In Babati District, northern Tanzania, a popular but misleading myth persists. That use of inorganic fertilizer ‘kills’ the soil. For several years, majority of farmers in the district have desisted from use of fertilizer to replenish depleted soil nutrients. Africa RISING researchers have for the past five years, invested significant resources and effort to dispel this myth.
Through its research-in-development work on legume–cereal rotations in Tanzania and Malawi, Africa RISING has established that these rotations work better for larger farms, while intercropping targeted at smaller farms ensures crop diversity, while giving an opportunity for legumes to be grown, thereby bringing associated nitrogen-fixation ecological benefits.
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.
Farmers voices from Malawi and Zambia about how different Africa RISING technologies have touched their lives. These feedback from the grassroots were captured during the recent monitoring visit by the leadership team of the IITA-led Africa RISING project in east and southern Africa.
The leadership team of the IITA-led Africa RISING project in east and southern Africa recently concluded monitoring visits to project sites in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania to assess the status and progress of implementation of various project activities by partners. These visits took place between 15–22 February 2017 in Malawi and Zambia, and 21–31 March 2017 in Tanzania.
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.
During the first phase of the Africa RISING program (2012-2016) the three projects set up innovation and R4D platforms to support learning, sharing collaboration and joint actions. These experiences were critiqued at the recent program science for impact workshop to guide phase 2 interventions.
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.
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.
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.
A geospatial framework for delineating recommendation domains for crop varieties which are part of the Africa RISING technology packages.
How switching to improved agricultural technologies like hybrid maize varieties and application of bladed fertilizers catalyzed a young female farmer’s dramatic rise from an off-season casual laborer to a champion farmer in rural Tanzania.
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.
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.
As I write this piece to share the progress of high value trees research protocol, several circumstances, mostly the first Africa RISING project inception meeting in 2012, crosses my mind. I joined the meeting representing my organization, the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF). I was delighted because the theme was on sustainable intensification where trees could play a central role.
ICARDA research in Ethiopia examines whether the adoption of improved food legume varieties increases the technical efficiency of crop production.
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.
A recently published case study highlights the success of Africa RISING interventions in improving vegetable varieties and production among smallholder farmers in Kilombero District, 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.
“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.
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.
An article in the CIAT annual report 2015-2016 explains how the Integrated Landscape Management component of the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia is generating data to advise communities about better land and water management practices, to protect the whole landscape.
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.
Higher incomes for farmers, a new tomato variety for consumers
Through the Africa RISING project, farmers in nine villages located in Manyara and Dodoma regions of Tanzania have been introduced to Amaranth and African nightshade farming.
New postharvest technologies put a smile on the faces of Tanzania’s smallholder farmers
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.
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.
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.
The Africa RISING-NAFAKA-TUBORESHE CHAKULA scaling project is working to introduce farmers in Kongwa and Kiteto districts in Tanzania to simple seasonal in-situ water-harvesting innovations
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.
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.
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.
Results from a cost-benefit-analysis of Africa RISING technologies in Tanzania show that almost all of the technologies being tested by the project are better than the base technologies currently used by farmers.
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.
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.
Researchers say they are close to a breakthrough in developing maize lethal necrosis (MLN) tolerant maize varieties, that will help farmers in East Africa successfully fight the disease.
Fred Kizito, senior scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), introduces himself and his work with the program.
Farmers know that soil is a precious commodity. But in Babati District, northern Tanzania, a long held belief that mineral fertilizers spoils soils is preventing them from making informed decisions on how best to keep their soils healthy and increase their yields.Researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Selian Agriculture.Research Institute (SARI) are investigating best-bet fertilizer options and agronomic practices for maize in the region as part of the USAID-funded Africa RISING program. Their work is challenging local beliefs and changing attitudes.
Frédéric Baudron, senior tropical agronomist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Ethiopia, introduces himself and his work with the program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Preference for aromatic rice by consumers is an open secret in the rice sector in Tanzania. But this preference for a distinct scent in rice could be a root cause of stagnating rice production in the country. Researchers from AfricaRice (through the Africa RISING project) in partnership with a local NGO, NAFAKA, have been implementing activities to find a middle ground for stakeholders involved in the rice value chain in Tanzania.
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.
Learning from the experience of Asian countries such as Bangladesh, CIMMYT (the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre) and its partners are testing small, inexpensive, and easy to maintain two-wheel (single axle) tractors in the Ethiopian Highlands, thanks to the support of the Africa RISING (Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation) project funded by USAID (United States Agency for International Development).
Small scale farmers are the guardians of 80 per cent of the world’s farmland. If we are to resolve the global soil crisis, they must be at the heart of the solutions.
Elda Mmary, a female extension officer talks about her work with smallholder farmers on the Africa RISING project in Babati District, Tanzania.
Scientists involved in the Africa RISING project share three key lessons learnt from a recent cross-learning visit to the Ethiopian highlands on landscape and watershed management.
In northern Tanzania, failed rains and drying streams mean the main source of livelihood – agriculture – is under serious threat. In a bid to buffer smallholder farmers from erratic rainfall CIAT, through the Africa RISING project, is carrying out research into sustainable water management in the country.
Farmers and extension agents from Babati District in Tanzania took part in a training, held on 20 April 2015, by Africa RISING scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) as part of activities to integrate improved forages into smallholder crop-livestock systems through capacity building for farmers and extension officers.
In April, twenty five scientists from the different Africa RISING projects visited Ethiopia as part of a learning exchange.
In this five-minute video, Bright Jumbo, the Africa RISING research lead on the management of maize lethal necrosis disease, explains the progress made by the team as at March 2015.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
This RISING voices article features an interview with Anthony Kimaro, a scientist with Africa RISING and country representative for ICRAF in Tanzania.
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 …
Mrs. Ephraim Lukumay, a farmer in Bermi village, Babati District of Tanzania tells of how Amaranth farming has changed her life for the better – thanks to Africa RISING initiative to promote the vegetable in collaboration with AVRDC.
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.
Earlier this year scientists from ICARDA and national partners carried out livestock feed assessments in 12 districts in Ethiopia. The twelve reports are online in the Africa RISING repository.
This photofilm explains how a farmer cooperative in Endamehoni woreda (Ethiopia) organized itself to produce and distribute seed potatoes.
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 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).
Africa RISING has received additional support from the USAID mission in Tanzania to scale out appropriate technologies to smallholder farmers in the maize- and rice-farming systems in the country.
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.
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.
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.
The Africa RISING program, now in its third year, has made significant progress in getting the different researchers from different backgrounds and institutions to work together in a truly integrated way to develop science-based solutions to the challenges faced by smallholder farmers. This in turn has seen impressive increases in the productivity of smallholder farmers involved in the research project across its five districts in East and Southern Africa.
Nearly half of the farmers in the Africa RISING action sites in Tanzania integrate vegetables into their maize-based farming systems as a strategy to increase and diversify their income and diet according to a household socioeconomic characterization survey conducted by Africa RISING.
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.
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).
In 2013, the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia initiated a series of participatory assessments to diagnose and characterize the farming systems and communities where the project is working. A series of short briefs explains the different approaches and how they were used
In this interview, Per Hillbur introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the project.
Agroforestry can transform lives and landscapes. Trees and shrubs grown on farms provide fruit, timber, resins, fuelwood and livestock fodder. They also improve soil fertility, regulate water supplies and help farmers adapt to changing climatic conditions. Which begs the question: if agroforestry can bring so many benefits, why don’t we see lots of trees on …
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).
As much as farmers call me a breeder, they are breeders as well, ” said Wills Munthali, from ICRISAT Malawi, during a farmer’s field day in Njoro, in Kiteto district. “Under Africa RISING we are working hand in hand with farmers in the selection of improved varieties. They are breeders as well.
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.
Inorganic fertilizers have a bad name in Babati (Tanzania) and are accused of ruining soils. Dispelling this myth and urging farmers to use them to boost their production was one of the key messages at a Farmers’ Field Day held in Babati District, 21 – 22 May 2014.
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 this interview, Eliud Birachi introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the program.
In 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 this interview, Cleo Roberts introduces herself and her work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the program.
The partners of the Africa RISING project and the Babati District Council have launched the Babati District Research for Development (R4D) platform to facilitate the uptake of the project’s innovations in the district. Babati District in Northern Tanzania is one of the three district the project is working in in Tanzania. The platform will help in setting priorities for the research and ensure sustainability of the project.
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.
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.
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 …
The recent Africa RISING program learning event (24-26 September 2013) revealed an incredible wealth of tools and approaches used across the program. The list includes: West Africa Tools for collecting data Mother-baby trials (mentioned in this article) Participatory community analysis (PRAE, PRA, RRA) FEAST Impact LITE Biomass assessment tool Focus group discussions Value chain analysis …
On 24 September 2013, the first Africa RISING learning event kicked off at the ILRI campus in Ethiopia. The annual learning event aims to: facilitate learning from ongoing program-wide activities (research framework, M and E, Communications etc.); build on project-specific methods, approaches and problems as well as interesting innovations, approaches; discuss specific sub-themes in more …
During the recent East and Southern Africa review and planning meeting, team members from Africa RISING in West Africa joined the discussions. We asked Asamoah Larbi (IITA Coordinator of Africa RISING for West Africa) and Tom van Mourik (team leader for Mali at ICRISAT) to reflect on the work done by the three site teams …
Even in a program like Africa RISING, where Sustainable Intensification is at the heart of the approach, such key concepts should not be taken for granted. A recent conference about ‘sustainable intensification’ in Accra showed that there are widely different understandings about such complex approaches. The 2013 review and planning meeting of the East and …
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 …
Africa RISING’s research component (3) focuses on market value chains. The Ethiopia team working on these issues met this week to review the work plan for market and value chains in the project. They also discussed the tools to be used to collect relevant data and information. The team comprises staff from CIAT, ILRI, CIP, …
Local knowledge is proving a valuable starting point in adapting Ethiopian farming systems to climate change and ensuring greater productivity to combat food insecurity. A new brief by the World Agroforestry Centre analyses what farmers in the highlands of Ethiopia currently know about ecosystem processes and the interactions between trees, crops and livestock. The aim …
In July, an ICRAF team comprising Aster Gebrekirstos (ICRAF scientist), Kiros Hadgu (ICRAF Ethiopia Country Representative) and Anne Kuria (ICRAF researcher) visited Lemu Woreda which contains two of the eight Kebeles of the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands. The aim of the visit was to see progress on the local knowledge acquisition field …
Sustainable intensification (SI) is at the core of Africa RISING’s research agenda. It needs to demonstrate that sustainable intensification (SI) is a feasible way forward to achieve Africa’s food security and poverty reduction. However, this quest is imbued with complications, as the very notion of sustainable intensification remains draped with mystery. Questions frequently arise as …
“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 …
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 …
Climbing beans are turning out to be one of the winning innovations being introduced by Africa RISING in Babati district, Tanzania. The beans have tendrils which coil around supporting stakes or strings and can grow as high as 2 meters tall and produce many pods and leaves. According to Edgar Lyakurwa, an extension officer with …
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 …
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 …
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 …
Weeds are one of the major constraints to rice production in sub-Saharan Africa. Without control, they can cause yield losses ranging from 28% to 89%. One major contributing factor is the lack of knowledge and information on labor-saving weed control and management technologies among farmers and extension workers. This early win project on ‘Building local …
Many varieties of maize and legumes with good traits have been developed and released and there have been a lot of efforts by governments, farmer’s organizations, non-governmental organization and private seed companies, to get them to the farmers. Africa RISING’s early win project ‘Identifying efficient seed system (s) practices/models to accelerate the access to quality …
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 …
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 …
Various organizations have developed and promoted many practices aimed at improving yields, and managing water and soil at the farm level. Which of these have farmers really adopted and what factors have led to the adoption or non- adoption? Which of these are really effective and can be scaled up in the Africa RISING project? …
Mixed-farming smallholder growers in East and Southern Africa are slated to see a boost in their production and productivity resulting from a strategy that will see agricultural experts from different disciplines and farmers working hand-in-hand at the farm and village levels. International and national agricultural researchers converged in Arusha, Tanzania from 1 to 5 October …
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 …
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 …
From 5 to 7 September 2012, a group of people from the three Africa RISING regions (re-baptized ‘mega sites’, i.e. West Africa, Ethiopian Highlands and East and Southern Africa) met to elaborate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) directions for the program. This workshop was organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). It aimed at …
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 …
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 …
On 31 May 2012, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the Sinana Agricultural Research Center (SARC) hosted an inception workshop for the Africa RISING ‘early win’ project on the integration of pulses in crop-livestock production systems in the Bale Highlands of Ethiopia. The project intends to improve cropping system …
In June 2012, the ICRAF-led early win project on ‘Sustainable tree-crop-livestock intensification as a pillar for the Ethiopian climate resilient green economy initiative‘ will hold a training workshop on local knowledge acquisition. Part of the project’s ‘output 1’, the training will help ensure that local knowledge about the integration of trees in fields, farms and …