In order to effectively address the limitations for women and poorer smallholders to access, deliver and benefit from sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI), eight multi-country projects have been commissioned by SAIRLA to respond to one of the following research questions:

  1. How can equity issues be best addressed in sustainable intensification approaches, policies and tools to ensure that the needs of women and poorer smallholders are properly addressed?
  2. What are the tools and metrics that would help decision-makers create an enabling environment to support women and resource-poor smallholders intensify agricultural enterprises in a way which is both environmentally and financially sustainable?
  3. How can trade-offs between increased production and environmental impact be analysed and managed?
  4. What are the key risks for smallholders in relation to market demand for agricultural products produced in an environmentally sustainable way and what risk management strategies can be put in place to manage them?
  5. What are effective and efficient strategies to improve access and capacity to use market, technical and other information by resource-poor farmers, especially women and youth, to achieve sustainable intensification?
  6. How do smallholder farmers manage the trade-offs between production and sustainability?

In addition to generating new evidence to support women and poorer farmers develop environmentally and financially sustainable enterprises and boost productivity, the evidence base of what works and what is successful will be made available and accessible to decision-makers at local, national and regional levels. The results will also inform governments, business and local communities on how women and resource-poor smallholders can manage their agricultural resources for different outcomes in an increasingly commercial world.

The medium-term impact sought is for governments, national and international actors (including investors) to deliver more effective policies, programmes and investments in sustainable agricultural intensification that strengthen the capacity of poorer farmers’, especially women and youth, to access and benefit from SAI in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. The long-term impact sought is improved food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture.