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Mid-term project workshop – day 1

May 21, 2012

The SMART-IV project started in 2009 and is expected to run 5 years. From May 21-23, 2012 the SMART-IV project team and collaborators discuss the progress and ways for improvement in the remaining two and a half years of the project.

The workshop was opened by Dr Sander Zwart who remembered the late Youssouf Dembélé before outlining the progress that has been made and immediate actions that have been taken to boost the development part of the project. More funds will be directed to development activities at the cost of water management research which has already been covered well by IWMI and a PhD project on inland valleys and hydrology. Dr Worou Soklou from Togo was presented to lead development activities until the end of August.

The afternoon was dedicated to the progress of Sawah System Development in Togo and Benin. Mr Felix Gbaguidi of Cellule Bas-Fonds presented the development of an inland valley in Kaffa-Ouinhi. “This is the first step taken in Benin and it is expected that by the end of the project approximately 80ha will be developed “, outlined Gbaguidi. Mrs Houngbedji of ITRA presented the inland valleys of Kpele-Tutu and Sodo where initial activities have been started up and which will function as regional demonstration areas.

The afternoon was closed by Dr Moro Buri of Soil Research Institute who performed a mid-term review of the project. He noted that research has made considerable progress, but development activities have only achieved less than 1% of the Expected Output.  Research should be more site-specific and be linked to soil fertility issues, like using manure to replace expensive fertilizer that are often difficult to obtain for farmers.

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