Ethiopia / Gender / ILRI / Intensification / LIVESTOCK-CRP / 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 / LIVESTOCK-CRP / MAIZE-CRP / Participation / Research / Southern Africa / West Africa

Innovation and R4D platforms in Africa RISING: questioning sustainability

During the first phase of the Africa RISING program (2012-2016) the three projects set up innovation and R4D platforms to support learning, sharing collaboration and joint actions. These experiences were critiqued at the recent program science for impact workshop to guide phase 2 interventions. Continue reading

Africa / 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

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

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

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

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

CIMMYT / 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

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

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

HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / Mali / Nutrition / Participation / Research / West Africa / Women

Women ‘nutrition leaders’ changing the fate of children in Mali

Africa RISING is contributing to changing the fates of children in Koutiala city in the Sikasso region of Mali by supporting an initiative to educate young mothers and pregnant women about ways of preparing nutritious meals for their infants using whole grain cereals. The initiative dubbed, the nutrition field schools program is improving child health and freeing up women’s time.So far 290 people have participated in nutrition field schools (94% women) and about 600 households have benefited from collective demonstrations. The consumption of whole grain sorghum increased in six villages. 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

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

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

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Participation / Research

Participatory research toolkit – briefs introduce approaches used in Ethiopia

In 2013, the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia initiated a series of participatory assessments to diagnose and characterize the farming systems and communities where the project is working. A series of short briefs explains the different approaches and how they were used Continue reading

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

Challenges and opportunities in participatory agricultural research

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

CIAT / HUMIDTROPICS / Innovation Systems / Participation / Research

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

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

HUMIDTROPICS / Innovation Systems / Participation / Research

Theory key to gain wider acceptance of participatory agricultural research methods

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

Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Participation

Participatory community analysis completed in eight Africa RISING sites in Ethiopia

In 2013, the Africa RISING team in Ethiopia carried out a Participatory Community Analyses (PCA) in all the eight sites. This was the first phase in a participatory research and extension process, including kebele engagement and social mobilization, that provided each kebele some opportunities to analyse their own challenges and opportunities.
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Africa / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Participation / Southern Africa / West Africa

A wealth of tools and approaches spotted at the Africa RISING learning event

The recent Africa RISING program learning event (24-26 September 2013) revealed an incredible wealth of tools and approaches used across the program. The list includes: West Africa Tools for collecting data Mother-baby trials (mentioned in this article) Participatory community analysis (PRAE, PRA, RRA) FEAST Impact LITE Biomass assessment tool Focus group discussions Value chain analysis … Continue reading

Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Participation / West Africa / Women

Africa RISING helps female scientists improve knowledge on experimental design and data analysis in Ghana

Africa RISING partnered with Ghana’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to organize a two-week course on experimental design and data analysis for female scientists from 12 research institutions and universities in Ghana.
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Africa / Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ILRI / Intensification / Participation

Feed and fodder ‘early win’ project synthesis shows potential of assessment tools

The Africa RISING QuickFeed ‘early win’ project held its synthesis meeting on 3 and 4 September 2012. The project was led by ILRI and ICARDA with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and the Oromia Regional Agricultural Research Institute (OARI). At the meeting, project partners from Kulumsa, Sinana and Bako Agricultural Research Centers presented … Continue reading

CIMMYT / ILRI / Intensification / Participation / Research

Participatory agricultural research for development – whose participation, whose research, whose development?

Compared with other Ethiopian Highland early win projects, the  ‘Research for Development‘ project focused on the research process so as to propose a flexible and generic approach to implement demand-driven research for development (R4D), while promoting partner-led processes and dissemination. In a recent workshop, some 20 participants analyzed the results of this early win project. The … Continue reading

Africa / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Participation

Participatory research for development in Africa RISING – an email exchange

Over the last few days, in relation with an upcoming final workshop for the ‘farm scale research design‘ early win project, an interesting e-mail exchange took place between Prof. Ken Giller of Wageningen University and Dr. Jens Andersson on the proposed research for development (R4D) approach for the Africa RISING program in the Ethiopian Highlands. This conversation … Continue reading