In this issue
by Wendy Levy
Precision agriculture promises better returns to investment and improved livelihoods for farmers around the world. One of the biggest changes in agriculture in our lifetimes, it is spreading to developing countries, where smart farming technologies, including data collected from satellites and drones, are set to fine tune the way farmers grow their crops.
by Anne Perrin
Development of the cold chain in ACP countries is necessary if they are to meet the Sustainable Development Goal of reducing food waste. Poor access to cold chains impacts food and nutrition security, while also hampering agricultural development and the emergence of an efficient agri-food sector.
by Wendy Levy
New generation cooperatives are adding value to agricultural production and empowering rural smallholders. Key ingredients are value chain integration, public-private partnerships and business-development services. There are lessons for sustainability and expansion.
Africa is home to the world’s youngest population with 226 million people aged 15 to 24. This young workforce has the potential to drive innovation and transformation in agriculture, yet 72% of young Africans are living on less than €1.85 per day.
Fishing was once the most important social and economic activity on Bugala island in Lake Victoria. The island used to be one of the poorest places in Uganda, facing increasing depopulation, especially by youth, however the introduction of commercial oil palms and business development services over the last 10 years have been transforming the island’s economy.
Exporting cocoa – long the preserve of large commercial cocoa producers – is now within the reach of smallholders in Madagascar via agricultural cooperatives. A cooperative union in northern Madagascar brings together some 400 cocoa growers who sell high quality ‘fine’ cocoa through the organic food market. Motivation, unity and quality are the keys to their success.
by Sophie Reeve
Researchers in Eastern Africa have identified insect species suitable for use in fish and poultry feed which are nutritionally superior to fishmeal. Using accessible techniques, insects can be sustainably mass reared, providing a unique opportunity for the economic empowerment of youth and women.
Bamboo is being used as a sustainable alternative for building affordable greenhouses in Nigeria. With the construction of an initial 80 greenhouses underway, the Nigerian company behind the project has already committed to expanding installation to meet rising demands.
by Claude Biao
Benin is harnessing one of the world’s most invasive plant species as a viable resource. Just ten water hyacinth plants can multiply to up to 800,000 in less than 12 months, but since 2014, people have started to view the invasive plant as an economic – and environmental – opportunity.
Jamaica is investing in in vitro propagation of Irish potato seeds in an effort to reduce imports and increase local farming production. The lab cultured seeds prevent spreading of disease and are hoped to boost production enough to not only achieve self-sufficiency, but also increase exports to European markets.
by Sophie Reeve
A cassava processing technology is turning peels into nutrient rich animal feed products and creating new markets in Nigeria’s livestock industry. Two local organisations have partnered up and are utilising the technology to reduce animal feed costs and provide long-term employment for women.
Fish aggregating devices along the coast of Somalia are enhancing the incomes of local fishers by attracting off-shore sustainable fish stocks. A broad-based programme is also providing technical training to youths on fisheries management to tackle unemployment levels and piracy in the region.
Satellite mapping technology is being used to identify illicit fishing practices and help enforce tighter regulations to protect global fish stocks. Global Fishing Watch is a free online platform which allows people to track the movements of fishing vessels and detect any suspicious activity.
WHYFARM is using educational entertainment to inspire youth involvement in agriculture and help tackle the global food crisis. The not-for-profit organisation uses hands-on activities to teach children in Africa and the Caribbean about nutrition and sustainable agriculture.
by Sophie Reeve
A dairy sector competitiveness programme in Rwanda has instituted a dual-pronged approach to improve smallholder milk production, increase consumer demand and provide regulatory support for safe, high quality products. A recognised certificate of quality is awarded to those farmers meeting the standards.
The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) and Republic of Korea are producing Tongil-type, stress-tolerant rice varieties to increase production across Africa. The new cultivars are expected to increase the area and duration over which rice can be grown to meet the pressing needs of farmers and consumers.