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Hunger and poverty, worsened by drought, are persistent challenges in Eastern and Southern Africa. But, improved maize-legume varieties will benefit farmers most if grown under the best agronomic practices. Using smallholder farmers’ limited resources more efficiently is a key to achieving their potential. Sustainable intensification is focused on increasing food production from existing farmland while minimizing pressure on the environment.

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)’s Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Cropping Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA) is an eight-year food security program supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Launched in 2010, the program is managed by CIMMYT and implemented by national agricultural research systems in five partner countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.


Recent News

  • Smallholders benefit from sustainable intensification in Mozambique

    Maize-legume cropping systems have found a niche market among rural Mozambican farmers, thanks to good agricultural practices made possible by the SIMLESA program in the Manica province of the country. Cowpeas are becoming increasingly more reliable as both a food and cash crop in the province with both high nutritional content ...

  • Agriculture Ministers Support Policies to Achieve Africa’s Growth Potential

    Fifty people participated, including researchers from CIMMYT, national agricultural research systems (NARS), ACIAR, international and regional non-governmental organizations, farmer associations, and private companies.

  • SIMLESA Review Finds Many Successes and Major Challenges

    On 16-31 October 2015, the Sustainable Intensification of Maize and Legume Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA) project undertook a two-week long Mid-Term Review (MTR) of its agricultural research and development activities on station and on farm. SIMLESA undertook this review to assess project performance and ...

  • Drought-tolerant maize to the rescue as hunger threatens 1.5 million in Zimbabwe

    According to the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations, nearly 1.5 million (16 percent) of Zimbabwe’s 14 million people are feared to go hungry at the height of the 2015–16 lean season – a 164 percent increase on the previous year(Hunger hits 1.5 million in Zimbabwe as maize ...

  • Empowering Women in Agriculture through SIMLESA

    CIMMYT’s Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume-based Cropping Systems for Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA) project and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) of South Africa hosted a five-day gender training workshop on 24-29 August in Pretoria, South Africa.

Funded by

Ethiopia Kenya Malawi Mozambique Tanzania
© Copyright. CIMMYT is supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA)

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
P.O. Box MP 163,
Mount Pleasant Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone numbers in Zimbabwe:
+263 (772) 465 211/212
Fax: +263 (4) 301 327