Coffee value chain, meet the blockchain: cryptocurrency technology shows promise for the world’s favorite commodity
Everyone in the coffee industry craves information, perhaps even more than a morning jolt of caffeine. Across Uganda – one of the world’s top ten coffee producers – scientists, producers, industry, and the government collect data on coffee production. They do this to obtain valuable information, ranging from yield and prices to weather impacts and disease, and hopefully reduce risk in the process.
The idea of visualizing soil data at a glance electronically is exciting to many actors in agriculture and land-use planning. Previously, soil characterization required traveling to the field to collect soil samples and sending them to the lab for analysis. Digital maps, however, save the time (travel, carry soils samples to the lab and wait for results) before making crucial site-specific decisions.
This was Rachel Kinyua’s experience before she met the team from the Piloting of Improved Brachiaria and Panicum Forages for Increased Livestock Production – a joint project between CIAT and the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) in Kenya.
Malnutrition remains a serious problem for many people in East Africa. Poor consumers are willing to pay a premium for healthier foods, pointing to a new strategy for improving nutrition at a large scale
Representatives from farmer’s organisations from southern African countries, from the Government of Mali and Ethiopia, IFAD project staff and donors recently participated in a one-week learning journey in Ethiopia, focused on transformative approaches to mainstream climate, gender, nutrition and youth. The purpose of the journey, organised by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and IFAD, was to learn and exchange on challenges and best practices to promote transformation approaches on mainstreaming climate change, gender, youth and nutrition into programming, as well as witness examples of rural transformation in Ethiopia.
Uganda’s newest health food craze began in the slums of Kampala. It started when a handful of women tried an unusual porridge, which is made from five grains grown in nearby hillsides, instead of their normal porridge, which is typically made from a single main ingredient like maize. Soon they began selling the new product door-to-door. Nutreal Limited, the local company that produces the porridge flour is now rushing to keep pace with demand.
Smallholder poverty in sub-Saharan Africa is often linked to sandy soils, which hold little water and are low in nutrients. A new technology may be able to enrich fields and farmers without massive investments in irrigation and fertilizer
Does Brachiaria stand a chance in smallholder dairy dominated by productive Napier grass in eastern Africa?
Smallholder dairy farming continues to thrive in rural and peri-urban households in East Africa. Thanks to the tangible wins, farmers have derived over time milk, manure, and financial income, among other benefits. However, feeding the animals is akin to Napier grass, courtesy for its high biomass production and withstanding frequent cutting.
Florence Makokha did not have a head start in life: she was married off at an early age and was not able to finish her formal education. Today, Florence is not only one of the flourishing farmers in her village but she is also a proud farmer peer educator.
Conservation agriculture: enhancing soil fauna richness and abundance in low-input systems: Examples from Kenya
Over the years, many discussions on the benefits of conservation agriculture vis-à-vis conventional tillage have been held. These have mainly focused on the associated soil physical and chemical benefits. However, on most occasions, little attention has focused on the benefits of practicing conservation agriculture for soil health. Indeed, for the myriad soil benefits and even improvements in crop yield, there is often a direct or indirect association with the activities of soil biological organisms and, generally, soil health.
CIAT in Africa
CIAT’s vision of the promise of tropical agriculture is especially relevant to sub-Saharan Africa. Nowhere does the well-being of so many people depend so much on a concerted effort to realize farming’s potential for reducing chronic hunger, opening pathways out of rural poverty, enhancing human nutrition, and improving the management of natural resources. CIAT works especially on the following themes:
- Leveraging markets through improved productivity and competitiveness
- Agriculture for improved nutrition in Africa
- Transforming farms and landscapes for sustainability
- Investment planning for resilient agriculture