Africa RISING going to scale in the Eastern Province of Zambia Project


Project overview

This project is implementing research and dissemination activities of four USAID Feed the Future Research and Development Program (2011-2015) research projects. It aims at bringing validated agricultural technologies and delivery mechanisms to scale and fill existing research gaps with semi-mature technologies within the next two years. The project will be managed by IITA who will work with the partners that implemented the previous projects for maximum efficiency and accelerated results

A significant part of the project focuses on making high quality legume seeds accessible to small-holder farmers. This requires the support of ZARI and private seed companies to disseminate improved legume seeds and complementary crop management practices. At least 9 varieties of cowpea (1), pigeon pea (1), soybean (2), and groundnut (5) have been released from previous efforts. Most of the varieties are drought tolerant, resistant to endemic pests and diseases, have end-user preferred traits, and give higher yields on farmers’ fields. Widespread adoption of these varieties and complementary crop management technologies will result in increased productivity, food security and incomes of the rural poor. To achieve this, breeder seed will be produced by IITA, ICRISAT and ZARI and passed to the private sector producers of foundation seed. The foundation seed will be fed into a network of certified seed producers that include seed companies and community-based seed out grower schemes. The project will embark on massive technology dissemination campaigns by establishing demonstration plots at strategic locations to increase awareness and demand for new varieties along with appropriate crop management practices. To facilitate seed adoption, links will be established with the Farmer Input Support Program and grain marketing companies. Irrigation facilities and storage capacity for breeder and basic seed will be strengthened at ZARI’s Msekera station.
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Secondly, the project will take to scale the integration of agriculture and nutrition-marketing approaches for addressing Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) using orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) as a key entry point in building capacity among partners to contribute towards improving diet diversity, increasing vitamin A intakes, and reducing food insecurity of 8,000 farming households.

Thirdly, the project builds on the achievements of the past SIMLEZA-Africa RISING collaboration which identified a range of sustainable intensification technologies (e.g. improved maize/legume rotation and intercropping systems; direct seeding; herbicides and improved stress-tolerant germplasm), which are in the process of being massively out-scaled. A number of research questions that were identified in the previous work will be addressed, focusing on closing knowledge gaps on double-up legume systems, green manure cover crops, soil fertility management, improved manure handling and identification of quality protein maize and maize lethal necrosis resistant maize varieties. The project will explore collaboration with PROFIT+ and COMACO so as to reach more farmers in the next two cropping season.

The fourth component of the project is to ensure that the developed two Zambian aflasafe products (aflasafe ZM01 and ZM02) are made available for deployment in Zambia through development of a business plan and demonstrating product value as well as efficacy in several agro-ecological zones of the country.

Click here for the project proposal

Project thematic objectives

The following 4 thematic objectives will contribute to the overall strategic objective of the project: Innovations that increase productivity of farming systems and of availability and consumption of safe and nutritious food are adopted.
  1. To stimulate the commercialization and distribution of improved legume seeds by establishing a well-functioning pipeline for producing and disseminating improved varieties through close collaboration between IITA, ICRISAT, ZARI, seed companies, Community seed groups, and agrodealers to enhance access by smallholder farmers.
  2. To contribute to increased frequency of intake of vitamin A, especially by women and children under 5 years, through effective dissemination of OFSP varieties and improved production, conservation, and utilization techniques linked to increased nutritional knowledge and marketing.
  3. To sustainably intensify current maize-based low input production systems through integrating legumes as rotations and/or intercrops, use of improved seeding technologies and weed control strategies and making them available for smallholder farmers.
  4. To commercialize the aflasafe biocontrol products for aflatoxin mitigation, improved nutrition of farm families and generation of wealth in the maize and groundnut value chain.

Strategic Objective/ Results Framework (FY 2015 - 2017)

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Project partners

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL)
  • International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
  • Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI)
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
  • International Potato Center (CIP)
  • Rural Initiative for Children Hope (RICH)
  • Strengthening Agricultural Input and Output Markets in Africa (SAIOMA)
  • National Institute for Scientific & Industrial Research
  • Production, Finance and Improved Technology, plus (PROFIT +)
  • Share Africa Zambia
  • Grassroots Trust
  • Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
  • Afriseed - Stewards Globe Ltd.
  • Kamano Seed Company Limited
  • Advanta Seed Company
  • Total Land Care (TLC)

Key Contacts

  • Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon, Africa RISING Manager West, East and Southern Africa, IITA - I.Hoeschle-Zeledon(at)cgiar.org
  • Mateete Bekunda, Chief Scientist, Africa RISING East and Southern Africa Project, IITA - M.Bekunda(at)cgiar.org

Project Partner Meetings

*click here to view comprehensive events list

2017

Annual Reports