Catalyze Accelerated Agricultural Intensification for Social and Environmental Stability (CATALIST)
The Netherlands’ Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS)
The Great Lakes Region of Central Africa
To reinforce peace and environmental stability by mobilizing local resources and helping farming communities increase agricultural production.
Key Results (April-September 2009):
- Agro-input trade increased in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. Fertilizer use in Rwanda increased at an average of 1,000 metric tons (mt) per year. Significant increases also occurred in Burundi and the Kivu provinces of the DRC. Assistance was provided to the government of Rwanda to negotiate fertilizer purchase prices, resulting in more than US $2 million in savings. Training was provided to 1,028 agro-dealers in Burundi, DRC and Rwanda (with approximately 25 percent being women). The Second Regional Fertilizer Conference was organized in July 2009 with 74 participants from six countries.
- Income opportunities for farmers and others increased. On average, agricultural intensification increased incomes three-fold in Rwanda. Labor-intensive activities associated with road-building and woodlot and agroforestry establishment generated 191,146 man-days of employment and injected $340,358 into local economies. The CATALIST small grants cost-share program resulted in approximately 740 applications with 29 awards totaling $378,891. Support provided to applicants resulted in loans totaling $206,274.
- New technologies were introduced. Preliminary tests were conducted to determine the potential for using urea deep placement (UDP) for lowland rice production in Rwanda and Burundi. CATALIST developed plans for the expansion of UDP testing for lowland rice in the Ruzizi Plain (common to all three project-focus countries). Collaboration was initiated with Vietnamese researchers to identify suitable rice varieties for cooler mountain regions of the CAGLR. Participatory on-farm trials were established involving over 2,300 farmers to validate and improve current fertilizer recommendations for selected agro-climatic zones. Over 50 percent of farmers exposed to the participatory tests adopted one or more of the agricultural intensification methodologies.
- Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) training of trainers was completed. These trainers will reach thousands of farmers. Activities were initiated to identify intermediate mechanization options that could ease the farm labor shortage, particularly in areas where most farming activities are carried out by women. Contracts to facilitate the development of 44 value chains were signed. These contracts will help CATALIST reach over 90,000 farmers cultivating 27,000 hectares (ha). Crop intensification protocols were developed for 14 value chains. A total of 67 associations and cooperatives with more than 3,000 members were trained in the establishment, management and laws governing cooperatives.
- The CATALIST website (www.ifdc-catalist.org) was launched, providing information about the project to site visitors in English and French. The report “Solving Agricultural Problems Related to Soil Acidity in Central Africa’s Great Lakes Region” was published. It will be disseminated in both English and French. A manual for crop/livestock integration was drafted.