Sustainable Intensification of Crop - Livestock Farming Systems in the Guinea and Sudano Savannah Zone of West Africa


As part of the Africa Research In Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program, this project aims to identify and validate scalable options for sustainable intensification of key farming systems in West Africa to increase food production, improve livelihoods, and enhance nutrition of smallholder families while at the same time conserving (or improving) the natural resource base.

Interventions being implemented in this project include: testing and dissemination of improved crop varieties (drought and striga resistant, high yielding, short/medium/long duration multi-purpose crops) and livestock breeds (dairy goats and sheep); land, soil and water management (prevention of water logging, appropriate and optimal water and land use options for minimizing soil erosion, and dry season irrigation) ; appropriate agronomic practices (planting density, cereal-legume-vegetable intercropping, crop diversification, and agroforestry) and animal husbandry practices (semi-intensive and intensive management, dry season feed supplementation, vaccination and deworming), value-addition, reducing pre- and postharvest losses, linking farmers to input and output markets, as well as ensuring better integration of the crop and livestock enterprises). Group and individual training and short courses are also being used to strengthen the capacities of all actors in production, processing, marketing and utilization. Capacity building on communication is also done to encourage farmer-to-farmer learning and extension. Academic trainees at MSc and PhD level are engaged to address important knowledge gaps and to build national research capacity.

Project sites

The project is implemented in a total of 25 communities – the Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions of Ghana. In Mali, activities are implemented in 10 villages in the Bougouni - Yanfolila and Koutiala Districts of the Sikasso Region in southern Mali. From 2015, and for various reasons, Yorobougoula village (in Yanfolila District) will no longer be part of Africa RISING intervention villages thereby reducing the intervention villages to nine.
Africa RISING intervention communities in Ghana.

Mali map action sites.jpg
Africa RISING intervention villages in Mali.


The project’s research activities are organized around 3 research outputs set out in the project framework document. Capacity building is a significant component of the project.
1) Research Output 1 (RO1): Situation analysis and program-wide synthesis
  • Baseline surveys
  • Socio-economic studies on sustainable intensification
  • Establish and characterize R4D platforms
  • Surveys of feed markets, feed availability and analysis of livestock value chains in Ghana
2) Research Output 2 (RO2): Integrated Systems Improvement
  • Raising and sustaining productivity in cereal-legume-vegetable cropping systems
  • Testing and disseminating improved cropping systems and practises
  • Biological control of aflatoxins in maize and groundnut with Aflasafe Ghanaian product GH01
  • Intensifying productivity of cereal-legume based crop and crop livestock systems
  • Estimating efficiency of whole farm systems and components for improved profitability
  • Develop agroforestry options for intensive fruit, vegetable and livestock fodder production
  • Intensifying livestock and poultry production
  • Managing natural resources to increase productivity and reduce soil degradation
  • Improving household nutrition through agricultural and behavioral change
  • Data analysis and publication of results from completed experiments
3) Research Output 3 (RO3): Scaling and Delivery
  • Scaling up sustainable cropping systems in Ghana through mother-baby trials and farmer managed large scale demonstration plots
  • Large-Scale Diffusion of Technologies for Sorghum and Millet Systems in Mali (ARDT_SMS)

Research plans

Project management

Partners meetings

*click here to view comprehensive events list



>>>>>>>>>>>+ PPT presentation: Activities at Flola technology park
>>>>>>>>>>>+ PPT presentation: Activities at Koutiala area
>>>>>>>>>>>+ PPT presentation: Africa RISING Mali progress update

  • 15 August - Ghana Upper West Region research team meeting
  • 14 August - Ghana Upper East Region research team meeting
  • 13 August - Ghana Northern Region research team meeting
  • 18 June - Ghana Upper West Region research team meeting
  • 22 April- Ghana research team meeting
  • 21 February- Review Meeting for 2014 Work-Packages


Partners are drawn from various organizations including: international agricultural research centers, national research and extension systems, universities, national government ministries, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations as well as producer and farmer associations.

Innovation Platforms/R4D Platforms


  • 18 December 2014 - Bongo District (Upper East Region, Ghana) R4D platform launch
  • 16 December 2014 - Kassena Nankana East District (Upper East Region, Ghana) R4D platform launch

Key Documents

Key contacts

  • Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon, Africa RISING Coordinator West, East and Southern Africa - I.Hoeschle-Zeledon(at)
  • Asamoah Larbi, Chief Scientist Africa RISING West Africa – A.Larbi(at)
  • Birhanu Zemadim, Scientist ICRISAT Mali - Z.Birhanu(at)
  • Jonathan Odhong’, Research Communications Specialist – J.Odhong(at)

Mid-Term External Evaluation (2014)

News and Updates

Reports and Documents

Other reports and documents

Posters and presentations

Yorobougoula (in Yanfolila District)