Scaling-up Improved Legume Technologies in Tanzania through the Legume Alliance

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During its Nov-2015-Feb-2018 implementation period, Scaling-up improved Legume Technologies in Tanzania (SILT) promoted improved soyabean and common bean technologies reaching 600,000 farming family members. 100,000 farmers started to use more than one promoted practice. This was achieved by developing a series of integrated campaigns targeting different family members with nuanced information. The results were achieved in the Northern and Southern Highlands of Tanzania through multi-media campaigns incorporating different combinations of leaflets, posters, comics, interactive radio, SMS messages and demonstration plots and farmers training sessions.

These results were shared in the project close report in April 2018 with the main funders of the project Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The partners implementing SILT were Farm Radio International (FRI), Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), N2Africa-Wageningen University & Research (WUR) - International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA), Africa Fertilizer & Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP).

SILT operated as one of a family of projects that included phase two of the African Soil Health Consortium (ASHC), N2africa, Putting Nitrogen Fixation to work for Smallholder Farmers in Africa, UP-scaling Technology in Agriculture through Knowledge and Extension project (UPTAKE), Gender and the Legume Alliance (GALA) all of which also aimed to increase uptake and adoption of agricultural innovations promoted under the African Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA) Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnerships (SSTP) in Tanzania. The alliance furthermore works in formal partnership with several value chain development projects e.g. CRS-Soya ni Pesa, AGRA-RUDI and the Clinton Foundation Anchor Farm.

Farmers listening to an interactive radio program on all aspects of legumes, programs ran 16 weeks coinciding with planting to harvesting topics. Photo credits Simon Scott
Salome Thomas from Orkonerei Radio Service (ORS) in Terrat Simanjiro Manyara on air. Photo credits  Simon Scott


The Legume Alliance’ started in 2015 when a group of likeminded organizations came together to explore whether working together on a campaign-based communication and extension approach could make a significant contribution to our understanding of development communications for impact and scale. The Alliance approach has since expanded to Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya while eyeing Ethiopia.

The way forward, as suggested by Duncan Sones, part of the CABI delivery team, ‘A Supra-SILT could be fun’. This could explore the whole Bill & Melinda Gates, AGRA, USAID portfolio and the local NARS led initiatives and how to bank on the Alliance approach of working in synergetic partnerships and leveraging resources to maximize impact.

Soon to come: Links to an interactive results map to illustrate reach and the SILT end report.

Edward Baars, Senior Business Development Officer for N2Africa