Beyond biological nitrogen fixation: Legumes and the Sustainable Intensification of smallholder farming systems

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1 Beyond biological nitrogen fixation: Legumes and the Sustainable Intensification of smallholder farming systems B Vanlauwe, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nairobi, Kenya [with many colleagues and partners]

2 The astonishing flexibility of legumes

3 A legume for all cropping systems

4 that also benefits the associated crop! maize following maize maize following climbing beans

5 The legume paradox

6 Intensification is a must!

7 Intensification of agriculture Intensification for forest conservation DR Congo

8 Slash-and burn systems Soil fertility / natural resource status Productivity Time Time

9 Intensification of agriculture No realistic alternatives in densely populated areas Kenya

10 Shortened/absent fallows Soil fertility / natural resource status Productivity Time

11 Soil degradation: increasingly complex Crop yield Time Soil fertility status Nutrient imbalances Other degradation Time (or degradation status)

12 Soil degradation: increasingly complex Crop yield Time Soil fertility status Time Nutrient imbalances Other degradation Time (or degradation status)

13 Sustainable Intensification

14 Sustainable Intensification (SI) Agronomy/productivity principles (i) Production of more food, feed, fuel and/or fiber per unit of land, labor, and/or capital used (ii) Conservation and harnessing of ecosystem services, including those delivered by healthy soils and biodiversity (iii) Resilience to shocks and stresses, including climate change Enabling conditions Economic (profitability and equity) Social (culture, gender, participation) Human (food security and nutrition)

15 Pathways towards SI Market incentives; agro-input systems; etc Productivity Payment Envir. Serv.; other incentives Soil fertility / natural resource status

16 Revolutions: different shades of green Rice production in the Philippines Smallholder systems in Kenya Kofi Anan: a uniquely African Green Revolution recognising the diversity of peoples, soils and farming practices

17 Smallholder farming systems and legumes: household diversity

18 Household diversity Uganda, LSMS database, 2850 HHs, 2011/12 Value of production (VOP): calculated by taking total harvests and multiplying it by the price, then divided by the size of the household. Van Asten, Mandy, et al

19 Household diversity

20 Household diversity Van Asten, Mandy, et al

21 Household diversity

22 Household diversity Van Asten, Mandy, et al

23 Household diversity

24 Household diversity Van Asten, Mandy, et al

25 Household diversity Cassava Sesame Other Groundnut Beans Van Asten, Mandy, et al

26 Household diversity DR Congo S-Sudan

27 Household diversity

28 Household diversity Climbing bean yields in NW Rwanda Probability of a yield x Very poor poor well off Site average yield (t/ha) Probability of a yield x Female Male Site average yield (t/ha) Franke et al, 2016

29 Household diversity Climbing bean yields in NW Rwanda Fresh grain yield (t / ha) Very poor or Poor Well-off or Rich Stake density (no. / m2) r = 0.63 r = Stake height (cm) Franke et al, 2016

30 Smallholder farming systems and legumes: within-farm variability

31 Small farms with heterogeneous fields

32 Small farms with heterogeneous fields

33 Fertilizer application to beans in Rwanda Soil heterogeneity affects responses

34 Fertilizer application to beans in Rwanda Soil heterogeneity affects responses

35 Soil heterogeneity affects responses Inoculant and P fertilizer application to soybean in Nigeria Ronner et al, 2016

36 Soil heterogeneity affects responses Inoculant and P fertilizer application to soybean in Nigeria Ronner et al, 2016

37 Residual effects reflect heterogeneity 120 legume-cereal fields 24 from East, 20 from southern, and 76 from West Africa 38 unique publications Franke et al, 2016

38 Some final thoughts

39 Concluding remarks Grain legumes commonly have multiple benefits and acreages under these crops have increased but remain low in most part of SSA It s the Different pathways exist towards Sustainable Intensification of smallholder agriculture; intensifying legume production follows the market, productivity logic and requires enabling conditions stupid! A typical household and a typical legume plot do not exist; lack of resources led to diversity in farms and fields in densely populated areas Households are diverse as is their interest/investment in legume production; in specific case studies, poorer and female farmers demonstrated less climbing bean productivity Soil fertility gradients affect yields, responses, rotational benefits; diversity of options to boost productivity; targeting interventions is key! Although legumes have multiple benefits, what appears to matter most is market access!

40 Thanks for listening!

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