Africa RISING - Integrated Livestock and Crop Management (shelterbelt)
The aim of the Africa RISING project in Kongwa and Kiteto Districts, Tanzania is to provide a scientific basis for sustainably intensifying agricultural production in semi-arid areas of central Tanzania. The project activities are falls under 4 thematic areas that address three critical elements of sustainable intensification (SI), i.e. genetic, ecological and socio-economic intensification technologies. The scope of activities being implemented include: packaging of new legume and cereal varieties with over 120% yield advantage, packaging and validation of integrated productivity enhancing technologies for cereals, legumes, legume trees and soil health technologies, food safety primarily to reduce aflatoxin contamination and integration of livestock into the cropping systems. The innovation platform is used to set R4D priority in the action sites. In the 2013-2014 season, we reached out to about 1217 farmers Kongwa and Kiteto districts. In 2014 we plan to reach out to about 1500 new farmers. The project team is comprised of national partners (e.g. ARI-Hombolo, District Agricultural Officers, SUA and UDOM) and CG Partners (CIMMYT and ICRAF) under the leadership of ICRISAT.
Sustained livestock productivity in semiarid central Tanzania is limited by availability of quality feeds of sufficient amount, especially during the off season. High scarcity of fuelwood for cooking energy is another developmental challenge in the area. Limited energy can adversely affect soil fertility as farmers use crop residues and/or manure as a source of energy. to address these developmental challenges and build resilience of farming systems, Africa RISING is screening local species for fodder quality and introducing fast growing N-rich fodder trees/shrubs in various niches (contour bunds, woodlots, shelterbelts) on-farm to supply supplementary high quality fodder and other benefits like fuelwood, erosion control and soil fertility improvement. Local browse tree species have been screened for fodder quality and best species identified in a recently published journal article. Additional data is being collected to estimate fodder and fuelwood production from planted tree species on-farm.