Taking good care of soils to increase land productivity

In July 2015, she enrolled in the Farmers’ club and got trained as a lead farmer in the farmers’ program under the project Scaling out Integrated Soil Fertility Manageent practices (ISFM) that IITA implemented in partnership with Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) with funding from the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Youth perception toward agriculture and drivers of youth engagement in agricultural value chains in eastern DR Congo

Despite the global acknowledgement of the huge potential of the agricultural sector to provide jobs and incomes to young people in sub-Saharan Africa, youth engagement in agribusiness is still very limited. Understanding their perceptions and the factors that condition their engagement in agribusiness is indeed a critical step toward reducing unemployment among youths in Eastern DR Congo and particularly in South-Kivu province. This study aims to understand youth perception and factors that condition their engagement in agribusiness in Eastern DR Congo.

Microfinance at the margins: Understanding women’s financial capabilities in South Kivu, DRC

Targeting women in skills training alone has proved to be an inadequate approach to supporting women’s empowerment. Although women often engage in business and savings, commonly accepted norms and intra-household relations with spouses constrain women’s decision-making about how to spend money and husbands may assume control over their spouse’s income. Clearly, this undermines efforts to improve gender equality and development outcomes overall.

Science-based delivery to transform African agriculture

The objective of the “Scaling Readiness” program is to develop state-of-the-art decision support tools that can contribute to the extensive scaling of agricultural innovations. Scaling ready research is intended to enhance the IITA innovation science research initiated in the CGIAR Research Program on Humidtropics and use the experience of IITA scientists in Central Africa.

50 years of natural resource management research in sub-Saharan Africa

IITA’s founding fathers, among others, were concerned with the low and declining land productivity in the face of growing populations and the inadequacy of traditional farming methods to curb this trend. Therefore, early research efforts were on land clearing, soil erosion, and zero tillage, combined with chemical weed control and small or medium level mechanization (Fig. 1). From the mid-1980s, attention began to shift towards existing production systems and their capacity for change and sustainable intensification (SI).

50 years of improving African food crops

By 1974, IITA was working on a relatively wide range of crops; not only the current “mandate”— maize, cowpea, soybean, banana/plantain, cassava, and yam, but also sweetpotato, rice, cocoyam, lima bean, pigeonpea, winged bean, African yam bean, and velvet bean. A key development was the opening of the Genetic Resources Unit (now Genetic Resources Center, GRC) with a mission to collect, conserve, characterize, and distribute African grain legumes, rice, and root and tuber crops. The “geographical domain” of IITA was agreed to include all humid and subhumid tropical zones. The current focus of mandate crops developed in the early 1990s and included the transfer of sweetpotato work to CIP and the regional rice mandate to WARDA (now AfricaRice).

IITA celebrates 50 years of service to African farmers and communities

IITA was established by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations in 1967 to contribute towards global food and nutrition security. It was created based on the need to have an African version of the Green Revolution that transformed Asia through increased agricultural production in the 1960s. It became the first African link in a network of international agricultural research centers.

Decision support tool for site specific recommendations to improve cassava agronomy

The Africa Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) project seeks to address some of the most pressing agronomy problems within the cassava value chain in sub-Saharan Africa to increase the productivity of the crop and create a knowledge base necessary to sustain cassava agronomy research

Elite disease resistant germplasm successfully exchanged and evaluated in five African countries

The project, New Cassava Varieties and Clean Seed to Combat CBSD and CMD, shortened to 5CP supported the countries to successfully share their five best cassava varieties in terms of yield and resistance to the two diseases. This was to speed up efforts to develop and supply farmers with improved varieties of cassava that are resistant to the two viral diseases, the greatest constraint to the crop’s production.

Increasing cowpea productivity in sub-Saharan Africa

The use of chemical fertilizers is a simple and quick method to enhance plant nutrients in the soil. However, in rural areas of Africa, the prices of chemical fertilizers are usually twice the international prices making them unaffordable for most farmers. In addition, there are many places where farmers do not have access to chemical fertilizers due to the inadequate infrastructure and difficult economic conditions.

“Farming is a serious profession”

Telma and Américo Sinsseque live in Namiro community in Northern Mozambique. The couple became partners with the SEMEAR Project in 2017 to support the production of certified seed.

Agricultural cooperatives in Zambia accelerate adoption of improved maize varieties

Agricultural cooperatives in Zambia are one of the conduits through which the adoption of improved technologies such as improved maize and inorganic fertilizers can be accelerated or increased. The Zambian government is implementing the farmer input support program (FISP) that is supplying farmers with inputs such as improved seed and fertilizers at a subsidized price. To benefit from this program, farmers are expected to apply through their cooperatives, farmers’ organizations, and associations. In addition to providing subsidized inputs, the program is encouraging farmers to adopt sustainable intensification practices such as crop rotation.

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