1st Edition

Agro-Ecological Intensification of Agricultural Systems in the African Highlands

Edited By Bernard Vanlauwe, Piet van Asten, Guy Blomme Copyright 2013
    336 Pages 90 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    There is an urgent need to increase agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa in a sustainable and economically-viable manner. Transforming risk-averse smallholders into business-oriented producers that invest in producing surplus food for sale provides a formidable challenge, both from a technological and socio-political perspective. 

    This book addresses the issue of agricultural intensification in the humid highland areas of Africa – regions with relatively good agricultural potential, but where the scarce land resources are increasingly under pressure from the growing population and from climate change. 

    In addition to introductory and synthesis chapters, the book focuses on four themes: system components required for agricultural intensification; the integration of components at the system level; drivers for adoption of technologies towards intensification; and the dissemination of complex knowledge. It provides case studies of improved crop and soil management for staple crops such as cassava and bananas, as well as examples of how the livelihoods of rural people can be improved. 

    The book provides a valuable resource for researchers, development actors, students and policy makers in agricultural systems and economics and in international development. It highlights and addresses key challenges and opportunities that exist for sustainable agricultural intensification in the humid highlands of sub-Saharan Africa.

    1. Agro-ecological Intensification of Farming Systems in the East and Central African Highlands 

    Bernard Vanlauwe, Guy Blomme and Piet van Asten 

    2. Agricultural Intensification and the Food Security Challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa 

    Brian A. Keating, Peter S. Carberry and John dixon 

    3. The Agro-ecological Solution?! Food Security and Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an Emphasis on the East African Highlands 

    Henk Breman 

    Theme 1: Systems Components 

    4. CIALCA Interventions for Productivity Increase of Cropping System Components in the African Great Lakes Zone 

    Pieter Pypers et al. 

    5. Exploring the Scope of Fertilizer Use in the East African Region 

    Lydia Wairegi and Piet van Asten 

    6. The 4R Nutrient Stewardship in the Context of Smallholder Agriculture in Africa 

    Shamie Zingore and Adrian Johnston 

    7. Mitigating the Impact of Biotic Constraints to Build Resilient Banana Systems in Central and Eastern Africa 

    Rony Swennen et al. 

    8. Challenges for the Improvement of Seed Systems for Vegetatively Propagated Crops in Eastern Africa 

    Julian Smith, Daniel Coyne and Elmar Schulte-Geldermann 

    Theme 2: System Integration 

    9. CIALCA's Efforts on Integrating Farming System Components and Exploring Related Trade-offs 

    Piet van Asten et al. 

    10. Towards Ecologically Intensive Smallholder Farming Systems: Design, Scales and Trade-offs Evaluation 

    Pablo Tittonell 

    11. Using the ‘Livestock Ladder’ as a Means for Poor Crop–livestock Farmers to Exit Poverty in Sud-Kivu Province, Eastern DR Congo 

    Brigitte L. Maass et al. 

    12. N2Africa: Putting Nitrogen Fixation to Work for Smallholder Farmers in Africa 

    Ken E. Giller et al. 

    13. Integrating Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in East African Coffee Ecosystems 

    Henk van Rikxoort et al. 

    Theme 3: Drivers for Adoption 

    14. Agricultural Technology Diffusion and Adoption in Banana and Legume Based Systems of Central Africa 

    Emily Ouma et al. 

    15. Supply and Demand Drivers of the Sustainable Intensification of Farming Systems through Grain Legumes in Central, Eastern and Southern Africa 

    Joseph Rusike et al. 

    16. Assessing and Improving the Nutritional Diversity of Cropping Systems 

    Roseline Remans et al. 

    17. Disseminating Agroforestry Innovations in Cameroon: Are Relay Organizations Effective? 

    Ann Degrande et al. 

    18. Participatory Re-introduction of Vicia Faba Beans in Resource-poor Farming Systems: Adoption of a Farmer-led Initiative 

    Erik Karltun et al. 

    Theme 4: Communicating and Disseminating Complex Knowledge 

    19. Walking the Impact Pathway: CIALCA’s Efforts to Mobilize Agricultural Knowledge for the African Great Lakes Region 

    Boudy van Schagen et al.

    20. Scalability and Farmer Heterogeneity: Implications for Research on Sustainable Intensification 

    John Lynam 

    21. Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D): An Approach to Enhance the Livelihoods of Smallholder Farmers in the Lake Kivu Region 

    Robin Buruchara et al. 

    22. Communication Channels Used in Dissemination of Soil Fertility Management Practices in the Central Highlands of Kenya 

    Sarah W. Kimaru-Muchai et al. 

    23. Targeting Farmers’ Priorities for Effective Agricultural Intensification in the Humid Highlands of Eastern Africa 

    Jeremias Mowo et al. 



    Bernard Vanlauwe is the director for Central Africa and Natural Resource Management at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), based in Nairobi, Kenya. 

    Piet van Asten is a systems agronomist at IITA-Uganda working on sustainable intensification of perennial-based cropping systems (coffee, banana, cocoa) in Africa's humid zones, based in Kampala, Uganda. 

    Guy Blomme is a Bioversity International scientist working on germplasm and integrated disease management for more resilient and productive banana-based cropping systems in east and central Africa, based in Kampala, Uganda.