© 2019 by QAAFI's Farming Systems Research Group

Sustainable Intensification of Maize and Legume systems for food security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA)

The SIMLESA project (Sustainable Intensification of Maize and Legume Systems for food security in Eastern and Southern Africa) is one of the major projects of the Farming Systems Group. The project is funded through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and is managed by the International Centre for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT). The project aims to increase farm-level food security and productivity, in the context of climate risk and change. It will result in resilient, profitable and sustainable farming systems that overcome food insecurity for significant numbers of farm families.

SIMLESA focuses on exploring implementing conservation agriculture systems and management practices in communities of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique. Within the project, the QAAFI's Farming Systems Group focuses on identifying low-risk and locally relevant steps for intensification (particularly for Mozambique, Kenya and Ethiopia). Intensification options are explored using the crop systems model APSIM to generate risk profiles for various management options. Other activities include developing farm household typologies to better target intensification options, exploring soil dynamics (primarily organic carbon and nitrogen ) under conservation agriculture, and characterising key soils in each of the five SIMLESA countries. Finally, the group also helps manage the SIMLESA-SMS platform, which communicates project findings to target communities.

The SIMLESA program was developed by African and Australian stakeholders and is managed with strong collaboration from National Agriculture Research Systems (NARS) and a wide range of private, NGO, University and public sector organisations.

You can read more about the SIMLESA project here.