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

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

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

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

Cowpea / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Pests / poster / Research / West Africa

Insecticide spray regime effect on cowpea yield and financial returns in northern Ghana

While insecticide spraying offers the most effective management strategy for insect pests in farmers’ fields, most farmers in Ghana spray only once in most cases. The effect of a three spray regime was compared to conventional farmer practice (one spray) on yield and net financial returns of cowpea on-farm. 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

Capacity strengthening / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Interview / Mali / Tanzania

Next generation of Africa’s agricultural researchers RISING

From East to West Africa,post-graduate students supported by Africa RISING are completing their research studies….and sharing their findings.In this brief,we feature four students who’ve recently defended their research theses – Clarisse Umutoni, Shitindi Mawazo, Daniel Apalibe and Alagma Henry. They are among a cohort of 47 MSc and 15 PhD students supported by the Africa RISING program in West Africa and East/Southern Africa from 2012 – 2016. Continue reading

Field Day / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Maize / Photofilm / Scaling / Tanzania

Photo report: Africa RISING-NAFAKA scaling project farmers field day meetings in Dodoma, Tanzania

On 5th and 6th May 2016, the project’s researchers, fields agents and farmers organized and held had a Farmers’ Field Day event. This gave an opportunity for farmers who are not taking part in the project to learn and share experience with their colleagues who are beneficiaries about Good Agronomic Practices. The farmers also got the chance to visit demo plots for self-observations. Continue reading

Fertilizer / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Maize / poster / Scaling / West Africa

Can maize farmers in northern Ghana increase economic benefits by applying more nitrogen?

A higher rate of nitrogen application provides higher economic benefit to farmers compared to the government recommended rate. There are visible differences between six maize varieties commonly grown in northern Ghana (used in this experiment) in terms of performance under higher fertilizer rate. Continue reading

AVRDC / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Vegetables

No small change: Vegetable farmer cashes in on new vegetable varieties in Tanzania

“I produce vegetables because this is ready cash for me and my family,” says a beaming Hassan Saidi; one of the beneficiary farmers in the activities led by AVRDC under the Africa RISING-NAFAKA and TUBORESHE CHAKULA project for fast tracking delivery and scaling of agricultural technologies in Tanzania. Continue reading

Geodata / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / Interview / Social Learning / West Africa

What you need to know about Africa RISING farm typology work

In this interview, Mirja Michalscheck of Wageningen University and Sara Signorelli of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) explain the vision behind the typology work in Africa RISING; the insights emerging from the studies and how the typology results can be used by the project team. Continue reading

Event / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Mali / West Africa

Africa RISING West Africa partners sift out ‘scalable’ technologies at review and planning meeting

Discussions at this year’s Africa RISING West Africa review and planning meeting served up serious dialogue among partners on which improved agricultural technologies that have been tested and refined over the past four years can be scaled to benefit more farmers beyond the current project sites. Animated discourse at the meeting, in Accra, Ghana from … 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

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

Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Interview / Nutrition / West Africa

RISING voices: Mahama Saaka, Social Scientist (UDS, Ghana)

Mahama Saaka, is a scientist from the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Ghana. The university (UDS) is one of the Africa RISING implementing partner institutions. In this interview which is part of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING, Mahama introduces himself and his work within the Africa RISING program. Continue reading

East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Interview

RISING voices: Victor Manyong, chair Africa RISING ESA steering committee and director for IITA Eastern Africa Hub

Victor Manyong, is the Africa RISING East and Southern Africa Project Steering Committee Chair. He is also the Director for Eastern Africa and Leader of the social science research group at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA). In this interview which is part of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING, Dr Manyong introduces himself and his role in Africa RISING. 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

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

East Africa / Event / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Knowledge and Information / Tanzania

Africa RISING showcases interventions at Nane Nane agricultural fair in Arusha

The Africa RISING Tanzania last month exhibited various agricultural interventions being implemented by project partners at the nane nane agricultural fair in Arusha, Tanzania. The event gave some of the project partners an opportunity to showcase their interventions and get valuable feedback from farmers and participants taking part in the week-long fair. Over 200 participants, mostly farmers, visited the Africa RISING exhibition stand. 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

AfricaRice / AVRDC / CIMMYT / Crops / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / IITA / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

From research plots to farmer fields: Africa RISING – NAFAKA partners discuss scaling plans in Tanzania

Partners implementing activities under the Africa RISING – NAFAKA scaling project held their first annual review and planning meeting recently (8-10 July, 2015) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where they discussed effective ways of scaling up improved crop varieties to Tanzania’s smallholder farmers. 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

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 / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / ILRI / Mali / NRM / West Africa

A new dawn in Zanzoni, Mali as natural resource management conventions are formalized

Through the Africa RISING project, ILRI and AMEDD (a local Malian NGO) have worked with the local community in Zanzoni since September 2013 to ensure that they have a more equitable and sustainable management of natural resources in the mixed crop-livestock systems that dominate the region. 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

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

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

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

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

Africa / Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / ILRI / Livestock / Research / SLS / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Participatory evaluation of productivity and farmer preferences of selected Napier grass accessions in northern Tanzania

At this week’s international conference on Integrated Systems Research for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, Gregory Sikumba presented a poster on farmer preferences of selected Napier grass accessions in northern Tanzania. 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

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

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

Crops / Drylands / Fertilizer / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / NRM / Soils / Southern Africa / Value Chains / Water / Zambia

Conservation agriculture is giving us more food and money: A Zambian farmer’s story

Under the SIMLEZA-Africa RISING project, the implementation of conservation agriculture technologies is a key intervention. For just the past 2 years, the project has already seen positive outcomes on the practices and lives of its farmer-beneficiaries in its target communities in the Eastern Province of Zambia. Here we highlight one of our farmer ‘success stories’ who have been practicing CA technologies introduced in the country by the project. Continue reading

Africa / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / Fertilizer / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / Intensification / Mali / NRM / Soils / West Africa

Mechanizing fertilizer microdosing technology: Producers and extension agents trained in Mali (success story)

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. Continue reading

Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Southern Africa / Tanzania

R4D platform promotes technology adoption in Babati District, Tanzania

Research-for-Development platform by Africa RISING in Babati District, Tanzania is stimulating learning and innovation about productivity, nutrition as well as opening up business possibilities for farmers within the locality. Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / Drylands / East Africa / Event / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / Research / Tanzania

Think food, but think fodder too!

Livestock are an important component of the farming system in Tanzania’s Babati District. However, recent increases in demand for food within the farming community in the region have led to permanent cultivation of more land to expand crop production. This has led to significant reduction of pastures for livestock, consequently leaving them vulnerable to starvation … Continue reading

Africa / Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Research

Using ‘most significant change’ technique in Africa RISING project in Ethiopia

A number of lessons, success stories and even some negative change stories are expected to emerge from Africa RISING research-for-development interventions in the Ethiopian highlands. As part of our approach to monitor and evaluate the impact of Africa RISING innovation platforms, we plan to use the ‘Most Significant Change’ (MSC) technique in our monitoring and evaluation framework. Continue reading

East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Interview / Tanzania

RISING voices: Mateete Bekunda, chief scientist East and Southern Africa (ESA) project

This RISING voices article features an interview with Mateete Bekunda, chief scientist in the East and Southern Africa (ESA) project of the Africa RISING Program and a farming systems agronomist with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Continue reading

Aflatoxins / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Food safety / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Postharvest / Research / Tanzania

High levels of mycotoxins detected in Babati pose health risk to human and livestock health in Tanzania

Communities in Tanzania and the region could unknowingly be exposing themselves to potential health problems as a result of consuming foods that are contaminated with high levels of mycotoxins – poisonous chemicals that are produced by certain types of fungi and which are harmful to both humans and livestock. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Of ‘super’ farmers and integrated farming systems in Tanzania

In far-flung Seloto Village, Babati district, Manyara Region, Northern Tanzania, a trail-blazing farmer participating in the Africa RISING project shows researchers how farming system integration works. Farmer Andrea Mayi is successfully integrating crop, livestock, and tree farming in his 6-acre (4.2 hectares) farm consisting of 1.2 hectares (3 acres) each of crops and livestock farming systems, and a tree farm. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Babati R4D platform: Great expectations

After launching of the Babati District Research for Development (R4D) platform the Africa RISING partners and beneficiaries have high expectations of the the platform and those selected to the Platform’s Committee to represent various stakeholders have very clear ideas on their roles. The platform was well appreciated and many feel it will play a key role in pushing for the adoption of the new innovations and technologies generated by the project’s research. Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Southern Africa / Zambia

Broadening Africa RISING work in Zambia

The USAID Africa Bureau is providing support to Africa RISING (funded by the USAID Bureau for Food Security) for a study that advances the understanding of the landscape-level implications of farm-level sustainable intensification activities in Zambia. It will also inform the design of future integrated projects that address food security, climate change and biodiversity issues. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Mali / Research / SLS / West Africa

Africa RISING reviews and plans its work in West Africa

Africa RISING’s 2013-2014 review and planning meeting for the West Africa region took place on 3 and 4 February 2014 in Bamako, Mali. The region’s steering committee also hosted a meeting on 4 February. Over 50 participants attended the meeting representing partners from the country teams of Ghana and Mali as well as observers from … Continue reading

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

Africa RISING photofilm illustrates program’s work in Northern Ghana

This short photofilm presents some aspects of the work of Africa RISING in Ghana. It shows how it is helping farmers restore their degraded lands, increase crop and livestock production, and provide them with better incomes. Photos and story by Charlie Pye-Smith. Read three of Charlie’s blog posts from the same journey: Africa RISING in … Continue reading

Countries / Crop-Livestock / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Partners

Africa RISING – focusing on women and children in Ghana

Charlie Pye-Smith reports from Ghana for Africa RISING The Africa RISING program seeks to provide pathways out of hunger and poverty for smallholder families, and especially women and children, through the process of sustainable intensification. This involves producing more crops and livestock from the same piece of land, without degrading the natural resource base, thus … Continue reading

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

Africa RISING in Ghana – learning from experience

Charlie Pye-Smith reports from Ghana for Africa RISING During the first year of the Africa RISING project, a multidisciplinary team of researchers held discussions with some 4000 people in Northern Ghana. The study provided an overview of existing farming practices and the constraints associated with crop and livestock production. The community analysis, as it is … Continue reading

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

Africa RISING – promoting sustainable intensification in Northern Ghana

Charlie Pye-Smith reports from Ghana for Africa RISING “When I was young, we used to get eight or nine bags of maize per acre,” says Abukari Iddrisu. ”Now, I’m lucky if I get three bags, and this year it will be even less.” Like most farmers in Tibognayali, a community of 1900 people in Ghana’s … Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / West Africa

Cross-regional perspectives on Africa RISING: West African scientists on progress in East and Southern Africa

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 … Continue reading

Africa / AVRDC / CIAT / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / ICRISAT / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / Malawi / NRM / Nutrition / Pests / Research / Seeds / SLS / Soils / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Water

Africa RISING East and Southern Africa review and planning 2013 meeting: Integration drives agendas

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 … Continue reading

Africa / Crops / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / West Africa

USAID and Africa RISING team visit project sites in Northern Ghana

Mid July 2013, a team from the Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program and donor representatives visited project intervention sites in Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana, to observe and monitor project progress. The team was composed of USAID representatives led by Jerry Glover, senior project advisor; Tracy … Continue reading

CIMMYT / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / Intensification / Partners / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Project boosting productivity of farmers’ traditional mixed farming systems in Tanzania

“I like variety 5. The cob has many rows and the grains have filled the cob well. There are also two cobs on the maize stalk,” Esther Liberati, 43-year-old farmer from Seloto village in Babati district in Tanzania, explains her number one choice from a set of 10 different types of maize being tested for … Continue reading

Aflatoxins / Africa / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Regions / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Keeping deadly poison off key crops along the value chain in Tanzania

Increasing crop production does not always lead to more food and a healthier population. In some cases, the consumption of the crops and their products may instead lead to serious health problems in both human beings and livestock and even death. One such instance is when the crops are contaminated with mycotoxins, poisonous substances produced … Continue reading

Africa / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Regions / West Africa

Smallholder farmers in Ghana cite benefits from Africa RISING project

In a recent visit to project communities in northern Ghana, many farmers participating in field trials said that they are “thankful to Africa RISING for the many interventions introduced by the project to help their communities.” One woman farmer leader in Nyangwa, Kassena-Nankan District, Upper Eastern Region, said “I am happy that women are not … Continue reading

Crops / Ghana / Humid Tropics / IITA / West Africa

Enabling Ghanaian communities to analyse their own situations to find better solutions

Rural livelihoods in West Africa are mainly agro-based and depend on crop and livestock production, processing, and subsequent marketing. Farmers produce cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruit trees and keep livestock. However, optimal system productivity is limited by socioeconomic, biophysical, institutional, financial, and sometimes, policy constraints. Until recently, development in rural communities entailed extension agents advising … Continue reading

Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification

Natural resources management and sustainable intensification research at IITA

The need to grow more food without depleting important natural resources makes the intensification of African agriculture essential. The Green Revolution in South Asia and Latin America raised crop productivity through the deployment of improved varieties, water, and fertilizer. However, efforts to achieve similar results in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have largely failed. The sustainable intensification … Continue reading

Africa / DRYLANDS-CRP / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / PCT

First Africa RISING Program Coordination Team meeting held in Ghana

Comprising three linked regions projects, Africa RISING has put in place several integration and learning mechanisms at the overall program level. These include a monitoring and evaluation project led by IFPRI and a communication activity led by ILRI. An overall Program Coordination Team (PCT), with representatives from each region, provides advice and coordination across the … Continue reading

AfricaRice / Crop-Livestock / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / Mali / NRM / Nutrition / Pests / Postharvest / Research / Rice / Seeds / Soils / Water / West Africa

Africa RISING consultations in Ghana: Getting the plans right and partners engaged

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 … Continue reading

Africa / AfricaRice / Crop-Livestock / Crops / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / Forestry / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / Research / Southern Africa / West Africa

Africa RISING program document: The thinking behind the overall approach

The Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program comprises three research-for-development projects supported by the United States Agency for International Development as part of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative. Through action research and development partnerships, Africa RISING will create opportunities for smallholder farm households to move out of hunger and poverty … Continue reading

AfricaRice / AVRDC / Crop-Livestock / Crops / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / Mali / Research / West Africa

Ghana and Mali bustling as Africa RISING activities take off in West Africa

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 … Continue reading

Aflatoxins / Crops / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Tanzania

Safe or a deadly poison? Determining the levels of harmful ‘mycotoxins’ in key staples in Tanzania

Mycotoxins are deadly chemicals produced by naturally-occurring fungi which contaminate key staples crops while in the field and in storage and adversely affect the health of human and livestock. They thrive when crops suffer drought or insect attack in the field, are harvested when conditions are wet and stored in places that are warm and … Continue reading

AfricaRice / AVRDC / Crops / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Nutrition / Tanzania

Boosting production of vegetables among rice farmers to diversify their income and nutrition

In Morogoro, one of the major rice producing areas in Tanzania, the farmers use residue water from rice irrigation to grow vegetables for additional income and to improve their nutrition. They however face many challenges, which the early win research project on “Enhancing vegetable value chains in rice-based and sole crop production systems to improve … Continue reading

AfricaRice / AVRDC / CIAT / Crop-Livestock / Crops / Drylands / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / ICRISAT / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / Mali / NRM / Research / SLS / Soils / Water / West Africa

Africa RISING year one in West Africa: Review over, planning done …

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 … Continue reading

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

Preparing for the Africa RISING West Africa review and planning meeting: Interview with Asamoah Larbi

Asamoah Larbi is chief scientist for the Guinea Savannah region of Africa RISING in West Africa. He attended the recent East and Southern Africa review and planning meeting and is now planning for the similar West Africa workshop taking place 19-23 October. Here Asamoah reflects on Africa RISING progress in his region, and particularly Ghana.  … Continue reading

East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Looking back at the Africa RISING East and Southern Africa review and planning meeting: Interviewing Mateete Bekunda

Mateete Bekunda joined Africa RISING in April this year as the Farming Systems Agronomist for the East and Southern Africa region. He kindly accepted to share his views about the recent review and planning meeting which closed on 5 October. A lot of work – and learning – remains, but the path is clearer. What was achieved with this … Continue reading

Crops / DRYLANDS-CRP / Ghana / IITA / Intensification / West Africa

US Senate, USAID team in monitoring visit to Africa RISING program in Ghana

As part of their mission to monitor bilateral and multilateral food security programs in northern Ghana, Janet Stormes, Professional Staff of the US Senate Appropriations Committee, and Dorothy Rayburn of the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, US Department of State, visited the IITA-led ‘Sustainable Intensification of Cereal-based Farming Systems in the Sudano-Sahelian Zone of West Africa’ … Continue reading

Africa / AfricaRice / AVRDC / CIAT / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ICRAF / ICRISAT / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / Research / Southern Africa / West Africa

Africa RISING review and planning meetings scheduled for the final quarter of 2012

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 … Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / West Africa / Zambia

Africa RISING: Update on Eastern and Southern Africa project

Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon, Africa RISING Project Coordinator at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture writes: I would like to give you an update on the status of the USAID funded project on Sustainable Intensification of Key Farming Systems in Eastern and Southern Africa. After the inception workshop in Dar es Salaam in February it was decided … Continue reading

Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Mali / West Africa

Africa RISING: Update on West Africa project

Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon, Africa RISING Project Coordinator at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture writes: I would like to give you an update on the status of the USAID funded project on Sustainable Intensification of Key Farming Systems in the Sudano-Sahelian Zone of West Africa. After the inception workshop in Tamale, Ghana, in January and the … Continue reading

Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA

Mateete Bekunda joins IITA to work on Africa RISING

Dr. Mateete Bekunda has joined IITA as a Consultant Systems Agronomist for the USAID funded project on Sustainable Intensification of Key African Farming Systems. His more than 30 years of research and outreach interests have been directed at improving smallholder livelihoods through application of sustainable crop nutrient management initiatives, mainly as professor at Makerere University, … Continue reading

Africa / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Mycotoxin contamination in Tanzania: Quantifying the problem in maize and cassava in households and markets

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania led by by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The objective of the project is to quantify mycotoxin contamination levels on maize and cassava in Tanzania, and provide an objective basis for commissioning interventions to dramatically improve the health and livelihoods, and increase income … Continue reading

Africa / Crops / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Value chain analysis of grain legumes in East and Southern Africa

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in eastern and southern Africa led by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). The objective of the proposed project is to support the development of Africa RISING research-for-development project through building partnerships and mobilizing stakeholders in the short term to conduct value chain analyses. The outputs … Continue reading

Africa / CIMMYT / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Postharvest / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Improved postharvest technologies for food storage, processing and household nutrition in Tanzania

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania led by the nternational Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvemnet Center (CIMMYT). The projects aim at identifying best practices and innovative arrangements for increasing agricultural productivity in ways that improve income and nutrition of farm households. The specific objectives are … Continue reading