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Jatropha - fuel for the future?

villagers from Velchal check the jatropha crop

We will be finding out about the wild plant jatropha. Will it use up precious land which could be used to grow food - or does it hold the key to feeding the world's hungry industries? Find out in Jatropha - fuel for the future?
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=36
Article: Seeds of change: jatropha in India

New Agriculturist podcast 2008-1

Agriculture in developing countries has suffered from a lack of investment in the past two decades

It is generally acknowledged that farmers and farming systems are changing and that there is an urgent need for changes in approach if more effective agricultural development is to be achieved. But how can this be best achieved and do we still need to put farmers first? Susanna Thorp provides some thoughts from participants, including donors, researchers and the private sector, at a recent conference held at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex in the UK. From India, Susie Emmett meets with veterinary students who are encouraged to 'Earn and you Learn' encourages students to get involved in the real world of work, by developing a business plan and testing it out as a real working business.
Audio link: http://wrenmedia.jellycast.com/files/audio/new-ag08-1.mp3
Article: Agricultural research and development - which way now?, Editorial

New Agriculturist podcast 2007-6

Educational reform is central to the Food For Thought programme

The northern region of Uganda is the closest it has been to peace for over two decades. The long-running civil war has devastated an area once known as the country's 'bread basket' and recent flooding has exacerbated the food insecurity of millions living in camps for internally displaced people. Against this backdrop of war and food insecurity, lessons in practical agriculture are healing minds as well as building businesses for the younger generation. In the New Agriculturist podcast, Georgina Smith journeys to classrooms and colleges to meet the remarkable people who are rebuilding lives and restoring dignity by passing on their skills in agriculture and belief in rural businesses.
Audio link: http://wrenmedia.jellycast.com/files/audio/new-ag07-6.mp3
Article: Reaping the fruits of labour, Editorial

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

In Uganda, the Food for Thought programme aims to combine good agricultural practice, with formal education in schools, teaching children both good ideas, and good nutrition. The Programme is also linked with a Food for Thought programme in the UK, so that both Ugandan and British children appreciate good agricultural practice – and how they can benefit from it. Based in Gulu in the north of Uganda, James Anywar is headmaster of Keyo Primary School – but he is also Chariman of the Food for Thought Programme. On a tour of the school gardens, he explains how the programme works. Georgina Smith reports
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=15
Article: Learning peace in Uganda

Orange-fleshed plantain for child health (part 2)

Using a colour chart to comparing a carotenoid plantain variety with normal variety

In Cameroon, the African Research Centre on Banana and Plantain (CARBAP) has been identifying varieties of banana and plantain that have high levels of carotenoids - the substances that make Vitamin A. These are now being tested by farmers in their own banana plantations under a High Density Planting system. The field trials are investigating whether it is possible to achieve higher crop yields by growing more plants on the same area of land, and what the fertiliser requirements of these plants would be. Mike Davison reports.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=104
Article: Going bananas for vital vitamins

Orange-fleshed plantain for child health (part 1)

Using a colour chart to comparing a carotenoid plantain variety with normal variety

Not getting enough Vitamin A in the diet has a serious impact on health. In Cameroon, for example, 40 per cent of children under five suffer from Vitamin A deficiency; this means that they become sick more easily, and may even die. While it is possible to take Vitamin A supplements, in the long term it is better to include more Vitamin A rich foods in the diet. For example, some varieties of plantain and banana have high levels of carotenoid, a substance that the body uses to make Vitamin A. The African Research Centre on Banana and Plantain in Cameroon (CARBAP) is investigating the potential of these varieties, at its research station in Njombe, Cameroon. The station also has an enormous collection of different types of banana and plantain, one of the biggest collections in the world. Food scientist, Dr Gérard Ngoh, took Mike Davison to see the collection, and Mike began by asking just how many different varieties the collection contained.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=103
Article: Going bananas for vital vitamins

Transforming agriculture in Africa

'To transform agriculture in Africa we therefore need to introduce the power of education into agriculture,' says Glyvyns Chinkuntha

What are the ideas that could transform African agriculture – and make the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers across the continent better? A conference held recently in Johannesburg, South Africa, brought together farmers, donors, researchers, and businesses from all over the continent to discuss ways to make African agriculture more productive and competitive in a global economy. Neil Palmer reports with some of their ideas on what African agriculture needs for the future if it is to become the keystone to further economic growth on the continent.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=16
Article: Transforming agriculture in Africa

New Agriculturist podcast 2007-5

Soil is a vitally important, yet frequently underrated, natural resource.

Much agricultural research lasts only a few years or so. But the Broadbalk fields at Rothamsted Research, UK, are home to the longest-running agricultural experiment int eh world. Professor Phil Brookes takes Susie Emmett to the heart of the trials to discuss how useful and relevant such a demonstration is to farmers today, more than 150 years since they began. From Uganda, Georgina Smith reports from a plot bursting with juicy pineapples and healthy vegetables as part of another on-farm experiment, and how it has benefited smallholders.
Audio link: http://wrenmedia.jellycast.com/files/audio/new-ag07-5.mp3
Article: Making soil matter, Editorial

Blooming business

Blooming business

Flowers are big business - so big in fact, that global trade in flowers has been growing by 20 per cent each year. With so much demand coming mostly from Europe, it is no wonder that farmers want to invest in the flower business, but is the option open to small scale farmers, as well as large commercial operations? Susie Emmett travelled to South Africa and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where flowers from more than 80 countries are traded, to find out. She talks to the entrepreneurs seizing the opportunity to create an increasingly Blooming business.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=18
Article: The power of flowers

Getting research off the shelves

'To transform agriculture in Africa we therefore need to introduce the power of education into agriculture,' says Glyvyns Chinkuntha

There have been many changes at the Department for International Development in recent months, with Douglas Alexander replacing former Secretary of State for International Development, Hilary Benn. Behind the scenes, research at DFID continues, and the launch of DFID's new research programme - Research into Use - is one of latest initiatives contributing to the growth of sustainable agriculture, a significant sector for Africa. In this interview Susanna Thorp talks to Dan Kisauzi, Director of capacity strengthening for the programme, about what putting research into use really means.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=19
Article: Transforming agriculture in Africa


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