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SIMLESA Program Annual Report July 2013–June 2014

semi-anual-report-2014This report present some of the key achievement made in the previous annual reporting period, July 2013 to June 2014. It illustrates the key results per objective, as well as aggregation of contribution from the five SIMLESA implementing countries, that is Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique.

The main activities carried out are surveys (adoption monitoring, market, partial analysis, completion of baseline and topology analysis) and marketing trainings. QAAFI continue with the preparation of journal articles for publication on households’ typology across five SIMLESA countries of operation. Objective 1 achievements and scaling out plans were discussed at Annual Review Planning Meetings (ARPM) which were held between October and December 2013 in respective countries. Mozambique and Malawi meetings were combined as a cost cutting measure as well as enhancement of partner to partner collaboration and information sharing.

The period July 2013 to June 2014, has been mainly devoted to establishment of trials, technology analysis and implementation of identified scalable technologies under objective 2 of SIMLESA program. Activities carried out during this period include proper planning for effective scaling out of SIMLESA technologies to many farmers in all 5 core countries. Selection of scalable technology was conducted based on statistical results and target farmer’s preference using participatory methodologies. Minimum tillage-maize-legume intercropping was identified as best-bet technology by farmers in most regions. Exchange visit, field days, trial evaluation, IP meeting and farmer training were conducted in all SIMLESA countries during the reporting period.

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Farmers in Balaka, Malawi, prefer CA

Balaka district

If Chrisy Samson Mpomola, a farmer in Malawi, were to choose a method of farming for her whole farm, she would choose the conservation agriculture (CA) method, with no ridges, where maize is intercropped with pigeon peas and herbicide applied (only Glyphosate)  for weed control. Why?

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Violet Chiwanda

Malawian farmer happy to be part of SIMLESA

Violet ChiwandaViolet Chiwanda, (right picture) is a small-scale farmer in Salima, Central Malawi, who is participating in SIMLESA. She is a young woman, aged 25 years, with a farm of 0.25 ha. “I am happy to be involved in the SIMLESA project”, she says. “What I like most about this project is Conservation Agriculture (CA), a farming method that is less tedious and this gives me time to attend to other household chores.”

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Pathways to Sustainable Intensification in Eastern and Southern Africa – Malawi 2013

The Adoption Pathways project was part of a portfolio of projects that has contributed to the broader theme of sustainable intensification research led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and made possible by the contribution of several teams from national and international research groups brought together by funding from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The project was undertaken in the five Eastern and Southern African countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. 1. Gender disaggregated three wave panel data set (2010/11, 2013), building on a legacy dataset collected under a related ACIAR funded project (SIMLESA) is now being developed covering close to 3500 households in each data wave across the five project countries. The 2015/16 data will be available in due course. 2. Several empirical evaluations of the gender gaps in technology adoption, food security and market access have been completed and published. 3. These results have been shared in various policy forums including but not limited to annual project meetings. In order to achieve its full impact in the coming years; we propose that new projects and initiatives based on the work of the Adoption Pathways project be established. These should focus on capacity building for the analysis of panel datasets, continued work on studying intrahousehold input allocation and sharing of agricultural output and scaling up the findings from this project to influence next generation of sustainable agriculture policies.

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