West Africa call for concept notes

Published on:

January 29, 2014

Community of Practice:

West Africa

We are no longer accepting concept notes related to this call.

The McKnight Foundation Collaborative Crop Research Program will make funds available to support three to five new collaborative projects in the CCRP’’s West Africa Community of Practice which is active in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The new projects aim to complement the existing regional portfolio with projects that focus on legumes with a clear systems perspective and that target one or more of the below-stated thematic priorities for funding.

Thematic priorities for project funding:
The present priority theme for funding in West Africa is agroecological intensification (AEI) of sorghum and pearl millet cropping systems in our target countries Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. Agroecological intensification means improving the performance of agriculture through integration of ecological principles into farm and system management. Depending on the context, improved performance may include any or all of the following: increased productivity, enhanced use of local resources, maximized returns from external inputs, improved stability and diversity of yields with associated increases in resilience and environmental service provision from farmed landscapes. Agroecological approaches that build on farmers’ knowledge and traditional farming practices are expected to significantly contribute to food sufficiency, poverty reduction, and environmental conservation. Priority will be given to research that focuses on legumes and that enhances fit and interaction of system components for maximum productivity gains from AEI, and/or research that enhances probability of AEI-technology transfer; for example: Targeted diversification of production systems with legumes; Legume genetic improvement targeting the diverse farmer preferences and legume uses including breeding for intercropping systems, possibly combined with genomics-based breeding approaches where appropriate; Integrated genetic and natural resource management – exploiting genotype × environment × management × social factors interaction to match options to specific contexts; Integrated pest management;Better crop-livestock-tree integration, including research on dual purpose or fodder crops; Strengthening of local legume value chains; Linking agriculture with nutrition; Social innovations strengthening local communities to evaluate and adapt technologies to their own needs and leading to contextualized scaling.

Concept notes should be submitted to Kaying Vang, kvang@mcknight. org, by February 22th 2014.