Farmer-to-farmer extension approach in Malawi: a survey of lead farmers

It’s been noticed that farmers learn best from their peers, or those of a slightly higher social status*. The objective of the study described in the recent World Agroforestry Center working paper “The Farmer-to-Farmer Extension Approach in Malawi: A Survey of Lead Farmers” by Stanley Khaila, Frank Tchuwa, Steven Franzel and Brent Simpson, was to >> Read more

Evaluating potential for conservation agriculture in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi

Conservation agriculture (CA) is being promoted as an option for reducing soil degradation, conserving water, enhancing crop productivity, and maintaining yield stability. However, CA is a knowledge- and technology-intensive practice, and may not be feasible or may not perform better than conventional agriculture under all conditions and farming systems. 

Savouring diversity: supporting community seedbanks in South Africa’s smallholder farming areas

For ages, rural farmers have maintained local seeds, and through them crop biodiversity, using indigenous knowledge passed to them by their ancestors. Farmers select, plant, harvest, clean and store their seeds to feed their families and keep some for the next planting season. They also exchange and share seeds with their neighbors, friends, extended families. >> Read more

How much investment is needed to reduce postharvest losses?

The 2008 and 2011 food price spikes sparked concerns about whether the growing global population would be able to feed itself in years to come, and with this came a renewed increase in interest in the level of postharvest losses (PHL) and the potential to improve food security by reducing them. It has been estimated >> Read more

New ASTI report: Taking stock of national agricultural R&D capacity in Africa South of the Sahara

This report, which summarizes SSA’s recent progress in developing its national agricultural R&D systems, is intended to serve as an important input into, and potential benchmark for, the implementation of the science agenda in SSA and the broader development agenda for the region. The analysis is based on comprehensive primary datasets by Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI), the most recent of which was compiled during 2012–2013.