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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ICARDA research in Ethiopia examines whether the adoption of improved food legume varieties increases the technical efficiency of crop production.
Bahafta Meresa, a widow, leads a session on growing potato, sharing insights and lessons with many farmers, both male and female. Bahafta works with Africa RISING and is well-known for trying out many varieties of potato.
Mrs Tadelech Lachemo took part in Africa RISING”s potato seed multiplication training in June 2014. She received 7 quintals of the improved (Gudene) potato variety – the variety was selected based on preferences expressed during an Africa RISING field day.
Mohammed Ebrahim is Africa RISING Research site coordinator for Endamehoni Woreda in Ethiopia. This is one of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING.
Seid Ahmed Kemal is a Legume pathology researcher at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). This is one of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING.
Earlier this month, the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands organised its annual review and planning meeting. On the agenda: Reviewing progress in 2015, discussing future plans. Around 60 participants representing CGIAR partners, national and local government representatives, non-government, universities and the private sector attended.
A one day national workshop on decision support tools for appropriate fertilizer recommendation in Ethiopia was organized at ILRI campus on 18 December 2015.
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.
Africa RISING Endamehoni site has been identified as one of the best practice site from Tigray region. In a visit that was organized as part of the Tigray region farmers’ festival and experience exchange the team identified Africa RISING Endamehoni site as one of the best practice site from Tigray region.
In this interview, Temesgen Alene introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the program.
The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands was recently named one of the winners of the collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA) competition sponsored by USAID.
In September 2015 the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) installed solar pumps in Upper Gana and Jawe, two research kebele sites of the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands .
Since 2012 , Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands engaged quite a number of farmers (men, women and youth) in all the research processes including diagnosis, participation of different on-farm research trials, demonstration and evaluation, decision making and capacity building activities through different approaches.
A recent addition to the Ethiopian diet, the potato—unlike cereals—has a short crop cycle, and, therefore, could substantially improve the incomes and livelihoods of producers, traders and other actors in the potato value chain. However, the value chain is generally underdeveloped.
In Ethiopia, seed systems for potato, wheat and faba beans are dominated by state entities, such as government bureaus and national, regional and locally-based research centres, local farmer cooperatives and cooperative unions. There are also some individual seed producers. An important function of research institutes is to produce and supply pre-basic and basic seeds.
Faba beans are a major pulse crop important in the Ethiopian diet. The bean is a major source of protein for urban and rural dwellers. Various traditional faba bean dishes such as ‘full’ and ‘shuro wot’ are eaten at breakfast and dinner. A common component of family diets, faba bean demand is high, potentially offering farmers a significant source of income.
The Africa RISING project in Ethiopia has been selected as one of five winners of the USAID Collaboration Learning and Adoption case competition.
Despite encouraging progress in strengthening nutrition policies and improving nutritional outcomes, under-nutrition remains a significant public health problem in Ethiopia; in 2014, stunting, wasting and underweight of children under five were estimated at 40%, 20% and 9% (Ethiopian Mini Demographic and Health Survey 2014).
The food production system is an important part of nutrition; it includes the production, availability, access and desirability of food. It largely determines traditional consumption practices and shapes diets. So far, Ethiopia has made remarkable progress in addressing food insecurity through strong policies and multi-sectorial approaches at national level.
Low productivity of staple crops is often attributed to the poor management practices of smallholder farmers. ‘Improved’ crop management practices for many staple crops in Ethiopia have been widely promoted.
Ethiopia is the second largest wheat producing country in Africa after South Africa. Wheat is a major grain crop grown for consumption and sale and demand for wheat quality products in Ethiopia is growing, particularly during fasting periods,creating opportunities for increased wheat production.
Enset (Enset ventricosum also known as ‘false banana’) is a source of food, cash, animal feed, medicine, sources of fuel wood and other products and services for smallholder farmers in Ethiopia.
Conventional monitoring and evaluation tools set predefined indicators of outcomes. This is usually just a quantitative process. They count measurable at predefined moments in the life of a project.
The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands recently organized a writeshop to heklp researchers document and generate results and evidence from their work. As well as making progress on several articles, participants produced several ‘evidence’ briefs.
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 2008.
The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands recently organized a writeshop (4-7 August 2015) to help researchers document results and findings for wider application.
The Africa RISING project in Ethiopia recently conducted a participatory assessment and survey on the adoption and marketing of high value vegetables and fruits in its field sites.
The latest technical reports from Africa RISING are available for download.
This paper reviews literature on sustainable intensification metrics for use in smallholder agriculture.
From 15-19 June 2015, the Livestock and Fish research program and Africa RISING held a training course in Addis Ababa on participatory epidemiology and gender.
Africa RISING in Ethiopia recently published reports from rapid value chain assessment studies conducted in all the four regions covering six enterprises; three on crops and three on livestock.
Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands organized the 2nd woreda level strategic innovation platform and Kebele level operational innovation platform meetings from 14 December 2014 – 16 March 2015.
From 1-5 June, farmers from different Africa RISING sites were trained in using small two-wheel multi-purpose tractors as part of an Africa RISING project led by CIMMYT.
Temam Mama from Ilu-Sanbitu kebele Sinana (in Oromia) was selected by his innovation platform to join the small scale mechanization training in Addis Ababa.
The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands recently underwent an internally commissioned external review.
Bedilu Desta from Gudo Beret in Amhara was selected by his innovation platform to join the small scale mechanization training in Addis Ababa.
Learning from the experience of Asian countries such as Bangladesh, CIMMYT (the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre) and its partners are testing small, inexpensive, and easy to maintain two-wheel (single axle) tractors in the Ethiopian Highlands, thanks to the support of the Africa RISING (Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation) project funded by USAID (United States Agency for International Development).
Small scale farmers are the guardians of 80 per cent of the world’s farmland. If we are to resolve the global soil crisis, they must be at the heart of the solutions.
In April, twenty five scientists from the different Africa RISING projects visited Ethiopia as part of a learning exchange.
In January and February this year, ICRAF and partners from the Africa RISING Ethiopia project ran training in apple tree management at three sites (Endamehoni, Sinana and Debre Berhan).
To prepare a household survey on sustainable intensification in Ethiopia, the project held a training workshop for enumerators and supervisors on 2 and 3 April 2015.
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.
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.
The current phase of the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands is being implemented over the five years from 2012-2016. To date, the project has implemented a number of activities in order to deliver against the Africa RISING Program Research Framework. These research for development (R4D) activities are now beginning to identify and validate scalable innovation for the project’s target farmers.
Facilitators play key roles in making sure the IPs function well. This manual is prepared for innovation platform facilitators in Africa RISING Ethiopia sites to help them get the basics of facilitating innovation platforms.
Kindu Mekonnen and Peter Thorne from ILRI recently spent a week with colleagues from ther Africa RISING projects visiting the CIMMYT-led CSISA (Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia) project in Eastern India (Bihar and Odisha states) project in India.
IWMI and ILRI are jointly conducting a study on Perceptions of Sustainability across various stakeholders as part of Africa RISING Project.
The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands aims to establish Innovation platforms(IPs) at different levels to better involve many local stakeholders to address common challenges and opportunities in agricultural sector.
Africa RISING’s Kindu Mekonnen works for the International Livestock Research Institute in Ethiopia as a Crop and Livestock System Scientist. He was recently interviewed by the Ethiopian Herald newspaper on a range of topical issues.
Africa RISING in Ethiopia has started to work with partners and farmers to identify and work on model watersheds in three of its research sites: Lemo, Basona and Abraha Atsbaha, and Maichew.
In September 2014, Africa RISING partners in Ethiopia received training on innovation platform (IP) facilitation, coordination and M&E. More than 50 people attended, including partners from CGIAR centres, regional research institutes and centres, universities, woredas and kebeles working with Africa RISING.
The Africa RISING project in Ethiopia organized its annual review and planning meeting in early December 2014. The meeting reviewed project progress, results and plans and identified opportunities to scale Africa RISING’s research findings at both local and higher levels.
On 21 November 2014, the Africa RISING project conducted a one-day training for consultants and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) staff on data collection and technical skills for irrigation potential assessment in the project’s action sites in Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR and Tigray.
In July 2014, research teams visited Lemo and Sinana project woredas (districts) in the Ethiopian Highlands. The visits aimed to update local partners on planting activities in the main rain season as well as on pre- and post-harvest crop management issues.
This week, IFPRI and Africa RISING/ILRI organized a one day training for Africa RISING Ethiopia researchers on a Project Monitoring and Mapping Tool (PMMT).
An assessment of post-harvest handling practices and food losses in a maize-based farming system in semi-arid areas of Central and Northern Tanzania was carried out in 2012.
How do we know if our interventions are indeed sustainable? Peter Thorne, Africa RISING coordinator in Ethiopia, suggest this is one of the trickiest questions we face in Africa RISING.
A two week value chain report validation workshop is underway at the ILRI campu in Addis Ababa. The workshop is jointly organized by CIAT and the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia. It aims to validate and finalize the value chain studies that were conducted earlier this year.
The Africa RISING-HarvestChoice team at IFPRI has produced three tools to help evaluate the impact of agricultural technology and R&D interventions, in terms of their profitability, benefits, and yield gap closure.
In February 2014 a team of Africa RISING researcher traveled to Basona Worena woreda to establish the woreda as well as kebele-level innovation platforms.
In May this year, CGIAR partners in the Africa RISING Ethiopia project visited Lemo and Basona Worena woredas to meet with nationala nd local partners including universities, extension agencies, agricultural research centres and farmers about the project progress as well as the planned research activities.
To this end a field visit was organized in Sinana in June 2014 to identify farmer research groups for crop and livestock related action research protocols. The project team was able to identify farmers that will participate in different research groups.
In this interview, Eliud Birachi introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the program.
In April 2014, the Africa RISING project organized a field trip to establish four strategic (woreda level) and eight operational (kebele level) Innovation Platforms (IPs) in its sites (Basona Worena in Amhara, Endamehoni in Tigray, Lemo in SNNPR and Sinana in Oromia).
In this interview, Alan Duncan introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the project.
In this interview, Aster Gebrekirstos introduces herself and her work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the program.
In this interview, Peter Thorne introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the program.
A recent study by ICRAF presents information on tree-crop-livestock farming system constraints in the four Africa RISING project sites in Ethiopia. It identifies local innovation platforms as a key mechanism to prioritize and work together on problems and solutions in each site. Specific roles and implementation modalities are set out.
In late April 2014, CIAT and ILRI organized a three day writeshop on value chain development in the Africa RISING sites in Ethiopia.
The USAID Africa Bureau is providing support to Africa RISING (funded by the USAID Bureau for Food Security) for a study that advances the understanding of the landscape-level implications of farm-level sustainable intensification activities in Zambia. It will also inform the design of future integrated projects that address food security, climate change and biodiversity issues.
The 2014 workplan of the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia sets out 7 research for development focus areas.
In March 2014, rhe Africa RISING team visited Sinana woreda aiming at briefing agricultural research, development and other stakeholders about the program’s and the project’s activities, and initiate the establishment of Innovation Platforms (IPs) with key partners.
In February 2014, a meeting was conducted in Maichew woreda, Tigray region, as part of establishing innovation platforms in the Africa RISING project sites in Ethiopia.
In February 2014, the Africa RISING team from Addis Ababa travelled to Lemo woreda with the aim of initiating Innovation platform at different levels.
Feed availability is a major constraint to increasing livestock productivity in Ethiopia. Introducing technologies is one of the most common ways that agricultural research and development organizations can assist the farmers they serve.
This short photofilm presents some aspects of the work of Africa RISING in Ghana. It shows how it is helping farmers restore their degraded lands, increase crop and livestock production, and provide them with better incomes. Photos and story by Charlie Pye-Smith. Read three of Charlie’s blog posts from the same journey: Africa RISING in …
News and updates on Africa RISING projects in East, West and Southern Africa. Download a print version – or sign up to get Matters ARISING in your mailbox. Program news First Africa RISING program learning event On 24 September 2013, the first Africa RISING learning event kicked off at the ILRI campus in Ethiopia. The …
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 …
Charlie Pye-Smith reports from Ghana for Africa RISING During the first year of the Africa RISING project, a multidisciplinary team of researchers held discussions with some 4000 people in Northern Ghana. The study provided an overview of existing farming practices and the constraints associated with crop and livestock production. The community analysis, as it is …
Charlie Pye-Smith reports from Ghana for Africa RISING “When I was young, we used to get eight or nine bags of maize per acre,” says Abukari Iddrisu. ”Now, I’m lucky if I get three bags, and this year it will be even less.” Like most farmers in Tibognayali, a community of 1900 people in Ghana’s …
In 2013, the Africa RISING team in Ethiopia carried out a Participatory Community Analyses (PCA) in all the eight sites. This was the first phase in a participatory research and extension process, including kebele engagement and social mobilization, that provided each kebele some opportunities to analyse their own challenges and opportunities.
In early November, over 400 delegates gathered in Kigali to discuss advances in ICTs for agriculture. The conference had three streams focusing on: emerging innovations in ICTs supporting agricultural development, capacity strengthening and stakeholder empowerment for improved livelihood and engagement in agricultural development processes and enabling environment for the agricultural sector to maximize the benefits …
The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands organized its review and planning meeting in Addis Ababa from 30th October to 1 November 2013. The meeting aimed to review project progress and results, synthesize ongoing diagnostic work and agree outline work plans for 2013-2014 and general responsibilities of partners. Around 45 participants representing government partners …
On 24 September 2013, the first Africa RISING learning event kicked off at the ILRI campus in Ethiopia. The annual learning event aims to: facilitate learning from ongoing program-wide activities (research framework, M and E, Communications etc.); build on project-specific methods, approaches and problems as well as interesting innovations, approaches; discuss specific sub-themes in more …
Africa RISING in the Ethiopian highlands in partnership with the International Potato Center (CIP) has been carrying out an on-farm research demonstration in all the eight Kebeles where the project is working. The purpose of this on-farm research is to demonstrate improved crops with improved management practices, and to document lessons and challenges for future …
Africa RISING’s research component (3) focuses on market value chains. The Ethiopia team working on these issues met this week to review the work plan for market and value chains in the project. They also discussed the tools to be used to collect relevant data and information. The team comprises staff from CIAT, ILRI, CIP, …
In July, an ICRAF team comprising Aster Gebrekirstos (ICRAF scientist), Kiros Hadgu (ICRAF Ethiopia Country Representative) and Anne Kuria (ICRAF researcher) visited Lemu Woreda which contains two of the eight Kebeles of the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands. The aim of the visit was to see progress on the local knowledge acquisition field …
Mid July 2013, a team from the Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program and donor representatives visited project intervention sites in Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana, to observe and monitor project progress. The team was composed of USAID representatives led by Jerry Glover, senior project advisor; Tracy …
“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 …
Increasing crop production does not always lead to more food and a healthier population. In some cases, the consumption of the crops and their products may instead lead to serious health problems in both human beings and livestock and even death. One such instance is when the crops are contaminated with mycotoxins, poisonous substances produced …
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 …
The project areas in Ghana consist of three administrative regions in the north of the country—the Upper West, the Upper East, and the Northern regions. The whole region is characterized by small land holdings of low input–output farming systems with low yields and household food and nutritional insecurity. Some of the major problems raised by …
In a recent visit to project communities in northern Ghana, many farmers participating in field trials said that they are “thankful to Africa RISING for the many interventions introduced by the project to help their communities.” One woman farmer leader in Nyangwa, Kassena-Nankan District, Upper Eastern Region, said “I am happy that women are not …
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 …
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 …
The second Africa RISING program coordination team meeting was held virtually on 24 June 2013. Participants reviewing actions points and progress updates from the three Africa RISING projects in East and Southern Africa, West Africa and the Ethiopian highlands, from USAID, Communication activities and from IFPRI on Monitoring and Evaluation. The meeting also covered major ongoing/planned …
From 19-25 May 2013, the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands carried out livelihoods survey in the eight research sites/kebeles in four woredas (Goshe Bado, Gudo Beret, Salka, Ilu-Sanbitu, Jawe, Upper-Gana, Emba-Hazti, Tsibet) in Amhara, Tigray, Oromia and SNNPR regions. 150 farming households participated in each woreda; from each woreda, 30 farmers identified their livelihoods asset …
Rural livelihoods in West Africa are mainly agro-based and depend on crop and livestock production, processing, and subsequent marketing. Farmers produce cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruit trees and keep livestock. However, optimal system productivity is limited by socioeconomic, biophysical, institutional, financial, and sometimes, policy constraints. Until recently, development in rural communities entailed extension agents advising …
This Africa RISING supported project aims to analyze the impact of three agricultural production systems –conservation agriculture, continuous no-till maize and conventional tillage — on food production, soil fertility and quality, human nutrition, resilience to drought and climate variability and change and household income in Malawi. Support from Africa RISING was crucial in sustaining this …
This is the story of Worknesh Gurmesa a farmer in Chelanko Kebele. I met her during our April 2013 field work to test the use of SLATE – a tool for Sustainable Livelihoods Asset Evaluation (more information). This training of trainers was jointly organised by Africa RISING and the Nile Basin Development Challenge. Participants were …
In April, the Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) and Nile Basin Development Challenge (NBDC) jointly organised a Training of Trainers workshop in the use of SLATE: A tool for Sustainable Livelihoods Asset Evaluation. Held in Addis Ababa and in Jeldu woreda, 30 participants from the Africa RISING’s 4 project …