Development actors, including the African Union, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and bilateral donors, promote a technology-driven sustainable intensification of agriculture as a way to feed a growing world population and reduce rural poverty. A broader view of smallholder agriculture in the context of rural livelihoods suggests that technological solutions alone are […]
In this short video, Ric Coe introduces the concepts of options by context interactions by describing the more standard “genotype by environment” interactions that plant breeders use, and then generalising the idea.
This video discusses some of the issues surrounding the design of experiments when considering options by context interactions, including how to decide what ‘options’ to test, and the contexts in which to test them.
Communication is vital when conducting experiments with farmers. This video discusses some of the issues of how, why and particularly what to communicate when working with farmers. We also make the case for a detailed written protocol to communicate the details of the design to yourself and others. Written by Ric Coe Designed by Emma […]
Replication is often a point of confusion for researchers. Often, researchers conducting on-farm trials will simply say “the farms / farmers are my replicates” and leave it at that. This video discusses why this is not a good idea, and why you need to think more carefully about where your replicates are in your design […]
This video gives some examples of how to look at data from on-farm trials in a slightly different way, enabling you to get more information from the data. We also discuss how to design your trial to make it as easy as possible to get useful and relevant information from the results. Written by Ric […]
Assessing how livelihoods in rural sub-Saharan Africa might change given future trends in socio-economic and biophysical conditions helps to identify and direct effective efforts towards poverty reduction. Based on existing literature, hypothetical changes in farmer practices and policy interventions were described and used to build five contrasting scenarios towards the year 2027.
The large diversity of farms and farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa calls for agricultural improvement options that are adapted to the context in which smallholder farmers operate. The socio-ecological niche concept incorporates the agro-ecological, socio-cultural, economic and institutional dimensions and the multiple levels of this context in order to identify which options fit best. In […]
The World Bank argued that West Africa’s Guinea Savannah zone forms part of “Africa’s Sleeping Giant,” where increases in agricultural production could be an engine of economic growth, through expansion of cultivated land in sparsely populated areas. The district of Bougouni, in southern Mali, falls within this zone. We used multiple data sources including a […]
Options that contribute to sustainable intensification offer an avenue to improve crop yields and farmers’ livelihoods. However, insufficient knowledge on the performance of various options in the context of smallholder farm systems impedes local adaptation and adoption. Therefore, together with farmers in southern Mali we tested a range of options for sustainable intensification including intensification […]