NutriHAF-Africa is a research and capacity building project that explores and integrates appropriate fruit and vegetable crops into multi-storey cropping systems in Ethiopia and Madagascar.
The project aims to:
(1) Increase (micro-) nutrition security
(2) Diversify and intensify agriculture
(3) Reduce pressure on natural habitats in biodiversity hotspots
In Ethiopia and Madagascar a majority of the population does not have access to sufficient food and is affected by micronutrient deficiencies. Furthermore Madagascar and parts of Ethiopia are both located within biodiversity hotspots, which encompass a high natural species and endemism richness but are at the same time particularly threatened by human activities.
As an integrative component of pro-active sustainable management schemes around and even within protected areas, multi-storey cropping systems have shown to be particularly apt as they partially imitate the natural storey system of forests. Thereby, they provide a corridor linking natural habitats and reducing pressures on the protected areas, while diversifying the production systems, building up resilience to adverse climate change effects and producing stable yields.
Multi-storey systmesas more bio-diverse agricultural systems, which, in addition to the common staple crops, include fruits and vegetables, pulses, root and tuber crops, can provide the means for a balanced diet and environmental resilience besides improving the efficiency and productivity of a given area.
Introducing and intensifying fruit and vegetable production into multi-storey cropping systems can thus be one solution to improve human nutrition of smallholder families and increase land efficiency in areas where additional land for agricultural expansion is not an option – like in biodiversity hotspots and in the neighborhood of biosphere reserves.
The project consortium consists of partners in Germany (ZEF, GlobalHort, KoGa, IZNE), Ethiopia (ECFF, Forestry Research Centre Ethiopia) and Madagascar (FOFIFA, University of Antananarivo, Welthungerhilfe), as well as regional organisations (ASARECA, FANRPAN) and international partners (AVRDC, Horticulture Innovation Lab). NutriHAF is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.