Cassava Weed Management Data – On farm trials 2017

The ‘Sustainable Weed Management Technologies for Nigeria’ was a 5-year project that was developed and assessed with smallholder farmer participation modern, relevant and appropriate cassava weed management technologies suitable for sustainable intensification in major agro-ecological (humid rainforest, forest transition savanna and southern Guinea savanna) and socio-economic conditions of Nigeria. An important goal of the project was to help smallholder cassava growers achieve sustainable increases in their productivity and incomes through the development and adoption of improved weed control methods. The project evaluated enhanced cassava agronomy, including judicious, safe use of herbicides, toward improved weed management, across 4 states in Nigeria where cassava is central to food security and livelihoods of 4.5 million farm families.

Though Nigeria is still the global leader in the overall production of cassava with about 50 million tons on 3.8 million hectares, average yields in Nigeria are only about half of those in leading countries in Asia, and less than half of those typical from researcher-run trials in Nigeria. Diverse factors are responsible for low productivity on about 4.5 million cassava farms, but poor weed management is generally among the principal factors. Weed control in the humid tropics is always a challenge, but compared to most other field crops, weed control in cassava systems is much more demanding. The crop is in the field for a long time (12 to 18 months), and is sown at wide spacing, resulting in ample opportunity for weeds to occupy space under the cassava canopy and reduce productivity. Although weeds are one of the most important constraints to improving cassava productivity; for high yields, good weed control needs to be coupled with improved varieties sown in the right densities at the right time. Adequate plant nutrition and pest control are also important; however, such inputs will not result in better yields if weeds are not controlled.

Hand weeding is the predominant weed control practice on smallholder cassava farms. Conventionally, farmers weed cassava three times, but in cassava farms where perennial weeds, such as Imperata, are predominant, extra hoe weeding may be required. Weeding takes 50 to 80% of the total labor budget. Up to 200-500 hours of labor for mostly women and children per ha are needed to prevent economic cassava root losses in Nigeria. IITA and its partners are therefore, through this project conducted research that developed innovative weed management practices, combining improved varieties, proper planting dates, plant populations, and plant nutrition, all coupled to intercropping and tillage options, through well-focused trials in the three agro-ecologies where cassava dominates in Nigeria. Herbicides, meeting globally accepted conventions and safety thresholds appropriate for smallholders, were tested for efficacy and economic merit. Multi-location on-station/off-station trials were followed with participatory farmer evaluations. Extension manuals and other tools for farmer and applicator learning were developed.

Results from this project showed that with appropriate weed management couple with best cassava agronomy cassava growers in can more than double the national yield average in Nigeria.

Dataset for: Nutritious Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotat (OFSP) For Niassa – Baseline Household Survey

Relevant information on the challenges and opportunities of the project were considered for the benefit of the project results. In fact, most of the findings from the study were used as the baseline reference for evaluating the impact of the project’s intervention in the project target areas three years later, including activities on seed system, crop sales, marketing, nutrition and food security in general.
This baseline survey was conducted between from July 8 to August 23, 2013, and overall, 396 households were visited in 24 villages distributed across the 8 districts surveyed. Overall, about 90% of the farmers interviewed in the present study had agriculture as the most important activity. Among the farmers who mentioned sweetpotato, only about 12% of the households produced OFSP due to earlier dissemination efforts by IIAM and partners. However, only 2.3% of households’ total landholding was under sweetpotato, while 1.3% was plated with OFSP. Although the high number of farmers producing sweetpotatoes, the area under production is relatively small, with an average of 300 m2 per household. In general, sweetpotato was mostly (79%) produced for consumption, while 21% of the interviewees mentioned the sale.
Overall, farmer-to-farmer exchange of planting material was the most important source of sweetpotato planting material. Most farmers obtain sweetpotato planting material from their own plots (69%). However, some considerable farmers depend on vines from neighbors (23%), and about 7% from relatives. There was not any reference related to the selling of planting material. In seed system, vine conservation is one of the critical activities during the sweetpotato production cycle. Vines must be read for planting even after a long dry season. According to the results from this study, most (65%) of sweetpotato is planted 2-3 after the beginning of the raining season. At this moment, vines must be ready for planting. In general, the majority (94%) of sweetpotato farmers usually conserve their vines. The typical methods of conservation include leave some portions of the plot without harvesting (60%) for later sprouting, establish small fenced plots in lowlands (28%), and conservation in small plots near their houses (15%).
Important to note was the fact that most of the selling of the fresh roots was conducted in local marketplaces (64%) as opposed to the farm gate (6%). This means that most of the farmers had to transport their products to local markets and other places in the urban (30%) areas to sell their produce.
Vitamin A knowledge, farmers’ practices, attitude and perception on sweetpotato was further assessed. One of the most important objectives of this project is to address vitamin A deficiency through the consumption of OFSP. Overall, both male (70%) and female (66%) have heard about vitamin A. Although not important, in general, the results indicate that there were slightly more men than women informed about vitamin A among the respondents of this study. The most important source vitamin A information for the women was the health unit (50%), while for the men was the radio (44%) program aired in local language. In general, the use of radio with programs in local languages is more effective for men than women, while, most of the women can be effectively reached by using the heath unit.

Replication Data for: Increasing fish farm profitability through aquaculture best management practice training in Egypt

Egyptian aquaculture production has grown rapidly to over one million tons per year so that it now provides most of the country’s fish supply.However, Egyptian fish farmers have received little extension advice or training.
An intervention starting in 2012 aimed to address this gap by providing best management practice (BMP) training for pond based tilapia monoculture and tilapia-mullet polyculture fish farmers. A series of field-based training modules were developed and designed with the participation of leading fish farmers and delivered through private sector farmer-trainers to over 2400 fish farm owners and managers. This paper reports on the results of an impact assessment survey carried out in 2015 comparing fish farm performance, production and profitability in randomly selected farms where the manager had received and was applying the principles of BMP training
(BMP) and farms where the manager had not received IE IDEAS project training (control). The results show that although the two groups were very similar in terms of general farm characteristics, BMP farms were more likely to practice tilapia-mullet polyculture than monoculture of tilapia. The main BMP training messages apparent
in the results were improved feed and fertilizer management. This resulted in more efficient food conversion ratios in BMP farms compared to control farms. Average fish yields and values were similar between the two groups, although BMP farms produced less small-sized tilapia and more mullet than the control farms. Lower feed costs resulted in significantly lower operating costs in BMP farms compared to control farms, whereas fixed costs were similar for the two groups. Average net profits were significantly higher in BMP farms compared to control farms equivalent to additional profits of over $15,000 for an average farm size of 7.5 hectares. Taking into account the number of farmers trained and BMP adoption rates suggests that $18.9 million additional profits were generated through the intervention in 2014. The results demonstrate that fish farms in mature aquaculture systems can benefit significantly from the adoption of improved farm management practices suggesting that
similar approaches, including field-based BMP training and the use of private sector farmer-trainers should be used to accelerate the development of nascent aquaculture sectors in other parts of Africa.
Statement of relevance: While it is often assumed that training will benefit fish farmers the true economic benefits have rarely been documented. This research demonstrates clear improvements in the profitability of Egyptian fish farmers following best management practice training.

Crop improvement, adoption and impact of improved bean varieties in Sub Saharan Africa

The crop improvement research effort of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers and their national agricultural research systems (NARS) partners has had a large impact on world food production. Although bean impact has been documented in a number of past studies, the last comprehensive study of the international crop improvement effort, organized by the Standing Panel for Impact Assessment (SPIA, formerly the Impact Assessment and Evaluation Group), was based on data collected a decade ago (Evenson and Gollin, 2003 based on 1997-98 data). Important changes have occurred in the funding and conduct of the international crop improvement effort and in the general climate for agriculture in the developing world since the completion of the Evenson and Gollin study.
The level and focus of funding for research in the NARS and in the CGIAR centers have fluctuated greatly, and the role of the private sector has evolved. Yet, the importance of the CGIAR/NARS crop improvement effort in feeding the world is arguably as important today as it has been at any time in history. The steady uptake and turnover of crop varieties is fundamental to realizing a Green Revolution in Africa, and it is still important for helping achieve income growth for numerous poor rural households. But our present understanding of improved variety adoption—by crop, by location, by adopter and by source—is limited in Africa.
The data seeks to redress this anomaly, by providing a versatile database on bean variety adoption by crop, by location, by adopter and by source in sub-saharan countries. The following countries are covered: Burundi, DRCongo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Replication Data for: MAMA SASHA Monitoring Data

A step toward improving the supply of nutrient-rich foods in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was the Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA), a five-year action research project led by the International Potato Centre (CIP) designed to improve the food security and livelihoods of poor families by addressing the bottlenecks preventing the full exploitation of sweetpotato’s potential. The agriculture-health linkages proof-of-concept project in Western Province of Kenya, known as Mama SASHA, was one of the SASHA’s proof-of-concept projects. It was implemented in partnership with PATH, a leading non-governmental international organization in health, the Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), local agriculture and health government stakeholders in Western Province, and two local implementing NGO agriculture partners, i.e. the Community Research in Environment and Development Initiatives (CREADIS) and the Appropriate Rural Development Agriculture Programme (ARDAP).
The Mama SASHA project was set in Bungoma county in Kenya’s Western Province. The overall project goal was to improve the health status of pregnant women and the nutritional status of children up to two years through an integrated OFSP and health service-delivery strategy. Mama SASHA was integrated into USAID/Kenya AIDS, Population and Health Integrated Assistance Program (APHIA II; then APHIA Plus), which was responsible for improving health services for pregnant women and mother-child pairs across the 2 counties of Bungoma and Busia Thus, the four control group facilities offered the standard APHIAplus training and sensitization on Infant and Young Child Nutrition services, but without the pregnant women’s groups, vouchers, or support for the production of OFSP. The two Kenyan agricultural NGOs, ARDAP and CREADIS, each supported the communities affiliated with two health facilities.
This meta-data focuses on the monitoring data collected over the 5 year period of the intervention. Briefly, the intervention was conducted at two levels with health facilities and communities, the facility catchment area being randomly assigned to either four intervention areas or control areas. In the intervention catchment areas: (1) Health workers (HWs) at the facilities were trained in nutritional benefits of OFSP and vitamin A rich foods in general and nutrition for pregnant and lactating mothers, including topics on breastfeeding and complementary child feeding practices. They subsequently provided pregnant women who came for antenatal and postnatal care services with key nutrition education messages (implemented using a flip-chart with clear designs and messages), including information about OFSP and vouchers to access OFSP vines from community level planting material decentralized vine multipliers (DVMs). (2) At the community level, community health workers (CHWs) were trained in the same topics as HWs, and pregnant women clubs were set up with monthly dialogue sessions facilitated by CHWs. The pregnant women were supplied with OFSP vines if they presented the vouchers to DVMs who were trained in OFSP rapid vine multiplication technique and OFSP production issues. The monitoring data covered activities at both the health and community levels through a collection of forms as highlighted in Impact Pathway document.
Disclaimer: Due to the weakness in assigning unique antenatal care (ANC) number for the beneficiaries, the data therefore inherited that weakness in government system and presented challenges during analysis.

Dataset for: Baseline Survey for the OFDA 2016 Mitigating Drought Impacts on Livelihoods in Mozambique through Resilient, Nutritious Sweetpotato Project in the South of Mozambique

This dataset was carried out as the baseline survey for the Mitigating Drought Impacts in Southern Mozambique Through Resilient, Nutritious Sweet potato Project that has been implemented in 13 districts in the southern of Mozambique, namely Matutuine, Boane, Moamba, and Magude in Maputo province, Guija, Mabalane, Massangena, Chigubo, Chiculalacuala, and Mapai in Gaza province, and Funhalouro, Mabote and Govuro in Inhambane province.Primary data of about 1,200 households were collected in all 13 project target districts. The sample size was estimated using the multistage sampling method.
Overall, most of the household demographics were consistent with the findings from the household budget survey 2014/15 carried out by INE in the targeted areas. The number of household members was on average 5. Almost 58% of the households visited during this exercise had a child under 5 years, with an average of two years. The average age of the household heads was 50 years, and most of them had a third-grade education level. Overall, while about 36% of the household heads were women, almost 50% of the household members were female.
The recurrent and extreme events such as floods, droughts, cyclones, extreme temperatures and others are generally the causes of the disruptions of the local cropping systems and in the end food and nutrition insecurity in most of the regions in Mozambique. To better continue to understand and build resilience to these drought related events, some of the climate change related events were evaluated. Overall, 79% of the respondents directly faced droughts related effects at least once in the last five years, 11% already faced the cyclones, and 10% were affected by floods. The districts Mabote (97%), Funhalouro (90%), Massangena (89%), and Chicualacuala (86%) had highest proportion of respondents who have suffered from droughts effects in the last five years. About 22% and 20% of respondents faced floods in Chigubo and Mabalane respectively. Moamba presented relatively higher proportion (17%) of respondents who also were affected by cyclones.
In relation to the damage and effects caused by droughts, almost 44% of the respondents mentioned the loss of their crops, about 28% had their fields destroyed, and nearly 23% had lost their animals by death. Matutuine presented highest proportion of respondents with the crop loss (53%), while Boane had the highest proportion of the respondents with fields destroyed (45%). The district of Chigubo had the highest proportion of animals’ death (31%).

Replication Data for: Costs and benefits of climate-smart agriculture: The case of the Dry Corridor in Guatemala

Central American countries, particularly Guatemala, are experiencing extreme climate events which are disproportionately affecting agriculture and subsequently rural livelihoods. Governments are taking action to address climatic threats, but they need tools to assess the impact of policies and interventions aiming to decrease the impacts of climate change on agriculture. This research, conducted with national policy makers and climate change and agriculture stakeholders in Guatemala, provides a comparative analysis of eight climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices and technologies associated with the smallholder maize-beans production system in the Dry Corridor. The practices were identified as high-interest for investment by national stakeholders. CSA practices and technologies aim to improve food security, resilience, and low emissions development, where possible and appropriate. The paper assesses the cost-benefit profile of the introduction of CSA options into farm production systems. Indicators related to profitability and valuation of environmental and social externalities are used to assess options. Probabilistic cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is used to address field variability and high uncertainty around parameter values. All practices except one were profitable over their lifecycle, with some practices, expected to be ideal for drought prone areas, presenting a higher risk for adoption. The results were discussed with national stakeholders who established best-bet CSA investment portfolios. This paper argues that a thorough understanding of the costs and benefits of potential CSA options is needed to channel investments effectively and efficiently towards both short- and long-term interventions and should be coupled with broader assessment of trade-offs between CSA outcomes.

Mali Household Surveys for Agricultural Biodiversity Assessment

To identify and quantify the number of all plant and animal species (domesticated and wild) and within each species, the number of types/varieties/breeds at the household-level that are: (a) grown on farm and home garden, or collected from the wild; (b) consumed as part of the diet; and (c) purchased and sold in the study sites. Information was collected for each species on its place of production or collection (farm, home garden, collected in the wild, etc.), the objective for its production or collection (Self-consumption, sale in the market, both), its different uses (food, medicine, animal feed, building material, processing, etc.), seasonality, the number of types, varieties and breeds recognized and used, key characteristics of its seed system (sources of seed, transactions and social relationships), and the water regime associated with its production (rainfed, irrigated, water harvest, etc.). Also data on assets and other socioeconomic indicators were collected.
A household survey was carried out with a representative random sample of 60 households per village in three villages in the region of Sikasso in Mali (part of the Wa, Bobo and Sikasso transect where the CRP Dryland System is working in West Africa). Two of the villages (Fakoro and Kani) were also part of overall baseline survey conducted by ICRISAT. A third village, N’goutjina, was added by Bioversity. The total sample size is 180 households.
The three villages in the Sikasso District of Mali: were: Fakoro (Lat 12°13074, Lon 005°20156); Kani (Lat 12°15011, Lon 005°10827); N’goutjina (Lat 12°17961, Lon 005°28372)

Ghana Focus Group Discussions Data

A series of focus group discussions (FGDs) to elicit the local knowledge about the agricultural and wild biodiversity present in the study areas in order to generate: (a) an inventory (list) of all useful plant, and animal species used by local communities for human food, animal feed, medicine, fuel, housing, farming tools, etc. and their local names; (b) an inventory of all foods consumed; (c) an inventory of species and products bought and sold in markets that people in the village attend. Two FGDs per village in three villages. FGDs were held separately for men and women in order to collect gender disaggregated data.
Geographic area includes: Three villages in the Lawra District of Ghana: Bonpari (Lat 10.67, Lon W002.81); Gbelinkaa (Lat N10.58, Lon W002.83); Yagtuur (Lat N10.55, Lon W 002.86)
In each of the three villages, two focus group discussions were held separately. One with men and the other with women. Each group will deal with the three aspects for discussion:
Useful biological diversity in the production system; Market diversity; and Dietary diversity. There were between 10-16 participants in each group. Each group tried to include a cross-section of individuals involved in agricultural production or at least collecting useful plants from common lands and the wild, representing different levels of access to land (land owners, local land renters and migrant land renters), different ethnic groups present in the village and different age groups (special emphasis should be placed to include younger farmers). For each group there were two facilitators, one to guide the exercise and the other to document the process (take notes, photographs, etc.). The data were elicited using the four-square methodology explained in the Protocol document.

Assessment of Informal Cross Border Fish Trade in the Southern African Region: A case of Zambia and Malawi

Intra-regional fish trade has potential in addressing the region’s food and nutrition insecurity, as well as poverty reduction, by enabling movement of fish from countries of surplus to those with deficit. However, informal fish trade, just like all informal economic activities, has been overlooked and neglected in many national and regional policies, leading to obscurity of such an important part of the fisheries sector. This study examined the situation in the cross-border informal fish trade to deepen our understanding about the traders, the factors influencing the traders to use informal trade channels, the structure of the products traded and the challenges traders face, as well as propose policy direction to enhance the cross-border fish trade in the Southern Africa region. The study revealed that female traders dominated informal fish trade. In both Malawi and Zambia, an estimated 45,285.52 metric tonnes of fish valued at 82.14 million dollars and 102,263.9 metric tonnes of fish valued at 3.3 million dollars were informally traded. The key species involved in informal cross-border trade in Malawi and Zambia were the small pelagics, usipa (Engraulicypris sardella) from Lake Malawi and dagaa (Rastrineobola argentea) from Lake Tanganyika, respectively. It emerged from focus group discussions with informal fish traders and key informants’ interviews with border post fish inspection and revenue collection officials that traders are put off by the cross-border regulations. Therefore, it is important for countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to regularize and formalize cross-border trade, particularly in small pelagic fish species, since this species plays a great role in the livelihoods, food and nutrition security of many people in the region, especially the rural and urban poor. It is also important for governments to support processors and traders to improve the quality of fish being traded, and decentralize issuing of the import/export certificates and other cross-border support documents. Lastly, there is a need to establish informal fish trade monitoring systems to adequately quantify the volumes traded.