Improved productivity through crop-livestock interventions in Eastern DR Congo and Burundi

The project’s core strategy is to develop integrated, system-based interventions in support of mixed crop-livestock systems that take account of nutrient recycling, combining the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers as part of the sustainable agriculture agenda. The project will adopt systems-based approaches to crop-livestock research and promote smallholder participation to support

(a) technology development and knowledge generation based on farmers’ needs;

(b) delivery of the technologies for increased system productivity;

(c) enhancement of farmers’ ability to enrich their diets with resources obtained from more productive and diverse crop-livestock systems;

(d) introduction and increased proportion of animal source foods[1] in local diets;

(e) household diet diversification, through promotion of bio-fortified crops, e.g. protein-rich maize, orange-fleshed sweet potato, soybean or zinc- and iron-rich beans;

(f) post-harvest processing and value addition initiatives; and

(g) strengthening linkages to commercial value chains. The project focus is on improved productivity and market linkages, which will contribute to increasing incomes and improving food- and nutritional-security in order to alleviate malnutrition in the long-term, especially for women and children.

[1]Animal protein and the micronutrients available in animal source foods contribute significantly to the improvement of health indicators in children, including cognitive function.