Posts Tagged ‘sustainable intensification’

Equal and climate-smart

By Shiela Chikulo

Women in Malawi are inspiring the next generation of smallholder farmers to adopt climate-smart technologies.

Sixteen years of consistent learning and practice of climate-smart agriculture, led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), are paying off for Luganu Mwangonde. Together with her husband Kenson, she has established herself as a successful smallholder farmer in Malawi’s Balaka district. She enjoys the multiple benefits of high yields from diverse crops, surplus to sell at the markets and improved soil quality.

Include small indigenous production systems to improve rural livelihoods

By Natasha Nagarajan

New research recommends targeted assistance and engagement with small farmers in rural Guatemala to improve livelihoods and reduce migration pressures.

Maize-bean intercrop in the milpa system of the western highlands of Guatemala. (Photo: Carlos Gonzalez Esquivel)

Researchers from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, United States, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Texcoco, Mexico, describe why it is important for technical assistance to build upon indigenous farming knowledge and include women if programs are to succeed in tackling poverty and hunger in rural, Mesoamerican communities. Their findings, describing recent work in the Guatemalan Highlands, are recently published in Nature Sustainability.

Video: How gender equity and social inclusion are improving the lives of rural families in Africa

Women have the potential to be drivers of agricultural transformation in Africa, holding the key to improving their families’ livelihoods and food security. However, such constraints as lack of access to initial capital, machinery, reliable markets, and knowledge and training are difficult to overcome, leading to restricted participation by women and young people in agricultural systems in Africa.

A new video from the Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA) project highlights the importance of gender equity and social inclusion to achieving project impacts and outcomes, helping to drive transformative change towards securing a food secure future for Africa. Case studies and interviews with women and men farmers – including young people – detail how SIMLESA’s approach has re-shaped their maize-based farming lives.

Research opportunities and partnerships are key to sustainable intensification of maize in South East Asia

Maize production is increasing in several South East Asian countries as farmers respond to changes in consumer preferences and diets. An increasingly popular cash crop in the region and suited to cultivation by smallholder farmers, maize is nonetheless subject to unpredictable markets and may be associated with negative environmental externalities where appropriate production practices are not used. Some countries in the region have experienced a dramatic increase in maize production in recent years, followed by a decline, highlighting the importance of linked economic and agronomic research that addresses the rapid pace of change in the region. Delegates from across South East Asia gathered recently to explore ideas and opportunities for key research issues on the sustainable intensification of maize in smallholder farming systems in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, during a meeting held from November 9 to 11, 2018, in Siem Reap and in maize growing areas around Battambang, Cambodia.

The meeting was jointly organized by the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) through their Sustainable Intensification Program (SIP) and the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE).

Participants during the field visit in north eastern Cambodia.
Photo: Leo Rusinamhodzi/CIMMYT