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

Unraveling 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

Climate change / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Irrigation / IWMI / Report / SNNPR / Vegetables / Water / WLE

Water management knowledge key in small-scale irrigation development

This report shares findings from a study by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the Africa RISING program team which evaluated suitable water lifting and on-farm water management technologies for the irrigation of vegetables and fodder in Lemo District, Ethiopia. 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 (science advisory group) / 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

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

Animal Feeding / East Africa / Ethiopia / Feeds / Fodder / ILRI / Intensification / Livestock / LIVESTOCKCRP / Lucerne / Oromia / SLS

Tree lucerne a promising animal feed option for Ethiopia farmers

Tree lucerne is a key supplementary feed for ruminant animals and is an important source of protein for animal fattening and milk production and can be mixed with other livestock feeds including those based on crop residues or hay. Continue reading

Ethiopia / Gender / ILRI / Intensification / LIVESTOCKCRP / Participation / PIL / Research / Scaling / Women

Integrating gender into Africa RISING scaling activities

Failing to take into account gender differences in needs, preferences, roles and responsibilities, access to and control of resources (such as labour, inputs, credit, and land), and power imbalances can limit the reach and scale of Africa RISING technologies. 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

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / Cowpea / DRYLANDSCRP / 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 / DRYLANDSCRP / 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 / DRYLANDSCRP / 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

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / LIVESTOCKCRP / PIL / Research / SLS / Women

Gender-based constraints and opportunities to agricultural intensification in Ethiopia

This literature review employs a community capital’s framework to provide a holistic perspective of the stock and interaction between the capitals required by men and women farmers for effective engagement in agricultural intensification. The review was was validated by male and female farmers in four regions of Ethiopia. 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

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / 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 / DRYLANDSCRP / 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

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Research / SLS

Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands lessons from Phase I

During phase I, the project has learned a number of lessons in Ethiopia that will be key to designing an effective phase II that will generate development impacts at scale. These include issues around partnerships, capacity development, research management, budget utilization and specific approaches to exploratory and action research. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / LIVESTOCKCRP / Research / Scaling / SLS

More scaling, less research – Africa RISING project in Ethiopia looks forward to Phase II

To set plans and priorities for phase 2, in November 2016 the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands organized a two days review and planning meeting to look back phase I outputs and achievements, provide an overview of the phase II project and approach, review and refine scaling proposals from phase I, and discuss implementation processes for Phase II. Continue reading

East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Impact Assessment / Intensification / poster / Postharvest / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Economic evaluation of an improved grain storage technology in Tanzania

Insights from an economic evaluation of Africa RISING post-harvest technology (Purdue Improved Crop Storage bags) in Tanzania reveal how much farmers are benefitting by adopting the improved storage bags over the conventional storage options. Continue reading

East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Maize / nafaka / poster / Rice / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Taking agricultural technologies to scale: The Africa RISING-NAFAKA partnership in Tanzania

In 2014, Africa RISING partnered with the USAID-funded NAFAKA project in Tanzania to scale-out best-bet technologies among smallholder farmers. Currently in its third year, the project, which also incorporates several community-based actors, has achieved great success. This poster provides an inside look at what it takes to make these kind of partnerships tick and the key lessons learnt from this nascent project. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Fertilizer / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Maize / nafaka / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Improved agricultural technologies for improved livelihoods in Tanzania

How switching to improved agricultural technologies like hybrid maize varieties and application of bladed fertilizers catalyzed a young female farmer’s dramatic rise from an off-season casual laborer to a champion farmer in rural Tanzania. Continue reading

Africa / Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / Dairying / East Africa / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Livestock / Research / SLS / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Africa RISING making a FEAST for cattle in Babati District, Northern Tanzania

Originally published in Forages for the Future Newsletter, issue 3, December 2016 Livestock in Tanzania are largely underfed with farmers meeting only 65% of feed needs in a year, under best conditions. Farm areas with crops range from 0.3 to 0.7 ha, while the area committed to forages is <0.04 ha. Grazing areas are overgrazed … Continue reading

CIAT / CIMMYT / CIP / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ICRAF / ICRISAT / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / Research / SLS / SNNPR

Ethiopian farmers are intensifying and integrating Africa RISING interventions in a stepwise fashion

Seventeen core action-oriented interventions have been introduced by the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia and validated under diverse socioeconomic and agro-ecological conditions. Over the years, researchers engaged participating farmers to test options adjusted to the needs of households with differing capacities, approaches to risk and levels of resource endowment. This allowed farmers to select interventions based on their interest and priorities. Between 2012 and 2016, farmers were involved in the selection and validation of the project interventions in a stepwise and iterative manner. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / Fruit / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / ILRI / Intensification / SLS / SNNPR / Trees

Beyond adoption – fruit farmers in Ethiopia are innovating with their Africa RISING technologies

The Africa RISING project in Ethiopia has been promoting improved high-value fruit trees, such as improved avocado and apple varieties. Take up has been good, but is constrained by technical issues as well as limited local seedling supplies. Farmers have adopted the new varieties; some are also innovating themselves to address some of the challenges they encountered. Continue reading

Climate change / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / Intensification / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Kongwa District Council and Africa RISING rally to fight hunger in rural Tanzania

The Africa RISING project in Tanzania recently got merited recognition by the Kongwa District Council as a project that provides farmers with practical improved agricultural technologies that can be applied to fight hunger in the District. 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

Capacity strengthening / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Women

Bridging the know-do gap: Annotated bibliography of gender in agriculture for Africa RISING project partners

This annotated bibliography of gender learning resources will ensure that project partners can at a glance find information and links to selected open access documents addressing particular topics of interest to them on gender in agriculture. Continue reading

CIP / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Nutrition / Vegetables

Agricultural pathways to improved nutrition in the Ethiopian highlands: dietary practices

Poor diets, inappropriate feeding practices and disease are primary causes of maternal and child under-nutrition. Dietary diversity is an important element of dietary quality, a strong predictor of micronutrient adequacy and overall nutrition status. Continue reading

Amhara / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Irrigation / IWMI / NRM / Report / Water

Mush irrigation scheme in Ethiopia provides opportunities for improved crop and water management

An assessment of the Mush Irrigation Scheme in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia was conducted in 2015 to evaluate its operations and efficiency and assess potential cropping and water management alternatives for potato, fodder and other cultivated crops. Continue reading

Africa / Crop-Livestock / Drylands / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Livestock / Mali / NRM / Participation / Research / SLS / Video / West Africa

Conventions locales de gestion des ressources naturelles: schema pastoral au sud du Mali

En Afrique de l’Ouest, comme dans la plupart des pays d’Afrique Sub-Sahélienne, les ressources naturelles constituent la base de la vie quotidienne des hommes, particulièrement pour les pauvres qui dans la majorité des cas vivent dans le milieu rural où leur moyens de subsistances dépendent presque exclusivement des activités agricoles et de l’élevage. 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

Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Feeds / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Indigenous Breeds / Intensification / poster / Poultry / SLS / Southern Africa

Characterization of local chicken production and management systems in Babati, Tanzania

This poster, produced for the Tropentag 2016 conference, highlights a study that generated fundamental information for improved nutritional management in rural chicken production in Tanzania. 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

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Livestock / poster / SLS / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Intensification of smallholder livestock production through utilization of crop residues for livestock feed in Tanzania

This poster, produced for the Tropentag 2016 conference, explains findings from studies which characterized the use of crop residues for livestock feed as an option for enhancing intensification in smallholder farms in Bahati District in Tanzania. Continue reading

AVRDC / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Interview / Poultry / Tanzania / Vegetables

Monica Paschal: portrait of a successful vegetable and poultry farmer

Monica Paschal is a 48-year-old farmer and a mother of five. She has been involved in small-scale farming for 27 years and refers to herself as ‘mkulima wa kujikimu’ (Swahili for smallholder/subsistence farmer).

‘The past three years have been the most satisfying to me as a farmer because I have been able to gradually transform my farming from subsistence to a profitable mini-enterprise which has enabled me to Continue reading

Animal Feeding / East Africa / Ethiopia / Fodder / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Irrigation / IWMI / Livestock / Research / Scaling / SLS / SNNPR / WLE

Irrigated fodder opportunities for small-scale farmers in Ethiopia

Africa RISING and the Innovation Laboratory for Small Scale Irrigation (ILSSI) funded by USAID under FtF, are partnering with the Livestock and Irrigation Value Chain for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES) project funded by Global Affairs Canada to evaluate irrigated fodder in Ethiopia. Continue reading

DRYLANDSCRP / 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

Capacity strengthening / CIP / East Africa / Ethiopia / Extension / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Nutrition / Research / SLS

Integrating nutrition into Ethiopian farming systems – nutrition manual for community workers

Developed by the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), the International Potato Center (CIP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), this manual aims to build the knowledge and skills of health and agriculture workers in nutrition-sensitive agriculture so that they can promote health and agricultural and other related practices that maximize nutritional benefits. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Cowpea / DRYLANDSCRP / Intensification / Legumes / Maize / Southern Africa / Soybean / Zimbabwe

Are conservation agriculture systems good options for smallholders in Zimbabwe?

A multi-locational study in Zimbabwe aimed to determine the effect of four tillage systems on maize, cowpea and soybean yields, and evaluate the economic performance of the conservation agriculture (CA) systems relative to conventional plowing. 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

DRYLANDSCRP / 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

Africa / CIP / East Africa / Ethiopia / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Potato / SLS / SNNPR / Women

I aspire to increase my productivity and run a profitable restaurant – Tadelech Lachemo

Mrs Tadelech Lachemo took part in Africa RISING”s potato seed multiplication training in June 2014. She received 7 quintals of the improved (Gudene) potato variety – the variety was selected based on preferences expressed during an Africa RISING field day. Continue reading

CIAT / Climate change / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / NRM / Soils

Africa RISING, the climate-smart way to restore soils in Ethiopia

An article in the CIAT annual report 2015-2016 explains how the Integrated Landscape Management component of the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia is generating data to advise communities about better land and water management practices, to protect the whole landscape. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / SLS

Africa RISING Ethiopia reviews progress and plans for 2016 and beyond

Earlier this month, the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands organised its annual review and planning meeting. On the agenda: Reviewing progress in 2015, discussing future plans. Around 60 participants representing CGIAR partners, national and local government representatives, non-government, universities and the private sector attended. Continue reading

Amhara / CIAT / CIMMYT / CIP / Ethiopia / Field Day / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ICRAF / ICRISAT / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / Oromia / SNNPR / Tigray

End of season field days in Ethiopia zoom in on promising interventions

Africa RISING project has been organizing several field days since 2013 for a range of participants at its 4 sites and 8 research kebeles. The project had organized mid-season, end season and larger field days to demonstrate its on-farm research interventions, get feedback from participating and non-participating farmers and other local and CGIAR partners. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Cowpea / DRYLANDSCRP / 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

AVRDC / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Interview / Nutrition / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Vegetables

RISING voices: Cornel Massawe, nematologist at Tengeru Horticultural and Training Institute, Tanzania

Cornel Massawe, nematologist at Tengeru Horticultural and Training Institute (HORTI Tengeru), introduces himself and his work with the Africa RISING – NAFAKA technology scaling project in Tanzania. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Geodata / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Interview / Southern Africa / Tanzania

RISING voices: Francis Muthoni, GIS specialist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Tanzania

Francis Muthoni, geographic information system specialist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Arusha, introduces himself and his work with the program. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Crop Residues / Crop-Livestock / DRYLANDSCRP / 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 / DRYLANDSCRP / 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 / DRYLANDSCRP / 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 / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Interview / Maize / Southern Africa / Tanzania

RISING Voices: Bright Jumbo, maize molecular breeder at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Kenya

MacDonald Bright Jumbo, Maize Molecular Breeder at International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in Nairobi , introduces himself and his work in the Africa RISING program. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING. Continue reading

Ethiopia / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Scaling / SLS / Tigray

Africa RISING Endamehoni site showcases good practices in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

Africa RISING Endamehoni site has been identified as one of the best practice site from Tigray region. In a visit that was organized as part of the Tigray region farmers’ festival and experience exchange the team identified Africa RISING Endamehoni site as one of the best practice site from Tigray region. Continue reading

CIMMYT / DRYLANDSCRP / 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

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Participation / Report / Research / SLS

Engaging with farmers: Experiences from Africa RISING in the Ethiopian Highlands

Since 2012 , Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands engaged quite a number of farmers (men, women and youth) in all the research processes including diagnosis, participation of different on-farm research trials, demonstration and evaluation, decision making and capacity building activities through different approaches. Continue reading

Brief / CIAT / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Potato / SLS / Value Chains

Demand-oriented production key to sustainable and effective potato value chains in Ethiopia

A recent addition to the Ethiopian diet, the potato—unlike cereals—has a short crop cycle, and, therefore, could substantially improve the incomes and livelihoods of producers, traders and other actors in the potato value chain. However, the value chain is generally underdeveloped. Continue reading

Brief / CIAT / East Africa / Ethiopia / Faba bean / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Legumes / Potato / Seeds / SLS / Value Chains / Wheat

Bringing wheat, potato and faba bean seeds to market in the Ethiopian Highlands

In Ethiopia, seed systems for potato, wheat and faba beans are dominated by state entities, such as government bureaus and national, regional and locally-based research centres, local farmer cooperatives and cooperative unions. There are also some individual seed producers. An important function of research institutes is to produce and supply pre-basic and basic seeds. Continue reading

Brief / CIAT / East Africa / Ethiopia / Faba bean / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / SLS / Value Chains

Adding value in a changing world: Mechanizing small scale faba bean processing in Ethiopia

Faba beans are a major pulse crop important in the Ethiopian diet. The bean is a major source of protein for urban and rural dwellers. Various traditional faba bean dishes such as ‘full’ and ‘shuro wot’ are eaten at breakfast and dinner. A common component of family diets, faba bean demand is high, potentially offering farmers a significant source of income. Continue reading

Brief / CIP / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Nutrition / SLS

Pathways to improved nutrition in the Ethiopian highlands: Policy and institutional issues

Despite encouraging progress in strengthening nutrition policies and improving nutritional outcomes, under-nutrition remains a significant public health problem in Ethiopia; in 2014, stunting, wasting and underweight of children under five were estimated at 40%, 20% and 9% (Ethiopian Mini Demographic and Health Survey 2014). Continue reading

Brief / CIP / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Nutrition / SLS

Pathways to improved nutrition in the Ethiopian highlands: Do agricultural production systems address nutrition?

The food production system is an important part of nutrition; it includes the production, availability, access and desirability of food. It largely determines traditional consumption practices and shapes diets. So far, Ethiopia has made remarkable progress in addressing food insecurity through strong policies and multi-sectorial approaches at national level. Continue reading

Brief / CIAT / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Research / SLS / Value Chains / Wheat

Upgrading wheat grain quality along the value chain in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the second largest wheat producing country in Africa after South Africa. Wheat is a major grain crop grown for consumption and sale and demand for wheat quality products in Ethiopia is growing, particularly during fasting periods,creating opportunities for increased wheat production. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / West Africa

Why farmers adopt sustainable intensification practices in Ghana

So what factors influence whether farmers will adopt new sustainable intensification practices? And what is their impact ? A recent study by Africa RISING in northern Ghana found that farmers are primarily influenced by seven factors in adopting agricultural technologies. 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

Brief / CIAT / CIP / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / ILRI / Intensification / SLS

Briefs document emerging results from Africa RISING projects

The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands recently organized a writeshop to heklp researchers document and generate results and evidence from their work. As well as making progress on several articles, participants produced several ‘evidence’ briefs. Continue reading

Africa / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Livestock / Pigs / Research / West Africa

Rural pig rearing survey unlocks intensification pathways in northern Ghana

Researchers from the University for Development Studies and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology conducted a baseline survey to identify key factors that affect pig rearing and prospects for intensification and integration with crop production. Continue reading

CIAT / East Africa / Fertilizer / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / NRM / Soils / Tanzania

Photo story: Busting soil myths in Tanzania

Farmers know that soil is a precious commodity. But in Babati District, northern Tanzania, a long held belief that mineral fertilizers spoils soils is preventing them from making informed decisions on how best to keep their soils healthy and increase their yields.Researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Selian Agriculture.Research Institute (SARI) are investigating best-bet fertilizer options and agronomic practices for maize in the region as part of the USAID-funded Africa RISING program. Their work is challenging local beliefs and changing attitudes. Continue reading

Africa / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Livestock / Poultry / Research / West Africa

Rural poultry survey unlocks options for intensification in northern Ghana

Intensive or semi-intensive rearing of improved and unimproved stocks of chickens, guinea fowls, ducks, turkeys and pigeons in relatively small numbers for food (meat, eggs) and cash has potential to reduce poverty, malnutrition and food insecurity among rural and peri-urban farm families. 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

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

East Africa / Ethiopia / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Research / SLS / Women

Africa RISING Ethiopia studies factors enhancing or hindering women farmers’ participation in agricultural research

In Ethiopia, the number of women engaged in agriculture is increasing as more men withdraw from farming. Although women play a central role in agriculture and family well-being, their roles remains invisible and women farmers’ participation in agricultural research and extension is still very low. Africa RISING recently carried out a study to better understand these issues. 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

Africa / Animal Feeding / Crop Residues / Crop-Livestock / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / West Africa

Crop residues bring in cash and feeds for farmers in northern Ghana – study

Assorted feeds from crop residues such as cowpea hay, groundnut haulms, to agro-industrial by-products (bran of maize, rice and sorghum) and fresh grass are fast becoming big business in northern Ghana. Continue reading

Africa / AfricaRice / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Research / Rice / Tanzania / Value Chains

More yields but less sales: Researchers seek solution to aroma preference conundrum in Tanzania’s rice sector

Preference for aromatic rice by consumers is an open secret in the rice sector in Tanzania. But this preference for a distinct scent in rice could be a root cause of stagnating rice production in the country. Researchers from AfricaRice (through the Africa RISING project) in partnership with a local NGO, NAFAKA, have been implementing activities to find a middle ground for stakeholders involved in the rice value chain in Tanzania. Continue reading

CIMMYT / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification

Two-wheel (single axle) tractors introduced to power agriculture in the highlands of Ethiopia

Learning from the experience of Asian countries such as Bangladesh, CIMMYT (the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre) and its partners are testing small, inexpensive, and easy to maintain two-wheel (single axle) tractors in the Ethiopian Highlands, thanks to the support of the Africa RISING (Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation) project funded by USAID (United States Agency for International Development).

Continue reading

CIAT / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Irrigation / NRM / Research / Tanzania / Water

Strategic management of natural resources: A watery perspective

In northern Tanzania, failed rains and drying streams mean the main source of livelihood – agriculture – is under serious threat. In a bid to buffer smallholder farmers from erratic rainfall CIAT, through the Africa RISING project, is carrying out research into sustainable water management in the country. Continue reading