Over the past two years, the Africa RISING program has been working with various partners in southern Mali to introduce high yielding, farmer (and livestock) preferred dual-purpose sorghum varieties.
In its second phase, Africa RISING targeted to reach 0.7 million direct beneficiary households and 3.4 million indirect potential beneficiary households. Parallelly, the project continues to conduct action research that will explore further generic issues and facilitate scaling of the innovations validated during the first phase. Over the course of the second year of the second phase (01 April–30 September 2018), the project managed to reach more than 70,712 households and covered 48,661 ha of land during the cropping season (June–September 2018). Africa RISING supported research and capacity development activities but a large share of investment in the scaling process came from development partners.
This video highlights how through Africa RISING program interventions, a group of farmers at Mlali Village in central Tanzania are today making choices that will ensure they improve their livelihoods while conserving the natural resource base for the future generations.
Through the voices of seven Africa RISING implementing partners from Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Tanzania and Zambia; we get insights about what it took to implement Africa RISING phase I in different contexts and countries, what the first phase of the program gave to the farmers and global knowledge community (outputs), and some of the partner’s proudest achievements from working in the project over the years.
A team of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) scientists in Mali have found that ‘contour bunding’, a technique that helps retain soil moisture and nutrients while preventing erosion brings as much as a 20% increase in net income.
Farming systems in Ethiopia are plagued by soil-related problems which lead to poor productivity, declining soil fertility and soil erosion. Other common farming-related challenges include low fertilizer use and reduced farmlands because of population pressure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A one day national workshop on decision support tools for appropriate fertilizer recommendation in Ethiopia was organized at ILRI campus on 18 December 2015.
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.
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.
Africa RISING and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT) geospatial unit in India have developed land use maps of Africa RISING project intervention sites in southern Mali.
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.
The Africa RISING project in Ethiopia recently conducted a participatory assessment and survey on the adoption and marketing of high value vegetables and fruits in its field sites.
Efforts to help farmers with adopt improved crop varieties and agricultural technologies have been launched in Mali. A series of agriculture input fairs were recently held in Bougouni District as part of a wider initiative to bring together input suppliers, distributors and farmers and provide a platform for them to strengthening partnerships.
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.
In April, twenty five scientists from the different Africa RISING projects visited Ethiopia as part of a learning exchange.
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.
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.
The review and planning meeting of the Africa RISING West Africa project ended on 25 March 2015 with partners committing to take integration of research activities a notch higher in 2015.
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.
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 …
Fertilizer microdosing addresses the problems of low soil fertility, access to fertilizers and difficult climatic conditions. The technology has contributed to increased production, productivity and farm incomes.
A new approach by Africa RISING is getting farmers to think beyond improved yields when assessing improved agronomic technologies and crop varieties.
Fighting striga weed by holding evening video shows for farming communities in west Africa
In July 2014, research teams visited Lemo and Sinana project woredas (districts) in the Ethiopian Highlands. The visits aimed to update local partners on planting activities in the main rain season as well as on pre- and post-harvest crop management issues.
In May this year, CGIAR partners in the Africa RISING Ethiopia project visited Lemo and Basona Worena woredas to meet with nationala nd local partners including universities, extension agencies, agricultural research centres and farmers about the project progress as well as the planned research activities.
In this interview, Agathe Diama introduces herself and her work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the program.
During the recent East and Southern Africa review and planning meeting, team members from Africa RISING in West Africa joined the discussions. We asked Asamoah Larbi (IITA Coordinator of Africa RISING for West Africa) and Tom van Mourik (team leader for Mali at ICRISAT) to reflect on the work done by the three site teams …
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 …
From 23-25 January 2013, the West Africa project component of the Africa RISING program hosted a number of consultations in Accra, Ghana – a stakeholder meeting on 23 January then a West Africa steering committee meeting on 24 January. Alongside these, the first Program Coordination Committee meeting was held on 25 January. The purpose of …
The West Africa project of the Africa RISING program has been bustling with activities: The review and planning meeting for year one was completed in October 2012; a West Africa stakeholder meeting will take place on 23 January 2013 in Accra, Ghana. In addition, the Africa RISING teams from Ghana and Mali have recently been …
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 …
During the early win phase of the Africa RISING project; nutrition-related activities were conducted in Koutiala in the Sikasso region of Mali from July to October, 2012. A total of 36 villages were selected and grouped into 6 clusters mainly by ‘commune’ with each cluster having 6 villages. The 6 communes were: Medinacoura, Konseguela, Miena, …
Le Mali s’est engagé dans un programme de sécurité alimentaire nationale (PNSA) qui couvre la période 2008 – 2017. Ce programme se justifie par les dernières années qui ont vu les campagnes agricoles devenir très capricieuses et imprévisibles, alternant années excédentaires et années de crises. La sécurité alimentaire est rendue d’autant plus préoccupante à la suite …
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 …
Eva Weltzien works for the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Mali. In Africa RISING, Eva oversees scientific activities in Mali. In this interview ahead of the West Africa review and planning meeting in Tamale, 23-25 October 2012, she shares her views about progress achieved in Mali to date and expectations about …
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 Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). The project aims to increase production of both basic (or breeder) seed and certified seed for six target crops (maize, beans, cowpeas, soybeans, Medium duration pigeonpea and groundnuts) in …
Speaking at the recent workshop t design a new research project on the sustainable intensification of crop-livestock farming systems in Ethiopia, Tsedeke Abate (ICRISAT) emphasized the collaboration among the CGIAR centers: “No one institution can do it alone” – especially when the challenges are complex. Watch the video: