Initially conceived as three regional projects working in similar ways, inception workshops revealed strong potential synergies as well as opportunities to deliver greater impacts through adoption of consistent approaches and cross-learning through a joint Africa RISING program.
In Phase I (2011 – 16), Africa RISING identified, adapted, validated and deployed relevant, innovative farming technologies for sustainable intensification in Eastern and Southern Africa (Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia), the Ethiopian Highlands and in West Africa (Ghana and Mali). The three projects were each evaluated in late 2015 and early 2016. The evaluations were generally positive, providing useful feedback, insights and recommendations for the second phase of the program. Phase II (2016–21) of Africa RISING is now focused on working to scale the innovations validated in Phase I to at least 1.1 million households by 2021 and implement more research-in-development activities.
Key elements of the approach taken during phase I included a demand-driven focus to identify entry points for SI with the potential to move to scale; a focus primarily on the household level but not excluding researchable constraints at the landscape level; addressing, in parallel, issues in the wider enabling environment (markets, institutions and policies) through the establishment of broad-based multi-stakeholder platforms.
The second phase of Africa RISING mixes continuity with evolutionary change. The action research partners—IITA and ILRI—continue leading the program, which retains its geographic focus on Mali, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia. IFPRI continues to lead on data management, monitoring and impact assessment. Partners in the different countries are therefore applying lessons learned, where appropriate, to improve the program’s ways of operating (for example in terms of cross-project harmonization).
In the first year of the program, to produce some short-term outputs and to provide outputs that support the longer term objectives of the individual projects, Africa RISING decided to fund several ‘quick win’ projects in each of the regions. The approved projects resulted from a call in each region and an assessment of the proposals using criteria developed by IITA, ILRI, and USAID (more).
In early April 2012, several projects were approved. More information is available on each below.
East and Southern Africa
- Value chain analysis of grain legumes in eastern and southern Africa: Building partnership for impact through research on sustainable intensification of farming systems [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Improved postharvest technologies for promoting food storage, processing and household nutrition in Tanzania [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Evidence-based scaling-up of evergreen agriculture for increasing crop productivity, fodder supply and resilience of maize-mixed and agropastoral farming systems in Tanzania and Malawi [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- A catalogue of tested crop, soil, and water management options under varied land degradation conditions and socio-economic environment in the target areas in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Mycotoxin contamination in Tanzania: quantifying the problem in maize and cassava in households and markets [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Identifying efficient seed system (s) practices/models to accelerate the access to quality seed of improved varieties legumes, maize and forages to small scale farmers particularly poor and women farmers in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Multiplication of breeder and basic seed for maize and legumes in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Sustainable intensification of maize-based farming systems in Malaw [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Building local capacities in weed management for rice-based systems [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Enhancing vegetable value chains in rice-based and sole crop production systems to improve farm household income and consumer access to safer vegetables in Morogoro, Tanzania [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Targeting research design for technology integration at farm scale [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Improving the evidence for targeting agricultural water management interventions in Ethiopia: A proof of concept [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Sustainable tree-crop-livestock intensification as a pillar for the Ethiopian climate resilient green economy initiative [proposal] [outputs]
- Fodder and feed as a key opportunity for driving sustainable intensification of crop livestock systems in Ethiopia [proposal] [workspace] [outputs]
- Improving productivity and rural livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the Bale highlands of Ethiopia by integrating pulses in crop-livestock production systems [proposal] [outputs]