A team of scientists from ICRISAT, ICRAF, CIMMYT, IITA and national partners are working together for sustainable intensification of maize-legumelivestock farming systems in Tanzania, specifically in Kongwa and Kiteto Districts of Tanzania.

Some of the key project achievements over two years include:

  • Identified well-adapted productivity enhancing sorghum, pearl millet, pigeonpea and groundnut varieties for the semi-arid zones of Central Tanzania
  • Improved crop resilience by testing and deploying in situ water harvesting techniques that enhance water filtration and minimize runoff providing plants with much needed water
  • Optimized inorganic fertilizer application especially for cereal production
  • Developed approaches to unlock market opportunities for legumes and cereals by
    minimizing aflatoxin contamination
  • Built strategic partnerships to support research and delivery of innovations to farmers and the consumers

The project led by Dr Patrick Okori, Principal Scientist – Groundnut Breeding (Grain Legumes), ICRISAT, is one of the projects under the Africa RISING program. The program seeks to create opportunities for smallholder farm households to move out of hunger and poverty through sustainably intensified farming systems that improve food, nutrition, and income security, particularly for women and children, and conserve or enhance the natural resource base.

The project objectives are to:

  • Develop improved maize varieties resistant to the maize leaf necrosis disease;
  • Promote integrated soil fertility and water management options to improve yields and
    enhance agro-ecosystem resilience in action areas;
  • Promote the integration of crops, livestock and poultry for enhanced productivity and resilience;
  • Improve nutrition, safety and market competitiveness through sensitization on proper
    post-harvest handling and utilization; and
  • Establish Innovation Platform to inform R4D.

The project team held a meeting between 4-7 September in Arusha, Tanzania, to review project progress as well as develop a communication and uptake strategy. The team agreed that it is necessary to integrate communications into the project to support the delivery of project activities and outcomes. The communication and uptake strategy will assist in engaging with and influencing wider audiences; translate the project’s outputs into development and policy outcomes; enriching learning, interaction and exchange across the project; and linking and connecting the project team.

The Africa RISING program led by ICRISAT is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Source: ICRISAT Happenings