Amhara / CIAT / CIMMYT / CIP / Ethiopia / Field Day / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ICRAF / ICRISAT / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / Oromia / SNNPR / Tigray

End of season field days in Ethiopia zoom in on promising interventions

Africa RISING project has been organizing several field days since 2013 for a range of participants at its 4 sites and 8 research kebeles. The project had organized mid-season, end season and larger field days to demonstrate its on-farm research interventions, get feedback from participating and non-participating farmers and other local and CGIAR partners. Continue reading

East Africa / Fertilizer / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / NRM / Research / Soils / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Use fertilizer to boost yields: Key message during Babati Farmers’ Field Days

Inorganic fertilizers have a bad name in Babati (Tanzania) and are accused of ruining soils. Dispelling this myth and urging farmers to use them to boost their production was one of the key messages at a Farmers’ Field Day held in Babati District, 21 – 22 May 2014. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Farmers as researchers for a day: Africa RISING Farmers’ Field Day in Tanzania

As much as farmers call me a breeder, they are breeders as well, ” said Wills Munthali, from ICRISAT Malawi, during a farmer’s field day in Njoro, in Kiteto district. “Under Africa RISING we are working hand in hand with farmers in the selection of improved varieties. They are breeders as well. Continue reading

Photo report on small-scale maize shelling machines in northern Ghana
Ghana / IITA / Intensification / Maize / MAIZECRP / Postharvest / West Africa

Photo report on small-scale maize shelling machines in northern Ghana

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. Continue reading

Delivering climbing and drought-tolerant bush beans in different soil conditions in Malawi
CIAT / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Malawi / MSU / poster / Scaling / Southern Africa

Delivering climbing and drought-tolerant bush beans in different soil conditions in Malawi

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. Continue reading

Ethiopia / ILRI / Intensification / Scaling

Africa RISING technologies are Reaching out to more Farmers through Development Partnership

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. Continue reading

Amhara / CIAT / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / Fertilizer / Fodder / Gender / ICARDA / ICRISAT / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Livestock / NRM / Oromia / SNNPR / Tigray

Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation Ethiopian highlands project technical report, 1 April–30 September 2018

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. Continue reading

Africa / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / Crops / Ethiopia / Extension / Fertilizer / Ghana / ICARDA / ICRISAT / IITA / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Intensification / Livestock / LIVESTOCKCRP / MAIZECRP / Mali / NRM / Report / Scaling / Tanzania / Value Chains / Zambia

Africa RISING Phase I—what it took, what it gave, our proudest achievements

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. Continue reading

CIAT / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / Fodder / ICRAF / ILRI / Intensification / SNNPR / Women

International Women’s Day 2018: Bekelech Belachew, a model woman farmer in southern Ethiopia

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. Continue reading

CIAT / Extension / Fertilizer / Forages / Gender / IITA / Intensification / Irrigation / Livestock / MAIZECRP / SARI / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Technologies that transform: A look at select Africa RISING interventions in Babati District, Tanzania

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. Continue reading

CIAT / CIMMYT / CIP / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ICRAF / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / Scaling / SLS

How Africa RISING project in Ethiopia is scaling its validating innovations/technologies

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. Continue reading

Amhara / Capacity strengthening / Crops / East Africa / Ethiopia / Event / Fruit / ICRAF / ILRI / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Scaling

Training offers skills for scaling up apple farming in North Shewa, 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. Continue reading

Capacity strengthening / CIAT / Extension / Gender / IITA / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / MAIZECRP / SARI / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Empowering agricultural extension agents to deliver improved farming technologies

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. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / DRYLANDSCRP / Extension / Intensification / Maize / Research / Southern Africa / Zambia

Good agriculture practices―low hanging fruits for Zambian farmers

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. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / DRYLANDSCRP / Intensification / Research / Southern Africa / Zambia

Conservation agriculture – a system to adapt to climate variability and declining soil fertility in Zambia

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. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Participation / Research / Scaling / SLS / Value Chains

Africa RISING partnerships increase scaling out of agricultural technologies in Ethiopia

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. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / ILRIComms / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / NRM / Research / Social Learning

Social learning for farming systems – Insights from Africa RISING in Ethiopia

Addressing the question of how to sustainably intensify farming systems can benefit from collaborative and iterative social learning processes. This post reflects on what Africa RISING is doing and could do to strengthen social learning, based on interviews with program staff. Continue reading

Capacity strengthening / Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / SLS

Capacity building strategies and approaches for the Africa RISING Ethiopia project

The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands promotes capacity building for human resources development and strengthening local partner organizations in a range of ways, all of which are designed to respond to demand from all of our partners. Continue reading

Crops / East Africa / Ethiopia / Event / Extension / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ILRI / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Participation / Research

Farmer research groups central to Africa RISING approach in Ethiopia

On 13 December 2014, members of the Sinana innovation platform (IP) members and technical group (TG) held a farmers field day that attracted many farmers and others (woreda IP members, private sector workers, media and government decision makers) to see the farmer field interventions. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / SLS

Building local capacity to innovate: tools, methods and approaches for effective innovation platforms in Ethiopia

Innovation Platforms (IPs) have been established at Africa RISING research sites to bring together key local stakeholders to support integrated approaches to strengthen farming systems. These platforms help members to jointly conduct participatory research that identifies technologies and management practices that work for farmers. Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa

Africa RISING researchers in learning visit to Malawi

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from Africa RISING recently visited Malawi as part of a learning exchange visit of project sites and trials. Members of the team came from Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and Ethiopia representing the various CGIAR Centres implementing the project. They visited Africa RISING trial sites in Dedza and Ntcheu districts in Malawi representing the three agroecological zones that the project is working in: the dry and hot lowlands, the moderate temperature mid-altitude zone, and the comparatively cooler high-altitude zone. The researchers visited some of the “Mother-Baby” trials that the project is conducting in these two districts. Continue reading

Africa / DRYLANDSCRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Participation / Southern Africa / West Africa

A wealth of tools and approaches spotted at the Africa RISING learning event

The recent Africa RISING program learning event (24-26 September 2013) revealed an incredible wealth of tools and approaches used across the program. The list includes: West Africa Tools for collecting data Mother-baby trials (mentioned in this article) Participatory community analysis (PRAE, PRA, RRA) FEAST Impact LITE Biomass assessment tool Focus group discussions Value chain analysis … Continue reading

CIMMYT / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / Intensification / Partners / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Project boosting productivity of farmers’ traditional mixed farming systems in Tanzania

“I like variety 5. The cob has many rows and the grains have filled the cob well. There are also two cobs on the maize stalk,” Esther Liberati, 43-year-old farmer from Seloto village in Babati district in Tanzania, explains her number one choice from a set of 10 different types of maize being tested for … Continue reading

CIMMYT / ILRI / Intensification / Participation / Research

Participatory agricultural research for development – whose participation, whose research, whose development?

Compared with other Ethiopian Highland early win projects, the  ‘Research for Development‘ project focused on the research process so as to propose a flexible and generic approach to implement demand-driven research for development (R4D), while promoting partner-led processes and dissemination. In a recent workshop, some 20 participants analyzed the results of this early win project. The … Continue reading

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / Impact Assessment / Intensification / Maize / Research / Southern Africa / Zambia

Sustainable intensification practices―a ray of hope for Zambian farmers facing drought

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. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / LIVESTOCKCRP / Research / Scaling / SLS

More scaling, less research – Africa RISING project in Ethiopia looks forward to Phase II

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. Continue reading

Agroforestry / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Fodder / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / IITA / Intensification / NRM / Research / Soils / Tanzania / Trees / Women

Barking up the right tree: Multipurpose trees help Tanzania smallholders build a resilient farming system

Tanzania’s smallholder farmers in erosion battered districts of Kongwa and Kiteto are reclaiming their land and in the process building a resilient farming system through agro-forestry interventions introduced courtesy of the Africa RISING project. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / SLS

Africa RISING in Ethiopia – How are we doing?

It is some time since I have been able to visit our field sites in Ethiopia. The Christmas break and our jaunts in India and California seem to have taken out most of 2015 so far. So, it has been really interesting for me to join our internally-commissioned, external review team during their fact-finding tours of the Lemo and Endamehoni sites.
Continue reading

Africa / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / Fertilizer / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / Intensification / Mali / NRM / Soils / West Africa

Mechanizing fertilizer microdosing technology: Producers and extension agents trained in Mali (success story)

Fertilizer microdosing addresses the problems of low soil fertility, access to fertilizers and difficult climatic conditions. The technology has contributed to increased production, productivity and farm incomes. Continue reading

AVRDC / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Nutrition / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Vegetables

Turning over a new leaf: How Amaranth farming has transformed the life of a woman farmer in Tanzania

Mrs. Ephraim Lukumay, a farmer in Bermi village, Babati District of Tanzania tells of how Amaranth farming has changed her life for the better – thanks to Africa RISING initiative to promote the vegetable in collaboration with AVRDC. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Research

Training on commodity-based innovation platforms enhances understanding of concepts key to Africa RISING success

Recently, several CGIAR staff and national partners from the Africa RISING project and the Humidtropics Program in Ethiopia travelled to Kisumu, Kenya (from 22-27 June 2014) to attend a training organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) on how to set up and operate innovation platforms (IPs). Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Participation / Research / SLS

Challenges and opportunities in participatory agricultural research

This post was drafted by Terry Clayton based on contributions by Beth Cullen (ILRI) at the Participatory Agricultural Research: Approaches, Design and Evaluation (PARADE) workshop held in Oxford from 9-13 December 2013. In his keynote address at the PARADE workshop, Professor Paul Sillitoe offered insights into how theory informs practice. Beth Cullen’s presentation on day … Continue reading

Countries / Crop-Livestock / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Partners

Africa RISING – focusing on women and children in Ghana

Charlie Pye-Smith reports from Ghana for Africa RISING The Africa RISING program seeks to provide pathways out of hunger and poverty for smallholder families, and especially women and children, through the process of sustainable intensification. This involves producing more crops and livestock from the same piece of land, without degrading the natural resource base, thus … Continue reading

CIAT / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Regions / SARI / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Climbing beans doubling yields in Tanzania

Climbing beans are turning out to be one of the winning innovations being introduced by Africa RISING in Babati district, Tanzania. The beans have tendrils which coil around supporting stakes or strings and can grow as high as 2 meters tall and produce many pods and leaves. According to Edgar Lyakurwa, an extension officer with … Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Interview / Knowledge and Information

Photofilm training to better document and communicate agricultural research in Ethiopia

A key part of the Africa RISING communication strategy is to really engage with and document the knowledge and experiences of the communities where it works. Alongside more classical research communication, the project is therefore exploring multimedia formats like video, photographs and ultimately radio and mobile phones as tools to enrich multi-way communication. Africa RISING … Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Roundup

Matters ARISING – News from Africa RISING, July 2013

Matters  ARISING is the news update of the Africa RISING program. It brings you news and updates on from our projects in East, West and Southern Africa. Download a print version – or sign up to get Matters ARISING in your mailbox . Program news Early win projects completed in 2012 In the first year of the program, to produce … Continue reading

CIAT / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / Malawi / Tanzania / Zambia

Africa RISING early win project: How seed systems can work for small scale farmers in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia?

Many varieties of maize and legumes with good traits have been developed and released and there have been a lot of efforts by governments, farmer’s organizations, non-governmental organization and private seed companies, to get them to the farmers. Africa RISING’s early win project ‘Identifying efficient seed system (s) practices/models to accelerate the access to quality … Continue reading

Africa / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Participation

Participatory research for development in Africa RISING – an email exchange

Over the last few days, in relation with an upcoming final workshop for the ‘farm scale research design‘ early win project, an interesting e-mail exchange took place between Prof. Ken Giller of Wageningen University and Dr. Jens Andersson on the proposed research for development (R4D) approach for the Africa RISING program in the Ethiopian Highlands. This conversation … Continue reading