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ANNOUNCEMENT: ASARECA and CIMMYT/SIMLESA are co-organizing a policy forum on conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification (May 3-4, 2019, Kampala Uganda)

The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), in collaboration with CIMMYT (and their partners) are organizing a policy forum on conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification (CASI) as part of the Summit of Patron Ministers from ASARECA member countries (plus Malawi and Mozambique).
The High-Level Policy Forum will focus on how CASI can drive critical shifts in farming practices and how innovations in agri-businesses and rural institutions can promote agricultural resilience and sustainability in Africa.
The SIMLESA project is funded by the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and coordinated by CIMMYT in partnership with national research institutions and other international collaborators. Find out more about this forum here.

VIDEO: Farmers and scientists celebrate SIMLESA achievements

Maize is currently grown on 35 million hectares of land in Africa and is easily the most important staple food crop in the continent, feeding more than 200-300 million people and providing income security to millions of smallholder farmers. Nonetheless, African maize growers face many challenges, including lower than average yields, crop susceptibility to pests and diseases, and abiotic stresses such as droughts. They generally lack access to high yielding improved seed and other farming innovations that could help them overcome those challenges.

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Increased investment needed to adapt Africa’s agriculture to climate change

HARARE, Zimbabwe (CIMMYT) – Delegates at a conference in June called for a new focus and increase in investment to ensure eastern and southern Africa’s farming systems can withstand the impacts of climate change.

Africa is likely to be the continent most vulnerable to climate change, according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Smallholders produce around 80 percent of all food in sub-Saharan Africa, and rely primarily on rainfall for irrigation – a source that is becoming scarcer and unpredictable under climate change. Farming is also often practiced in marginal areas like flood plains or hillsides, where increasing and more intense weather shocks cause severe damage to soil and crops.

Tanzania’s Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Charles Tizeba said during a conference on the future of the Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Based Cropping Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA) project, an initiative led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).


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