A FFRU is conceived as learning space, where research, restoration, innovation, demonstration, SI education, extension and capacity building (workshops, field visits) are realised. Inside the FFRU, researchers, partners and selected stakeholders (farmers, development agents, representatives of farmers’ union, public institutions) exchange inputs, integrate WP-related knowledge, experiment a wide range of issues directly and practically on the field  (i.e. management of soil fertility and water resources, crop variety selection, risk associated with toxic pesticides, etc), in a continuous and mutual exchange between tacit and academic knowledge.

Farmer Field Research Units

FFRUs promote a virtuous process that includes marginalised and/or abandoned lands and existing agricultural lands into novel best practices aimed to increase yield potential through active participation, collaboration, cooperation between researchers, farmers and stakeholders.


The ambition of the FFRUs is to set up a virtuous process of permanent dialogue between stakeholders through the use of virtual and material research/relational platforms. FFRUs aim to find a balance between the needs of communities related to economic support, social fairness and environmental protection through the sustainable use of available resources (natural, human, financial etc.). Permanence beyond the project time as well as identification of FFRUs as a new operating model will be the greatest ambition.

Critical Issues of the Study Areas

Critical Issues of the Study Areas



Institutional partners and areas of research:

  1. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - Savanna Agriculture Research Institute (CSIR-SARI)

  2. Kundok Development Consult (KDC)


Focused on:

  • Storage methods and structures for groundnuts.

  • Organic and inorganic fertilizers to enhance soil fertility.

  • Improved Frafra potato varieties.

  • Evaluation and selection of Fonio varieties and intercrops.

  • Testing of bio-pesticides.

  • Water management.


Both the partners operate together in multiple FFRUs located in 3 regions: North-East, Northern, Upper East.

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Burkina Faso

Institutional partners and areas of research:

  1. INERA (Institute of Environment and Agricultural Research)

  2.  UNB (University of Nazi Boni)

Focused on sustainable soil management and agri-livestock integration.

  Research on:

  • Strategies for integration.

  • Cotton-based crops, cereal-based crops and cotton-cereal cropping systems.

  • Soil management: minimum tillage, biochar, intercropping.

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  1. Fondazione ACRA



Focused on field participatory assessment of NUS and water and soil management.

Research on:

  • Fonio – assessment and soil management practices.

  • Millet – assessment.

  • Cowpea – assessment.

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Institutional partners and areas of research:

  1. Hawassa University

Focused on pepper seeds and plants.


Research on:

  • Efficacy of biocontrol agents against wilt diseases.

  • 4 Trichoderma treatments.

  • Cost/Benefit analysis of the technology.

  • Assessment of storage fungi and micotoxins.

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  1. Jimma University

Focused on variety selection, Teff K-  Fertilizer and fallow technologies.


Research on:

  • Evaluation and selection of best performing Teff, Anchote and lima beans varieties.

  • Optimization of K-fertilizer for Teff.

  • Rehabilitation of abandoned lands.

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Institutional partners and areas of research:

  1. University of Nairobi

Focused on disease resistance and aflatoxin prevention

Research on:

  • Improved varieties of peanuts and sorghum – identification of the most performing ones.

  • Peanut and crop rotation.

  • Organic fertilizers and traditional practices.

  • Storage and post-management strategies (PICs bags).

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  1. KALRO(Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization)

Focused on groundnut diseases prevention, fertility   improvement and storage management

  Research on:

  • Groundnuts, finger millet and sorghum rotation.

  • Cultural practices against peanut diseases.

  • Inorganic fertilizers and poultry manure.

  • Storage and post-management strategies (PICs bags).

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Institutional partners and areas of research:

  1. Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI)

  2. The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST)

  3. World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

Focused on:

  • Land recovery

  • Use of cover crops

  • Management of high fluoride levels

  • Assessment of NUS – lablab varieties and their resistance to drought

  • The three partners operate together in 4 FFRUs across the country, specifically in the Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions.

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Sierra Leone

Institutional partners and areas of research:

  1. University of Makeni (UNIMAK)

Focused on:

  • Agri-livestock integrated management

  • Constructive land transformation and water management

  • Avoidance of deforestation

UNIMAK operates in multiple FFRUs spread around the country