About HOPE Project
Harnessing Opportunities for Productivity Enhancement of Sorghum and Millets in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia or HOPE project seeks to help smallholder farmers increase the yields of the two dryland cereal crops in West Africa (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria), Eastern Africa (Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania) and India (Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, and Maharashtra).
The poor in these target areas are among the most food-insecure in the world, unable to earn adequate incomes from agriculture. Government subsidies have not favored traditional dryland crops. Lack of adaptive approaches to increasing their productivity combined with shrinking markets have spelt doom for dryland farmers, most of who are still in subsistence farming. The vicious circle of less production and less market demand has led to poor investment and support to dryland agriculture.
ICRISAT-HOPE is addressing this decline by stimulating research on sorghum and millet farming, enhancing technology utilization, linking farmers with markets, and strengthening the capacity of national and civil society partners.
As the lead institution, ICRISAT works with a wide array of partners to discover, develop and share improved technologies along an inclusive market-oriented development pathway.
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WHY is the project important?
The drylands of HOPE’s target locations in Africa and Asia are among the poorest and most food-insecure in the world, with many people struggling to earn a livelihood from agriculture. Over the past decade, government subsidies have resulted in traditional dryland crops being replaced with rice, wheat and corn, all of which need more water than traditional crops if they are to be grown successfully in these locations.
Lack of adaptive approaches to increase the productivity of traditional crops combined with shrinking markets created a vicious circle: dryland farmers soon found themselves unable to make a profit from investments in commercial production, and cut back to subsistence farming levels. With less production and less market demand, there was less justification for investment in dryland crops. Consequently, there was less research, development, support services and infrastructure needed to commercialize the crops, resulting in even further declines in market demand.
The ICRISAT-HOPE project is addressing this decline by stimulating research on sorghum and millet farming, enhancing the adoption both by farmers and the markets, and creating additional capacity for supporting infrastructures: local farm schools, farmers’ associations, extension agents and other implementing partners.
WHAT are the goals of the project?
The project aims to increase sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet yields for targeted farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia by 35-40% in its first four years. This is achieved by enabling and motivating farmers to adopt improved cultivars and associated management practices through the development of markets and value chains from input supplies to output markets.
Improved, stress-tolerant and nutrient-responsive sorghum and millet varieties are disseminated to 110,000 households in sub-Saharan Africa and 90,000 in South Asia.
Within ten years, 1.1 million households in sub-Saharan Africa and 1 million in South Asia will benefit from the project.
HOW will the project achieve its goals?
The project uses a unique integrated value-chain approach that links market “pull” with appropriate technologies to stimulate the production of sorghum and millets in selected target locations.
By integrating the actors across the input-supply, production, sale/storage, and marketing stages of the value chain, the project seeks to capture synergies and reduce transaction costs, resulting in large increases in the yield, production, profitability and competitiveness of dryland cereal crops.
Read more about the unique approach of the project.
WHERE does the project work?
The project works in four countries in West Africa (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria), six countries in Eastern Africa (Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania) and in four India states (Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, and Maharashtra).
Read more about the target locations of the project.
WHO benefits from the project?
The Project seeks to discover, develop and deliver improved technologies for producing sorghum and millets. The project aims to increase productivity beyond subsistence level, in a sustainable manner.
In its first four years, the project will increase farmer yields by 35−40%, benefiting 110,000 households in Sub-Saharan Africa and 90,000 in South Asia through increased food security and incomes. Within ten years the project aims to benefit 2.1 million households.
Read more about the beneficiaries and impact of the HOPE project.
As part of its capacity building strategy, the HOPE project also supports the training of staff from partner institutions, as well as farmers and other stakeholders.
Read more about the HOPE project’s training plan, and meet the current trainees.
WHAT is the project doing to address gender issues?
In many agricultural development projects, gender is not yet mainstreamed to maximize the impact of policies and programs. In fact, the pivotal role of women is still not sufficiently reflected in the design of agricultural programs and projects.
The project aims to address sorghum and millet constraints along the value chain with a strong gender perspective in all the phases: from project design through to the implementation of the objectives, as well as in its monitoring and evaluation activities.
Read more about the ways in which the project plans to mainstream gender issues.
HOW is the project organized?
The project is managed by the Project Coordinator, under the guidance of the Project Management Team. The Project Advisory Board oversees the project by reviewing the progress and achievements and making recommendations to the Project Management Team.
The technical (Research & Development) activities are managed and coordinated by global Objective Leaders and regional Objective Coordinators.
The project also has an extensive network of partners to guide the project and implement its activities.