Area: Mozambique (801,590 km2) and Tanzania (947,303 km2)
Participants: ISA-ULisboa (Portugal), Agricultural Research Council of South Africa (ARC), National Agricultural Research Institutes (NAR’s) in Mozambique and Tanzania through SIMLESA country coordination – Instituto de Investigação Agraria de Mozambique (IIAM-Centro Zonal Centro) and Tanzanian Agricultural Research Institute Faculty of Agriculture of the Instituto Superior Politecnico de Manica Mozambique, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT-Harare)
Products: Legumes and maize
Intensification drivers: Population growth, improving household food security and income prospects, climate change, producing more with less, improve land and labour productivity, improve risk management
Report: Please download the complete Light Case Study report here.
Mozambique and Tanzania have substantial agroecological conditions for maize and legume production with potential production as high as 10 t/ha for maize and up to 3 t/ha for legumes. Despite vast agricultural potential, mainly concentrated across both countries main agricultural breadbaskets, average yields for both crops are far lower than their potential and average continents yields.
In both countries, agriculture is mainly rain fed, and characterized by low soil fertility, use of unimproved varieties, poor access to inputs (including quality seed of improved varieties and fertilizers), dysfunctional agricultural markets and weak research and extension services.
Initiatives, such as the SIMLESA project and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), have been actively involved in helping farmers increase their yields and food security prospects through the promotion of maize-legume cropping systems. Nevertheless, data from technology adoption in the region, especially regarding the state of knowledge on sustainable intensification (SI) promotion and the key entry points to guarantee its successful and widespread uptake is still scarce.
In this light case study, ISA-ULisboa and ARC-RSA, ProIntensAfrica partners, and the SIMLESA country coordination offices at the NAR’s in Mozambique and Tanzania, including Instituto Superior Politecnico de Manica, who is part of the Mozambique IIAM led SIMLESA implementation consortium, including agroforestry solutions, had collaborated. A mixed methodology combining, literature review, virtual interviews with key informants and a stakeholder meeting were used.
The current case study was built under the assumption that understanding the linkage between farmers’ biophysical circumstances, resources’ use behaviour and its consequences on farm decisions is critical to successfully downscale complex and knowledge intensive technological packages such as SI into locally feasible practices. The case study identified the key drivers for intensification, the potential for innovation across contrasting farm typologies, and the farming environments diversity.
This study recommends using simple and flexible mutually exclusive farm typologies that are reflective of farmers contrasting biophysical and socioeconomic circumstances to co-design SI implementation and adoption profiles that will be the basis to tailor SI to each group needs. In addition, typology tailored agricultural interventions can add value to current farming systems design by providing farmers with the tools they need to improve their systems. Lastly, building better synergies between local actors is also considered fundamental in harmonizing SI concepts and intervention strategies.