The development, testing, and adaptation of innovations will be conducted alongside national partners, thereby enhancing collaboration and building national research capacity. Research also takes place within rural communities on farmer fields to demonstrate the positive impacts that the initiative’s interventions generate. This on-farm participatory research approach ensures that technologies are adapted to production environments and the requirements of smallholder farmers.
Research will be assisted by the use of GIS and geo-statistics: these tools will be used to undertake similarity mapping of land use, conduct spatial analyses of the distribution of pests and disease, and target technology testing and demonstrations. The initiative’s approach will also incorporate socio-economics to identify the key constraints limiting the adoption of new technologies in rural communities.
The Program is also aligned with several CGIAR Research Programs, informing and benefiting from these research platforms in the following areas: promoting adaption to climate variability and change; improving water productivity through supplemental irrigation and conservation agriculture; and genetically improving food legume and wheat germplasm.
Research impacts will be continually monitored and measured to ensure that the initiative is contributing to poverty reduction, food security, health and nutrition, and long-term sustainability. Establishing baselines for technology adoption, productivity, and household socio-economic status, and monitoring these through surveys and assessments are an integral component of the research program.
A procedure for monitoring the adoption of these technologies and the impacts of the technologies on food security and rural livelihoods will be implemented. The productivity gaps and trends will be monitored and the factors determining productivity gaps will be evaluated and provide to policy-makers.
Particular attention will also be paid to women: efforts will be made to understand the role of women in the region’s production systems, and strategies will be developed to more effectively include women in decision making related to natural resource management, production, processing, and marketing.