In this issue
Mobile network providers are helping to create simple payments channels, for example between big processors and producers, that act as core infrastructure around which other products like microfinance can be structured. At the same time, some private sector players are helping to ensure that farmers buy into the concept of mobile money by investing in education, trust-building and developing ways for them to spend it.
by Bob Koigi
Connected Farmer Alliance, a mobile-based payment solution developed by a public-private partnership, is transforming agri-finance for value chains such as nuts and milk in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, as well as helping farmers to access credit.
Sea cucumber is becoming increasingly profitable in the Pacific, as fishing communities are helped to improve post-harvest processing and sustainably produce high-quality beche-de-mer. A variety of initiatives led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community are boosting incomes from high-quality sea cucumber exports, whilst protecting against overexploitation.
Chefs are working to promote healthy food and widen the market for local produce in an attempt to reduce rising cases of non-communicable disease in the Pacific. Chef Colin Chung is targeting young people with his new cookbook, seeking to encourage students to switch from fast food to nutritious meals, using locally available ingredients.
Fast-cooking beans are saving time and money for low income families in Kenya and Uganda, whilst providing essential nutrients to improve household diets. Their superior qualities in terms of taste and micronutrient level have made them popular among consumers, indicating a profitable market for bean farmers.
Innovative initiatives are increasing agricultural resilience to unpredictable weather by enabling farmers to adapt to the effects of climate change and providing information to help decision-makers plan earlier, data-driven responses to climate disasters.
Irrigation systems channelling waste water to agricultural fields are providing year-round harvests during the dry season and periods of drought in Cameroon. In Ghana, a new treatment plant is the first commercial scale project in West Africa to produce high quality, safe fertiliser from treated human waste.
Seed yams are being mass produced by scientists in a rapid and affordable process, which avoids using soil and transferring disease. A project in Ghana and Nigeria is using aeroponics to address the inefficiency of traditional seed yam production and increase yields of the staple crop.
A protein-based fruit fly bait to attract and kill the pests, is boosting incomes for fruit and vegetable farmers in Kenya. Tested in fields across Africa, the product is helping to overcome yield losses and costs 70% less than other commercially available products.
by Sophie Reeve
A social enterprise is linking smallholder farmers in Tanzania to the international vanilla market to develop the organic farming sector, and realise sustainable livelihoods. The farmers receive vine cutting subsidies and training in agricultural practises to enhance their capacity and production.