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About 50 % of Africans live on less than $1.25 per day
4-12% of GDP is lost from environmental degradation
85% from soil erosion, nutrient loss and changes in crops
On average 43 million tons of food costing about $7.5 billion is imported annually to feed the hungry High potential for Internal conflicts & political instability Sources: Chen & Ravallion(2007); FAO (2009; 2010)
Fertilizer use Average per hectare fertilizer use rates as kilograms of nutrients (NPK) by fertilizer markets in 2008/09 Source: IFDC; derived from FAO data
Relative cost of food aid To increase farmers access to seeds fertilizers for them to produce an extra ton of maize ($135)
To buy a ton of maize locally and distribute it ($320)
To buy, ship and distribute a ton of US maize in Africa
($812) Source: Sanchez, P. 2009: A smarter way to combat hunger. Nature, 458, 12.
As AGRA's largest program, the Soil Health Program (SHP) plays an integrative role in promoting soil health and farmer productivity AGRA, founded in 2006 in partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, is focused on catalyzing an African green revolution by promoting rapid and sustainable agricultural development among Africa's smallholder farmers. AGRA’s organization-wide goals for 2020 are:
Reduce food insecurity by 50% in at least 20 countries
Double the incomes of 20 million smallholder families
Put at least 15 countries on track for attaining and sustaining an African Green Revolution
AGRA’s Soil Health Program, was set up in early 2008 and became operational in 2009, with the following primary goals:
Efficient and economically sustainable supply of fertilizer to farmers in Africa
Uptake of appropriate ISFM technology packages by smallholder farmers
Create an enabling environment upon which other organizations can build and engage
1 2 3 1 2 3
AGRA’s SHP aims to achieve three primary outputs through 2014, with the ultimate outcome of increasing crop yields for over 2Mfarmers Activity Targets Outcome Goals Impact Goal Establishment of import finance guarantee facility to support and encourage competition among fertilizer importers and manufacturers in 3 countries Fertilizer Supply: 150,000-200,000 tons of additional fertilizer delivered to small farmers through wholesale and retail networks Over 4 million smallholder farmers provided with access to ISFM best practices, inputs, and markets, of which 2 million will have adopted them, to achieve 50-100% sustainable yield growth and improved farmer incomes Implementation of policy agendas in at least 6 countries to support adoption of fertilizer and ISFM practices Fertilizer Supply:15% reduction in gap between farm gate and market fertilizer prices2in AFAP countries 6,500 agro-dealers trained and functioning 80 extension and adaptive research projects targeting staple crops in 31 geographies in 16 major farming systems across 13 focal countries ISFM Extension: Initial adoption ofappropriate ISFM practices by more than 2 million smallholder farmers3 Assumptions: The impact goal is the result of both AGRA’s interventions targeting 2 million smallholder farmers as well as ASHP and strategic partners’ efforts to promote farmer access to knowledge, inputs, financing, and markets. These efforts include both direct and indirect efforts, such as extension demos, radio, and word-of-mouth. 170 MSc and PhD students trained by 2014/2015* 200 lab technicians trained and in service by 2014/20151 Notes: 1 At least 50% to be women; 2Controlling for changes in international fuel prices; 3 See appendix for additional details
Breadbasket Project SHP supports CA principles that incorporate the aspects of ISFM (organic and inorganic fertilizers, improved seeds, markets Some of the current grants have incorporated CA which include the use of conservation agriculture with trees Eight projects targeting 400,000 smallholder farmers (Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana and Mali) have been selected across different cropping systems and agro-ecological zones to pilot the CA investments Successes and lessons learnt from these sites will be critical for scaling out to other countries Workshop provided an opportunity to build the capacity of the project teams through interaction with CA experts and field visits
Some key questions on CA this week What is the most cost effect and practical ways of dealing with weeds? What cover crops to use in order to provide good soil cover for unimodal and bimodal rainfall? How to use herbicides in cropping systems that have diversified crops –intercropping What equipment can smallholder farmers use to replace the hoe/plough? What are the benefits that farmers should look for in season one, season two and so on? How to deal competition between livestock and cover crop issues? What lessons can we learn from the adoption process here ie move from 1,000 ha to 25 million ha in 40 years? How to win policy support?
Possible approaches for CA promotion Establishment of demonstration – engage lead farmers and early adopters Facilitate famers field days and farmer-to-farmer learning through their associations Support access to information through radio and print media; e-extension will be piloted in some regions Facilitate access to inputs (CA equipment, herbicides, seeds and fertilizers) through credit guarantee arrangements with input suppliers Train and re-tool extension workers through ‘hand-on’ short-term training events Forge strong partnerships- African Conservation Tillage Network, FAO etc. 12
You are the ‘Champions’ of the ISFM-CA Do not ‘fear’ to try, dream big and the first years of the projects will be on a learning curve Limited knowledge on CA should not be a hindrance-work with partners, outsource the expertise Yes, we can because we are many-Brazil started with 1!!