The seventh edition of the Forages for the Future newsletter published in June 2018 recognized the contributions of Africa RISING program in promoting Desho grass as a source of good-quality forage for cut-and-carry systems in Ethiopia.
In this blog post, some of the key Africa RISING partners share their views on the value of a farming systems research approach and Africa RISING’s contribution in this regard.
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.
The publication ‘Footprints of Africa RISING Phase I (2011-2016)’ tracks back the activities, outputs and outcomes of the first phase of the Africa RISING program.
The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands has reached over 60,000 beneficiaries in the first year of the project second phase. The project has introduced a feed trough technology that was invented in Ethiopia, which has reduced the wastage of fodder to 50%.
Photo report of the joint field visit to project sites in Tanzania by Africa RISING and the Future Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL).
IIn this video, Peter Thorne, the Africa RISING project coordinator in Ethiopia, and Melkamu Bezabih, a postdoctoral livestock feeds and nutrition researcher, talk about sustainable intensification of mixed farming systems in Ethiopia in the Africa RISING project.
Recent field visits in Tanzania shared experiences and strengthened project collaborations across the three Africa RISING projects (Ethiopian Highlands, East and Southern Africa, and West Africa). Kindu Mekonnen, chief scientist in the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia, reflects on the visits.
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.
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.
The sixth issue of Forages for the Future newsletter features the Africa RISING project’s efforts in exploring new ways of integrating multi-purpose forages to increase the feed quantity and quality available for livestock in mixed crop-livestock farming systems in Ethiopia.
In 2012, Africa RISING conducted
a participatory community analysis (PCA) as the first phase of a participatory development approach in the Ethiopian highlands.
In the past few decades, apple farming in the Tigray highlands has expanded significantly since the introduction of apple trees to the region’s woredas by the Tigray regional Office of Agriculture and non-governmental organizations. The fruit trees were introduced to diversify the nutrition and income sources of the region’s smallholder farmers.
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.
Empowerment is central to women’s participation in agricultural research and to boost their role in agriculture and contribution to food security. To do so it is important to understand the current level of their participation and the factors that influence their participation in the agricultural research process.
As the curtain falls on 2017; here at Africa RISING we can only look back and say, “what a a great year”! Sure it was one heck of a roller coaster, but we enjoyed the ride. You our dear online followers, the global knowledge community that we are a part of and endeavor to always serve made the year fabulous through constant engagement with the numerous material we published on our platforms. Some of these materials really seemed to have resonated quite positively with you. That is if the numbers of hits to the website, downloads and page views are to be believed.
The project team used the preliminary results of this research to develop guidelines for training farmers on how to manage fodder varieties in order to maximize benefits from them.
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 …
The Africa RISING project in collaboration with the Capacity Development Unit of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), has developed a scaling strategy and capacity development toolkits that will synthesize and integrate the project’s thinking and approaches to enhance the scaling up the capacity of its partners.
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.
Africa RISING in collaboration with the private Faji Apple farm in Debre Birhan organized a series of training sessions on apple production and management for scaling-up partners in North Shewa Zone, Amhara region in July 2017.
A report on the first six months (1 October 2016–30 March 2017) of the second phase of the Africa RISING program activities in southern Ethiopia is now available.
The newly-formed Science Advisory Group (SAG) was formed for the first time in Africa RISING’s phase I at a meeting that brought together SAG members, most of the program coordination team and the people championing four of the Africa RISING communities of practice.
In 2015, livestock scientists implementing Africa RISING research-in-development activities (R-in-D) introduced forage chopper machines in seven villages in Babati District, northern Tanzania. One year later (in 2016), social scientists evaluated the gender implications of the new processing practices among farmers’ groups.
Tree lucerne is a key supplementary feed for ruminant animals and is an important source of protein for animal fattening and milk production and can be mixed with other livestock feeds including those based on crop residues or hay.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 …
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On 15 April, Science Forum 2016 participants visited the Africa RISING research sites in Basona Worena.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this interview, Temesgen Alene introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the program.
The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands was recently named one of the winners of the collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA) competition sponsored by USAID.
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.
Ben Lukuyu, animal nutritionist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), 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.
Annet Mulema, gender specialist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), introduces herself and her work with the program. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING.
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.
The Africa RISING project in Ethiopia has been selected as one of five winners of the USAID Collaboration Learning and Adoption case competition.
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).
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.
Low productivity of staple crops is often attributed to the poor management practices of smallholder farmers. ‘Improved’ crop management practices for many staple crops in Ethiopia have been widely promoted.
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.
Enset (Enset ventricosum also known as ‘false banana’) is a source of food, cash, animal feed, medicine, sources of fuel wood and other products and services for smallholder farmers in Ethiopia.
Conventional monitoring and evaluation tools set predefined indicators of outcomes. This is usually just a quantitative process. They count measurable at predefined moments in the life of a project.
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.
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.
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.
On behalf of the Africa RISING project here in the Ethiopian highlands, we wish all Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia a blessed and Prosperous New Year 2008.
Augustine Ayantune, senior animal scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) working in the Africa RISING West Africa project, introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING.
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.
The latest technical reports from Africa RISING are available for download.
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.
This paper reviews literature on sustainable intensification metrics for use in smallholder agriculture.
From 15-19 June 2015, the Livestock and Fish research program and Africa RISING held a training course in Addis Ababa on participatory epidemiology and gender.
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.
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.
Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands organized the 2nd woreda level strategic innovation platform and Kebele level operational innovation platform meetings from 14 December 2014 – 16 March 2015.
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.
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.
In April, twenty five scientists from the different Africa RISING projects visited Ethiopia as part of a learning exchange.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Facilitators play key roles in making sure the IPs function well. This manual is prepared for innovation platform facilitators in Africa RISING Ethiopia sites to help them get the basics of facilitating innovation platforms.
Kindu Mekonnen and Peter Thorne from ILRI recently spent a week with colleagues from ther Africa RISING projects visiting the CIMMYT-led CSISA (Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia) project in Eastern India (Bihar and Odisha states) project in India.
IWMI and ILRI are jointly conducting a study on Perceptions of Sustainability across various stakeholders as part of Africa RISING Project.
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.
Africa RISING’s Kindu Mekonnen works for the International Livestock Research Institute in Ethiopia as a Crop and Livestock System Scientist. He was recently interviewed by the Ethiopian Herald newspaper on a range of topical issues.
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.
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.
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 …
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 …
In September 2014, Africa RISING partners in Ethiopia received training on innovation platform (IP) facilitation, coordination and M&E. More than 50 people attended, including partners from CGIAR centres, regional research institutes and centres, universities, woredas and kebeles working with Africa RISING.
Innovation Platforms (IPs) have been established at Africa RISING research sites to bring together key local stakeholders to support integrated approaches to strengthen farming systems. These platforms help members to jointly conduct participatory research that identifies technologies and management practices that work for farmers.
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.
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.
This week, IFPRI and Africa RISING/ILRI organized a one day training for Africa RISING Ethiopia researchers on a Project Monitoring and Mapping Tool (PMMT).
This photo trip report covers visits by the Africa RISING research teams to Endamehoni woreda in July 2014 and Basona Worena woreda in August 2014. 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.
Farmers lack of information on fodder, feeds and feeding; inadequate availability of feeds in terms of quantity and quality especially during the dry season; and poor storage, processing and utilization of crop residues in livestock management are the major causes of the low milk production in Babati according to a feed situation analysis carried out by Africa RISING in 2013 in Babati district, Manyara region.
Following the recent workshop on ‘Integrating Gender into Agricultural Programming’, the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands has decided to engage ‘gender champions’ to raise gender awareness, cultivate gender equity and ensure sustainability of gender work in the project.
The Africa RISING project in West Africa recently produced reports documenting existing and potential feed resources, their uses and seasonal gaps with respect to livestock production in northern Ghana and southern Mali.
This photo trip report presents images from a recent field visit (23-25 July 2014) to assess progress with these livestock and irrigation activities conducted together with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-Scale Irrigation (ILSSI).
Recently, several CGIAR staff and national partners from the Africa RISING project and the Humidtropics Program in Ethiopia travelled to Kisumu, Kenya (from 22-27 June 2014) to attend a training organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) on how to set up and operate innovation platforms (IPs).
Dans cet entretien, Clarisse Umutoni retrace les raisons de sa présence dans le projet Africa RISING et les activités qu’elle mène en Afrique de l’Ouest, en rapport avec l’élevage…
In February 2014 a team of Africa RISING researcher traveled to Basona Worena woreda to establish the woreda as well as kebele-level innovation platforms.
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.
To this end a field visit was organized in Sinana in June 2014 to identify farmer research groups for crop and livestock related action research protocols. The project team was able to identify farmers that will participate in different research groups.
In April 2014, the Africa RISING project organized a field trip to establish four strategic (woreda level) and eight operational (kebele level) Innovation Platforms (IPs) in its sites (Basona Worena in Amhara, Endamehoni in Tigray, Lemo in SNNPR and Sinana in Oromia).
In this interview, Alan Duncan introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the project.
In this interview, Peter Thorne introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the program.
In the past few months, the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands has initiated the the establishment of local innovation platforms in each of its four sites. The start-up process has been documented in a series of short photo ‘trip’ reports.
In late April 2014, CIAT and ILRI organized a three day writeshop on value chain development in the Africa RISING sites in Ethiopia.
In March 2014, rhe Africa RISING team visited Sinana woreda aiming at briefing agricultural research, development and other stakeholders about the program’s and the project’s activities, and initiate the establishment of Innovation Platforms (IPs) with key partners.
In February 2014, a meeting was conducted in Maichew woreda, Tigray region, as part of establishing innovation platforms in the Africa RISING project sites in Ethiopia.
In February 2014, the Africa RISING team from Addis Ababa travelled to Lemo woreda with the aim of initiating Innovation platform at different levels.
Feed availability is a major constraint to increasing livestock productivity in Ethiopia. Introducing technologies is one of the most common ways that agricultural research and development organizations can assist the farmers they serve.
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 …
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 …
In early November, over 400 delegates gathered in Kigali to discuss advances in ICTs for agriculture. The conference had three streams focusing on: emerging innovations in ICTs supporting agricultural development, capacity strengthening and stakeholder empowerment for improved livelihood and engagement in agricultural development processes and enabling environment for the agricultural sector to maximize the benefits …
The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands organized its review and planning meeting in Addis Ababa from 30th October to 1 November 2013. The meeting aimed to review project progress and results, synthesize ongoing diagnostic work and agree outline work plans for 2013-2014 and general responsibilities of partners. Around 45 participants representing government partners …
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 in the Ethiopian highlands in partnership with the International Potato Center (CIP) has been carrying out an on-farm research demonstration in all the eight Kebeles where the project is working. The purpose of this on-farm research is to demonstrate improved crops with improved management practices, and to document lessons and challenges for future …
A key part of the Africa RISING communication strategy is to really engage with and document the knowledge and experiences of the communities where it works. Alongside more classical research communication, the project is therefore exploring multimedia formats like video, photographs and ultimately radio and mobile phones as tools to enrich multi-way communication. Africa RISING …
From 19-25 May 2013, the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands carried out livelihoods survey in the eight research sites/kebeles in four woredas (Goshe Bado, Gudo Beret, Salka, Ilu-Sanbitu, Jawe, Upper-Gana, Emba-Hazti, Tsibet) in Amhara, Tigray, Oromia and SNNPR regions. 150 farming households participated in each woreda; from each woreda, 30 farmers identified their livelihoods asset …
This is the story of Worknesh Gurmesa a farmer in Chelanko Kebele. I met her during our April 2013 field work to test the use of SLATE – a tool for Sustainable Livelihoods Asset Evaluation (more information). This training of trainers was jointly organised by Africa RISING and the Nile Basin Development Challenge. Participants were …
In April, the Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) and Nile Basin Development Challenge (NBDC) jointly organised a Training of Trainers workshop in the use of SLATE: A tool for Sustainable Livelihoods Asset Evaluation. Held in Addis Ababa and in Jeldu woreda, 30 participants from the Africa RISING’s 4 project …
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 …
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 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 …
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 …
As part of the feed and fodder early win project, three reports were recently produced for the Ethiopian Highland project of Africa RISING: Characterization of the livestock production systems and the potential of feed-based interventions for improving livestock productivity in Sinana district, Bale highlands, Ethiopia – read the report Characterization of the farming and livestock …
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 ‘early win‘ projects were an experiment in quick project development. Participants at the recent synthesis meeting of the QuickFeed project reflected on some of the lessons learning implementing such a project. Building strong partnerships among all project partners from international through national, regional, zonal, district and farmers was essential and contributed to …
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 …
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 …
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 …
The early win project ‘Sustainable tree-crop-livestock intensification as a pillar for the Ethiopian climate resilient green economy initiative‘ recently gained visibility and garnered useful feedback during a workshop hosted by a related network. The national platform on land and water management is a multi-stakeholder learning and sharing forum for all Ethiopian actors concerned with the …
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 …
From 11 to 22 June 2012, students from Mekelle University visited the field site of Abreha We Atsbeha in a semi-arid area of the Tigray Region, to unpack tree-crop-livestock interactions on farms within the field site, to assess drivers influencing incorporation of trees on farms and constraints and opportunities for increasing tree cover through agroforestry interventions. The ‘Sustainable tree-crop-livestock intensification as …
Last week, the International Livestock Research Institute hosted an inception workshop for the Africa-RISING ‘quick feed‘ project. Werner Stür, forages expert on the project, reflects on his visit: I very much enjoyed the workshop. There is a really good team of scientists from Ethiopia, ILRI and ICARDA with a broad range of backgrounds and we …
ILRI seeks to recruit a Project Coordinator to coordinate and manage the project (about 40% time) and provide scientific input into project implementation (about 60% time). Project management including ensuring appropriate liaison with the donor, with international and national partners, establishment of agreements, financial management and reporting, technical reporting, logistical support for implementation. Engage with …
In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Ethiopia led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). The project aims to support more effective use of feed by crop-livestock farmers (including supply and quality, impacts on livestock production and product appeal …
In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Ethiopia led by the CGIAR Systemwide Livestock Programme, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT). The project aims to adapt and test the use of system and participatory research (including farmer diversity) in current R4D initiatives on …
Around 60 experts are gathered this week at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a four-day project design workshop on an exciting new initiative that aims to transform the livelihoods of some of the poorest people in Ethiopia’s highlands. The project, which forms part of the US government’s ‘Feed the …