Fertilizer Optimization Tool helps return son to teacher training school

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FOT pays off for Charles Wafula who is now able to help his son continue teacher training

By Monica Kansiime, Scientist Seed Systems, based at CABI in Nairobi, Kenya

In a previous blog post I outlined how the Fertilizer Optimization Tool (FOT) is paying dividends for farmers – helping them, in some cases, to report a seven-fold increase in their yields.

Charles Wafula is a farmer and resident of Buhehe in Uganda who is just one example of how FOT is helping to increase his fortunes and benefit his family – in particular he is now able to pay his son’s fees so he can continue to train as a school teacher.

Approaching Mr Wafula’s home, you get a feeling of a committed farmer. I find him sitting in his compound with various sized fruit trees providing shade and a cool ambiance. He doesn’t not take long after a brief introduction to tell me his success story of utilising FOT.

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Africa Soil Health Consortium builds NARO’s capacity in communication material development

Dairy group giving feedback

Authored by: Abigael Mchana, Communication Officer, CABI Kenya

Developing fit-for-purpose, interactive and effective communication materials for farmers and their intermediaries is not an easy task. You cannot create a poster with generic text or images and then distribute it to your audience en-masse. It requires an in-depth analysis of your primary stakeholder, an understanding of your audience’s preferred communication channels and a realistic visualisation of how your intended audience will interact with the finished product.

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Soybean farmers in Nigeria embrace new production technologies

By Solomon Duah, Communications Specialist, CABI Ghana

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There is a growing interest and enthusiasm in the production of soybean among farmers in selected states in Nigeria as new yield-enhancing and soil fertility-improving technologies are being introduced to them through an integrated farmer education campaign. Continue reading

10 highlights from 10 years of the China-CABI Joint Laboratory

Wu Kongming, Joint Lab Co-Director (2008 – 2013) and Trevor Nicholls, CEO, CABI

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Joint Laboratory for Bio-safety established by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) and CABI.

A decade of cooperation and knowledge sharing through the Joint Lab has helped to address Chinese and global needs for food and nutritional security, food safety, greater innovation and sustainable development.

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World Food Day 2018 – Feeding our appetite for food security

Fresh fruits and vegetables
The fruit and veg ‘food basket’ of the world

By Dr Dennis Rangi – Director General, Development at CABI based in Nairobi, Kenya

On this World Food Day 2018 the issue of feeding the world has never been in sharper focus. By 2050, agriculture will need to produce almost 50 percent more food, feed and biofuel than it did in 2012 just to meet demand.

Our passion for food – beyond the need of it for our very survival – is engrained deeply in cultural practices and national identities around the world. The Americans are perhaps stereotypically renowned for wanting their food fast and lots of it, the Italians for pizza and pasta, the Chinese for rice and noodles, while the French are famous for their à la carte cuisine. To quench our thirst one could also add coffee from Ethiopia.

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Kerala flooding: Agricultural impacts and environmental degradation

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Flooded streets and shops in Kerala, August 2018 (© Praveenp, Wikimedia Commons)

Last month, the south Indian state of Kerala experienced record level rainfall. A huge 310mm of rainfall in just 24 hours, resulted in devastating flooding, causing significant damage to infrastructure, agricultural systems and human life. With over 480 people confirmed to have been killed due to the flooding, experts are now identifying the causes of this incident, including dramatic human development, environmental degradation and a lack of sustainable development in the region.

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Exciting imaginations: New media formats to reach women and young people with agricultural extension messages

Malawi women listening to radio
Women keep in touch through the power of radio

Campaigns create greater equality of access to information across farming households, but formats are as important as channels, argue Duncan Sones of the Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) delivery team…

The ASHC campaign-based approach explored the use of a variety of channels to build multiple media campaigns. ASHC has been testing the hypothesis that the more varied the channels of information reaching a farming household – the more likely they’re to trial or adopt new technologies. For example, evidence collected from the outcome evaluation of the Scaling-up Improved Legumes Technologies (SILT) in Tanzania suggested this is the case.

What we’re doing is increasing the equality of access to information. Over the next 18 months we’ll be looking for evidence that greater access to information, especially by women and young people, changes the conversations in farming households.

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