Time filter

Source Type

Rusike J.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture | Mahungu N.M.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture | Jumbo S.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture | Sandifolo V.S.,University of Malawi | Malindi G.,Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
Food Policy | Year: 2010

Cassava in Malawi is the second most important staple food crop after maize. This paper assesses the impact of agricultural research for development approach in Malawi on cassava yields, per capita area planted to cassava and household calorie intake from cassava and maize. Given the growing interest over the past decade in agricultural research for development as an innovation systems approach for improving the delivery of research-derived benefits to smallholder farmers and having impact in Africa, this paper provides empirical evidence as to the effects of this framework. The paper concludes that Malawi's cassava research for development has contributed to measurable gains in area planted to cassava, cassava yields and household caloric intake. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

Wang C.-P.,Northwest University, China | Wang C.-P.,Henan University of Science and Technology | Chen Q.,Northwest University, China | Luo K.,Northwest University, China | And 3 more authors.
African Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2011

Sitobion avenae is the dominant and destructive pest in wheat production regions in China. Therefore, breeders developed new and high resistant varieties to ensure stable yields. In this paper, thirteen comprehensive agronomic characteristics of twenty-two wheat germplasm resources were investigated, and the data for the resources collected in the latest two years were treated with Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS method) and cluster analysis. The priority order of alternatives ranks obtained from the TOPSIS method and aphid index analysis is the same. The order of alternatives ranks is as follows: Yumai70>Amigo>186Tm>Xiaoyan22>PI>Donghan1>98-10-35>...>Datang991>Qianjinzao. It was also found that the examined 22 wheat germplasm resources could be agglomerated into four clusters. Five good germplasm, namely 186Tm, Yumai70, AMIGO, Xiaoyan22, 98-10-35, could be used directly or as parents for breeding wheat varieties for resistance to S. avenae. Furthermore, the results showed TOPSIS analysis and cluster analysis are highly consistent with each other. But TOPSIS method is the best comprehensive method for the evaluation of resistance in wheat breeding to the aphids. © 2011 Academic Journals.

Kalanda-Joshua M.,University of Malawi | Ngongondo C.,University of Malawi | Chipeta L.,University of Malawi | Mpembeka F.,Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
Physics and Chemistry of the Earth | Year: 2011

Subsistence rain fed agriculture underpins rural livelihoods in the Sub Saharan Africa. The overdependence on rainfall suggests the need for more reliable climate and weather forecasts to guide farm level decision making. Traditionally, African farmers have used indigenous knowledge (IK) to understand weather and climate patterns and make decisions about crops and farming practices. However, increased rainfall variability in recent years associated with climate change has reduced their confidence in indigenous knowledge, hence reducing their adaptive capacity and increasing their vulnerability to climate change. To address this problem, researchers are advocating the integration of indigenous knowledge into scientific climate forecasts at the local level, where it can be used to enhance the resilience of communities vulnerable to climate change. A study was therefore conducted to establish commonly used IK indicators in weather and climate forecasting and people's perceptions of climate change and variability in Nessa Village, Southern Malawi. We further compared the people's perceptions on climate change and variability with empirical evidence from a nearby weather station during 1971-2003 and the major constraints that the people face to fully utilise conventional weather and climate forecasts. Our results show various forms of traditional indicators that have been used to predict weather and climate for generations. These include certain patterns and behaviour of flora and fauna as well as environmental conditions. We further established that the peoples documentation of major climatic events over the years in the area agreed with the empirical evidence from the temperature and rainfall data. Overall, rainfall in the area has reduced since 1971 with increasing temperatures. The people were however of the view that current scientific weather and climate predictions in Malawi were not that useful at village level because they do not incorporate IK. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Omondi P.A.,Climate Prediction and Applications Center | Awange J.L.,Curtin University Australia | Forootan E.,University of Bonn | Ogallo L.A.,Climate Prediction and Applications Center | And 12 more authors.
International Journal of Climatology | Year: 2014

Recent special reports on climate extremes have shown evidences of changes in the patterns of climate extremes at global, regional and local scales. Understanding the characteristics of climate extremes at regional and local levels is critical not only for the development of preparedness and early warning systems, but is also fundamental in the development of any adaptation strategies. There is still very limited knowledge regarding the past, present and future patterns of climate extremes in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA). This study, which was supported by the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (WB-GFDRR) and implemented by the World Meteorological Organization, was organized in terms of three workshops with three main objectives; (1) analysis of daily rainfall and temperature extremes for ten countries in the GHA region using observed in situ data running from 1971 to 2006, (2) assessing whether the United Kingdom Met-office and Hadley centre Providing REgional Climates for Impact Studies (UK-PRECIS) modelling system can provide realistic representation of the past and present climate extremes as observed by available in situ data, and (3) studying the future regional climate extremes under different scenarios to further assess the expected changes in climate extremes. This paper, therefore, uses the outputs of these workshops and also includes post-workshop analyses to assess the changes of climate extremes within the GHA. The results showed a significant decrease in total precipitation in wet days greater than 1mm and increasing warm extremes, particularly at night, while cold extremes are decreasing. Considering a combination of geophysical models and satellite gravimetry observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission in the frame of GRACE daily Kalman-smoothing models, for the years 2002 to 2010, we explored a decline in total water storage variations over the GHA. © 2013 Royal Meteorological Society.

Bentley J.W.,Agricultural anthropologist | Robson M.,FAO | Sibale B.B.,Center for Development Management | Nkhulungo E.,Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security | And 2 more authors.
Human Ecology | Year: 2012

Humans, animals and plants suffer from similar types of diseases (e. g., fungal, viral etc.). These can "emerge" as new diseases by expanding their geographical range or by jumping species (from plants to plants, or from animals to humans). Emerging diseases place an additional burden on developing countries which are often struggling to manage the diseases they already have. New diseases spread through weather, insects or other vectors, or by the movement of people, animals or goods. This study examines the role of cross-border travel in the spread of diseases. A survey of travelers and of residents along the Malawi-Mozambique border found that most cross it frequently and that they rarely travel empty-handed, often taking plants and animals with them. People also cross borders seeking medical attention. Attempting to limit travel would hamper an already struggling economy, where many people make a living by producing, processing or transporting plants and animals for food. Cross border travel per se may pose slight danger for the spread of diseases, if governments can collaborate on sharing information about the status of diseases within their border. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Lipper L.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO | Thornton P.,Kenya International Livestock Research Institute | Thornton P.,Copenhagen University | Campbell B.M.,Copenhagen University | And 23 more authors.
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2014

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural systems to support food security under the new realities of climate change. Widespread changes in rainfall and temperature patterns threaten agricultural production and increase the vulnerability of people dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, which includes most of the world's poor. Climate change disrupts food markets, posing population-wide risks to food supply. Threats can be reduced by increasing the adaptive capacity of farmers as well as increasing resilience and resource use efficiency in agricultural production systems. CSA promotes coordinated actions by farmers, researchers, private sector, civil society and policymakers towards climate-resilient pathways through four main action areas: (1) building evidence; (2) increasing local institutional effectiveness; (3) fostering coherence between climate and agricultural policies; and (4) linking climate and agricultural financing. CSA differs from 'business-as-usual' approaches by emphasizing the capacity to implement flexible, context-specific solutions, supported by innovative policy and financing actions. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Ngwira A.R.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Aune J.B.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Mkwinda S.,Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
Field Crops Research | Year: 2012

Low crop yields due to continuous monocropping and deteriorating soil health in smallholder farmers' fields of sub-Saharan Africa have led to a quest for sustainable production practices with greater resource use efficiency. The aim of the study was to elucidate the short term effects of conservation agriculture (CA) systems on soil quality, crop productivity and profitability. In Balaka market and Ntonda sections of Manjawira Extension Planning Area (EPA), in Ntcheu district, central Malawi, we compared continuous monocropped maize (Zea mays) under conventional tillage practice (CP) with different CA systems in continuous monocropped maize (CAM) and intercropping with pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) (CAMP), Mucuna pruriens (CAMM), and Lablab purpureus (L.) (Sweet) (CAML). The study was conducted from 2008 to 2011 in 72 plots in 24 farmers' fields. In Balaka market section CA plots with maize+legumes produced up to 4.3Mgha -1 of vegetative biomass against 3.5Mgha -1 for maize alone in CP. In Ntonda section CA plots with maize+legumes produced up to 4.6Mgha -1 of vegetative biomass against 2.4Mgha -1 for maize alone in CP. In both sections, during the entire study period, CA did not have a negative effect on crop yields. During the drier seasons of 2009/10 and 2010/11, CA had a positive effect on maize grain yield at both sites (average yield of 4.4 and 3.3Mgha -1 in CA and CP respectively). However, associating maize with legumes reduced maize yields compared to CAM particularly in drier years of 2009-10 and 2010-11. Farmers spent at most 47daysha -1 producing maize under CA systems compared to 65daysha -1 spent under conventional tillage practices. However, total variable costs were higher in CA systems compared to conventional practice (at most US$416 versus US$344ha -1). CAMP resulted in more than double gross margin compared to CPM (US$705 versus US$344ha -1). Infiltration estimated as time to pond was highest in CA maize legume intercrops (8.1s) than CP (6.8s). Although it was not feasible to directly estimate effects on water balances of these farmer-managed experiments, it can be assumed that the yield differences between CA and CP could be attributed to tillage and crop residue cover since other farm operations were generally the same. Intercropping maize and pigeonpea under CA presents a win-win scenario due to crop yield improvement and attractive economic returns provided future prices of maize and pigeonpea grain remain favourable. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Matekere E.C.,Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security | Lema N.M.,University of Dar es Salaam
Irrigation and Drainage Systems | Year: 2011

Application of indicator-based management tools to evaluate performance and taking measures to mitigate the negative effects on project performance contributes to improvement. This research paper presents the findings of the analysis of performance of public funded smallholder irrigation projects in Tanzania with the aim to inform improvement actions. Through opinion survey of a sample of policy or decision makers and implementers of projects, and a case study of 16 smallholder irrigation projects, conceptual and physical data were collected and analyzed. The findings show that performance assessment in irrigation sub-sector in Tanzania is ad hoc, fragmented and done mainly during the construction phase, in donor funded projects. Seventy percent of 20 highly ranking performance indicators considered suitable in Tanzania also have high potential to improve project performance in the Tanzanian irrigation industry. These indicators constitute the key performance determinants. Forty percent of performance indicators currently used in Tanzania, which include the traditional time and cost indicators, are considered not significant in improving performance. Time and cost overrun of 16 investigated projects was in the tune of 50% and 8% respectively. The factors affecting project performance are diverse but interrelated, with possible common root causes, and effects cutting across various project processes. The mitigation measures are also interrelated and cut across project processes, and therefore, require integrative approaches. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Loading Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security collaborators
Loading Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security collaborators