Improving rural livelihoods in Sub-Sararan Africa: sustainable and climate-smart intensification of agricultural production

  • Wauters, Erwin (Project Manager)
  • Rojo Gimeno, Cristina (Former PhD Student)
  • Hamerlinck, Jolien (Former PhD Student)
  • Dessein, Joost (Former Project Supervisor)

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    The aim of this project is to identify, test and evaluate innovative crop-dairy farming systems capable of enhancing resilience and food security for rural households in Malawi and Zambia.

    Research approach
    The project adopts a strong participatory approach. First, using rural household survey and other available data, innovative dairy-crop systems already in use are identified. Second, such systems are further improved and tested, both by farmers and at research stations. Third, a bio-economic simulation model is used to test the usefulness of these systems and evaluate their potential in different situations. The research results are then disseminated via a participative process with lead farmers and surrounding farmers in different areas. Farmers groups are also formed.

    The participatory development of sustainable and resilient agricultural systems, where the farmers themselves have responsibility for part of the research, is an innovative approach to doing research. ILVO's Social Sciences Unit develops expertise in this type of participatory research trajectory, in which stakeholders and later end-users participate in the project, both in the technological research phase and in the dissemination phase.
    Effective start/end date1/11/1231/01/16