COMPRO-II has mainly sought to work with the competent national regulatory bodies to streamline the regulatory mechanisms of bio-fertilizers so as to ensure that inoculants in the marketplace are efficacious for the intended purpose, safe when used as directly, and properly-labeled to prevent fraud, product misrepresentation, or misleading statements.
COMPRO II has also sought to influence decisions of at least half a million smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) on the use of effective agricultural commercial products to achieve food security and increase incomes through increased farm yields. Through a public private partnership approach, the effective products are promoted in selected areas within selected countries. The main aim is to ensure that more than 100,000 farmers try out at least one of the identified effective products, whereas half of them are expected to adopt the technologies.
Briefly, the vision of success of the project reads as follows, ‘By 31 December 2016, approximately 500,000 smallholder farmers are aware of effective and profitable commercial products that are promoted through public-private partnerships. Of these farmers, at least 100,000 will have tested at least one effective commercial product and at least 50% of these will adopt the technology and achieve at least 15% yield increase with substantial impacts on food security and income through adoption of these biological and chemical amendments within the context of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM). After the project ends, more farmers will have access to these products as well as new ones under development. Through the program, mechanisms to ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of the products will be developed through institutionalized regulatory and quality assurance.’ To be able to measure the project success, 25 key milestones have been identified across the five main objectives of the project, as listed below.
(Objective 1) Dissemination of at least 3 effective products to smallholder farmer households
- Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed with private-public sector partners
- Integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) recommendation packages developed and published
- Across all project countries, 100,000 farmers have experimented with at least one effective commercial product
- At least one out of two farmers implementing an ISFM package has achieved 15% yield increase for one of the major crops
- At the end of the project, at least one private-public sector company will continue to supply and sell small packs of products in at least 5 project countries.
(Objective 2) Continued screening and evaluation of new products
- Training manuals for screening products published, applicable to all countries.
- An economic analysis of all performing products conducted and published.
- The effectiveness of selected products in new countries checked and published.
- At least 3 new effective and profitable products that result in more than 30% yield increase within the context of ISFM are taken up for dissemination.
- National universities, research institutes, or other organizations screen products in greenhouse and field as a customer-paid service that is integrally part of an institutionalized quality control system, in at least 4 countries.
(Objective 3) Establishment and institutionalization of quality control and regulatory mechanisms
- Knowledgeable personal and improved laboratory capacity available.
- Established functional legislation and regulatory system in at least one target country.
- One laboratory in each of the two regional hubs approved for quality control.
- At least 2 products are registered and commercially available in at least three target countries through the National regulatory agencies.
- In at least 4 countries, an institutionalized quality control system is implemented by a relevant institute as a customer-paid service to conduct routine analyses.
(Objective 4) Communication of information on commercial products
- A comprehensive communication strategy including national components developed.
- At least 6 policy briefs (one per country) developed and circulated.
- Manual for farmers and extension agents available in local languages in each country.
- Policy makers in all 6 countries are aware about the benefits of selected effective products being disseminated, as well as the risks associated with ineffective products, and actively utilize this information in policy decisions.
- In all 6 countries, at least half a million farmers in the target regions are aware about commercial products.
(Objective 5) Project management, M&E, and capacity building
- A Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework developed, and tasks and responsibilities defined.
- Annual rapid assessment reports published.
- A final detailed impact assessment report published.
- Across all countries, 5 PhD students and 10 MSc students graduated in disciplines of soil fertility or soil microbiology, with a research topic that involves the utilization of commercial products.
- Universities are using information and approaches from COMPRO in their degree and short-course curricula in at least 5 countries.