Geographic areas of focus: Semiarid areas of East (Kenya, Tanzania), West (Mali, Burkina Faso) and Southern (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar) Africa
The overall objective is to reduce the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climatic variability by building capacity through co-innovation platforms to design, evaluate and implement targeted technological options for and mechanisms to promote adoption of conservation agriculture (CA) based on agro ecology principles to combat land degradation and food insecurity in semi-arid regions of Africa. This will be done by fulfilling the following specific objectives:
To reinforce existing knowledge networks on CA, building their institutional capacities and establishing sustainable South-South (e.g., ACT-Embrapa Brazil) and North-South research partnerships
Target group: Local research and extension institutions designing/promoting CA in semi-arid regions of Africa, organised farmers groups (learning centres, farmer field schools) and local NGO’s implementing/practicing CA in the target regions; policy makers at national level and policy implementers at district level.
Final beneficiaries: Smallholder farmers in semi-arid areas of the countries targeted and in regions of comparable agro ecology, demography and market access
Results: Adapted and farmer-valued CA alternatives to (i) increase water productivity, (ii) mitigate climatic risks, (iii) restore and maintain soil fertility, and (iv) provide agroecological functions; Increased use efficiency of natural and socio-economic resources; Tradeoffs for CA implementation evaluated and policy advice derived; Sustainable co-innovation platforms established; Results and lessons disseminated; CA knowledge networks reinforced; South-South and North-South partnerships created; Recommendations on enabling policies.
Main activities: On-station and on-farm field experimentation; Gender-sensitive characterisation of conditions for implementing CA technologies and gender mainstreaming of all activities; Action research with rural communities (co-innovation); Participatory & model-based scenario analysis and tradeoffs evaluation; Training & capacity development; Dissemination; Policy analysis and design.