Posts Tagged ‘ACIAR’

SIMLESA Phase II Up and Running

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Maize

By Gift Mashango and Mekuria Mulugetta


Members of the project management committee discussed SIMLESA’s second phase during a 1 July planning meeting in Addis Ababa.

Phase II of the Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa project (SIMLESA) began 1-4 July with a series of planning meetings in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. SIMLESA-II is a five-year project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Members of the project   management committee   (PMC) met on 1 July  to ensure that management and  implementing partners have a  common understanding of project  objectives, targets, milestones,  indicators and the assignment  of coordination responsibilities.  The PMC includes Olaf Erenstein,  director of the Socio-economics  Program; Bruno Gérard,  director of the Conservation  Agriculture Program; Mekuria  Mulugetta, SIMLESA project coordinator; Daniel Rodriguez  of the Queensland Alliance for  Agricultural and Food Innovation;  and Peter Craufurd, SIMLESA strategy leader.

Based on lessons learned from SIMLESA’s first phase, the PMC adjusted the design of activities, timelines and strategies for scaling out SIMLESA practices to farmers.  One recommendation was to assign a coordinator to each of SIMLESA’s four objectives: Paswel Marenya for objective one, Isaiah Nyagumbo for objective two, Peter Setimela for objective three and Michael Misiko for objective four. The PMC noted that during the first phase, research scientists were operating in silos, and they urged the scientists to work as a team since the project objectives and activities are more closely linked in the second phase.


Olaf Erenstein, director of CIMMYT’s Socio-economics Program, addressed CIMMYT scientists, SIMLESA national coordinators and partners during a SIMLESA planning meeting.

The PMC also appointed a committee to spearhead the selection of partners for competitive grants in each country. The committee will consist of the national coordinator for each of the five target countries, an ACIAR representative, a project steering committee member, the objective four leaders and a PMC member. The two new partners, the International Livestock Research Institute and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, are responsible for forage- and soil science-related activities, respectively.

A joint meeting with SIMLESA country coordinators was held on 3-4 July. The coordinators gave presentations on achievements of the first phase and lessons learned, plus the challenges and strategic plan for the second phase. Planned project activities for the second phase are not homogeneous across the SIMLESA countries; they are guided by the country’s priorities, the amount of support that will be required and the opportunities for scaling out. Discussion centered on strategies to scale out new technologies to more than 650,000 small-scale farmers by 2023.

At the end of the meeting, all participants agreed on an implantation plan that will be further refined at the national level during country-specific planning and review meetings.

Ethiopian Officials Praise CIMMYT Program on Eve of Second Phase

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Maize

By Seifu Mahifere/CIMMYT

The Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA) program has successfully completed its first phase with significant outputs that helped improve the food and nutritional security of smallholder farmers in eastern and southern Africa.

SIMLESA, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), was launched in 2010 to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farming communities in Africa through productive and sustainable maize-legume systems and risk management strategies that conserve natural resources. It is managed by CIMMYT and implemented by partners in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. With lessons from these core countries, the program is also implemented in Botswana, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda.

Australian Delegation Praises CIMMYT’s Global Achievements

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Visits to CIMMYT

By Miriam Shindler/CIMMYT

The Honorary Bronwyn Bishop, speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, commended CIMMYT’s impressive achievements during a visit to the El Batán campus on 16 January. Bishop was accompanied by Tim George, the Australian ambassador to Mexico, as well as three other members of the House of Representatives and a member of the Senate.

Tracking the adoption patterns in maize and legume farming system in Ethiopia

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, CIMMYT programs, Conservation Agriculture, Maize

DSC_5826_Group-photo-900x400Myths and cultural practices can block farmers’ acceptance of a new technology, particularly the principles of reduced tillage, residue retention, and cropping rotations that underlie conservation agriculture. This was one observation in a recent visit to farmers in four districts in Ethiopia by Australian International Food Security Centre (AIFSC) director, Mellissa Wood, and AIFSC Biosecurity and Food Safety Manager, Dennis Bittisnich.

SIMLESA scientists receive agronomy training in South Africa

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Events, Training

SIMLESA-ARC traineesFifteen young scientists from SIMLESA partner and spillover countries were recently trained by the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa (ARC-SA) on various aspects of agronomy and innovation learning platforms (ILePs), including conservation agriculture principles, nitrogen fixation, experimental design and field layout, agro-climatology principles, and data collection and analysis.

International Conservation Agriculture Forum in Yinchuan

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, Conservation Agriculture, Events

YinchuanrThe International Conservation Agriculture Forum, held at the Ningxia Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences in Yinchuan during 27-31 May, was attended by a significant number of provincial government officials and private sector representatives who joined to discuss national and international partnerships in farming system intensification, mechanization, nutrient-use efficiency, precision agriculture, and training; gain better understanding of what conservation agriculture is; jointly identify needs, priorities, and constraints to broad adoption of conservation agriculture in China; and explore the Cropping Systems Intensification Project for North Asia (CSINA).

Allen McHugh reports on conservation agriculture in China

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, Conservation Agriculture

caunews_ China3The past few weeks have been busy and interesting in China: preparing for the International Conservation Agriculture Forum in Yinchuan and work travels to Beijing, Yangling (Shaanxi province), and Xuchang (Henan province) are a sure way to keep oneself occupied.

Strengthening partnerships in Beijing

I travelled to Beijing during 2-4 May to discuss future cooperation between the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and the China Agricultural University (CAU) at a meeting with Jan Thomas, USQ vice-chancellor, and K.E. Bingsheng, CAU president, accompanied by the USQ delegation and CAU senior professors. What does this have to do with CIMMYT? Part of my mandate in China is to forge new partnerships, especially with universities seeking to expand internationally. This requires putting on the CIMMYT uniform to demonstrate presence and reinforce linkages with old and new colleagues. As a result, we hope to see a memorandum of understanding and the facilitation of staff and student exchanges between these universities, Ningxia institutions, and CIMMYT.

Giving power to African farmers: learning from the Indian experience

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Asia, collaborative projects

Bhopal 096From 29 April to 10 May, 16 agricultural engineers, agronomists, machinery importers, and machinery manufacturers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe took part in a study tour in India organized by CIMMYT, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and the Australian International Food Security Centre (AIFSC). The tour was organized as part of the “Farm Mechanization and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification” (FACASI) project to identify opportunities for exchange of technologies and expertise between India and Africa and strengthen South-South collaborations in the area of farm mechanization. The project is funded by AIFSC and managed by ACIAR.

SIMLESA progressing and gearing up for Phase II

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Events, Maize

Over 200 researchers, policy makers, donors, IMG_0883seed companies, and NGO representatives from Africa and Australia gathered in Chimoio, Mozambique, during 17-23 March 2013 for the third SIMLESA (Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa) annual regional planning and review meeting to discuss the project’s progress and achievements, share lessons learned throughout the last three years, and deliberate over better ways to design and implement future activities in the SIMLESA target (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique) and spillover countries (Botswana, Uganda, South Sudan, and Zambia).

Farm mechanization & conservation agriculture for sustainable intensification project launched

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Agronomy, Conservation Agriculture

DSC09052If asked “What is the most limiting factor to cereal production in sub-Saharan Africa,” most agronomists would say water, nitrogen, or phosphorus. Could farm power also have a place in this list? From 25 to 30 March 2013, a multidisciplinary group of 40 agronomists, agricultural engineers, economists, anthropologists, and private sector representatives from Kenya, Tanzania, Australia, India, and other countries attended a meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, to officially launch the ‘Farm Mechanization & Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification’ project, supported by the Australian International Food Security Centre (AIFSC) and managed by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The meeting focused largely on planning for activities that will take place in Kenya and Tanzania, but the project will eventually explore opportunities to accelerate the delivery and adoption of two-wheel tractors (2WTs) based conservation agriculture (CA) and other 2WT-based technologies (transport, shelling, threshing) by smallholders in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. This project will be implemented over the next four years by CIMMYT and its partners.

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