Through partnership and collaborative research in the target countries, in line with the program design, the SIMLESA program has consistently maintained its focus on generating scientific impacts. Trials were designed to use evidence-based data that is collected using scientifically proven methods, analyzed, reported and published for wider use. The exploratory trials, although traditionally designed for simple demonstrations proved very easily understandable by small-scale farmers while at the same time providing data that have been statistically analyzed and producing very credible results which could be replicated for wider use to achieve more benefits. Partners’ capacity has been strengthened through the collaborative research partnership with CIMMYT, QAAFI, CIAT and ILRI (particularly with the new focus on crop-livestock integration) enabling them to share research methods, tools and their applications.
The program has continued to keep track of adoption pathways as a way of monitoring the efficiency of its scaling out strategies and impact pathways as a vehicle for assessing viable options for transforming the lives of the smallholder farmers through the 2015/16 Adoption Monitoring Survey.
focus on generating scientific impacts
In line with the program design, SIMLESA continued to embark on an extensive experimentation program to assess the longer-term benefits of conservation agriculture compared to conventional farming systems. It has been concluded that CA-based SI is the way to go to improve food security across SIMLESA sites, and beyond. It is against this background that the general recommendation was made to scale up and out conservation agriculture techniques as one of the strategic options for ensuring that SIMLESA is able to achieve its overall goal of increasing productivity in Eastern and Southern Africa by 30% from 2009 average by year 2023 and also reaching 650,000 farmers. The launch and roll on of the Competitive Grant Scheme in 2016 is one of such deliberate efforts of reaching out to more farmers. Support visits to some of partners particularly AGRIMERC in Mozambique, have shown evidence of not only scaling out SI technologies but also embedding linkages.
SIMLESA’s science outputs include- 122 publications, 52 posters 15 policy briefs and various communication products including national level media coverage, national, regional and international conferences, participation by partners. An improved SIMLESA Website is serving as a source of materials and documents generated by the program.