Tag Archives: millets

Systems thinking for southern Africa research program

With ICRISAT Zimbabwe staff during our planning meeting

With ICRISAT Zimbabwe staff during our planning meeting

I had a great day at Victoria Falls with ICRISAT scientists and staff today where we reviewed the country strategies and discussed how our Zimbabwe program can be adjusted to fit new priorities.

There were rich discussions with the scientists and staff on mapping their work to the value chain framework. Through that we identified the gaps in the framework with regards to systems research.

We have been doing a lot of work on innovation platforms to understand complex systems. Not just on commodities, but how those commodities might sit within a farming system, and the very integrated nature of agriculture in the drylands, especially in southern Africa.

By only focusing on crops we miss the bigger picture, which includes aspects like livestock.  Small ruminants like goats are an important resource that families sell for health and education, but also to invest back to agriculture. So now our team will be going back to see how they can accommodate systems research. Read more