East southern africa
Africa RISING Sustainable Intensification of Cereal – Legume – Livestock Integrated Farming Systems in East and Southern Africa
The Africa RISING East and Southern Africa Project is implemented in the maize-dominated cereal−legume farming systems of Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia. In Phase 1 (2011–2016) the project implemented research activities aimed at establishing best-bet technologies that would deliver adoptable development solutions to smallholder farm families. Phase 2 of the project (2016−2021) will combine continuity with evolutionary change to ensure that the technologies identified in Phase 1 drive wider adoption at scale through effective co-working with tangible development partnerships. The project envisions that, by 2021, at least 300,000 smallholder farm households will have had access to Africa RISING technologies.
Based on the experiences and lessons learned from Phase 1, the expected outcomes of the Africa RISING East and Southern Africa project in Phase 2 are:
- Outcome 1: Productivity, diversity, and income of crop−livestock systems in selected agroecologies enhanced under climate variability.
- Outcome 2: Natural resource integrity and resilience to climate change enhanced for the target communities and agroecologies.
- Outcome 3: Food and feed safety, nutritional quality, and income security of target smallholder families improved equitably (within households).
- Outcome 4: Functionality of input and output markets and other institutions to deliver demand-driven sustainable intensification research products improved.
- Outcome 5: Partnerships for the scaling of sustainable intensification research products and innovations operationalized.
The project is implemented in three districts in Tanzania - Babati and Kiteto in Manyara Region of northern Tanzania as well as Kongwa District in Dodoma Region. In Malawi, the project activities are implemented in Ntcheu and Dedza Districts in central Malawi. Activities in Zambia are implemented in Katete and Chipata Districts in the Eastern Province and Lusaka District.
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Characteristics and challenges of the East and Southern Africa farming systems
A number of key challenges affect agricultural productivity in East and Southern Africa. The region is dominated by small-scale, resource-poor farmers whose livelihoods depend on rain-fed crop, livestock, and crop−livestock farming systems. The main staple crops are cereals (maize, sorghum, millet, rice) and legumes (groundnut, beans, cowpea, soybean, pigeon pea). Livestock are mainly cattle, poultry, and small ruminants.
These enterprises operate in diverse agroecological zones in the three countries and are characterized by land degradation, with the arid and semi-arid areas exhibiting the highest levels of soil loss. The soils in the region are also inherently poor in terms of fertility making this a leading biophysical cause of low agricultural productivity. The situation is further compounded by low use of mineral fertilizers and organic amendments. For example, in Babati District of Tanzania, Africa RISING studies established that at least 52% of the fields had negative nutrient balances yet only about 3% of the households use mineral fertilizers.
Livestock offer an opportunity for improving security in food, nutrition, and income. However, productivity is low due to shortages in quality feed, expensive and thus unaffordable commercial feeds for many farmers, and inappropriate husbandry (feeding, health care, housing) practices. Local breeds dominate the livestock enterprise. In general, the crop and livestock enterprises are weakly integrated for mutual enhancement and synergistic benefits to the farmers.
According to the World Resources Institute, approximately 23% of the available food in sub-Saharan Africa is lost or wasted. This is equal to the loss of 545 kilocalories per person a day across a subcontinent where 24.8% of the population is undernourished. In addition to this massive food loss, mycotoxin contamination is equally a challenge caused and/or increased by poor handling of the produce and processing during storage. It was established during Phase 1 that in a maize-based farming system in the semi-arid areas of Central and Northern Tanzania, quantitative pre- and postharvest losses of economic importance occur in the field (15%), during processing (13−20%), and during storage (15−25%).
The diets of most rural, poor farm families are often dominated by the intake of basic staple foods (e.g., maize, rice, millet, and sorghum) which are usually deficient in micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron, and zinc needed to prevent malnutrition. The nutritional status of most farm household members, especially pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children below 24 months of age, is therefore poor, leading to chronic malnutrition. For example, stunting for the new born exceeds 15% in Tanzania.
Farmers have limited access to input and output markets and enabling institutions and policies are lacking. Due to inadequacies of traditional promotional and scaling-up/out pathways, there is a large unmet demand for information about improved agricultural technologies and for access to the technologies themselves, especially by women. This has led to low adoption of improved technologies and best practices to reduce food and nutrition insecurity, poverty, and natural resource degradation.
Through a participatory and demand-driven approach to research, project partners are implementing adaptive research on various technologies and working with development organizations to get them into the hands of farmers at scale. The activities include testing and disseminating: (i) improved crop varieties (drought and Striga resistant food and feed crops); (ii) appropriate agronomic practices (planting density, cereal−legume rotations and intercropping, multiple cropping, increasing cropping cycles within a season, efficient use of input resources and agroforestry); (iii) climate-smart land management practices (conservation agriculture, physical barriers to soil and water loss, in-situ water harvesting, and soil cover crops); (iv) improved animal husbandry practices (semi-intensive and intensive management); and (v) technologies for reducing pre- and postharvest losses. The project also facilitates linkages between farmers and input/output markets. The objective is to build well-integrated and productive crop and livestock enterprises that minimize natural resource degradation.
To diversify household nutrition, the project is introducing new nutritious food preparation techniques based on locally available ingredients for household members, particularly children. Nutrition field schools are being used to promote knowledge exchange on best practices for processing and storage of cereals, legumes, and vegetable-based foods.
Group and individual trainings are conducted to strengthen the capacities of all actors (farmers, research and extension staff, input and output dealers, and policy makers). Academic training at the MSc and PhD level is applied to address important knowledge gaps, and to develop the “next” generation of scientists. Information exchange is being promoted through field days, radio programs, exchange visits, and video shows.
The project gives special attention to gender equality and underprivileged groups within the society. Enabling policies and institutions to improve access to input and output markets, formation of effective partnerships, and access to knowledge and information are advocated for, especially through operational level R4D/Innovation platforms.
Scaling of validated technologies to smallholder farm households by working through innovative partnerships is at the core of the Africa RISING East and Southern Africa project strategy. Through three sub-projects funded by respective USAID country missions in Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia, improved agricultural technologies are disseminated to farmers and adaptive research informed by the development partners is implemented by scientists to achieve the project’s scaling targets and livelihood improvement goals. This new paradigm is called Research in Development (R-in-D).
Africa RISING-NAFAKA scaling project (Tanzania): The Africa RISING-NAFAKA scaling project (Enhancing partnership among Africa RISING, NAFAKA, and TUBORESHE CHAKULA Programs for fast tracking delivery and scaling of agricultural technologies in Tanzania) is an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional project that aims to address smallholder farmers’ needs in the semi-arid and subhumid zones of Tanzania. The project is funded by the USAID Country Mission as part of the US Government’s Feed the Future Initiative.Through participatory on-farm approaches, candidate technologies validated by Africa RISING are being scaled. This is achieved through the networks already established by Tanzania Staples Value Chain (NAFAKA) and other institutional grassroots organizations, creating an opportunity for mainstreaming into wider rural development programs, beyond Africa RISING’s original intervention sites. INVC Bridging Activity (Malawi): The INVC Bridging Activity is a two-year project funded by the USAID Country Mission. It is a relay project/activity between the Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains (INVC) 1 Project which came to an end in October 2016 and its successor project, Malawi Agricultural Diversification Activity (AgDIV). The Bridging Activity was commissioned with the objective of ensuring that the gains achieved by the INVC 1 project are not lost in between the transition phase from INVC 1 to Ag. Div. It therefore carries on with the implementation of some of the actions implemented under INVC 1. Specifically, the Bridging Activity provides continuity in assistance to a subset of smallholder farmer groups and Extension Planning Areas that received services from INVC 1. It also includes the latest research findings from the Africa RISING project to further boost production of the activity beneficiaries. Africa RISING going to scale in the Eastern Province of Zambia: The project aims to stimulate the commercialization and distribution of improved legume seeds, contribute to increased frequency of intake of vitamin A through orange-fleshed sweet potato consumption, especially by women and children under 5 years, sustainably intensify current maize-based, low input production systems; and commercialize the Aflasafe biocontrol products for aflatoxin mitigation.
Technologies validated by the project during Phase 1.
|Broad category||Validated flagship technology||Validation sites|
|Genetic integration involving introduction of new crops and varieties to overcome existing biotic and abiotic stresses||Drought-tolerant maize, groundnut, bambara nut, millet, sorghum||Tanzania (Kongwa and Kiteto districts)|
|^||Climbing bean||Tanzania (Babati District) and Malawi (Dedza District)|
|^||Short-duration pigeon pea||Malawi (Dedza and Ntcheu districts)|
|Manipulation of crop ecologies to get more crops on limited land and maximize biological nitrogen fixation||Doubled-up food legumes||Malawi (Dedza and Ntcheu districts), Zambia (Sinda, Chipata, and Lundazi)|
|^||Doubled-up food and fodder legumes||Tanzania (Kongwa and Kiteto districts)|
|^||Cereal−legume intercropping, crop rotations||All project sites|
|Integrated soil fertility management as a cost effective approach to replenish soil fertility||Optimized fertilizer rates, Composts||Tanzania (Babati, Kongwa, and Kiteto districts), Malawi (Dedza and Ntcheu districts)|
|^||Livestock manure||Tanzania (Babati, Kongwa, and Kiteto districts)|
|^||Cover crop composts||Tanzania (Babati District)|
|Introduction of land management technologies to reduce soil loss and enhance water utilization||In-situ water harvesting||Tanzania (Babati, Kongwa, and Kiteto districts)|
|^||Physical barriers to reduce erosion – “fanya juu”, “fanya chini”, and shelterbelts||Tanzania (Kongwa and Kiteto districts)|
|^||Cover crops||Tanzania (Babati District) and Zambia (Chipata and Lundazi districts)|
|^||Conservation agriculture||Zambia (Sinda, Chipata, and Lundazi districts)|
|Improved livestock feed quality and quantity||Quality forage and fodder based feed rations||Tanzania (Babati, Kongwa, and Kiteto districts) and Malawi (Dedza District)|
|Poultry feeds with vegetable rations||Tanzania (Babati, Kongwa, and Kiteto districts)|
|Livestock feed with fodder rations||Malawi (Dedza District)|
|Pre- and postharvest approaches to reduce food waste and improve food safety||Motorized shelling machine, collapsible dryer cases, PICS bags||Tanzania (Babati District)|
|^||Aflasafe application in maize and groundnut fields||Tanzania (Babati District) and Zambia (Kazungula, Sesheke, Serenje, and Chipata districts)|
|Nutrient-rich food crops for improved household nutrition||Vegetables||Tanzania (Babati District)|
|Quality protein maize||Tanzania (Kongwa and Kiteto districts), Zambia (Chipata District).|
|Orange-fleshed sweet potato||Zambia (Lundazi, Chipata, Katete, and Sinda districts)|
Phase 2 research-in-development plans
Phase 1 research plans
kkkkkkkk- JUMBA Babati R4D platform workplan
- Babati Tanzania
- SIMLEZA - AR Zambia
- Kongwa/Kiteto Tanzania
- Scope of Work Project achievements - Africa RISING Global Climate Change mitigation Project
Partners monthly meetings
- click here to view comprehensive events list
- 5 June: Africa RISING project and NAFAKA project communications team joint meeting (virtual - Skype)
- 3 May: Africa RISING project and NAFAKA project communications team joint meeting (virtual - Skype)
- 24 - 29 April: Kongwa & Kiteto team research meeting - Dodoma, Tanzania
- 10 March: Babati Research Team meeting (virtual)
- 15 - 18 February: Africa RISING Management Monitoring Visit to project sites in Malawi
- 22-24 February: Ward level R4D platform inception meetings, Babati district - Tanzania
- 17 November: Babati JUMBA R4D platform meeting
- 20 September: Babati Research Team meeting (virtual)
- 27 May: Babati Research Team meeting (virtual)
- 22 January - Combined R4D platforms and researchers field tour in Linthipe Dedza District
- 20 November - Malawi Partners Meeting
- 6 November: Malawi - Dedza R4D platform meeting
- 11-14 November: Babati feedback meetings and site selection meetings
- 9 - 10 November - Tanzania Partners Meeting preparations for USAID external review
- 18 September - Malawi Partners Meeting
- 18 June - Malawi Partners Meeting
- 24 November - Malawi Partners Meeting Report)
- 14 February - Babati Partners Meeting
- 4 March - Babati Partners Meeting
- 6 June - Babati Partners Meeting
- 4 July - Babati Partners Meeting
Innovation Platforms/R4D Platforms
- 15 September 2016 - Kongwa & Kiteto R4D platform meeting
- 14 September 2016 - Kongwa & Kiteto R4D platform meeting with Kiteto District Council
- 13 September 2016 - Kongwa & Kiteto R4D platform meeting with Kongwa District Council
- 23 February 2016 - Dedza Innovation Platform meeting (Kumwenda to share the minutes)
- 22 October 2014 - Minutes Babati R4D Platform Annual General Meeting I Swahili I English
- 14-15 August 2014 - Ntcheu & Dedza R4D Platform Workshops
- [https:cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/67778| 10-11 April 2014 ]- Babati District R4D Platform Inaugural Workshop ([https:cgspace.cgiar.org/handle/10568/67778| Report])
- 27 February 2014 - Kongwa-Kiteto Innovation Platform Launch Report)
Mid-Term External Evaluation (2015)
- Common bean pests training brochure (Malawi/Chichewa) - June 2018
- Common bean diseases training brochure (Malawi/Chichewa) - June 2018
- Improved poultry housing designs in Babati Tanzania - August 2017
- How to grow buffel grass (Kiswahili training material) - August 2017
- How to grow Napier grass (Kiswahili training material) - August 2017
- How to grow desmodium (Kiswahili training material) - August 2017
- Improved poultry feeding leaflet (Kiswahili training material) - August 2017
- Poultry diseases leaflet (Kiswahili training material) - August 2017
- Training on animal traction during 2016/2017 cropping season - August 2016
- Sorghum production guidelines - August 2016
- Click header above to view the research protocols
*Click header above to view the latest posters and presentations
*Click header above to read the latest news and updates
- Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon, Manager Africa RISING West Africa and East/Southern Africa Projects - I.Hoeschle-Zeledon(at)cgiar.org
- Mateete Bekunda, Chief Scientist Africa RISING East and Southern Africa Project - M.Bekunda(at)cgiar.org
- Jonathan Odhong’, CKM Leader Africa RISING West Africa and East/Southern Africa Projects – J.Odhong(at)cgiar.org