Monthly Archives: March 2013

Sustainable intensification explained: How Rhoda Mang’Anya made it work in Malawi

The story of Rhoda Mang’Anya, a farmer in Malawi, is one of the best examples of possible pathways to sustainable intensification. Although it is not a story from Africa RISING, it illustrates very well the kind of pathways that Africa RISING would like to enable.

Rhoad Mang’Anya acquired her half-hectare plot in the early 1990′s. The plot was divided between a ‘winter season’ plot and a garden, where she had planted maize.

At the time, Rhoda was struggling with the poor fertility of her soil. She planted ground nuts and pigeon peas to improve soil nitrogen. In 1994, she benefited from an NGO support program to plant five different tree species (among which faidherbia albida, tephrosia, Gliricidia) which improved the soil fertility and provided good fuel and fodder without requiring intensive labor.

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Intercropping ‘boosts maize yields by 50 per cent’

Growing leguminous trees on maize farms — a form of agroforestry — can boost and stabilise maize yields, a 12-year study in Malawi and Zambia has found.

The researchers behind the study, from the Kenya-based World Agroforestry Centre and the University of Pretoria, South Africa, say this is the first analysis of long-term crop yield trends in cereal-legume agroforestry systems in Southern Africa.

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KENYA: Experts rally for agroforestry, commercial tree farming

In 2010 and 2009, Kenya lost a whopping 5.8 billion Kenya shillings (US$68 million) and 6.6 billion shillings ($77 million), respectively, to deforestation, a new report released by the government and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reveals.

This is despite the fact that forestry-related commercial activities brought just 1.3 billion shillings into the national economy in the same period.

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NADMO calls for adoption of FMNR Concept to fight desertification

The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) has called for the need for communities to adopt the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) concept of the World Vision to fight desertification. The FMNR involves selecting and pruning stems regenerating from stumps of naturally grown trees on the field to give them more space to grow.

A Deputy Chief Disaster Control Officer of NADMO in the Upper East Regional Directorate, Mr Paul Wooma, said this the International Day for Disaster Reduction held at Awaradone in the Talensi District over the weekend. He said the FMNR had proved to be more reliable, cheaper and sustainable than the usual conventional methods of tree planting saying about five hundred acres of forest reserve had been created in the Talensi-Nabdam District of the Upper East Region within two and a half years under the Farmer Managed and Natural Regeneration (FMNR) programme.

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Time to embrace evergreen agriculture?

Has the time come for abandoning the green revolution and embracing the idea of ‘evergreen agriculture’? Hans R. Herren, President of the Millennium Institute in Washington and President of the Biovision Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, thinks so.

In his keynote address at the International Scientific Seminar on “Can GM Crops Meet India’s Food Security and Export Markets?” — organised against the background of the Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biodiversity meeting here next month — Professor Herren said the agriculture was at crossroads globally.

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Trees breathing new life into French agriculture