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Publications (16)65.5 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Simultaneously addressing multiple Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has the potential to complement essential health interventions to accelerate gains in child survival. The Millennium Villages project is an integrated multisector approach to rural development operating across diverse sub-Saharan African sites. Our aim was to assess the effects of the project on MDG-related outcomes including child mortality 3 years after implementation and compare these changes to local comparison data. Village sites averaging 35,000 people were selected from rural areas across diverse agroecological zones with high baseline levels of poverty and undernutrition. Starting in 2006, simultaneous investments were made in agriculture, the environment, business development, education, infrastructure, and health in partnership with communities and local governments at an annual projected cost of US$120 per person. We assessed MDG-related progress by monitoring changes 3 years after implementation across Millenium Village sites in nine countries. The primary outcome was the mortality rate of children younger than 5 years of age. To assess plausibility and attribution, we compared changes to reference data gathered from matched randomly selected comparison sites for the mortality rate of children younger than 5 years of age. Analyses were done on a per-protocol basis. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01125618. Baseline levels of MDG-related spending averaged $27 per head, increasing to $116 by year 3 of which $25 was spent on health. After 3 years, reductions in poverty, food insecurity, stunting, and malaria parasitaemia were reported across nine Millennium Village sites. Access to improved water and sanitation increased, along with coverage for many maternal-child health interventions. Mortality rates in children younger than 5 years of age decreased by 22% in Millennium Village sites relative to baseline (absolute decrease 25 deaths per 1000 livebirths, p=0·015) and 32% relative to matched comparison sites (30 deaths per 1000 livebirths, p=0·033). An integrated multisector approach for addressing the MDGs can produce rapid declines in child mortality in the first 3 years of a long-term effort in rural sub-Saharan Africa. UN Human Security Trust Fund, the Lenfest Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Becton Dickinson.
    The Lancet 05/2012; 379(9832):2179-88. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) was initiated in 2005 to implement the recommendations of the UN Millennium Project for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The project is carried out in 14 sites in hunger and poverty hotspots in diverse agroecological zones in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The interventions and results for increasing staple crop yields are presented for eight MV sites and cover 52,000 farming households or 310,000 people. By supporting farmers with fertilizers, improved crop germplasm, and intensive training on appropriate agronomic practices, average yields of 3 t ha �1 were exceeded in all sites where maize is the major crop. Teff yields doubled in the Ethiopian site. In contrast, there was little improvement in millet and groundnut yields in the semiarid and arid sites in West Africa. Over 75% of the farms had maize yields of 3 t ha�1 and less than 10% of the households had yields lower than 2 t ha�1. Households produced enough maize to meet basic caloric requirements, with the exception of farms smaller than 0.2 ha in Sauri, Kenya. Value-to-cost ratios of 2 and above show that the investment in seed and fertilizer is profitable, provided surplus harvests were stored and sold at peak prices. Increased crop yields are the first step in the African Green Revolution, and must be followed by crop diversification for improving nutrition and generating income and a transition to market-based agriculture. A multisector approach that exploits the synergies among improved crop production, nutrition, health, and education is essential to achieving the MDGs.
    Advances in Agronomy 01/2010; 109:75-115. · 5.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The yield and flux of nitrous oxide (N2O) emitted from continuous cereals (with and without urea), legumes/cereal in rotation and cereal/legume in rotation all with or without organic manure was monitored from January 2004 to February 2005. All treatments except continuous cereals had phosphate added. The cereal grown July–October in 2003 and 2004 was pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) and the legume was a bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). The 10 m × 10 m plots were established in a semi-arid climate in Mali. The addition of organic manure and both inorganic fertilizers increased yield and N2O emissions. Continuous cereals treated with both organic manure and urea emitted significantly less N2O (882 g N/ha per year) than plots receiving no organic manure(1535 g N/ha per year). Growing N-fixing crops in rotation did not significantly increase N2O emissions. This study supports the new practice of growing cereal and legumes in rotation as an environmentally sustainable system in semi-arid Mali.
    Soil Use and Management 07/2008; 24(3):292 - 301. · 1.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Baobab leaves form an important part of the local diet in Sahel countries and elsewhere in Africa. Existing leaf nutritional data and agroforestry performance information are based solely on Adansonia digitata L., the baobab of continental Africa. The introduction potential of Adansonia species from the center of diversity in Madagascar and from Australia remains untapped. To assess this potential, the mineral contents and B1 and B2 vitamin levels of dried baobab leaves were determined for five-year old trees of A. digitata, A. gibbosa (A. Cunn.) Guymer ex D. Baum, A. rubrostipa Jum. & H. Perrier (syn. A. fony Baill.), A. perrieri Capuron and A. za Baill. grown in an introduction trial in Mali. Nutritional data were evaluated against survival and vigor to identify promising germplasm. Leaf vitamin and crude protein contents were highest in the Madagascar species, especially A. rubrostipa (B1 88mg 100g−1, B2 187mg 100g−1, protein 20.7% dry weight). However, the local species far outperformed the introductions in survival, tree height, basal diameter and resistance to termites. We suggest grafting as a way of harnessing the vigor of well-adapted local baobab varieties to the superior nutritional profiles of A. rubrostipa and others. Cross-species grafting tests in Adansonia were successful, thus creating new agroforestry possibilities with different scion/rootstock combinations.
    Agroforestry Systems 01/2008; 72(3):231-239. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the concept, strategy, and initial results of the Millennium Villages Project and implications regarding sustainability and scalability. Our underlying hypothesis is that the interacting crises of agriculture, health, and infrastructure in rural Africa can be overcome through targeted public-sector investments to raise rural productivity and, thereby, to increased private-sector saving and investments. This is carried out by empowering impoverished communities with science-based interventions. Seventy-eight Millennium Villages have been initiated in 12 sites in 10 African countries, each representing a major agro-ecological zone. In early results, the research villages in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Malawi have reduced malaria prevalence, met caloric requirements, generated crop surpluses, enabled school feeding programs, and provided cash earnings for farm families.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2007; 104(43):16775-80. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the Sahel zone, there is an increasing interest of farmers in conserving and enriching tree diversity on their farms as a source of food and income. Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. is one of the tree species farmers maintain on their farms. Even though the local variety of Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. was ranked as one of the most preferred species, it produces small fruit whereas farmers are interested in varieties producing bigger and tasty ones. A factorial experiment in a split split-plot design was carried out to assess the performance of three introduced cultivars of Indian jujube in Burkina Faso. Investigated factors were irrigation (irrigated with 30lplant−1week−1, non-irrigated), rock phosphate containing 25% P2O5 (0 and 150gPplant−1) and cultivar (Gola, Seb, Umran, and local variety as control). Eighteen months after planting, Umran responded positively to irrigation and rock phosphate treatments by displaying the tallest height (313cm) and the biggest collar diameter (6.4cm). Gola gave the largest crown diameter (316cm) at 18months and the highest fruit production at the first (15.3kgtree−1) and second (71.6kg tree−1) fruiting seasons in the irrigated and fertilized treatment. The local variety was less productive compared to the introduced cultivars. In terms of income generation irrigated and fertilized Gola and irrigated Umran showed the highest potential after two fruiting seasons with net revenues of F CFA 2,526,915 and F CFA 1,930,546 per hectare respectively. Therefore, Umran and Gola may be recommended in intensive sub-Saharan peri-urban systems while Seb needs further investigation to improve its water and nutrient use efficiency through either better timing of water and fertilizer application or symbiotic association with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
    Agroforestry Systems 08/2006; 68(1):69-80. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The impacts of fallow on soil fertility, crop production and climate-forcing gas emissions were determined in two contrasting legumes, Gliricidia sepium and Acacia colei, in comparison with traditional unamended fallow and continuous cultivation systems. After 2 years, the amount of foliar material produced did not differ between the two improved fallow species; however, grain yield was significantly elevated by 55% in the first and second cropping season after G. sepium compared with traditional fallow. By contrast, relative to the unamended fallow, a drop in grain yield was observed in the first cropping season after A. colei, followed by no improvement in the second. G. sepium had higher foliar N, K and Mg, while A. colei had lower foliar N but higher lignin and polyphenols. In the third year after fallow improvement, a simulated rainfall experiment was performed on soils to compare efflux of N2O and CO2. Improved fallow effects on soil nutrient composition and microbial activity were demonstrated through elevated N2O and CO2 efflux from soils in G. sepium fallows compared with other treatments. N2O emissions were around six times higher from this nitrogen-fixing soil treatment, evolving 69.9ngN2O–N g−1soil h−1 after a simulated rainfall event, compared with only 8.5 and 4.8ngN2O–N g−1soil h−1 from soil under traditional fallow and continuous cultivation, respectively. The findings indicate that selection of improved fallows for short-term fertility enhancement has implications for regional N2O emissions for dry land regions.
    Biology and Fertility of Soils 01/2006; 42(3):224-230. · 2.51 Impact Factor
  • 01/2005; World Agroforestry Centre.
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    Bois et Forets des Tropiques 01/2005; 2005(283):33-49. · 0.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Community-based organisations are increasingly considered a sustainable way to scale up the benefits of agricultural research and development from a few farmers in isolated pilot project areas to spread more widely across geographical and socio-economic gradients, and to do so quickly. This paper describes and highlights lessons learned from several research and development organisations in western Kenya using different community-based approaches to scale up agroforestry and other biological options to improve soil fertility among resourcepoor smallholders. The main benefits of such approaches are that the link between farmers, government extension, and other service providers is strengthened; information flow and awareness of the options available is rapid among farmers; and farmers' participation and innovation is enhanced. For effective service delivery, however, some higher level of association is necessary that goes beyond individual farmers or groups such as youth-, women-, or church-based organisations. Nevertheless, experience from a pilot project involving the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry and some key national research and development institutions shows that village, sublocation or location committees are often inactive without strong follow-up, which is best provided by such local institutions as government extension staff close to farmers or NGOs. Most of these institutions, however, have limited resources and information. To mitigate these problems and to better share experiences among individual organisations and projects in the region, a strategic consortium of the key institutions was formed. There are high hopes concerning the consortium, although it is too early to determine its effectiveness.
    Development in Practice 01/2001; 11(4):509-523.
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    ABSTRACT: Tithonia diversifolia, a shrub in the family Asteraceae, is widely distributed along farm boundaries in the humid and subhumid tropics of Africa. Green biomass of tithonia has been recognized as an effective source of nutrients for lowland rice (Oryza sativa) in Asia and more recently for maize (Zea mays) and vegetables in eastern and southern Africa. This paper reviews the potential of tithonia green biomass for soil fertility improvement based on recent research in western Kenya. Green leaf biomass of tithonia is high in nutrients, averaging about 3.5% N, 0.37% P and 4.1% K on a dry matter basis. Boundary hedges of sole tithonia can produce about 1 kg biomass (tender stems + leaves) m–1 yr–1 on a dry weight basis. Tithonia biomass decomposes rapidly after application to soil, and incorporated biomass can be an effective source of N, P and K for crops. In some cases, maize yields were even higher with incorporation of tithonia biomass than with commercial mineral fertilizer at equivalent rates of N, P and K. In addition to providing nutrients, tithonia incorporated at 5 t dry matter ha–1 can reduce P sorption and increase soil microbial biomass. Because of high labor requirements for cutting and carrying the biomass to fields, the use of tithonia biomass as a nutrient source is more profitable with high-value crops such as vegetables than with relatively low-valued maize. The transfer of tithonia biomass to fields constitutes the redistribution of nutrients within the landscape rather than a net input of nutrients. External inputs of nutrients would eventually be required to sustain production of tithonia when biomass is continually cut and transferred to agricultural land.
    Agroforestry Systems 06/2000; 49(2):201-221. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The leguminous woody shrub species Sesbania sesban and Calliandra calothyrsus were planted with the grasses Pennisetum purpureum and Setaria splendida on contour lines in association with wheat and beans in order to improve the grass based fodder system in the Buberuka highlands of Rwanda. Setaria, calliandra and sesbania showed a higher productivity when shrub and grass species were mixed than in the sole stand. The crude protein yield of all grass-shrub mixtures was higher than in grasses alone and the crude protein of the grasses was increased when combined with a leguminous shrub. Calliandra with Setaria gave the highest fodder quality and showed the lowest competition with crops. An optimal system for satisfying dry matter and protein requirements of local and improved cattle was estimated by linear programming. Shortest length of fodder planting is obtained by the pennisetum based system in sole stand and in combination with calliandra. The crop loss was the least when Setaria was grown alone or in combination with calliandra. From production, nutrition and economic considerations it appears that leguminous shrubs have a role in improving fodder production in the Rwandan highlands.
    Agroforestry Systems 11/1998; 39(3):263-274. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eight woody fodder species adapted to the highlands of Rwanda were evaluated in terms of dry matter intake in one experiment. Animals were offered a daily diet comprising 4.0 of fresh matter of Setaria splendida grass supplemented with or without one of the eight fodder species tested. In all cases, total daily feed intake was increased by the addition of woody fodder. Daily intake of the woody fodder was high for Acacia koaia, Mimosa scabrella and Acacia koa at 43.7, 42.6 and 41.9 g/kg BW0.75, respectively. The dry matter intake of the other five species (Alnus acuminata, Chamaecytisus palmensis, Hagenia abyssinica, Acacia mearnsii and Acacia melanoxylon) ranged from 18.9 to 30.1 g/kg BW0.75 per day. In another experiment, a basic daily diet of 4.0 kg of fodder (in fresh weight) was given to each animal. This ratio comprised S. splendida supplemented with M. scabrella and incorporated at 0 (control), 45% and 66% (fresh weight basis) of the total daily diet. Improved weight gain was obtained when setaria was supplemented with M. scabrella with daily weight gain of 31, 47 and 51 g/animal for 0, 45 and 66% M. scabrella, respectively.
    Agroforestry Systems 01/1996; 34(2):171-178. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The general soil fertility and crop yield decline constraints have guided the Malian agricultural research institute (Institut d’ Economie Rurale, IER), the Sahel Program of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to join efforts and undertake research activities aimed at mitigating the constraints in Mali. Thus, from the year 2000, 14 different trees and shrubs are being tested in improved fallow systems to find which ones perform best to replenish soils and improve crop yields. The results have (i) identified most suited species for 1 or 2 yr improved fallows, (ii) determined their impact on sorghum grain yields and (iii) documented the remnant effects of their impact on soil fertility and crop yields. Some species (Indigofera astragalina,Crotalaria ochroleuca,Crotalaria agatiflora,Crotalaria retusa,Crotalaria goreensis,Crotalaria paulina et Tephrosia vogelii) could not survive more than 1 year the Samanko conditions. Among them, C. agatiflora (1944, 1141 and 741 kg sorghum grain yields ha-1 respectively in years 1, 2 and 3 after cultivation) and I. Astragalina (1343, 1301 and 393 kg sorghum grain yields ha-1 respectively in years 1, 2 and 3 after cultivation) would be the best candidates for 1-yr improved fallows. Others such as Tephrosia candida, Sesbania sesban (Lery, Gache, Kibwezi and Kakamega provenances), Cassia sieberiana and Cajanus cajan have completed 2-yr duration improved fallows. In 2002, the first year of cultivation, it was the Kenyan provenances of Sesbania sesban which performed best with sorghum grain yields over 2 t ha-1. A year later, 2003, there has been a general decrease in crop yield. Again, the Kenyan provenances of S. seban, with yields 40% lower than the first year of cultivation, were the worst affected by this decrease. No significant changes were observed in the traditionally tested chemical soil parameters. In conclusion, C. agatiflora,I. astragalina and the Kenyan provenances of S. sesban are well-adapted species for 1-yr improved fallow systems in the Samanko, Mali, conditions
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    Bashir Jam, Freddie Kwesiga, Amadou Niang
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    ABSTRACT: Improving soil fertility is a key entry point for achieving food security, reducing poverty and preserving the environment for smallholder farms in sub-Saharan Africa. Given the high cost of inorganic fertiliz- ers, an integrated approach that combines promising agroforestry technologies - particularly improved fallows and biomass transfer - with locally available and reactive phosphate rock - such as the Min- jingu of northern Tanzania - is described in this chapter. Leguminous tree fallows of several species can accumulate significant amounts of nitrogen in their leaves in the short duration (from 6 months to 2 years). Incorporating these leaves into the soil before planting can increase crop yields several-fold. Improved fallows can also contribute to the control of weeds (including Striga hermontheca) and pro- vide wood for energy and for staking climbing crops. Some of the species also have fodder value that can improve manure quantity and quality. For biomass transfer, use of Tithonia diversifolia is the most promising because of its high nutrient content and rapid rates of decomposition. This plant is now being used more widely for high-value crops such as vegetables. To facilitate the scaling up of these fertility options, future research and development needs to address recommended application rates, impacts at both farm and landscape levels, and the method by which high-value trees, crops and livestock can be intensively farmed to provide a natural progression out of poverty.