International Conference on Challenges and Opportunities for Agricultural Intensification of the Humid Highland Systems of Sub-Saharan Africa
A call for papers has been issued for the International Conference on Challenges and Opportunities for Agricultural Intensification of the Humid Highland Systems of sub-Saharan Africa. Contributions are invited for four themes:
System components: Farming systems consist of different production units, including crop and livestock ventures. Ultimately farmer well-being depends on the performance of each of these components. Single components have specific constraints that prevent them reaching their potential productivity. Addressing these through site and farmer-specific interventions is crucial to improving rural livelihoods. Papers are expected to (i) assess constraints and performance of single production components and (ii) propose and evaluate interventions to improve the efficiency, profitability, quality, and productivity of these components.
System integration: Farming system components interact, especially in environments where resources (e.g land, labour, capital, nutrient inputs) are in short supply. Socio-economic and biophysical trade-offs between investments in specific system components are common and more so for resource-poor farmers. Identification, quantification, and analysis of component interactions will help quantify trade-offs of various scenarios for intensification. Integrated soil fertility management, integrated pest management, and crop-livestock integration are paradigms that aim at valorising positive interactions between system components through integration at field, farm, and community level. Papers are expected to present advances with farming system analysis and integration Studies on system component interactions for different farmer typologies are particularly relevant.
Drivers for adoption: Adoption of agricultural intensification strategies often requires specific conditions to foster this. Drivers of adoption operate at different scales and affect specific system components. Understanding these drivers is required to prioritise agricultural development and policy interventions. Papers are expected to improve the understanding of drivers for adoption, including post-harvest processing for value addition, access to input/output markets and information, improved health and nutrition, access to and control over resources, appropriate policy, and social capital.
Knowledge-intensive approaches: Agricultural intensification strategies under resource-limited conditions are often knowledge-intensive. Innovative dissemination approaches may be required, particularly in areas with relatively low levels of literacy and formal education. On the other hand, information pathways are rapidly changing through mobile phone and internet access by various stakeholders. Fast-tracked, relatively simple interventions are often disseminated preferentially to create change within the lifetime of development projects. However, this may create tensions with support for the more involving and slow nature of knowledge-intensive approaches. Papers are expected to address the effectiveness of novel and participatory research and extension approaches, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and tools to effectively learn, monitor and evaluate.
The conference will be convened in English and French, with simultaneous translation available.
The deadline for the submission of abstracts has been extended to 31 March, 2011.
More information is available on the conference website.