SIMLESA is financed by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). It is led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).The project is an international collaboration involving national agricultural research institutes in seven countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda)....
International partners include CGIAR centers, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) of the University of Queensland, Australia and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) of South Africa.
SIMLESA, in collaboration with other programs, facilitated the release of 40 new maize varieties. Many of which were specifically selected for their drought tolerance and some of which were selected for their phenotypic characteristics suitable for maize-legume intercropping in conservation-agriculture systems.
A total of 58 Innovation Platforms were established to assist in scaling out of Sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI) technologies and viable marketing of agricultural produce for maximum benefits.
Considering the importance of legume in food security and plant based protein nutrition of many families, SIMLESA co-sponsored participatory varietal selections (PVSs) sessions involving 378 legume varieties.
A total of 64 varieties across the five program countries positively met PVS team’s criteria and therefore were acceptable for official release.
Toward the end of 2016, the program managed to competitively select 19 partners to drive the scaling out initiatives under the Competitive Grants Scheme (CGS).
A regional policy summit was held in October 2015 which resulted in the signing of a Ministerial Cummunique by five countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Rwanda).As a result, they committed to the mainstreaming of SIMLESA results in their countries' agricultural policies.
The project has been determined to reach out to the policy community with the publication and dissemination of more than 57 policy briefs. These have been variously disseminated at project annual meetings, other gatherings and also can be found on this page
SIMLESA activities also led to the identification of maize varieties compatible with intercropping systems, water conservation and labor savings from CA technologies. While superior maize and legume yields from rotations in CA were realized in all five countries across Eastern and Southern Africa. The positive impacts of CA practices on risk, incomes and the environment were also analyzed and disseminated. Similarly, innovation platforms and other strategies contributed to scaling-out, with maize-legume sustainable intensification technologies being adopted by over 235,000 farmers.
Adaptive Agronomy Research
To test and develop productive, resilient and sustainable smallholder maize-legume cropping systems and innovation systems for local scaling out.
Socioeconomics, Policy and Markets Research.
To characterize maize-legume production and input and output value chain systems and impact pathways, and identify broad systemic constraints and options for field testing.
Maize and Legume Seed Systems Development
To increase the range of maize and legume varieties available through accelerated breeding, regional testing and release, and availability of performance data
Identifying Effective Scaling Modalities
To support the development of regional and local innovations systems
Building to increase the efficiency of agricultural research today and in the future