NARI staff involved in the Rural Economic Development Programme Phase 2 (RED 2) deliberated on information requirements of the initiative during a four-day workshop at the Highlands Regional Centre at Aiyura, Eastern Highlands province, from November 7-10.
The gathering provided an opportunity for the team to discuss and plan out the training manuals and communication products, as well as community resource centres to be identified or established, as spelt out in the project as part of NARI's inputs towards the overall RED 2 Programme.
The information materials will be developed for three value chains - sweet potato, Irish potato and bulb onion - which were identified through an initial survey.
The action, titled 'Agricultural innovations for improved livelihoods in the Highlands Region', is part of the overall RED 2 Programme which aims at accelerating income generation from agricultural produce in the Highlands region. Under Component 3, this aspect focuses on value chain development support services and service delivery capacity of local level government in the Highlands. Component 1 is centred around improving rural infrastructure in the Highlands Region, especially in improving roads and bridges to create access to market opportunities and service delivery for rural communities. Component 2 facilitates access to financial services, bringing the necessary tools for saving and lending funds and also production and processing equipment through micro leasing.
Under Component 3, the major results to be achieved are:
- Constraints, opportunities and baseline of farmer- preferred value chain and agriculture-driven production opportunities in target communities identified,
- Appropriate training and information packages developed for Highland farmers as per value chains chosen,
- Resource centres support value chains and agricultural production opportunities in target communities with supply of required Technology, Training and Information packages and other technical support, and
Staff who participated in the workshop included project staff and others from Tambul, Aiyura and HQ who are directly involved in the programme.
The programme is intended to have an integrated approach in responding to the identified key constraints to the livelihood improvement of people living in the Highlands Region, which covers all the seven provinces.