ESA review meeting2015 16

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East and Southern Africa Review & Planning meeting
14-16 July 2015
Venue: Nkopola Lodge, Mangochi, Malawi


  • To review progress made in 2014
  • To plan activities until end of Phase I, with a special focus on disciplinary integration, technology refinement and product documentation

All outputs (PPTs and final notes etc.) are being processed and will shortly be available on this page.


Day 1 (Tuesday 14 July 2015):

08:00 Registration
08:30 Welcome and agenda (official welcome, objectives, agenda, participants)
09:30 Review of Research Output 1 (IFPRI / WUR) also covering data management
See the presentation by Carlo Azzarri (IFPRI)
See the presentation by Jeroen Groot (WUR)
10:30 Break
11:00 Review of platform development - See the presentation by Per Hilbur for the Babati platform
11:30 Review of Research Output 2: Thematic groups (these are only partly thematically coherent groups, but the main idea is to have different groups mixing all sites)
[These presentations were replaced by site-specific presentations in the end, based on the template that was shared with all research teams originally. These are introduced below]

Group 1: Crop-livestock integration

  • Integrated crop, soil health and livestock technologies (Kongwa/Kiteto - A. Kimaro) - See the presentation (upcoming)
  • Livestock intensification (Malawi - B. Nyoka) - See the presentation
  • Improved livestock feeds (Babati - B. Lukuyu) - See the presentation

Group 2: Genetic diversification and intensification / MLND

13:00 Lunch break
14:00 Review of Research Output 2

Group 3: Integrated crops (maize vegetables legumes)

Group 4 (Myco/aflatoxins, storage and processing)

  • Food storage and mycotoxin management (Babati - G. Mahuku) - See the presentation
  • Aflatoxin mitigation (Kongwa/Kiteto - S. Anitha) - See the presentation (upcoming)
  • Nutrition and food processing (Malawi - A. Msukwa)
  • Soybean processing and product development (Zambia)

15:45 Break
16:15 Feedback from the four groups and collective reflection (implications for planning 2015-16)
17:15 Close
See the presentation of the SEARLA project by Richard Lamboll (NRI, UK) - See the presentation

Day 2 (Wednesday 15 July 2015):

08:30 Presentations from socio economics group (Bekele / Gundula / Apurba)

09:00 Update on the climate change project (Robert Richardson) - See the presentation by Robert Richardson.
09:15 Update on various program developments (Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon) - See the presentation by Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon.
09:35 Update on the scaling project (Haroon Sseguya) - See the presentation by Haroon Sseguya
10:00 Break
10:30 Group work - Introduction of 2015-2016 plans (short introduction and larger Q&A session) by sites, including pilot scaling plans...
12:30 Lunch break
13:30 Group work (continued)
15:00 Break
15:30 Group work (continued)
16:30 Review of progress with country plans
17:15 Close


Evening presentation by Richard Lamboll (about the DFID-funded Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa [SAIRLA] program).

Day 3 (Thursday 16 July 2015)
08:30 Group work continued
10:00 Break
10:15 Plenary presentations of improved plans
11:30 Agreements to make integration and scaling up work
12:00 Next steps and final reflections
12:30 Lunch break
14:00 Steering Committee meeting / in parallel: Comms training refresher - See the presentation by Jonathan Odhong
17:30 Close and cocktail

Background materials



Notes of the meeting


Victor Manyong (IITA Regional Director ESA, Chair Africa RISING ESA Steering Committee)

Welcome to this meeting of AR. This is the 4th year of the project, which has really matured. It’s a long way since we started. We have meetings every year, we work on different teams, we meet in the field or in many other occasions. This year is a special year. If we look at our work from the beginning we have made the most important part of our journey. It’s important to look backwards at our goals to remind them for ourselves.

I would also like to say that for the CGIAR system this year has seen some changes to our CGIAR research programs. A major change is that the CRP under which we were (systems research) is no longer working, but it doesn’t mean system research is over. System research will continue in the framework of the new CRP ‘Agrifood system’ on roots tubers and bananas, and the maize one.

Let me welcome you all on behalf of IITA for this project and for the steering committee (SC) of this program.

Felix Chipojola (Steering Committee member, Malawi)

I’m based at Lilongwe Research Station in the Government building. On behalf of the Director of Research my humble function is to welcome you all to this Africa RISING meeting in Malawi. Enjoy the warm heart of Africa and I hope you are really blessed as you are right at the lake. Should you have issues please contact the hotel management. Once again welcome to Malawi.

Irmgard Hoeschle Zeledon (Program coordinator for ESA)

Good morning everybody. I hope everybody who arrived last night is reenergized. I would like to welcome Peter Carbury the new DDG Research for ICRISAT and ?? from USAID Malawi, as well as Richard Lamboll from NRI and his colleague from South Africa, as they will tell us the purpose of their visit here.

I welcome Asamoah Larbi the chief scientist for West Africa hoping he will contribute from his perspective.

It’s the 4th time we meet and the 2nd time we meet in Malawi. I wish we could meet in the growing season to do a field visit but we have to review the past year before we plan and so it’s not possible to align this with the season. Last year colleagues from TZ and ZAM came here to see the works.

At our first meeting in 2012 in Arusha we had to establish the direction for the program for the next 4 years. We had to form the research teams at that time. It was not an easy process. We have functional partnerships between people and institutions. Your research is really valued by all the USAID missions. You have done a good job so far.

This meeting in 2015 is crucial as we have one full season for research ahead of us before Africa RISING comes to an end. We are building the basis for the program to continue. We have worked with development partners. Those of you who have attended these meetings know that these are very intense working days so it’s necessary we are fully involved and actively participating for these days we have available.

I wish you all a good meeting and good discussion. Enjoy your stay at Lake Malawi.


Mateete Bekunda, Chief sweep/whip, and chief scientist for ESA.

Our research impact pathway illustrates what we have done from 0-2 years, 2-4 years. We are in the 4th year so we have to integrate technologies. We have to identify the gaps.

The project has matured in terms of being together and in terms of innovation. We’ve been lucky to have internal evaluations commissioned by IITA. They’ve identified the strengths and weaknesses of what we have done.

Strengths: we have effective biophysical technologies.

Weaknesses: we have failed to make them attractive. The main component missing is socio-economics. In your presentations you will have socio-economists to work with us on our proposals to attract stakeholders we are developing these technologies for. For gender we have Gundula Fischer. She will give a presentation, pass a questionnaire etc. For socio-economics.

We are also going to have an external evaluation, commissioned by USAID. They’re going to see what our internal evaluators have identified and whether we’ve responded to these. One of their comments is about the logframe that is not complete. Since we haven’t addressed the issue of the logframe we’ll have to put it in good shape together. The 2nd issue is that the CGIAR is reforming and for USAID we have to prove that farming systems research is useful and we have to prove we are the experts in this. We have to show this through the products we are developing.

We wanted to see these presentations beforehand and we haven’t seen most of them but I expect these presentations to address the points put in the template we developed for this matter. We need to put our data together on CKAN – Carlo can testify to us if we are doing this.

Introduction of the participants

RO1 and talk show

Q How do you feel about RO1, are you involved?

  • Ro1 and Ro2 are research systems which keeps all of us keep in touched. What I like most is the way it is implemented. It has agro-ecology and the site selection went quickly and target the technologies in the right places.
  • The typology is responding very slowly and it is targeting the technologies in different farming system. The typology is the key to target the technology and still we have time to work on this.
  • Tthe system started off very well and it will help us to have framework and boundaries. We need framework to draw some of the lessons and good practices.
  • The science part is a little bit weak, the next stage should focus on the delivery of science.

Q What is the breakthrough, big achievement from Ro1?

  • What I like most was the whole theme of farming typology, when you go to village they look different in terms of adoption but on the use of technology they are same .
  • The idea of typology make sense to speed up adopting the technologies
  • We started to work on the data we collected and the first thing we saw is the typologies are very much different
  • The second typology is well received and working in different agro-ecologies and applied in different district. It is going on now and we are learning from each other and our past experiences.

Q What is your Aha moment?

  • I have two aha moments; both of them are on the data; the first one is, there is consistency across the countries, the second one from all over the institutions we have the data and I am happy with it.
  • The research students doing on RO1 in Malawi, the sites they are working on are very limited. I would be happy if the students get a chance to see the sequencing of the cropping system, if the student at the local level see how the decision making happen, rotational system which is more suited to the farms need, With this limited land how it affects the decision of farmers and seeing the sustainable intensification play role for adoption is very interesting.

Q What is the next obvious steps?

  • The next step is look at integrated picture and how decisions making happens in the household level
  • Land scape and community level analysis
  • Carlo: finally we collected the data. We need to make sense of the data. That is what will be doing in the next months

Q What is the critical lesson from RO 1 that inform phase 2:

  • By default RO1 supposed to inform phase 2, we need to complete the work on the typology this will feed in the next phase. Looking in to the matured technologies to scaling up. I will urge the team to complete the typology work so that it will definitely inform the phase 2
  • Our gender stories are weak and not coming through. If we have to roll up these technologies we need to think critically who is going to use them? The numbers are critical but they are not buying the technologies. What we need to think critically there are the technologies can do at least 3 things to women.
  • I think at this level we are mixing and looking at the effort on adoption, we can work on the scaling up, we should try to leverage and map our lesson and learnings.
  • We collect data on Gender but we will try our best effort to include gender in the typology

Q> Beyond targeting research, how do you see this type of work in negotiating with different system, what can you do with different systems the typologies?

  • I think when we move the typologies to system analysis, we use different farming system and when we take different community/ different farming system, we are really integrating that work in to research approach.
  • Typologies were been used in different systems

Q> How can these typologies are different in different ecology and categorizing the farmers that should be used to the system?

  • The key thing is managing the expectation, typology is the snapshot of technologies, if you look at in different way, the Africa RISING typology might not work for phase 2, things will be changing and it might not be working in the same way.

Q> The experience from Zambia, it looks the whole issue comes after the activities. This was not guiding the team

  • It is not a matter of being before or after, it is about a collaboration the way of working together and find intervention in farming analysis. The typologies might come early or late but it should look in to the different farming system

Q> We are talking about targeting typology and which are the promising technologies. The typologies are specific, how can we link the typologies to farmers need, technologies and adoption?

  • The typologies are constructed on the demand side, how farmers should be categorized, these should be the role of the chief scientists.
  • The typology we used in different groups are driven by livestock, let’s say we use medicine for livestock, you are already getting idea b/c there is demand. Service provision and response to the farming community will be very efficient.
  • The need authority on the demand side, it is very much a research focus and how can we supply to the demand side.
  • Typologies are dynamic. We can use our typologies in the way of impact assessment, how far our intervention moved from typology 1 to 2 , how far are we changing lives

Q> Household typology issue, if we say household typology at farm level, I don’t think it will be complete, we have to consider landscape typology as well, the typology needs to be designed in such a manner

  • We need to structure the typology to include household for decision making
  • It should be an integrated approach, we don’t consider landscape alone, farmers can be grouped according to landscape.
  • We have catheterization of typologies to test the hypothesis, try to understand the technologies and how to adopt them, for the purpose of our research these typologies are okay but when we think of scaling up we need to see other different complex system, in to value chain approach. This is how is see the typology

Q Challenges of scaling up, implantation challenge into considering the extension system?

  • We have the same concern, the first question we got from bureau of security was how many do you want to target in numbers? We don’t know how we are going to get there? But we are not alone in Africa RISING, we can do this with our partners.
  • In some project scaling happening, we need to show something is really working, looking in to leading farmers, and within a community collaboration with private sector and NGOs are very important
  • In Kingowa kiteto, you need to have adopters in the system, they are the one who can trigger, they are leaders, and majority of the community doesn’t seem they are adopters, they are smallholder farmers. This is where I see the typologies helping, we need to have a public sector. If we don’t have public sectors, agriculture can’t be subsidizing, we need to subsidize knowledge transfer. Without private sectors involvement, scaling up doesn’t work. They are who is guiding the investment.

Q Carlo in your presentation you mentioned cost benefit analysis, how do you see IFPRI is collaborating to Africa RISING?

  • We are working closely with Bekele. We realized that we need more information. We need to work in collaboration with researchers to do cost benefit analysis of each technology, not only providing increasing the yield and the impact assessment. This is a crucial moment on what we have done and what to include

Q The typologies, I would like to know the factors you put to this production and marketing site? We have the results based on the typologies,

  • We are doing the negotiation with chief scientist to agree on what farmers need
  • Nothing decided yet

Platform development


Platforms are enabling system innovation.

We are still in the beginning. First meeting in October 2014 to constitute leadership, research activities etc. Management retreat Jan. 2015 and work plan 2015-16 and comms strategy. Some activities are funded, others not. Examples of activities: grassroots plaforms in 6 wards, comms and promotion of JUMBA activities.

Reflections/challenges: formalization (bureaucracy), strategic in character but not operational, local facilitation & leadership, buy-in from NGOs and private sector, connect to existing networks, go to ward/village level, find balance with research coordination/activities, M&E of progress.


Q: What is different about Ethiopia platforms?

  • A: The approach is that you have a platform team and at the next level. There’s staff running platforms at district level and there’s also facilitators at village level. It’s also more centered around social scientists.

Q: you wanted to start afresh but are building from existing platforms – can you make sense of this for us?

  • A: In some places you have existing groups etc. that you can make use of. You can lean on sthg that exists already, which also means you inherit the problems and the good things. We decided to use existing platforms but we picked some different stakeholders. We hope we can develop this fully in the future.

Q: What is your marketing activity around market price etc.?

  • A: Some of these are suggested by platform members.

Q: What are human resource needs to get the platform moving?

  • A: Just more people: we can’t run everything from IITA in Arusha etc. And there are other needs e.g. local facilitators. We also need to come onto a common approach.


KK is a dry place. We have partners, community leaders, district leaders, private sector, public sector, producers etc. and the latter were quite suspicious about who is part of the platforms. We have prioritized what stakeholders would like to focus on: wrapping up their productivity on livestock and crops (on that, some things we thought were important were not for them e.g. maize). We met again in 2013-2014 and this time we invited higher level leadership from both districts. The 3rd meetings were about taking results to the higher/policy level. They gave us some appointment etc. And these are some benefits: you can share information in a simple way and it goes to the policy-maker which uses that to change decisions/policies.

We also found out that we can have these platforms at different scales etc. e.g. village but you won’t have much impact (because it’s influenced by district/national level).

Another thing we noticed: working at local scale helps you place your work in context with early adopters that help us penetrate and learn with communities. E.g. we completed a gender study about youth and women in agriculture and we observed that there was a very strong link of how much people can turn work into profit-making opportunities – this can create useful ways to attract young people etc. Platforms are not just about rolling out but can use as learning mechanisms. But sometimes actors have more money than you and can distort your agenda.

Q: How do you maintain communication, which is so important?

  • A: In TZ you work with munyekiti (chairman of the system). Use the system that works.

Q: One of the nice things is to use the platform for research. You’ve done some work on gender etc. One of the weaknesses highlighted is the documentation. How are you feeding this into the learning process that we want to encourage in the project.

  • A: Documentation is taking place e.g. gender study is a cyclic process. We also have an ongoing nutrition project. But there is room for improvement.


The process in Malawi in Ntcheu and Dedza: since we started interacting with district actors, we made it very clear that we wanted the different partners in the district. There are lots of partners in the district. Ag officers are part of the process (as custodians of the process). We found in both districts that there are lots of NGOs (World Vision etc.) which have set up lots of committees. We are working with people in the value chain. We have managed to hold 2 formal meetings every year – normally a big meeting in August to plan actions, and then in June for joint field trips. This went ok for Ntcheu etc. In Dedza we had a ‘green launch’. We have had a lot of turnover from partners which leave the institutional memory etc. So we decided in May 2015 to have another stakeholder meeting in Dedza and ended with 80% of new participants. This reflects the problems from the last review.

We need to continuously revive the process. The big question is sustainability and facilitation, beyond Africa RISING. How to ensure that the stakeholders that are there can move beyond the active research. Our platforms are about increasing collaboration with NGOs on their own individual programs. Participation has been the biggest challenge.

Q: Regis raises very critical questions about sustainability about these R4D platforms. Listening to all 3 presenters, the usefulness of these platforms seems clear but the project cycle is coming to an end and there’s very high expectations about these platforms. Is there a strategy for sustainability?

  • A: We all know that when the project ends we would love for the stakeholders to keep meeting but we recognize (in Malawi) that existing institutions will always be there. If we started a completely new structure, it would collapse. But by involving institutions and creating a shared vision we can perpetuate the platforms. This is the crux.

Q: 80% new participants… Was it 80% of new institutions also? Or just individuals… In Ntcheu every time apparently a new member hosts/chairs the meeting, which is perceived as excellent ownership.

  • A: The institutions were not new, the people were. But the institutional memory is held in individuals. From Ntcheu yes and that is an example of ownership e.g. World Vision sees convening a meeting around AR and other issues as valuable. It brings some interest that reflects ownership.

To be sustainable, we need to articulate ideas with the district council and if they adopt it there we don’t have any issues. Otherwise we may continue supporting them but until they’re part of the platform it will be difficult to be sustainable.

Site presentations (reporting)

[Notes from Q&A coming up soon]


See the reporting presentation by the Babati team [Coming soon] (Excel spreadsheet)

Kongwa Kiteto

See the reporting presentation by the Kongwa Kiteto team (Excel spreadsheet).


See the reporting presentation by the Malawi team (Excel spreadsheet) This sheet is the same as the planning sheet.


See the reporting presentation by the Zambia team:

Questions and answers:

  • Q: The self-adopters babies, are they matching the household and how?
- We did benefit cost rations for output value and we calculated the benefit value
- with self-adopter babies, we have some , we need to do a bit of more, we haven’t made conscious effort on documenting the result but we know some of them are there
- With regards to achievement vs. potential, if you calculate the archived yield with local yield you will get the numbers we have presented
- Feed component, there are technologies we are not inventing them, feed processing machine, it is a known and tested technology elsewhere and if we can get the machine to farmers field, we are confident about it and it will work well.t
  • Q: The column, potential beneficiaries, this technology are related to male, how is it gender segregated?
- We are aggregated the gender component, women are also involved
  • Q: It is a bit risky to use one selected yield and use it for others
- The target technology should mature to be drought tolerant.
- The rationales is outliers and outgrowers we don’t want to separate this
- The verities are not new, they have been spread, we really want to balance what we want to do
  • Q: The benefits, yield not increased, how do you calculate that at, if we have to do cost benefit analysis?
- form Tanzania we have received one meta data, make sure data is shared and collected
  • Q:of the flag ship technologies, is there any analysis which deals with integration
- The integration is the adaptation part and farmers testing
- We are working on Babati, it is inter-cropping and testing verities, there are quite a lot of integration on that aspect.
- Some of the integration is not visible, when people measure the effect on environment, we can’t put all together.
- Carlo needs to watch out and he has to make sure the presented date is correct
- The good thing of this template is we can follow up with people, this will give us an opportunity to monitor the activities
  • Q: what are farmers preferences with the technologies?
- we didn’t present all our work here, verities of beans, we tested them with each farmers groups, the mother nutrients with mother trials.
- One of the technologies we are promoting is goat breeding. The students are working on evaluating feed resources, and helping farmers to link with other farmers.
  • Q: How far the biophysical scientist is refereeing the data?
- IFPRI’s Baseline and ours are concurred
- We benefited from the input from IFPRI , we did with few villages and we are confident to expand that
  • Q:How Malawi is handling PGNP storage?
- We have data on PGNP productivity, those data show as the intensity of the PGNP
  • Q: Most of these technologies are new, they all involve increasing risks, and how do you manage risk in this technologies?
- Our research program certifying in different agro ecology. Level of resource used also aligned to protect the agro ecology
  • Q: Maize yield is higher than legume? Did you look at the system and the economic analysis?
- In Malawi the price of fertilizers and the market value of maize is quite different. Fertilizer are very expensive. We want farmer to get access to fertilizers. Different farmers group want cheaper technology and they choose legume as it is cheap. There are different pathways to different farming typologies.
  • Q: The activities, are they Labor intensive?
- The activities are very labor intensive.
- Now we are now going through 3 cycles. We are going with complete set of fertilizers
- More cheaper to farmers are more economically accessible
- The choice b/n the two legumes are based on with farmers preferences. Soya bean and groundnuts are the very growing nuts and farmers preferred to invest on them
  • Q. When do you have the information on data analysis?
- We will send by the end of August

Q: Are technologies affordable for low-resource farmers?

  • A: We also target farmers that are better endowed. We are mainly targeting labor-constrained households.

Q: About your data on segregation of men/women hosting trials: what does it mean? We saw many women hosted trials but if you go to field days there are more men than women. Why?

  • A: Our gender-dis-aggregated data: ‘women-hosted’ households could be male-headed. When we go to plot level, who actually manages it? These are two different things and we are interested in who manages the plots / makes decisions about what needs to be done. As for field days, we invite everyone to join. Sometimes we have more men attending. There’s potential there for gender studies.
- In one of the districts we found men to be hectic. In the Eastern province, when we have equipment to be used, men participate. When there isn’t men take a backseat. In trainings women participated but equipment (e.g. seedling systems) attracts men.

Q: About ripping: how do you use it? (for replanting?). Ripper works well for some kind of soil types…

  • A: The way we are using the ripper in the Eastern province is specifically to prepare the planting. We use the ripper to open the fallows. The main challenge is on the soil types e.g. you open the fallow, the soil collapses and farmers then see that the seed is not deep enough. Rippers are used on sandy soils.

Q: What is the basis to say that Cost-Benefit ratio is e.g. 50% advantage for soybean? Can you please clarify?

  • A: When we started our baseline survey, for soybean it was 0 ton etc. we have compared good agronomic practices and are comparing yield differences (an increase of 50%). THIS NEEDS TO BE ADJUSTED TO BE IN THE CORRECT COLUMN (YIELD, NOT ECONOMIC BENEFIT) ON THE TEMPLATE.

Africa RISING wasn’t very keen to go into conservation agriculture. Eventually we agreed but CIMMYT would prepare tradeoff analysis of CA for the treatment site. Every time I get a report from this work I look for the tradeoff analysis but we never got it. It would be a good piece of work to publish.

  • We are collaborating with Wageningen on this around typologies and tradeoffs.

Q: There’s confusion between physical and economic benefits. And about the number of farmers, we are not only referring to the AR farmers but also counting the SIMLEZA ones. We have to be careful when reporting – otherwise we miss the attribution effect. I would suggest substituting agroecological zones 1-2-3 to ??

  • A: We made a start there but it wasn’t explicitly on comparing CA with other practices – that would be a next step.
- Our collaboration with WUR took a slow start so we haven’t yet responded to expectations.
- It would be difficult to say that this is AR and this is SIMLEZA.
- If we have integrated technologies we are with Africa RISING. How are we treating this?
- We can’t distinguish the technologies. It looks like all technologies on this file are AR but they aren’t.
- Comment: You all appear to be saying that you have achieved some results etc. with the data you have etc. (yield increase etc.) but then my question is: why have you been shy of sharing these as success stories? Our donor is always looking for these. Does it mean you are less confident about what you have? We need to think about this…

Presentation on socio-economics

See the presentation by Bekele Kotu (Apurba Shee talked over some key points about socio-economics.)

Technology adoption: How technologies are adopted and what are determining factors and constraints for it? What is the process of adoption? In Babati we’ve done some risk analysis and there will be implementing strategies aligned with this. Market-based research following.

Comparing different technologies that are being tested. There is cost-benefit analysis being done but from an economic standpoint, impact matters. For specific technologies we can do randomized control trials e.g. comparing maize intercropping vs. maize+fertilizer.

Q: We have to have multiple variables so please which ones are you referring to? What is the definition of adoption? How can we get to that while we are trying to see if technologies are working?

  • A: What we have started now and missed in the first 3 years is to study how adoption takes place. Adoption is not expected from us in this phase, that’s what we have to work on with development partners. But we don’t have a clear definition for technology adoption.

Presentation on gender

See the presentation by Gundula Fischer

A first step is a gender capacity assessment.

Six core gender capacities: capacity to include women in leadership etc., to adopt new approaches around gender issues.

A second step would be strengthening cooperation in the investigation of selected technologies that comprise biophysical and socio-economic scientists.

Documentation should be there! Stronger integration of gender analysis questions in ongoing research.

- Comment: in Ethiopia they do this capacity assessment etc. and it’s requested by USAID.
- Comment: Documentation of L&F – please share it!
- Yes. Our questionnaire is also based on the UN assessment but mostly based on the L&F gender assessment.

Q': Description of gender analysis is mostly about diagnostics. How do you deal with behavior change activities?

  • A: Gender analysis is often conducted at the beginning of the project to have a diagnostic, but it should be ongoing to monitor how new interventions could have impact on gender relations.

Q: So the gender specialist is outside the system, observing etc. but when do they engage and look for opportunities for interventions?

  • A: There are 2 different approaches to that: gender-responsive (try not to increase gender imbalances) and there gender specialists see how to navigate. The other approach is to challenge gender norms through interventions. These are gender-transformative interventions. It depends on which approach is chosen and usually the former is chosen.

Q: If you are working with women and children, how do you handle gender?

  • A: Working with women only is not ‘gender’, gender means working with both sexes. E.g. Talking about nutrition would it be interesting for men to be involved in this work too? It could be very beneficial for the whole household.

Q: Primary beneficiaries focus on feeding etc. But thinking of time etc. how do you treat situations when women have a very specific role. When it comes to evaluation, how do you allow special cases? E.g. breastfeeding.

  • A: Why not have a component addressing men for their knowledge on these issues? E.g. the health campaign in TZ where men are strongly urged to accompany their women to the hospital. It’s very important. Same for nutrition.

Q: Maybe when the woman goes to the hospital the man has other duties e.g. looking for money.

  • A: Yes there might be good reasons but there could be good reasons for the situation otherwise.

Q: Should we use gender as a right rather than as an approach? If we know that a specific activity for research would be better delivered by men, why work with women? If I know the target, why change the approach?

  • A: It could be the right approach. It’s very context-specific. One has to look at your specific context and if it makes sense to work only with men then that’s fine.

Q: We bring gender experts when the project is almost expired, it’s difficult. So what can we do at this stage? At the end of the project we are asked to bring in gender-disaggregated data but it’s challenging.

  • A: Yes I agree 100% but let’s make the most out of this and find ways how to support the data collection process, making gender part of the protocols etc. so I can support you best. I’m very happy to help you so you can be prepared for questions that will crop up.

Q: There’s a column on technology attributes and I wish there was a column within that looking at gender so it would help us focus on this also.

  • A: Yes, great idea! If it is part of the reporting system it will remind us to do things automatically. This is gender mainstreaming.
- Comment: Our template is according to USAID requirements etc. But it’s not really about reporting. We know how many men/women participated but we have to look at benefits, not using the table but working on a paper about this. Gender should be addressed in terms of empowerment, cost-benefit analysis etc.

- Yes, there’s the level of participation and it’s easy to find out about, but the other level is about doing an additional study on gender analysis which can be integrated. I’d be happy to support you there.

Q: Once we start monitoring etc. we get to the gender-responsive aspects. When we are just collecting data we cannot really get to the gender-transformative aspects.

  • A: At community level we can only be a bit more modest about these changes because we are talking about challenging the division of labour and that is a transformative approach focusing on relieving women from some tasks etc.

Q: There’s some gender dynamics as to how much is sold. I have a student who wants to do some training on food processing etc. and they want to find out about the gaps.

Project updates

Climate change project (impact of sustainable intensification on landscapes and livelihoods)

See the presentation by Richard Lamboll (NRI) [Notes upcoming soon]

Scaling project

See the presentation by Haroon Sseguya (IITA) Q: The technologies you are trying to scale up are?

  • Improved maize, wood agronomy practices, and natural resource

Q: How do you deal with private dealers?

  • We have community based and village based agriculture dealers, they are connected to agro dealers, they have knowledge on eco-seed and input dealers. They use mobile phone to sale their products.

Q. The growth of population, the model how denser are the communities?

  • We started with 25 lands, we started small and we want to see how things will go for next year.
  • We need to have a database, farmers are not going to adopt everything, and some are interested on seed, some on water conservation. They have to choose anything they like. Our data collection questionnaires are taking care of this requests.

Q:what are your mechanisms in good practices?

  • We use the impact modality approach. I don’t know how impact evaluation be used but will try to present some of this intervention and we are going to discuss about it.

Program-wide updates

See the presentation by Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon (IITA)

[Notes upcoming soon]

Planning presentations


See the planning presentation by the Babati team [Coming soon] (Excel spreadsheet).

4 main activities: sensitization, finalizing work on forages and choppers, scaling post-harvest management, capacity building. These are reflected in each of the working teams. 2016Q1: MLN work, validation trials, participatory farmer variety selection, postharvest management, farmer selection, outscaling of mycotoxins, finalizing the work from the previous quarters in the last quarter (2016Q3)… Platforms covered through stakeholder training, sensitization meeting.

  • Q: Why are the themes cutting across and not integrating with each other. Where is the integration? Someone does training, someone else does training etc. and this is the last year when we can come together.
  • A: The trainings are not coming together and are not about the same issues e.g. R4D training is not the same as others.

When we discussed integration we mentioned R4D platforms and feeding activities in them. And within work packages we integrate. But the template is not making it easy to integrate activities. For instance forages are integrated in the R4D platforms. But that board should show the integration, and some meetings are not enough to get us to work together in integration. When we work on sensitization, all teams are contributing to it. When we outline activities for next year they are also integrated. Some activities e.g. capacity building are for specific groups. The 2nd phase will tell us where to align. We now see the big picture but now we can see where to align/integrate. It’s also a matter of planning. Once we start implementing we can always work together and coordinate our e.g. trainings. On the ground, we cannot have common ground for different trainings because e.g. livestock training is not the same as nutrition for women etc. Integration of vegetables and poultry: we found out it’s very effective to talk to extensionists that come for both sides of the work through joint briefing/training etc. This can work for integration… In planning, integration is there e.g. vegetables-legumes

  • Q: It seems you haven’t yet got promising material. With that in mind, I’m wondering how you will do validation – where will the materials come from? In the presentations it seems there were no differences.
  • A: The materials we are testing on farm have been tested in Nairobi. Then we moved them to on-farm testing.
  • Q: Scaling: what are you scaling and how?
  • A: We have materials on post-harvest management. In the first 2 seasons, our technologies have proven very attractive to farmers and now we have to evaluate them to see if they can be attractive beyond. This is specific to post-harvest management.

We do also have some sources of fertilizers which are promising… These can also be promoted/scaled up to farmers etc. Scaling is where you expand the technologies to the groups and 2) through demo plots you create a model where farmers can pick any of the treatments within the trial sites for on-farm work. That’s what we’ve done with forages through our seed multiplication unit. Later on we can follow up to see what farmers have done, what niches they have used etc. The entire Africa RISING team is meaning to scaling but it doesn’t seem clear how you will be scaling it. When you make your report, Babati didn’t identify any mature technology so what will you scale? Where is it written up? * If you look at storage, driers etc. these are some things we can scale up and out. Around health and nutrition we also have results that can be scaled up. * If you haven’t written anything you haven’t done it and if you haven’t done it you are dead. We have to be specific about these things. * It’s a valid point. So we should put high emphasis on documentation. There’s a lot of documentation that has to come out of the shelf, though it’s there. * We should work with Haroon Sseguya to improve our scaling approach.


See the planning presentation by Kongwa Kiteto (Excel spreadsheet).

We have details in the template and these are four / five technologies we have picked. This is building up on what we presented yesterday. Genetic intensification (drough tolerant pigeon pea etc.)… Water management… poultry/livestock… nutrition… innovation platforms… cross-cutting issues such as gender and economic analysis. Community mobilization to train/build capacities. Then train to utilize fodder/feed rationing etc. Then evaluate forage value chain. Finally, synthesis and economic evaluation. Nutrition: mothers to be trained, recipe development, preparation, collect measurement on weight/height. Monitoring use, measurement and collect data. Genetic intensification of maize: establish NPT (National Performance Trials) to release this; documentation of GAPs, data collection, analysis and reporting. Nutrient/soil management: integrating with fodder trees: utilize evaluated materials, farmers to establish babies. Follow up management of trials etc. Field days, participatory assessment of technology, processing. Cross-cutting issues e.g. gender, economics (cost-benefit analysis), (farmer) group dynamics for forage and poultry etc. Each of these groups is – in the template – synthesizing activities to mature technology etc.

  • Q: How do you plan to link with ???
  • A: The details are not here. We are doing a participatory approach. We have some materials that can be integrated with Jumbo’s work, with baby trials etc. We consider upscaling within the sites and if we get to the scaling project…?

In the plan we’ve included that. We’ll include … in our demo plots and in the scaling project.

  • Comment: If you had put those cards together you would show me that you are going into analysis, reporting etc. and that you are thinking about integration. It’s about a matter of presenting things as one team.


See the planning presentation by the Malawi team (Excel spreadsheet). This sheet is the same as the reporting sheet.

The details are on the sheet, here we have only the key activities. The first 2 quarters are more about implementation and the final 2 are more about analyzing and M&E-type activities. We discussed finalizing the typologies etc. We assume IFPRI will do this and we have some data collected on this typology. For October-November we have rainwater harvesting. That activity will continue until Jan-Feb. 2016. Gender will also be an issue we’ll address. Field days will be one of the activities for scaling.

  • Q: Water harvesting… is that a new thing?
  • A: Yes. We have to test the performance of crops.

But this is a performing period. And I was expecting to see a workshop on motoring etc. On water harvesting, we don’t want to introduce new technologies but we thought that in one of the sites there’s too much variation and we thought about introducing this to prove the effectiveness of technologies. But we should have another writeshop.

Wageningen UR

[Although WUR did not present back in plenary, Jeroen Groot developed this planning sheet]. See the planning sheet by Jeroen Groot.

Observations from Asamoah Larbi

I have a few questions/suggestions. I have worked on crops, livestock and crop-livestock integration. We’ve seen quite some interesting activities, team work is quite impressive and the summary of technologies we went through yesterday. I have 2-3 questions to think about as we plan ahead:

  • What is the niche of Africa RISING in ESA? What is different here from other products? In other words, back to Northern Ghana, we have several projects at IITA which are commodity-specific. How different is this farming systems project from a maize project?
  • How do we integrate to show intensification. We have to show integration. For me as an outsider, I see ways to combine aspects of projects on intensification. That is somehow missing for now. How do we integrate to use the expertise we have across teams? E.g. here ICRAF, ILRI have some livestock work but if you want to run these trials they must be designed so that your work is publishable and technically sound for journals. We need expertise to design these interventions. So how do we integrate tree-crop-livestock expertises? We talk about cross-team activities so it’s about time we integrated these. How do we look at this project to pull those things together?
  • There were lots of activities on nutrition but in almost everything we have nutritional activities with different approaches. We have to look at that across teams and countries to see how to pull together some activities and expertise.

In West Africa we also struggle with the issue of using baseline survey data. I don’t have answers to that. We need to think about that. If we work together we can make better use of data.

The various activities – how are they related to what happened in the past? We jumpstarted some activities in West Africa. Some of the activities here have happened in the past and some literature background would help us hit the ground running and modify some activities.

R4D platforms. The recommendation from the review came up in West Africa and here. In the discussion, the issue of how R4D platforms operate, e.g. facilitation, is also an issue for West Africa. We have to think about facilitators’ training for the R4D platform facilitators/coordinators.

Socio-economics and gender: I’m glad it’s been put up there. I would have thought these activities would be planned jointly with biophysical activities. We may need to take a look at that and see if we can have an integrated activity looking at how physical data is used together with socio-economics and gender.

This is the 4th year of the project and it’s interesting to witness that the number of activities is large and may need to be summed up. Looking at what happened in the past, where do we go from there?

Data analysis, publications, success stories (for communication)… scientists will need assistance with these stories. They may have stories but not the time to tell them. This could be some joint activities to come up with the success stories…

Finally, yes we are a research project but we have to show impact (productivity, household level, nutrition etc.). We’ve always used the excuse of being a research project but on several occasions we’ve been asked to show impact. Can we, as a team, identify a few technologies, summarize them and develop leaflets so we can show what the productivity impact is of our work? We also have to show the impact at household level. It would be good to show data in a few concrete leaflets to show impact at household level.

Thank you!

SI indicators and typologies

More than one variable for each domain (economic, human, environmental, social and productivity). This was refined over time. How to implement this new framework for SI indicators? We developed a template at various levels. We have developed a worksheet for community and for household levels. The XL sheet collects information about SI indicators. This XL file has 7 sections (for households) covering the 5 domains + basic information. Your research team has to monitor these indicators and the IFPRI team has to aggregate it. These indicators need to be collected before USAID decides about phase 2 (March-April 2016). There is no timeline about this yet apart from the last tab (FtF community indicators) which needs to have data in by late September.

  • Q: For whom is this data to be collected?
  • A: for all households we are working with. The teams on the ground should already have this information in principle. Some might be new but some will be available
  • Q: Who collects the data and what are budget implications?
  • A:

Feedback from the steering committee

Good progress and we belong all to Africa RISING. Not all technologies are inclusive. Risks will increase for farmers.

Data needs to be more specific and include e.g. soil erosion etc.

Integration of different research components did not come out. It’s probably there but in the presentations it didn’t come out.

The reporting template was a very good idea but it needs some modifications e.g. what is really new (new scientific insights) and what is already known.

We are not making any use of modeling – quantifying/qualifying risks. Feedback from students could be useful there. The DDG of ICRISAT volunteered to come up with a short proposal on modeling with our data.

Chief scientist noted that not everything that was reported has been done – could be more inclusive.

Not following the template that was circulated was inacceptable. It changed the structure of the meeting.

The question about the scientists’ confidence about data. Success stories are not just for filling the website but also to show what we are doing.

We discussed new agreements with IITA partners. We had discussed that last year already. This was not reemphasized. In case of late reporting there will be funding implications.

Data management – compliance with the data management plan is in the agreement with IITA. New agreements will be issued only if data have been uploaded on CKAN. Please make sure you have uploaded your data there.

Regular team meetings – monthly or not – have been re-emphasized to keep AR management up-to-date etc. but IHZ has been asked to monitor how often these meetings are taking place.

The principal scientists are coming to meetings but PIs don’t always come personally and they send delegates, which is fine so long as the person has been properly briefed and has some decision-making power for the meeting.

The DDG of ICRISAT would like to see feedback on the performance of his scientists in Africa RISING for their appraisals. Membership to the steering committee: there is rotation and the Steering Committee has decided not to change and ICRISAT is maintaining that membership until the end of phase 1.

Comment: On the ICRISAT rep about feedback on his staff. He’s representing all other institutes. If he misses that recommendation.

Comms session

Success stories


- Fodder utilization increases milk yields and household income (Joyce/Aston)
- R4D platform – a driver for up scaling AR agricultural intensification interventions (Regis)
- Farmers survive with bush beans amidst drought (Desta
- New recipes (Agness / Annily)
- Good agricultural practices unleash the potential of local pigeon pea variety (Regis)

Comment: these proposals are focusing on single technologies, they’re not about integration.


- Participation of chiefs
- Story of Balyeso Chirwa
- Story of Stephen Nyrenda – adoption beyond demonstration
- Adopter outside project area
- Adopter women using dibble stick

Contact: Mulundu Mwila ([] / +260 977 509 855/967 509 855), Halimu Malumo ([] / +260 9777 134 62).


- Soil and water conservation related to increasing yields / tie ridging à (Swai)
- Improving nutrition and income among women and children using indigenous chickens (improved livelihoods) à Rubanza
- Maize-legume drought-tolerant high-yielding varieties for semi-arid agro-ecologies (Patrick + Jumbo)
- Community tree nurseries for improved soil health, erosion control, fodder production è SI sustainable intensification à (Anthony)
- Fertilizer recommendations for semi-arid sites (Swai + Anthony)
- Farmer-led scaling model (Nafaka/Tubocha) à Haroon
- Aflatoxin mitigation (à Anitha, Patrick)
- Traditional fodder bank and grazing management [Alalili] (à Rubanza)


- Integration challenges (à Mateete)
- Pigeon pea/maize fertilizer – resilience to drought – Matufa (à Mariam, Christian)
- MLN – updates in diagnostic and status (à Lava)
- How fertilizers mitigate mycotoxin risks (à Mahuku)
- High demand for maize shelling and grading machines (à Mahuku)
- Entry through farmer groups stimulates success (à Lukuyu)
- How different groups perceive Africa RISING (à Mahuku and Shanimoyo, Per)
- Production status of indigenous chickens (à Marwa)

Organizers' agenda