Jonathan Muriuki: Evergreen Agriculture in East Africa #BeatingFamine
EVERGREEN AGRICULTURE IN EAST AFRICA Jonathan Muriuki Presentation at the Beating Famine Conference ICRAF, Nairobi 11 April 2012
Presentation summary• Farming as usual – is it sustainable?• CAWT• Evergreen agriculture• Characterisation• Germplasm supply• Extension approaches• Knowledge management
HUMID Eastern Africa DRYLANDSHIGHLANDS Main features 81 % of total landHigh Pop. Density mass(Home to > 50 % ofregion’s pop) Significant in Kenya (75 %);Supply > 50 % ofregions staple & cash Tanzania &crops Ethiopia (50 %)Important water Pastoralism / Agro-towers pastoralismRainfed & irrigated Irrigated andagriculture rainfed agricultureMajor crops: Maize, Major crops:potato, banana, Sorghum, millet &wheat, coffee, tea, cassava, cottonarrow roots
Conventional Farming – This is how we produce food Trees are kept off cropland and soil is turned over leading to :- - Disruption of soil life - High surface area for moisture loss
Intensive Tillage destroys the biological and ecological integrity of the soil system.Before After AfterPrimary Primary SecondaryTillage Tillage Tillage“Earthworms are allergic to cold steel!” Credit: Mike Bell 15 July, 2003
Our high potential land is sloppy and vulnerable!Conventional farming on sloppy landswithout conservation leads to• Huge soil losses due to run-off• Quick degradation• Landslides and floods especially due to lack of tree roots
81% of the land is semi-arid and cycles of floods and droughtstogether with overgrazing leads to massive degradation
Permanent Minimum Soil Soil Cover DisturbanceCA is aConcept Conservationabout AgricultureInclusivenessand IntegrationSimultaneousApplication ofPractices Crop Rotations and Associations
True Conservation is carbon management.Conservation Agriculture provides beneficial ecosystem services:1. Food, fiber and biofuels2. Less erosion, less pollution, clean water, fresh air, healthy soil, natural fertility, higher production, carbon credits, beautiful landscape, sustainability etc., etc. …… Soil carbon is a priceless key to the planet’s health and our environmental quality.
A collective name for land use systems and practices in which woody perennials are deliberately integrated with crops and/or animals on the same land management unit either in a spatialAgroforestry mixture or in a temporal sequence resulting in both ecological and economic interactions between woody and non-woody components.
Types of Agroforestry1. Agroforests: combinations of perennial species on arable land2. Home gardens with perennials3. Woodlots or farm forests4. Sylvopastoral systems: Trees in pastures5. Trees on field and farm boundaries6. Evergreen Agriculture: Trees intercropped with field crops
What is Evergreen Agriculture?A form of more intensive farming that integrates trees with annual crops, maintaining a green cover on the land throughout the year.Evergreen farming systems are ‘double- story’ systems that feature both perennial and annual species (food crops and trees).
Trees incorporation into crop fields andagricultural landscapes may contribute toi. maintaining vegetative soil cover year-round (Boffa,1999),ii. bolstering nutrient supply through nitrogen fixation and nutrient cycling (Barnes and Fagg, 2003),iii. enhanced suppression of insect pests and weeds (Sileshi et al. 2006),iv. improved soil structure and water infiltration (Chirwa et al. 2007),v. greater direct production of food, fodder, fuel, fiber and income from products produced by the intercropped trees (Garrity, 2004),vi. enhanced carbon storage both above-ground and belowground (Makumba et al. 2007),vii. greater quantities of organic matter in soil surface residues (Akinnifesi et al. 2007), andviii. more effective conservation of above- and belowground biodiversity (Scherr and McNeeley, 2009).
Some examples of Evergreen Agriculture in EA• Fodder shrubs for balanced dairy nutrition (eg Caliandra in the East African Dairy Project)• Mango and other fruits intercropped in maize systems• Grevillia robusta intercropped in maize for timber, fodder & fuel• Faidherbia albida in maize production systems (CA being tested)• Intercropped coppicing leguminous trees in maize (eg Gliricidia in Malawi tested in Western Kenya and KIbwezi)• Relay-cropped leguminous species managed as annual green manure (eg Tephrosia) –
When integrated with CA, trees ensure1. Minimum soil disturbance. The roots of tree/shrub species and the soil fauna take over the tillage function, soil nutrient mobilization and balancing2. Adequate soil cover. The trees add biomass, which protects the soil and feeds the soil biota (i.e. biological plough). This also ensures better carbon storage than CA alone3. Trees in the rotation/ intercrop reduce weeds, insect pests and diseases; Thus increasing savings from inputs such as fertilizer and herbicides
For successful scaling up, an Evergreen agriculture programme needs Germplasm Practices Right species, Characterization Tree management Seeds, and seedling of typologies spacing, niches, CA, systems tree crop interactions, etc Knowledge to Action with further research (Rural resource centers) Support for Favorable policies, national scaling extension networks, up programmes capacity building at all levels Enabling environment
What have we learned from the impacts already achieved, and about the key farmer incentives for adoption?1. There are multiple benefits and repercussions on crop productivity, yield resilience, fodder production, fuelwood availability, timber as an income source, and systems sustainability.2. Scaling-up models will differ across agro- ecological zones and countries
A portfolio of projects in EA1. Sida funded CAWT – Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Ghana2. IFAD funded scalign up evergreen agriculture – Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Lesotho3. IFAD funded through CIMMYT - Enhancing total farm productivity – Building on SIMLESA - Kenya and Ethiopia
Characterizing typologiesLarge heterogeneity in performance of anyparticular AF technology, and hence the need tounderstand that ‘technology x context’ interaction• Socio-economic baselines• Land health baselines• Tree diversity surveys• Characterizing seed/seedling supply systems including testing potential of FMNR
Characterizing typologiesMachakos Mbarali Small farms average size of 1ha and 60% Bigger farms average size of 3ha but 41% experience food deficit at some point in experience food deficit at some point in the year the year Farmers plant exotic species Farmers protect indigenous species but Little knowledge of fertilizer trees many trees are old Half of seedlings sourced from own or Few exotic species planted for fruits and private nursery and one-fifth of trees fuelwood naturally regenerated Indigenous knowledge on F. albida as Demand for seedlings of some species fertilizer trees is common but not many outstrips supply and purchases are other species common The few planted trees mainly sourced Farmers lack knowledge on CA and little from project and school nurseries on AF Farmers lack knowledge on CA and little Several private nurseries recorded on AF and few have attended training on Farmers in collective action groups but farming technologies more focused on rural finance than Few private nurseries recorded and agriculture seedling purchase not common
Approaches for germplasm supply • Rural resource centres • Satelite nurseries and demonstrations in schools – healthy learning approach • Group nurseries • Individually operated nurseries (pseudo- extension) • FMNR approaches
Approaches for extensionGovernment as the default and most sustainable – ministryof agriculture (not forestry?)NGOs network – KENDAT, World Vision, others in TanzaniaApproaches – Landcare, rural resource centres, satelitenurseries (with healthy learning), farmer field schoolsDemonstrationsInnovative farmers and nursery operators
Demonstrations and participatory trials • At rural resource centres, satelite nurseries, ATCs • At least one per demonstration per intervention village • Also serve as participatory on-farm trials to test acceptance of technology • High replication to allow biophysical measurements with sufficient precision
Knowledge management and communication • To enhance scaling up and out • Conducting knowledge needs assessment, designing information sharing tools like print, electronic/digital and live folk media. • Developing appropriate knowledge and information sharing products (KISP) - include, print media; electronic/digital media to enhance information flow, learning and sharing at different levels of governance • Facilitating promotion of rural resource centres at district levels to enhance cross regional knowledge and information sharing. • Setting up of web pages within the ICRAF and other partner organizations websites and interactive sites such as phone- web system. • Communication strategy developed with all stakeholders
DRIVERS OF CHANGEEcosystem degradation can rarely be reversed withoutactions that address one or more indirect drivers ofchange: – public participation in decision-making – cultural factors – technological changeCollectively these factors influence the level ofproduction and consumption of ecosystem services andsustainability of the production base.