Analysis of Soil Related Constraints for Sustainable Intensification

FAO estimates that agricultural intensification contributes about 80% of increased crop production in developing countries. Thus sustainable intensification (SI) will require, among other things, better use of land resources upon which production depends. This is critical given that most of the arable land in Africa has soil related problems, leading losses of nutrients and land cover (Heng et al. 2015). In this context improved land management is critical to overcoming soil related constraints to sustainable food production and in targeting agricultural interventions. However, limited availability of site-specific nutrient management guidelines for semi-arid zones in Tanzania undermines efforts to target technologies in the specific biophysical conditions in which smallholder farmers operate. Thus technologies adopted under these circumstances are risky as they may fail to address key drivers of enhanced crop production or land degradation. We characterized soils in Kongwa and Kiteto districts to assess fertility status and drivers of land degradation so as to inform the development of integrated land management options for SI under the Africa RISING project. This approach helps to link soil management recommendations to soil conditions and in targeting interventions./p>

About the project

Project title: Africa RISING- Intensification of Maize-Legume Based Systems in the Semi-Arid Areas of Tanzania to Increase Farm Productivity and Improve Farming Natural Resource Base

Project abstract

The aim of the Africa RISING project in Kongwa and Kiteto Districts, Tanzania is to provide a scientific basis for sustainably intensifying agricultural production in semi-arid areas of central Tanzania. The project activities are falls under 4 thematic areas that address three critical elements of sustainable intensification (SI), i.e. genetic, ecological and socio-economic intensification technologies. The scope of activities being implemented includes packaging of new legume and cereal varieties with over 120% yield advantage, packaging and validation of integrated productivity enhancing technologies for cereals, legumes, legume trees and soil health technologies, food safety primarily to reduce aflatoxin contamination and integration of livestock into the cropping systems. The innovation platform is used to set R4D priority in the active sites. In the 2013-2014 season, we reached out to about 1217 farmers Kongwa and Kiteto districts. In 2014 we plan to reach out to about 1500 new farmers. The project team is comprised of national partners (e.g. ARI-Hombolo, District Agricultural Officers, SUA and UDOM) and CG Partners (CIMMYT and ICRAF) under the leadership of ICRISAT.

Project website:

Project start date: 05/1/2012

Project end date : 09/30/2016

Improved Crop Varieties, Agronomic Practices, Soil Water Conservation Practices

Establishment of demonstration plots on improved crop varieties (maize, groundnuts, soybeans and beans) and best-bet agronomic pratices and soil and water conservation practices in Babati, Kongwa, kiteto, Mvomero, Mbozi, Kilosa and Kilolo in Tanzania. Training of lead farmers and extension staff to empower them with knowledge on improved technologies so that they can also train others.

This study contains data from different cereal legume rotation systems in northern Ghana.

About the project

Project title: Enhancing Partnership among Africa RISING (AR), NAFAKA and TUBORESHE CHAKULA (TUBOCHA) Programs for Fast-Tracking Delivery and Scaling of Agricultural Technologies in Tanzania

Project abstract

This project is implemented in partnership between Africa RISING research team and NAFAKA and focuses on scaling of agricultural technologies that include deployment of improved maize varieties and legumes (beans, soybean, groundnuts), deployment of improved water and soil conservation practices and improved good agricultural practices in Babati, Kongwa, Kiteto, Kilosa, Mvomero, Mbozi and Kilolo districts of Tanzania. The project is implemented by CIMMYT, IITA, CIAT, ICRAF, ARI-Hombolo, AMINATA Quality Seeds compnay, Meru Agro-Tours and Cosultants seed company, NAFAKA and Selian Agricultural Research Institute.

Project website:

Project start date: 01/01/2014

Project end date : 09/30/2017

Malawi: Increase Dairy Production Through Improved Fodder

This data study contains data on milk yields from livestock.

About the project

Project title: Africa RISING: Malawi Dairy Production

Project abstract

The Malawi project has local theme ‘Agro-ecological intensification in Malawi through action research with smallholder farmers’ with a lot of emphasis on co-learning with farmers and other stakeholders.The purpose of the Africa RISING Malawi component is to enhance farmer knowledge and support sustainable intensification (SI) pathways for productivity gains in maize-legume diversified systems, that also integrates livestock-related enterprises such as improved fodder for intensified dairy production. The project is setting up a research approach that systematically assesses SI best-bet options that appropriately respond to the needs of resource-poor farmers – particularly female headed households. Building on successful examples of participatory action research and experiences from biophysical research on smallholder farms in Malawi over the past 2 decades, the research team has begun taping into these products of agricultural research to move toward more sustainable smallholder production systems. We envisage that farm-scale production strategies employed by different farm/farmer typologies will be further distilled through scenario analyses using farming systems simulation modeling approaches. The project works with an alliance of actors, (agro-dealers, extension services, NGOs, local government structures, etc) as R4D platforms for the two districts.

Project web site:

Project start date: 01/01/2012

Project end date :9/30/2016