Mixed-farming smallholder growers in East and Southern Africa are slated to see a boost in their production and productivity resulting from a strategy that will see agricultural experts from different disciplines and farmers working hand-in-hand at the farm and village levels. International and national agricultural researchers converged in Arusha, Tanzania from 1 to 5 October to identify priority research areas and develop a strategic roadmap for an ambitious project that seeks to improve the livelihood of farmers in East and Southern Africa through better and more efficient integration of crop and livestock in their farms.
While most smallholder farmers in Africa practice mixed farming –growing different crops and trees and keeping various livestock – traditional research efforts have tended to focus on increasing the production and efficiency of individual components. Under Africa RISING, researchers from different disciplines will now work together to see how farmers can best integrate the different agricultural components in their farms to maximize productivity while conserving or enhancing soil fertility and improving the nutrition of their families and their livestock.
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