Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation Ethiopian highlands project technical report, 1 April–30 September 2018


ThumbnailIn its second phase, Africa RISING targeted to reach 0.7 million direct beneficiary households and 3.4 million indirect potential beneficiary households. Parallelly, the project continues to conduct action research that will explore further generic issues and facilitate scaling of the innovations validated during the first phase. Over the course of the second year of the second phase (01 April–30 September 2018), the project managed to reach more than 70,712 households and covered 48,661 ha of land during the cropping season (June–September 2018). Africa RISING supported research and capacity development activities but a large share of investment in the scaling process came from development partners.

In the 2018 main cropping season, research for development (R4D) trials on forage variety evaluations were implemented across the four Africa RISING sites. Some of the forage trials were new introductions, while others were a repeat from last season’s trials. The new forage variety include Lablab, Phalaris grass, Vetch-Desho intercropping, and Brachiaria hybrid (otherwise known as Mulatu II). Those repeated from last year include Sweet lupine, alfalfa and fodder beet. The objective of the ongoing forage variety evaluation is to generate on-farm evidence and provide additional forage technology option for further scaling initiatives. A total of 19,981 households directly benefitted from the forage technology scaling, with improved forages planted on more than 1,356 ha of land across the four regions.

A total of 22 varieties of bread wheat, durum wheat, food oat and linseed crops were included in the participatory varietal selection (PVS) trial in the 2018 main cropping season. In addition, 14.2 t of seeds of different cultivars of wheat, barley, food legumes and other agronomic packages were distributed to farmers as revolving seeds to popularize and multiply seeds for next season. Wheat, barley, faba bean, field pea, lentil and chickpea cultivars were also scaled and benefited 51,701 households in the Southern Nations Nationalities and People Region (SNNPR), Amhara, Tigray and Oromia regions. The cereal and legume crops scaled in the 2018 main rainy season covered 40,657 ha of cultivated land.

Various combinations of fertilizers across farming systems, agroecologies, landscape positions and soil types were tested in Africa RISING sites and other areas. A site-specific decision guide has been drafted based on results from the research, which is expected to enhance crop yield, reduce input costs and improve resource management at landscape scales. The total number of households benefiting from the decision guides in the 12 woredas has reached 6,000.

Collection of erosion, runoff, and yield data in the different watersheds of Amhara, Tigray and SNNP regions is taking place. Moreover, soil sample from selected pristine, enclosed, cultivated and controlled and open grazing areas have been collected in the watersheds and analysed in Kenya. Detailed results of each activity will be presented within 2018.

In 2018, scaling out activities of small mechanization services, which are available through service providers (individuals and youth groups) in different regions of Ethiopia, focused on awareness creation. Between January and September 2018, 1,100 households benefited from transportation, water pumping, wheat harvesting and threshing and maize shelling services provided by individual and youth group service providers. In terms of income generation, service providers generated USD145–218 per month from transportation services. A total of 31.2 ha of land was covered through two-wheel tractor ploughing and wheat harvesting services.

Africa RISING organized short-term trainings, field days, visits, meetings and workshops to build the capacity of farmers, extension experts and other scaling development partners. The capacity building initiatives were also designed to strengthen action research activities and the scaling of Africa RISING validated innovations. In general, over 1,593 local partners benefited from capacity development initiatives within the reporting period.


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