ESA review meeting

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Africa RISING ESA review and planning meeting
03 - 05 September 2013
Sunbird Capital Hotel, Lilongwe, Malawi
[edit | edit source]

This review and planning meeting will unfold over three days and will consist of a broader stakeholder meeting on the first day (Tuesday 3 September) followed by a smaller planning meeting on the next two days (Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 September).

General objectives:

  1. Inform stakeholders on Africa RISING progress: share 2012/2013 research activities and results from across countries and sites
  2. Present to the stakeholders next year’s ESA Project action plans and gather feedback on these.

Specific objectives for days 2 and 3 (4th and 5th September):

  1. Revise and finalize action plans for each intervention site taking into consideration the feedback received on day 1
  2. Present action plans for review to peers from other sites
  3. Revise composition of research teams
  4. Agree next steps to ensure timely implementation

List of participants


Thursday 17 July Agenda
Tuesday 3 September Time Notes
Registration 08:00
Welcome (Victor Manyong, IITA), Jerry Glover (USAID) and workshop introduction (Ewen Le Borgne) 08:30
General review and update (Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon) 09:15
Review of progress (and possibly draft plans): Research output 1

Baseline surveys (Beliyou Haile, IFPRI) - 10' only
Farming systems survey (Jeroen Groot, Wageningen University) 10' only
Questions and answers (clarification) 15'

Coffee break 10:10
Review of progress and draft plans: Research output 2

Review of Babati research (Mateete Bekunda, IITA) - 20' / Q&A 15'
Review of Kongwa Kiteto research (P. Okori, ICRISAT) - 20' / Q&A 15'
Review of Malawi research (Regis Chikowo, MSU) - 20' / Q&A 15'
Questions and answers (for clarification only) after each presentation

Commissioned research presentations:

Opportunities for adoption and institutional innovation (P. Hilbur) - 15' only
Plant disease and pest monitoring surveys in Africa RISING action areas in Tanzania (L. Kumar) - 15' only
Small mechanization (F. Baudron) - 10' only
Questions and answers (clarification) - 10'

Presentation of the HumidTropics program (Kwesi Atta-Krah) and its relation with Africa RISING 14:35
Group work: teasing out key insights, necessary outputs and implications for ways forward 14:50
Coffee break 15:15
Group work (continued) 15:45
Presenting back group work and clustering ideas/insights, outputs and implications 16:30
Close 17:15
Cocktails 18:00
Wednesday 4 September
Research team work

In parallel: project steering committee meeting (09.00 - 12.45)

Coffee break 10:30
Research team work continued 11:00
Lunch break 12:45
Open support market place: where are issues, questions, clarifications needed, inputs required from other teams etc. 14:00
Research team work continued 14:45
Coffee break 15:30
Research team work continued 16:00
Taking stock of progress so far, and of needs for peer assist 17:00
(Optional) marketplace slot for peer support 17:15
Thursday 5 September
Marketplace slot for peer support 08:30
Parallel peer review 09:00
Research team work continued 10:00
Coffee break 10:30
Research team work continued 11:00
Lunch break 12:45
Research team work continued 14:00
Presentations of work on flipchart sheet (backed by more comprehensive plan on Word but not presented) 14:30
Coffee break 15:30
Presentations, continued 16:00
Evaluation, closing and thanks 17:00


Notes of the meeting

Day 1[edit | edit source]

Welcome and introduction[edit | edit source]

Victor Manyong (IITA)

  • The project is evolving very well even though we experienced some challenges. First with the Africa Rice pulling out due to incompatibility of research outputs. And the project is therefore lacking a strong researcher for rice.
  • In the first year the project implemented quick wins. In the second year, it consolidated partnerships between CG centres and NARS, universities and NGOs. The project has also brought new partners on board, such as Wagenigen University, USAID funded project in Malawi and Tanzania - NAFAKA and INVC in Malawi. The project is also expanding into Zambia through SIMLESA, another USAID funded project.
  • Africa RISING is running smoothly and successfully. IITA as lead institution is grateful to partners who believe in the project and to USAID for funding the project and their flexibility. And for their close involvement throughout the implementation of the project and their advice.
  • Let us remember AR is a research project not development. The research outputs feed into the development continuum. Therefore the way we design our approaches and investigation, should be based on rigor of science.
  • Sustainability of the project – AR is a project and will one day end. From the beginning we need to think of our exit strategy and to ensure that the success that we will have developed in the implementation of the project will be maintained even after the project.

Jerry Glover (USAID)

  • How does Africa RISING fit into broader issues such as landscapes? We will bring additional partners from different departments within the Africa bureau who are not necessarily addressing food security such as education and environment. This will help us to ensure, we do not leave by bread along consider the wait, the large landscape issues, the wildlife. So we will try and consider all these issues.
  • As we go forward we will focus more on deeper issues more than institutional issues. We will need patience as we try to deal with multiple issues. Africa RISING is a unique project with many partners, NGOs, national and international universities and CG centres - more than any other projects at least in the agriculture sector.
  • We are officially a part of the HumidTropic CRP. We are discussing with them and we are also developing multiple complex partnerships. There are additional projects funded as part of sustainable intensification. Texas university has recently been awared a large scale irrigating award lokign at small-scale irrigation technologies for small-holder in the same region as Africa RISING. So we will see how to link up that project? As we go through the week, let us think what the project can bring into Africa RISING and vice versa.
  • We are also expecting significant activities on mechanization. And all these different aspects should build on to the Africa RISING project.
  • We also now have MoUs with USAID country offices which are funding FtF projects. If the research outputs from Africa RISING can contribute to US mission funded projects that will be a big success.

Overall progress presentation[edit | edit source]

General review and update (Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon)
Progress since last evaluation meeting, October 2012 in Arusha.
See this presentation.

At the meeting, teams evaluated year-one’s quick wins projects and developed plans for year two - prioritized major research outputs, identified agronomic challenges for small-holder farmers, established the boundaries to operate within and the guiding principles for the project and identified development partners to work with. Priorities:Seed availability, soil fertility, weed management, agronomic practices, planning time, spacing, Soil and water conservation, issues around post value handling, value addition and utilization.

  • Markets – access to and organization of markets, opportunities
  • Innovations platforms
  • Livestock: husbandry, new breeds, pasture, livestock heath and processing of animal based products.
  • Other challenges,
  • Information and communication issues – within and with the outside world.
  • Capacity building for implementing partner institutions

Situational analysis –this was not addressed under research output 1. However, it was carried out in parallel research activities. Boundaries: Partners to work together in the selected sites to achieve greater synergies and asses the interactions between the research interventions Agreed on concept of sustainable intensification - As we look at how to produce more from the same area of land by reducing negative impact and contributing to natural capital and environmental services


  • While our main domain is the farm household level but we have to keep the landscape in mind.
  • Take a step wise approach to as not to over load the farmers
  • The farmer landscape is diverse. Intensification should targets these different typologies e.g. poor farmers, better resourced farmers etc.
  • We use R4D platforms for innovation learning and cooperation.

Post Arusha activities:
Research teams were formed for each site. Proposals were developed and contracts signed with lead institutions, funds disbursed and field activities started. A workshop on survey instruction for baseline was held and one on research designs.

Project sites:
Semi-arid area: Kongwa (Nojro village) & Kiteo (Chitengo, Moletei, & Mlala villages) -led by ICRISAT
Sub-humid sites: Babati (Sabilo, Longand & Seloto villages) - led by IITA
Kilombero for rice – not in the project anymore with Africa Rice pulling out.

Malawi – led by Michigan States Univeristy
Dedza and Ntcheu districts

with other development partners to help project achieve its development outcomes

  • Tanzania - Seeking synergies with other USAID funded projects. project has signed MoU with NAFAKA and coordinated its project sites with those of NAFAKA
  • Malawi - MoU signed with INVC (Integrated Nutrition with Value Chains)
  • Zambia – Africa RISING is expanding into Zambia through SIMLESA. Both projects have similar objectives and work in the same system. Visit was made to SIMLESA sites in March and a follow up meeting held in May to identify areas of collaboration. Research proposal from SIMLESA received and will be discussed later in the week.

Steering committee:
Met in October last year. Some agreements included to change name from coordinating to steering committee, have a program advisory committee as a standing body and to add a representative from Malawi in year 3. Program advisory committee not in place yet.

Staff updates:

- Ainsley Charles, regional M&E specialist in Arusha is on board.
-Festus Ngulu employed as a consultant in Arusha
- Support from IITA Admin tam in Dar es Salaam and Lilongwe
- Catherine Njuguna and Jeffrey Oliver supporting project with part time communications. However, project is also currently recruiting a research communication specialist in West Africa to be based in Ibadan.
- Recruitment of an agricultural economist for ESA and WA also planned.


  • What happened to the rice sites, why did AfricaRice stop, while this staple crop is really important for (the Government of) Tanzania? --> The M&E system was very different from what AfricaRice are used to and they did not want to adapt their approach to this.
  • This program has to realise that natural resource management (soil and water) does not respond well to household scales. It's about the landscape and that needs to be addressed by the team.

Presentations about research output 1 (situation analysis)[edit | edit source]

Baseline surveys (IFPRI)[edit | edit source]

B. Haile & A. Charles
See this presentation.
Interim progress reports done in Tanzania. Farmer field days in Babati district, 100+ focus group discussions. Project mapping tool (to be presented), baseline socioeconomic surveys (ongoing), workshop on impact evaluation to rigorously evaluate project elements, for Babati there's a prospective impact evaluation design. Household and individual level outcomes.

Lessons from Babati focus group discussions.
Malawi ARBES (tool). The survey was very long and detailed (45 pages) but it was great to get additional feedback from various people (M/ Bekunda, EPIC team at FAO, Vital Signs, MSU). Collecting crop level data. Trained 28 researchers and worked with 'Invest in Knowledge Initiative' (IKI). 24 teams started field work on Aug. 16. 30% completed as of Sept. 2, 2013. Survey with 1200 households. Collecting site data from Dedza and Ntechu – 25 beneficiary villages and 28 control villages within the intervention areas to see if there is any diffusion of technologies.

Hoping to finish this work in Sept. 2013 and draft report expected in Nov/Dec. 2013.

Tanzania ARBES: lagging behind.
M&E is a shared responsibility.

Feedback on cards (IFPRI):

  • Focus group results tend to be too general for both M&E and guiding participatory research. How to get more detailed information to work on critical issues/entry points?
  • Characterization in Zambia? Only socio-economic related or other processes also?
  • How do you motivate households in 'control villages' to participate?

Farming systems (WUR)[edit | edit source]

J. Groot

See this presentation.
Entry points for sustainable intensification: farm components and practices, farm yield gaps, interactions with social-ecological and economic environment (markets, networks, resources).
Integrated farming systems analysis needed: context-specific, on-farm testing, embedded in communities.
This work is done in relation with N2 Africa and partner institutes. It's also done in West Africa, not just in ESA.
Starting with one village centre and using a Y frame to look at the outskirts of the village so as not to end up with biased results.
Great job on the data collection (April-May).
Preliminary results: In Malawi interest in technological innovation (land availability etc.) and in Tanzania also interest in sustainable resource mangement and institutional issues.

large diversity of farm sizes and endowment.
Some issues to explore further: the role of functional and human/social farm characteristics in grouping and targeting, cross-country comparison of farming systems, constraints and possible entry points. Progress made: rapid characterization completed in ESA and ongoing in West Africa. Secondary data (crops, animals etc.) collected. Data inserted info farm design tool in ESA and data overviews made. Next steps: detailed data collection (Sept. 2013), Data analysis and explorations (Oct-Nov. 2013), Suggestions for entry points available (Dec. 2013).

Feedback on cards (WUR):
Labour availability (per ha) appears very high. What do people do with left overtime and/or are you sure about estimates?

Q&A about RO1 presentations:
Q: Complementarity and integration between M&E and farming systems?

  • A: We are working on this.

Q: What are you doing about developing Feed the Future (FtF) indicators at country level?

  • A: (Comment Jerry Glover: ESA is one of 3 regions and we are seeking consistency across the program

Q: What are you doing to address landscape level issues? A: We looked at how to relate farming systems to landscapes - many farming systems depend on other external factors such as social relations. we are not addressing this. but we welcome suggestions on how to address this in the second phase. Q: What about farming systems analysis to find out what is driving sustainable intensification e.g. product prices, labour etc.? A:yes. we looked at issues on produce and input prices. Next step in farming systems analysis will be about collecting e.g. product prices, labour etc.

Feedback on cards (IFPRI/WUR):
How to integrate the landscape scale (e.g. soil) into the M&E and farming system analysis?

Presentations about Research Output 2 (Integrated systems improvement)[edit | edit source]

Babati (M. Bekunda)[edit | edit source]

See this presentation. Research output 1 Situation analysis– identify key biophysical and social-economic constraints to crops and livestock production at farms levels Identify opportunities for enhancing productivity and resource –use efficiencies Research output 2: Integrated Systems improvement Research out put 3 scaling & delivery actions: – introducing varieties, best -bet management practices around new introduced varieties to get optimal yield and introduce post-harvest safety and management technologies.

Lessons and opportunities: Major constraints: staking height and materials. Can we try different staking options?

Feedback on cards:

  • It is not correct to say that "farmers already know what variety is best and thus no need for CIMMYT to introduce/test all those other varieties". We need a menu for farmers.
  • Sustainability of options being tried at farm level e.g. micro-dosing to close the yield gap.
  • Neither in-situ or ex-situ water management was mentioned as an option worth investigating. Why is that?
  • Need for more social science in order to better understand farmer adoption of fertilizer, other decision-making
  • Need to better understand gender dimensions - do women farmers have equitable access to seeds, fertilizers, labor etc.?

Kongwa Kiteto (P. Okori)[edit | edit source]

See this presentation Lessons, projections and challenges: Partnership convergence and complementarity; benchmarks are critical; champions for change (difficult with only 9% farmers in farmer organisations)...

We want to focus on the future, not on problems of the past. In 2013-2014, we want to focus on high yielding and nutrient rich crops, ISFM land and water management and improved crop management. Scale issues (e.g. increase seed success), integrate livestock/poultry systems, capacity strengthening

Q: Aflatoxins are common. Can you give us a range of acceptable labels about which proportion of the samples were above this.

  • A: More than 60% of groundnuts are beyond American standards. Almost all groundnuts are above 4 pppp. More than 10% of bambara nuts are beyond 10 pppp.

Q: Fertilizer use:

  • A: We presented key questions about how much fertilizers farmers should use. There was no standard in use in the regions, it was based on blanket approaches. How much should we advocate certain standards to farmers? We look at integration of fertilizers and rainwater harvesting and will look at results in the next phase so we'll have some aspects of that. About integration we have an experiment looking at spatial arrangements between maize and pigeon peas.

Q: Why are you testing these innovations in semi-dry areas?

  • A: Our innovations are relevant for certain agro-ecological zones. In this project we try to integrate rainwater harvesting to complement soil stress. The amount of maize in Tanzania is located in semi-arid areas and high yield is achieved there. These technologies are relevant and will be complemented with rainwater harvesting.

Q: Can farmers identify aflatoxins for farmers?

  • A: Aflatoxin has been ??? Farmers know symptoms. When we went for the survey in Kongwa Kiteto, we found out farmers didn't know about aflatoxins but knew the symptoms of it. Based on the colour of the disease they assess whether it's a poison or not. If mould etc. they don't want to shell it but store it.

Feedback on cards: If gender was identified as a priority in the theory of change, what are implications for women farmers?

Malawi districts: Dedze and Ntcheu (R. Chikowo)[edit | edit source]

See this presentation. Africa RISING nutrition open days organized last week.

Lessons learnt: appropriate selection of pigeon pea varieties is essential for success in mixed crop-livestock systems (long duration varieties likely to be damaged by goats in July/Aug); many farmers can't separate R4D activities and development programs.

What worked: farmers' ownership over the project; farmer experimentation and innovation; What didn't work (work in progress): intensive soil surveys but soil analysis lagging behind. Livestock component not prioritized in year 1. We have added relevant skills for this. Opportunities.

Q: Baby/mother trials...

  • A: In our team we work with grad students from MSU and Luana. They've completed 2-3 months of intensive research with lots of data. Most of this was presented recently. We are getting feedback from farmers and it's embedded in new plans.

Q: Crop-livestock integration and pastures?

  • A: So far not much emphasis but with animal science dept of Luana Uni +Dr. Nyoka will help us working on this. Land for free grazing is a rare commodity so it's a real challenge. Biggest contrast with Tanzania. In the past season we have not been emphasising this but in the planning we will work on smallholder dairy in Malawi and draw experiences from ICRAF in Zimbabwe and East African dairy experiences. We also want to hook onto gov't policy of 'one cow one family' - this should give us more ownership over livestock. We don't want to focus on all animals. Not all farmers will work on this.

Q: Soils

  • A: This is outside the AFSYS project that CIAT is working on. They did a lot of work on specific areas for action sites. They did intensive soil sampling and sent them to ICRAF labs for analysis. We want to use this data for the next phase. We'll have results in end of September. We'll have information at landscape scale.

Q: Aflatoxin problem

  • A; Especially for groundnuts it's a well established issue with clear research questions etc. I also backstop on nutrition and how to reduce aflatoxin contamination in groundnuts and other products by reducing moisture.

Q: Access to market is essential for sustainable intensification

  • A: This is not an issue only in Malawi but across the regions. We were working with Ministry to organise farmer associations/cooperatives and in the areas where we're implementing these associations already exist. One unique contribution is that one of our students did a qualitative survey and over 50% interviewees were women farmers.

Q: How to learn from other countries?

  • A: This type of meeting is a learning event with scientists from both countries + research leaders from Mali and Ghana. We have another learning event at program level and we also have exchange visits of researchers and farmers. Not happened yet but will happen next year.

Q: Other mycotoxins e.g. in Maize?

  • A: In Tanzania we are not looking only at aflatoxin but also at other mycotoxins.

Feedback on cards (Malawi):
"Double legumes" technology has already been confirmed in Malawi - how are you synergising with previous efforts and not repeating?

Feedback on cards (all groups):

  • Not enough integration!
  • What have you done to ensure integration between work packages? Do you for instance analyse/use products from agronomic trials for aflatoxin of feed analyses;
  • How is GIS/GPS being used for M&E in Africa RISING?

Commissioned research presentations[edit | edit source]

Opportunities for adoption and institutional innovation[edit | edit source]

Per Hilbur (IITA)
See this presentation

Plant disease and pest monitoring surveys[edit | edit source]

Lava Kumar (IITA) See this presentation

Group work[edit | edit source]

Babati group[edit | edit source]

See group work report (Day 1)

  • Good model: this project is good
  • But we need to plan carefully, this is a reseach project
  • We need the right people .e.g. socio-economists (to look at )
  • We need indicators at high level of sustainable intensification
  • We have been asked to emphasise in or ex-situ water management for optimum yields
  • Intensification requires market incentives - not adequately addressed
  • CIAT and ILRI have done a lot about IFSM so we need to look at that
  • We've been advised to address modeling to bring components together
  • A challenge: going into different agro-ecological zones. We have to be prepared to bring socio-scientists early enough.
  • More communication between research and private sector to help with market linkages
  • Early integration of work packages to achieve impact pathways for high level indicators
  • M&E has to be centrally driven by IFPRI
  • To what extent are we following the farmers' decision-making process on adoption --> use models to understand some of this information and to still include ground-truthing
  • We need coordinated communication of the different components with extension
  • Test locally available materials (eg. fodder)
  • Be careful when talking about adoption
  • We need to involve ministry personnel in innovation platforms because this determines uptake of technologies
  • Need to consider a links between maize and diseases as it's affecting.

Kongwa-Kiteto group[edit | edit source]

  • Adopt a sentinel approach
  • Household level impact to link up with GIS analysis to have info on specific variables
  • Possible to incorporate remote sensing to sequentially track impact?
  • Target priorities: how to capture farmer priorities and make technology more relevant for them? --> Use participatory evaluation about different technologies + use baseline that was done in the group to inform
  • Which package deals with aflatoxins? The issue of nutrition, processing, other mycotoxins etc. fall under this package - but we need to clarify this further.
  • Training: How is that being used to introduce technology? We have extension workers;
  • Pesticide management and issues around pigeon peas etc. need to be addressed; We need to increase awareness.
  • Scale of training? Some of the post-harvest training tackled 50+ farmers. It's related to mother-baby trials to validate technologies. When we pick up promising technologies to get integrated etc. then we need to include them in the training to increase the adoption rate.
  • How did we prioritise the issues? Many responses e.g. jumpstart activities in Kongwa-Kiteto. There's literature about this work too.
  • Testing impact / outcomes: some information
  • Pest & disease management: are there any plans to include?
  • Baseline: farmers have non-agric income sources, but how do we deal with this?
  • One last key comment was about plans for data management: we need to manage this carefully.

Malawi group[edit | edit source]

See presentation group work (day 1). see

  • How are we using GIS for M&E etc.
- All our work with farmers has been geo-referenced which can be used and we've used GIS to map soils and do the analysis of carbon as indicators of sustainability.
- We discussed GIS for remote sensing.
- We suspect that the project sites have no room for expansion of arable land.

  • Doubled-up legume technology confirmed but how to synergise with previous research?
- As AR we are not inventing new tech but are using tech that has proved to work;

  • Integration - what is meant? We didn't discuss this because it was not clear.

  • What to include under crop-livestock integration and what are the outcomes?

- On the crop-livestock integration, we said we'd prioritise livestock this year rather than just fodder tree, eg looking at forage sources that can be used for livestock, e.g. leguminous species in the fodder bank + by products in (soya bean) processing as feeds for livestock
- Another suggestion: rather than just dairy production, we need to include mono-gastrics for smallholder farmers. e.g. local breeds of chicken.
  • What changes do you want to see at the end of the program?
- We are hoping that at the end one of the major outcomes will be increase production to improve food security at hh level + nutritional aspects (improve diets thanks to inclusion of proteins)

  • Looking at proteins etc. we need to look at proteins from legumes, not just cereals;
  • Improving market participation etc. in the various sites.
  • Other than that, we had a question/comment: potential for mechanised farming? Smallholder farmers have small portions of land so they may have difficulties to mechanise.
  • We need to include all players in R4D platforms so that when working with farmers we don't confuse them with different messages

Summary by the external observers[edit | edit source]


  • The partnership is very strong, the program is ambitious, wide-ranging and connecting good objective data on spatial and temporal references etc.
  • The combination of technical and natural fixes is recognized which is good?
  • Some items which are not so strong eg. gender will be coming back later.
  • It is still relatively early in the programme to see all elements being fully developed


  • Dominant focus on constraints and problems rather than solutions and opportunities
  • At times the presentations came as rather linear e.g. baseline, data collection done, analysis done, we do implementation. Research into action is more iterative.
  • Integration between work packages: what's been done to ensure integration between these? Is there joint analysis of the work collected around the different products and trials? Where and how are those links realised?
  • What are plans for storing/managing data etc. to maximise it and ensure there's a legacy beyond the project?
  • Nest the household approach to wider ag systems thinking - it's not just about livestock, crops etc. but the integration. There is a need for wider systems thinking e.g. agricultural systems, livestock, high value crops (e.g. fruits) water etc.
  • Livestock is currently underplayed;
  • What about ag water management, supplemental irrigation (where is that an opportunity?)
  • Innovation is still in a box. How to unlock the brain power?


  • Where and how is the prioritization process? We can't do this all - we need to priorize to bring about change;
  • Greater technical-social-economic integration to work on, from the current technical bias.

Final words by Mateete:
Good progress. The program has a hypothesis of step-wise approach. We can't do everything at once. We want you to also represent Africa RISING outside. We want partnerships with scientists and development workers.
Thank you very much for coming. We should prepare a log frame to show the stakeholders where we're supposed to be and where we'll be with our stakeholders. Register on our website - there's a lot of information there about West Africa. You can give comments on it. Safe journey tomorrow.

Tomorrow 8.15 research teams start together. We have seen what we need to do. We have to begin together in plenary and then we break into the different research teams. The steering committee meeting starts at 9.00.

Day 2[edit | edit source]

Wednesday taking temperature
Discussed proposal, framework and work packages, major activities
Issues on climbing beans Work packages, major activities and expected outputs – 50% done.

Babati: Reviewed feedback from yesterday. Reflecting on what to incorporate in various work plans. We singled out integration. So we spend time on integrating the various work packages.

Issues – that went beyond the time. Push those to Bekunda- social economics across teams, design communications and information. Indicators were at outcome and not output. We ended up going through and got a common understanding.

Kongwa /Kiteto
Review comments – looked at integration across five sites we were working. Role of social scientists. Need for institutional strengthening at community level. Reviewed available work plans seen they can be integration. Agreed one, on the basis of info we have for that to inform we need community review before the start of the process. Review whether what we are doing makes sense. Do some form of priority setting and incorporate in the work packages. Use whatever information comes through

Look at those work plans that are closely related and will influence each other –clustered everything to do with crops and livestock together. We are addressing how we will use this info to inform the work packages. To do things of relevance to the community and for the innovation platform, this might be of a challenge as growing season starts in November. How do we set this up effectively?

Q: How did groups tackle integration?
- Looked at the various work packages, identified activities we can integrate and how to develop joint work plans. Last year, we did not review each other’s work packages. We have to realize against ourselves ensure field activities are jointly implemented at the field level.

We came up with scheme component levels those working on crops, processes and integrations at 3 levels:

  • Farm levels, -labor, gender, revenue, nutritional status,
  • Landscape – erosion, water,
  • Institutional setting – also include communities, markets, policies.

The work packages followed that scripts. There was some level of integration at policy and institutions but at the farm level, it was not so clear.

At the biophysical level, there is ongoing integration, e.g. fertilizer trials on varieties under evaluation. The big challenge is to determine whether the technologies are working at the socio-economical context. This is where adoption will take place. How do we ensure they will make a difference down the road? We may need new partners, kick out others etc.
- We are looking at integration along the value chain. Emphasis on production and nutrition at first . And once they are able to produce more efficiently, the next steps is value addition. E.g. in animal science component, produce milk through dairy farm, produce manure etc. cropping systems fit into better nutrition. Getting good integration at the farming level.
- Social institutional component still needs ironing out
- Demonstrate yourself integrating activities in the farm in time and space.

Day 3

Commissioned research presentations[edit | edit source]

Jerry: USAID has funded additional program that add depth to our sustainable efforts - Small-scale irrigation and small scale mechanization. From their brief presentations, let’s see how we can make use of the opportunities they provide. Farm power and conservation agriculture See this presentation: Issues: Farm power declining in SSA – tractor, animal traction; Labor is increasing. Agric increasing depending on women. Increase mechanization and conservation agriculture as solutions. Poor transport leads to low productivity and high losses. Moving from farm to collection point – costs leads to 1/3rd of trasnspot costs so mechanization an make a difference. Working through a business model to avail mechanization to a large no of farmers through business approach and working through the private sector for sustainability.


Q:Why the model will work?

  • A: Demand for mechanization has increased – supporting infrastructure (access to finance, replacement of parts) and services has developed. Pass focus has been on large scale. Past focus was on the public sector.

Small-scale irrigation cooperation agreement

See this presentation:
Elements – capacity building – student, extension agents
Decision support model (APEX, FarmSIM, SWAT) – lead to target at different levels
Outcomes in an implementable manner
Strong R4D
Start with Ethiopia small holder farmer. Next year move to Tanzania and look at potential linkage with AR group. Move to Ghana in year 2 or 3.

We would like to see not only Africa RISING to integrate small-scale irrigation in project sites but also how to target extension potential.

Steering committee meeting presentation[edit | edit source]

See this presentation, given to summarise the meeting decisions.

Malawi Presentation[edit | edit source]

The team has really increased and been strengthened over the past 2 days. Research questions around the current , determinants of farmer participation in field-based learning platforms and influence + food processing and utilization technology options suitable for adoption by targeted households.

Comments from focus questioners:
Q: You want biophysical outputs with the view to determine how to manage the soils and therefore do good agric practices (pre- and post-harvest). It's not clear how the post-harvest practice will be tested. How do address pre- and post-harvest practices? Someone should work on identify best / preferred varieties. I would also expect fertlizers... How will you integrate this? It seems as if you will be able to deliver everything but some of it will happen next year. You cannot start doing post harvest now until you find out what varieties are suitable.

  • A: Some of it is work in progress, building upon early win activities etc. This is the 3rd year. Production is going on and post-harvest processing is also happening. With livestock it's the right time to start as we have residues etc.

Q: Outputs / outcomes - they are not easy to explain for one year so we expect you to mention what new varieties/technologies etc. to include.

  • A: We debated this in our group and we saw how we tried to come to deliverables. Outcomes will come at the end of the research process... In the life of the project, if funding continues, we have an idea about how outputs will contribute to outcomes...

Q: The type of work packages - it's not easy to find out how they're integrated. Not easy to see how the livestock intensification will work with the bean work package.

  • A: Integration is one of the buzzwords that comes out. Once you start feeding cows you get high quality manure etc. We'll try to integrate. On livestock we'll look at current practices of feeding animals using crop residues. It's very connected.

Comment: the title of your work packages is irritating. e.g. WP1 about participatory action research should be over-arching. WP 1 is overarching Q: Indicators:

  • A: The indicators are too high, etc. things we can measure quickly and with slow progress.

Q: Markets are not coming up in the plan, deliverables etc. what about it?

  • A: We've made 3 slides so we're not covering this here.

Babati Presentation[edit | edit source]

Integration of fodder and crops etc. Working on RO 1 and RO 2 with activity planning for each of these. Various deliverables for each of these activities. Methodology: WP1 looks at characterization, WP2 food crops, WP4 Mz+PP, WP3 forages, WP5 mycotoxins, WP6 post-harvest, WP7 vegetables, WP poultry and WP scaling (linking with ETDG) to reach 8000 farmers using randomized control trials to test impact on farm household to see if they improve incomes, nutrition and improve livelihood.

Q: Landscape variables?

  • A: This is participatory action-research, we look at constraints and opportunities so we decide about this within the environment. The testing of varieties, research solutions etc. with landscape implications along the river.

Q: Scaling out?

  • A: This is a research project - we're not responsible for showing better nutrition etc. but we have opportunities to see if technologies can be adopted in a market type of environment and that may make a difference for farmers.
- RO 3 is not presented etc. but in the slide and in this explanation there's more information about this which needs to be present in your document.

Q: How are you going to disseminate gender-preferred varieties?

  • A: In the participatory variety selection we consider men/women varieties separately and there are thus 2 ways to test. One of them relates to the scarce private sector available and the other is about the decentralized seed production. We are going to test small packets e.g. 100g and we want to test different scenarios of seed availability etc. to test the speed. One of the techniques we use to capture farmer prefs is to invite the crop estate to conduct farm assessment or to come to the field at appropriate stage during crop production and they select varieties that they want. The farmers sometimes select other varieties than the best yield ones. By inviting them we can capture selection criteria from various gender groups. In the final seed release process these factors are incorporated.

Q: Integration of forage in mycotoxins WP?

  • A: Yes. Our research question looks at food and feed safety. We are discussing with Fen etc. about mycotoxins etc. The integration of forage in the system also relates to land management strategies. Forage will be used as an

Q: Poultry - are they important?

  • A: We did a rapid assessment and found out that almost 90% use indigenous poultry so it's really important.

Q: By products of vegetables?

  • A: In landscapes with livestock and crops, we have 2 options: animals go to the field and take advantage of that but in our research we have activities that use plant residues as part of feed composition.

Q: Crop residue and amount of manure

  • A: Yes very important

Q: Deliverables on RO1? Optimal application.If you establish optimal rate you shouldn't bother about N and P.

  • A: Thank you for helping us with this indicator. We are developing.

Kongwa Kiteto Presentation[edit | edit source]

4 project research hypotheses about introduction of early/intermediate maturing drought-tolerant varieties of cereals and grain legumes in semi-arid areas of Tanzania will improve productivity and ultimately enhance household food security, nutrition and outcomes 2) adoption of integrated soil fertility management technologies will improve / sustain crop-livestock productivity, 3) adoption of soil/moisture conservation technologies in drought prone areas of Tz will reduce crop failure and improve overall productivity of farmlands 4) socio-economic adoption

5 hypotheses on integration, innovation, scalability. Our overview works with 5 work packages (3 on crops, one on livestock, 2 on landscape). We are keeping the 5 work packages and possibly one extra group on institutional / socio-economic linkages.

Methodologies (with general hypothesis):

  1. New varieties, food security, nutrition, safety and incomes
  2. ISFM
  3. Soils and water
  4. Integrated approaches to sustainable intensification

Deliverables around either at) technologies or b) processes and c) R&D inputs / capacity.

Q: You've explained in detail but it's very ambitious. How will you be able to deliver considering the skillset of your team?

  • A: Each WP has a number of very specialized set of people. We also work with students to support this. CGs, ARI etc. are all involved. This project is complicated and the response mechanism based on needs is sometimes fluid so how we respond to that is by co-implementing institutions which control some of the budget and have the capacity to bring on board other actors + we have associate partners. Eg. Nafaka want to find out from us how to produce tons of maize in a dry area.

Q: Your experiences on maize varieties from last year and farmers doing sthg different from last year. Why are you not analysing literature about farmer prefs?

  • A: We had to undertake farmer analysis before undertaking this in maize-legumes etc. ???

Q: RO1 and activities in FtF - make sure you match your objectives with FtF program objectives... Your research has to complement. In your partners you didn't mention the FtF
Q: You need to be quantitative with deliverables.

  • A: We will consider 2 varieties for each, a combination etc. it's in our proposal; for water/ soil we'll have 2 solutions; for pastures we have well established plans etc.

Q: Farmers don't sort groundnuts? They do! The danger is that whatever is selected/filtered will be of high contamination levels.

  • A: That would include the amount of KGs they're about to sell. In Tanzania there's no sorting.

Social science refection: P. Hilbur, J. Groot and R Richardson [edit | edit source]

There is a lot of work on improvement of crops and animals but at landscape at the systems level how do we see what is going on. What does it mean for nutrition, income, soil fertility?
Consider not only livelihood at farm level but also other socio-institutional issues, policy issues, the scheme we have been discussing.
System level outcomes - we need cooperation between biophysical and socio-economical parameters. There is a strategy for socio-economics at the program level. There is need for socio-econ at different levels. At the site level and institutional changes at national levels and beyond.
Work plans showed more integration. Every work package has a human dimensions look at varieties not only productivity but what are farmers perception. In the group looked at all work packages and looked at the science and social aspect. Determinants of farmers' considerations when adopting our technologies. All technologies have different costs and labor requirements. Social science is not dissemination. Dissemination is informed by science to make it more effective.

Evaluation by Mateete[edit | edit source]

  • Only one of the RO was not addressed.
  • Evaluating the process against last year: last year it was fair, this year is good, next year it will be excellent.
  • We should learn from each other.
  • Keep going to the wiki with new information.
  • The HumidTropics.

All notes are on the wiki - not everything is updated by the end of next week all will be there, all presentations, all photographs. We have been collecting some of your pictures and will see them (please share pictures with me/us). This is accessible for the wider public. We have done some interviews which will go to the website etc. We'll come up with stories.

Closing by Jerry[edit | edit source]

There's been a lot of new faces. What a long trip it's been. We've seen a lot of conceptually rich ideas about this program but no one could really visualise how we were going to operationalise this. We had fears about how it was going to succeed. This year I have much more of a sense that we're beginning to achieve what those discussion groups since Feb. 2012 were all about. As we look at these work plans we look at poultry, vegetables, maize... a very complex approach to addressing livelihoods and landscape issues. In terms of that history, in the next meeting we should have a bit about the history, the purpose and objectives to reduce the confusion... There is always some confusion about the scope of the research.

Sustainable intensification... we measure intensification but not much about sustainability... It's in our work plans to address environmental sustainability. We might need to develop a program-wide framework.

We'll have to work a lot more on data management... There are many data sets we don't have. One of my duties is to explain exactly what it is but explaining is sounds like a long laundry list. We have to work visually about how we work, on what etc. why we choose to work in a specific season of the year and explain that at a particular scale... Eg. landscape and livelihoods. We have to visualize that complexity. If we had sthg like this at the beginning of the week we could elaborate a lot about our challenges and opportunities.

In the future, we have a vision to continue this and work on a phase 2 and that's associated with the need to do the evaluation (internal or external) and anticipate some review process that will make the case for going into phase 2 where we can get into even more complexity. We're entering our year 3 and that's a critical year to envisage the 2nd phase of the program.

Let's think about this and think beyond 2 years from now. It has been incredible to see the engagement about all the partnerships across all components. We're intensifying and diversifying and working with multiple components is terrific. Some USAID folks among us are keen on adding more components...

Final few thank you words by Irmgard[edit | edit source]

Thank you for coming and for your active participation. We have made good progress since last year in terms of organising this meeting and how it went. We have done a lot of work since our Arusha meeting. Thank you Ewen, Catherine, our so-called external participants, Jerry and the USAID delegation etc.

Organisers' agenda