CIMMYT and IITA collaborate to increase adoption of conservation agriculture in southern Africa

CIMMYT-IITAThe International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) recently launched a project that aims to research the drivers and barriers to adoption of conservation agriculture in southern Africa, and to develop strategies for achieving adoption and impact at scale.

The project, Understanding and Enhancing Adoption of Conservation Agriculture in Smallholder Farming Systems of Southern Africa (ACASA), will apply social and scaling science to understand the biophysical, socioeconomic, institutional, and policy drivers and barriers to the adoption of conservation agriculture technologies and practices.

The ACASA project is supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and will be implemented in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in collaboration with partners and farmers in the region.

The project was officially launched online on September 16, 2020. Zambia’s Minister of Agriculture, Michael Katambo, noted that it is a timely intervention, as the livelihoods and food security of smallholder farmers in southern Africa are increasingly being threatened by climate change and variability, which have led to a steady decline in the production of food staples and an increase in the number of food and nutrition-insecure people.

“It is now clear that current productivity and production levels cannot be expected to meet our requirements for food and nutrition security,” Katambo said in a speech read on his behalf by Moses Mwale, Director of the Department of Agriculture. “Conservation agriculture has a proven potential to increase and stabilize crop yields, and to support sustainable and resilient production systems and rural livelihoods.” continue reading