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Africa RISING Tanzania Research Team country pre-planning meeting
11 - 13 Nobvember 2019
Dodoma, Tanzania

Objectives The main objectives of this meeting were to:

  • Identify the gaps in their system targeted activities amongst partners involved in the project
  • Develop or update field implementation design/ protocols to address identified gaps on systems integration


  1. Leonard Marwa (ILRI)
  2. Emmanuel Temu (ICRAF)
  3. Christopher Mutungi (IITA)
  • Francis Muthoni (IITA)
  1. Julius Manda (IITA)
  2. Lieven Claessens (IITA)
  3. Eveline Massam (IITA)

Yasinta Muzanila (SUA)

  1. Evodius Laurent (UDOM)
  2. Jacquline Ruyalabau (UDOM)
  3. Job Kihara (CIAT)
  4. Elirehema Swai (TARI-Hombolo)
  5. Inviolate Dominica (WorldVeg)
  6. Mwazo Shitindi (SUA)
  7. Devotha Mowole (IITA)

On 11-13 November, Africa RISING ESA project conducted a practical country research pre-implementation practical meeting at Kongwa Kiteto district, Dodoma.
The meeting featured discussions of several agricultural intensification practices for animal husbandry and climate-smart land management practices such as improved crop varieties (drought and Striga resistant cereal crops). Discussions also focused on soil and water conservation practices such as conservation agriculture, physical barriers to control soil and water loss and water harvesting and improved animal husbandry practices technologies for reducing pre- and postharvest losses at system level. The team visited one of Africa RISING farms owned by Moshi Maile. This farmer hosts integrated agricultural technologies in his farm in Mlali village, Kongwa District in Dodoma region.

Implementation approach
Day 1: Field visit-Farmer Moshi Maile-Kongwa, Dodoma
Partners visited farmer Moshi Maile’s farm at Mlali village, Kongwa district in Dodoma region. His farm hosts integrated best- bet agricultural intensification technologies such as improved land management practices (intercropping of maize/ sorghum with legumes (pigeon pea), improved feeds for poultry (Gliricidia sepium tree). The farm also hosts water conservation practices (fanya juu and fanya chini terraces, tied ridges, contours, Guatemala grass as physical barrier for erosion, agroforestry).

Discussions /comments/ Observations /Gaps
Land rehabilitation through integration of fodder trees and forage grass species in dryland farming
Gaps: General lack of baseline data that would be useful for evaluating the impact of implemented technologies such as Fanya juu/Chini terracing, Gliricidia-cereaL intercrops.
Action: There is a need to consider selecting a control site near Moshi Maile plot with Gliricidia-Sepium demonstration for comparison with rehabilitated site. The selected control site should have similar soil type, terrain and weather conditions.
Comments: It was brought into discussions that the team should have considered analyzing possible unintended negative impacts that arose after introducing sustainable intensification technologies at farm level Farmer Moshi Maile alleged that at first neighbours perceived as using supernatural powers as adoption of soil and water management technologies made crops in his plot to appear green during drought season when neighboring plots were drying. The team recognized the need for analyzing societal perceptions and how they can impact on adoption of improved soil and water management technologies.
Responses: There are analysis that has been conducted and found impacts and tradeoffs, or more likely the opportunity cost (this comment was specifically for the Guatemala grasses).

Preliminary findings from a study implemented by the social-economist team from SUA and IITA (Backstopping gender (fanya juu/chini terraces) and economic studies and mapping priority sites for targeting land rehabilitation practices). The negative impact of the “fanya juu and fanya chini” terracing is that they are labor intensive compared to the traditional open ridges or flat planting, women find establishment of the ridges for “fanya juu and fanya chini “terrace are labor intensive.
Images of farmer Maile to other farmers; there are way far achievements and success for farmer Maile, neighbor hoods perceived him as he inherited super powers (witchcraft) which he uses to make himself a successful farmer. Other, associated him as a member of the Free Manson’s group.

Action: Farmer Moshi Maile with support from the system team to continue training other farmers on the best bet technologies and their benefits
Observations: There was a little work on labor analysis for the Residual tied Ridges
Action: There is a need to conduct more of social economic analysis for the Residual tied ridges. A survey is currently planned by project Economist.
Assessing land rehabilitation (soil fertility and erosion) and conducting nutrient budget studies to inform crop yield
Observations: Results obtained from assessment of Guatemala grass showed that the fodder has higher amount of potassium than the amount of poultry manure applied in the farm. While analysis of Gliricidia Sepium fodder showed higher nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus than that in the poultry manure that was obtained from farmers who were in-turn compensated with fodder from Moshi Maile farm.
Proposed/suggestions: Initial assessment suggests that it is better to incorporate the Guatemala grass and Gliricidia sepium biomass directly to the farm instead of exchanging them for poultry manure that had lower nutrient content. However, the low nutrient content of the poultry manure could be addressed by training farmers on best-practices for manure management.
Gap: Identify how the manure is managed from the neighboring farmers who obtain the fodder (Guatemala/Gliricidia) from Moshi Maile farm to feed their animals. This will help to design a training on manure management together with livestock team.
Water conservation technologies; the impact of contours

Farmer Moshi Maile informed the visiting team that one of the visible impacts of adopting soil and water conservation measures for land rehabilitation (contours and agroforestry) in his farm was increased ground water recharge. He showed the team a shallow well at the lower side of the farm that started filling up after he planted trees and contours.
According to Moshi Maile, before the project interventions there was no water flowing from a shallow well at his farm. He believes the flow of water from a shallow well in his farm is as a result of increased groundwater recharge due to contours and agroforestry practices implemented in his farm.
“I was surprised and happy to see that water flow from shallow well lasted until August, that is about three months after the end of rain season” said farmer Maile.
After realizing the benefits of agroforestry and contour farming, Farmer Maile took his initiative to plant additional trees in his farm. He intends to establish a forest in his farm that can increase ground water recharge while also providing additional income after selling timber. The team congratulated the farmer for additional innovation beyond the skills he learned during his engagement with Africa RISING project.

Action: There is a need to consider developing a success story from farmer Maile regarding already visible impact of increased ground water recharge in his farm due to adoption of soil and water conservation measures. System team shall share some content with the Communication unit to see how they could come up with a success story. It was recommended that the importance of gradual progression of sustainable intensifications from one intervention to the next should be featured in the planned success story.
Improved animal husbandry practices technologies

Apart from the Gliricidia sepium fodder technologies implemented at Mailes’ farm, the team observed that he also grows the Napier grass for fodder. Napier grasses are among of the animal feeds technology scaled out in the livestock dominated communities including Babati districts, Arusha.
The livestock team pointed out, it was a good initiative by farmer Maile though it needs some improvement since he grows a local variety although there are improved varieties adapted to drylands such as Brachiaria Spp.

Gap: Improved Napier technology was missing, it was proposed that the livestock team to consider upgrading the Napier technology in Kongwa,
Action: Marwa should consider providing the upgraded Napier grass to Swai, according to Swai the team is now engaging new farmers from up the mountainous villages (Kongwa Kiteto)where the agroecology is suitable for the Napier grass.
Question: A question rose from Marwa, if Maile is not keeping many numbers of cattle’s, why he opted to plan the animal feeds? eg Napier grasses
Response: Maile responded that he planted the feeds to accommodate food for his livestock, but also, business. He sells feeds to his neighbors
General observations/conclusion and point of action
  • The economics aspect is covered, partners indicated they will collect data related to economics
  • The team are concerned to perform a survey. Since some of the team works in the same areas, there is a need to combine the survey of the team who will be in the same areas, however, it was discussed that partners are working on some areas which are overlapping, however, they work on different technologies with the same farmer (Moshi Maile), hence there was a need to agree on either to have a combine or have one questionnaire (a survey tool)
  • From the questionnaire shared to the team (by Julius) nutrition part was missing. It was proposed that since the all team are working to develop the nutrition questionnaire, then it would be good to consider getting some of the questionnaires for nutrition’s and combine with the questionnaire and their farms, by doing so, the team might have covered all the areas (livestock, vegetable etc). Suggestion: Whoever is going to collect nutrition data must be trained
  • For the baseline data, if the team could make use of the data obtained from the 2014 intensive baseline data survey (data collected by the Wageningen University)some of the relative data might be considered and applied where necessary.

Day 2: Discussions and Action point -Dodoma hotel

  • ICRAF Forage trees and fodder grasses on contours: Farm level approach. Economics (IITA) considered. Land rehabilitation mentioned as link with SUA. Integration with work plan of Marwa (livestock)? Soil fertility management addressed except for barter trade of grasses for cattle manure; SUA?
  • C: There are work already being undertaken at Moshi Maile farmer, e. g feeds (Gliricidia fodders) feeds to his livestock. This can be considered as the interpoint to Livestock team
  • C: There should be a clear link (road map) where the livestock cross with the other interventions, the question should be are the livestock technologies strong enough to contribute to the system?
  • C: The issue of the quality of manure (poultry manure) should also be considered (assessment on how the manure is managed, handled and produced) for example- wood chips has basis for poultry manure, but has low quality in terms of nutrients. There is the need to handle the quality management issues.
  • C: The challenge is with the barter trade of manure is not coming back and looking at the quality , however the focus should be from the feed management and other issues, the focus should be on what is the bench mark, for example if the team shall consider looking at another farmer (control) who do not use the different management practices compare to the farmer Maile, then results will provide the case of the quality of manure as per the management
  • C: Several management practices has been conducted by Livestock team, the practices do affect the poultry manure quality. If Shitindi can make comparison of different management systems by farmers and control, that can show the difference and show the impact of the technologies, with respect to manure quality inputs.
  • C: Contribution of the poultry manure to farming it should be small, Considering the quantity and availability, the poultry manure is of good benefit, however the issue of quantity of manure produced should be of concern. Poultry manure will be important at home garden, rather than for big farm eg. maize and sorghum because the quantity of farm yard manure might not be much accommodative for these farms (maize and sorghum)
  • Q: Forage innovation, do we have this information on our work with Africa RISING?
  • R: No, there is no information, however Kimaro did farm yard manure in phase one on trials for farm yard manure. But due to some changes and integration issues, the information from the trials is missing. However, Kimaro did the work on assessing the impact of farm yard manure, and this kind of data do exist
  • ACTION 1:Evaluation of farm yard (poultry) manure quality for different management. SUA/ICRAF should explore the quality of farm yard manure obtained from farmers feed the poultry with Gliricidia against farmers without
  • ACTION 2:ICRAF provide information on previous studies undertaken on farm yard manure on plots treated with and without.
  • ACTION 3:IITA/UDOM undertake study on farmers perceptions on the effects of manure on different SIAF indicators (to compliment on the information collected on the same)
  • ACTION 4: IITA/ SUA/ICRAF/TARI to provide data on yields on the effects of soil health management on the survey collected
  • ACTION 5:Julius will provide the data on the productivity on economic gain with and with and without manure, from the survey conducted (on ISFM)
TARI Tied ridges: TARI work plan is mentioning maize with CIMMYT (and sorghum with ICRISAT). Soil fertility (SUA) and economics (IITA) considered (Integration with ICRISAT in terms of pigeon peas on tied ridges? Farm level metrics will be collected for the Maile farm, but linkages should be made more explicit (for instance pigeon peas might contribute to improved nutrition, firewood etc.)
  • C: There were delays in receiving materials from the partners (CIMMYT), the link appears to be weak. There were no materials received from CIMMYT for (TARI) tied ridges and neither to ICRAF. Hence, materials used were from MERU and not DET.
  • Q: Why do we have impression that it was reported multiple times that in deed the improved varieties has been used and however you say they were not?
  • R: Because, from the studies conducted on the DET, the performance of DET was excellent, it was rated to a tune of 8-9 tons however, the materials were not received, field materials were missing. For example for Kongwe project, for this seasons, we used DET WE2101 assessed materials (from Makutapora- TARI) however, these products were from CIMMYT. It is unfortunate that the DET WE2101, for this season could not perform well because of dramatic loss of soil moisture supply.
  • C: I think you operated without the varieties form CIMMTY Swai, another point we need to consider is the contribution of these crops to nutrition. We are talking of using the pigeon pea varieties etc. In ISFM we talk on improving varieties, managing the soil with fertilizer. The question is how do we account for nutrition in this aspect, how do we get some data on the aspect on human?
  • R: Still there is a need to collect the clear data to substantiate the data collected for human domain.
  • C: We need to define what are the technologies that Africa RISING is promoting, and then we evaluate the crops contribution to the nutrition. I agree with Prof. to focus on what we are currently doing verse what farmers has been using before, to assess the changes that these technologies have contribute to nutrition. On the case of nutrition, we shall need to evaluate if we are now promoting the nutrient dense varieties at the same time compare with, the farmers who are using the local materials with low quality. It will be important to capture this information in term of nutrition aspect.
  • C: The question on whether, ICRISAT are improving Pigeon pea also consider assessing the high protein content or they are basing on the agronomic characteristic (drought tolerant, diseases etc.) was important to address.
  • ACTION: ICRISAT/SUA to explore PP utilization in family diet/income from PP in accessing nutritious foods.This will lead the team to come with different recipes which can be attractive to people to be able to consume PP to various forms.
  • C: There is a need to consider checking the rate of consumption (of the crops with and without ISFM)
  • C: The data to be collected should be responding to the system as whole. Data such as the income obtained from selling the PP also consider the income aspect of it
  • Q: Why PP?
  • R: It is because of the integration with what ICRISAT is doing with nutrition, it appears that the nutrition part was missing, the PP was addressed in their workplan (ICRISAT) and will be linked to the nutrition aspect
  • C: For this season, Shitindi needs to explore the contribution of PP in term of soil fertility, as far as the nutrition is concerned
  • ACTION: Collection of crop residue data need further refining of the methodology to encompass non participation neighboring field
  • ACTION 2: ICRAF information on firewood generated from PP at farm level (farmer Moshi Maile). ICRISAT Performance of elite varieties (legumes, cereals) under stressed conditions: Integration with TARI in terms of soil and water conservation. Economic integration (participatory evaluation) to be discussed with IITA. Integration with CIMMYT in terms of cereals? Soil fertility management? Should be set up at the farm level with linkages made explicit (currently set up at the landscape and community level).
  • ACTION 1: ICRISAT to provide promising sorghum varieties for integrating in soil water interventions under Moshi Maile farm.
  • ACTION 2: ICRISAT contribute in assessing resilience of new varieties (improved) under the stress conditions (plot/landscape level).CIMMYT: Farm level evaluation of drought tolerant maize varieties: Economic integration (IITA) considered. Integration with SWC, soil fertility management and agroforestry? Human (QPM) domain? Farm level linkages are there but should be made more explicit (for instance how are crop residues used).
  • C: There are work on nutrition analysis been carried out/ implemented, but It was difficult to associate with agronomic practices. For last year, sample where collected from Swai, at plot level. The data collected was for the proximity analysis (composition in term of protein and micro nutrient content) and aflatoxin.
  • Q: Can the data collected at plot level applied to farmer Moshi Maile?
  • R & Q: I would not use data explicitly to refer to what is happening at Moshi Maile’s farm. However, if we compare the interventions where he is using tied ridges and other soil management system data that was collected can it be used to be representative for Moshi Maile’s farm?
  • R: If we compare different AR intervention(s), then each need to use the data to interpret what is happening at farmer Maile’s farm, for example assessment on water conversation technology how it reduces the aflatoxin content, we could use the same data (data collected from nutrition analysis). However, variables from Moshi Maile farm and many other farmers about the effects of the management of some other components can be taken from elsewhere and transferred to Maile’s farm. In this case, it is possible to use the information because it will allow variations for Maile’s farm, the value will be more less represent some of the technology effects.
  • ACTION 1: There is a need to collect nutrition quality data at plot and farm level studies
  • ACTION 2: The implementing partners should continue using the commercial maize varieties ( also include recently released DT maize varieties such as WE2109) (it is too late for the CIMMYT materials to be integrated in the system)
  • ACTION 3: Collection of crop residue data need further refining of the methodology to encompass non participation neighboring field. Livestock (Marwa): feeding, housing, breeding, manure – to be developed. Integration with soil fertility management?
  • C: There are vegetable case studies conducted in Babati at farm level, we can extrapolate on those farms.
  • C: It good to consider what is produced in poultry production to vegetable and human, the data on how is produced and human being benefit is missing
  • ACTION 1: Develop a study on the poultry manure production and contribution and interaction with vegetable production at three case studies farms (TALIRI (Marwa) and World Veg).
Soil fertility management (SUA): needs stronger integration in ICRISAT, Marwa (livestock) and CIMMYT work plans
  • ACTION: SUA workplan to include studying contributions of PP to soil fertility. (N fixation studies available for Babati and Malawi, gap for K/K semi-arid agroecology). CIAT/SUA/ICRAF to explore further.
  • Q: Are there similar environments (as for Babati) in Malawi?
  • R: Yes, they have the same arid areas, Babati (Kongwa Kiteto) agroecology mostly is sub humid
  • Q: The Nitrogen fixation work for PP that is done in Malawi, can the values be applies for Kongwa Kiteto, since we (ISFM) are conducting the same activity in Babati for PP (because it is bit expensive)
  • C: In the sub humid areas there has been some work, in Babati we will need to look on the semi-arid areas, we need to know if Shitindi (SUA) which is already working on some methodology’s, will help us to identify the level of amount of fixation such as looking on the effective and non-effective nodules
  • C: It is one of the studies that is reflected in Shitindi activities’ workplan
  • C: Job needs to discuss further with Shitindi and the whole team that is integrating with the PP
  • ACTION: SUA workplan to include studying contributions of PP to soil fertility. (N fixation studies available for Babati and Malawi, gap for K/K semi-arid agroecology). CIAT/SUA/ICRAF to explore further.
External evaluation - sites proposed
  • The field selected should be the one that shows the integration of the technologies (first field of farmer Maile). It was proposed the team effort to be concentrated on this site
  • The second site should be Karatu, at this site there is an ongoing works on vegetables and postharvest activities (Dr. Christopher Mutungi)
  • Nutrition, site proposed was Mlali (Prof. Yasinta Muzanila)