The Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program comprises three research for development projects supported by the United States Agency for International Development as part of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative.
New manual by Africa RISING offers guidance on gender mainstreaming capacity building for agricultural researchers.
The Africa RISING Program Learning Event 2019 took place on 5–8 February in Malawi. Below is a list of links to the presentations, discussion and photos from the event.
Partners from six Africa RISING project countries reflect on the Africa RISING Program Learning Event held on 5–8 February in Malawi.
In more than a thousand words, this collection of elegant photos taken during the Africa RISING Program Learning Event provides a summary of how the whole meeting unfolded.
What do words like ‘innovation’, ‘spillover’, ‘adoption’, and ‘technology’ mean to you? At the Africa RISING Program Learning Event on 5-8 February 2019, implementing partners had a go at establishing common meanings to words that are frequently used within the program.
Vara Prasad, director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Sustainable Intensification (SIIL) talks about the Sustainable Intensification Assessment Framework, its applications, lessons learnt since it was unveiled and why it is the go-to tool for assessing systems research interventions.
This poster presents the findings of a study that explored Tanzanian smallholder farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for small-scale maize shelling machines and identified factors affecting willingness to pay among farmers.
This poster presents findings from study that assessed the economic feasibility of different fertilizer options in Bahati District, Tanzania.
This poster highlights results from a study that assessed smallholder farm diversity in Malawi and Tanzania.
This poster shows how the Sustainable Intensification Assessment Framework can be used for gender analysis in the context of Africa RISING. The framework consists of five domains: productivity, profitability, environment, human and social. One of the foci of the social domain is gender equity.
The SI Toolkit is a dynamic, online platform to help researchers and development workers select appropriate indicators and metrics for their innovations, visualizing tradeoffs and synergies using a Radar Chart Generator.
The Africa RISING West Africa Project is currently implementing research in development (R-in-D) activities with farmers in northern Ghana to rein in the problem of post-harvest food losses. From 11–18 December 2018, the project team organized a series of farmer field days in 3 the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions to demonstrate the efficacy and capacity of maize shelling machines.
This poster presents the findings of an Africa RISING intervention in central Tanzania’s Kongwa and Kiteto districts that tested and validated drought-tolerant quality protein maize (QPM) hybrids.
Africa RISING phase II is working closely with development partners, including offices of agriculture and livestock resources, in scaling tree lucerne fodder in the highland areas of Ethiopia.
This poster presents the outputs of interventions, in Malawi, which included bean trials on pure stand and as an intercrop with maize combined with organic and inorganic fertilizer. The intervention also included capacity development for farmers on formal and informal seed delivery systems.
This poster presents research evidence from eastern Zambia that shows that CA systems may lead to maize yield benefits of up to 81% (1,788 kg ha-1) and 66% (1,380 kg ha-1) if farmers rotate with cowpea or soybean, respectively.
This poster outlines some post-harvest loss reduction technologies validated within the Africa RISING program namely; improved grain drying, threshing, and storage as a package, and gives evidence of the potential impact if the technologies are applied at scale.
This poster presents the findings of a study that assessed the profitability of selected improved grain storage technologies and the potential impact of their adoption on food security and income of smallholder maize producers in Tanzania.
In this blog, Million Gebreyes reflects on experiences from an Evidence to Action conference organized by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development in Nairobi, Kenya in July 2018.
The third International Learning Alliance (ILA) for sustainable intensification meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, in July 2018, opened up the space for a multi-stakeholder engagement and process in sustainable agricultural intensification to flourish.
In its second phase, the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands is working with several development partners to scale validated technologies to wider areas. Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD) is one of the strongest development partners committed to scaling Africa RISING validated technologies.
Beyene Abebe is a 24-year-old small mechanization service provider in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Among the different service providers working in the small mechanization project, Beyene is the most successful full-time service provider who offers conventional ploughing and transportation services for smallholder farmers in his village using a small horse power two-wheel tractor.
Million Getnet Gebreyes works at ILRI as a consultant. He is the National Learning facilitator for SAIRLA- NLA in Ethiopia and Innovation Platform facilitator for Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands. Recently (June 30- July 8, 2018), he was at Haramaya University to teach a course for the Africa Centre of Excellence on Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation for masters’ students. The program is a World Bank supported international program that is training PhD and masters students on climate smart agriculture and biodiversity conservation. He was invited to teach a course on Agricultural Extension and Participatory Approaches. This blog reflects his stay at the University with the university community.
With the increasing population and wealth, demand for animal source food such as milk and meat is expected to almost double in the next 10 years in Ethiopia. This is one of the greatest opportunities for improving livelihoods of Ethiopian livestock keepers and at the same time the biggest environmental threat, as livestock is resource intensive and an important source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Over the past two years, the Africa RISING program has been working with various partners in southern Mali to introduce high yielding, farmer (and livestock) preferred dual-purpose sorghum varieties.
In its second phase, Africa RISING targeted to reach 0.7 million direct beneficiary households and 3.4 million indirect potential beneficiary households. Parallelly, the project continues to conduct action research that will explore further generic issues and facilitate scaling of the innovations validated during the first phase. Over the course of the second year of the second phase (01 April–30 September 2018), the project managed to reach more than 70,712 households and covered 48,661 ha of land during the cropping season (June–September 2018). Africa RISING supported research and capacity development activities but a large share of investment in the scaling process came from development partners.
Global population growth will require substantial increases in agricultural production worldwide. Yet, despite
growing concern about the environmental and social impacts of increased agricultural productivity, no consensus
exists on the appropriate method for assessing the appropriate tradeoffs for sustainability.
This paper explores the sustainable intensification possibilities facing smallholder farmers in Ethiopia. It examines the internal consistency of jointly achieving “sustainable” “intensification” by exploring the factors that lead to complementarity or tradeoffs in the outcomes.
The Africa RISING program should keep working towards achieving wider impacts and building resilience for larger populations, USAID Bureau for Food Security program leader for sustainable intensification, Jerry Glover, has said.
On 27 June 2018, 55 members of the National Learning Alliance (NLA) of the SAIRLA project in Ethiopia met at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Addis Ababa to discuss ways of enhancing understanding of sustainable agricultural intensification among NLA members in the country.
On behalf of the Africa RISING project here in the Ethiopian highlands, we wish all Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia a blessed and Prosperous New Year 2011!!!
This video highlights how through Africa RISING program interventions, a group of farmers at Mlali Village in central Tanzania are today making choices that will ensure they improve their livelihoods while conserving the natural resource base for the future generations.
How Neema Hussein, a rice farmer from Mbarali District in the southern highlands of Tanzania improved her rice yields.
Over the past six years, Sitan Coulibaly has been one of the 114 women farmers involved in validating high-performing, dry season-adapted and farmer-preferred vegetable varieties as a pathway for improved nutrition and income for families in southern Mali. The Rio Grande was one of the tomato varieties introduced by Africa RISING to the farmers for validation with impressive success.
The seventh edition of the Forages for the Future newsletter published in June 2018 recognized the contributions of Africa RISING program in promoting Desho grass as a source of good-quality forage for cut-and-carry systems in Ethiopia.
In this blog post, some of the key Africa RISING partners share their views on the value of a farming systems research approach and Africa RISING’s contribution in this regard.
Through the voices of seven Africa RISING implementing partners from Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Tanzania and Zambia; we get insights about what it took to implement Africa RISING phase I in different contexts and countries, what the first phase of the program gave to the farmers and global knowledge community (outputs), and some of the partner’s proudest achievements from working in the project over the years.
The publication ‘Footprints of Africa RISING Phase I (2011-2016)’ tracks back the activities, outputs and outcomes of the first phase of the Africa RISING program.
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The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands has reached over 60,000 beneficiaries in the first year of the project second phase. The project has introduced a feed trough technology that was invented in Ethiopia, which has reduced the wastage of fodder to 50%.
Photo report of the joint field visit to project sites in Tanzania by Africa RISING and the Future Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL).
A photo report of activities being implemented by the Africa RISING project in Zambia during the 2017/18 cropping season.
The Africa RISING East and Southern Africa (ESA) project management team led by the project manager, Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon, the ESA project chief scientist, Mateete Bekunda and implementing partners recently visited different project sites in Malawi. The three-day visit reviewed implementation of project activities and assessed how farmers were applying the technologies promoted by Africa RISING. …
Reflections by Francis Muthoni about the highlights moments he experienced recently while participating in the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018 in Vienna, Austria.
IIn this video, Peter Thorne, the Africa RISING project coordinator in Ethiopia, and Melkamu Bezabih, a postdoctoral livestock feeds and nutrition researcher, talk about sustainable intensification of mixed farming systems in Ethiopia in the Africa RISING project.
A team of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) scientists in Mali have found that ‘contour bunding’, a technique that helps retain soil moisture and nutrients while preventing erosion brings as much as a 20% increase in net income.
Recent field visits in Tanzania shared experiences and strengthened project collaborations across the three Africa RISING projects (Ethiopian Highlands, East and Southern Africa, and West Africa). Kindu Mekonnen, chief scientist in the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia, reflects on the visits.
Africa RISING, Feed the Future Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab and SIMLESA exchange ideas, lessons learnt and set collaboration targets for work in sustainable intensification and farming systems research in agriculture
Farming systems in Ethiopia are plagued by soil-related problems which lead to poor productivity, declining soil fertility and soil erosion. Other common farming-related challenges include low fertilizer use and reduced farmlands because of population pressure.
Six years ago, when the Africa RISING project started its action research in Jewe Kebele, Bekelech Belachew, 53, started using research protocols from the project to improve livestock fodder production. She also started cultivating avocados (a high value tree) and begun water development and small-scale irrigation.
More than 250 government extension staff and more than 40 lead farmers from Tanzania’s southern highlands have been trained by the Africa RISING – NAFAKA Project on fall armyworm management.
The sixth issue of Forages for the Future newsletter features the Africa RISING project’s efforts in exploring new ways of integrating multi-purpose forages to increase the feed quantity and quality available for livestock in mixed crop-livestock farming systems in Ethiopia.
In 2012, Africa RISING conducted
a participatory community analysis (PCA) as the first phase of a participatory development approach in the Ethiopian highlands.
Africa RISING is implementing action research with farmers in Babati District, Tanzania to validate several technologies that are set to significantly improve farmer livelihoods. Here is a look at summaries of some of these technologies and how they work.
In the past few decades, apple farming in the Tigray highlands has expanded significantly since the introduction of apple trees to the region’s woredas by the Tigray regional Office of Agriculture and non-governmental organizations. The fruit trees were introduced to diversify the nutrition and income sources of the region’s smallholder farmers.
The first phase (2012-2016), the Africa RISING program focused more on innovations/technologies validation through action research approaches. In its second phase (Oct 2017–2021) the program is mainly focusing on backstopping research to facilitate development partnership and scaling initiatives.
The Africa RISING-NAFAKA partnership project has benefited over 50,000 rural smallholder households in Tanzania with integrated packages of improved agricultural technologies. A further 58,000 hectares of farm land has been put under the improved technologies or management practices promoted by project. In both cases the intervention has exceeded the targets that were set when it was unveiled in 2014!
Empowerment is central to women’s participation in agricultural research and to boost their role in agriculture and contribution to food security. To do so it is important to understand the current level of their participation and the factors that influence their participation in the agricultural research process.
As the curtain falls on 2017; here at Africa RISING we can only look back and say, “what a a great year”! Sure it was one heck of a roller coaster, but we enjoyed the ride. You our dear online followers, the global knowledge community that we are a part of and endeavor to always serve made the year fabulous through constant engagement with the numerous material we published on our platforms. Some of these materials really seemed to have resonated quite positively with you. That is if the numbers of hits to the website, downloads and page views are to be believed.
The project team used the preliminary results of this research to develop guidelines for training farmers on how to manage fodder varieties in order to maximize benefits from them.
The sustainable intensification assessment framework is an initiative of the Africa-RISING project which develops and recommends metrics and indicators for measuring sustainable intensification under five critical determinants of project sustainability —productivity, economic, environment, human condition and social domains.
Agricultural research in Africa suffers from trends and fashions that often distract from the central goal of enhancing the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Farming systems research (FSR) played a central role in the late 1980s in revealing the constraints faced by farmers in implementing technologies such as alley cropping.
During its first phase (2012-2016), the Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) project in the Ethiopian highlands implemented various action-based on-farm research activities that align with the Ethiopian government priorities. A total of 22 action-related protocols alongside 11 explanatory protocols were identified and grouped under seven thematic areas. Feed and …
The Africa RISING project in collaboration with the Capacity Development Unit of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), has developed a scaling strategy and capacity development toolkits that will synthesize and integrate the project’s thinking and approaches to enhance the scaling up the capacity of its partners.
Since 2013, Africa RISING has been working with over 6,000 smallholder farmers in seven districts across Tanzania to promote and mainstream vegetable production as a complementary agricultural production activity in the largely maize-dominated farming systems. The results of this work are now manifest as more farmers are turning to vegetable production for better nutrition and as a viable agri-business alternative with great potential for income generation.
How do gender dynamics influence adoption of agricultural innovations? A new Africa RISING report shares findings from an exploration of this and other questions with smallholder farmers in central Malawi.
Africa RISING has developed guidelines for capturing gender-sensitive stories. The guidelines focus on gender-aware selection of sources, stories and visual material, the elimination of stereotypes and the use of fair language.
On behalf of the Africa RISING project here in the Ethiopian highlands, we wish all Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia a blessed and Prosperous New Year 2010.
A research paper published recently in the July 2017 edition of the Land Use Policy Journal has generated a considerable amount of interest after it showed the potential of geospatial tools in supporting evidence-based scaling of sustainable agricultural intensification technologies in Tanzania through the work of IITA-led Africa RISING̶ NAFAKA project.
A report by the Africa Research In Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program explains the effects of soil bunds on soil and rainwater conservation in southern Ethiopia.
Since 2009, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) have partnered for the identification and development of new durum wheat varieties capable of withstanding the harsh environmental conditions of Ethiopia.
Africa RISING in collaboration with the private Faji Apple farm in Debre Birhan organized a series of training sessions on apple production and management for scaling-up partners in North Shewa Zone, Amhara region in July 2017.
This report shares findings from a study by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Africa RISING program team which evaluated suitable water lifting and on-farm water management technologies for the irrigation of vegetables and fodder in Lemo District, Ethiopia.
A report on the first six months (1 October 2016–30 March 2017) of the second phase of the Africa RISING program activities in southern Ethiopia is now available.
Farmer finds a sweet spot producing orange-fleshed sweetpotato vines and roots during the dry season in Zambia.
The Africa RISING project team is taking improved technologies to scale targeting thousands of farmers beyond the communities where the validation was done. This wider focus is changing how the project team is going about the business of agricultural extension.
On 3-4 July 2017, partners involved in the Africa RISING – NAFAKA project implementation came together to review achievements made during a largely successful run of the project’s initial three-year phase.
The 2017 gender action plan for the two International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)-led Africa RISING projects in West Africa and East/Southern Africa is now available.
The Africa RISING-NAFAKA project’s model for scaling and disseminating improved technologies has been lauded as ‘exemplary’ and the kind of approach needed to ensure sustainability of improved agricultural interventions for farmers by Tanzania’s Minister of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries, Hon Dr Charles Tizeba.
On 29 – 30 June 2017, Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains (INVC) Bridging Activity Project partners met in Lilongwe to review implementation progress and discuss transition from the Bridging Activity to the Agricultural Diversification for Incomes and Nutrition (ADIN) Project.
In March 2017, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) launched the National Learning Alliance (NLA) for the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research Learning Alliance (SAIRLA) project in Ethiopia.
The newly-formed Science Advisory Group (SAG) was formed for the first time in Africa RISING’s phase I at a meeting that brought together SAG members, most of the program coordination team and the people championing four of the Africa RISING communities of practice.
Africa RISING designed experiments and trainings to address some of these knowledge and technical gaps to manage harvest surpluses. We provided information and demonstrations on integrated pest management and good storage operations to reduce on-farm storage losses.
This evidence brief presents findings from a study that investigated whether on-farm diversity and the production of nutrient-rich crops and livestock by-products contribute to improvements in dietary diversity and micronutrient intake in households. It also evaluated the early effects of the Africa RISING project on crop production and dietary diversity of beneficiaries.
To expand benefits of solar irrigation pumps to more farmers, ILRI, the Solar Development PLC and partners are working together to accelerate wider adoption of the technology in the second phase of the Africa RISING project.
A comparison of statistical and participatory typologies from a case study in northern Ghana. Are they complementary? Should you go for one or the other – depending on your purpose? Or are they best applied together?
This evidence brief presents findings from a study that investigated the quasi-exogenous increase in on-farm diversity among Africa RISING beneficiary households in Malawi to examine the link between production and dietary diversity.
A new report by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) outlines the results of a study on gender and individual irrigation technologies in two Africa RISING Project sites in Ethiopia.
With support from the Africa RISING project, a management strategy using biocontrol products containing native atoxigenic A. flavus fungi to reduce crop aflatoxin content has been developed for use in Ghana by IITA and partners. When products are applied at the right crop development stage, the atoxigenic fungi competitively displace aflatoxin-producers residing in treated fields and, in so doing, crop aflatoxin content is reduced.
Over the last four years, Africa RISING has generated a huge amount of data through agronomic trials, household surveys, and focus group discussions. With so much information, it is crucial that data is properly stored and made accessible to researchers and non-researchers alike. In phase I of the program, a web-based Project Mapping and Monitoring Tool (PMMT) was deployed and used by the project team to complement offline monitoring activities. What were the lessons learnt by the team when using this tool?
This evidence brief explains how Africa RISING is using an intercropping system known as ‘doubled-up’ legume technology using two complimentary grain legumes. Groundnut–pigeon pea intercropping is the most successful doubled-up system thanks to the two crops’ contrasting structures and maturity dates.
The doubled-up legume system in conservation agriculture is premised on the belief that while farmers will be in a position to get the usual benefits of the doubled-up legumes (‘double’ the grain output per farm, hence more food and also ‘double’ soil fertility through the leafy biomass components of groundnuts and pigeonpea); they will also potentially benefit more from increased moisture retention towards the end of the season as well as reduced labor in land preparation, if the backbreaking conventional tillage practice of ridging can be avoided.
In Babati District, northern Tanzania, a popular but misleading myth persists. That use of inorganic fertilizer ‘kills’ the soil. For several years, majority of farmers in the district have desisted from use of fertilizer to replenish depleted soil nutrients. Africa RISING researchers have for the past five years, invested significant resources and effort to dispel this myth.
Through its research-in-development work on legume–cereal rotations in Tanzania and Malawi, Africa RISING has established that these rotations work better for larger farms, while intercropping targeted at smaller farms ensures crop diversity, while giving an opportunity for legumes to be grown, thereby bringing associated nitrogen-fixation ecological benefits.
In 2015, livestock scientists implementing Africa RISING research-in-development activities (R-in-D) introduced forage chopper machines in seven villages in Babati District, northern Tanzania. One year later (in 2016), social scientists evaluated the gender implications of the new processing practices among farmers’ groups.
Farmers voices from Malawi and Zambia about how different Africa RISING technologies have touched their lives. These feedback from the grassroots were captured during the recent monitoring visit by the leadership team of the IITA-led Africa RISING project in east and southern Africa.
The leadership team of the IITA-led Africa RISING project in east and southern Africa recently concluded monitoring visits to project sites in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania to assess the status and progress of implementation of various project activities by partners. These visits took place between 15–22 February 2017 in Malawi and Zambia, and 21–31 March 2017 in Tanzania.
Africa RISING scientists from ICRISAT implemented a small scale pilot study in the semi-arid regions of southern Mali and northern Ghana to evaluate the impacts of climate variability at different scales (farm to watershed), using newly setup hydro-meteorological stations and hydrological modelling tools.
Tree lucerne is a key supplementary feed for ruminant animals and is an important source of protein for animal fattening and milk production and can be mixed with other livestock feeds including those based on crop residues or hay.
Failing to take into account gender differences in needs, preferences, roles and responsibilities, access to and control of resources (such as labour, inputs, credit, and land), and power imbalances can limit the reach and scale of Africa RISING technologies.
During the first phase of the Africa RISING program (2012-2016) the three projects set up innovation and R4D platforms to support learning, sharing collaboration and joint actions. These experiences were critiqued at the recent program science for impact workshop to guide phase 2 interventions.
Africa RISING West Africa project partners recently took part in the 2017 review and planning meeting, which reviewed phase I outputs, achievements and lessons learnt, discuss phase II proposal and implementation guidelines, and reviewed a pre-developed project log frame
Draft 2017 work plans.
Drought-tolerant cowpea has become an attractive crop among rural Zambian farmers, thanks to USAID’s Feed the Future initiative in Eastern Province. Cowpea is now more frequently used as both a food and cash crop in the Eastern Province, due to its high nutritional value for household consumption and an increase in local market demand. Africa RISING supports this development by promoting crop diversification as part of its broader agricultural technological interventions and as an integral part of conservation agriculture.
Good agriculture practices (GAPs) are the low-hanging fruits for extension of new technologies. They are easily adoptable, give farmers an immediate benefit, and help in the gradual shift from traditional plough or hoe-based systems with maize monocropping to more sustainable and adapted ways of agriculture.It is against this background that the Africa RISING project theme on Sustainable Intensification of low input farming Systems has intensified the out scaling of simple component technologies in a mother-and-baby trial approach in three districts of Eastern Province, namely Sinda, Chipata, and Lundazi.
Remarkable results are emerging from Africa RISING project activities in Eastern Province of Zambia. More than 20,000 farmers have been exposed to CA by SIMLEZA-Africa RISING, the predecessor project of Africa RISING, which continues to sensitize and train more farmers. Farmers benefitted from increased use of CA technologies by gradually increasing crop yields leading to a solid yield benefit of 117% (1942 kg/ha) in a manually direct seeded maize crop following cowpea as compared with the conventional practice in the 2014/2015 cropping season.
In the cropping season of 2015/2016, Africa RISING expanded its work in Zambia under the Sustainable Intensification theme to trials on improved manure handling.
This literature review employs a community capital’s framework to provide a holistic perspective of the stock and interaction between the capitals required by men and women farmers for effective engagement in agricultural intensification. The review was was validated by male and female farmers in four regions of Ethiopia.
What’s new in Africa RISING? What are the intrinsic changes to the DNA of the program? How will the project achieve these high impact developmental objectives? Does the project completely shift its focus from research to development?
One of the main ‘program-wide’ changes in the second phase of Africa RISING is the institutionalisation of ‘communities of practice’ (CoPs). Five initial pilot CoPs were officially launched at the first science meeting of Africa RISING phase 2, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania between 17 & 19 January 2017.
Findings from three districts in Zambia revealed that smallholder farmers use agricultural technology innovations and diversification strategies to manage droughts and enhance their resilience to climate shocks.
Farmers in southern Africa plant maize extensively on large areas, harvest less than 2 t/ha on average, extracting already depleted nutrients from the soil while trying to become food secure and escape from poverty―an impossible task! In Eastern Province of Zambia, farmers are being offered a range of solutions by Africa RISING that provide a way out of this poverty trap. These technologies, options, and approaches include drought- and stress-tolerant maize germplasm, conservation agriculture (CA), improved rotation and intercropping with grain legumes, agroforestry, and green manure cover crops.
During phase I, the project has learned a number of lessons in Ethiopia that will be key to designing an effective phase II that will generate development impacts at scale. These include issues around partnerships, capacity development, research management, budget utilization and specific approaches to exploratory and action research.
This study report provides interesting insights into the gender implications of Africa RISING’s agricultural intensification practices in target communities in northern Ghana.
To set plans and priorities for phase 2, in November 2016 the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands organized a two days review and planning meeting to look back phase I outputs and achievements, provide an overview of the phase II project and approach, review and refine scaling proposals from phase I, and discuss implementation processes for Phase II.
Insights from an economic evaluation of Africa RISING post-harvest technology (Purdue Improved Crop Storage bags) in Tanzania reveal how much farmers are benefitting by adopting the improved storage bags over the conventional storage options.
This poster provides a self-reflective look at the key lessons and what it takes to operationalize a robust M&E framework for a complex systems research program like Africa RISING.
In 2014, Africa RISING partnered with the USAID-funded NAFAKA project in Tanzania to scale-out best-bet technologies among smallholder farmers. Currently in its third year, the project, which also incorporates several community-based actors, has achieved great success. This poster provides an inside look at what it takes to make these kind of partnerships tick and the key lessons learnt from this nascent project.
Insights from the results of an evaluation of different Africa RISING technology packages per farm type and per region in Northern Ghana.
A geospatial framework for delineating recommendation domains for crop varieties which are part of the Africa RISING technology packages.
How switching to improved agricultural technologies like hybrid maize varieties and application of bladed fertilizers catalyzed a young female farmer’s dramatic rise from an off-season casual laborer to a champion farmer in rural Tanzania.
Originally published in Forages for the Future Newsletter, issue 3, December 2016 Livestock in Tanzania are largely underfed with farmers meeting only 65% of feed needs in a year, under best conditions. Farm areas with crops range from 0.3 to 0.7 ha, while the area committed to forages is <0.04 ha. Grazing areas are overgrazed …
Seventeen core action-oriented interventions have been introduced by the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia and validated under diverse socioeconomic and agro-ecological conditions. Over the years, researchers engaged participating farmers to test options adjusted to the needs of households with differing capacities, approaches to risk and levels of resource endowment. This allowed farmers to select interventions based on their interest and priorities. Between 2012 and 2016, farmers were involved in the selection and validation of the project interventions in a stepwise and iterative manner.
Two posters on scaling techniques applied by the Africa RISING project in Tanzania were recently ranked 2nd and 3rd at a poster competition featuring over 50 entries in Ibadan, Nigeria.
The Africa RISING project in Ethiopia has been promoting improved high-value fruit trees, such as improved avocado and apple varieties. Take up has been good, but is constrained by technical issues as well as limited local seedling supplies. Farmers have adopted the new varieties; some are also innovating themselves to address some of the challenges they encountered.
The Africa RISING project in Tanzania recently got merited recognition by the Kongwa District Council as a project that provides farmers with practical improved agricultural technologies that can be applied to fight hunger in the District.
As I write this piece to share the progress of high value trees research protocol, several circumstances, mostly the first Africa RISING project inception meeting in 2012, crosses my mind. I joined the meeting representing my organization, the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF). I was delighted because the theme was on sustainable intensification where trees could play a central role.
This annotated bibliography of gender learning resources will ensure that project partners can at a glance find information and links to selected open access documents addressing particular topics of interest to them on gender in agriculture.
Poor diets, inappropriate feeding practices and disease are primary causes of maternal and child under-nutrition. Dietary diversity is an important element of dietary quality, a strong predictor of micronutrient adequacy and overall nutrition status.
While insecticide spraying offers the most effective management strategy for insect pests in farmers’ fields, most farmers in Ghana spray only once in most cases. The effect of a three spray regime was compared to conventional farmer practice (one spray) on yield and net financial returns of cowpea on-farm.
An assessment of the Mush Irrigation Scheme in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia was conducted in 2015 to evaluate its operations and efficiency and assess potential cropping and water management alternatives for potato, fodder and other cultivated crops.
En Afrique de l’Ouest, comme dans la plupart des pays d’Afrique Sub-Sahélienne, les ressources naturelles constituent la base de la vie quotidienne des hommes, particulièrement pour les pauvres qui dans la majorité des cas vivent dans le milieu rural où leur moyens de subsistances dépendent presque exclusivement des activités agricoles et de l’élevage.
ICARDA research in Ethiopia examines whether the adoption of improved food legume varieties increases the technical efficiency of crop production.
Twenty scientists implementing different Africa RISING interventions in East and Southern Africa took part in a training on farming systems research design from 3-4 October, 2016 in Lilongwe,Malawi. “After this training I think the scientists are now better equipped to make more integrated and participatory systems research designs,” explains Prof. Mateete Bekunda, Chief Scientist, Africa RISING East and Southern Africa Project.
The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Food Security in Washington DC has announced funding for a second 5-year phase of the Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program beginning October 2016.
This poster, produced for the Tropentag 2016 conference, highlights a study that generated fundamental information for improved nutritional management in rural chicken production in Tanzania.
The final innovation platform meetings in all four regions where Africa RISING is present in Ethiopia took place in June and July 2016. These meetings offer a chance to look back at some of the achievements, issues and questions around the project and its upscaling efforts. Experiences from the platform meetings show that promising scaling up activities are taking place with strong support from partners.
This poster, produced for the Tropentag 2016 conference, explains findings from studies which characterized the use of crop residues for livestock feed as an option for enhancing intensification in smallholder farms in Bahati District in Tanzania.
A recently published case study highlights the success of Africa RISING interventions in improving vegetable varieties and production among smallholder farmers in Kilombero District, Tanzania.
Monica Paschal is a 48-year-old farmer and a mother of five. She has been involved in small-scale farming for 27 years and refers to herself as ‘mkulima wa kujikimu’ (Swahili for smallholder/subsistence farmer).
‘The past three years have been the most satisfying to me as a farmer because I have been able to gradually transform my farming from subsistence to a profitable mini-enterprise which has enabled me to
From East to West Africa,post-graduate students supported by Africa RISING are completing their research studies….and sharing their findings.In this brief,we feature four students who’ve recently defended their research theses – Clarisse Umutoni, Shitindi Mawazo, Daniel Apalibe and Alagma Henry. They are among a cohort of 47 MSc and 15 PhD students supported by the Africa RISING program in West Africa and East/Southern Africa from 2012 – 2016.
Africa RISING and the Innovation Laboratory for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI) funded by USAID under FtF, are partnering with the Livestock and Irrigation Value Chain for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project funded by Global Affairs Canada to evaluate irrigated fodder in Ethiopia.
On 5th and 6th May 2016, the project’s researchers, fields agents and farmers organized and held had a Farmers’ Field Day event. This gave an opportunity for farmers who are not taking part in the project to learn and share experience with their colleagues who are beneficiaries about Good Agronomic Practices. The farmers also got the chance to visit demo plots for self-observations.
Smallholder farmers in Malawi must cope with small farm size, low soil fertility and production risks associated with rainfed agriculture. Integration of legumes into maize-based cropping systems is advocated as a means to increase production of diverse nutrient-dense grains and improve soil fertility.
Developed by the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), the International Potato Center (CIP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), this manual aims to build the knowledge and skills of health and agriculture workers in nutrition-sensitive agriculture so that they can promote health and agricultural and other related practices that maximize nutritional benefits.
A multi-locational study in Zimbabwe aimed to determine the effect of four tillage systems on maize, cowpea and soybean yields, and evaluate the economic performance of the conservation agriculture (CA) systems relative to conventional plowing.
This document is a working guide for the agricultural and health extension workers in Mali. It is meant to help them to improve their knowledge, skills, and nutrition practices to ensure greater returns on investments in agricultural research for nutrition and health impacts.
A higher rate of nitrogen application provides higher economic benefit to farmers compared to the government recommended rate. There are visible differences between six maize varieties commonly grown in northern Ghana (used in this experiment) in terms of performance under higher fertilizer rate.
“I produce vegetables because this is ready cash for me and my family,” says a beaming Hassan Saidi; one of the beneficiary farmers in the activities led by AVRDC under the Africa RISING-NAFAKA and TUBORESHE CHAKULA project for fast tracking delivery and scaling of agricultural technologies in Tanzania.
This newly published infographic which is largely based on Africa RISING program activities in central Malawi helps to visualize what sustainable intensification means in the context of the farming system in the region and how it differs from the typical farmer practice. It also illustrates how the doubled-up legume technology works to ensure a farmer gets “double” legume grain yields and “double” soil fertility benefits from biological nitrogen fixation.