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Outreach and Development

Recently the SMART Farm hosted Dr. Dennis Thompson, SIL researcher based at the University of Illinois, and a technical team from the Church of the Brethren’s (COB) Global Food Initiative based in Nigeria and Liberia. Representatives from the COB, including Global Food Initiative Manager Jeff Boshart, enlisted the Soybean Innovation Lab to help improve its agricultural development strategy and practices. 

Along with the SMART Farm, representatives from the COB learned about: the development of local high-yielding soybean varieties from Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) Plant Breeder Dr. Nicholas Denwar; enhancing nutrition and economic development through soy dairy enterprises and soy-based foods from SARI Food Scientist Flora Amagloh; the development of appropriate, low-cost mechanization like the SIL soybean thresher at the Tamale Implement Factory; and how smallholder farmers and seed producers face the challenges of soybean production.

The representatives also visited GROW (Greater Rural Opportunities For Women ) MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) women smallholder farmers to learn and discuss their experiences in producing soybeans as well as the opportunities and challenges they are facing.