Six years ago, when the Africa RISING project started its action research in Jewe Kebele, Bekelech Belachew, 53, started using research protocols from the project to improve livestock fodder production. She also started cultivating avocados (a high value tree) and begun water development and small-scale irrigation.
Africa RISING is implementing action research with farmers in Babati District, Tanzania to validate several technologies that are set to significantly improve farmer livelihoods. Here is a look at summaries of some of these technologies and how they work.
The first phase (2012-2016), the Africa RISING program focused more on innovations/technologies validation through action research approaches. In its second phase (Oct 2017–2021) the program is mainly focusing on backstopping research to facilitate development partnership and scaling initiatives.
During its first phase (2012-2016), the Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) project in the Ethiopian highlands implemented various action-based on-farm research activities that align with the Ethiopian government priorities. A total of 22 action-related protocols alongside 11 explanatory protocols were identified and grouped under seven thematic areas. Feed and …
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.
A report by the Africa Research In Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program explains the effects of soil bunds on soil and rainwater conservation in southern Ethiopia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lulseged Desta, landscape ecologist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), introduces himself and his work with the program. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fred Kizito, senior scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), introduces himself and his work with the program.
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.
The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands recently organized a writeshop (4-7 August 2015) to help researchers document results and findings for wider application.
Africa RISING in Ethiopia recently published reports from rapid value chain assessment studies conducted in all the four regions covering six enterprises; three on crops and three on livestock.
Small scale farmers are the guardians of 80 per cent of the world’s farmland. If we are to resolve the global soil crisis, they must be at the heart of the solutions.
Elda Mmary, a female extension officer talks about her work with smallholder farmers on the Africa RISING project in Babati District, Tanzania.
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.
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.
A two week value chain report validation workshop is underway at the ILRI campu in Addis Ababa. The workshop is jointly organized by CIAT and the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia. It aims to validate and finalize the value chain studies that were conducted earlier this year.
In this interview, Eliud Birachi introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the program.
In late April 2014, CIAT and ILRI organized a three day writeshop on value chain development in the Africa RISING sites in Ethiopia.
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?
Even in a program like Africa RISING, where Sustainable Intensification is at the heart of the approach, such key concepts should not be taken for granted. A recent conference about ‘sustainable intensification’ in Accra showed that there are widely different understandings about such complex approaches. The 2013 review and planning meeting of the East and …
Africa RISING’s research component (3) focuses on market value chains. The Ethiopia team working on these issues met this week to review the work plan for market and value chains in the project. They also discussed the tools to be used to collect relevant data and information. The team comprises staff from CIAT, ILRI, CIP, …
Climbing beans are turning out to be one of the winning innovations being introduced by Africa RISING in Babati district, Tanzania. The beans have tendrils which coil around supporting stakes or strings and can grow as high as 2 meters tall and produce many pods and leaves. According to Edgar Lyakurwa, an extension officer with …
While improved varieties can give farmers increased yields, the percentage of small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa growing them is very low, especially for legumes. One reason for this is the unavailability and unaffordability of the seeds. The early win project on ‘Multiplication of breeder and basic seed for Maize and Legumes in Tanzania, Malawi, and …
Many varieties of maize and legumes with good traits have been developed and released and there have been a lot of efforts by governments, farmer’s organizations, non-governmental organization and private seed companies, to get them to the farmers. Africa RISING’s early win project ‘Identifying efficient seed system (s) practices/models to accelerate the access to quality …
Various organizations have developed and promoted many practices aimed at improving yields, and managing water and soil at the farm level. Which of these have farmers really adopted and what factors have led to the adoption or non- adoption? Which of these are really effective and can be scaled up in the Africa RISING project? …
The third Africa RISING review and planning workshop took place 23-25 October in Tamale, Ghana. The review of that first year helped develop an agenda for subsequent years. For this meeting, 60 participants gathered at the Modern City Hotel to hear progress about activities in year one and to develop integrated research plans on sustainable intensification for …
The inception phase of Africa RISING is coming to an end on 30 September. All ‘jumpstart activities’ and ‘early win’ projects from this phase have to be completed, and the broad program is coming out of the ground. The first of the three projects to officially wrap up the inception phase and pave the way …
The Africa RISING project is now in full swing in the three regions – West Africa, Ethiopian Highlands and East and Southern Africa (ESA). In West Africa, a ‘fast track’ implementation work plan has been agreed for the two countries concerned (Mali and Ghana). The implementation team has identified four districts and five communities in …
In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). The project aims to Carry out assessment of the representative of seed systems models related to production efficiency, scale and speed of seed and variety access and information with consideration of the …
In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). The project aims to identify and promote sustainable intensification (SI) pathways by evaluating tested crop, soil and water management options for their suitability under varied land (soil health) and socio-economic conditions that prevail …