“Having grown up on a farm in a very rural part of Colorado, I naturally had a lot of interest in agriculture. Living in an area where we had problems with soil erosion and water management, I was keen on learning more about the solutions to agricultural problems”. Today Jerry Glover is the Senior Sustainable Agricultural Systems Advisor with USAID, Washington, D.C. He has been involved with the Africa RISING project since its inception in 2011. IITA leads and coordinates the Africa RISING projects in West, and East and Central Africa.
“When Africa RISING started, I wanted it to focus on farming systems as a whole, to complement the very commodity and value chain-focused investments in our other USAID programs. The concept of sustainable intensification was a good organizing principle around which we built the program. I think the Africa RISING research team has done a tremendous job in integrating social and economic concerns with diverse mixed crop-livestock systems and being open to many issues that more specialized and commodity focused research projects are not addressing.
“For me, the most important outcome so far has been developing the highly skilled research networks of partners and platforms. We have come together as a complex and diverse set of people to address a wide range of agricultural research issues in some fairly remote, poorly supported communities. We are developing an infrastructure, a network of expertise that involves national partners who can help support these communities do what they want to do. Building together this partnership has been perhaps the most rewarding component of Africa RISING.”