WEST AFRICA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY PROGRAMME (`WAAPP) INNOVATION PLATFORM FACILITATORS TRAINGNING ON SOFT SKILLS

A 3-day training workshop was organized at CSIR-Crops Research Institute (CSIR-CRI) on soft skills for facilitators of Innovation Platforms (IPs) in 1

5 districts of Ghana from 12th to 14th January, 2016. The objectives were to improve the knowledge base of facilitators and functionality of the IPs for effective technology dissemination and adoption and also to improve learning skills, conflict resolution, and multi-stakeholder process among others. Twenty four (24) extension facilitators from 14 districts were brought together for this training.

The CSIR-CRI in collaboration with the International Center for Research and Agriculture (ICRA) and Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), has trained 178 people in the IAR4D concept. Out of this number 67 are extension facilitators

The concept of Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) has been identified as the most effective model as part of the process in getting agricultural technology accessible to stakeholders. To operational this concept, the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) with funding from the World Bank and Government of Ghana is supporting the establishment of Innovation Platforms in various districts across the country.

The Director of CSIR CRI, Dr. Stella Ama Ennin, in her welcome address, reiterated the need to up scale the IPs from the community level to regional and national levels. She explains that this will create the enabling environment for broad discussions among stakeholders for effective technology dissemination.

It will also help to bring other actors of the commodity value chain such as policy makers, financial institutions, traders, climate experts and others together in finding solutions to agricultural problems and advancing opportunities. The issue of sustainability of IPs was also dear to her heart and so Dr. Ennin encouraged participants to think of ways to ensure that the IPs they facilitate are sustainable.