Time filter

Source Type

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 11 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. Source

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. Source

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. Source

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. Source

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. Source

Discover hidden collaborations