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Sunday, October 30, 2016

How to reduce ammonia pollution in a cattle ranch.

A new study provides a list of techniques and technologies that could provide the greatest reductions in ammonia emissions in cattle ranch.These techniques can reduce emissions by 17% to 50% which include improved barn design, cleaning processes, and manure treatment . The study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment provided a list of the techniques and technologies that could provide the greatest reductions in ammonia emissions.The new study assesses the emissions reduction potential of a number of techniques, such as floor scraping, flushing with water, manure acidification, and using different types of flooring Ammonia pollution in general have impacts on both the environment and human health, it can lead to algal blooms in freshwater, threatening aquatic wildlife, and contribute to smog that damages human health. In northwestern Europe, dairy cattle are usually housed in large barns, where they are kept loose, and manure, which is the source of ammonia emissions, is removed and stored in a pit beneath the barn. A number of factors contribute to how much ammonia escapes from the manure into air, including chemical processes, temperature, and air flow. Mendes and colleagues approached the problem using a model of ammonia emissions that was designed to calculate the ammonia emission reductions potential of new or adapted dairy cattle barns. It incorporates management technologies and processes designed to reduce pollution.

AGRIBUSINESS : How to feed snails using watermelon.

AGRIBUSINESS : How to feed snails with watermelon. Watermelon are undoubtedly very useful in the food chain as they offer benefits to man as well as animals. The role of watermelon in the poultry value chain has been explored and the results are outstanding ,see. Watermelon has also been used as medicine to ensure health of birds,see #snails AGRIBUSINESS : How to feed snails with watermelon. Watermelon is very useful aside from the fruit itself the rind itself is food ,see the rind is also useful in feeding snails. The rind is washed ,sliced and then cubed into pieces before feeding them to the snails. The snails relish this delicacy , #snails.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hungry kids treated for rabies after digging up dog corpses to eat.

Starving youngsters dug up bodies with their bare hands and ate them with rice.DESPERATE children are being treated for rabies after digging up the corpses of dead dogs and EATING them.The group of 13 starving kids clawed with their bare hands to get at the rotting animals, who had been put down after being suspected of carrying the disease. They set up a camp fire to cook the corpses and ate them with rice in the poverty stricken Mukdaharn region of north-east Thailand.They quickly fell ill and were rushed to hospital after locals spotted what they were eating. Animal welfare worker Chon Chaiprasit said: ”It’s a terrible situation. Nobody would have expected the youngsters to eat the dead animals. ”The dogs had rabies so they are currently having vaccinations.”Dog meat is commonly eaten in poorer rural regions of south-east Asia.It is common for dogs to be farmed for food and even skinned alive in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. On Monday dogs were rounded up and beheaded after reports they were rabidly biting each other. While their heads were taken for testing, their bodies were buried in woodland in Khok Sung.Hours later the group of starving children dug up the corpses.Tests on the animals confirmed they had rabies, sparking fears the children would be infected. They were given emergency vaccines while vets set out to give jabs to stray dogs within a two-mile radius in an attempt to avoid the disease spreading. Chon added: “There hasn’t been any explanation yet as to why the youngsters ate the dogs but we believe it is because they were hungry and needed food. “They are being treated and we are working hard to contain the outbreak.” Village elder Withaya Thongmaha, 53, said: “Lots of dogs were biting each other and we worried they may have rabies so we called for help.“I heard that at least ten youths had dug up the corpses and eaten the dogs for food.” more

Alien ladybirds infected with a sex disease are heading for homes in Cambridgeshire.

Harlequins were first recorded in the UK in 2004. They’re aliens, not a native species, having originated in Asia, migrated to America, and then somehow found their way to Cambridgeshire. Alpha male-style alien ladybirds may be killing off weaker competitors in Cambridgeshire.They’re big, they’re butch, and they like to bonk. Alien ladybirds carrying a virulent sexual disease are fluttering on the wind in Cambridgeshire, and may want to snuggle up in homes. They pose no threat to humans, wildlife experts have explained. They’re larger, tougher and butcher than other ladybirds, and they tend to out compete them, and may perhaps have had a part in the declining population. Ladybirds can be cannibalistic, eating each other’s larvae, for example. Harlequin ladybirds are bossy and tend to lord it over other, smaller, meeker ladybirds,some carry a sexually-transmitted disease called Laboulbeniales, a fungus which causes a spooky-looking outbreak of small yellow spines, making infected ladybirds look like miniature hedgehogs. Experts do not know what impact the disease has, or whether it is fatal, but they believe it may be life-limiting. The invasive harlequins have a better chance of living longer, it is thought, because they are bigger and tougher.The alien invaders have black instead of red wings, and like all ladybirds like to hunker down for the winter inside houses, around boilers, window frames and curtains. There is currently a big survey going on, and people are being asked to log on to and help out with information, and give better understanding about ladybirds. more

Agritech; the use of laser fence to protect crops from rats and other pests.

The role of agritech to produce tools and techniques to ensure farming is easy,reduce waste and prevent spread of diseases cannot be overemphasized.This has birthed a trend of partnerships between agritech companies and other agric-inclined businesses to provide solutions that will ensure food security. Agritech has churned out some innovations (read earlier posts),but the latest innovation is the use of laser fence to scare pests away from crops to prevent damage.This laser fence is to protect crops from be eaten by rats,rodents,birds and other pests. The European Commission is funding a trial to see if a laser can scare rats and other rodents from crops in order to eliminate harmful poisons.Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University (Liverpool, England) hope a "fence" of laser light will scare rats and other pests, proving an alternative to poison. The trials will take place in Scotland, the Netherlands, and Spain starting in late 2016. The National Farmers' Union (NFU) said innovation was important to support the farming industry following Brexit. "The laser has already been produced," Alex Mason, project coordinator of the Life Laser Fence project, told the BBC. The EC contributed $1.85 million dollars to support the research. "It's a commercial product used in a number of situations--but we are looking at using it in agricultural situations, on a wider range of species. It already works very well on birds. We hope it will work on rats, badgers, foxes and rabbits too." The Agrilaser Autonomic is sold as a device that repels birds, which "perceive the approaching laser beam as a physical danger" and fly away, according to the manufacturer. The researchers hope it will work just as well on other unwanted animals that can destroy crops, eat food meant for farm animals, and spread disease. Controlling pests with poisons can lead to unintended victims such as birds being killed too, so the trial hopes to reduce crop damage in the trial areas by 50%, while reducing bird exposure to pesticide by 80%. more

Climate smart agriculture.#hydroponics.

Climate smart agriculture growing vegetables in a tray without soil. The innovative mindset birthed this and now its live!!! I have a farm where i grow vegetables,but decided to plant some veggies the hydroponics way; I followed these steps ; 1) chose good quality seeds. 2) soaked the seeds in hypochlorite solution for 6 hours. 3) washed seeds with clean water and set in trays. 4) i sprayed with water morning and evening. 5) here comes the veggies.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Converting footsteps to usable electricity.

Going green with flooring as new technique converts footsteps to usable energy. A simple method developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison materials engineers that allows them to convert footsteps into usable electricity. A new study published in the journal Nano Energy, highlights the work of Xudong Wang, an associate professor of materials science and engineering at UW-Madison, his graduate student Chunhua Yao, and their collaborators. The method puts to good use a common waste material: wood pulp. The pulp, which is already a common component of flooring, is partly made of cellulose nanofibers. They're tiny fibers that, when chemically treated, produce an electrical charge when they come into contact with untreated nanofibers. When the nanofibers are embedded within flooring, they're able to produce electricity that can be harnessed to power lights or charge batteries, the wood pulp is a cheap, abundant and renewable waste product of several industries, flooring that incorporates the new technology could be as affordable as conventional materials. The UW-Madison team's advance is the latest in a green energy research field called "roadside energy harvesting", which requires thinking about the places where there is abundant energy that could be harvesting easily.Heavy traffic floors in hallways and places like stadiums and malls that incorporate the technology could produce significant amounts of energy if properly harnessed.

Climate-Smart Poultry Farming Brings Prosperity to Kenya’s Smallholders.

Mercy Wairimu poultry farmer from Nakuru County in Kenya used to have a few small indigenous chickens here and there, running around in her compound but then the Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Project (KAPAP) came,they expanded her business and now she has 1000 birds. The KAPAP is a Government of Kenya initiative supported by the World Bank whose aim is to improve agricultural productivity and the incomes of smallholders. It does so through a range of activities, including supporting research and developing agriculture value chains. Farmers have benefited from KAPAP’s provision of new technologies, improved market access and climate-smart agriculture approaches especially in dairy farming, potato and pea cropping, apiculture and poultry rearing, to name just a few. Some of the beneficiaries have even expanded their operations to practice more than one type of farming. Agriculture means jobs in Kenya. After all, more than 75% of Kenyans make a living in agriculture, hence supporting farmers to earn good incomes and build a sustainable, climate-smart food system is vital to driving economic growth and boosting shared prosperity in Kenya. In Nakuru County, KAPAP works with a farmers’ co-operative society to improve the poultry value chain. Mercy is one of the society’s two thousand plus members who has benefited from training on sustainable poultry: rearing techniques; the provision of vaccines, and the introduction to the improved ‘Kroiller’ chickens. The indigenous chickens she used to raise were smaller, and took between six months to one year to breed. The new, improved Kroiller chickens are fully grown after four and a half months, weigh between four to six kilograms once fully-grown, and they start breeding in less than six months. According to Mercy, the improved chickens also lay larger eggs almost every day. Vaccinations—against devastating diseases like Newcastle—also help guarantee that more chicks survive, and become fully grown. The new chickens are quite resilient, that according to Mercy, every so often, if she hatches 200 chicks, 195 of them become fully grown. Mercy’s poultry farm is also climate-smart and makes sustainable use of resources. Poultry is recognized for being among the "greenest" meats, using up less resources and emitting less greenhouse gases than larger livestock. Mercy’s chickens eat kale grown on her farm, and are less reliant on store-bought feed that’s produced elsewhere and carries a larger environmental footprint. She also uses bird droppings as fertilizer on her crops, and practices agroforestry, growing bananas and fruit trees on her poultry farm. KAPAP has helped poultry farmers become better entrepreneurs by advising them on how to grow their brand and connecting them to bigger markets. Mercy says that that they used to sell their chickens and eggs to friends and neighbors, but KAPAP introduced them to bigger markets. “Now we sell our eggs in supermarkets. They also taught us about advertising and marketing,” Mercy says. Through their co-op, the Nakuru poultry farmers can command better prices for their eggs and shelf space in Nakumatt supermarket and other popular grocery stores. They can also purchase inputs, such as vaccines and vitamins, at higher volumes and for a lower price. The success she has recorded as a farmer and entrepreneur, has moved her family towards greater prosperity over the years. She is a mother of three and she says that she does not have any other income, but she relies on farming. One of the children is a 4th year at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology while the other is in boarding school. She has been able to educate her children through poultry business.more

Agritech innovations for food security and safety.

The smart pot has sensors that detect the status of a plant, like whether it’s receiving enough water and sunlight, or if soil conditions are optimum. Even though Greenopia is catering to smaller segment, its influence on the plant cultivation is interesting. Food packaging and transport is an important part of the food chain,food must be delivered fresh and valuable. The majority of food waste that arises in the value chain is simply because of lack of adequate preservation and packaging technique to ensure the food is delivered fresh. The rural farmers and small holder farmers that produce majority of food shipped out lack all these innovations and end up losing money due to waste as a result of spoilage of food.The innovations in this area must be cheap ,readily available and simple and easy to operate. In California ,purfresh is addressing some of the challenges ; purfresh reduce decay, reduce pathogens, control ripening, and enhance food safety all at once .Purfresh doesn’t use any chemicals to solve these challenges rather they make use of the power of ozone. Ozone (O3) oxidizes decay causing & pathogenic microbial that results in reducing decay and it also removes Ethylene resulting in controlling the ripening of fruits.

The mystery of the camel milk.

In India camel milk is used therapeutically against dropsy, Jaundice, problems of the spleen, tuberculosis, asthma, anaemia, and piles (Rao et al., 1970). The “chal” and other lung ailments (Gast et al., 1963) has proven beneficial in the treatment of tuberculosis (Akundov et al., 1972). A clinic has been established in which milk is used for treatment (Urazakov and Bainazarov, 1974). Patients with chronic hepatitis had improved liver function after being treated with camel milk (Sharmanov et al., 1978). In fact, camel milk was as effective as ass milk and superior to treatment with only medication or a diet consisting of cow milk proteins. The camel milk works as a laxative on people unaccustomed to drinking this milk (Rao et al., 1970). Apparently stomach upsets only occur when the milk is drunk while still warm. When it is cool, no ill effects have been noted (Gast et al., 1969). The milk also apparently has slimming properties (Yasin and Wahid, 1957). Camel milk is given to the sick, the elderly and the very young because of the belief that it is not only healthier, but works especially well in bone formation (Gast et al., 1969). The belief among the Bedouin of the Sinai Peninsula, is that any internal disease can be cured by drinking camel milk. The milk is said to be of such a strength, and to have such health-giving properties, that all the bacteria are driven from the body. This said to be true only for camels that eat certain shrubs and bushes. The shrubs and bushes are, themselves, used in the preparation of medicines. However, camels which eat straw are said to lose this ability. In Ethiopia camel milk is considered as having aphrodisiac powers (Rao et al., 1970). In Somalia, among the pastoral tribes, it is believed that milk drunk on the night when the camels first drink water, following a long period of thirst, has magical powers (Mares, 1954). “He who drinks milk on this night from a thirst-quenched camel will lose the thorns that have penetrated his feet, even from childhood”. In the Sahara there is a superstition that when camel milk is given to a certain guest, only the milk of one particular camel is given to him. (Gast et al., 1969). Therefore, if the guest casts an evil eye on the herd, only the camel, whose milk he has drunk, will be affected and will stop lactating. more

Happy Cows Help Save the Planet.

Climate-smart agriculture can produce more food on less land, and with a minimal environmental footprint. An example of this is the Coopeagri Agroforestry project in Costa Rica featured in this video. The project works with Costa Rica's national forestry financing fund (FONAFIFO) and with farmers to support low-carbon agriculture in symbiosis with forestry. This, in turn, generates carbon credits that are sold to the BioCarbon Fund, creating a revenue stream to help make the project sustainable.

Therapeutic milk for Diabetes in humans.

A research currently ongoing in India has shown the benefits of raising Indian cows and using the milk to treat diabetes. Dr. Sai Butcha Rao, a research associate at International Livestock Research Institute, ICRISAT, Patancheru, is throwing more light on the mechanism. B.V.S.R. Krisham Raju, who took voluntary retirement as a General Manager of power system-equipment company and started an animal farm at Mubarakpur near Sangareddy, is one among them. He acquired a Gir cow from Gujarat. Feed of Gir cow is being formulated with herbal plants, concentrates and roughages and fed to the animal. He is suffering from diabetes for the last ten years and one such volunteer. Three more volunteers from different places, including one from Sangareddy town are using the ‘health value added’ Gir cow milk as part of experiment. According to Dr. Sai, the feedback from the volunteers is encouraging and other problems associated with diabetes like tooth ache and frequent infections are getting minimised. One of his line of research is on clinical properties of milk of Indian cattle breeds. He fed the animal with specially formulated feed and the milk obtained from such cow is reported to have clinical properties to cure diabetes.He selected four volunteers for this purpose and the initial medical tests furnished encouraging results. Dr. Sai Butcha Rao, the approach is health is the value addition in the experiment. The doctor is changing the diet formulation of the animal and adding probiotics and herbal plants.The milk collected from the animal after consuming the feed will have certain medicinal properties. The experiment is being conducted assuming that this will stimulate the pancreatic duct resulting in the production of insulin. Dr. Sai said that from Vedic times Indian cattle breeds played important role in Indian culture and part of life. An Indian cow is eco friendly and plays important role in sustainable development of socio-economic and community health. Not only Gir, but also other Indian cattle breeds (Bos indicus, humped) are also suitable for production of therapeutic milk for diabetes in humans. more

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Keyhole gardens for climate smart agriculture.

Climate smart agriculture is using less to get more,that is reduced space for planting but higher productivity by planting more than a crop thus promoting biodiversity. This is the story of the keyhole gardens which provides better nutrition and livelihoods. A keyhole garden is a round raised garden, supported with stones. Keyhole gardens are built in places where it is difficult to build normal gardens such as rocky areas, shallow arid/or compacted soils, etc, near the entrance of dwellings to facilitate their watering with household waste water. Keyhole gardens are made with low-cost locally available materials,the production of a keyhole garden can be enough to feed a family of 8 persons and such gardens can produce food all year round even under harsh temperatures and can support the production of at least 5 varieties of vegetables at a time - thus supporting dietary diversity. The keyhole gardens require less labor thus its ideal for elderly, children or sick persons, and requires less water and no costly fertilizers or pesticides. They act like an organic recycling tank, using your food and garden waste as fuel to grow vegetables! Crop rotation and growing of insect-repellent plants are important to balance nutrient demands, fight insects and plant diseases, and deter weeds. When a project introduced keyhole gardens in Lesotho, neighboring villages outside the project intervention area were reproducing keyhole gardens on their own initiative, clearly indicating the success of the intervention and its potential sustainability. This technology gives a detailed step-by-step description of the building process of a keyhole garden. The keyhole garden is built using the following; 1)Soil, compost 2) Strong string 3) Straw or something similar 4) Worms 5) Well rotted manure and wood ash 6)large stones, bricks or logs 7)Scrap metal (old cans, etc.) and 8) Several sticks or 1.5meters canes The garden is built as follows ;find a space near your house that’s about 3m2 and make sure that there is enough sunlight and it is located closely to access to water. 2) Clear the space of weeds and dig it over. continue

Monday, October 24, 2016

Solving the power crisis with chicken.

The role of the chicken in nation development cannot be over emphasized,from food to fashion to power generation and employment facilitation,the role in solving power crisis is huge and we need to start tapping into this fast. There has been recent reports about drops in power generation due to inadequate gas-to-power for the mostly gas-based power plants,this can be solved easily with proper harnessing of the power locked in chicken. The number of chickens in the country can help solve this power crisis by the using their waste to generate electricity. This is another aspect of climate smart agriculture,the waste that usually end up in landfills destroying the environment and increasing emissions can actually be converted to power which is clean energy. This is an analysis for a state,imagine this replicated in other states especially from local government levels where waste to wealth initiatives are encouraged. The waste generated not only smells but also is a breeding area for flies which further increase spread of diseases. The problem of waste disposal is one that can be turned to a new source of income by channeling the waste to a digester to produce heat,electricity and fertilizer. Biogas uses anaerobic digestion to breakdown poultry litter to methane,carbon dioxide and other gases which can easily be converted to light and energy.The gas is lighter than air ,will be pipped to the top of the tank to a biogas cooking stove or light. The advantages of the biogas plants are 1) Improved manure composition and less odor 2)Higher availability of nutrients thus higher crop yields 3)No acidification of the soil as digestate has a pH of 8. 4) Reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases. 5) Generation of renewable energy; green power. 6) Reduced overhead cost. Every kg of organic matter yields 0.5m3 of biogas. 1000kg of chicken litter yields 200m3 of biogas. 1m3 of biogas = 2.1 KW electricity and 2.5 KW heat. Lagos with poultry population of 5,467,915, has a great potential to generate electricity,heat and high grade fertilizer for crops. A chicken produces about 100gm of droppings daily, that means in a day the waste generated on poultry farms alone is 546,791,500gm which translates to 546,791.5kg. 1000kg of chicken litter =200m3 biogas. 546,791.5kg of chicken litter= 546,791.5 X200\1000 =109,358.3 m3 biogas is produced daily in the state. 1m3 of biogas = 2.1KW electricity, so daily 109,358.3 x2.1 = 229,652.43 KW of electricity is untapped . The poultry value chain can not only provide food,cloth accessories,jobs but it can also generate electricity that will power more farms,industries and homes . The biogas plant will also ensure a cleaner environment.Join the biogas project to change our #environment #economy #lives .

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Robots and climate change.

Tiny aquatic robots that resemble mussels, are being used to monitor climate change and its impact on biodiversity. The robots dubbed robomussels actually resemble mussels and was developed by Northeastern University scientist Brian Helmuth. These robots have the same shape, size and color of actual mussels and are fitted with miniature sensors that track temperatures inside the mussel beds. For the past 18 years, every 10 to 15 minutes, Helmuth and a global research team of 48 scientists have used robomussels to track internal body temperature, which is determined by the warmth of the surrounding air or water and the amount of solar radiation the devices absorb. They place the robots inside mussel beds in oceans around the globe and record temperatures. The researchers have built a database of nearly two decades worth of data, enabling scientists to pinpoint areas of unusual warming, intervene to help curb damage to vital marine ecosystems and develop strategies that could prevent extinction of certain species. By tracking the effects of climate change, the findings can reveal emerging hotspots so policymakers and scientists can step in and relieve stressors such as erosion and water acidification before it’s too late. The robots look exactly like mussels, but they have little green blinking lights in them,what the scientist do is basically pluck out a mussel and then glue the device to the rock right inside the mussel bed. These enable them link field observations with the physiological impact of global climate change on these ecologically and economically important animals. Mussels have often been used as a climate change barometer because they rely on external sources of heat such as air temperature and sun exposure for their body heat and thrive, or not, depending on those conditions. Using fieldwork along with mathematical and computational models, Helmuth forecasts the patterns of growth, reproduction and survival of mussels in intertidal zones,these data sets indicate when and where to look for the effects of climate change. The mussels are early indicators that signals trouble warning. The mussels are a major food supply for many species, including lobsters and crabs and also function as filters along near-shore waters, clearing huge amounts of particulates. Losing them can affect everything from the growth of species we care about because we want to eat them, to water clarity, to biodiversity of all the tiny animals that live on the insides of the beds. more

Digital Soil mapping in Africa for food security.

In Nairobi, Kenya, a group of modern day explorers is providing the data for a first-ever set of digital maps of African soils. Traditional maps, the scientists say, provide information on broad soil types but not on specific soil properties. The new maps provide direct information on soil properties at a level of accuracy once considered all but unachievable. Detailed maps are now available that are helping thousands of subsistence farmers to maximize their production of basic food crops, an effort that many experts believe will also take the pressure off Africa’s forests and marginal lands and help reduce global climate change. When you know what your soils can do and how to take care of them, that’s an all-important first step to maximizing production and once farmers can produce enough to feed their families and produce surpluses, the back-breaking work of cutting down forests to grow crops will no longer be necessary. A group of scientists is producing the maps using technologies known as infrared and x-ray spectroscopy. what it entails is to shine light on a soil or plant sample and measure the amount of light reflected back at different wavelengths or energy levels, much in the same way that a digital camera records color. The spectral signature, or fingerprint, gives information about the sample’s mineral and organic composition. These characteristics determine a soil’s functional capacity its ability to retain and supply water and nutrients and to store carbon. This information can then be used to determine the soil’s potential and make highly accurate recommendations about what farmers need to do to improve the health of their soils and produce better crops. more

Uganda’s rural women find beans to beat climate.

Sunny Mbeeta Abwooli knows a lot about beans as its her favorite ingredient.She shows a colorful basket of different bean types. The beans are different in color, taste and manner of cultivation . They are all important in the home because they’re easy to grow and to keep during times of food scarcity. In recent years, as chairwoman of the Kyamaleera Woman’s Handicraft Association, Sunny and 300 other farmers in western Uganda of which more than half of them are women have partnered with scientists to get beans that will beat drought, malnutrition and disease. In Uganda, common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are eaten at almost every meal and are integral to food security and the fight against malnutrition. Each variety has a different color, size or taste, and is preferred in different parts of the country for different reasons. Between 2012 and 2013, the 300 farmers in western Uganda were given 15 different bean varieties to test on their plots. Some were improved varieties, bred by researchers to improve characteristics like drought resilience or high iron content; some were locally preferred and others released varieties. Over three seasons, the farmers – together with researchers from the National Crops Research Resources Institute (NACRRI) in Uganda and CIAT – tracked height, yield; number of pods per plant and disease resilience of each. All 15 varieties were maintained for the three seasons, and at the end of the trail, farmers replanted the varieties which they considered performed best, without the participation of researchers. The best beans was identified but the women did not vote it as the best. Its a small, round, black variety from the northern part of Uganda, although they were found to beat drought and survive excessive rainfall better than some local yellow and red varieties, they are black. These beans are not a traditional part of the diet in Western Uganda, and so they were not selected by farmers. When farmers saw that NABE2 – the black variety – could withstand excessive rainfall and drought, they said they would grow it in those weather conditions. The marketability is based on seed size and color and this was the main driver for farmer selection. The need to educate farmers about the nutritious benefits of legumes, so that nutrition is a more important factor in making decisions about which beans to grow, was also a key lesson from the trials. When a woman with a small piece of land grows beans, they can fight malnutrition, improve livelihoods, nutrition and incomes for women,men across the continent and for future generations. Read

Farmers embracing climate smart agriculture.

Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is agriculture that increases productivity, resilience and adaptation, as well as contribute towards reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. The overall objective therefore is food security and nutrition in the face of climate change. There must be training,education and interactive sessions especially for smallholder farmers ,the importance of building capacity at all levels cannot be overemphasized order to attain the goal of 25 million African farmers practicing climate-smart agriculture by 2025. The challenge of climatic changes can be sidelined by using more resilient seeds, conservation of water, use of hybrid seeds that are ready for market earlier than the conventional seeds. Africa is affected dramatically by climatic changes of extreme weather patterns mechanisms ,hence there is the need to transform agriculture and ensure food security through adoption of innovative ways are gaining prominence fast. In Kenya, like most African countries, small-scale farmers who are the majority are opting for sustainable solutions. One such farmer is Albert Waweru, a retired police officer with 1.75-acre farm in Kasarani on the outskirts of Nairobi. He has 50 dairy cows that produce 290 liters of milk daily. He also rears poultry, dairy goats and has several green houses where vegetables are grown. He practices smart agriculture as he harvests every drop of rainwater to counter the challenge of water, he embarked on harvesting rainwater from rooftops in his compound and store water flowing into his compound.The water is preserved in a network of several underground concrete tanks about 12 meters deep. This ensures that he has enough water at any moment on his mixed farm, for his animals and plants as well. He has been sharing his method with other farmers to expose them to smart agriculture by way of provision of solution to water scarcity. 44-year-old Rajiv Kumar from Sheikhpur district of Bihar is another farmer practicing smart agriculture; he does zero budget farming on his 4-acre farm. He learnt water conservation and methods to replace nutrients in the soil ,different crops are grown at the same time and cow dung and cow urine were used as fertilizers. This kept the cost of farming at a minimum with the farmer only investing in water and seeds. Rajiv dug pits every 30 feet, filled it with water, and sowed different types of flowers and fruits around it. This helped increase the ground water flow. As plants need moisture, and not water, cultivating near a pit of water provided better irrigation and prevented water wastage. He does not use chemical pesticides, he sows a Neem plant every 30 feet to keep pests away. see

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The World’s smallest drone is voice controlled, and it fits in a pocket.

The World’s Smallest Drone is Voice Controlled, And it Can Fit in Your Pocket, Amazon just received a patent for the smallest drone ever. The miniaturized, unmanned, aerial vehicle (UAV) is designed to assist users in a number of ways — from recovery of lost persons and items, to providing assistance to policemen and firefighters. It’s Amazon’s first venture into a drone product for consumers not just for delivery. The drone’s features make it an all-around personal assistant, equipped with voice-control and Alexa (Amazon’s AI-equipped voice assistant). Accordingly, it can respond to voice commands such as “follow me” and “hover,” allowing for varied uses. Amazon also plans to make the drone quite small – small enough to fit in your pocket or to dock on a police officer’s radio.Using RFID-search capabilities and facial recognition software, the drone can help locate lost persons or even your elusive car keys. The UAV can receive a “find Timmy” command, which can include the “search” routine, and possibly an “identify Timmy” subroutine to locate a person identified as “Timmy.” In some examples, Timmy can have an RFID tag sewn into his clothes or a bar code printed on his shirt to facilitate identification. more

Drones and smart-agriculture.

The future of agriculture lies with drones and precision agriculture. The use of drones in agriculture not only makes production effective but its relatively cheaper and accurate as on-site assessments are possible. The rising population that requires more food must actually be hinged on better agricultural practices. Drones have found uses in various industries such as courier,medical, security and most of all food industry. The function of these drones varies from surveillance, mapping zones and actually engaging in some field practices,thus saving labor costs. The various ways that drones can be utilized to ensure food security are outlined here; The advantages are enormous, see,thinking about these benefits one will think that laws regulating drones' operation will not be strait jacketed so that frustration will not discourage users. Drones are more easily serviceable and significantly cheaper than small piloted planes or satellites. The route to food security is lined by various innovations and to truly succeed in the achievement of #zerohunger #endhunger #endpoverty, we have to embrace smart agricultural practices of which the use of drones must be fully embraced. Agriculture leads the market for commercial drone usage, and it is expected to generate millions in revenue in 2025. Adaptable regulations will make it easier for farmers to use drones to check fields for disease, spray fertilizer, or watch over livestock. see The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently streamlined the registration process for commercially used drones, putting new rules in place for the protection and regulation of users of the unmanned aircrafts. These procedures are expected to benefit both farmers and the drone industry, as agriculture already leads the market for commercial drones and is expected to generate $350 million in drone revenue in 2025.

Climate- smart agriculture.#Cop22.

The world is faced with the task of feeding the projected 9 billion populace by 2050,this must be achieved by increasing food production through smart agricultural practices withoout distrupting the ecosystem by putting more pressure on available land and other resources. The race to ensure food security must be achieved by improved agricultural practices,thus smart agricultural interventions are important.The route to smart agriculture is diverse but can be broadly categorized into the following : 1) animal husbandry practices that will reduce the green house emissions,this can be achieved by addition of some feed additives especially in cattle to reduce methane emissions. Cattle has been identified as a major culprit in the climate change. see 2) Improved methods of production through waste reduction: Waste generated in the field of production from farm to table has an effect on the climate itself. When more food loss or waste is recorded along the agricultural chain,this tends to spike the carbon print in that zone. Agritech can be employed in this area where innovative methods are used to preserve food,process excess into other value-adding products and effective handling of products to prevent waste. Waste generated can also be further processed into fertilizers or can be passed to an anaerobic digester to produce electricity. Food services can also be organized to ensure that excess food,left-overs and misshaped fruits and vegetables can be boxed and sent to regions where food is needed instead of sending the food to landfills,which will heat up our environment. A school of thought believes that what the world needs is not more food,but how to prevent waste and channel excess food to those that are in need. more The use of improved seeds,biotechnology is also an initiative that has a place in smart agriculture, instead of farming more land that is obviously not available,improved seeds can help achieve the goal of food security as the harvest will be faster which will be bigger improved versions of what we are used to. Farming more animals on smaller pastures will not be necessary as biodiversity will play a role. The use of genetically proven breeds through genetic selection and improvement,these breeds dont even need to be shipped to various countries rather good artificial insemination centers will provide the reproductive services. Smart agricultural practices that ensures better feed conversion ration in the animals will promote growth of these animals,where less feed is consumed,but greater weight gain is recorded because the feed is properly utilized. One of such practices will be alternative castration in boars with the use of IMPROVEST,see The efficiency gained by allowing boars to grow longer as intact males before IMPROVEST is administered has the potential for an incremental reduction in the carbon footprint, a study showed that if half the male pigs in the U.S. were raised using IMPROVEST, it would be like removing the CO2 equivalent of 190,000 cars for a year from roads. see

Friday, October 21, 2016

Alternative castration method for boars.

A new approach is penciled as a better alternative to castration in pigs. Boar taint is an unpleasant odor that is noticeable when cooking meat from sexually mature male pigs. This boar taint is removed by castration which is termed physical castration (PC), but concerns about animal welfare have prompted some producers to seek alternative methods. This castration alternative comes in the form of a regulated vaccine-like drug that suppresses the hormones responsible for the taint. This castration alternative is also referred to as immuno-castration or boar-taint vaccination, because it involves administering an immunological (vaccine-like) product that stimulates pigs’ immune systems to temporarily block testicular function and inhibit accumulation of androstenone and skatole, the naturally occurring compounds that cause boar taint. The castration alternative is done by way of injection, which is administered at 2 different times for effectiveness. The first dose is given at 9 weeks to prime their immune system and the other dose as they enter the finishing phase about 3 weeks to the market The benefits of this method is not only reduction of boar-taint,but stress involved in physical castration is prevented as well as risk of infection. There is also better feed conversion ratio resulting in better weight gain and reduction in aggressive social behavior associated with boars. In addition to the rapid growing rate ensures that they reach their full potential by converting feed into meat more efficiently, these treated intact males create less manure while yielding more pork.

The link between fish meal, Eimeria and necrotic enteritis in broilers .

A Link between fish meal, Eimeria and necrotic enteritis in broilers has been explored by Australian scientists as reported in veterinary microbiology online. The research is based on the already established fact that a high-protein, fish meal-supplemented starter diet along with Eimeria infection can predispose birds to clinical necrotic enteritis after Clostridium perfringens infection. The scientists thus analyzed the cecal microbiota of four groups of broilers with the use of deep pyrosequencing — a method of DNA analysis. One group was infected with Eimeria and received a control diet, another received a fish meal-supplemented diet and a third group was infected with Eimeria and in addition received fish meal. A fourth group without Eimeria did not receive fish meal and served as a control. Fish meal had a strong effect on intestinal microbiota, similar to the reported effects of C. perfringens infection. The scientists also noted major changes in the prevalence of various lactobacilli, while total, culturable Lactobacillus counts remained stable. Other microbiota such as Ruminococcaceae were affected, as determined by an increased number of operational taxonomic units — a method of defining a species based on DNA sequence results. Eimeria induced different changes in microbiota. For example, Ruminococcaceae were reduced in number, and three unknown clostridium species increased in abundance. Eimeria did not significantly influence changes in measures such as pH or formic acid, while fish-meal induced dramatic changes. The result showed that fish meal feeding and Eimeria infection induced significant changes in the gut microbiota and this predisposes birds to necrotic enteritis.

Agriculture Is Our Path Way Out Of Recession.

Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo says agriculture is our pathway out of poverty. He remarked that agriculture is the way to get the country out of recession, hence the need for the present government to keep faith with its promise of diversifying the economy through agriculture. He made this submission at the 23th Annual Development Forum, with the theme theme ‘Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities,’ organized by the Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) in Abuja. The former President lamented on the increased level of hunger being experienced across the country, and stated that it was sad to note that about 65 per cent of the citizens were faced with food insecurity. Obasanjo also called on the Federal Government, as a matter of urgency to drastically reduce or ban the importation of staple food crops, as Nigeria had the potential to produce most of the agricultural products that were being imported into the country.He said that Nigeria’s currency (Naira) is suffering because the country spends more than it earns, depending more on importation, usually on goods than can be easily produced here in Nigeria. Obasanjo said that the agriculture sector is viable enough to get Nigeria out of recession and called on the government to focus on agriculture and to put more efforts to guarantee food security in the nation. more

Acting for wildlife in Africa.

All over Africa from the savannas of Kenya to the dense forests of Nigeria, work is in progress across to help save precious wildlife at risk of becoming extinct.The war right now is to prevent poaching and hence extinction of wildlife. Each year species are pushed towards becoming extinct but in the fight for conservation a force to be reckoned with is "Act for wildlife". They protect wildlife in Africa against poaching, they want to ensure that no animal is killed or forced to the edge of extinction. Act for Wildlife will lead the way in vital scientific research into African species and be at the forefront of conservation action plans for the future. One animal that is on the edge of extinction is the eastern black rhino around 96% of the population has disappeared in the last 30 years. These magnificent animals are being brutally killed at the hands of poachers for their horns. Poachers will stop at nothing to get their hands on rhino horn which they then sell on the black market for medicines and ornaments. They’re getting smarter and more organised, which makes it even more dangerous and difficult to help protect the remaining population of black rhinos. There are less than 740 left in the wild so Acting now is important to save this species or risk losing them forever. The herd of black rhinos at Chester Zoo also play a vital role in saving the species from extinction. Conservation breeding programmes are critical in ensuring there’s a sustainable population that can then be reintroduced to the wild. Scientists are working right now with other organisations to make sure genetic diversity of the wild population is maintained through conservation breeding in zoos; should the sad day ever come when there are no rhinos left in the wild. Ground-breaking science at the zoo has allowed researchers to monitor hormone levels in the female black rhinos to help discover the best time to introduce them to a potential partner, as well as diagnose pregnancies and estimate when they’ll give birth. Act now, watch

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Scientists Identified a Vitamin That Could Halt the Progress of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a common form of muscular dystrophy that affects one out of every 3,500 children. Children with this disease end up in a wheelchair by the age of 12. Duchenne muscular dystrophy caused by a genetic mutation that disables the production of dystrophin, a protein required to keep muscles intact. The deformed cells mechanically causes inflammation that gradually destroy muscles, this leads to progressive general paralysis, and eventually death, due to respiratory failure. When dealing with a disease born of a genetic defect the solution often lies in fixing the problematic gene, but the case of Duchenne muscular dystrophy has proved to be an exception. A study published in the science Translational Medicine, a team led by Johan Auwerx discovered that a vitamin called nicotinamide riboside is highly effective in large doses for halting the progress of the disease in animals. Auwerx and his team focused on the second cycle in the progression of Duchenne, where initial inflammation causes a certain gene to consume large amounts of NAD+ — an essential component serving as fuel for the mitochondria. NAD+ shortage in mitochondria weakens muscles and aggravate inflammation that further destroys muscles. The researchers prevented this second cycle from occurring by sustaining the mitochondria through nicotinamide riboside, the vitamin precursor of NAD+. The approach was tested on C. elegans worms and on mice genetically modified to have the disease. The result showed that administering large doses of the vitamin, the worms did not have any of the symptoms of Duchenne’s second cycle. The mice, while demonstrating muscular inflammation at lower levels, showed reduced effects of muscular damage. This clearly shows that preventing the second cycle by giving large doses of nicotinamide riboside hold the key to treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. More

New virus associated with polio-like symptoms in pigs.

A new virus associated with polio-like symptoms in pigs has been discovered by US researchers . This is a novel virus in the central nervous tissues of young pigs with polio-like weakness in their hind legs.Farms dealing with the disease may lose 1-2% of pigs, making it a concern for individual producers The Iowa State University reported that Paulo Arruda, an assistant professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine, led a team of diagnosticians from Iowa State, the University of Minnesota and Kansas State University. They investigated samples from 11-week-old pigs that couldn’t walk due to a mysterious weakness in their hind legs. The report shows that the diagnostic team found microscopic lesions in the pigs’ central nervous tissues containing a novel sapelovirus that researchers hadn’t previously encountered. Sapeloviruses belong to a family of viruses commonly found in pigs, but this particular strain was different from all other sapeloviruses previously described. Reporting findings suggests, a lack of scientific evidence regarding the virus means it’s impossible to know just how widely it may spread, but the epidemiology of other viruses within its family leads the team to believe this particular strain may be fairly common on US hog farms. However, only a small percentage of pigs with the virus likely will display symptoms, and there is no evidence now that suggests pork is unsafe to eat.more

New blood test against Nagana disease.

A study recently published in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, shows that the cattle disease nagana, also called African animal trypanosomosis can be detected using a simple but effective device. The device, less than 3 inches long and similar in format to a pregnancy test, can identify within 30 minutes whether or not an animal is infected with the parasite Trypanosoma vivax from a single drop of blood. The University of Dundee and the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) partnered to develop this simple and effective device that tests for Nagana disease that is endemic in 40 African countries and accounts for up to a 50% loss in milk and meat production in the continent. The simple device does not require electricity or any additional equipment, which makes it a tool of importance in developing countries,where resources are limited. The cattle disease,African animal trypanosomosis, is caused mainly by 2 parasite species: 1) Trypanosoma vivax 2) Trypanosoma congolense .It affects wide spread areas of sub-Saharan Africa. The T. vivax form of nagana has also spread to South America. There are about 60 million cattle at risk from the disease, that causes muscle wasting and death. The socio-economic impacts of nagana are profound,as it impacts on the lives of millions of smallholder farmers and the economy.The prototype diagnostic device was evaluated with over 100 serum samples from uninfected and T. vivax-infected cattle. more

The use of probiotic yeast in ruminant feed to reduce methane emission.

The climate change has propelled every one towards the journey to seek out better practices to save our world.Agriculture has been slammed as one of the major contributors to these changes,hence the call to practice smart agriculture. The world food day 2016 slogan says it all" climate is changing,food and agriculture must too".The race is on,to reduce the effect of agricultural practices on the climate while on the other hand produce enough food to feed the growing population without disrupting the ecosystems. The majority of emissions from livestock has been pinned on ruminants because of their flatulence and ruminal fermentation,that releases a lot of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The approach to reduce emissions through smart agriculture is taking different approaches such as enclosed cubicles for cattle to trap gases, feed management practices and addition of feed additives such as proboitic yeast. One of the challenges of a growing livestock sector is the contribution of livestock to the global greenhouse gas emission. Ruminants contribute to climate change by emitting greenhouse gases which are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide directly from enteric fermentation or indirectly from feed production activities and deforestation to create new pasture . These gas emission by these ruminants can be reduced by using feed additives such as probiotic yeast . The gas emission has a negative effect on the animals as well, it results in 2–12% of energy intake loss for the animal. Therefore, there is a need to develop efficient feeding strategies to reduce methane production, which will beneficially affect the environment and will also improve nutrient digestion in the animal. In ruminants, probiotic yeast are used to manipulate the ruminal microbial population and thus ruminal fermentation to maximize the efficiency of feed utilization to further increase the productivity, in terms of milk, meat, and wool production. When feed utilization is increased, methane production can be reduced also, so to reduce methane emissions the key will be to increase feed utilization. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has published an extensive report on the production, impact and regulation of probiotics for animal nutrition, where they opined they can work, but their efficacy is highly variable.The ability of an organism to be an effective probiotic has also been found to be strain–specific and dosage dependent.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How foster farms resolved food safety crisis.

Robert O’Connor, DVM, head veterinarian of Foster Farms provided first-hand lessons from his experience in August 2013, when Foster Farms received a call from the USDA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that there had been 125 cases of multidrug resistant Salmonella illness in 15 states that seemed to be linked to the company’s products. “First thing is, you get hit – broadsided. Torpedo hits the side of the ship. You have to take action.” While the company was often working with incomplete information, O’Connor reported that a number of actions were taken that sharply reduced Salmonella throughout the company’s growing and processing facilities. 1) Tightening up on production site bio security. 2) Insistence on deliveries only of Salmonella-negative replacement birds. 3) Installation of plastic sheeting in the house so pullets could not access old litter. 4) changing the Salmonella vaccine to one that protected specifically against Heidelberg. 5) vaccinating broilers (in addition to pullets and layers).6) Adding probiotics to the feed. 7) Installing an additional washing step for parts in the processing plant. 8) The complete depopulation and subsequent cleaning and disinfection of some poultry houses. more

Foster Farms’ vet shares tips for managing a food-safety crisis in the poultry industry.

Robert O’Connor, DVM, head veterinarian of Foster Farms, in a presentation at the 2016 American Association of Avian Pathologists conference talks about what to do when facing a food safety crisis O’Connor provided first-hand lessons from his experience in August 2013, when Foster Farms received a call from the USDA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that there had been 125 cases of multidrug resistant Salmonella illness in 15 states that seemed to be linked to the company’s products. He offered these tips to his fellow poultry veterinarians: 1) Forget the crisis-management plan. While it’s important for every company to have one, he cautioned not to rely on it too heavily. “The crisis management plan is a big abstract. However, it won’t fully address the situational, everyday kind of variables that get thrown at you during a crisis. ”The most important chapter, he added, was the plan’s contact list for key people in the company. It will be of little value, however — and also a source of great frustration — if the names, titles and contact information aren’t current. “That’s what is most important in your crisis-management plan — the contact list,” he emphasized, urging veterinarians to make sure it’s updated frequently. 2) Take the lead. On qualifying, veterinarians take an oath to use their skills and knowledge to benefit society, and that includes public health. In the cases of a zoonotic crisis such as Salmonella, technical input is essential to identify and implement solutions. The veterinarian, he added, likely has the strongest scientific education and applied experience to fully understand the technical landscape and should guide members of the executive team accordingly. 3) Gather key players. Reach out to your network and ask for help, O’Connor recommended. People with a whole range of skills and expertise are needed including a communications officer to handle the media and other external messaging 24/7, and a spokesperson to be the face of the company. Also essential is a scribe to record, for future reference, every discussion within the team and all incoming and outgoing information concerning the case. 4) Set up a crisis center – a “war room.” A room needs to be set aside for the sole use of the crisis team. It might be the company’s boardroom, and it must be fully equipped with multiple internet, telephone and teleconference connections. 5) Be prepared to take action — quickly. As scientists, he noted, veterinarians usually don’t like to take action without some data to support their actions. “But I am here to tell you, in a crisis, you sometimes do take action without the full data to support you. They don’t want you taking action tomorrow; they wanted it yesterday,” O’Connor said. 6) Measure and collect data. The crisis team’s deep understanding of the company’s business will identify possible sources of the problem. Critical thinking will lead to the most likely issues. O’Connor recommended collecting as much data as possible to support the action taken and/or to refine it to bring about a complete solution. 7) Learn lessons so the crisis will never be repeated. For Foster Farms, this Salmonella incident was officially closed in July of 2014, a full year after that first call from the USDA and CDC. But O’Connor continues to speak about it, and he explained why. “To me and for the company, it was almost doomsday,” he said. “The guarantees we make to our consumers and customers for quality and safety are our highest priority. So why keep talking about the crisis? Because I want to prevent it from ever happening again.” culled from poultry health today.

One dairy farmer gives rousing milking speech to his herd.

This Australian dairy farmer is taking no prisoners as he gears up for the spring milking season, giving a rousing sports-like pep talk to his cows before they go to the parlor. “We’ve done a lot of hard work over the last few months, setting up the season, spring is where it counts,” Adam Jenkins, the dairy farmer, says in the video. Calling out the cow 291 Jersey, he told her she has to milk really well tonight, no excuses, and that she has to be committed.Watch

FAO launches an umbrella programme to support responsible investments in agriculture and food systems.

Increasing investments in agriculture is crucial to end hunger and poverty by 2030. Achieving the first two Sustainable Development Goals will require allocating a substantial amount above and beyond the current level of investment in agriculture and rural development. At the same time, not all kinds of investments are equally beneficial. In order to generate sustainable benefits for all, it is essential that investments are responsible – addressing the needs of communities, farmers, investors and the broader environment. However, current limitations in awareness, governance, capacities and information can obstruct responsible investment. This leads to investments that may cause hardship for rural communities, including the loss of lands and livelihoods, and are unlikely to generate benefits for investors. The role of information is vital to proper investment in agriculture to ensure the goal of food security is ensured, see this Enhancing responsible agricultural investment requires supporting and engaging all relevant actors. With more than 50 years of experience and recognized expertise in all types of investment, as well as related socio-economic and human rights challenges, FAO is well placed to achieve this. continue

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The innovative use of mobile phones for profitable agriculture in Uganda.

This is a case study of the CELAC PROJECT. Sustainable Agriculture is a system in which the farmers realize the goal of efficient production of safe, high quality agricultural products, in a way that protects and improves the natural environment, the social and economic conditions of farmers, their employees and local communities, and safeguards the health and welfare of all farmed species. Sustainable agriculture is smart-agriculture that is eco-friendly and ensures higher yield while incorporating emotional intelligence in the scheme of things. CELAC is collecting and exchange of local agricultural project,uses three pillars to achieve their goal; (1) long term profit (2) protection of the nation’s land, air and water and (3) quality of life for farmers and their communities, These are all achieved using ICT in knowledge sharing, information management and indigenous farming methods as driving factors of CELAC. The project has used several methods but today, majoring on the mobile phone because of the vast advantages. Mobile phones are the most affordable forms of ICT even to a rural farmer. This can partially be attributed to the wide area coverage, ongoing telecom war that has resulted in low cost of internet, telephone calls and even mobile phones sold on promotion. Every home in Uganda has a mobile phone and more access to mobile phones play a multi-functional role in sharing information. The information can be by SMS, phone conferencing and telephone calls. Evelyn Ogwang, a Farmer in Apac district in Nothern Uganda says, “When I joined CELAC, “They introduced to us how to keep ducks. Before… we were, keeping bees and rearing a few local chickens. Now we have added on keeping ducks and even some farmers planting matooke. Which had never existed before. The mobile phone helped us acquire direct market in Kampala through market information from CELAC, we can now do group selling." Apac district farmers say that because of improved information on production and marketing they were able to eliminate the middle men -- the market prices for their produce went up. Simsim and sun flower can now be sold in Kampala.Ngonzi Daisy from Masaka says that when our animals are sick, we are able to call farmers from other areas to help us. We also receive messages from CELAC and this has helped us get better pest and disease control methods. Mrs. Mpungu from Masaka says that she was able to raise turkeys which she had never tried because of the mobile phone. Whenever the turkeys get sick, we would call Gwiko from Budaka and he would always give a solution. The mobile phone has been embraced by the rural communities more positively than expected. As a project, we introduced use of mobile phones to access valuable information like diseases and pests control, market and even better farming methods. Currently majority of the farmers use mobile phones for information sharing. We send text messages on pest and disease control and when they are disease outbreaks so as the farmers can take more care. When a farmer meets a challenge, she/he uses massages to consult fellow farmers.continue

Monday, October 17, 2016

Sustainable agriculture can unlock $2.3 trillion.

Embedding sustainable business practices in the global food and agriculture industry could deliver an annual $2.3 trillion windfall, according to a major new study released by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission. The research suggests that an annual investment of $320 billion in sustainable business practices aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would create a sevenfold return on investment by 2030. Such investment would also create 80 million new jobs, mostly in developing countries, the BSDC said. The SDGs, agreed in September 2015, consist of 17 time-bound targets for ending poverty and hunger, reducing inequality and tackling climate change. The research claims that tackling these goals would unlock 14 major business opportunities for the food and agriculture sector, from micro-irrigation to new farming technology and urban agriculture ventures. The world's population is expected to increase by another one billion by 2030, the global food and agriculture system requires a new way of doing business, and new approaches to feed more than 800 million people who today suffer from chronic hunger as well as to meet future demand . continue

Smart agriculture,phones and fight against poverty.

Phones have been identified as a valuable tool to fight poverty. The use of phones can revolutionize the fight against poverty. Street trading is a common phenomenon in Africa, where various commodities are sold at traffic stops,interjections and street corners. Today,the story is different,as the commodities now include recharge cards. This shows the fast adaptability , and increasing importance of mobile phone technology in Africa. There is the passion for joining the phone revolution and the information age that it brings into the nooks and crannies of the world. Mobile phone technology is not restricted to urban areas any more,but even the rural suburbs are cashing in on the vibe.Phones in the hands of farmers could actually help to achieve the food security goal as valuable information about smart agriculture can be disseminated easily. Echbee vet ventures has a phone-a-farmer initiative ,that continue There is another arm of the outfit that dishes veterinary tips to farmers,see.The platform works on this model ,see.Currently,the platform is expanding to reach more zones and also talking with foreign partners to promote technology exchange,to promote smart agriculture. Self Help Africa, an international development organisation working in agriculture, has been using this model of information revolution the fight against poverty. In Malawi, Uganda, Burkina Faso and Zambia, Self Help Africa is now partnering with a range of mobile network providers to provide free, on-demand farming information across a range of crops to farmers. Farmers dial into the service and, using touch-tone technology, access a voice message about a specific crop or farming practice. Partnering with network providers has an additional advantage because there will be an influx of customers to the platform, agribusiness partnership to promote food security will be developed,training schemes and empowerment programmes will also be developed to further boost productivity. A platform for agriculture with various stakeholders will be gigantic porter of buying,selling,training,exporting hub and tech--exchange to ensure our food for all goal with smart agriculture.

Soy protein early in life may help prevent bone loss in adulthood.

New research in The FASEB Journal suggests that giving children a diet high in soy protein isolate can protect against serious bone loss during adulthood and help ensure overall better bone quality. Move over milk, soy protein early in life might be what's needed for strong, healthy bones in adulthood. New research, published online in The FASEB Journal, reports that early dietary nutrition heavy in soy protein isolate can protect against serious bone loss during adulthood. This also is the first time that scientists have used an animal model to show concrete evidence of a protective effect of an early-life soy protein isolate diet on adult bone loss. To make their discovery, Chen and colleagues used a very young female rat model. One group of rats was fed a soy protein isolate diet for 30 days (from postnatal day 24 to 55), and then was switched to a regular standard rodent diet until 6 months of age. The rats were altered to mimic postmenopausal bone loss in women to determine the amount of bone loss. The second group of rats was fed a regular standard rodent diet throughout life. This group was also altered to mimic postmenopausal bone loss and analyzed to determine bone loss. The researchers found that the first group of rats s compared to the second group of rats. continue

Obasanjo leads LAPO deliberation on food security.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is expected to lead discussions on ‘Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Nigeria’ at this year’s 23rd Annual LAPO Development Forum scheduled to hold in Abuja this week. The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, is expected to be Special Guest of Honour at the event scheduled to hold on October 18, 2016. A professor of Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition and pioneer Vice-Chancellor of Elizade University, Ondo State, Valentine Aletor, will present a paper on ‘Agriculture, Women Empowerment and Food Security’ while Director-General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Nteranya Sanginga, will speak on ‘Enhancing Youth Employment Through Agricultural Development’ at the LAPO Forum. continue


WORLD FOOD DAY 2016 MESSAGE FROM THE HON. MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT – CHIEF AUDU OGBE No farmers,no nation.!!! Great farmers, great nation.!!! The hon minister, chief Audu Ogbe commended the Nigerian farmers; As the World Food Day is marked globally today, let me appreciate Nigerian farmers, big and small, who are the real heroes of this day. I also thank all Nigerians for their remarkable response to the call to return to the farms. Let me say that any success that we achieve today will be more due to them than to us. Climate is indeed changing and so must our Agricultural practices. We have initiated policies to respond to the changing climate by embracing climate-smart agriculture.Climate change adaptation for environmental sustainability and increased food production is a also key component of the Agricultural Promotion Policy – the Green Alternative. In response to the global call for reduction in Green House gas emission, President Muhammadu Buhari has, in September this year, signed the Paris Agreement which aims at minimizing global warming to the barest minimum degree.In addition, Nigeria has also aligned itself to the Adaptation of Agriculture in Africa – the AAA Initiative designed to tackle the impact of change in climate on food security in Africa. continue

Maggot dispenser for your chicken and smart agriculture.

. The rising cost of poultry feed has led to innovative ideas to maintain production and sustain the birds. Maggots are used as meal worms for poultry,these small white crawling worms feed on waste to provide protein for the birds. These maggots are made of 65% protein and 25% fat compared to soy protein that has only 35% protein,not only are the maggots more nutritious but are extremely cheap and are produced fast. The maggots are made from waste,which could be chicken waste, meat waste, and any other waste products. They can also be bred from dead chicken,left-over beef or mutton,these are usually dumped in a container with drilled holes. The flies enter the bucket through the holes to feed on waste to lay eggs and the (larvae)maggots crawls out the container and are either fed to the birds directly or further processed by mixing with feed and serving the birds. The maggots can also be harvested , dried and packaged for sale or stored up for distribution. A kg of fly eggs will give about 190kg of dried larvae in 3 days. The use of maggot as feed for poultry has the advantage that its a means of managing waste,odor control and preventing climate-changing emissions. Agriculture has been identified as the major contributor to climate change inform of carbon print and emissions. The race to provide more food for the ever growing population has put pressure on agriculture,but the changes in climatic conditions has turned the beam on innovations,smart farming to ensure food security and also eco- friendly solutions. The theme of the world food day 2016 "the climate is changing,food and agriculture must too" explains it all!!.

How veterinarians prevent dairy disease that could impact health of man.

Veterinarians treat chicken to prevent foodborne illness.

. Preventing diseases is a lot cheaper and has less impact on health status of man than treating ,especially in birds. The video shows the visit of vets to a poultry farm to assess the birds to observe the response to vaccination and certify the birds are free from salmonella bacteria,which causes illness in man.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Farmers,cost of feed and eggs on world egg day.

Farmers are striving hard in this time of recession to strike a balance between providing adequate feed for their birds or just feed anything and reduce the quality and quantity of eggs. The price of maize is the driver of this feed crisis in the poultry sector as the astronomical increase has made the feed unreachable for many farmers and those that are even willing to buy are finding it difficult to purchase because of scarcity. The problem for the farmers are double edged, not only are they contending with high prices they also must produce good quality eggs or they fall out with there customers. Farmers have resorted to different practices to break even, some are selling their birds off to reduce the cost of feed,others are selling off stock and waiting for a change in the terrain before they start over while those farmers that reduced stock are giving different feed stuff just to keep birds alive. Farmers that are experimenting with various feed have reduced egg volume,thus reducing the expected profit. There are various alternatives to feed chicken,but these must be balanced otherwise the goal will not be achieved. The added cost of product has impacted negatively on the price of eggs and availability. The various alternatives vary from country to country,but the best adaptable alternatives will be those tested and documented. There are numerous alternatives,which can be fed at different % or as a complete ration. The alternatives depend on what you are actually replacing; in the case of maize, cassava root meal is an excellent alternative that also promotes excellent egg laying. Watermelon and banana peels and sobo leaves have all be tested and delivered good results. Farmers,your solution is here see

Eggs and liver function.

The liver requires large amounts of vitamins and minerals to perform its functions.The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly with 2 lobes and a gallbladder on the underside. The function of the liver are as follows 1) detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. 2) Filters blood coming from the digestive tract. 3) Bile secretion that aids in digestion.4) Aid blood clotting by production of blood proteins. The liver works with other organs to digest,absorb and process food,therefore diet should be high in fruits, vegetables and fiber-rich foods to ensure a healthy liver as well as liver functions. Lecithin helps the liver to metabolize fats and reduce cholesterol. It contains a phosphatidylcholine, as well as essential fatty acids that help keep liver cells healthy and prevent fatty deposits from building up in the liver. Lecithin also helps reduce high blood pressure by allowing the easy relaxation of blood vessels to enable better blood flow. Eggs contain this lecithin alongside other vitamins ,minerals and major classes of food. Living healthy is a correlation between healthy food with proper functioning of organs and systems in the body. Live healthy,eat eggs more of fruits and vegetables.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Benefits of eating eggs.

World egg day..

Eggs are nutritious and have the potential to make you into an egg-head literally. Eat an egg a day. A whole day dedicated to celebration of eggs, aptly shows the importance of eggs in our diet. Learn all about eggs and you will be amazed at the potential of an egg. The egg contains all the nutrient to produce a chick,hence its a power packed meal that promotes growth and development. Eggs are nutrient packed and plays immense roles in various systems in the body.The protein requirement is 0.8g/kg on the average: with the requirement for man is 56g,and woman 46g. The FAO has cautioned that the dietary intake is below the required levels in developing countries hence more protein especially animal protein should be included in diet. One medium egg contains 70-85 calories of which 6.5g is protein. Eggs are nutrient rich and if incorporated in diet on a regular basis will make up for the deficit in protein in the developing countries; hence the truth an egg a day keeps the doctor away. EGG-VALUES; 1) its an health boost,with high level of nutrients it contains it contributes to the general well being of the individual, 2) vitamin source; vitamin B2 which is important for break down of food to energy. vitamin B12 essential for red blood cell production. vitamin A responsible for great vision; eye sight integrity. vitamin E responsible for fighting off free radicals that cause tissue and cellular damage. Vitamin B2 responsible for proper growth. 3) mineral source..iron for blood cells,and maintenance of circulatory integrity. zinc....ensures proper functioning of immune system. phosphorus.......responsible for healthy bones and teeth. iodine...essential for thyroid hormones. selenium.....its an antioxidant that helps reduce cancer risk. Eggs are also used as a weight management tool; a study by Rochester center for obesity stated that eating eggs for breakfast helps limit your calorie intake all day by 400 calories.The mode of action here is that it gives a satiety signal while releasing the nutrients into body,thus maintaining energy level.The cholesterol in eggs are dietary cholesterol not blood cholesterol,the dietary cholesterol are high density lipo proteins which are essential for proper functioning of the body systems. Eggs also linked to intelligence quotient because of choline content in the egg which is responsible for production of cell membrane and also produce signal molecules in brain thus coordinating activities at that level. Eggs also contains lutem and zeaxanthin that are antioxidants with maintain cellular integrity in the retinal thus preventing eye disorders such as cataracts and macular degeneration. World egg day is here celebrate with us: play this game and see how much you know about eggs.Play now

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Crowdfarming startup that feeds the cows online.

Crowdfunding in agricultural ventures is a simple way to foster communal help for farmers. Farmable, the crowdfarming startup that feeds the cows online.Animal health is the biggest restriction to improving productivity of livestock in Ghana, where myriad of local diseases restrict animal productivity and cause high mortality rates. This is a result of reluctance by smallholders to administer vaccines, lack of knowledge about available medicines and the cost of and access to vaccinations and other medication. Many farmers lack basic production and managerial capabilities to efficiently manage their livestock. Because of this, they do not understand the importance of basic inputs such as provision of sheds for their animals, drenching, dipping or vaccinations of their livestock. This leads to poor animal health and business practices, low quality cattle and increased mortality rates. Farmers are often forced to sell cattle for lower prices before the market is ready due to hunger or the need to send their children to school. Transporting cattle to markets is also difficult due to lack of water resources, poor roads and lack of transport options. Accessing the cattle markets can pose one of the great challenges for many smallholder farmers. The solution came in the form of Farmable,the crowdfarming startup that feeds the cows online. This platform uses crowdfarming of cows with a vision to create a self sustaining enterprise that empowers small holder farmers in Ghana to fight hunger without reliance on external aid. The goal is to raise awareness of the issues facing small holder cattle farmers in Ghana, help them achieve independence and create a crowfunding platform that is both fun and engaging to the world. Farmable;the crowdfarming platform in which social investors and the cowbackers, can purchase a “share” in a real cow in Ghana, a cowshare, in return for exclusive rewards. Farmable is an innovative on-line funding model,that fosters communal help,where individuals support one another by working together. look