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Inception Workshop for Project INCATA: Transforming Agriculture in Africa and Asia


The Project INCATA: Linked Farms and Enterprises for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa and Asia kicked off with its Inception Workshop held from April 1st to April 5th at the offices of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Washington DC, USA.

The workshop brought together 15 participants from the project’s partner organizations and institutions, which is a crucial step towards addressing the critical challenges of the project.

Participants included representatives from the Michigan State University: Thomas Reardon and Saweda Liverpool-Tasie; International Food Policy Research Institute – IFPRI: Ben Belton; Tegemeo Institute: Lilian Kirimi, John Olwande and Timothy Njagi; and Rimisp – Latin American Center for Rural Development: Julio Berdegué, Carolina Trivelli, Rodrigo Yáñez, Fred Dzanku and Andrés Fuica. In addition, the foundation was represented by: Rubén Echeverría, Randy Shigetani, Stacey Miyahara and Natasha Verma.

The workshop agenda included discussions about the objectives and core products of the project. The main objectives of this initiative are as follows: 1) Enabling public policies in support of commercialized small-scale producers (cSSP) and agrifood micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). 2) Increase the impact of public and private investments in improved products, services and practices by cSSP and agrifood MSMEs. 3) Increase quality, availability and utility of data and evidence, specifically by filling global and national evidence gaps on the role of commercial Small-Scale Producers (SSPs) and MSMEs in inclusive agriculture transformation.

In addition, the core products of the project are: a) analysis of 4 value chains (horticulture and aquaculture) in Odisha (India) and Kenya; b) analysis based on secondary information for at least 6 African countries on cSSPs and MSMEs in agrifood chains.

This workshop laid the foundations for collaborative work and provided a platform for researchers to discuss the main objectives, methodologies, and research questions of the project. Julio A. Berdegué, Rimisp consultant for the project and Research Professor at the Catholic University of Chile, highlights the workshop’s importance: “We have had many virtual meetings over almost one year, or more than one year. But this is the first time that we got together, and it allowed us to delve much deeper into understanding how the project is designed, how we will implement it, solve technical issues that we had pending, and very importantly, establish the human personal connection, which is critical for good performance.”

Project INCATA: Linked Farms and Enterprises for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa and Asia is a collaborative initiative aimed at promoting inclusive agricultural transformation across Africa and Asia. For this purpose, the project partners: Rimisp – Latin American Center for Rural Development, Michigan State University (USA); the South Asia Office of the International Food Policy Research Institute; and the Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, Egerton University (Kenya), received a grant from the foundation.


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