CIMMYT / Climate change / Crop-Livestock / ICRAF / ICRISAT / IITA / Intensification / Interview / Maize / MAIZECRP / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

What sustainable intensification of mixed farming systems looks like in Tanzania

This video highlights how through Africa RISING program interventions, a group of farmers at Mlali Village in central Tanzania are today making choices that will ensure they improve their livelihoods while conserving the natural resource base for the future generations. Continue reading

AVRDC / Crops / IITA / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Mali / Research / Vegetables / West Africa

Rio Grande tomato captures the affection of women farmers in southern Mali

Over the past six years, Sitan Coulibaly has been one of the 114 women farmers involved in validating high-performing, dry season-adapted and farmer-preferred vegetable varieties as a pathway for improved nutrition and income for families in southern Mali. The Rio Grande was one of the tomato varieties introduced by Africa RISING to the farmers for validation with impressive success. Continue reading

Capacity strengthening / Crop-Livestock / Crops / East Africa / Ethiopia / Faba bean / Ghana / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / Legumes / Livestock / LIVESTOCKCRP / MAIZECRP / Report / Research / Soils / Tigray

The value of systems research—reflections from Africa RISING partners

In this blog post, some of the key Africa RISING partners share their views on the value of a farming systems research approach and Africa RISING’s contribution in this regard. Continue reading

Africa / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / Crops / Ethiopia / Extension / Fertilizer / Ghana / ICARDA / ICRISAT / IITA / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Intensification / Livestock / LIVESTOCKCRP / MAIZECRP / Mali / NRM / Report / Scaling / Tanzania / Value Chains / Zambia

Africa RISING Phase I—what it took, what it gave, our proudest achievements

Through the voices of seven Africa RISING implementing partners from Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Tanzania and Zambia; we get insights about what it took to implement Africa RISING phase I in different contexts and countries, what the first phase of the program gave to the farmers and global knowledge community (outputs), and some of the partner’s proudest achievements from working in the project over the years. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / IITA / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Malawi / MSU

Malawi RISING: a photo report of project activities during the 2017/18 cropping season

The Africa RISING East and Southern Africa (ESA) project management team led by the project manager, Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon, the ESA project chief scientist, Mateete Bekunda and implementing partners recently visited different project sites in Malawi. The three-day visit reviewed implementation of project activities and assessed how farmers were applying the technologies promoted by Africa RISING. … Continue reading

Crops / Drylands / ICRISAT / IITA / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Mali / West Africa

‘Contour bunding’ preserves soils and boosts farmers’ incomes by 20% in Mali

A team of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) scientists in Mali have found that ‘contour bunding’, a technique that helps retain soil moisture and nutrients while preventing erosion brings as much as a 20% increase in net income. Continue reading

Africa / Event / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Scaling / SIIL

Africa RISING, SIIL and SIMLESA hold joint learning event on sustainable intensification and farming systems research in agriculture

Africa RISING, Feed the Future Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab and SIMLESA exchange ideas, lessons learnt and set collaboration targets for work in sustainable intensification and farming systems research in agriculture Continue reading

Extension / Fall Army Worm / Intensification / Maize / MAIZECRP / nafaka / Pests / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Africa RISING–NAFAKA Project trains government extension staff and farmers in Tanzania on fall army worm management

More than 250 government extension staff and more than 40 lead farmers from Tanzania’s southern highlands have been trained by the Africa RISING – NAFAKA Project on fall armyworm management. Continue reading

CIAT / Extension / Fertilizer / Forages / Gender / IITA / Intensification / Irrigation / Livestock / MAIZECRP / SARI / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Technologies that transform: A look at select Africa RISING interventions in Babati District, Tanzania

Africa RISING is implementing action research with farmers in Babati District, Tanzania to validate several technologies that are set to significantly improve farmer livelihoods. Here is a look at summaries of some of these technologies and how they work. Continue reading

Capacity strengthening / Crops / East Africa / Ethiopia / Event / Fruit / ILRI / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Pests / Tigray / Trees

Africa RISING Ethiopia organized a training on apple and mango production in Tigray, Ethiopia

In the past few decades, apple farming in the Tigray highlands has expanded significantly since the introduction of apple trees to the region’s woredas by the Tigray regional Office of Agriculture and non-governmental organizations. The fruit trees were introduced to diversify the nutrition and income sources of the region’s smallholder farmers. Continue reading

IITA / Intensification / MAIZECRP / nafaka / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Africa RISING–NAFAKA partnership benefits over 50k households in Tanzania, exceeding targets

The Africa RISING-NAFAKA partnership project has benefited over 50,000 rural smallholder households in Tanzania with integrated packages of improved agricultural technologies. A further 58,000 hectares of farm land has been put under the improved technologies or management practices promoted by  project. In both cases the intervention has exceeded the targets that were set when it was unveiled in 2014! Continue reading

IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / LIVESTOCK-FISH / MAIZECRP / Report / Roundup

Which ones did you read and download?Africa RISING’s most popular online products and resources in 2017

As the curtain falls on 2017; here at Africa RISING we can only look back and say, “what a a great year”! Sure it was one heck of a roller coaster, but we enjoyed the ride. You our dear online followers, the global knowledge community that we are a part of and endeavor to always serve made the year fabulous through constant engagement with the numerous material we published on our platforms. Some of these materials really seemed to have resonated quite positively with you. That is if the numbers of hits to the website, downloads and page views are to be believed.  Continue reading

Africa / Impact Assessment / Intensification / MAIZECRP / SIIL

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on SI publishes new sustainable intensification assessment framework

The sustainable intensification assessment framework is an initiative of the Africa-RISING project which develops and recommends metrics and indicators for measuring sustainable intensification under five critical determinants of project sustainability —productivity, economic, environment, human condition and social domains. Continue reading

Africa / Event / IITA / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Soils / WUR

The renaissance of farming systems research in Africa

Agricultural research in Africa suffers from trends and fashions that often distract from the central goal of enhancing the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Farming systems research (FSR) played a central role in the late 1980s in revealing the constraints faced by farmers in implementing technologies such as alley cropping. Continue reading

Capacity strengthening / CapDev / East Africa / Ethiopia / Extension / ILRI / MAIZECRP / Scaling / Value Chains

Toolkits developed to support Africa RISING partners’ capacities in Ethiopia

The Africa RISING project in collaboration with the Capacity Development Unit of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), has  developed a scaling strategy and capacity development toolkits that will synthesize and integrate the project’s thinking and approaches to enhance the scaling up the capacity of its partners. Continue reading

AVRDC / East Africa / IITA / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Nutrition / Scaling / Tanzania / Vegetables

Tanzania farmers embrace vegetable farming to access more high-value markets and improve nutrition

Since 2013, Africa RISING has been working with over 6,000 smallholder farmers in seven districts across Tanzania to promote and mainstream vegetable production as a complementary agricultural production activity in the largely maize-dominated farming systems. The results of this work are now manifest as more farmers are turning to vegetable production for better nutrition and as a viable agri-business alternative with great potential for income generation. Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / Gender / IITA / Intensification / Livestock / MAIZECRP / Malawi / Report / Southern Africa / Women

Unravelling links between gender and adoption of agricultural innovations: Insights from communities in Malawi

How do gender dynamics influence adoption of agricultural innovations? A new Africa RISING report shares findings from an exploration of this and other questions with smallholder farmers in central Malawi. Continue reading

Africa / Brief / Gender / IITA / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Research / Scaling / Value Chains / Women

Africa RISING guidelines for capturing gender-sensitive stories in agricultural research and development

Africa RISING has developed  guidelines for capturing gender-sensitive stories. The guidelines focus on gender-aware selection of sources, stories and visual material, the elimination of stereotypes and the use of fair language. Continue reading

Africa / CIAT / IFPRI / IITA / Intensification / MAIZECRP / nafaka / Report / Research / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

How novel use of GIS tools is helping Africa RISING – NAFAKA project in Tanzania to scale-out technologies in locations where they have the best chance to flourish

A research paper published recently in the July 2017 edition of the Land Use Policy Journal has generated a considerable amount of interest after it showed the potential of geospatial tools in supporting evidence-based scaling of sustainable agricultural intensification technologies in Tanzania through the work of IITA-led Africa RISING̶ NAFAKA project. Continue reading

Amhara / Capacity strengthening / Crops / East Africa / Ethiopia / Event / Fruit / ICRAF / ILRI / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Scaling

Training offers skills for scaling up apple farming in North Shewa, Ethiopia

Africa RISING in collaboration with the private Faji Apple farm in Debre Birhan organized a series of training sessions on apple production and management for scaling-up partners in North Shewa Zone, Amhara region in July 2017. Continue reading

Capacity strengthening / CIAT / Extension / Gender / IITA / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / MAIZECRP / SARI / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Empowering agricultural extension agents to deliver improved farming technologies

The Africa RISING project team is taking improved technologies to scale targeting thousands of farmers beyond the communities where the validation was done. This wider focus is changing how the project team is going about the business of agricultural extension. Continue reading

ARI Dakawa / Event / Extension / IITA / Intensification / MAIZECRP / nafaka / Research / Rice / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Africa RISING-NAFAKA scaling model praised for enhancing research‒extension linkages by Tanzania’s Minister of Agriculture

The Africa RISING-NAFAKA project’s model for scaling and disseminating improved technologies has been lauded as ‘exemplary’ and the kind of approach needed to ensure sustainability of improved agricultural interventions for farmers by Tanzania’s Minister of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries, Hon Dr Charles Tizeba. Continue reading

Event / IITA / Intensification / Legumes / MAIZECRP / Malawi / MSU / Nutrition / Southern Africa / Value Chains

Partners map out transition plans for Africa RISING-led Malawi INVC Bridging Activity Project

On 29 – 30 June 2017, Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains (INVC) Bridging Activity Project partners met in Lilongwe to review implementation progress and discuss transition from the Bridging Activity to the Agricultural Diversification for Incomes and Nutrition (ADIN) Project. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / Event / ICRAF / ICRISAT / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / LIVESTOCKCRP / MAIZECRP / Research

Ethiopia learning alliance to support sustainable agricultural intensification

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. Continue reading

Event / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Intensification / M&E / MAIZECRP / Participation / PCT / Research / SAG / Scaling / Tanzania

Advisory group re-formed to spearhead science for development in Africa RISING

The newly-formed Science Advisory Group (SAG) was formed for the first time in Africa RISING’s phase I at a meeting that brought together SAG members, most of the program coordination team and the people championing four of the Africa RISING communities of practice. Continue reading

Ghana / IFPRI / IITA / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Nutrition / West Africa

How Africa RISING interventions affecting production diversity and dietary quality

This evidence brief presents findings from a study that investigated whether on-farm diversity and the production of nutrient-rich crops and livestock by-products contribute to improvements in dietary diversity and micronutrient intake in households. It also evaluated the early effects of the Africa RISING project on crop production and dietary diversity of beneficiaries. Continue reading

Aflatoxins / Ghana / Groundnuts / IITA / Intensification / Maize / MAIZECRP / poster / Research / West Africa

Aflasafe products tested in Ghana for aflatoxin control in maize and groundnut

With support from the Africa RISING project, a management strategy using biocontrol products containing native atoxigenic A. flavus fungi to reduce crop aflatoxin content has been developed for use in Ghana by IITA and partners. When products are applied at the right crop development stage, the atoxigenic fungi competitively displace aflatoxin-producers residing in treated fields and, in so doing, crop aflatoxin content is reduced. Continue reading

Brief / IFPRI / LIVESTOCKCRP / M&E / MAIZECRP / Research / Southern Africa / West Africa

Lessons from web-based monitoring and data management in Africa RISING

Over the last four years, Africa RISING has generated a huge amount of data through agronomic trials, household surveys, and focus group discussions. With so much information, it is crucial that data is properly stored and made accessible to researchers and non-researchers alike. In phase I of the program, a web-based Project Mapping and Monitoring Tool (PMMT) was deployed and used by the project team to complement offline monitoring activities. What were the lessons learnt by the team when using this tool? Continue reading

Brief / Groundnuts / Maize / MAIZECRP / 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 / MAIZECRP / 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 / CIAT / East Africa / Fertilizer / IITA / Intensification / Maize / MAIZECRP / poster / SARI / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Pushing back against fertilizer use myth in northern Tanzania

In Babati District, northern Tanzania, a popular but misleading myth persists. That use of inorganic fertilizer ‘kills’ the soil. For several years, majority of farmers in the district have desisted from use of fertilizer to replenish depleted soil nutrients. Africa RISING researchers have for the past five years, invested significant resources and effort to dispel this myth. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / ICRAF / IITA / Intensification / Legumes / Maize / MAIZECRP / 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

Africa / Animal Feeding / East Africa / Fodder / Forages / Gender / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / Livestock / LIVESTOCKCRP / MAIZECRP / poster / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Gender implications of introducing forage chopper machines in northern Tanzania

In 2015, livestock scientists implementing Africa RISING research-in-development activities (R-in-D) introduced forage chopper machines in seven villages in Babati District, northern Tanzania. One year later (in 2016), social scientists evaluated the gender implications of the new processing practices among farmers’ groups. Continue reading

East Africa / IITA / Intensification / MAIZECRP / 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 / MAIZECRP / 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

Africa / Climate change / Ghana / ICRISAT / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Mali / NRM / poster / Research / Water / West Africa

Shallow wells cushion smallholders in Mali and Ghana from the effects of climate variability

Africa RISING scientists from ICRISAT implemented a small scale pilot study in the semi-arid regions of southern Mali and northern Ghana to evaluate the impacts of climate variability at different scales (farm to watershed), using newly setup hydro-meteorological stations and hydrological modelling tools. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Extension / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / LIVESTOCKCRP / MAIZECRP / Participation / Research / Southern Africa / West Africa

Innovation and R4D platforms in Africa RISING: questioning sustainability

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. Continue reading

Ghana / Intensification / MAIZECRP / Mali / Presentation

In pictures: Africa RISING West Africa review and planning meeting 2017

Africa RISING West Africa project partners recently took part in the 2017 review and planning meeting, which reviewed phase I outputs, achievements and lessons learnt, discuss phase II proposal and implementation guidelines, and reviewed a pre-developed project log frame
Draft 2017 work plans. Continue reading

Africa / Event / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / LIVESTOCKCRP / MAIZECRP / PCT / Research / Scaling

Connecting research-in-development dots and investing in dynamic scaling pathways – Africa RISING phase2 kicks off with science for impact event

What’s new in Africa RISING? What are the intrinsic changes to the DNA of the program? How will the project achieve these high impact developmental objectives? Does the project completely shift its focus from research to development? Continue reading

Africa / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / LIVESTOCKCRP / MAIZECRP / Research

Africa RISING aims to move from common conversations to communities of practice

One of the main ‘program-wide’ changes in the second phase of Africa RISING is the institutionalisation of ‘communities of practice’ (CoPs). Five initial pilot CoPs were officially launched at the first science meeting of Africa RISING phase 2, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania between 17 & 19 January 2017. Continue reading