The sustainable development of drylands in eastern and southern Africa is a priority RUFORUM initiative. Improving livelihoods in the region’s dryland areas, characterized by intense poverty, is a priority development strategy in the region. This will involve interventions targeting increased production and livelihoods systems productivity, and water management options. As elsewhere in the world, the long-term driving force of modern economic growth will be science-based technological advances. The challenges associated with the drylands of eastern and southern Africa require an approach to science and innovation which is entrepreneurial and oriented toward key development challenges.
Universities have a key role in creating this new paradigm which will need them to be proactive within national innovation systems to generate relevant and timely interventions for improving livelihoods. Thus the goal of RUFORUM’s drylands initiative is to improve the livelihoods of communities in drylands of eastern and southern Africa through sustainable dryland resource management supported by focused research, graduate training and community based interventions.
This course will include among others study of mitigating factors for climate change for crop production in drylands; Environmental protection of fragile resources of the ASAL for crops; Management of dryland soils – lentosols, calcisols, gypisols, solonetz, vertisols and solonchaks; Integrated soil fertility management; Orphan Crops of drylands; field crops; horticultural crops and industrial crops and crops of medicinal value; Dry land farming; dryland soil and water management techniques; Irrigated agriculture, irrigation systems and water quality; Protected agriculture; and Agroforestry systems in drylands
The course is suitable for students with a Master of Science degree in agricultural related disciplines, biological sciences, and environmental sciences or in natural resource management with general background in crop production, plant physiology, ecology, and soil science.
Animal production in the dry areas is constrained by availability of feed. Where available, the quantities are low and quality is poor. This course describes nutrient requirements of animals, grazing methods in dry areas and use of crop residues and fodder trees as a feed resource. Feed conservation in dry areas is described. Interaction between livestock production and environment and human-wildlife-livestock interactions as relates to feed are also discussed.