On 24-25 November 2014, 18 participants from NGOs, governments, research and private sector joined to develop a Theory of Change (ToC) for the Fertile Grounds Initiative. A theory of change is a planning methodology based on a joint vision and the preconditions, activities, assumptions and actors contributing to this vision.
The concepts of the Fertile Grounds Initiative were well received, especially the necessity to align different efforts and to integrate organic and mineral sources of nutrients was acknowledged.
Three pathways of change were identified:
- The input pathway to ensure timely and right inputs reach the farmers
- The knowledge pathway to ensure that stakeholders have proper understanding of soil management
- The enabling environment to ensure that increased productivity results in higher income and that supportive policy and regulations are in place.
The workshop was closed by HE prof Tekalegn Mamo who literally stated “I go for it!”, “We have to make it happen” and “We can bring change”. With these words we are even more encouraged to proceed. A taskforce was formed to prepare an action plan, which will be discussed with the Ethiopian soil health community in February 2015.