African Center of Excellence for Agro-Ecology & Livelihood Systems (ACALISE)



Africa in general and East Africa in particular is faced with problems of low production and productivity, little or no value addition to the few products but also lack of ethical values in management of business. These overarching problems have of late been compounded by effects of climate change, all of which have made peoples’ livelihoods a dilemma. It is no doubt therefore that Agricultural research and technology development, which is a component of the agricultural production and productivity enhancement intervention, is fundamental for enhanced agricultural sector growth and performance.

To generate high returns of investment, each link in the production and value chains of agricultural enterprises needs to be accompanied by effective agricultural research and technology generation programs. Well-designed innovation systems with a component of climate smart initiative like Agro-ecology and endowed with ethical values will help to generate the desired shift from the present poverty cycle to better livelihoods. This will eventually bring in the aspect of sustainability that has been glaringly lacking in African/small scale enterprises.


ACALISE Objectives

ACALISE’s main objective is to be an intervention that will better streamline the production of a high level and well-motivated, ethically oriented critical mass of Agro-ecology and livelihood systems experts to impact on prevailing agricultural, nutritional, and environmental challenges in the region. This is to be achieved through:

  1. Training of a new breed of  M.Sc. and PhDs envisioned to carry out relevant research in Agro-ecology and livelihood systems for innovation in the region and beyond
  2. Integration of ecological approaches in Agriculture and related disciplines in the region to stimulate sustainable development and better livelihoods
  3. Initiation of critical regional collaborations for strengthening multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral research for development.
  4. Promotion of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) for innovation dissemination and impact enhancement in Agro-ecology for better livelihood strategies.  ACALISE will promote action research, student-cantered learning techniques including problem solving, experiential research but also experimental methods to foster innovations in the field.
  5. Creation of demonstration farms to facilitate the provision of hands-on skills and sustainable agricultural methods and technologies to the communities, especially to the rural women, the youth, and the disadvantaged to advance sustainable livelihoods and improve standards of living and quality of life.

During implementation of project ACALISE, student centered research in form of action research and innovative experimentation will be used to come up with innovations that will boost production, productivity, value addition as well ethical considerations.


Benefits from ACALISE

ACALISE as an intervention will in a short run benefit the regional post graduate students who will be trained and armed with skills to bring about a fundamental change but will in the long run impact on the general development of the region through dissemination of innovations and technologies to be developed. This will be possible through ACALISE’S strategically selected and down to earth partners distributed throughout the region. It is envisaged that by the end of the first five year cycle of ACALISE, a critical mass of well skilled and motivated team of local, regional but also gender toned technocrats will start impacting on the low production, productivity and poor livelihoods of the general populace to better their incomes, nutrition and health levels.