Recent News:

June 2018: A seed farmer working with Africa RISING in Nsanama EPA, Machinga District says she is seeing the benefits of seed production for the second year. In 2017, her total earnings from selling groundnut seed from her 0.5 ha farm was Mk 162,000 (USD 223). This year, she expects to earn even more due to increasing demand.

June, 2018:  Three days of Africa RISING field days in Malawi incorporated regional program management team visits with farmer feedback and assessment.  Projects reviewed included: 1) Improving access and availability of quality legume seed, 2) Productivity and stability analysis for sustainable intensification of maize cropping systems, 3) Food legume budgeting and processing for dietary diversity in agricultural intensification, 4) Improving goat housing and feeding for productivity gains, 5) Water and nutrient management experiments, and 6) Nitrogen response trials combined with comprehensive weather data.

April, 2018:  Just published article on perennial grains now available online. Snapp, S., P. Rogé, P. Okori, R. Chikowo, B. Peter, and J. Messina.  2018.  Perennial Grains for Africa: Possibility or Pipedream? Experimental Agriculture: Open Access.

December, 2017:  Recent Policy Brief Demand-led and supply-led extension approaches to support sustainable intensification in Malawi (download PDF) now available.

October 27, 2017: Sustainable Intensification Assessment Framework and Methods Manual are now available.  Learn more about Sustainable Intensification and our collaborative efforts to develop a Sustainable Intensification Indicators Framework.

Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) research recently highlighted in BioScience.

September 6, 2017: Research on perennial grains for Africa is highlighted in the recently published article: Perennial grain crops in the West Soudanian Savanna of Mali: perspectives from agroecology and gendered spaces.

July 18-20, 2017: View our recent poster, Raising Crop Response: Bidirectional Learning to Catalyze Sustainable Intensification at Multiple Scales, presented at the Launch of the Alliance for African Partnerships, in Dar es Saalam, Tanzania.

April 19, 2017: Our work on perennial pigeonpea in Malawi is highlighted in the recent Bioscience opinion piece Can Modern Agriculture be Sustainable?.  This piece details current global research on the role of perennial polycultures in sustainable agriculture.

March 7, 2017:
Re-Evaluating the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Program by J. Messina, B. Peter, and S. Snapp has just been released in the journal Nature Plants.  The paper presents research using net photosynthesis (PsnNet) to evaluate production history and production potential under fertilizer input scenarios in Malawi.  The authors were unable to replicate post Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) production gains and showed that the spatial delivery of FISP may have contributed to popular perception of widespread maize improvement. Triangulated lines of evidence suggest that FISP may not have been the success it was thought to be. Lastly, the authors assert that fertilizer subsidies may not be sufficient or sustainable strategies for production gains in Malawi.

Updated November 14, 2016:
Double Up Legume Technology 
featured in Malawi’s The Nation newspaper.

August 8, 2016:
MSU Researchers and Africa Rising Collaborators meet to discuss the next steps in their collaborative Action Research in East Africa.  Presentation drafts are below:

-Dr. Sieg Snapp: Global Change Learning Lab – Africa Node: Action Agroecology Download Powerpoint 
-Dr. Regis Chikowo: Farm Typologies and Sustainable Intensification: Where the Rubber Meets the Road Download Powerpoint
-Dr. Phil Grabowski: Utilizing a Framework of Indicators to Assess Sustainable Intensification Download Powerpoint [read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]

-Jongwoo Kim: Sustainable Intensification in Tanzania: Is it Occurring Among Smallholder Maize Farmers and What are the Nutrition Effects?  Download Powerpoint
-Dr. Nicole Mason: Mothers, Babies or Both? A Test of Alternative Private Sector-Led Extension Approaches for Sustainable Intensification Download Powerpoint
-Dr. Joseph Messina: Perennial Grains and Continental Scaling Potential for Africa Download Powerpoint part 1, Download Powerpoint part 2
-Vicki Morrone: Supporting ‘Baby’ Farmers to Produce Legume Seed Download Powerpoint
-Dr. Robert Richardson, et al.: Examining Tradeoffs in Household Decision-Making for Sustainable Intensification Download Powerpoint
-Udita Sanga: Role Playing Games to Assess Climate Change Adaptation and Food Security Strategies in Mali, West Africa Download Powerpoint [/read]

Recently Published- New papers document African farmers’ interests in crop diversification and perennial crop options for ecological intensification:
-Kane, D., P. Roge, S.S. Snapp. 2016. Perennial grains: A bibliometric and topic modeling analysis of exisiting literature. PLoSone 11(5).  Download PDF
-Isaacs, K.B., S.S. Snapp, J.D. Kelly, and K.Chung. 2016. Farmer knowledge identifies a common bean ideotype for maize-bean intercrop systems in Rwanda. Agriculture and Food Security. Download PDF
-Rogé, P., T. Diarisso, F. Diallo, Y. Boiré, D. Goïta, B. Peter, M. Macalou, E. Weltzien, and S. Snapp.  2017.  Perennial grain crops in the West Soudanian Savanna of Mali: perspectives from agroecology and gendered spaces. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. doi:10.1080/14735903.2017.1372850. Download PDF [read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]

-Rogé, P., S.S. Snapp, M.K. Kakwera, L. Mungai, I. Jambo and B. Peter. Opportunities for perennial food crops in Malawi: A review. Agronomy and Sustainable Development, In press. Download Manuscript Draft PDF
-Schmitt Olabisi L, Adebiyi J, Traoré PS, Kakwera MN. 2016. Do participatory scenario exercises promote systems thinking and build consensus?. Elementa, Science of the Anthropocene 4: 000113. doi: 10.12952.  Download PDF 
-Waldman, K.B., Ortega, D.L., Richardson, R.B., D.C. Clay, S.S. Snapp. 2017. Preferences for legume attributes in maize-legume system cropping systems in Malawi. Food Security. [/read]

February 18, 2016:
 The Malawi Department of Agriculture and Research Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Technology Release Committee approved the Doubled up Legume Technology for use by smallholder farmers. The DUL technology of pigeonpea with a groundnut understory was evaluated on-farm through a comprehensive country-wide testing program. Several planting arrangements and plant population densities were shown to perform well across a wide range of agroecologies, leading to the release of the technology. Contact information: Dr. Wezi Mhango and Dr. Amos Ngwira.