Impact Magazine: Towards Africa’s Agricultural Transformation – AGRA 2018

Since 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and its partners have worked across Africa to deliver a set of proven solutions to smallholder farmers and thousands of indigenous African agriculture enterprises. The alliance has built the systems and tools for Africa’s agriculture: high quality seeds, better soil health, access to markets and credit, and coupled by stronger farmer organizations and agriculture policies. This impact magazine (January – April, 2018 edition) highlights the key interventions that AGRA is implementing with the goal of transforming Africa’s agriculture. Among them include supporting and partnering with both the public and private sectors to develop the systems that ensure sustained availability, delivery and adoption of improved seed and fertilizers, with a particular focus on getting these inputs into the hands of women farmers. AGRA is also working to develop the capacity of local agri-businesses to access markets, support local and national financial institutions. this includes providing affordable financing to smallholder farmers and local SMEs in a bid to transform farms and businesses into sustainable and profitable enterprises. Additionally, resilience building, policy and country support remained priority areas in the reporting period. Get the full publication here

Agriculture, food security and nutrition in Malawi: Leveraging the links – IFPRI 2018

Although the Malawian food supply is shaped largely by trends in smallholder food crop production, Malawi’s decades-long focus on improving smallholder productivity has only moderately improved food security and nutrition outcomes. Country statistics indicate an estimated 36.7 percent of rural Malawian households failed to access sufficient calories between 2010 and 2011. During the same period, 47 percent of children under the age of five years were estimated to be stunted in their growth. These indicators imply that some Malawian diets are lacking in terms of quantity (total calories consumed), and most are lacking in terms of quality (sufficient calories derived from nutrient-dense foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, fruits, and vegetables). Good nutrition requires both enough total calories (quantity) and enough vitamins and minerals per calorie (quality). How can Malawi better leverage its smallholder agriculture sector to improve nutrition? This report provides a series of primary and secondary data analyses that examine different aspects of this question. Get the full publication here

Footprints of Africa RISING Phase 1: 2011 – 2016

The Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation
(Africa RISING) program comprises three regional research-in-development projects supported by the United States Agency for International Development as part of the US Government’s Feed the Future initiative. Inaugurated in late 2011 and currently in its second phase (since September 2016), the purpose of Africa RISING is to provide pathways out of hunger and poverty for smallholder farm families through sustainably
intensified farming systems that sufficiently improve food, nutrition and income security, particularly for women and children, and conserve or enhance the natural resource base. During the 1st phase of the program, many plausible options developed across the program have proven viable, from high-value fruits and vegetables, improved livestock, feed and forage management, and improved crop varieties and agronomic practices, through to farm- and landscape-scale natural resource management practices. Tens of thousands of farmers across the continent have a much-expanded ability to make decisions that will launch them on their chosen
pathways out of poverty and food and nutrition insecurity, while allowing them to protect the natural resources essential for the next generation of farmers. Get the full publication here

Genome Editing – the what, how and why

Genome or gene editing refers to the practice of making precise changes to the genetic code of an organism in order to alter its phenotypic traits. A combination of naturally
occurring molecular tools, e.g. CRISPR-Cas9, purposefully redesigned for every specific
edit, and the cell’s own DNA repair mechanisms are used to accurately identify, cut and
repair the target sequence. The infographic by Biosafety South Africa summarizes what genome editing is, how it is done and why it is needed. Get the full publication here