resulting in productivity gains of over 60,000 MT worth about $188 million.

According to the TAAT Programme Coordinator, these achievements wouldn’t have been made possible without the TAAT ecosystem of partners, which comprises development partners such as the BMGF, IFAD and national and international research centres such as the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARES) and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centres.

As the programme looks forward to its second phase of implementation, stakeholders at the closing mission affirmed their commitment to intensifying efforts in helping countries mobilise resources to build resilience in their food systems, work with governments, research and academic institutions, the private sector and civil society to increase skills and capacity in African agriculture.

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TAAT wins National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Award – Taat-Africa


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TAAT-supported Wheat field in El-Gezira region (PHOTO/TAAT/Atayi Opaluwah)

America’s largest organization of journalists and media professionals of colour has named the African Development Bank a “Salute to Excellence” award winner for the Bank’s communication around its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) programme.

The National Association of Black Journalists cited the Bank’s excellence in online media relations and marketing about the landmark initiative, also known as TAAT. The online campaign featured the impact of TAAT delivering climate-smart agricultural technologies to millions of African farmers, helping African nations grow more food.

The awards were announced on Saturday at a gala event during the joint convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“This recognition from the National Association of Black Journalists comes at a time when African and global food security are at risk due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. The communications effort help tell the world, through the stories of African farmers participating in the TAAT programme, that Africa has solutions to boost its food production and reduce dependence on grain imports from the Black Sea region,” said Dr. Beth Dunford, the Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

“The Salute to Excellence award also honours Bank staff, consultants and partners working within these communities to improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. Their expertise helped shape our communications campaign,” Dunford added.

In July, the Bank’s Board of Directors approved $30 million in new financing for the TAAT programme, which overall aims to increase Africa’s food output by 100 million tons and lift 40 million people out of poverty by 2025.

The Bank’s digital campaign showcases some of the millions of African farmers benefitting from TAAT-funded, climate-adapted wheat, maize and other certified seed varieties, fertilizers and technical support since the program started in 2018.

The campaign’s lead video looks at TAAT operations in Sudan and Ethiopia, where government-led collaboration with the Bank and partners is scaling up wheat production to record-breaking levels.

In Ethiopia, TAAT helped seed companies to produce and distribute enough heat-tolerant, certified wheat varieties and helped farmers to expand production across more areas last season, allowing Ethiopia to grow enough of the grain to eliminate wheat imports for the first time in modern history. The country’s embrace of TAAT should see Ethiopia export wheat in 2023.

The National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence award is the third international communications recognition for the Bank’s TAAT initiative. TAAT earned a “Gold Stevie” – first place – for “Best Documentary” from the International Business Awards, as well as a “Communicator Award of Distinction” for online video from the New York-based Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts.

“We intend for TAAT to produce more success stories as we scale it up to have a central role in the Bank’s $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility. The Facility is the Bank’s bold response to help African nations produce more food to mitigate the impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine on global food systems, rising prices across the continent, and climate change,” said Dr. Martin Fregene, the Bank’s Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry.

“We believe communications is key to informing African governments, our stakeholders and investors about the impact of the Bank’s programs in the communities we serve,” Fregene added.

The Bank was also nominated for a Salute to Excellence Award in the competition’s “online commentary” category for a selection of published op-eds authored by Bank President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, Vice President Dunford and former Acting Vice President Wambui Gichiri.

The Salute to Excellence Awards recognize journalism and communications that best cover the Black experience or address issues affecting the Black community worldwide.

The National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ Convention & Career Fair is the premier conference for journalism education, career development, networking, and industry innovation, attracting leaders and influencers in journalism, marketing and communications, media, technology, business, health, arts, and entertainment.

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TAAT records Success in Uganda – Taat-Africa


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Diana, one of the beneficiaries from Rakai, Kyotera District, Uganda proudly displays proceeds from her livestock farm (PHOTO: TAAT/Omodolapo Ogunsola)

Budding youth-led enterprises often find it challenging to raise capital.

In many cases, such enterprises begin with personal savings or financial support from families and acquaintances, which may not sufficiently cater to the business plan. In other cases, the youth may form a cluster and combine their financial strengths to build the enterprise.

To bridge this gap, the Youth-in Agribusiness compact of Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), as part of its commitment to stimulating youth-led agribusiness enterprises along agricultural commodity value chains, partnered with Equity Bank, Uganda, to support new and growing enterprises of beneficiary youth in the entire region of East Africa.

Led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the compact, also known as ENABLE-TAAT (Empowering Novel Agribusiness-led Employment), provides capacity building and technical assistance for the establishment and expansion of youth-led agribusiness enterprises along TAAT value chains such as high iron beans, cassava, fish, maize, small livestock, rice and orange-fleshed sweet potato.

Facilitating youth access to credit through partnerships

In Uganda, about 200 trained youth are already benefiting from ENABLE-TAAT’s partnership with Equity Bank. They are receiving loan packages to start or expand their businesses. This comes as a relief to them because their passion for their agribusiness career can now materialise.

The ENABLE TAAT team in Uganda is working to secure partnerships with other banks and development organisations with special offers for agribusiness development among youth.

This momentum is being sustained in Kenya and Tanzania, where Equity Bank has agreed to fund trained youth upon reviewing their business plans. While the funding process is ongoing, ENABLE-TAAT will continue to provide backstopping to the youth for effective use of funds.

According to Noel Mulinganya, ENABLE-TAAT Compact Leader, “We are establishing a sustainable structure which will facilitate access to capital for African youth immediately after training, thereby increasing the number of youth-led enterprises in the continent with success rate.”

By Omodolapo Ogunsola

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TAAT Receives Gold Stevie® Award in 2021 International Business Awards® – Taat-Africa


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The Gold Stevie® Award for Best Video – Documentary category

The African Development Bank received a first-place “Gold Stevie” at the 18th Annual International Business Awards virtual event, in recognition of the institution’s digital campaign showcasing its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative.

The International Business Awards honoured the Bank in the Best Video – Documentary category during an online ceremony Wednesday. TAAT’s wheat compact video led a series of clips demonstrating how TAAT is delivering agricultural technologies to help 11 million smallholder farmers across 30 African countries increase productivity and adapt to climate change.

“The Gold Stevie recognition solidifies the African Development Bank’s commitment to balance the narrative about the continent, by sharing success stories about efforts to feed Africa and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa,” said Dr. Beth Dunford, the African Development Bank’s Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.

“We’re scaling up TAAT through our new ‘Mission 1 For 200’ financing facility that aims to mobilize $1 billion to feed 200 million Africans by 2025 – there are more stories to be told,” Dunford added.

The Bank broadcast the TAAT video series in April during the 2021 High-level Dialogue on Feeding Africa, which hosted more than a dozen heads of state, global leaders, as well as thousands of online participants.

The 2021 International Business Awards, the world’s only all-encompassing business awards competition, drew more than 3,700 nominations from 65 nations. Wednesday’s virtual awards ceremony coincided with the close of the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit, which explored the global challenge of malnutrition.

“As world leaders return from the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit energized to accelerate progress on defeating malnutrition, we share this honour with our TAAT implementing and regional member country government partners working to produce more – and more nutritious – foods,” said Martin Fregene, the Bank’s Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry.

Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 260 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process from June through early August.

This 18th annual International Business Awards recognize outstanding organizations and highlight their positive contributions globally. Last year, the Bank earned a Gold Stevie for its 2019 Annual Report in the publication category and bronze for the Report’s companion video.

This year’s other award winners include Google, IBM, Yapi Kredi, DHL Express Worldwide, Dubai Municipality and Tata Consultancy Services.

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TAAT convenes Investors Forum for the Private Sector – Taat-Africa


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TAAT Investors’ Forum

 Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), a flagship programme of the African Development Bank, has announced the first edition of its investors’ forum.

The forum, which comes in response to multiple inquiries from the private sector on innovative agricultural technologies is scheduled to hold virtually on Tuesday the 15th of February 2022.

The TAAT Investors’ Forum will present new technologies available for scaling and licensing by the private sector.

The focused market segments include Rice, Maize, Sorghum, Millet, Wheat, Sweet potato, Cassava, Beans, with subsequent investors’ forum covering other commodity crops. The forum is organised in partnership with IITA GoSeed Ltd and the Business Incubation Platform of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

According to Dr Innocent Musabyimana, Head of the TAAT Clearinghouse, partnership with private sector players is crucial to scaling technologies and transforming African agriculture.

“While we will be presenting new technologies with great investment potential at this Investors’ Forum, it will also be an opportunity for us to brainstorm on future technologies and developments needed for Africa’s agricultural transformation,’ Dr Musabyimana added.

Launched in 2018 under the Feed Africa initiative of the African Development Bank, the TAAT programme connects innovative agricultural technologies from research institutes to public and private sector partners for adoption and scaling.

 To register, click here: https://cutt.ly/TAAT


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Benin set to boost maize production through youth intervention – Taat-Africa


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Maize storage facilitated by ENABLE-TAAT
Maize storage facilitated by ENABLE-TAAT

In many parts of the world, maize is seen as the most important cereal crop in quantity and area, ahead of wheat and rice.

In Benin, maize is one of the staple foods of various ethnic and socio-cultural groups. Several value chain actors are producing this cereal as it represents a real business opportunity.

Despite the potential of the maize crop, several factors hinder the optimization of its production. These include the problem of soil fertility, poor cultivation techniques, the effects of climate change, and the lack of good seed and suitable varieties.

To sustainably address the lack of suitable seed varieties, which disrupts maize production, the Youth in Agribusiness Compact of the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), also known as ENABLE-TAAT, set out to work in Benin.

Sponsored by the African Development Bank as part of its Feed Africa Initiative, TAAT’s main objective is to improve the business of agriculture across Africa by raising agricultural productivity, mitigating risks and promoting diversification through the deployment of proven and high-performance agricultural technologies at scale along selected nine commodity compacts

The compact engaged the country’s national institutions and development partners for possible collaboration in areas of mutual interest. These institutions and partners include the Institut Nationale des Recherches Agronomiques du Bénin (INRAB), Direction de la Production Végétale (DPV), Direction Départementale de l’Agriculture, de l’Elevage et de la Pêche (DDAEP) and the Agences Territoriales de Développement Agricole (ATDA).

The collaboration focalised on developing young people’s capacity in several localities in Benin on maize seed production standards and techniques in Benin. 90 youth were selected, 15 each from six maize producing areas of Benin, namely Kandi, Kétou, Banikoara, N’Dali, Allada and Abomey-Calavi.

4 out of the 15 youth from each of the six areas underwent a Training-of-Trainers (ToT) at the Benin campus of the International Insitute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The training equipped them with sufficient knowledge and materials to train the remaining 11 young people in their locality.

ENABLE-TAAT equally registered the youth with the DPV, the national plant-product control body of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAEP). They were equally registered with other institutions capable of guiding them to produce better quality seeds that would boost maize production in their communities.

Certified maize seeds produced by ENABLE TAAT trainees in Benin
Certified maize seeds produced by ENABLE TAAT trainees in Benin

Following this training phase, the local authorities, in collaboration with former seed growers in the six areas, provided 6 hectares of land for the youth to practicalise their knowledge and record their first production experience. The compact provided all the material and equipment necessary for the youth’s first production of maize seed.

The average harvest on the six seed production sites is 3 tons. If half of the trained youth produce one hectare of maize seed each and the minimum yield is 2 tons per hectare, the Beninese seed market will be boosted by 90,000 kg!

This intervention by ENABLE-TAAT will allow maize producers to cover an area of 4,500 ha, considering that an average of 20 kg of seed is needed for 1ha. Also, assuming an average yield of maize grain is 4 tons per hectare, these young people trained by the ENABLE-TAAT will increase Benin’s production capacity with additional 18,000 tons of maize grain per season.

Through this network of young seed growers, ENABLE-TAAT is fulfilling its mandate of assisting youth to create jobs for themselves and for others in Bénin.

ENABLE-TAAT is led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and it provides capacity building and technical assistance for the establishment and expansion of youth-led agribusiness enterprises along TAAT value chains such as high iron beans, cassava, fish, maize, small livestock, rice and orange-fleshed sweet potato.

By Rodrigue Obognon with contributions from Omodolapo Ogunsola

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