The project addresses the problem of low production due to soil infertility and mono-cropping in Singida District in Tanzania. These factors contribute to food insecurity by reducing access to and quality of food consumed. Soil nutrients are depleted due to increased population and continuous cultivation of land and with little or no crop rotation and inadequate addition of external organic and inorganic fertilizers. Opportunities for legume integration to intensify and diversify production and improve soil fertility will be explored in the project, with a focus on the production of pigeonpea. RECODA has introduced pigeonpea in four villages in Singida District. The response has been positive and the farmers are adopting the new technology. The new project will build on this experience and will introduce intercropping of pigeonpea or other legumes with sorghum and maize among the small scale farmers in four other villages in Singida. Farmer groups will be established and facilitated to interact with each other and with researchers and agricultural extension officers in a farmer research network. Pathways of information sharing will be analysed, especially in relation to how these pathways affect adoption of the introduced technologies and contribute to sustainability. The project will also seek to understand the gender dynamics that affect adoption of pigeonpea at the household level.
The project aims to identify solutions to low productivity due to soil infertility and mono-cropping which contributes to food and nutrition insecurity in Singida District in Tanzania. It is expected that by the end of the project farmers will have enhanced knowledge of options for improving productivity through legume/cereal intercropping. Lessons will be learned on factors affecting the smooth functioning of farmer research networks. In addition, the most effective ways of generating and sharing information within and between communities will be documented. The outputs will lead to the following expected outcomes:Involvement of women in the testing and adoption of technologies which enhance food security and income within the householdFarmers produce sorghum and or maize intercropped with pigeon peas in an efficient and sustainable wayExistence of farmer networks with research knowledge and with understanding of the benefits of intercroppingEnhanced use of the effective pathways of collecting and sharing information of within the different gender groups in ensuring food security