- Crop Research Programme
- Natural Resource Management (NRM) Programme
- Farming Systems Research and Socio-Economic (FSR/SE) Programme
- Livestock Research
- Northern Zone Agriculture Research Fund
- Northern Zone Policy
- Institute annual reports
The project aims at improving soil fertility and crop productivity in Tanzania's Northern and Eastern regions through intensification and diversification of pigeon-pea cropping systems, with the overarching objective of improving smallholder farmers livelihood systems.
Recent studies show that as the world’s population continues to increase into the next millennium assuring food security will be a major global challenge. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), declining soil fertility, land degradation and poor seed have been identified as the fundamental biophysical constraints to increasing food productivity and therefore per capita food production and incomes. The magnitude of soil fertility depletion on arable lands in the SSA region is one of the highest in the world. Within SSA, nutrient depletion is most severe on smallholder farms in semi-arid areas where soils are predominantly sandy and therefore inherently low in fertility.
The project builds on previous research investment between SARI, Ilonga and ICRISAT and aims at improving productivity of the cropping system through intensification of pigeon pea in the Northern and Central zones of Tanzania (SARI will take lead role), and Eastern Zone of Tanzania (Ilonga will take lead responsibility). SARI will be the grant recipient and it will be responsible for the disbursement of the funds earmarked for its partners and for the overall management of the project. The International Crops Research Institute for The Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) will provide technical backstopping, be actively involved in technology evaluation, dissemination, market development, support to seed system and elicit feedback for further refining and targeting of technologies.
A key feature of the systems intensification will be the use of fertilizers - supplemental application of P – based fertilizer to both the maize and the pigeon pea. Appropriate rates will be determined through adaptive trials involving students. Intensification of pigeon pea in the intercropping system with maize will result into increased nitrogen fixation that will benefit the maize crop as well as increased productivity of pigeon pea. Use of micro-dosing of P-based fertilizer will result in further improvement in nitrogen fixation.
The project is funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) through its Soil Health Program for a period of 3 years, ending in 2012.
The project implementation team is led by Stephen Lyimo, assisted by Rose Ubwe and Joseph Mligo (see Contact Page for their contact numbers and email addresses).