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

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

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

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

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Participation / Research / Scaling / SLS / Value Chains

Africa RISING partnerships increase scaling out of agricultural technologies in Ethiopia

The final innovation platform meetings in all four regions where Africa RISING is present in Ethiopia took place in June and July 2016. These meetings offer a chance to look back at some of the achievements, issues and questions around the project and its upscaling efforts. Experiences from the platform meetings show that promising scaling up activities are taking place with strong support from partners. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / ILRIComms / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / NRM / Research / Social Learning

Social learning for farming systems – Insights from Africa RISING in Ethiopia

Addressing the question of how to sustainably intensify farming systems can benefit from collaborative and iterative social learning processes. This post reflects on what Africa RISING is doing and could do to strengthen social learning, based on interviews with program staff. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Oromia / Potato / SLS

Africa RISING Ethiopia local partners join hands to scale farmer-preferred technologies

Since 2013, the Africa RISING project in Sinana district (woreda) has engaged local partners in its research for development interventions in two villages (kebeles) to test and evaluate technologies that work best in the local context, identify innovations preferred by farmers and support scaling up within and beyond the woreda. Continue reading

AVRDC / Capacity strengthening / ICRAF / ICRISAT / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Mali / West Africa

Innovation platforms and technology parks to boost technology uptake launched in southern Mali

Two innovation platforms (IPs) and two technology parks were launched recently in southern Mali. The IPs aim to facilitate knowledge sharing while the technology parks will provide infrastructure for farmers and agriculture students. Continue reading

Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Participation / SLS

Measuring innovation platform contributions through participatory monitoring and evaluation

It has not easy to measure innovation platforms (IPs) contribution to research and development outcomes. From ILRI’s experience, the complex nature of issues that IPs try to address and the more emphasis given to effective integration of IPs into the research process, rather than evaluating their contribution to intervention outcomes, have contributed to an information gap. Continue reading

Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Scaling / SLS

Innovation platforms – scaling research findings in Lemo, Ethiopia

The 2nd Lemo woreda Innovation platform (IP) meeting was held on 19th Feb 2015 in Hosanna, the capital of the woreda. The focus of the meeting was to share the findings of the action research the project carried out in 2014 to local partners for potential scaling up. 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

Crop-Livestock / Event / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ICRAF / ICRISAT / IITA / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information

International Conference calls for integrated systems research for sustainable intensification in smallholder agriculture

Agricultural scientists and researchers from over 30 nations gather today at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria, for the International Conference on Integrated Systems for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, which lasts through March 6. Continue reading

CIMMYT / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / India / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Research / South Asia / Trip Report / Value Chains

A photo trip report from the Africa RISING – CSISA cross learning exchange

Technical leads of the Africa RISING project in West Africa, East and Southern Africa and Ethiopia took part in a cross learning exchange on sustainable intensification from 28 January to 4 February 2015. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / SLS / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Innovation platforms in Africa RISING: Theory and practice

In Africa RISING, innovation platforms are one of the mechanisms of ensuring research is put into use and actually contributes to solving real problems that are based on a real demand. Here is an overview of the theory, practice and perspectives around innovation platforms in the program. Continue reading

Event / Extension / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Tanzania’s Babati District R4D platform sets priorities for 2015

The leadership committee of Tanzania’s Babati District research for development (R4D) platform, JUMBA (Jukwaa la Utafiti kwa Maendeleo wilaya ya Babati) recently held a two-day retreat to refine its constitution, vision and mission and to develop and prioritize JUMBA activities for 2015. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / SLS

Guidelines to establish innovation platforms with Africa RISING partners in Ethiopia

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. Continue reading

Crops / Drylands / Food safety / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Mali / NRM / Research / Soils / Value Chains / Water / West Africa / Women

Call for MSc Candidates – Africa RISING Mali

The Africa RISING program in Mali is looking to recruit two MSc Candidates from West Africa to join the team and contribute to ongoing activities. The program is currently working on establishing two research hubs (in Bougouni and Koutiala) in an effort to integrate multiple activities to achieve the overall objectives of the research program. Natural … Continue reading

Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Southern Africa / Tanzania

R4D platform promotes technology adoption in Babati District, Tanzania

Research-for-Development platform by Africa RISING in Babati District, Tanzania is stimulating learning and innovation about productivity, nutrition as well as opening up business possibilities for farmers within the locality. Continue reading

Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / SLS

Africa RISING partners in Ethiopia trained on innovation platform facilitation, coordination and M&E

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. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / SLS

Building local capacity to innovate: tools, methods and approaches for effective innovation platforms in Ethiopia

Innovation Platforms (IPs) have been established at Africa RISING research sites to bring together key local stakeholders to support integrated approaches to strengthen farming systems. These platforms help members to jointly conduct participatory research that identifies technologies and management practices that work for farmers. Continue reading

Africa / Event / HUMIDTROPICS / Innovation Systems / Knowledge and Information

Africa RISING learning event puts typologies, innovation systems and program framework under the lens

The second Africa RISING program learning event brought together over 65 staff and partners in Arusha, Tanzania, from 11-12 November 2014. They shared lessons and ideas to improve farm typology work, innovation systems and platforms, and dust off the program framework to gear it towards serious scaling up for the remaining two years. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Knowledge and Information / SLS / Women

Africa RISING Ethiopia project identifies gender ‘champions’

Following the recent workshop on ‘Integrating Gender into Agricultural Programming’, the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands has decided to engage ‘gender champions’ to raise gender awareness, cultivate gender equity and ensure sustainability of gender work in the project. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Research

Training on commodity-based innovation platforms enhances understanding of concepts key to Africa RISING success

Recently, several CGIAR staff and national partners from the Africa RISING project and the Humidtropics Program in Ethiopia travelled to Kisumu, Kenya (from 22-27 June 2014) to attend a training organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) on how to set up and operate innovation platforms (IPs). Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Photofilm / Story Type / Trip Report

Farmer research groups identified by Ethiopia RISING in Sinana woreda, Ethiopia

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. Continue reading

Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Knowledge and Information / SLS

Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands establishes strategic and operational innovation platforms

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). Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information

Africa RISING establishes local innovation platforms in the Ethiopia highlands

In the past few months, the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands has initiated the the establishment of local innovation platforms in each of its four sites. The start-up process has been documented in a series of short photo ‘trip’ reports. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / Forestry / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information

Innovation platforms to improve the productivity of mixed farming systems in Ethiopia

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. Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Africa RISING establishes a partnership platform to facilitate uptake and adoption of innovations by farmers in Babati District, Tanzania

The partners of the Africa RISING project and the Babati District Council have launched the Babati District Research for Development (R4D) platform to facilitate the uptake of the project’s innovations in the district. Babati District in Northern Tanzania is one of the three district the project is working in in Tanzania. The platform will help in setting priorities for the research and ensure sustainability of the project. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Babati R4D platform: Great expectations

After launching of the Babati District Research for Development (R4D) platform the Africa RISING partners and beneficiaries have high expectations of the the platform and those selected to the Platform’s Committee to represent various stakeholders have very clear ideas on their roles. The platform was well appreciated and many feel it will play a key role in pushing for the adoption of the new innovations and technologies generated by the project’s research. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Knowledge and Information / Oromia / Photofilm / SLS / Trip Report

Innovation Platforms established by Africa RISING in Sinana woreda, Ethiopia

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. Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Participation / Research / SLS

Challenges and opportunities in participatory agricultural research

This post was drafted by Terry Clayton based on contributions by Beth Cullen (ILRI) at the Participatory Agricultural Research: Approaches, Design and Evaluation (PARADE) workshop held in Oxford from 9-13 December 2013. In his keynote address at the PARADE workshop, Professor Paul Sillitoe offered insights into how theory informs practice. Beth Cullen’s presentation on day … Continue reading

CIAT / HUMIDTROPICS / Innovation Systems / Participation / Research

Participatory action research can add value to CGIAR’s agronomic research

Agricultural research is still seen primarily as research in plant, animal and soil science that affects crop production. The social, economic, and political bases of crop production and land management have most often taken a back seat to the design of technical interventions. Participatory research is still seen as an ‘add on’ after the ‘real’ research has been completed. Farming systems research and Robert Chambers’ work on ‘putting farmers first’ created an impact, but participatory approaches are still marginal within agronomic research. How do we change that? Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / Innovation Systems / Participation / Research

Theory key to gain wider acceptance of participatory agricultural research methods

What must we do to gain wider acceptance of participatory agricultural research methods within the mainstream of the CGIAR system and beyond? Professor Paul Sillitoe (Department of Anthropology, Durham University) believes the answer to the question will in no small part depend on addressing some of the deep-seated contradictions within development discourse. In his opening keynote, Professor Sillitoe outlined the deeply entrenched incongruities that PAR practitioners must resolve, or at least acknowledge. The list is long (17 points in all), which underscores how deeply conflicted our discourse is. Continue reading