East Africa / IITA / Intensification / MAIZE-CRP / Malawi / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Trip Report / Zambia

Africa RISING management team visits project sites 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. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Extension / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / LIVESTOCK-CRP / MAIZE-CRP / Participation / Research / Southern Africa / West Africa

Innovation and R4D platforms in Africa RISING: questioning sustainability

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. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / Cowpea / DRYLANDS-CRP / Intensification / Research / Southern Africa / Zambia

Diversification with cowpea provides new opportunities for smallholders in Zambia

Drought-tolerant cowpea has become an attractive crop among rural Zambian farmers, thanks to USAID’s Feed the Future initiative in Eastern Province. Cowpea is now more frequently used as both a food and cash crop in the Eastern Province, due to its high nutritional value for household consumption and an increase in local market demand. Africa RISING supports this development by promoting crop diversification as part of its broader agricultural technological interventions and as an integral part of conservation agriculture. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / DRYLANDS-CRP / Extension / Intensification / Maize / Research / Southern Africa / Zambia

Good agriculture practices―low hanging fruits for Zambian farmers

Good agriculture practices (GAPs) are the low-hanging fruits for extension of new technologies. They are easily adoptable, give farmers an immediate benefit, and help in the gradual shift from traditional plough or hoe-based systems with maize monocropping to more sustainable and adapted ways of agriculture.It is against this background that the Africa RISING project theme on Sustainable Intensification of low input farming Systems has intensified the out scaling of simple component technologies in a mother-and-baby trial approach in three districts of Eastern Province, namely Sinda, Chipata, and Lundazi. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / DRYLANDS-CRP / Intensification / Research / Southern Africa / Zambia

Conservation agriculture – a system to adapt to climate variability and declining soil fertility in Zambia

Remarkable results are emerging from Africa RISING project activities in Eastern Province of Zambia. More than 20,000 farmers have been exposed to CA by SIMLEZA-Africa RISING, the predecessor project of Africa RISING, which continues to sensitize and train more farmers. Farmers benefitted from increased use of CA technologies by gradually increasing crop yields leading to a solid yield benefit of 117% (1942 kg/ha) in a manually direct seeded maize crop following cowpea as compared with the conventional practice in the 2014/2015 cropping season. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / Impact Assessment / Intensification / Maize / Research / Southern Africa / Zambia

Sustainable intensification practices―a ray of hope for Zambian farmers facing drought

Findings from three districts in Zambia revealed that smallholder farmers use agricultural technology innovations and diversification strategies to manage droughts and enhance their resilience to climate shocks. Continue reading

Agroforestry / CIMMYT / Conservation agriculture / DRYLANDS-CRP / Intensification / Maize / Southern Africa / Zambia

Addressing smallholder farmers’ needs with green manure cover crops and agroforestry in Zambia

Farmers in southern Africa plant maize extensively on large areas, harvest less than 2 t/ha on average, extracting already depleted nutrients from the soil while trying to become food secure and escape from poverty―an impossible task! In Eastern Province of Zambia, farmers are being offered a range of solutions by Africa RISING that provide a way out of this poverty trap. These technologies, options, and approaches include drought- and stress-tolerant maize germplasm, conservation agriculture (CA), improved rotation and intercropping with grain legumes, agroforestry, and green manure cover crops. Continue reading

East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Impact Assessment / Intensification / poster / Postharvest / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Economic evaluation of an improved grain storage technology in Tanzania

Insights from an economic evaluation of Africa RISING post-harvest technology (Purdue Improved Crop Storage bags) in Tanzania reveal how much farmers are benefitting by adopting the improved storage bags over the conventional storage options. Continue reading

East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Maize / nafaka / poster / Rice / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Taking agricultural technologies to scale: The Africa RISING-NAFAKA partnership in Tanzania

In 2014, Africa RISING partnered with the USAID-funded NAFAKA project in Tanzania to scale-out best-bet technologies among smallholder farmers. Currently in its third year, the project, which also incorporates several community-based actors, has achieved great success. This poster provides an inside look at what it takes to make these kind of partnerships tick and the key lessons learnt from this nascent project. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Fertilizer / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Maize / nafaka / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Improved agricultural technologies for improved livelihoods in Tanzania

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. Continue reading

Africa / Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / Dairying / East Africa / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Livestock / Research / SLS / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Africa RISING making a FEAST for cattle in Babati District, Northern 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 … Continue reading

Climate change / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / Intensification / Scaling / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Kongwa District Council and Africa RISING rally to fight hunger in rural Tanzania

The Africa RISING project in Tanzania recently got merited recognition by the Kongwa District Council as a project that provides farmers with practical improved agricultural technologies that can be applied to fight hunger in the District. Continue reading

Capacity strengthening / Event / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Malawi / Participation / Research / Southern Africa

Getting ready for phase 2: Africa RISING partners pore over farming systems research design

Twenty scientists implementing different Africa RISING interventions in East and Southern Africa took part in a training on farming systems research design from 3-4 October, 2016 in Lilongwe,Malawi. “After this training I think the scientists are now better equipped to make more integrated and participatory systems research designs,” explains Prof. Mateete Bekunda, Chief Scientist, Africa RISING East and Southern Africa Project. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Malawi / Mali / Research / Scaling / SLS / Southern Africa / Tanzania / West Africa / Zambia

Boost for Africa’s smallholder farmers’ access to sustainable agricultural technologies as USAID announces $ 50 million Africa RISING Phase 2

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Food Security in Washington DC has announced funding for a second 5-year phase of the Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program beginning October 2016. Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Feeds / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Indigenous Breeds / Intensification / poster / Poultry / SLS / Southern Africa

Characterization of local chicken production and management systems in Babati, Tanzania

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. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Livestock / poster / SLS / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Intensification of smallholder livestock production through utilization of crop residues for livestock feed in Tanzania

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. Continue reading

DRYLANDS-CRP / Intensification / Legumes / Malawi / MSU / NRM / Research / Soils / Southern Africa

Doubled-up legume rotations improve soil fertility and maintain productivity under variable conditions in maize-based cropping systems in Malawi

Smallholder farmers in Malawi must cope with small farm size, low soil fertility and production risks associated with rainfed agriculture. Integration of legumes into maize-based cropping systems is advocated as a means to increase production of diverse nutrient-dense grains and improve soil fertility. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Cowpea / DRYLANDS-CRP / Intensification / Legumes / Maize / Southern Africa / Soybean / Zimbabwe

Are conservation agriculture systems good options for smallholders in Zimbabwe?

A multi-locational study in Zimbabwe aimed to determine the effect of four tillage systems on maize, cowpea and soybean yields, and evaluate the economic performance of the conservation agriculture (CA) systems relative to conventional plowing. Continue reading

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

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

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

HUMIDTROPICS / Infographic / Intensification / Legumes / Malawi / MSU / Scaling / Southern Africa

INFOGRAPHIC: How does a farm family in Malawi produce more from their farm?

This newly published infographic which is largely based on Africa RISING program activities in central Malawi helps to visualize what sustainable intensification means in the context of the farming system in the region and how it differs from the typical farmer practice. It also illustrates how the doubled-up legume technology works to ensure a farmer gets “double” legume grain yields and “double” soil fertility benefits from biological nitrogen fixation. Continue reading

DRYLANDS-CRP / Infographic / Intensification / Legumes / Malawi / MSU / Southern Africa

INFOGRAPHIC: Different strokes for different folks (on farm typologies in Africa RISING)

Smallholder farming households in much of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are distinctly diverse within and across communities. This infographic seeks to visually explain the different ‘best bet: best fit’ pathways of intensification for contrasting farm categories (typologies). Continue reading

CIMMYT / Cowpea / DRYLANDS-CRP / Gender / IITA / Intensification / Maize / Participation / Scaling / Southern Africa / Zambia

Getting technologies out to farmers using innovative approaches: the Africa RISING – SIMLEZA project

Since September 2013, the SIMLEZA-Africa RISING project tested a range of improved agricultural technologies in Chipata and Katete districts of Zambia with the aim of sustainably intensifying the productivity of small holder farmers in those parts of the country. How did the project scale-out those technologies to the farmers? What worked and what didn’t? Continue reading

AVRDC / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Interview / Nutrition / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Vegetables

RISING voices: Cornel Massawe, nematologist at Tengeru Horticultural and Training Institute, Tanzania

Cornel Massawe, nematologist at Tengeru Horticultural and Training Institute (HORTI Tengeru), introduces himself and his work with the Africa RISING – NAFAKA technology scaling project in Tanzania. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Geodata / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Interview / Southern Africa / Tanzania

RISING voices: Francis Muthoni, GIS specialist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Tanzania

Francis Muthoni, geographic information system specialist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Arusha, introduces himself and his work with the program. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Crop Residues / Crop-Livestock / DRYLANDS-CRP / IITA / Intensification / Livestock / Maize / Southern Africa / Zambia

Expanding beyond demonstration plots brings new cattle to the kraal in Zambia

In the second year of practicing conservation agriculture (CA) introduced to him through the SIMLEZA-Africa RISING project; Stephen Nyirenda, a 38 year old farmer from Lundazi District in Zambia has been able to increase the productivity of his farm in ways he never thought possible. In just two seasons he’s been able to buy two cows from the extra proceeds he’s been getting from his farm. Not a mean feat, but which he attributes squarely to this new found way of sustainable land management Continue reading

CIMMYT / DRYLANDS-CRP / IITA / Intensification / Maize / Southern Africa / Zambia

Quality cowpea seed production offers Zambian women farmers opportunities for quality lives

Thanks to an emerging breed of bold farmers who have taken to producing legume seeds for cultivation by their colleagues, the challenge of legume seed availability is being met in Eastern Zambia. For the past two years, Tichoke Phiri, a woman farmer from Kawalala camp in Katete district has been growing improved cowpea varieties through the Africa RISING project and selling it at a minimal cost to her fellow farmers in Kawala camp. The returns from her work have been very rewarding Continue reading

CIMMYT / Climate change / Cowpea / DRYLANDS-CRP / IITA / Intensification / Maize / Participation / Southern Africa / Zambia

Conservation agriculture for Zambia – A resilient technology in times of climate change

Against the odds stacked against them due to climate change; farmers in Chipata and Katete districts in Zambia where the SIMLEZA-Africa RISING project was being implemented are ramping up their farm productivity using conservation agriculture techniques. Richard Soko, a farmer from Chipata District is one such farmer Continue reading

CIMMYT / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Interview / Maize / Southern Africa / Tanzania

RISING Voices: Bright Jumbo, maize molecular breeder at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Kenya

MacDonald Bright Jumbo, Maize Molecular Breeder at International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in Nairobi , introduces himself and his work in the Africa RISING program. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in Africa RISING. Continue reading

CIMMYT / DRYLANDS-CRP / IITA / Intensification / Maize / Scaling / Seeds / Southern Africa / Zambia

Scaling up drought tolerant maize in Zambia

The SIMLEZA – Africa RISING project in Zambia provides support to seed companies in seed business development, including building capacity for training and technical assistance, entrepreneurial skills, varietal release and registration, seed multiplication and commercialization to enhance their ability to produce and market improved seed. Continue reading

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

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

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

AVRDC / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Event / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Africa RISING project partners review achievements and plans for East and Southern Africa

More than 50 scientists from various CGIAR Centres and National Research Systems converged in Mangochi, Malawi on 13–15 July for a review and planning meeting of the Africa RISING East and Southern Africa Project. Continue reading

Animal Feeding / CIAT / Crop-Livestock / Dairying / East Africa / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Participation / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Facilitating participatory research: Scientists train farmers and extension officers in Babati-Tanzania on forage data collection

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. Continue reading

Africa RISING ESA external review team praises research work, calls for improved efforts to ensure technologies are adopted by small holder farmers
East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / Impact Assessment / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Malawi / MSU / Report / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Africa RISING ESA external review team praises research work, calls for improved efforts to ensure technologies are adopted by small holder farmers

The IITA commissioned external review of Africa RISING East and Southern Africa project concluded on 16 March after nearly five weeks of literature review, project stakeholder interviews and field visits to project sites in Tanzania and Malawi. Continue reading

Africa / DRYLANDS-CRP / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / Impact Assessment / Intensification / Maize / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Characterizing the adopters of sustainable intensification innovations in Malawi and Tanzania

At this week’s international conference on Integrated Systems Research for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, Jeroen Groot presented a poster on behalf of IFPRI colleagues on Africa RISING work to characterize the adopters of sustainable intensification innovations in Malawi and Tanzania. Continue reading

CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / Crops / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Maize / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Integration of Maize Lethal Necrosis disease management in crop-livestock intensification in East Africa

At this week’s international conference on Integrated Systems Research for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, Bright Jumbo presented a poster reporting on research in Tanzania to integrate Maize Lethal Necrosis disease management in crop-livestock intensification. Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Dairying / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / Fodder / Forages / ICRAF / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa

Exploring niches for livestock intensification in farming systems in Malawi

At this week’s international conference on Integrated Systems Research for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, Aston Mulwafu presented a poster explaining on different feed options for smallholder dairy farmers to intensify their production systems in Malawi.     Dairying in smallholder farming systems can be intensified to improve livelihoods. The biggest constraint faced by resource-constrained … Continue reading

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

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

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

Crops / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / IITA / Intensification / Legumes / Malawi / MSU / Pigeonpea / Research / Southern Africa

Increasing pigeonpea productivity in a novel doubled-up legume cropping system in Malawi

At this week’s international conference on Integrated Systems Research for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, Chiwimbo Gwenambira (Michigan State University) presented a poster explaining a a novel doubled-up legume cropping system in Malawi. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / SLS / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Innovation platforms in Africa RISING: Theory and practice

In Africa RISING, innovation platforms are one of the mechanisms of ensuring research is put into use and actually contributes to solving real problems that are based on a real demand. Here is an overview of the theory, practice and perspectives around innovation platforms in the program. Continue reading

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

Tanzania’s Babati District R4D platform sets priorities for 2015

The leadership committee of Tanzania’s Babati District research for development (R4D) platform, JUMBA (Jukwaa la Utafiti kwa Maendeleo wilaya ya Babati) recently held a two-day retreat to refine its constitution, vision and mission and to develop and prioritize JUMBA activities for 2015. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Participation / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Trip Report / Video

Research for farmers, by farmers: Highlights of Africa RISING farmer-scientists feedback meetings in Tanzania’s Babati District

At the tail end of 2014, Africa RISING scientists and government extension agents held a series of feedback meetings with farmers in Tanzania’s Babati District. This photo trip report provides a visual overview of the issues encountered and activities undertaken by the project team during the feedback meetings in those areas. Continue reading

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

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

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

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

R4D platform promotes technology adoption in Babati District, Tanzania

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

AVRDC / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Nutrition / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Vegetables

Turning over a new leaf: How Amaranth farming has transformed the life of a woman farmer in Tanzania

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. Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Fodder and feed, a key to sustainable intensification of crop livestock system in Babati, Tanzania

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. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Southern Africa

Africa RISING’s integrated technologies doubling smallholder farmers’ yields in East and Southern Africa

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. Continue reading

AVRDC / Crop-Livestock / Crops / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Nutrition / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Promoting dietary and income diversification through vegetable integration into maize/legume systems in Babati, Tanzania

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. Continue reading

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

Farmers as researchers for a day: Africa RISING Farmers’ Field Day in Tanzania

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. Continue reading

East Africa / Fertilizer / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / NRM / Research / Soils / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Use fertilizer to boost yields: Key message during Babati Farmers’ Field Days

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. Continue reading

AfricaRice / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Rice / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Weeds

Video shows farmers how to transplant seeds of lowland rice

Rice yields in Africa are low but this can be reversed with good management practices. For example, the yields can double and even triple when rice is transplanted as opposed to broadcasting. This farmer to farmer video produced by the Africa Rice Center shows farmers how to transplant seeds of lowland rice. Continue reading

AfricaRice / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Rice / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Weeds

Rice weed management video shows farmers how to control weeds in lowland rice

Weeds are important constraints for rice production. Effective weed management can increase yields by more than 50%, but usually takes a lot of time. This farmer to farmer video produced by the Africa Rice Center shows farmers how to control weeds in lowland rice most effectively. Continue reading

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

Of ‘super’ farmers and integrated farming systems in Tanzania

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

AfricaRice / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Rice / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Weeds

Video explains use of a rotary weeder in lowland rice

Weeds are important constraints for rice production. Effective weed management can increase yields by more than 50%, but usually takes a lot of time. One such labor-saving method is the use of the rotary weeder. This farmer to farmer video produced by the Africa Rice Center shows farmers how to control weeds in lowland rice most effectively. Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa

Africa RISING researchers in learning visit to Malawi

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from Africa RISING recently visited Malawi as part of a learning exchange visit of project sites and trials. Members of the team came from Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and Ethiopia representing the various CGIAR Centres implementing the project. They visited Africa RISING trial sites in Dedza and Ntcheu districts in Malawi representing the three agroecological zones that the project is working in: the dry and hot lowlands, the moderate temperature mid-altitude zone, and the comparatively cooler high-altitude zone. The researchers visited some of the “Mother-Baby” trials that the project is conducting in these two districts. Continue reading

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

Africa RISING establishes a partnership platform to facilitate uptake and adoption of innovations by farmers in Babati District, Tanzania

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. Continue reading

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

Babati R4D platform: Great expectations

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

HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Southern Africa / Zambia

Broadening Africa RISING work in Zambia

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

Africa / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Participation / Southern Africa / West Africa

A wealth of tools and approaches spotted at the Africa RISING learning event

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 … Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / Intensification / Southern Africa / West Africa

Africa RISING learning event kicks off in Addis Ababa

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 … Continue reading

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

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

Even in a program like Africa RISING, where Sustainable Intensification is at the heart of the approach, such key concepts should not be taken for granted. A recent conference about ‘sustainable intensification’ in Accra showed that there are widely different understandings about such complex approaches. The 2013 review and planning meeting of the East and … Continue reading

Africa / Agroforestry / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Intensification / Pests / Research / Southern Africa / West Africa

Monitoring and assessing sustainable intensification – Accra meeting sets out ways forward

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 … Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

CIAT / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Regions / SARI / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Climbing beans doubling yields in Tanzania

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 … Continue reading

Africa / CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa

Sustainable intensification and diversification of maize-based farming systems in Malawi – early win project report

This Africa RISING supported project aims to analyze  the impact of three agricultural production systems –conservation agriculture, continuous no-till maize and conventional tillage — on food production, soil fertility and quality, human nutrition, resilience to drought and climate variability and change and household income in Malawi. Support from Africa RISING was crucial in sustaining this … Continue reading

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

Africa RISING program document: The thinking behind the overall approach

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

Agroforestry / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Malawi / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Trees

Africa RISING early win project: Evergreen Agriculture to increase productivity and resilience of mixed farming systems in Tanzania and Malawi

Evergreen agriculture is a form of agroforestry that integrates trees with crops, maintaining a green cover on the land throughout the year.  It is one of the options to intensify agriculture to increase production and also provides environmental benefits including managing soil fertility and moisture. The early win project, ‘Evidence for Scaling-up Evergreen Agriculture to … Continue reading

CIAT / Crops / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / Intensification / Malawi / Seeds / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Boosting the production of quality seeds of improved varieties of maize and legumes in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia

While improved varieties can give farmers increased yields, the percentage of small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa growing them is very low, especially for legumes. One reason for this is the unavailability and unaffordability of the seeds. The early win project on ‘Multiplication of breeder and basic seed for Maize and Legumes in Tanzania, Malawi, and … Continue reading

Agroforestry / CIAT / Crops / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / NRM / Research / Soils / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Water / Zambia

Cataloguing tested crop, soil, and water management options in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia

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? … Continue reading

Crops / HUMIDTROPICS / Malawi / NRM / Nutrition / Soils / Southern Africa

Africa RISING early win project in Malawi: Expanding no-till agriculture to increase income and diversify diets

Conservation agriculture, which involves minimum tillage of the land and retaining crop residues on the land, has proven useful for increasing yield and at the same time managing soil fertility and increasing farmers resilience to drought and climate variability in Malawi. However, so far the technology has mainly focused on maize. Can the technology be … Continue reading

Agroforestry / Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / Crops / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Nutrition / Soils / Southern Africa

Sustainable intensification explained: How Rhoda Mang’Anya made it work in Malawi

The story of Rhoda Mang’Anya, a farmer in Malawi, is one of the best examples of possible pathways to sustainable intensification. Although it is not a story from Africa RISING, it illustrates very well the kind of pathways that Africa RISING would like to enable. Rhoad Mang’Anya acquired her half-hectare plot in the early 1990’s. … Continue reading

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

Africa RISING charts strategic roadmap to boost productivity of smallholder mixed-farming growers in East and Southern Africa

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 … Continue reading

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

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

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

Africa / Agroforestry / Crop-Livestock / Crops / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / NRM / Research / Soils / Southern Africa / Trees / Water

Integrating perennials with food crops could restore soil health and increase staple yields

Today’s edition of Naturehas an article by Jerry Glover, John Reganold and Cindy Cox in which they explain, with examples from Malawi harmer Rhoda Mang’yana, how planting perennials can help save Africa’s soils. Rhoda’s story: Rhoda Mang’yana’s half-hectare farm in Malawi produces more maize (corn) than her extended family of seven can eat. Some of … Continue reading

Africa / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / Intensification / Malawi / Mali / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / West Africa / Zambia

Monitoring and evaluation in Africa RISING – paving the way to impact

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 … Continue reading

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

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

The Africa RISING project is now in full swing in the three regions – West Africa, Ethiopian Highlands and East and Southern Africa (ESA). In West Africa, a ‘fast track’ implementation work plan has been agreed for the two countries concerned (Mali and Ghana). The implementation team has identified four districts and five communities in … Continue reading

CIMMYT / Crop-Livestock / Crops / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa

Conservation agriculture in Malawi: “We always have problems with rain here”

Earlier this year, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Malawi led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). A news story from this project explains how smallholder maize farmers in Malawi are adopting sustainable crop management practices that cut labor and help capture and hold rainfall, salvaging harvests when water is … Continue reading

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

Africa RISING: Update on Eastern and Southern Africa project

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

AVRDC / HUMIDTROPICS / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Africa RISING initiative to ensure safe vegetables in Tanzania launched

From May 10-12, a project was launched in Morogoro (Tanzania) to determine the prevalence of harmful vegetable contaminants in Tanzania. For the first time ever, researchers will collect quantitative data on pesticide residues, heavy metals, human diseases, and plant pathogens on samples of tomato and eggplant being sold in markets and from farmers’ fields. Significant … Continue reading

AfricaRice / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Weeds

AfroWeeds workshop: Building weed science capacities in Tanzania

On 10 May 2012, the Africa Rice Center and the Sokoine University of Agriculture organized a workshop in Morogoro, Tanzania, to kick-start the Early Win project on ‘Building local capacities in weed management for rice-based systems in Tanzania‘. The objectives of the workshop were to present the collaborative network Weedsbook and the AFROweeds identification tool and database to … Continue reading

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

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

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

Africa / Agroforestry / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Intensification / Research / Scaling / Southern Africa

Scaling-up evergreen agriculture to enhance maize-mixed and agropastoral farming systems in Tanzania and Malawi

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania and Malawi led by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). The project aims to build an evidence base for scaling up EGA to increasing crop productivity, fodder supply and resilience of the maize-mixed and agropastoral farming systems in Tanzania and Malawi. The outputs will be: Synthesis … Continue reading

Africa / CIMMYT / Crops / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa

Sustainable intensification and diversification of maize-based farming systems in Malawi

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Malawi led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). The project aims to provide pathways out of hunger and poverty for smallholder families, particularly for women and children, through sustainably intensified farming systems. The outputs will be: Crop yield and biomass production Nutritional output … Continue reading

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

Multiplication of breeder and basic seed for maize and legumes in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). The project aims to increase production of both basic (or breeder) seed and certified seed for six target crops (maize, beans, cowpeas, soybeans, Medium duration pigeonpea and groundnuts) in … Continue reading

Africa / CIAT / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Zambia

Accelerating access to quality seed of legumes, maize and forages in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). The project aims to Carry out assessment of the representative  of  seed systems models related to production  efficiency, scale  and speed of seed and variety access and information with consideration of the … Continue reading

Africa / AfricaRice / East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Research / Rice / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Weeds

Building local capacities in weed management for rice-based systems in Tanzania

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania led by the Africa Rice Center. The objectives of this quick-win proposal are to train local end-users, craftsmen and private service providers on the use and manufacturing of labor-saving and efficiency-enhancing weed management technologies for rice-based systems in Tanzania and to enhance local R&D … Continue reading

Africa / AVRDC / Crops / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Nutrition / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania

Enhancing vegetable value chains to improve farm household income and consumer access to safer vegetables in Tanzania

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Morogoro, Tanzania led by the World Vegetable Center – AVRDC. The projects aim  to be more productive/intensified and sustainable rice-vegetable production systems along with improved access for smallholder farmers to markets, leading to diversified and increased household income from vegetables and enhanced nutritional security from safer … Continue reading

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

Value chain analysis of grain legumes in East and Southern Africa

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

Africa / CIAT / Crop-Livestock / Crops / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Malawi / NRM / Research / Soils / Southern Africa / Tanzania / Water / Zambia

A catalogue of tested crop, soil, and water management options for Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). The project aims to identify and promote sustainable intensification (SI) pathways by evaluating tested crop, soil and water management options for their suitability under varied land (soil health) and socio-economic conditions that prevail … Continue reading

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

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

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

Africa / Crop-Livestock / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Research / Southern Africa / West Africa

Sustainably intensifying, sustainably increasing – Africa-RISING to increase the productivity of smallholder farmers in Africa

At a recent workshop discussing the design of a new research project on the sustainable intensification of crop-livestock farming systems in Ethiopia, we asked Jerry Glover from USAID’s Office of Agricultural Research and Policy to tell us more about the project. He explained that the project is intended to intensify some farming systems in Ethiopia, … Continue reading

Africa / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / Ghana / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / West Africa

Designing the Africa RISING Feed the Future program to sustainably intensify farming systems

In the past few months, the new ‘Africa RISING’ (Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation) program has emerged from  a process of discussion and consultation – adapting design and thinking along the way – and engaging a wide range of stakeholders. More information on the Program. In October 2011, a team from … Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / Ghana / Intensification / Malawi / Mali / Research / Southern Africa / Tanzania / West Africa / Zambia

Monitoring and evaluation: IFPRI seeks post-doctoral fellow to work on Africa RISING M&E strategy

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks a Post-Doctoral Fellow (PDF) for its HarvestChoice team in the Environment and Production Technology Division. The PDF will work closely with both the team leader and the economist within IFPRI’s HarvestChoice team in conducting a work program agreed and monitored by IFPRI and by the United States Agency … Continue reading

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

Sustainable intensification of cereal-based farming systems in East and Southern Africa

Last week, 80 people from Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi met in Dar es Salaam to design a new ‘Feed the Future‘ project (supported by the United States Agency for International Development – USAID) on sustainable intensification of crop and livestock farming systems. The meeting was convened by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). This … Continue reading