Category “Technology (BioTech)”

Africa: New Climate Innovation Center Launched to Jumpstart Clean-Tech and Climate-Smart Agriculture Ventures in Ethiopia

Addis Ababaethiopia, — World Bank-supported business hub, the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), was launched today in Addis Ababa to support pioneering clean technology enterprises that address climate change while creating jobs and improving livelihoods. First of its kind in the country, the center will help over 3.1 million Ethiopians increase resilience to climate change and is expected to create more than 12,000 jobs in the next ten years.

Ethiopia’s agriculture, which is highly sensitive to fluctuations in rainfall, represents the basis of the national economy. It accounts for approximately 46% of the GDP and 80% of the jobs of the working population. According to the World Bank report ‘Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change,’ without a proper green growth strategy, the total climate adaptation costs for Ethiopia could range from US$1.22 billion to $5.84 billion per year.

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Botswana: Government to Expedite Agriculture Infrastructure Development

In an effort to optimise agricultural production, government will expedite the Agriculture Infrastructure Development Initiative (AIDI) once the economy has improved. Speaking during a harvest day at Mosi in Southern District on Friday, March 22, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama said under the initiative, government would provide water, power and telecommunications infrastructure across the country for both crops and livestock step by step until the high production areas including Mosisedi were covered.

President Khama explained that the initiative was dealt a serious blow and shelved following the economic recession in 2008. However, he said the Ministry of Agriculture would continue to bring services closer to farmers through agricultural service centres, adding that the Mosisedi commercial farmers were provided with fertilisers, seeds, agricultural machinery and implements through the centre at Good Hope rather than major centres in Lobatse and Gaborone.

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Tanzania: More Research in Agriculture Needed to Eradicate Poverty

GOVERNMENT over the last three years invested over 25bn/- in research, especially on agriculture products, as one way of eradicating poverty.

This was said recently by the Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Nteranya Sanginga, during a meeting which brought together agriculture experts from the world’s leading partnership in agriculture research.

The meeting which was hosted by IITA and CGIAR, a global partner that unites organisations engaged in research for a food secure future, brought together a consortium board and director generals of all 15 international centres that make up the CGIAR consortium.

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Gambia: ITC, WARF Aims to Revitalize GILMA

The International Trypanotolerance Centre (ITC), in collaboration with the Regional Project on Sustainable Management of Endemic Ruminant Livestock (PROGEBE) and West African Rural Foundation (WARF) in Senegal Dakar last Friday held a daylong validation workshop, aimed at revitalizing the Gambia Indigenous Livestock Multipliers Association (GILMA). This one day workshop that gathered participants across the country was held at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, representing the minister of Agriculture, Isatou Yarbo stated that the livestock sector in The Gambia contributes 29% to agricultural GDP and 8.6% to national GDP.

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Rwanda: Agriculture ICT Competition Underway

Information and Communication Technology solution developers are tussling it out at kLab, Rwanda’s first innovation hub, on the best ways ICT can empower the agriculture sector. This is part of the ongoing conference in Kigali convened to deliberate on ways agriculture can leverage ICT to enhance marketing.

The competition, dubbed “ICT4ag” (ICT for agriculture), seeks to promote application of technology in the agriculture sector with an emphasis on value chain, advocacy and policy development.

The challenges the developers are tasked with include coming up with solutions for the bidirectional sharing of information between farmers and extension officers and devising a solution that would enable farmers to access finance with ease. The participants comprise nine groups from Uganda, Madagascar, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda.

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Africa: ICT4ag13 – ICT Can Help Youth Return to Farms, Solve Africa’s Agricultural Challenges

The ICT for Agriculture 2013(ICT4ag13) conference officially opened on Tuesday in Kigali, Rwanda. The conference looks at ways in which technology can provide solutions to problems plaguing the agriculture sector in addition to making farming more efficient. Organised by Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), ICT4ag13 focuses on Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

Speaking at the opening, CTA Executive Director, Michael Hailu, says that agriculture in Africa employs 65 percent of the labour force and contributes to 62 percent of the gross domestic product. The sector has however faced issues including low productivity, high energy needed in production, poor or hardly available extension services and high input prices.

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Africa: Farmers Fine-Tune Research, Spread Their Own Innovations

The 1960s’ Green Revolution demonstrated how technological innovations can transform agriculture. High-yielding crop strains, irrigation, fertilisers and pesticides were brought into developing countries, including India and the Philippines, increasing yields by more than 250 per cent, and pulling over a billion people back from the brink of starvation.

Despite its impact, criticisms of this top-down model of technology transfer included its failure to reach poorer smallholder farmers who could not always take advantage of the technologies. And today, many parts of the developing world, particularly in Africa, still have low adoption rates for agricultural technology.

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