Sustainable recommendation domains for scaling agricultural technologies in Tanzania | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
July 2017
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Low adoption of sustainable intensification technologies hinders achievement of their potential impacts on increasing agricultural productivity. Proper targeting of locations to scale-out particular technologies is a key determinant of the rate of adoption. Targeting locations with similar biophysical and socio-economic characteristics significantly increases the probability of adoption. Areas with similar biophysical and socio-economic characteristics are referred to as recommendation domains (RDs). This study used geospatial analysis to delineate sustainable recommendation domains (SRDs) for scaling improved crop varieties and good agronomic practices in Tanzania. The study uses K-means clustering to identify relatively similar clusters from grid raster’s representing biophysical and socio-economic environments. Critical ecosystems are masked-out from the clusters to generate the SRDs. The potential impacts of scaling technologies in the generated SRDs were assessed and a spatial targeting index developed. Results identify 20 SRDs and the bio-socio-economic gradients that delineate them. This study proposes an Impact Based Spatial Targeting Index (IBSTI) as an objective tool for priority setting when scaling agricultural technologies. IBSTI identified priority areas within each SRD that should be targeted to maximize potential impacts of a scaling intervention. The data-driven clustering method is recommended for regions with limited technology trials. Results demonstrate the potential of geospatial tools in generating evidence-based policies on scaling of sustainable intensification technologies.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Muthoni, Francis K.
Guo, Zhe
Bekunda, Mateete A.
Sseguya, Haroon
Kizito, Fred
Baijukya, Frederick P.
Hoeschle-Zeledon, Irmgard

Corporate Author(s): 
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The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a non-profit institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, we improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity.


The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. Established in 1975, IFPRI currently has more than 500 employees working in over 50 countries. It is a research center of theCGIAR Consortium, a worldwide partnership engaged in agricultural research for development.


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