Brief / Groundnuts / Maize / MAIZE-CRP / Malawi / MSU / Pigeonpea / Research / Southern Africa

Boosting land productivity using ‘doubled-up’ legume intercropping in Malawi

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. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / Groundnuts / IITA / Intensification / MAIZE-CRP / Malawi / Pigeonpea / poster / Southern Africa / Zambia

Doubled-up legume technologies in conservation agriculture show potential for scale up in Zambia

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. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / ICRAF / IITA / Intensification / Legumes / Maize / MAIZE-CRP / Malawi / MSU / poster / Southern Africa / Tanzania

No one size fits all! Lessons from legume–cereal rotations in smallholder farms

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. Continue reading

East Africa / IITA / Intensification / MAIZE-CRP / Malawi / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Trip Report / Zambia

The listening post: How Africa RISING technologies are improving farmers’ lives in Zambia and Malawi

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. Continue reading

East Africa / IITA / Intensification / MAIZE-CRP / Malawi / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Trip Report / Zambia

Africa RISING management team visits project sites 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. Continue reading

Capacity strengthening / Event / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Malawi / Participation / Research / Southern Africa

Getting ready for phase 2: Africa RISING partners pore over farming systems research design

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. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Malawi / Mali / Research / Scaling / SLS / Southern Africa / Tanzania / West Africa / Zambia

Boost for Africa’s smallholder farmers’ access to sustainable agricultural technologies as USAID announces $ 50 million Africa RISING Phase 2

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. Continue reading

DRYLANDS-CRP / Intensification / Legumes / Malawi / MSU / NRM / Research / Soils / Southern Africa

Doubled-up legume rotations improve soil fertility and maintain productivity under variable conditions in maize-based cropping systems in Malawi

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. Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / Infographic / Intensification / Legumes / Malawi / MSU / Scaling / Southern Africa

INFOGRAPHIC: How does a farm family in Malawi produce more from their farm?

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. Continue reading

DRYLANDS-CRP / Infographic / Intensification / Legumes / Malawi / MSU / Southern Africa

INFOGRAPHIC: Different strokes for different folks (on farm typologies in Africa RISING)

Smallholder farming households in much of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are distinctly diverse within and across communities. This infographic seeks to visually explain the different ‘best bet: best fit’ pathways of intensification for contrasting farm categories (typologies). Continue reading

AVRDC / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Event / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Africa RISING project partners review achievements and plans for East and Southern Africa

More than 50 scientists from various CGIAR Centres and National Research Systems converged in Mangochi, Malawi on 13–15 July for a review and planning meeting of the Africa RISING East and Southern Africa Project. Continue reading

Africa RISING ESA external review team praises research work, calls for improved efforts to ensure technologies are adopted by small holder farmers
East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / Impact Assessment / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Malawi / MSU / Report / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Africa RISING ESA external review team praises research work, calls for improved efforts to ensure technologies are adopted by small holder farmers

The IITA commissioned external review of Africa RISING East and Southern Africa project concluded on 16 March after nearly five weeks of literature review, project stakeholder interviews and field visits to project sites in Tanzania and Malawi. Continue reading

Africa / DRYLANDS-CRP / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / Impact Assessment / Intensification / Maize / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Characterizing the adopters of sustainable intensification innovations in Malawi and Tanzania

At this week’s international conference on Integrated Systems Research for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, Jeroen Groot presented a poster on behalf of IFPRI colleagues on Africa RISING work to characterize the adopters of sustainable intensification innovations in Malawi and Tanzania. Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Dairying / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / Fodder / Forages / ICRAF / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa

Exploring niches for livestock intensification in farming systems in Malawi

At this week’s international conference on Integrated Systems Research for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, Aston Mulwafu presented a poster explaining on different feed options for smallholder dairy farmers to intensify their production systems in Malawi.     Dairying in smallholder farming systems can be intensified to improve livelihoods. The biggest constraint faced by resource-constrained … Continue reading

Crops / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / IITA / Intensification / Legumes / Malawi / MSU / Pigeonpea / Research / Southern Africa

Increasing pigeonpea productivity in a novel doubled-up legume cropping system in Malawi

At this week’s international conference on Integrated Systems Research for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, Chiwimbo Gwenambira (Michigan State University) presented a poster explaining a a novel doubled-up legume cropping system in Malawi. 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 / AVRDC / CIAT / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / ICRISAT / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / Malawi / NRM / Nutrition / Pests / Research / Seeds / SLS / Soils / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Water

Africa RISING East and Southern Africa review and planning 2013 meeting: Integration drives agendas

Even in a program like Africa RISING, where Sustainable Intensification is at the heart of the approach, such key concepts should not be taken for granted. A recent conference about ‘sustainable intensification’ in Accra showed that there are widely different understandings about such complex approaches. The 2013 review and planning meeting of the East and … Continue reading

Africa / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa

Sustainable intensification and diversification of maize-based farming systems in Malawi – early win project report

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 … 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

CIAT / Crops / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / Intensification / Malawi / Seeds / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Boosting the production of quality seeds of improved varieties of maize and legumes in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia

While improved varieties can give farmers increased yields, the percentage of small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa growing them is very low, especially for legumes. One reason for this is the unavailability and unaffordability of the seeds. The early win project on ‘Multiplication of breeder and basic seed for Maize and Legumes in Tanzania, Malawi, and … 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

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

Crops / HUMIDTROPICS / Malawi / NRM / Nutrition / Soils / Southern Africa

Africa RISING early win project in Malawi: Expanding no-till agriculture to increase income and diversify diets

Conservation agriculture, which involves minimum tillage of the land and retaining crop residues on the land, has proven useful for increasing yield and at the same time managing soil fertility and increasing farmers resilience to drought and climate variability in Malawi. However, so far the technology has mainly focused on maize. Can the technology be … 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

East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Looking back at the Africa RISING East and Southern Africa review and planning meeting: Interviewing Mateete Bekunda

Mateete Bekunda joined Africa RISING in April this year as the Farming Systems Agronomist for the East and Southern Africa region. He kindly accepted to share his views about the recent review and planning meeting which closed on 5 October. A lot of work – and learning – remains, but the path is clearer. What was achieved with this … 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

Africa / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / Intensification / Malawi / Mali / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / West Africa / Zambia

Monitoring and evaluation in Africa RISING – paving the way to impact

From 5 to 7 September 2012, a group of people from the three Africa RISING regions (re-baptized ‘mega sites’, i.e. West Africa, Ethiopian Highlands and East and Southern Africa) met to elaborate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) directions for the program. This workshop was organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). It aimed at … Continue reading

CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / Crops / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa

Conservation agriculture in Malawi: “We always have problems with rain here”

Earlier this year, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Malawi led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). A news story from this project explains how smallholder maize farmers in Malawi are adopting sustainable crop management practices that cut labor and help capture and hold rainfall, salvaging harvests when water is … Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / West Africa / Zambia

Africa RISING: Update on Eastern and Southern Africa project

Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon, Africa RISING Project Coordinator at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture writes: I would like to give you an update on the status of the USAID funded project on Sustainable Intensification of Key Farming Systems in Eastern and Southern Africa. After the inception workshop in Dar es Salaam in February it was decided … Continue reading

Africa / CIMMYT / Crops / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa

Sustainable intensification and diversification of maize-based farming systems in Malawi

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Malawi led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). The project aims to provide pathways out of hunger and poverty for smallholder families, particularly for women and children, through sustainably intensified farming systems. The outputs will be: Crop yield and biomass production Nutritional output … Continue reading

Africa / Crops / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Multiplication of breeder and basic seed for maize and legumes in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). The project aims to increase production of both basic (or breeder) seed and certified seed for six target crops (maize, beans, cowpeas, soybeans, Medium duration pigeonpea and groundnuts) in … Continue reading

Africa / CIAT / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Accelerating access to quality seed of legumes, maize and forages in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). The project aims to Carry out assessment of the representative  of  seed systems models related to production  efficiency, scale  and speed of seed and variety access and information with consideration of the … Continue reading

Africa / Crops / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Value chain analysis of grain legumes in East and Southern Africa

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in eastern and southern Africa led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The objective of the proposed project is to support the development of Africa RISING research-for-development project through building partnerships and mobilizing stakeholders in the short term to conduct value chain analyses. The outputs … Continue reading

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

A catalogue of tested crop, soil, and water management options for Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). The project aims to identify and promote sustainable intensification (SI) pathways by evaluating tested crop, soil and water management options for their suitability under varied land (soil health) and socio-economic conditions that prevail … Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / Ghana / Intensification / Malawi / Mali / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / West Africa / Zambia

Monitoring and evaluation: IFPRI seeks post-doctoral fellow to work on Africa RISING M&E strategy

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks a Post-Doctoral Fellow (PDF) for its HarvestChoice team in the Environment and Production Technology Division. The PDF will work closely with both the team leader and the economist within IFPRI’s HarvestChoice team in conducting a work program agreed and monitored by IFPRI and by the United States Agency … Continue reading

Africa / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Sustainable intensification of cereal-based farming systems in East and Southern Africa

Last week, 80 people from Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi met in Dar es Salaam to design a new ‘Feed the Future‘ project (supported by the United States Agency for International Development – USAID) on sustainable intensification of crop and livestock farming systems. The meeting was convened by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). This … Continue reading