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

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

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / Cowpea / DRYLANDS-CRP / Intensification / Research / Southern Africa / Zambia

Diversification with cowpea provides new opportunities for smallholders in Zambia

Drought-tolerant cowpea has become an attractive crop among rural Zambian farmers, thanks to USAID’s Feed the Future initiative in Eastern Province. Cowpea is now more frequently used as both a food and cash crop in the Eastern Province, due to its high nutritional value for household consumption and an increase in local market demand. Africa RISING supports this development by promoting crop diversification as part of its broader agricultural technological interventions and as an integral part of conservation agriculture. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / DRYLANDS-CRP / 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 / DRYLANDS-CRP / 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

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / 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

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

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

CIMMYT / Cowpea / DRYLANDS-CRP / Gender / IITA / Intensification / Maize / Participation / Scaling / Southern Africa / Zambia

Getting technologies out to farmers using innovative approaches: the Africa RISING – SIMLEZA project

Since September 2013, the SIMLEZA-Africa RISING project tested a range of improved agricultural technologies in Chipata and Katete districts of Zambia with the aim of sustainably intensifying the productivity of small holder farmers in those parts of the country. How did the project scale-out those technologies to the farmers? What worked and what didn’t? Continue reading

CIMMYT / Crop Residues / Crop-Livestock / DRYLANDS-CRP / IITA / Intensification / Livestock / Maize / Southern Africa / Zambia

Expanding beyond demonstration plots brings new cattle to the kraal in Zambia

In the second year of practicing conservation agriculture (CA) introduced to him through the SIMLEZA-Africa RISING project; Stephen Nyirenda, a 38 year old farmer from Lundazi District in Zambia has been able to increase the productivity of his farm in ways he never thought possible. In just two seasons he’s been able to buy two cows from the extra proceeds he’s been getting from his farm. Not a mean feat, but which he attributes squarely to this new found way of sustainable land management Continue reading

CIMMYT / DRYLANDS-CRP / IITA / Intensification / Maize / Southern Africa / Zambia

Quality cowpea seed production offers Zambian women farmers opportunities for quality lives

Thanks to an emerging breed of bold farmers who have taken to producing legume seeds for cultivation by their colleagues, the challenge of legume seed availability is being met in Eastern Zambia. For the past two years, Tichoke Phiri, a woman farmer from Kawalala camp in Katete district has been growing improved cowpea varieties through the Africa RISING project and selling it at a minimal cost to her fellow farmers in Kawala camp. The returns from her work have been very rewarding Continue reading

CIMMYT / Climate change / Cowpea / DRYLANDS-CRP / IITA / Intensification / Maize / Participation / Southern Africa / Zambia

Conservation agriculture for Zambia – A resilient technology in times of climate change

Against the odds stacked against them due to climate change; farmers in Chipata and Katete districts in Zambia where the SIMLEZA-Africa RISING project was being implemented are ramping up their farm productivity using conservation agriculture techniques. Richard Soko, a farmer from Chipata District is one such farmer Continue reading

CIMMYT / DRYLANDS-CRP / IITA / Intensification / Maize / Scaling / Seeds / Southern Africa / Zambia

Scaling up drought tolerant maize in Zambia

The SIMLEZA – Africa RISING project in Zambia provides support to seed companies in seed business development, including building capacity for training and technical assistance, entrepreneurial skills, varietal release and registration, seed multiplication and commercialization to enhance their ability to produce and market improved seed. 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

Crops / Drylands / Fertilizer / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / NRM / Soils / Southern Africa / Value Chains / Water / Zambia

Conservation agriculture is giving us more food and money: A Zambian farmer’s story

Under the SIMLEZA-Africa RISING project, the implementation of conservation agriculture technologies is a key intervention. For just the past 2 years, the project has already seen positive outcomes on the practices and lives of its farmer-beneficiaries in its target communities in the Eastern Province of Zambia. Here we highlight one of our farmer ‘success stories’ who have been practicing CA technologies introduced in the country by the project. Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Southern Africa / Zambia

Broadening Africa RISING work in Zambia

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. 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

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 / 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

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 / 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