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

Diversification with cowpea provides new opportunities for smallholders in Zambia

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

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

Good agriculture practices―low hanging fruits for Zambian farmers

Good agriculture practices (GAPs) are the low-hanging fruits for extension of new technologies. They are easily adoptable, give farmers an immediate benefit, and help in the gradual shift from traditional plough or hoe-based systems with maize monocropping to more sustainable and adapted ways of agriculture.It is against this background that the Africa RISING project theme on Sustainable Intensification of low input farming Systems has intensified the out scaling of simple component technologies in a mother-and-baby trial approach in three districts of Eastern Province, namely Sinda, Chipata, and Lundazi. Continue reading

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

Conservation agriculture – a system to adapt to climate variability and declining soil fertility in Zambia

Remarkable results are emerging from Africa RISING project activities in Eastern Province of Zambia. More than 20,000 farmers have been exposed to CA by SIMLEZA-Africa RISING, the predecessor project of Africa RISING, which continues to sensitize and train more farmers. Farmers benefitted from increased use of CA technologies by gradually increasing crop yields leading to a solid yield benefit of 117% (1942 kg/ha) in a manually direct seeded maize crop following cowpea as compared with the conventional practice in the 2014/2015 cropping season. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / LIVESTOCK-CRP / 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

Intensification / Africa / Research / ILRI / IITA / IFPRI / PCT / Event / Scaling / MAIZE-CRP / LIVESTOCK-CRP

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 / LIVESTOCK-CRP / MAIZE-CRP / 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 / DRYLANDS-CRP / Impact Assessment / Intensification / Maize / Research / Southern Africa / Zambia

Sustainable intensification practices―a ray of hope for Zambian farmers facing drought

Findings from three districts in Zambia revealed that smallholder farmers use agricultural technology innovations and diversification strategies to manage droughts and enhance their resilience to climate shocks. Continue reading

Agroforestry / CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / DRYLANDS-CRP / Intensification / Maize / Southern Africa / Zambia

Addressing smallholder farmers’ needs with green manure cover crops and agroforestry in Zambia

Farmers in southern Africa plant maize extensively on large areas, harvest less than 2 t/ha on average, extracting already depleted nutrients from the soil while trying to become food secure and escape from poverty―an impossible task! In Eastern Province of Zambia, farmers are being offered a range of solutions by Africa RISING that provide a way out of this poverty trap. These technologies, options, and approaches include drought- and stress-tolerant maize germplasm, conservation agriculture (CA), improved rotation and intercropping with grain legumes, agroforestry, and green manure cover crops. Continue reading

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 / LIVESTOCK-CRP / 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 / 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

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

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

Smallholder farmers in Malawi must cope with small farm size, low soil fertility and production risks associated with rainfed agriculture. Integration of legumes into maize-based cropping systems is advocated as a means to increase production of diverse nutrient-dense grains and improve soil fertility. Continue reading

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 / DRYLANDS-CRP / 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scaling up drought tolerant maize in Zambia

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

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).

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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

Animal Feeding / CIAT / Crop-Livestock / Dairying / East Africa / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Participation / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Facilitating participatory research: Scientists train farmers and extension officers in Babati-Tanzania on forage data collection

Farmers and extension agents from Babati District in Tanzania took part in a training, held on 20 April 2015, by Africa RISING scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) as part of activities to integrate improved forages into smallholder crop-livestock systems through capacity building for farmers and extension officers. 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

HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / Intensification / Legumes / Maize / Mali / Seeds / West Africa

‘A good farmer produces their own seeds’: Raising food yields in Mali

Souleman Ballo and his fellow farmers in the seed cooperative know only too well how important good seeds are for a farmer’s wealth. To address the challenge of accessing quality seed, their cooperative has been working with researchers at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER) to develop improved varieties of sorghum and millet leading to remarkable yield gains. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / SLS

Africa RISING in Ethiopia – How are we doing?

It is some time since I have been able to visit our field sites in Ethiopia. The Christmas break and our jaunts in India and California seem to have taken out most of 2015 so far. So, it has been really interesting for me to join our internally-commissioned, external review team during their fact-finding tours of the Lemo and Endamehoni sites.
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Capacity strengthening / Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / SLS

Capacity building strategies and approaches for the Africa RISING Ethiopia project

The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands promotes capacity building for human resources development and strengthening local partner organizations in a range of ways, all of which are designed to respond to demand from all of our partners. 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

Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Scaling

Africa RISING Ethiopia project scaling plan

The current phase of the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands is being implemented over the five years from 2012-2016. To date, the project has implemented a number of activities in order to deliver against the Africa RISING Program Research Framework. These research for development (R4D) activities are now beginning to identify and validate scalable innovation for the project’s target farmers. Continue reading

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

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

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

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

Characterizing the adopters of sustainable intensification innovations in Malawi and Tanzania

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

CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / Crops / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Maize / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Integration of Maize Lethal Necrosis disease management in crop-livestock intensification in East Africa

At this week’s international conference on Integrated Systems Research for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, Bright Jumbo presented a poster reporting on research in Tanzania to integrate Maize Lethal Necrosis disease management in crop-livestock intensification. Continue reading

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

Exploring niches for livestock intensification in farming systems in Malawi

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

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

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

At this week’s international conference on Integrated Systems Research for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, Chiwimbo Gwenambira (Michigan State University) presented a poster explaining a a novel doubled-up legume cropping system in Malawi. Continue reading

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

Aflatoxins / Crops / East Africa / Food safety / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Interview / Nutrition / Postharvest / Research / Tanzania / Value Chains

Securing the Future: The Story of Chacha Nyangi and how Africa RISING is mentoring the next generation of scientists

Growing up in the remote village of Itiryo near the Kenya-Tanzania border, Chacha Nyangi could not have imagined his present life as a young Tanzanian scientist who is confronting the challenges facing smallholder farmers in the country and beyond. Continue reading

Crops / East Africa / Ethiopia / Event / Extension / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ILRI / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Participation / Research

Farmer research groups central to Africa RISING approach in Ethiopia

On 13 December 2014, members of the Sinana innovation platform (IP) members and technical group (TG) held a farmers field day that attracted many farmers and others (woreda IP members, private sector workers, media and government decision makers) to see the farmer field interventions. Continue reading

Amhara / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / NRM / Photofilm / SLS / SNNPR / Tigray / Trip Report / Water

Africa RISING partners with local governments to support integrated watershed management in Ethiopia

Africa RISING in Ethiopia has started to work with partners and farmers to identify and work on model watersheds in three of its research sites: Lemo, Basona and Abraha Atsbaha, and Maichew. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Participation / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Trip Report / Video

Research for farmers, by farmers: Highlights of Africa RISING farmer-scientists feedback meetings in Tanzania’s Babati District

At the tail end of 2014, Africa RISING scientists and government extension agents held a series of feedback meetings with farmers in Tanzania’s Babati District. This photo trip report provides a visual overview of the issues encountered and activities undertaken by the project team during the feedback meetings in those areas. 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