A total of 194 monitoring, evaluation, learning and impact assessment (MELIA) activities were reported by the 12 CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) and three Platforms in 2019. MELIA studies are used primarily to inform learning and adaptive management, meet accountability requirements, and inform the design of new initiatives.
A study estimated the costs of an integrated agriculture and health intervention (Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa [SASHA]), which focused on the promotion of orange-fleshed sweetpotato (OFSP) production and consumption in Western Kenya. OFSP is highly nutritious and has the potential to reduce under-nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. Findings showed that the average cost per beneficiary to implement an integrated agriculture, health and nutrition program was substantial. Planning and implementing less intensive integrated interventions may be possible, and economies of scale may reduce overall costs. Empirical estimates of costs by components are critical for future planning and scaling up of integrated programs. (CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas).
An external end project evaluation of the Sustainable Transformation of Egypt’s Aquaculture Market System (STREAMS) project identified and assessed the results it had achieved. The evaluation revealed that the project supported the 4,297 farms involved by increasing their production (a 16% increase in tons per hectare for average production per farm) and profit (a 57.7% average increase in profit per hectare), creating 3,407 new jobs, and reducing environmental impacts (a 37% decrease in cubic meters per hectare per day for water usage and a 22% decrease in equivalent/tons of CO2 emitted). These were realized through the adoption of productive, efficient, and climate-smart aquaculture production practices developed by the CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-food Systems (FISH) research.
In Bangladesh, a survey of 48,900 rice farm households was conducted in 2018 to understand the progress of the Bangladesh Zinc Rice Program. Results showed that the Bangladesh Zinc Rice Program was still in a relatively early phase of delivery and scale-up at the time. In the early phase of scale-up, zinc rice growers tend to be those with risk-mitigating characteristics. The efforts to raise awareness have been very successful, with around 2 million rice farmers being aware of zinc rice and liking the yield attribute, but there was a need to boost seed supply. This study was ongoing in 2019 (CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health).
Header photo: Two women sell grain in a Saturday market in Hosaena, Ethiopia. Photo by J. Turner/CCAFS.