Category “Organics”

Kenya: Agro-Pastrolism in Transmara

Pastrolists in Transmara County are embracing diversity and adapting drought resistance crops for food and fodder for the animals. The shift to agriculture is attributed to the harsh climatic conditions that have forced farmers in Transmara to reduce the number of animals so as to grow traditional foods such as sweet potatoes.

Leonard Leina, 25, is now thinking of shifting from pastoralism to dairy farming. Currently Leina is growing fodder in part of his 10 acres of land that he inherited from his father.

” I take care of fodder crops and besides the little that I sell, my two indigenous cows do not eat much of it so I feel I am not utilizing it properly,” said the young beneficiary of the Agricultural Productivity and Climate Change in Arid and Semi-arid lands supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in partnership with Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) Kisii.

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Africa: Nitrogen Fixation Helps Double Some African Farm Yields

A large-scale research and development project has shown that giving farmers resources and advice on nitrogen fixation through legume plants can double yields and boost incomes in Africa.

But not all farmers are benefiting from this practice due to a lack of access to inputs, such as fertilisers says Ken Giller, the leader of the N2Africa project, as a second phase to widen access to the initiative is announced with US$25.3 million funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the next five years.

Researchers and representatives of NGOs and companies gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday to discuss the results of N2Africa’s first phase.

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Kenya: Ancient Solution Brings Water to Makueni

A mature dam looks dry on the upper side but it’s actually storing a lot of water Construction of the sand dam wall Farmers in Makueni dig terraces Fish farmed with water from one of the sand dams Richard Barnes, trustee of Excellent Development with Anita Gorasia, during the building of Sand Dam on Thange River Water flows over a sand dam Residents have learnt the tricks Romans used 2,000 years ago to make their land green.

In many parts of Makueni County, donkeys used to scavenge for water often die on roadsides because they get very little to drink themselves. The region is in many ways the poster child of Kenya’s recurrent droughts, sometimes blamed on the changing climate.

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Namibia: Promoting Organic and Sustainable Crop Production

Windhoek — The Namibian Organic Association recently spearheaded the hosting of a series of conferences on sustainable, ecological crop and horticulture production for Namibian producers, supported by the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.

Julia Nambili of AgriBusDev gave an overview of the existing footprint of the Green Scheme Programme run by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and which encourages the development of irrigation-based agronomic production in Namibia with the aim of increasing food production and contributing to food self-sufficiency and national food security.

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Africa: Shea Butter Nourishes Opportunities for African Women

n a fancy Manhattan hotel in New York, women in colorful traditional African gowns make their way to one of the conference rooms. Their outfits provide a fascinating contrast to the grey and black business suits surrounding them.

The crowd is diverse, but is gathered because of one thing: shea butter that comes from an African nut and is used in cosmetics as a lotion or moisturizer.

The Shea Butter Trade Industry held its first-ever conference in North America in May 2013. The occasion was an opportunity for African producers to mix with cosmetics industry giants such as L’Oréal and the Body Shop. The demand for shea butter has risen so much in recent years that African producers have started calling for fair prices for their labour.

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Nigeria: Manure Powered Farms Yield Better Fruits

Porto-Novo — Agricultural production of the biological type of crops especially fruits with maximum use of natural products are sweeter and maintained their natural taste with high yield, a Senegalese agriculturalist on tour of facilities at Songhai farm in Porto-Novo, Benin republic, Elhaj Ahmodou Seidou has said.

Elhaj Seidou said fruits properly planted and enough manure applied instead of fertilizer can as well grow very well with high yield, adding, “Most plants grow very well with manure especially when it is properly watered. Manure requires enough water. You can see that Songhai farms do not use fertilizer at all. Rather they use manure and the farms have high yields.

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Nigeria: Farmers Tasked On Use of Organic Fertiliser

Jalingo — Farmers in the country have been asked to make use of organic fertilizers and other organic agro-allied chemicals for their beneficial effects on the soil and crops. General Manager, Retail Marketing of Zenith Energy Enzymes Limited, Attayi Umoru made the call in Jailngo, at a seminar for farmers on the benefits of organic fertilizers.

He said organic fertilizers are preferable to the inorganic because they are environmentally friendly, economical and safer in application especially among illiterate farmers, adding that, “the product from organic fertilizers is preferable because it has better effect on health. There are enzymes in organic fertilizers which speed up organic reactions in the soil thereby ensuring high productivity and yield of crops.

“The enzymes in organic fertilizers multiply the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the soil in billions and because of that, the soil has enough nutrients to feed the crops with. Organic fertilizers, unlike the non-organic fertilizers, don’t have adverse effects on the soil and the farmers applying them. The farmer can use his hand in applying organic fertilizer but the chemical fertilizer is usually corrosive,” he said.

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