The New Agriculturist - Reporting Agriculture for the 21st Century


Bridges Organic Health restaurant, Kenya (credit: Zablon Odhiambo)Organic farming is the fastest growth area of Africa's horticulture industry and a major export earner. But if the UK Soil Association withdraws its certification of airfreighted produce due to concerns over 'food miles', what are the prospects for organic agriculture in Africa?

Weaver ants tirelessly scouting in search of palatable pests (credit: Paul Van Mele, WARDA)The humble weaver ant could come to the rescue of west African mango farmers suffering from fruit fly attacks. Praised as a 'gift of nature', a recent report from Benin has found that an abundance of the hungry hunters can provide effective and low-cost biological control.

Using a colour chart to compare a carotenoid plantain variety with normal varietyEach year an estimated half a million people go blind from a lack of vitamin A in their diet. But orange-fleshed plantains, rich in certain carotenoids and traditionally grown in many African countries, could provide important nutritional benefits.

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September 2007