Agroforestry / CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / DRYLANDS-CRP / Intensification / Maize / Southern Africa / Zambia

Addressing smallholder farmers’ needs with green manure cover crops and agroforestry in Zambia

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. Continue reading

Agroforestry / East Africa / Ethiopia / Forestry / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Intensification / Trees

Intensifying with high value trees in Africa RISING Ethiopia – some reflections from the first phase

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. 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

Agroforestry / East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Trees

A tale of two villages – how agroforestry transforms lives and landscapes in Ethiopia

Agroforestry can transform lives and landscapes. Trees and shrubs grown on farms provide fruit, timber, resins, fuelwood and livestock fodder. They also improve soil fertility, regulate water supplies and help farmers adapt to changing climatic conditions. Which begs the question: if agroforestry can bring so many benefits, why don’t we see lots of trees on … Continue reading

Agroforestry / Climate change / East Africa / Ethiopia / Forestry / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Research

Local knowledge the starting point for climate-resilient agriculture in Ethiopia – early win project brief

Local knowledge is proving a valuable starting point in adapting Ethiopian farming systems to climate change and ensuring greater productivity to combat food insecurity. A new brief by the World Agroforestry Centre analyses what farmers in the highlands of Ethiopia currently know about ecosystem processes and the interactions between trees, crops and livestock. The aim … Continue reading

Africa / Agroforestry / Countries / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / Forestry / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Trees

ICRAF team visit Africa RISING sites to assess progress on the local knowledge field work

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 … Continue reading

Africa / Agroforestry / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Intensification / Pests / Research / Southern Africa / West Africa

Monitoring and assessing sustainable intensification – Accra meeting sets out ways forward

Sustainable intensification (SI) is at the core of Africa RISING’s research agenda. It needs to demonstrate that sustainable intensification (SI) is a feasible way forward to achieve Africa’s food security and poverty reduction. However, this quest is imbued with complications, as the very notion of sustainable intensification remains draped with mystery. Questions frequently arise as … Continue reading

Agroforestry / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Malawi / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Trees

Africa RISING early win project: Evergreen Agriculture to increase productivity and resilience of mixed farming systems in Tanzania and Malawi

Evergreen agriculture is a form of agroforestry that integrates trees with crops, maintaining a green cover on the land throughout the year.  It is one of the options to intensify agriculture to increase production and also provides environmental benefits including managing soil fertility and moisture. The early win project, ‘Evidence for Scaling-up Evergreen Agriculture to … Continue reading

Agroforestry / CIAT / Crops / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / NRM / Research / Soils / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Water / Zambia

Cataloguing tested crop, soil, and water management options in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia

Various organizations have developed and promoted many practices aimed at improving yields, and managing water and soil at the farm level. Which of these have farmers really adopted and what factors have led to the adoption or non- adoption? Which of these are really effective and can be scaled up in the Africa RISING project? … Continue reading

Agroforestry / Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / Crops / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Nutrition / Soils / Southern Africa

Sustainable intensification explained: How Rhoda Mang’Anya made it work in Malawi

The story of Rhoda Mang’Anya, a farmer in Malawi, is one of the best examples of possible pathways to sustainable intensification. Although it is not a story from Africa RISING, it illustrates very well the kind of pathways that Africa RISING would like to enable. Rhoad Mang’Anya acquired her half-hectare plot in the early 1990’s. … Continue reading

Agroforestry / Animal Feeding / CIAT / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ICRAF / IFPRI / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / LIVESTOCK-FISH / NRM / Research / Trees / Water

Ethiopian Highlands review and planning meeting: consultation, reflection and action!

The inception phase of Africa RISING is coming to an end on 30 September. All ‘jumpstart activities’ and ‘early win’ projects from this phase have to be completed, and the broad program is coming out of the ground. The first of the three projects to officially wrap up the inception phase and pave the way … Continue reading

Africa / Agroforestry / Crop-Livestock / Crops / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / NRM / Research / Soils / Southern Africa / Trees / Water

Integrating perennials with food crops could restore soil health and increase staple yields

Today’s edition of Naturehas an article by Jerry Glover, John Reganold and Cindy Cox in which they explain, with examples from Malawi harmer Rhoda Mang’yana, how planting perennials can help save Africa’s soils. Rhoda’s story: Rhoda Mang’yana’s half-hectare farm in Malawi produces more maize (corn) than her extended family of seven can eat. Some of … Continue reading

Agroforestry / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / ILRI / Intensification / NRM / Trees

Ethiopian platform on land and water management acts as sounding board of tree-crop-livestock intensification ‘early win’ project

The early win project ‘Sustainable tree-crop-livestock intensification as a pillar for the Ethiopian climate resilient green economy initiative‘ recently gained visibility and garnered useful feedback during a workshop hosted by a related network. The national platform on land and water management is a multi-stakeholder learning and sharing forum for all Ethiopian actors concerned with the … Continue reading

Agroforestry / East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Intensification / Research / Trees

Africa RISING trainees to document local knowledge on trees and farms in Ethiopia

In June 2012, the ICRAF-led early win project on ‘Sustainable tree-crop-livestock intensification as a pillar for the Ethiopian climate resilient green economy initiative‘ will hold a training workshop on local knowledge acquisition. Part of the project’s ‘output 1’, the training will help ensure that local knowledge about the integration of trees in fields, farms and … Continue reading

Agroforestry / Climate change / Crop-Livestock / Crops / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Research / Trees

Sustainable tree-crop-livestock intensification as a pillar for the Ethiopian climate resilient green economy initiative

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Ethiopia led by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). The project aims to underpin the Ethiopian Climate Resilient Green Economy Initiative by providing early win tree species and management options for integrating fruit, fodder, fuelwood, fertilizer and timber trees in fields, farms and landscapes. This will … Continue reading

Africa / Agroforestry / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Intensification / Research / Scaling / Southern Africa

Scaling-up evergreen agriculture to enhance maize-mixed and agropastoral farming systems in Tanzania and Malawi

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania and Malawi led by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). The project aims to build an evidence base for scaling up EGA to increasing crop productivity, fodder supply and resilience of the maize-mixed and agropastoral farming systems in Tanzania and Malawi. The outputs will be: Synthesis … Continue reading