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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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 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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …