Latest Entries
Africa / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / ILRI / Mali / NRM / West Africa

A new dawn in Zanzoni, Mali as natural resource management conventions are formalized

Through the Africa RISING project, ILRI and AMEDD (a local Malian NGO) have worked with the local community in Zanzoni since September 2013 to ensure that they have a more equitable and sustainable management of natural resources in the mixed crop-livestock systems that dominate the region. Continue reading

CIMMYT / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification

Two-wheel (single axle) tractors introduced to power agriculture in the highlands of Ethiopia

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).

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CIAT / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Irrigation / NRM / Research / Tanzania / Water

Strategic management of natural resources: A watery perspective

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. 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

HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / Mali / Nutrition / Participation / Research / West Africa / Women

Women ‘nutrition leaders’ changing the fate of children in Mali

Africa RISING is contributing to changing the fates of children in Koutiala city in the Sikasso region of Mali by supporting an initiative to educate young mothers and pregnant women about ways of preparing nutritious meals for their infants using whole grain cereals. The initiative dubbed, the nutrition field schools program is improving child health and freeing up women’s time.So far 290 people have participated in nutrition field schools (94% women) and about 600 households have benefited from collective demonstrations. The consumption of whole grain sorghum increased in six villages. Continue reading

Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Participation / SLS

Measuring innovation platform contributions through participatory monitoring and evaluation

It has not easy to measure innovation platforms (IPs) contribution to research and development outcomes. From ILRI’s experience, the complex nature of issues that IPs try to address and the more emphasis given to effective integration of IPs into the research process, rather than evaluating their contribution to intervention outcomes, have contributed to an information gap. Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / Intensification / Legumes / Maize / Mali / Seeds / West Africa

‘A good farmer produces their own seeds’: Raising food yields in Mali

Souleman Ballo and his fellow farmers in the seed cooperative know only too well how important good seeds are for a farmer’s wealth. To address the challenge of accessing quality seed, their cooperative has been working with researchers at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Institut d’Economie Rurale (IER) to develop improved varieties of sorghum and millet leading to remarkable yield gains. Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / SLS

Africa RISING in Ethiopia – How are we doing?

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.
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Capacity strengthening / Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / SLS

Capacity building strategies and approaches for the Africa RISING Ethiopia project

The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands promotes capacity building for human resources development and strengthening local partner organizations in a range of ways, all of which are designed to respond to demand from all of our partners. Continue reading

Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Scaling / SLS

Innovation platforms – scaling research findings in Lemo, Ethiopia

The 2nd Lemo woreda Innovation platform (IP) meeting was held on 19th Feb 2015 in Hosanna, the capital of the woreda. The focus of the meeting was to share the findings of the action research the project carried out in 2014 to local partners for potential scaling up. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Scaling

Africa RISING Ethiopia project scaling plan

The current phase of the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands is being implemented over the five years from 2012-2016. To date, the project has implemented a number of activities in order to deliver against the Africa RISING Program Research Framework. These research for development (R4D) activities are now beginning to identify and validate scalable innovation for the project’s target farmers. 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

Crop-Livestock / Event / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ICRAF / ICRISAT / IITA / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information

International Conference calls for integrated systems research for sustainable intensification in smallholder agriculture

Agricultural scientists and researchers from over 30 nations gather today at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria, for the International Conference on Integrated Systems for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, which lasts through March 6. Continue reading

CIMMYT / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / India / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Research / South Asia / Trip Report / Value Chains

A photo trip report from the Africa RISING – CSISA cross learning exchange

Technical leads of the Africa RISING project in West Africa, East and Southern Africa and Ethiopia took part in a cross learning exchange on sustainable intensification from 28 January to 4 February 2015. 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 / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / SLS

Guidelines to establish innovation platforms with Africa RISING partners in Ethiopia

The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands aims to establish Innovation platforms(IPs) at different levels to better involve many local stakeholders to address common challenges and opportunities in agricultural sector. Continue reading

Aflatoxins / Crops / East Africa / Food safety / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Interview / Nutrition / Postharvest / Research / Tanzania / Value Chains

Securing the Future: The Story of Chacha Nyangi and how Africa RISING is mentoring the next generation of scientists

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. Continue reading

Crops / East Africa / Ethiopia / Event / Extension / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ILRI / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Participation / Research

Farmer research groups central to Africa RISING approach in Ethiopia

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. Continue reading

Amhara / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / NRM / Photofilm / SLS / SNNPR / Tigray / Trip Report / Water

Africa RISING partners with local governments to support integrated watershed management in Ethiopia

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. 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 / Food safety / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Mali / NRM / Research / Soils / Value Chains / Water / West Africa / Women

Call for MSc Candidates – Africa RISING Mali

The Africa RISING program in Mali is looking to recruit two MSc Candidates from West Africa to join the team and contribute to ongoing activities. The program is currently working on establishing two research hubs (in Bougouni and Koutiala) in an effort to integrate multiple activities to achieve the overall objectives of the research program. Natural … 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

Africa / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / Fertilizer / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / Intensification / Mali / NRM / Soils / West Africa

Mechanizing fertilizer microdosing technology: Producers and extension agents trained in Mali (success story)

Fertilizer microdosing addresses the problems of low soil fertility, access to fertilizers and difficult climatic conditions. The technology has contributed to increased production, productivity and farm incomes. 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

Animal Feeding / Crop-Livestock / Drylands / East Africa / Event / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / ILRI / Intensification / Research / Tanzania

Think food, but think fodder too!

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 … 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

Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / SLS

Africa RISING partners in Ethiopia trained on innovation platform facilitation, coordination and M&E

In September 2014, Africa RISING partners in Ethiopia received training on innovation platform (IP) facilitation, coordination and M&E. More than 50 people attended, including partners from CGIAR centres, regional research institutes and centres, universities, woredas and kebeles working with Africa RISING. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / Intensification / Irrigation / IWMI / NRM / Water

Africa RISING Ethiopia project staff and partners trained in irrigation potential assessment

On 21 November 2014, the Africa RISING project conducted a one-day training for consultants and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) staff on data collection and technical skills for irrigation potential assessment in the project’s action sites in Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR and Tigray. Continue reading

Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / SLS

Building local capacity to innovate: tools, methods and approaches for effective innovation platforms in Ethiopia

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. Continue reading

Africa / Event / HUMIDTROPICS / Innovation Systems / Knowledge and Information

Africa RISING learning event puts typologies, innovation systems and program framework under the lens

The second Africa RISING program learning event brought together over 65 staff and partners in Arusha, Tanzania, from 11-12 November 2014. They shared lessons and ideas to improve farm typology work, innovation systems and platforms, and dust off the program framework to gear it towards serious scaling up for the remaining two years. Continue reading

Animal Feeding / East Africa / Ethiopia / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / Research

Characterizing livestock production systems and the potential to enhance livestock productivity through improved feeding in Ethiopia

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. Continue reading

Africa / Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / IITA / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Research

Using ‘most significant change’ technique in Africa RISING project in Ethiopia

A number of lessons, success stories and even some negative change stories are expected to emerge from Africa RISING research-for-development interventions in the Ethiopian highlands. As part of our approach to monitor and evaluate the impact of Africa RISING innovation platforms, we plan to use the ‘Most Significant Change’ (MSC) technique in our monitoring and evaluation framework. Continue reading

CIP / Crops / East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / ILRI / Intensification / Oromia / Photofilm / Postharvest / SNNPR / Trip Report

Field visits to Africa RISING Ethiopia research sites in Sinana and Lemo woredas

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. Continue reading

East Africa / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Interview / Tanzania

RISING voices: Mateete Bekunda, chief scientist East and Southern Africa (ESA) project

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). Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / DRYLANDS-CRP / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / Impact Assessment / Intensification / Interview / Staff

RISING voices: Mélanie Bacou, data management specialist (IFPRI)

In this interview, Mélanie Bacou – agro-economist consultant at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and data management specialist in Africa RISING – introduces herself and her work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the program. Continue reading

Amhara / CIMMYT / CIP / Crops / East Africa / Ethiopia / Feeds / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Intensification / Pests / Photofilm / Tigray / Trip Report / Weeds

Field visits to Africa RISING Ethiopia research sites in Endamehoni and Basona Worena woredas

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. Continue reading

Aflatoxins / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Food safety / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Postharvest / Research / Tanzania

High levels of mycotoxins detected in Babati pose health risk to human and livestock health in Tanzania

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. 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

CIAT / Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Value Chains

Africa RISING value chain report validation workshop underway in Ethiopia

A two week value chain report validation workshop is underway at the ILRI campu in Addis Ababa. The workshop is jointly organized by CIAT and the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia. It aims to validate and finalize the value chain studies that were conducted earlier this year. 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

East Africa / Ethiopia / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Knowledge and Information / SLS / Women

Africa RISING Ethiopia project identifies gender ‘champions’

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. Continue reading

Ethiopia / Gender

Developing capacities for gender responsiveness in Ethiopia: Post workshop evaluations

The post-workshop evaluation from the recent Ethiopia workshop on ‘Integrating Gender into Agricultural Programming’ revealed that various participants had greater familiarity and experience with gender especially among the female participants. Both male and female participants clearly needed further support, training, and assistance to translate gender into practical changes in their work. Continue reading

Animal Feeding / East Africa / Ethiopia / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / NRM / Photofilm / Sheep / Small Ruminants / SNNPR / Trip Report / Water

Irrigated fodder and sheep fattening field visit to Lemo, Ethiopia

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). Continue reading

Ethiopia / Gender / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Women

Developing capacities to address gender in agricultural projects in Ethiopia

Originally posted on ILRI Clippings:
Workshop participants From 18-20 August, the Africa RISING project in Ethiopia joined forces with the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish to hold a gender training for staff and partners in both projects. The workshop aimed to introduce workshop participants to: Different concepts of gender and the importance of…

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Participation / Research

Participatory research toolkit – briefs introduce approaches used in Ethiopia

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 Continue reading

Agroforestry / East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Trees

A tale of two villages – how agroforestry transforms lives and landscapes in Ethiopia

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 … Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Research

Training on commodity-based innovation platforms enhances understanding of concepts key to Africa RISING success

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). 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

Amhara / CIP / Countries / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / ICRISAT / ILRI / Intensification / IWMI / Partners / Regions / SNNPR / Subregions / Trip Report

Africa RISING CGIAR partners forge collaboration with partners working in Lemo and Basona Worena woredas in Ethiopia

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. Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Interview / Mali / West Africa

Rencontre avec Bougouna Sogoba, Directeur de l’Association Malienne d’Eveil au Développement Durable (AMEDD)

L’Association Malienne d’Eveil au Développement Durable (AMEDD) est un partenaire important dans le cadre de la mise en oeuvre des activités sur projet Africa RISING sur le terrain. L’ONG participe activement dans la mise en oeuvre des activités du projet notamment dans la région de Sikasso. Dans le cadre de l’atélier de planification du projet tenu à Bamako du 3 au 5 février 2014, nous avons posé quelques questions à son Directeur. 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

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ICARDA / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Photofilm / Story Type / Trip Report

Farmer research groups identified by Ethiopia RISING in Sinana woreda, Ethiopia

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. 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

Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Knowledge and Information / SLS

Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands establishes strategic and operational innovation platforms

In April 2014, the Africa RISING project organized a field trip to establish four strategic (woreda level) and eight operational (kebele level) Innovation Platforms (IPs) in its sites (Basona Worena in Amhara, Endamehoni in Tigray, Lemo in SNNPR and Sinana in Oromia). 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

East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information

Africa RISING establishes local innovation platforms in the Ethiopia highlands

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. Continue reading

Crop-Livestock / Ethiopia / Forestry / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Innovation Systems / Intensification / Knowledge and Information

Innovation platforms to improve the productivity of mixed farming systems in Ethiopia

A recent study by ICRAF presents information on tree-crop-livestock farming system constraints in the four Africa RISING project sites in Ethiopia. It identifies local innovation platforms as a key mechanism to prioritize and work together on problems and solutions in each site. Specific roles and implementation modalities are set out. 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

East Africa / Ethiopia / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Knowledge and Information / Oromia / Photofilm / SLS / Trip Report

Innovation Platforms established by Africa RISING in Sinana woreda, Ethiopia

In March 2014, rhe Africa RISING team visited Sinana woreda aiming at briefing agricultural research, development and other stakeholders about the program’s and the project’s activities, and initiate the establishment of Innovation Platforms (IPs) with key partners. Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Ethiopia / ICARDA / ILRI / Intensification / LIVESTOCK-FISH

Feed assessment tool training organized by Africa RISING with Livestock and Fish program in Ethiopia

Feed availability is a major constraint to increasing livestock productivity in Ethiopia. Introducing technologies is one of the most common ways that agricultural research and development organizations can assist the farmers they serve.

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Crop-Livestock / Drylands / DRYLANDS-CRP / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Mali / Research / SLS / West Africa

Africa RISING reviews and plans its work in West Africa

Africa RISING’s 2013-2014 review and planning meeting for the West Africa region took place on 3 and 4 February 2014 in Bamako, Mali. The region’s steering committee also hosted a meeting on 4 February. Over 50 participants attended the meeting representing partners from the country teams of Ghana and Mali as well as observers from … Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Participation / Research / SLS

Challenges and opportunities in participatory agricultural research

This post was drafted by Terry Clayton based on contributions by Beth Cullen (ILRI) at the Participatory Agricultural Research: Approaches, Design and Evaluation (PARADE) workshop held in Oxford from 9-13 December 2013. In his keynote address at the PARADE workshop, Professor Paul Sillitoe offered insights into how theory informs practice. Beth Cullen’s presentation on day … Continue reading

CIAT / HUMIDTROPICS / Innovation Systems / Participation / Research

Participatory action research can add value to CGIAR’s agronomic research

Agricultural research is still seen primarily as research in plant, animal and soil science that affects crop production. The social, economic, and political bases of crop production and land management have most often taken a back seat to the design of technical interventions. Participatory research is still seen as an ‘add on’ after the ‘real’ research has been completed. Farming systems research and Robert Chambers’ work on ‘putting farmers first’ created an impact, but participatory approaches are still marginal within agronomic research. How do we change that? Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / Innovation Systems / Participation / Research

Theory key to gain wider acceptance of participatory agricultural research methods

What must we do to gain wider acceptance of participatory agricultural research methods within the mainstream of the CGIAR system and beyond? Professor Paul Sillitoe (Department of Anthropology, Durham University) believes the answer to the question will in no small part depend on addressing some of the deep-seated contradictions within development discourse. In his opening keynote, Professor Sillitoe outlined the deeply entrenched incongruities that PAR practitioners must resolve, or at least acknowledge. The list is long (17 points in all), which underscores how deeply conflicted our discourse is. Continue reading

Africa / Crop-Livestock / Ghana / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Research / West Africa

Africa RISING photofilm illustrates program’s work in Northern Ghana

This short photofilm presents some aspects of the work of Africa RISING in Ghana. It shows how it is helping farmers restore their degraded lands, increase crop and livestock production, and provide them with better incomes. Photos and story by Charlie Pye-Smith. Read three of Charlie’s blog posts from the same journey: Africa RISING in … Continue reading

HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Roundup

Matters ARISING – News from Africa RISING, January 2014

News and updates on Africa RISING projects in East, West and Southern Africa. Download a print version – or sign up to get Matters ARISING in your mailbox. Program news First Africa RISING program learning event On 24 September 2013, the first Africa RISING learning event kicked off at the ILRI campus in Ethiopia. The … Continue reading

Countries / Crop-Livestock / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / Partners

Africa RISING – focusing on women and children in Ghana

Charlie Pye-Smith reports from Ghana for Africa RISING The Africa RISING program seeks to provide pathways out of hunger and poverty for smallholder families, and especially women and children, through the process of sustainable intensification. This involves producing more crops and livestock from the same piece of land, without degrading the natural resource base, thus … Continue reading

Africa / Crop-Livestock / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / West Africa

Africa RISING in Ghana – learning from experience

Charlie Pye-Smith reports from Ghana for Africa RISING During the first year of the Africa RISING project, a multidisciplinary team of researchers held discussions with some 4000 people in Northern Ghana. The study provided an overview of existing farming practices and the constraints associated with crop and livestock production. The community analysis, as it is … Continue reading

Africa / Crop-Livestock / Ghana / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / IITA / Intensification / West Africa

Africa RISING – promoting sustainable intensification in Northern Ghana

Charlie Pye-Smith reports from Ghana for Africa RISING “When I was young, we used to get eight or nine bags of maize per acre,” says Abukari Iddrisu. ”Now, I’m lucky if I get three bags, and this year it will be even less.” Like most farmers in Tibognayali, a community of 1900 people in Ghana’s … Continue reading

Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Participation

Participatory community analysis completed in eight Africa RISING sites in Ethiopia

In 2013, the Africa RISING team in Ethiopia carried out a Participatory Community Analyses (PCA) in all the eight sites. This was the first phase in a participatory research and extension process, including kebele engagement and social mobilization, that provided each kebele some opportunities to analyse their own challenges and opportunities.
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ILRI / Knowledge and Information

ICT and agriculture conference – take away messages for Africa RISING

In early November, over 400 delegates gathered in Kigali to discuss advances in ICTs for agriculture. The conference had three streams focusing on: emerging innovations in ICTs supporting agricultural development, capacity strengthening and stakeholder empowerment for improved livelihood and engagement in agricultural development processes and enabling environment for the agricultural sector to maximize the benefits … Continue reading

DRYLANDS-CRP / HUMIDTROPICS / IFPRI / Impact Assessment / Intensification

Monitoring and evaluation moved closer to the heart of Africa RISING

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) has so far rather seemed like an add on to the Africa RISING program. Perhaps this was due to its being devolved to another organization – the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) – rather than to the institutes leading the three regional projects (the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture – … Continue reading

Amhara / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / ILRI / Impact Assessment / Intensification / Oromia / Research / SNNPR / Tigray

Africa RISING Ethiopia team reviews progress and plans

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 … 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

Crop-Livestock / DRYLANDS-CRP / East Africa / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRISAT / IITA / West Africa

Cross-regional perspectives on Africa RISING: West African scientists on progress in East and Southern Africa

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 … 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 / CIP / Countries / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / ILRI / Intensification / Partners / Regions

Africa RISING uses IMPACT-Lite survey tool to document baseline data in Ethiopia

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 … Continue reading

Africa / CIAT / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / HUMIDTROPICS / Intensification / Value Chains

Africa RISING initiates market and value chain studies in Ethiopia

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, … Continue reading

Agroforestry / Climate change / East Africa / Ethiopia / Forestry / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Research

Local knowledge the starting point for climate-resilient agriculture in Ethiopia – early win project brief

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 … Continue reading

Africa / Agroforestry / Countries / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / Forestry / HUMIDTROPICS / ICRAF / Intensification / Knowledge and Information / Trees

ICRAF team visit Africa RISING sites to assess progress on the local knowledge field work

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 … 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