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Protecting biodiversity and ecosystem services

Microbial collections: use and management

Integrated pest management in nrelation to high value crops

Technology transfer and expert exchange between members

Adaptation to climate change

Member Country Priority Area

Pests, diseases and invasiveness of biofuel crops

Featured in the Dossier

Institutional capacity strengthening and knowledge management


Trade development and good agricultural practices for market access




protecting crops in Africa



heralding a new era in African aquaculture



rehabilitating coffee plantations



providing a better way to store seeds

Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Nepal, Rwanda, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and USA


reviving the coffee industry in Cameroon by improving quality



plantwise in Africa

DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tannzania and Uganda


managing invasive species

Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia


guaranteeing credit to coffee farmers in Ethiopia and Rwanda

Ethiopia and Rwanda


going gourmet in Gabon and Togo

Gabon and Togo


cocoa hits the headlines in Ghana



African soil health consortium

Ghana, Mali, Mozambique and Tanzania


disease proofing Indian and African coffee

India, Kenya, Rwanda and Zimbabwe


bulking kale seeds in Kenya



establishing a centre of phytosanitary excellence



master class in plant health



eradicating parthenium in Kenya



improving cotton production in East Africa

Kenya and Mozambique


improving seed production for African indigenous vegetable farmers

Kenya and Tanzania


stopping the march of the armyworm

Kenya and Tanzania


helping farmers protect their maize harvest

Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania


breeding black rot resistant brassicas

Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and UK


biocontrol training in East Africa

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania


forecasting for armyworm

Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe


establishing NERICA rice in post-conflict Uganda and South Sudan

South Sudan and Uganda


promoting good seed in Tanzania



getting Tanzania's IPM tomatoes to market



the good seed initiative in Africa

Tanzania and Uganda


proving better rice seed to Uganda's farmers



the Invasive Species Compendium



biofuels information exchange



developing a global agricultural research archive





location Africa dates 2010 – 2011 CABI project team Roger Day

protecting crops in Africa

Agriculture is vital for Africa’s economic development, providing valuable export income as well as food.

so what’s the problem? The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) provides the overarching strategy for agricultural research and development in Africa. Issues including crop protection, pest management and phytosanitary systems need to be drawn together into a more details framework.

what is this project doing? The needs of the continent’s crop protection programmes are being assessed and a draft cohesive framework produced to assist CAADP implementation, and to coordinate these issues.

results so far CAADP envisages more market oriented agricultural production, increased local and regional trade, greater use of inputs, and increased production, productivity and profitability. Increased output per unit area with reduced environmental impact requires ‘sustainable intensification’, so the developing framework provides a route through which crop protection can contribute to environmentally, socially and economically sustainable intensification.


1. National organizational arrangements for crop protection should be based on a country’s current and future needs. Responsibilities must be clearly defined, links must be established between the different the people providing these functions and a structure to ensure coordination is required. 2. Policy in relation to crop protection needs updating and aligning to CAADP and to national plans and strategies for agricultural investment. It must promote environmentally sustainable crop protection and include domestication of the International Plant Protection Convention and other international agreements. 3. Regulatory authorities have a major role to play in sustainable intensification. Important areas for regulation are the distribution and use of pest control products, biological control, management of declared pests, GM crops, seeds and other planting materials, and exports and imports that may spread pests. Regulatory bodies need clear mandates, strong technical capacity, particularly in risk assessment, and resources for monitoring and enforcement. 4. Regional cooperation provides benefits, especially for specific issues such as migrant and invasive pests. Regional collaboration can also make better use of limited resources and capacity, in areas such as taxonomy. Regional harmonization of regulatory functions reduces costs and stimulates regional trade. However, regional bodies shouldn’t duplicate agreements made at international level or undertake roles that are clearly national responsibilities. 5. Developing capacity is required in various aspects of crop protection. This has tended to focus on individual training, but organizational and system capacities also need strengthening. Developing crop protection capacity should build on points of national and regional strength, following the Paris Principles on Aid Effectiveness. 6. Public-private partnerships and a strong private sector are envisaged in CAADP. Governments must help enable the development of profitable enterprises based on sustainable crop protection. Public– private partnerships can facilitate the commercialization of less damaging pest control methods, such as biopesticides. They also need to ensure that international trade meets phytosanitary standards, and the risk of introducing new pests is minimized. 7. Research, science and technology are critical to Africa’s development, though many countries have fewer than two crop protection researchers per million farmers. Crop protection research must be more demand-led, addressing farmers’ and other stakeholders’ needs and this requires more effective links. New communication technologies provide opportunities in both research and extension. For CAADP to succeed, much more research is needed on crop protection using alternatives to pesticides. The outputs of the project are being used by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) to develop their crop protection programme in Africa. partner Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for Africa sponsor Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Roger Day, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 2



location Africa dates February 2008 – February 2011 CABI project team Gareth Richards

heralding a new era in African aquaculture

Poverty, food security and malnutrition are problems faced by many in sub-Saharan Africa. Development efforts focussed on agricultural production have gone some way towards addressing these issues; however aquaculture can play a large role in improving Africa’s food security and nutritional status, and provide both employment and income from exports.

so what’s the problem? Concern is growing that the continent’s aquacultural production will not grow in line with population increase or be affected by climate climate change. A key constraint to the industry’s growth is lack of access to information.

what is this project doing? To rectify this, the Sustainable Aquaculture Research Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa (SARNISSA) project was initiated to strengthen communication and information sharing among stakeholders, and encourage mutually beneficial research collaborations.


SARNISSA was implemented by eight partner organizations (two European, three African and three international) and are tasked with developing communication networks between key stakeholders. The project builds on CABI’s Aquaculture Compendium – an internet-based knowledge resource – sharing information. CABI coordinates the worldwide collection of information of relevance to sub-Saharan African aquaculture for SARNISSA, and collates it into the Aquaculture Compendium.

results so far The project website – – was built in early 2008 and receives over 2,700 visitors monthly from over 127 countries. The information collected is being used to inform the content of the Aquaculture Compendium – freely accessible to SARNISSA stakeholders. Twenty new case studies summarizing real-life practices or situations help to link theory with practical action and highlight both successes and failures. Reviews of aquaculture development policies from some African countries’ were formulated alongside the collation of existing articles and reports in English and French relevant to sub-Saharan African aquaculture stakeholders. In addition, SARNISSA built a database of over 1,000 relevant stakeholders in African aquaculture from the continent and beyond, provided a web-based news and ideas exchange forum, and held proposal writing and e-conferencing workshops for aquaculture researchers. The SARNISSA stakeholder email listserv has allowed users, from farmers to teachers and input suppliers, to find answers to practical problems and constraints to their work. The forum addressed problems and provided opinions on subjects as diverse as the use of plastic liners in ponds, small-scale catfish culture and low-cost feed manufacture, and how to build degassers out of recycled beer crates.

partners University of Stirling, UK (lead partner) Bunda College, Malawi Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpment (CIRAD), France ETC, Netherlands Institut de Recherche Agricole pour le Developpment (IRAD), Cameroon Moi University, Kenya WorldFish Center, Egypt

Gareth Richards, Project Manager

sponsor European Commission (EC-FP7)

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 4



location Angola dates March 2006 – March 2011 CABI project team George Oduor (CABI) Pascoal Miranda (INCA) Estevao Rodrigues (CLUSA) Isabel Manuel (BPC)

rehabilitating coffee plantations

Before the civil war, Angola was the fourth largest producer of coffee in the world, exporting over 240,000 tonnes of coffee per year at its peak. The coffee industry provided livelihoods for a large proportion of Angola’s population.

so what’s the problem? The war has had a devastating effect on the coffee industry. Many coffee estates were abandoned as people fled their homes for safety, leaving the industry in a state of decline following the end of civil strife hostilities in 2002. Angola’s coffee production has fallen, leaving the industry in need of rejuvenation to generate income for the local population.


what is this project doing? CABI and its partners are undertaking a pilot project to evaluating and resolve the supply chain issues that are constraining Angola’s coffee production. The project is helping to increase coffee production, productivity and quality by organising small-scale coffee growers into business associations and cooperatives that are better able to access credit facilities and marketing information. Participants included displaced families which were re-settled on abandoned coffee estates.

results so far Nearly 5,000 previously displaced farmers have been re-settled and given small plots of around 5 hectares to farm. The project also facilitated the acquisition of individual title deeds for each farmer collaborating in the scheme. Over 7 million coffee seedlings have now been raised, mainly in the farmers’ own fields. A supplementary nursery at the research station of Angola’s Coffee Institute (INCA) has been set up which serves as an excellent training site for farmers. In addition, scientists and local extension workers were trained, ensuring the best coffee is produced. Farmers were organized into 80 associations and 13 cooperatives and have subsequently received individual micro-credit loans of US$100-500 amounting to over US$1.5 million. Farmers are paying back these loans as their productivity increases. Five coffee hullers have also been installed which will help increase productivity further. The project has vastly improved the coffee production infrastructure including roads, schools, and health centres. We have also boosted private sector participation, ensuring sustainability beyond the lifespan of the project. With increased crop density and improved growing techniques, it is hoped that crop yield from the renovated plantations will soon exceed 500 kg per hectare. We will also help to link the farmers to more traders, ensuring that they get the best opportunity to maximize the price they receive for their coffee. Results from this pilot project will be extended and replicated to other coffee producing provinces and perhaps also other countries emerging from civil strife. partners International Coffee Organization (ICO) Banco de Poupanca e Credito (BPC) Cooperative League of USA (CLUSA) Angolan National Coffee Institute (INCA) sponsors Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) Angolan Government (GoA)

George Oduor, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 6



locations Nepal, Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, India, Thailand and USA dates 2012 – 2014 CABI project team Noah Phiri Daniel Karanja Richard Musebe Duncan Chacha Roger Day

providing a better way to store seeds

Farming is incredibly important to Africa, both in terms of food security and income. Farmers need for good quality seeds that are resistant to local pests and diseases is paramount to helping them produce a good amount of quality crops.

so what’s the problem? Traditional seed production and storage methods in humid tropical regions do not have temperature and moisture control and results in their rapid deterioration. With collaborating institutions and partners, this project will demonstrate and implement a novel seed drying and storage technology that can dramatically improve seed quality and longevity for smallholders in tropical climates.


what is this project doing? This comprehensive project will disseminate a novel, economical and appropriate technology that will improve seed quality and enhance the horticultural value chain. The project is: • organizing an international workshop to publicize the availability of drying beads, gain additional local cooperators, explore other ways to conserve the genetic material and investigate the horticultural value chain • conducting socio-economic and technical analyses of the horticultural seed production, distribution and marketing value chain in order to identify critical points where seed quality is at risk • providing a Technology Support Package and on-site advice to assist cooperators to establish improved seed production, storage and utilization procedures in their own operations or among the stakeholders with whom they work • establishing sustainable, market-based systems to enable local adoption of improved seed production, handling, storage and distribution procedures • building local technical capacity through extension educational programs focusing on producing and maintaining high seed quality • targeting female stakeholders, as they represent the majority of workers engaged in horticultural seed production, preservation and utilization

results so far A workshop demonstrating the seed drying technology was held in Nairobi and people attended from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia, generating a lot of interest among participants. A socioeconomic survey is in progress assessing the horticultural seed production, distribution and marketing value chain. Ceramic beads to dry the seeds are on their way to demonstration trials in Kenya and Tanzania, and to a small extent in Rwanda and Uganda. sponsors Horticulture Collaborative Research Support Program (Horticulture CRSP), USAID partner University of California Davis

Noah Phiri, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 8



location Cameroon dates June 2010 – March 2012 CABI project team Charles Agwanda

reviving the coffee industry in Cameroon by improving quality Image courtesy of the International Trade Centre

Coffee is an important cash crop for small-scale farmers in Cameroon, it increases incomes and provides much needed foreign exchange for the country.

so what’s the problem? For various reasons, production has declined in Cameroon – dropping from 90,000 tonnes in the early 1990’s to about 35,000 tonnes in 2009. Equally quality, which depends on good agricultural practices and primary processing, has also declined. In October 2009, the Government of Cameroon adopted a National Strategic Plan for Coffee Developed through the support of the International Trade Center (ITC) in Geneva. The plan lays strong emphasis on value and quality addition through wet processing of coffee to produce washed or fully washed Arabica and Robusta coffees. The benefits associated with this approach were confirmed by a study commissioned by the World Bank under the framework of the All ACP Agricultural Commodities Program (AAACP).


what is this project doing? With funding from the World Bank, CABI provided technical assistance to support introduction of centralized pulping units in Cameroon in order to enhance coffee quality. This technical support involved identifying appropriate equipment for coffee pulping, assisting with purchase of equipment and installing Central Pulping Units (CPU’s) at four pilot sites in Cameroon. Technical staff were also trained to operate these washing stations and management committees were established at each site.

results so far In 2010, a national project steering committee was established, and preliminary studies were conducted in preparation for setting up centralized pulping units in the four locations in Cameroon. The team selected the areas for the pilot studies and undertook socioeconomic studies to mark the baseline. The project team has also provided technical assistance to purchase equipment for the project. A total of 17.2 tonnes clean coffee of fully washed Arabica and 18.7 tonnes clean coffee of fully washed Robusta has so far been produced through the four pilot sites and sold at an average price premium of 25%.

partners Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Cameroon Chede Cooperative Union Coopérative Agricole des Planteurs de la Mifi (CAPLAMI) Union des GIC et Coopératives des Planteurs de MBOANZ (UGCP) Projet d’Appui à la Compétitivité Agricole (PACA) Cocoa and Coffee Inter-professional Board (CICC) Office National du Cacao et du Café (ONCC) sponsor World Bank Charles Agwanda, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 10



locations DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda dates On-going CABI project team Noah Phiri (DRC, Rwanda) Negussie Efa, (Ghana) Florence Chege (Kenya) Martin Kimani (Sierra Leone, Tanzania) Jane Frances Asaba (Uganda)

Plantwise in Africa

Farming is essential for life. In Africa, a huge number of people rely on what they can grow in order to survive.

so what’s the problem? Pests and diseases mean that crops suffer and yields are often less than half what they could be. Meeting the wide ranging information needs of smallholder farmers and providing relevant and timely advice is a significant challenge.

what is this project doing? Plantwise is currently working in seven countries in Africa. The main activities include: • training plant doctors and establishing plant health clinics in rural locations to provide free advice to farmers • training future plant doctor trainers • developing data management systems and procedures for collating and analysing information from plant clinics • developing farmer-friendly fact sheets for major pest problems • collating other country specific plant health information for the Plantwise knowledge bank ( • providing country-specific plant health news and information • supporting complementary extension campaigns based on plant clinic information • strengthening links between stakeholders in the national plant health system


results so far In some countries pilot plant health clinics have run for several years, with farmers, extension workers and other stakeholders reporting positive results. In other countries the first clinics are only just being established. Additionally, Plantwise is soon extending to further countries. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): 11 clinics are currently run by a university, a private sector organization and an NGO. The team have undertaken plant doctor training to open additional clinics and will teach the newly trained plant doctors to produce pest fact sheets and undertake monitoring and evaluation. Ghana: The first group of plant doctors is undergoing training, prior to establishing the first 10 clinics. Kenya: 35 clinics are in operation, with 95 plant doctors trained. Data capture and management systems are being tested, and clinic data will soon be available. And, as the Ministry of Agriculture wishes to establish clinics across the country, the first stakeholder forum has identified roles and responsibilities. Rwanda: 8 clinics are running, two in each Province. Training on developing pest factsheets has been undertaken at the request of Rwanda’s Agricultural Board. Training future trainers has been conducted, so that further clinics can be established. Monitoring and evaluating clinics, and managing the information are planned, as is the first stakeholder forum. Sierra Leone: 11 main clinics are in operation, plus over 60 satellite clinics, supported by the national plant protection budget. There is demand for clinics at all 193 Agricultural Business Centres, so training of future trainers is commencing. Training to produce fact sheets and monitoring and evaluation of clinics is planned. The team are developing materials on plant clinics for inclusion in the university curriculum and a plant health rally on a priority pest will be conducted soon. Tanzania: Plantwise has been officially launched, and national plans made for establishing the first plant clinics. Locations for 10 clinics have been agreed, and the first group of plant doctors has received initial training. Uganda: Over 20 clinics are running, several operated by NGOs, and a high profile launch and stakeholder forum has been held. Additional plant doctors are being trained to establish 10 more clinics. Training will be undertaken on fact sheet production and data management. Plans will be made for inclusion of Plantwise in university curricula. partners Ministries of Agriculture (including extension, research and regulatory departments and institutes) Universities Non-governmental organisations Private sector sponsors Department for International Development (DFID) Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 12


locations Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia dates December 2005 – November 2010 CABI project team Arne Witt Florence Chege Roger Day Tom Owaga

managing invasive species

Biodiversity on planet Earth is under threat from Invasive Alien Species. Not creatures from outer space, but species of plants, animals and microorganisms that are non-native and introduced to other environments. This is not a new problem, but it is a growing one. Globalization of trade and travel is increasing the number of species moving around the world. Changes in land use and climate are making some habitats more susceptible to invasions.

so what’s the problem? Agriculture, trade, and the environment are all being adversely affected by invasive alien species. These plants, animals and microorganisms have escaped from their native environments and are spreading to new areas around the world. They now form the second biggest threat to biodiversity after habitat destruction and while this problem is not a new one, it continues to be a growing concern. Globalisation of trade and travel is increasing the number of species moving around the world, and changes in land use and climate are making some habitats more susceptible to invasions. In Africa, many invasive species have been introduced both intentionally and accidentally and are damaging natural and man-made ecosystems. Various tropical South American water plants have invaded unique wetlands, lakes and rivers and has led to a loss of biodiversity, affecting local fishing and tourism industries. Terrestrial ecosystems are also being affected and agricultural production and food security are both under threat.


Prevention and mitigation of the effects of invasive alien species is especially challenging in Africa as there are many barriers to the effective management of invasive species, from weak policy and a lack of information and awareness, to inadequate prevention and control programmes.

what is this project doing? In support of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), this project aims to reduce and remove barriers to the management of invasive alien species in Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia. CABI and partners are supporting these countries to achieve this goal by establishing guidelines to ensure that strategies to control invasive alien species are standardised; raising public and political awareness of the issues surrounding alien invasives, and giving decision makers the information they need on the risks, impacts and management of invasive species; and setting up training programmes for officials, quarantine officers, community members and other groups affected by invasive species.

results so far National invasive species strategies and action plans have been developed and coordinating units in the four countries will soon be established. A huge amount of awareness raising has taken place and procedures for risk analysis, early detection and rapid response mechanisms have also been developed. Crucially, lists of invasive plants are being produced nationally and ecosystem management plans for pilot sites have been developed. Methods of control for invasive species such as the paper mulberry, water hyacinth, lantana, mimosa, and mesquite are being trialled at pilot sites using various techniques. In addition to this, a variety of training programmes have been developed, quarantine departments have been provided with equipment and material support and more than 20 post-graduate students have been enrolled at various universities. The project countries cover a range of habitats and species, so the outcomes of this project will be shared with others to assist the control of invasive alien species across the continent. partners Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) sponsor United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Environment Facility

Arne Witt, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 14



locations Ethiopia and Rwanda dates February 2011 – Dec 2015 CABI project team Charles Agwanda Alphonce Werah

guaranteeing credit to coffee farmers in Ethiopia and Rwanda

Coffee, produced by over 50 countries, is one of the largest traded commodities in the world. It provides livelihoods for some 25 million farming families, and is crucial to the GDP of many countries.

so what’s the problem? Supply and demand are in very tight balance, and as more markets emerge, more and more coffee is being consumed. With statistics showing that African production is falling behind, it needs ways of increasing production and quality. In countries such as Ethiopia and Rwanda where coffee plays a critical role in the economy, revitalising coffee production and quality is vital; allowing farmers to attract premiums and improve their household income. Despite the superior varieties of the coffee, the optimum soil and the climate, the industry has declined substantially here. Not only has the value of coffee exports declined, volumes have similarly declined.


what is this project doing? Following up on a previous three year pilot project aimed at improving coffee quality in Rwanda and Ethiopia, this project aims to continue to improve processing practices by smallholders here. This will result in an overall sustainable increase in the quality and quantity of sun-dried, semi-washed and fully washed Arabica coffee. As many smallholder farmers are reliant on basic equipment to produce their coffee, a credit guarantee scheme has been designed and is being implemented, enabling smallholder farmers to access commercial loans to improve their product. These loans will facilitate farmers to acquire and install improved processing equipment and facilitate cooperatives to purchase and export the resulting high quality coffee produced through the improved processing practices. At the same time, CABI will provide technical assistance to promote good agronomic and processing practices, market information to everyone in the coffee chain, and promote good governance of the cooperative societies. The previous pilot project resulted in significant improvements in the quality of coffee in Ethiopia and Rwanda, and farmers were receiving higher premiums (in excess of 30%). However, smallholder coffee farmers in Ethiopia and Rwanda are resource-poor and do not have savings and the level of capitalization by the cooperatives is low. It is hoped, therefore, that by giving access to affordable credit, expanding the new processing technologies to non-project farmers and other regions will be made possible. Inadequate access to market information also undermines the smallholders’ capacity to effectively negotiate in the supply chain. Information is important in planning future production and scheduling of product releases into the market so our team aim to arm farmers and others with the right information to facilitate the best return.

results so far To allow banks to lend to them, training on financial literacy and good cooperative governance was run by Rabobank for the 20 selected cooperatives in Rwanda. Likewise, training for loan officers were successfully undertaken in both countries. The first loans are now being made and we are monitoring their success. We identified and selected new cooperatives in Ethiopia and Rwanda (22 cooperatives were selected from 12 Woredas in Ethiopia and 20 cooperatives were identified in Rwanda), where the purchase and installation of machinery, equipment and facilities for improved dry and wet processing was initiated. Training future trainers was undertaken in Ethiopia for over 100 development agents and in Rwanda for 19 trainers. The team covered a wide range of issues relating to coffee production, processing, quality, marketing and management of farmers associations. Additionally, the team conducted training sessions across three coffee regions for farmers, namely: East and West Hararghe, SNNP, and East and West Wellega. This involved active participation in lectures, group discussion, debates and presentations. The training also involved field visits and demonstrations. This way the training sessions promoted the sharing of experiences, information and ideas. sponsors Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) Rabobank Foundation International Coffee Organization (ICO) partners Ministry of Agriculture, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia National Agriculture Export Development Board, Rwanda

Charles Agwanda, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 16



locations Gabon and Togo dates July 2007 – November 2012 CABI project team Charles Agwanda

going gourmet in Gabon and Togo

Both Gabon and Togo have a strong tradition of producing coffee. Over 34,000 farming families in Togo grow the crop, producing up to 20,000 tons a year.

so what’s the problem? The industry has been in decline for the past few years however. In Gabon, the country’s oil and mineral reserves have dominated the economy for the last 30 years, leaving the coffee industry struggling to compete for government support. 2000 to 2004 were tough years for coffee farmers. Global prices plummeted and scores of young people moved to urban areas in search of more promising livelihoods. The quality and productivity of coffee also dropped as low prices saw farmers make cutbacks on inputs such as fertilizer, or, as in Gabon, abandoned coffee production completely. Thankfully, both governments are now investing in the coffee sector to boost the local economies and reverse the rural-urban exodus of the last few years. With rapidly emerging economies becoming significant markets, demand is again on the rise. With some basic guidance, farmers should be able to restore some stability to the coffee producing sector and improve their livelihoods.

what is this project doing? With the support of in-country partners, and funding from the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), CABI is leading a project to revitalise Gabon and Togo’s coffee industries.


The initiative looks at the whole coffee growing and processing system; from the establishment of effective farms that have good seedlings and tools, and farmers with the right knowledge and skills to grow and process coffee, through to the rehabilitation of processing factories and the marketing of the resultant coffee. The project also aims to improve the production and quality of Robusta coffee to a level worthy of gourmet status – a market currently dominated by Arabica coffees. The project intends to pilot the production of sundried and washed Robusta coffee whilst providing access to markets of the gourmet sectors in Europe, the USA and Japan. Smallholder farmers, and other stakeholders in the coffee industry, will be able to improve their incomes and the economies of Gabon and Togo will subsequently benefit from the foreign exchange earned through exports. To meet the demands of the gourmet market, Robusta will need to be produced as a large, top quality bean. And, with consumer concerns about fair trade, the coffee needs to be traceable to the farm that produced it. The project also aims to get 4C accreditation for the coffee – proof of high standards from the Common Code for the Coffee Community.

results so far In Togo, 500 farmers were selected to take part in the project and the team set up demonstration plots for their training. In Gabon, the area selected is currently being rehabilitated with the help of unsettled youths who have had social problems in the cities. We also trained extension workers and others to then train the farmers in all aspects of crop husbandry. Seeds of improved varieties were also made available. In Togo, adequate quantities of seedlings for replanting dead and moribund trees, and for planting new fields, were propagated. Existing nurseries which have suffered from years of neglect are also being restored. In Gabon, no improved varieties were available, so seeds from Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon were imported and germinated in enough quantities to cover the annual demand, nurseries were also established as part of this rehabilitation process. Farmers also need credit in order to afford expensive inputs such as fertilizers which are necessary to produce large beans. So, loans were organized to be paid back once the returns from the coffee make it economically viable. The project supplied advanced processing machinery for the communal use of farmers who are trained how to use them. On top of this, a liquoring lab was set up in both countries and ‘coffee cuppers’ were trained (in collaboration with the Coffee Quality Institute). Their job is to determine the quality and grading of the produced coffee – the aim being to reward quality with premiums. With all this in place and a reliable market established, a sustainable gourmet coffee industry will be achieved and the scheme may well be adopted by other West African countries. partners International Coffee Organization (ICO) Comité de Coordination pour les Filières Café et Cacao (CCFCC), Togo Caisses de Stabilisation et de Péréquation (CAISTAB), Gabon sponsor Common Fund for Commodities (CFC)

Charles Agwanda, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 18



location Ghana date 2006 CABI project team Keith Holmes

cocoa hits the headlines in Ghana

World cocoa production is projected to grow at a rate of 2.2 percent a year, reaching annual production of 3.7 million tonnes by 2010. Increased demand provides farmers in West Africa, Asia and Latin America with an ideal opportunity to improve their livelihoods, but it also means they must be able to deal with the growing range of challenges that face their crop, such as pests, diseases and climate change impacts.

so what’s the problem? Cocoa occupies a key position in Ghana’s economy, providing vital foreign exchange and domestic income. To support this industry, the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) was established. CRIG has the knowledge and research technologies that can enable Ghana’s cocoa farmers to increase the amount of cocoa they grow to deal with environmental challenges. However, due to the rural location of smallholder farmers, and the lack of an effective communication infrastructure, relevant crop management information often does not reach them.


what is this project doing? Recognizing this as a major issue, CRIG, in collaboration with Cadbury Schweppes and CABI looked to develop an effective means of transferring knowledge to smallholder farmers. Meeting the challenge, the team developed The Ghanaian Cocoa Farmers Newspaper, a publication that would be distributed to cocoa farmers all over Ghana, informing them about good agricultural practice in cocoa. An editorial committee was established at CRIG to select articles that would be included in the newspaper. These articles were then drawn by an artist at CRIG and sent to Cadbury Schweppes and CABI in the UK to undergo additional editing and formatting. The final proof of the first edition of the newspaper was presented to the Daily Graphic in Accra, which printed 70,000 tabloid copies. The copies were divided among licensed buying companies, that had agreed to assist with distribution to the farmers. Following each issue of the newspaper it was proposed that a radio broadcast in the six growing regions was aired. The broadcast would involve a scientist from CRIG who will explains the articles and allow listeners to phone in with comments and questions. A survey was conducted by the Statistics Unit of CRIG to assess present awareness and understanding of the newspapers among farmers. Survey findings have been used to improve the overall concept for the second edition. A second survey will be conducted following the distribution of the second edition, and will assess the relevance and impact of contents among readers.

results so far The first edition was produced in the summer of 2006 and distributed to the rural communities via licensed buying companies. Although in its infancy, the newspaper is already proving an effective communication method. Over 70,000 copies have been produced and distributed to rural farmers, with requests for extra copies being received. The second edition of the newspaper was printed in June 2007 and we hope the newspaper will continue to be published regularly. The newspaper will be an invaluable knowledge transfer tool that will play a role in helping to sustain the future of Ghana’s cocoa industry and improve the livelihoods of rural farmers and their families. partners Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana Cadbury Schweppes sponsors Akuafo Adamfo Marketing Co Ltd, Armajaro (GH) Ltd Cadbury Schweppes Kuapa Kokoo Ltd Olam Produce Buying Company Transroyal (GH) Ltd Keith Holmes, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 20



locations Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique and Mali dates January 2011 – June 2014 CABI project team George Oduor Dannie Romney Lydia Wairegi Abigael Mchana Jane Asaba

African soil health consortium

Production of good quality crops in Africa benefits both the farmers income and the population in general.

so what’s the problem? Poor soil fertility is a key constraint to improving farm productivity and farmer livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. This problem could be addressed through the use of Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) techniques, that promote efficient and effective use of mineral fertilizer, organic inputs and improved seed varieties combined with good agronomic practices.

what is this project doing? The project supports ongoing initiatives in the region that work to introduce and implement ISFM by providing the information and decision support tools that their smallholder farmer and extension worker audiences require. More broadly, the African Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) is addressing the need to improve ISFM knowledge at all levels of society in both public and private sectors, from policy makers to university lecturers and input suppliers, in order to improve livelihoods. A number of ‘knowledge products’ are being developed by the project ranging from policy briefs, to handbooks, videos and ISFM extension materials, so that stakeholders have the information they need on ISFM to make the right soil decisions.


By 2014 the ASHC will have supported four main audiences in the following ways: • smallholder farmers will improve their livelihoods through increased awareness of integrated soil fertility management techniques using information developed by the consortium • extension workers in the public and private sector will be able to access high quality integrated soil fertility management information to improve cropping systems in sub-Saharan Africa. • policy makers in sub-Saharan Africa will recognise and take account of integrated soil fertility management principles when devising policy in order to make it easier for smallholders and others to use ISFM techniques The project is being implemented under the guidance of a Technical Advisory Group, comprising individuals that have played a key role in research and implementation of ISFM in sub-Saharan Africa. This group also oversees the production of communications outputs to ensure that they reflect good quality with a focus on communications materials for the maize-legume, lowland rice, sorghum millet-cowpea, banana-coffee and cassava cropping systems.

results so far The project has held initial workshops in Mali and Tanzania to work with researchers to build their capacity to develop effective communications materials in the future and to support them with the development of certain elements. The project team is now developing these materials in conjunction with the in country partners. Two videos outlining the value and principles of ISFM have been produced for policy and wider extension worker audiences, these are now available via The project’s Integrated Soil Fertility Management handbook – which aims to support extension workers and covers broad research subjects including soil fertility assessment, nutrient and crop management, nutrient sources and farming systems analysis – is now almost complete and will be promoted widely across sub-Saharan Africa.

partners Alliance for Green Revolution Africa (AGRA) African Soil Information Service (AfSIS) International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) CGIAR Centres sponsor The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

George Oduor, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 22



locations India, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe dates January 2008 – December 2012 CABI project team Noah Phiri Martin Kimani Richard Musebe Jane Frances Asaba Alphonce Werah

disease proofing Indian and African coffee

The coffee industry is hugely important to the economies of India and many parts of Africa. Coffee exports bring in essential foreign exchange and provides employment for millions of people.

so what’s the problem? The coffee market is very competitive and Indian and African producers are increasingly having to battle with diseases. Coffee leaf-rust – caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix – is one such disease. Infected coffee trees produce around 40% fewer beans of lower quality. In severe cases, coffee leaf rust kills coffee tree or leaves them susceptible to attack from stem-boring insects. There are fungicides available to reduce the impact of this disease, but small-scale farmers cannot afford them, and they can be an unhealthy addition to the environment. Between 2000 and 2004 coffee prices dropped to very low levels, therefore farmers tended to spend less time and money looking after their crops. With large coffee companies investing in chemicals and new disease-resistant varieties, the production of small-scale growers is in danger of falling further behind.


what is this project doing? CABI is implementing a project which covers India, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe. It has the support of the five countries’ governments, the International Coffee Organisation and the Common Fund for Commodities. The overall aim being to reduce the economic and environmental costs of disease control for smallholder coffee farmers by reducing losses caused by disease. A full assessment to identify relevant stakeholders such as farmers, extensionists, coffee buyers and hauliers) and how they interact will be carried out. Surveys of smallholder coffee farmers investigate the impact of coffee diseases and how farmers have responded to these problems. In addition, a detailed investigation of the local varieties of coffee grown by each country will be undertaken and the CABI project team will then work with national partners to develop and maintain nurseries, seed gardens and field gene banks for new and old varieties (including their germplasm). These nurseries and seed gardens can then supply seeds and seedlings for increased coffee production. The project will also select new varieties that are more disease resistant. Coffee varieties, including two from India, specifically bred for resistance to the disease are being evaluated together with national varieties for their performance under local conditions in participating countries. Both local and imported varieties will then be tested for disease resistance, seed growth and vigour, crop yield and the quality of the end product – a cup of coffee. Farmers will take an active role in running field trials and attend field schools so that they learn by experimenting and practice.

results so far Incidence, severity and distribution of coffee leaf rust, coffee berry diseases, and their socioeconomic impacts have now been established for the five countries. The stakeholder assessment identified and included the groups in the project and identified the impact of coffee diseases and the coping strategies used by smallholder coffee farmers. We have identified varieties with very good vigour and yield characteristics that exhibit resistance to coffee leaf rust and berry diseases. These varieties are now being evaluated for quality. In Uganda, the project is also multiplying varieties resistant to coffee wilt disease. Coffee leaf rust investigations have revealed a range of previously unknown races (varieties), some of which are attacking previously resistant varieties. This information will be invaluable for developing durable resistance and as disease types vary, has identified the urgent need for effective quarantine measures. As an interim measure, environmentally-friendly fundigicides have also been identified and will be recommended in respective countries. Some biocontrol agents are also showing promise in India. Capacity building of national staff in the African countries is supporting MSc and PhD studies on coffee related topics. partners Central Coffee Research Institute (CCRI) Coffee Board of India Coffee Research Foundation (CRF), Kenya Coffee Research Centre (COREC) National Crops Resources Research Institute (NACRRI), Uganda Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), Rwanda Chipinge Coffee Research Station, Department of Agriculture Research, Zimbabwe

sponsors Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) The International Coffee Organization (ICO) Noah Phiri, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 24



location Kenya dates 2009 – 2011 CABI project team Noah Phiri Duncan Chacha Daniel Karanja

bulking kale seeds in kenya

Vegetables are grown by over 90% of Kenyan smallholders. The most important is kale, a Brassica oleracea cultivar. A total of 320,000 tonnes of Kale are produced each year from 23,000 hectares of land. Kale forms part of most meals in Kenyan households. In fact it is nicknamed ‘sukuma wiki’ which means that it is a meal that ‘helps see you through the week.’

so what’s the problem? Farmers prefer to grow varieties that are productive, late-flowering and resistant to bacterial black rot, as well as having large, dark-green leaves that are attractive to buyers. Common commercial varieties do not have these characteristics, and in some areas, farmers grow their own varieties. Unfortunately these farmer-preferred kale varieties are so mixed that it is almost impossible to produce good quality seed from them.


what is this project doing? The objective of this project was to “clean-up” local kale breeds into separate varieties and develop a model for producing good quality seed varieties (selected under a previous project). Specifically we are aiming to bulk up seed of CABI 1 and CABI 4 (which were recommended, by the National Varietal Release Committee, for registration after development and testing processes) in preparation for official release, as well as initiating the registration and release processes for three more kale seeds (CABI 2, CABI 3, CABI 5) and to promote sustainable seed production technologies.

results so far In a previous phase of the project, funded by DFID, CABI and partners ‘cleaned up’ Kinale kale selections from gardens of 24 farmers into five varieties coded CABI 1–5. Seed bulking was carried out in purpose built screen houses to prevent contamination from other varieties. Intra-varietal pollination was facilitated by introducing honey bees to screen houses. In May 2010, CABI 1 and CABI 4 were authorized as varieties and officially released (named Kinale and Tosha, respectively). These were the first locally developed varieties of kale to appear in the national list of varieties released in Kenya. Other lines require further cleaning/selection before being licensed. Meanwhile, the project is providing large quantities of basic seed that could be used by a farmer-led enterprise to produce and market the improved kale seed. The bulked seed of CABI 1 and CABI 4 (Kinali and Tosha) was made available when the Minister of Agriculture officially released the new kale varieties at the National Seed Policy launch. This current innovation provides an opportunity for turning indigenous technical knowledge, embodied in registered seed varieties, into a widely available technology for seed enterprises to satisfy the needs and demands for the type of kale that farmers want to grow.

partner KEPHIS, KARI and Lagrotech, Kenya sponsor The CABI Innovation Fund

Noah Phiri, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 26



location Nairobi, Kenya dates 2008 – 2010 CABI project team Florence Chege Roger Day

establishing a centre of phytosanitary excellence

Agriculture is seen as the key to development across the African continent. Around 60% of all employment in Africa is agricultural, and its produce makes up 40% of the total foreign exchange income. To improve plant health and reduce new pest and disease risk, phytosanitary systems (SPS) need to be established. SPS also protects the natural environment, ecosystem services, and supports trade by applying appropriate international phytosanitary measures.

so what’s the problem? Results of International Plant Protection Convention’s (IPPC) Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) have repeatedly shown that capacity amongst African countries to apply international phytosanitary standards in their countries is inadequate. This has led to crop loss during production and post-harvest, decreasing the continents ability to meet food security targets. Insufficient phytosanitary measures have also hindered Africa’s access to international trade, especially in relation to horticultural produce.


In order to protect agriculture at both individual country and pan-Africa levels, the continent requires a coordinated phytosanitary capacity development approach. The desired level of African capacity can only be achieved through collaboration and partnerships between government, private sector and international organizations, both within countries and beyond – hence a Centre of Phytosanitary Excellence was established to address African phytosanitary capacity development in both public and private organizations.

what is this project doing? The project’s mandate was to establish a centre of phytosanitary excellence involving plant protection organizations, the private sector, government agencies and international bodies with an interest in plant health and international trade. These stakeholders designed and endorsed an institutional and management framework for running the centre, and developed a business plan including the sustainable provision of its services and activities.

results so far The project successfully put in place a framework and business plan for the centre which launched in 2010. It is providing a range of services to develop capacity in phytosanitary measures and offers training to plant health specialists from African countries, university courses, work attachments, and bespoke group and individual courses. The centre also coordinates a network of pest risk analysts within the East African region and undertakes regional pest risk analysis. A secretariat managed by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and the University of Nairobi (UoN) manages the Centre on behalf of its stakeholders. Training courses targeted four groups including managers and policy makers, middle-level production and phytosanitary managers, subject matter inspectors and technicians, and trainers, providing awareness of how phytosanitary issues relate to national priorities and how countries benefit from complying with national and international phytosanitary standards.

partners The centre was developed by a team of experts from several African countries, and the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) University of Nairobi (UoN) Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives – Zambia Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Co-operatives – Tanzania The African Union’s Inter-African Phytosanitary Council (IAPSC) The secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) The Netherlands Plant Protection Service (NPPS) USAID Regional Mission for East Africa FAO Regional Office for Africa

Florence Chege, Project Manager

sponsor The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 28



location Nairobi, Kenya dates November – December 2011 CABI project team Florence Chege Eric Boa Phil Taylor Rob Reeder Lucy Karanja

master class in plant health

Agriculture is a key driver of economic and social development at national and community levels in sub-Saharan Africa.

so what’s the problem? Many communities are unable to meet potential crop production levels due to crop losses in the field and post-harvest caused by a whole host of pests and diseases. In many sub-Saharan countries farmers are not getting adequate plant health information to help them lose less of their crops. CABI through our Plantwise initiative is providing communities in developing countries with access to plant health advisory services, via plant clinics, that otherwise would not be available. Plant clinics are being embedded in village level organizations, providing on-the-spot solutions for plant health problems wherever possible. To make the clinics a success, plant doctors need to have good access to scientific and technical support from trusted sources so they can solve the more difficult problems and reply to farmers quickly and effectively. A master class was designed to show extension workers how to use innovative emerging technology to enable the delivery of urgently needed plant health support to farmers.


what is this project doing? The master class delivered diagnostic training to 20 extension workers from 10 African countries (Zimbabwe, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda). There were practical sessions on methods including key pathogen detection, isolating fungi, extracting nematodes and use of widely available basic equipment. Participants also received a thorough introduction to the Pest and Diseases Identification Library and learned how to undertake remote diagnostics. Taking photographs and interpreting pest features and symptoms was an important part of the course. The widespread availability of cheap digital microscopes has opened up new possibilities for identifying pests and diseases in the field, yet, until the course was set up, few of our trainees had the opportunity to try them. Guided by experts, trainees were taught and gained confidence in using the different types of microscope including USB microscopes.

results so far This course provided an opportunity for a broad audience of extension and research workers in participating countries to view demonstrations of and try out innovative and new diagnostic methods for themselves. By collecting samples, trainees developed expertise of the techniques taught over the two week training period. Digital tools have great potential to enhance the process of pest identification and, as technologies become more accessible, some of the current barriers to accessing information in developing countries will be overcome. The experience of seeing people use these techniques has helped Plantwise staff understand how to better equip future plant clinics. Equipment used during the course, such as the USB microscopes, was distributed to selected participants to use in their work.

partners The Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC) The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) The Extension Services Department in the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture Katoloni Community Based Organization sponsors Australian Government and The Crawford Fund CABI’s Plantwise programme

Florence Chege, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 30



location Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya dates January 2011 – June 2011 CABI project team Arne Witt

eradicating parthenium in Kenya

Parthenium hysterophorus poses one of the most serious threats to biodiversity, crop and pasture production and human and animal health in Africa.

so what’s the problem? Parthenium hysterophorus produces a large numbers of seeds – 10, 000 to 25,000 per mature plant. These are dispersed by wind, water, animals, vehicles, tools and machinery and on clothing. They can be dispered via mud transfer and contaminated agricultural produce such as fodder and food grains. Accidentally introduced to Ethiopia in the 1980s, this weed has rapidly spread throughout Africa, including Kenya, where the plant’s population has exploded in the last 3-4 years. In some areas, outbreaks have reached epidemic proportions, affecting crop production, livestock and human health. In November 2010, a number of plants were discovered in the Masai-Mara National Reserve, posing a signifcant threat to biodiversity and pastoralism in the lodge gardens.


what is this project doing? With funding from the Australian High Commission, a survey of the whole Masai-Mara National Reserve was undertaken to identify and map all known parthenium infestations. The opportunity was also used to develop an inventory of other invasive plant species in the ecosystem, including non-native plants in the lodge gardens.

results so far Through our survey, we found that parthenium was largely confined to the south of the Masai-Mara National Reserve, to the West and East of the Mara Bridge. Other than parthenium the most prolifc invasive plant species in the Masai-Mara National Reserve, both within and outside of lodge properties were found to be Lantana camara, Tithonia diversifolia, Passifora subpeltata, Opuntia monocantha, O. ficus-indica, various Tradescantia species, Anredera cordifolia and Pistia stratiotes. More than 60 local Masai pastoralists were employed over a two month period to physically remove parthenium plants. Visible plants from all known infestations, mainly along roads and jeep tracks, were removed at least twice during the exercise. The eradication programme for parthenium commenced in May 2011.

partners Kenya Wildlife Service Narok County Council sponsor Australian High Commission, Kenya

Arne Witt, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 32



locations Kenya and Mozambique dates 2009 – 2013 CABI project team Daniel Karanja Martin Kimani Richard Musebe George Oduor

improving cotton production in East Africa

Cotton is one of the most important sources of income for many smallholder farmers in Africa. Many rural farmers in both Kenya and Mozambique grow this cash crop, which has the potential to provide them with a route out of poverty.

so what’s the problem? For a number of differing reasons – such as low quality seeds, poor land preparation and inadequate pest control – cotton yields are not what they could be. Much of this poor crop management is caused by a lack of farmer knowledge and inadequate technical support. As a result, many farmers are moving away from cotton farming. Much research has been carried out to date, but so far, few of the crop management techniques suggested by researchers are being adopted by farmers. And, full advantage has not been taken of the new seed varieties available.


what is this project doing? To remedy this, CABI is instigating a project that aims to revamp the cotton industry in both Kenya and Mozambique. Funds from the Common Fund for Commodities, the European Union through its All ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme will be used and the project will be developed in consultation with the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). The Kenyan Government has identified cotton as a key crop with the potential to benefit eight million citizens of the country’s drier regions. Mozambique’s Government has also recognized the value of the cotton industry and is keen to promote good practices and revitalise an industry that was severely impaired during their civil war. Ultimately, the goal is to improve the livelihoods of the rural farmers and allow them to profit from their labours. How? By making cotton production more efficient and subsequently more profitable. To do this, the project team is working with those involved in cotton production including farmers, their associations, ginneries (cotton processing stations), input providers and regulators. This will allow the team to analyse the entire production system, and identify the key issues and constraints along the value chain. The project is providing farmers with the tools and the know-how to increase cotton yield and quality by introducing an innovative Integrated Crop Management (ICM) strategy. This holistic approach focuses on participatory training techniques so that farmers can learn how to get the most from their land and grow the crop in a sustainable way. Furthermore, we want to ascertain how things can be improved in both countries and establish ways of working that can be continued long beyond the life of the project.

results so far The team initiated a baseline survey comprising a total of 350 households. This was done at the target project sites and a selected comparison group in Kenya. Similarly, we undertook a situation analysis of over 350 households in the target districts of Mozambique and selected a comparison group. We then shared and published this data. Following a needs assessment, a curriculum for trainers and farmers on Integrated Crop Management (ICM) in cotton was developed and was continuously updated during the season-long farmers’ training. We also conducted a training course for more than 100 farmer field school facilitators from the six target districts in each country. We conducted an agro-ecosystem analysis and found that farmers in both countries reduced pesticide applications from 8-12 to 5-6 times during one cropping season. One hundred and twenty four farmer field schools reaching more than 3,000 smallholder cotton farmers were established. In addition, training materials including cotton ICM manual, IPM posters and pictorial pest identification guides were developed. In Mozambique, the cotton seed yield during the 2010/11 cropping season reached 1,682 kg/ha compared to 552 kg/ha in the non-ICM plot nearby. A cost benefit analysis is ongoing. partners Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) Mozambique Cotton Institute (IAM) Cotton Development Authority (CODA), Kenya Department of Crop Production and Plant Protection, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique Mozambique Institute for Agrarian Research (IIAM) Cotton Research and Seed Multiplication Center of Namialo (CIMSAN) sponsors Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) Daniel Karanja, Project Manager

European Commission (EC) and counterpart funding from the governments of Kenya and Mozambique

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 34



locations Kenya, Tanzania dates December 2009 – June 2012 CABI project team Daniel Karanja Martin Kimani Richard Musebe

improving seed production for African indigenous vegetable farmers

African indigenous vegetables (AIVs), rich in Iron, Zinc and Vitamin A, are vital crops that are improving food security and generating income for rural and urban communities in Africa.

so what’s the problem? Supply of good quality seed is limiting production of AIVs, which are very much in demand. The majority of farmers use either saved seed from their own previous crops or purchased from open air markets. Relying on seeds from such sources increases problems with poor germination and purity while limiting farmers’ access to improved varieties that better meet consumer requirements.

what is this project doing? Working with researchers, regulators, public and private sector extension workers, seed companies, and both non-governmental and community-based, the project is helping to train and establish seed farmers as certified producers in Kenya and Tanzania. By supplying farmers with start-up materials and training programmes covering production of quality seeds, crop management techniques and the principles of marketing products, the project looks to improve the quality of seed for indigenous vegetables to smallholder farmers. Based on the existing seed policy and production and marketing regulation in Kenya and Tanzania, three farmerled seed enterprise models are being validated. The models include contract, research-mediated and the Quality Declared Seed model which seeks to bridge the gap between the formal and informal seed markets.


results so far We have so far produced a course curriculum for future trainers to teach the principles of quality seed production and post-harvest handling. Initially, 19 (incl. 7 women) farmer trainers in Kenya and 30 (incl. 11 women) in Tanzania received one week of practical training. These graduates then conducted season-long training sessions for over 500 (~40% women) smallholder seed farmers in Kenya and Tanzania. Subsequently, the same course was used to train 71 (17 female) government and private sector extension workers in western Kenya. Over the course of the project, seed production and average germination rates improved with seed purity rates exceeding 90%, rising from pre-project levels of under 50%. The increased production and quality has consequently improved the profits of the smallholder seed producers. In Kenya for example, trained farmers earned, on average, $4,500 per year from indigenous vegetables – with one farmer earning as much as $17,000 per annum through the contract models. In addition, seed yield per acre increased by 10.6%, 40.1% and 59.4% for Nightshade, Jute Mallow and Crotalaria respectively during the second cropping season 2010/11. With this increased income smallholder farmers in Kenya and Tanzania have improved constructed permanent houses and paid for their children’s education. Through the research-mediated model, the project has developed descriptors and produced quality starter seed for Spider plant and Amaranthus to ensure sustainable supply of seed to growers that have no formal contracts with seed companies. This work also gave impetus for fast tracking release of seven improved varieties of African indigenous vegetables in Tanzania.

partners Horticultural Research and Training Institute Tengeru (HORTI-Tengeru) INADES-Formation Tanzania Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)-Kisii Kenya Seed Company Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI) Technology Adoption through Research Organisation (TATRO) The World Vegetable Centre-Regional Centre for Africa (AVRDC-RCA) sponsor Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)-Multi-donor Trust Fund (MDTF) Daniel Karanja, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 36



locations Kenya, Tanzania dates January 2010 – June 2011 CABI project team Richard Musebe

stopping the march of the armyworm

so what’s the problem? The African armyworm (Spodoptera exempta) is a voracious pest that is devastating large areas of farmlands in Eastern Africa. With outbreaks difficult to predict due to its rapid spread, farmers often find themselves unaware and unprepared for attacks that are capable of destroying entire crops. The worst affected countries are Tanzania and Kenya, which together grow over 7 million hectares of cereal (mainly maize). In both countries, as many as 2 million farmers are at risk from armyworm attacks and many are ill-equipped to cope. In order to control the pest, the governments of Tanzania and Kenya have established an outbreak forecasting system that interprets the biological patterns of armyworm to predict and map future pest distribution. However, while this forecasting method works successfully at a national level, it has little value for individual farmers in local regions. While chemical insecticides are currently available to control armyworm populations, their high cost, toxicity and environmentally damaging nature makes them an unsustainable solution.

what is this project doing? This project looks to implement a system of armyworm controls tools for local communities to protect crops from armyworm invasions. Building on the national forecasting model used by the governments of Tanzania and Kenya, one effective control tool is community-based forecasting using pheromone traps. With research showing over 80% accuracy of predicting armyworm outbreaks, the method will provide poor farming households with a timely


and effective way to protect their crops. Once a potential outbreak has been predicted using the forecasting methods, a safe biological pesticide can then be administered to protect crops from damage. This biological control tool is based on a naturally occurring disease of armyworms and is non-toxic, environmentally friendly and half the cost of the chemical pesticide currently used by farmers. Together these tools will reduce the devastating effects of armyworm outbreaks on food production. To implement this control system the project will establish a supply network for registered, low cost forecasting tools to reach Tanzania and Kenya’s smallholder farming communities. It will also establish a manufacturing system in Tanzania to produce the biological pesticide. To encourage the use of the tools, the project team will then promote the model to government services, farmers, community organisations, NGOs and development partners.

results so far To date, a training of trainers’ course has been conducted for 32 agricultural extension officers in Eastern and Coast Provinces of Kenya. These newly qualified trainers have since trained 320 community members in the principles of community-based armyworm forecasting and pesticide application. Frontline extension officers and assistant chiefs have also received training with the hope of promoting these methods to the local farmers they service. So far forecasting at community level is being conducted in 80 sub-locations in Kenya. In the case of Tanzania, six Agricultural Extension Officers and six Plant Protection Officers have been trained. These officers have in turn trained 160 community members, including 80 farmers, 40 village executives and 40 village agricultural extension officers. Furthermore, community-based forecasting has been conducted in 40 villages in Tanzania.

partners Bajuta International, Tanzania Desert Locust Control Organisation for Eastern Africa, Ethiopia Eco Agri Consultancy Services Ltd, Tanzania Juanco SPS, Kenya Lancaster University, UK Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Tanzania (MAFSC) Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ethiopia (MoARD) Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya (MoA) Natural Resources Institute (NRI) Pest Control Products Board, Kenya (PCPB) Tropical Pesticides Research Institute, Tanzania (TPRI) sponsors Richard Musebe, Project Manager

Department for International Development – Research Into Use (DFID RIU) Angolan Government (GoA)

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 38



locations Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania dates April 2008 – July 2008 CABI project team Noah Phiri

helping farmers protect their maize harvest

Maize is a staple food crop across sub-Saharan Africa and is grown by small-scale farmers in many rural areas.

so what’s the problem? Cuts in farming subsidies however, have led to a drop in maize production, threatening food security and leaving already poor farming families on the brink. The Millennium Villages project aimed to develop sub-Saharan Africa one village at a time. Many of the agricultural efforts have been a great success and farmers are now producing many more crops than before. However, these achievements have led to new problems – the larger harvest needs to be stored for longer periods, exposing produce to pests, which can lead to significant losses if left unchecked. Severe infestations of insects, such as the maize weevil and larger grain borer, can result in national losses of up to 40% of stored grain. Insects are transferred from the field to the grain stores during harvest and are often spread from farm to farm via old grain sacks. Fungal pathogens can also be an issue for sotred grain – especially when the grain is not dried properly prior to storage – as some produce a harmful toxin endangering humans and livestock.


what is this project doing? CABI were brought in as specialist consultants to help solve the grain storage pest problem in Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania. The team, experts in helping farmers grow more and lose less, identified the varieties of maize that are grown, which pests are causing the most damage and what the current drying, storage and pest management practices were. CABI’s staff also met with grain storage experts, government officials and other key informants to discuss the status of storage pests, and existing strategies for overcoming the issue. Finally, both short and long-term strategies to combat storage pests were drawn up.

results so far Surveys showed the larger grain borer to be the most damaging pest, frequently causing losses of 30 to 60%. Grain was often being poorly stored in makeshift storage areas, often by inexperienced community members while farmers lacked the knowledge and information to manage maize pests in the field and once in store. To overcome these issues, we made the following recommendations: • farmers should be given access to insecticides, and receive training on their proper use • national pest reporting strategies should be established to enable better understanding of the scale of the problem • farmer education should be provided to enable them to minimize crop exposure to pests during harvest, handling and storage • larger community storage facilites should be fumigated before each season’s harvest • new maize storage facilities should be built and their benefits promoted among farmers Through these recommendations, farmers should be able to make better use of their improved yields, improve their food security and increase their income in a sustainable way. Nationally, the countries should also greatly reduce the cost of pest related damage, currently estimated to be in the region of US$150 – 300 million. sponsor The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) East and Southern Africa Centre

Noah Phiri, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 40



locations UK – scientific experiments Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda – field experiments dates March 2008 – March 2012 CABI project team Joseph Mulema Daniel Karanja Lucy Karanja Duncan Chacha

breeding black rot resistant brassicas

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea ssp. capitata) and kales (B. oleracea ssp. acephala) are key crops for smallholder farmers in East Africa both for home consumption and to generate income.

so what’s the problem? Black rot caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) is the most serious threat to brassica production in East Africa. Losses in excess of 90% have been reported in susceptible varieties. The disease is seed-borne meaning that cultural control methods are less effective. Therefore, deploying resistant varieties is the most effective management strategy, although this strategy is complicated by the high variability of the pathogen.

what is this project doing? This multidisciplinary project combines expertise in genetics, breeding, genomics and pathology to generate new information on quantitative resistance – a way of determining the ranges of resistance – to black rot. The major objectives include determining the race structure of the East African strain of black rot. Because cabbages and kales are highly susceptible to black rot while Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa) is not, our studies will concentrate on charactering factors essential for resistance and the potential of this resistance to protect against a range of black rot isolates. We also aim to fine-map the original identified genomic regions that control this resistance to identify the closely linked molecular markers that can be used in plant breeding. Finally, we will identify black rot resistant varieties for cabbage and kale breeding programmes in East Africa. Combined, this information will help the region’s breeders to develop and deploy potentially resistant brassicas.


results so far A survey of black rot status was conducted on smallholder farms in East Africa, from which a total of 250 isolates of the bacterium (141, 79 and 30 isolates from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda respectively) were isolated and categorized. Race 1 was observed in Kenya and Tanzania while race 4 was observed in the three countries. Genomic fingerprinting with repetitive-PCR (a type of polymerase chain reaction that targets the repetitive sequences in bacterial genomes) revealed clusters that did not depict significant correlations between isolates and geographical location, isolates and host adaptation or isolates and race. It did however demonstrate existence of genetic differences within the East African black rot strains indicating that it is not just a cloned population. Next, assessments of field resistance to black rot of third-generation brassicas bred during the project, cabbage and kale varieties commonly grown in East Africa, and pre-breeding cabbage and kale lines will be undertaken. This will involve replicated field trials over two seasons in Kenya. Ongoing work involves fine mapping of the identified genomic regions.

partners Harper-Adams University College University of Warwick Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) in the UK The World Vegetable Centre – Regional Centre for Africa (AVRDC-RCA) sponsors Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Department for International Development (DfID)

Joseph Mulema, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 42



location East Africa dates November 2011 – December 2011 CABI project team Arne Witt

biocontrol training in East Africa

Development in Africa is threatened by invasive alien species which impact negatively on trade, food security and ecosystem services.

so what’s the problem? Invasive alien species are having a negative impact on economic growth and prosperity in Africa. Control using natural enemies such as insects, mites and pathogens is generally more cost-effective than mechanical or chemical control methods, but it offers a sustainable solution without any deleterious environmental impacts. Although biocontrol is are widely used to control invasive plants in North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and most recently Europe, many African governments have been cautious about adopting this approach due to unsubstantiated safety concerns and a lack of capacity.

what is this project doing? To address this constraint, training workshops were held in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania during November and December 2011 to raise awareness of the concept, and improve understanding of the steps necessary to deliver a biocontrol programme and to address concerns regarding safety and the legislative framework. Participants included staff from universities, research agencies, government departments, conservation agencies and other relevant stakeholder groups.


In addition to training, participants received several Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) publications including “A Toolkit of Best Prevention and Management Practices” and “Africa Invaded”, as well as publications on the economic costs of invasive alien species and the benefits of biocontrol.

results so far Pre- and post-knowledge assessments were undertaken, and in terms of content and clarity of presentations the participants rated the workshop highly, although some would have liked more detail, particularly with regard to invasive species in East Africa.

partners IUCN in Kenya NARO in Uganda and Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperation in Tanzania sponsor CABI Development Fund (CDF)

Arne Witt, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 44



locations Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe dates July 2007 – June 2010 CABI project team Dannie Romney Martin Kimani Richard Musebe

forecasting for armyworm

Farming across sub-Saharan Africa is being threatened by a pest that is devastating crops and threatening farmers’ livelihoods. Armyworms are voracious black caterpillars that attack crops including maize, sorghum, millet, rice and pasture. They appear suddenly in large numbers often catching farmers unaware and unprepared.

so what’s the problem? Scientists are now able to predict the armyworms’ potential migration route, and warn farmers of possible outbreaks during the growing season via national forecasting systems. But, due to the localized nature of attacks and because of communication difficulties, the system does not always work leaving farming communities vulnerable to armyworm infestation. Smallholder farmers in Africa rely on good crop yields to ensure adequate supplies of food and income. It is important to protect their crops and minimize the need for replanting.


what is this project doing? This project aimed to enable farmers to forecast for armyworm attacks in their community. It looked in particular at how information related to this pest flows between farmers, extension workers, pesticide suppliers and others. Government extension workers trained local farmers to use insect traps and rain gauges that were provided through the project. Using this equipment, farmers were able to make weekly predictions of an armyworm attack and take preventative action. Community-based pest forecasting aims to empower farming communities to tackle armyworm problems themselves, allowing them to improve their food and income security without having to rely on central government. The National Armyworm Coordinator will work closely with the different stakeholders which include farmers, government extension workers, researchers, village authorities, pesticide suppliers and stockists, and NGOs. At the same time the project incorporates innovative scientific research, using the collected data to improve the forecasting method. Lessons learnt in the three countries have been shared by the project partners and the country teams.

results so far In Malawi and Zimbabwe the new approach was demonstrated in pilot villages. After this, we expanded the project to areas that were most at risk from the pest, to complement centralized forecasting systems. Impact assessments showed that the approach is both effective and sustainable. Because of the early warning system, many farmers managed to save their crops and lower replanting rates were recorded. After three seasons of community-based forecasting in Tanzania: • more farmers were aware outbreaks can be forecast (up from 32% to 70%) • more farmers received outbreak warnings (up from 26% to 52%) • more farmers controlled the most recent outbreak (up from 32% to 82%) Community-based pest forecasting is now being built into Tanzanian pest control budgets. Local districts have expressed support for expanding the approach and NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) are interested in getting on board and applying the approach in other rural communities. partners CABI – Project Co-ordinator Tanzania: Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Security and Cooperatives Malawi: Pesticide Control Board, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Zimbabwe: Plant Protection Institute, Ministry of Agriculture South Africa: Agricultural Research Council UK: Natural Resources Institute (NRI) sponsor 9th European Development Fund: ICART-CRARF (Implementation and Coordination of Agricultural Research and Training Programme in the SADC Region Competitive Regional Agricultural Research Fund) Roger Day, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 46



locations South Sudan and Uganda dates May 2011 – September 2013 CABI project team Noah Phiri Martin Kimani Richard Musebe

establishing nerica rice in post-conflict Uganda and South Sudan

NERICA (New Rice for Africa) rice – with high yields and ability to withstand low moisture conditions – is already in use in parts of Uganda where it provides a source of income and food in post conflict areas in the North. NERICA can achieve the same results in the new Republic of South Sudan.

so what’s the problem? In post-conflict areas, families need to feed themselves and earn a living. Grown sustainably, NERICA rice has the ability to increase food security and reduce the need for imports.

what is this project doing? The overall goal of this project is to enhance sustainable productivity, value addition and competitiveness of smallholder NERICA production systems in post conflict areas.


There are 4 specific objectives that the project is focusing on: • s haring information between different people in the rice value chain through innovative ways, and fostering alliances and joint action to increase production of NERICA • helping to strengthen production of NERICA seed. Sustainable production of NERICA requires an accessible and reliable supply of quality seed, lack of which has repeatedly been identified as a constraint • technologies to improve the seed systems • b  est practices, experiences and lessons learnt are being documented and disseminated. By using established methods (particularly outcome mapping), we are providing gender-specific information that informs us and others to do the same elsewhere

results so far We have carried out a rice value chain analysis which has helped us identify, understand and work on bridging the gaps from seed production to the market. Certified seed has also been produced in order to grow NERICA in Northern Uganda and South Sudan. A communication strategy has been developed, and is being used to share information about NERICA technologies to stakeholders. This includes a revised quality rice seed production manual and NERICA posters in English and local languages. We have also prepared and trained smallholder farmers so they can effectively participate in the programme and have facilitated the production of NERICA seed by local seed companies and community seed producers. In South Sudan we are supporting the registration and release of NERICA varieties (which include verification trials, refining the draft seed act and providing links between the Government of South Sudan and Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa’s Policy Analysis and Advocacy Programme (ASARECA PAAP). We also want to promote distribution and marketing of NERICA seed by briefing and providing promotional materials to NGOs, public institutions, agrodealers and other potential stakeholders. partners National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), but implemented by National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) Government of Southern Sudan, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Directorate of Research, Training & Extension (MoAF/GoSS) Action Africa Help International (AAHI) Farm Inputs Care Centre (FICA) LTD

sponsor Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) Noah Phiri, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 48



location Tanzania dates January – December 2013 project team Daniel Karanja (CABI) Magesa Makaranga (IFTz) Richard Musebe (CABI) Roger Day (CABI) Silvest Samali (HORTI-Tengeru) Victor Afari-Sefa (AVRDC)

promoting good seed in Tanzania

African indigenous vegetables (AIVs), rich in vitamins and minerals, are improving food security and generating income for rural and urban communities in Africa. Awareness of their nutritional benefits is growing amongst many East African consumers, and research organizations are producing improved varieties which is increasing demand and creating opportunities for small-scale enterprises.

so what’s the problem? This increasing demand for AIVs is being limited by a lack of available quality seed. The majority of farmers use either seed saved from their crops over many years or from open air markets, with problems of both purity and germination. Relying on these seeds limits farmers’ access to seeds of improved varieties that have attributes preferred by consumers. Farmer–led seed enterprises (where farmers – often in collaboration with other stakeholders – manage the production and marketing of seed) can and do contribute towards food and nutrition security as they promote crop diversity, as well as improving livelihoods through income earned from the seed (Karanja et al. 2011). Making them sustainable requires a holistic approach looking at the whole value chain and this includes ensuring effective production and marketing of the vegetables, which can in turn provide and sustain demand for the seed.


what is this project doing? CABI’s Good Seed Initiative works with partners in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan) building on earlier work in Bangladesh. It aims to enable farmers to access improved seed by strengthening seed systems, focusing on non-hybrid and under-utilized varieties of crop. This particular project seeks to increase the utilization of improved varieties of African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs). We are working to: • • • • •

build the capacity of farmers to produce high quality seed support links between smallholder growers and small to medium seed companies support development of farmer-led seed enterprises raise awareness of best practices in seed production promote consumption of AIVs to raise demand for seed and produce

The team will look at the whole value chain and target stakeholders at various stages of production and marketing to try and make the process more efficient. The project will train small scale seed growers in best practice so they can produce seed of commercial quality from basic seed supplied by the Agricultural Seed Agency (ASA). This will then be sold locally as Quality Declared Seed or to seed companies who will distribute it and sell through their networks. The project will help establish a market for good quality seed through promotional campaigns to increase the use of good quality seed and by providing agro-dealers and other market agents with materials they can use to continue product promotion. By raising awareness of the nutritional benefits of AIVs (through a media campaign etc), to promote increased consumption, we should further intensify demand. This work builds upon our previous work on AIV’s in Tanzania by building individual and local capacity, and establishing or strengthening appropriate links to ensure sustainable production and distribution of both seed and vegetables/grain. We know that through support, farmers can produce and market high quality AIV seed with an average (mean) germination and quality above 90% compared to less than 50% for untrained farmers. This consequently improves profits and livelihoods for seed producers. By producing good quality commercial seed we can ensure a sustainable supply of seed to AIV growers. As a result of our work, seed and vegetable growers in Tanzania will benefit directly through income earned from seed and vegetable production. We work in partnership to achieve our objectives and broaden our impact. Every CABI project is undertaken in partnership with other relevant local, national and regional partners to ensure that the solution to the issue we are looking at is robust, well communicated and sustainable. key partners on this project AVRDC – The World Vegetable Centre, Regional Centre for Africa (AVRDC-RCA) CABI Horticultural Research and Training Institute Tengeru (HORTI Tengeru) INADES-Formation Tanzania (IFTz)


United Republic of Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives

sponsors Irish Aid Association for strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)

Daniel Karanja, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 50



location Tanzania dates April 2008 – ongoing CABI project team Martin Kimani Richard Musebe Stefan Toepfer Ulrich Kuhlmann

getting Tanzania’s ipm tomatoes to market

Tomatoes are an important crop for smallholder farmers in northern Tanzania.

so what’s the problem? Although a number of trained farmers are using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, a secure market for these sustainably grown tomatoes is still lacking. Despite the benefits of reduced pesticide use and healthier produce, farmers have been frustrated with the lack of recognition for their products. Many are therefore abandoning IPM approaches and reverting to conventional production.

what is this project doing? This project aims to support these farmers by establishing a functional marketing system for their superior IPM produce. Entering a new tomato product into pre-existing markets is difficult. Our IPM and marketing experts are therefore working with farmers, village extension officers, local IPM experts from the national horticultural training centre in Tanzania, HORTI Tenguru, and a marketing expert from the agricultural marketing development system programme of the Ministry of Agriculture of Tanzania to identify and create a secure niche market for the environmentally-friendly IPM tomatoes. To help achieve this, we are supporting the formation of IPM vegetable producer clubs in northern Tanzania to encourage group marketing of IPM tomatoes, improve market access and promote sustainable tomato production as a business.


Through this initiative, we are helping to make IPM tomato production more sustainable, thus guaranteeing a more reliable income for northern Tanzania’s smallholder farmers and their families.

results so far So far, seven IPM vegetable producer clubs, each with 8-30 members, have been established. Registered by the government, they can trade both nationally and internationally as well as exhibit at government organised agricultural trading fairs, thus providing more opportunities to promote their IPM approach and produce. To ensure that club members produce consistently high standard tomatoes, CABI and a number of farmers and extension officers developed a technical guideline for the production of outdoor IPM tomatoes. Based on international standards, the guideline defines the minimum requirements that must be followed in order to grow IPM tomatoes. Supporting documents provide step-by-step ways to prevent, monitor and control the major pests and diseases of tomato. The key is for farmers to put more emphasis on preventive measures, such as, crop rotation – and – only appling pesticides when monitoring reveals that pests have exceeded pre-set thresholds. Ninety-two per cent of the recommendations for IPM implementation in the technical guideline are being fulfilled by the farmers. As a result, this project has already seen the over-reliance on pesticides reduced by the members of the IPM vegetable producer clubs – hazardous pesticide has fallen by by 85% and use of the most toxic products has been completely phased out. By introducing a method to search and identify markets and market information the project team has been strengthening the links between producer clubs and local and regional buyers. The improved relationships have resulted in contract-like agreements being established early in the season, which in turn has allowed the farmers to coordinate production and marketing of tomatoes throughout the growing season. This has helped to reduce competition, satisfy continuous demand and maintain a secure and sustainable market niche. Producer club members are already experiencing economic benefits from growing and marketing IPM tomatoes. The price premium for their tomatoes has increased by over 20% and they are selling more than conventional farmers. Furthermore, pesticide input costs are approximately 35% lower for tomatoes produced using IPM methodologies than for conventional tomatoes. As the public awareness of the health benefits, an increasing number of farmers are expected to begin producing IPM tomatoes. Several of the producer clubs have already been approached by interested farmers to become members. We anticipate that the successes of this project will not only stimulate the formation of additional IPM tomato producer clubs, but will also be adopted for other major vegetable production systems in northern Tanzania. partners National Horticultural Research and Training Institute Tanzania (HORTI Tengeru) of the Northern Zone Agricultural Research and Training Institute (NZARTI) Extension officers from the Ministry of Agriculture of Tanzania (MoA) Agricultural Marketing System Development Programme (AMSDP) of the MoA sponsor Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Ulrich Kuhlmann, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 52



locations Tanzania and Uganda dates April 2008 – March 2011 CABI project team Steve Edgington (UK) Daniel Karanja (Africa)

the good seed initiative in Africa

For smallholder farmers all over the world, choosing which seeds to plant is a crucial decision. High quality seeds of market preferred varieties have resilience to common pests and diseases and produce higher yields. But not all farmers are able to access the varieties best suited to their environment.

so what’s the problem? Traditionally up to 90% of smallholder farmers recycle seeds from their previous harvest to sow their new crop in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The seeds are also traded through friends and extended family networks. These seeds are readily available and affordable, but may not produce predictable results due to poor selection and storage practices. Traditional seed stocks also face numerous threats, ranging from natural disasters and civil unrest, climate change and invasions of exotic pests. Indigenous knowledge relating to seed selection and storage is also undermined by official regulation, which requires seed varieties to undergo stringent procedures in order to be registered. The loss of knowledgeable family members through HIV/AIDS before crucial information can be passed on to the next generation is also a serious problem.


what is this project doing? Funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), CABI implemented the Good Seed Initiative to promote farmers’ rights as both the protectors and beneficiaries of agricultural seed biodiversity. In countries that have farmer-friendly seed laws, such as Tanzania, CABI helped farmers to profit from selling their seed. For example, sorghum farmers multiplied the seed of brewing varieties so that they could market the grain to local brewing companies. The project team worked with local extension officers to design a participatory field-based training programme to help farmers identify and manage smut disease, and teach best practices so that farmers select and store healthy sorghum seed.

results so far Getting the right information to farmers is crucial. In Uganda, where many rural communities have little or no access to electricity, good seed-saving techniques are being shared over the radio or through training courses. Farmers are learning about the benefits of producing seeds of a new hhybird rice variety called NERICA (New Rice for Africa). This hybrid combines the advantages of high yielding Asian rice with the drought-tolerance and pest resistance of African varieties. A project focus has been to increase farmers’ profit from seed production by reducing labour and external input cost. Farmer groups have been strengthened to ensure that they obtain a fair price for their seed. Marginal farmers in Tanzania and war-weary farmers in northern Uganda are also striving to make money from seed production and marketing. During the 2010/11 cropping season, despite a series of severe droughts due to erratic rainfall in the Kongwa district of Tanzania, some of the poorest and most food insecure trained farming families managed to select and store seed and use it for planting in subsequent cropping season. There was low incidence of smut disease (1-5%) on the sorhgum crop raised using the selected seeds compared to 50-70% on the sorghum crop using seed derived from the previous crop without proper seed selection. With an average production cost of US$40 per acre, the farmers earned a net income of US$353 per acre of sorghum field planted with selected seed of the local variety ‘Lugugu’. Income from the crop raised using non-selected seed of the same local variety with the same cropping season was just US$45 in the same locality. partners Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) Uyole National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) sponsor Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Daniel Karanja, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 54



location Uganda dates January 2010 – June 2011 CABI project team Noah Phiri Martin Kimani

providing better rice seed to Uganda’s farmers

In Uganda, improved rice production has the potential to boost incomes of the rural poor, provide post-conflict livelihoods and reduce the need for imports.

so what’s the problem? Rice is a relatively new crop to Uganda. Already, consumption is outstripping production and with a growing population this trend is expected to continue. NERICA (New Rice for Africa) rice – with high yields and ability to withstand dry conditions – is already in use in parts of the country, however farmers are hampered by low availability and poor quality seed. Demand for seed is often so high that grain is sold as seed – a practice that leads to poor quality produce and dissatisfied farmers. Private sector companies trading in NERICA are working with smallholder growers to produce seed, but do not have the capacity to provide adequate training for farmers producing seed to ensure they deliver a high quality product, or the ability to expand numbers of smallholder seed growers. As a result, farmers are failing to deliver both volume and quality, forcing companies to accept seed purities lower than specified standards. This has led the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) to sell its foundation seed at a subsidized rate to seed companies because of the uncertainties they face during the bulking stage.


what is this project doing? The project aims to support the production and delivery of high quality NERICA rice seed by local seed companies. This will firstly mean increasing NaCRRI’s capacity to deliver basic seed. The project will also work with seed companies to establish better links with seed growers to maximize their production. Lastly, the project will inform farmers of the benefits of NERICA rice to ensure demand. To do this, the project will help fund the training of rice seed growers and establish farmer groups to work with seed companies. Concurrently, the team will train staff so they can educate farmers now and in to the future. Training materials will be made available for use by other companies and entrepreneurs. Promotional activity will create awareness both of the value of NERICA rice and of the importance of using high quality seed and help to stabilize demand. The initiative will directly increase the income of around 650 smallholder seed growers. Additionally, companies will be more able to produce and deliver the volumes of improved quality seed required to approximately 100,000 smallholder producers. These farmers are expected to be able to produce 70,000 tonnes of grain – more than a quarter of national consumption.

results so far The project schooled trainers from two seed companies. These trainers have been training contract seed producers, with backstopping from NaCRRI and CABI, to produce good quality NERICA rice seed. The main approach with farmers was participatory training. Demonstration plots were also used in disseminating information and creating awareness of NERICA rice. Six videos developed by CABI in Asia were translated into local languages, and were used for training farmers and extension workers, and other stakeholders such as the Ugandan government extension programme. The NERICA rice seed production manual and the rice seed discovery learning manual were produced and distributed in Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and Mozambique, and an electronic version was posted on the Research Into Use (RIU) website. We supported NaCRRI to produce the required basic seed, which was imported from Africa Rice (formally WARDA) and was “cleaned up” and distributed to two seed companies involved in the project. The capacity of one relatively young seed company has been greatly enhanced by the project. More new farmers were recruited and trained through the project and NASECO (a seed company) actually overproduced seed. partners Centre for Agricultural Inputs International (CAII) NALWEYO SEED Company (NASECO), Uganda National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) sponsor Department for International Development – Research Into Use (DFID RIU)

Noah Phiri, Project Manager

contact CABI, ICRAF Complex, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 633-00621, Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 20 72 24450 F: +254 20 71 22150 E: 56


location Worldwide dates Ongoing CABI project team Gareth Richards Lucinda Charles Mark Palmer David Simpson Nicola Wakefield

the Invasive Species Compendium

USDA Agricultural Research Service,


Invasive species are not native to an ecosystem and can threaten habitats, biodiversity, food security, health and economic development through their introduction, establishment and distribution.

so what’s the problem? Globally the damage caused by invasive species has been estimated at US$1.5 trillion per year – close to 5% of global GDP. Invasive species affect many ecosystems and pose one of the biggest threats to biodiversity worldwide. Growth in trade, transport, travel and tourism inevitably increases the intentional or accidental introduction of organisms to new environments and it is widely predicted that climate change will make matters worse. CABI has a long history of researching the behaviour and management of invasive species.

what is this project doing? CABI developed the Invasive Species Compendium (ISC) in partnership with an international development consortium to address the global need for accessible information on invasive species. The ISC, a comprehensive online knowledge base covering identification, biology, distribution, impact and management of the world’s invasive species, is the most extensive and authoritative compilation on the subject. Content is derived from thousands of peer-reviewed expert contributors, backed up by compilations of knowledge and


research. It offers coverage of all invasive species, from every taxonomic group (excluding human pathogens) with fast and easy navigation between text, images, maps and databases. The ISC is essential for resource managers, extension workers, policy makers and researchers in agriculture and the environment. Freely available to all on an open access basis, it includes detailed datasheets comprising fully referenced sections on taxonomy and nomenclature, distribution, habitat, identification, biology and ecology, species associations, pathways of introduction, impacts and management, complemented by images and maps, and supported by abstracts and full text articles. invasive species datasheets Over 1,500 datasheets on invasive species and animal diseases have been developed for inclusion in the ISC: • 35% plants (aquatic and terrestrial) – 30% pests and pathogens of agricultural and environmental plants (terrestrial) – 15% aquatic animals – 15% animal pathogens – 5% terrestrial vertebrates • animal disease – over 120 animal diseases and associated pathogens • habitat information on risk of species invasion, impacts and management • pathway information on pathways for introduction and dispersal – causes (why a species is transported) – vectors (physical means of transport) • summary information on associated species library Full text articles complement the individual species datasheets. Articles can be easily searched for on the library page ( or the home page ( bibliographic database Over 79,000 abstracts with metadata are available via CAB Direct. These CAB abstracts include references cited in the datasheets of relevant research literature and are updated weekly. The CABI full text archive gives access to more than 1,400 articles.

results so far The ISC launched in April 2012, with 1,520 full datasheets, 6,980 basic datasheets, 57 library documents, 1,130 full text articles, over 780 glossary definitions, and over 75,000 bibliographic records. partners European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) contributors The Invasive Species Compendium could not have been produced without the collaboration of experts from around the world. sponsors A consortium of 29 organizations

Gareth Richards, Project Manager

contact CABI, Nosworthy Way Wallingford Oxfordshire OX10 8DE UK T: +44 (0)1491 832111 F: +44 (0)1491 829198 E: 58



location Worldwide dates 2008 – ongoing CABI project team Carol Ellison Peter Baker Julie Flood Corin Pratt Janny Vos

biofuels information exchange

Biofuels, derived from biological carbon fixation, have been identified as a sustainable alternative to traditional energy sources such as wood, oil, coal and gas. They include transport fuel derived from oil crops such as Jatropha and sunflower, bioethanol from fermentation of plant sugars (eg. sugarcane), starches and lignocellulose (eg. crop residues) and algal fuels.

so what’s the problem? Over the last five years, higher oil prices around the world and the perceived growing need for energy security have resulted in biofuels receiving increased attention from the public and the scientific community alike. The production of some biofuel crops and the use of food crops for biofuel remains a contentious topic for both scientists and public. At CABI’s regional members’ consultations in 2007, member country representatives expressed a need for information to help them make decisions on biofuel policy.


what is this project doing? Responding to this need, CABI developed the Biofuels Information Exchange ( which is free to join. The site has been set up to give experts in the field from around the world access to peerreviewed and unbiased information on biofuels and to allow them to discuss their research, experiences and findings. The professional website enables users to: • access 35,000 research records pertinent to biofuels from the CAB Abstracts database • become up to date on biofuels news • find out who is undertaking research and into which areas of biofuels • find colleagues in their region or field of expertise • read independent CABI reports on biofuel-related topics • discuss biofuels issues with people from around the world

results so far The Biofuels Information Exchange has been running since 2008 and now has nearly 600 members worldwide. During 2011, the website recorded close to 20,000 page views. Recent topics of debate on the forum include Jatropha, water hyacinth and pongamia. CABI regularly posts summaries on the Biofuels Information Exchange home page. These focus on publications relating to a particular aspect of biofuels such as Jatropha production, biofuel life-cycle assessments and ethical aspects of the biofuel industry. Papers exclusive to the site are also published; to date these have included “Land use change: science and policy review” and “Biofuels as invasive species”. There is also free access to CAB Review papers discussing biofuels. Site manager Carol Ellison says: “The Biofuels Information Exchange is an important resource to research institutes, extension staff, private entrepreneurs and investors in the biofuels industry. It also provides a forum for debate on biofuel topics of all kinds. It’s great to see scientists from around the world exchanging views and research on this topic.” sponsors Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) – UK CABI Development Fund (CDF)

Carol Ellison, Site Manager

contact CABI, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9TY, UK T: + 44 (0)1491 829080 E: 60



locations Malawi, Pakistan, Philippines dates January 2008 – June 2010 CABI project team Janice Osborn Jane Frances Asaba Janet Halsall Chris Parker Mahrukh Siraj Qiaoqiao Zhang

developing a global agricultural research archive

Worldwide concern about food security and climate change is at an all-time high. It is widely accepted that these issues will hit the most vulnerable communities, those in the tropical regions of the developing world, hardest.

so what’s the problem? Investment in international agricultural research is being increased to meet the threats of poor food security and climate change and technological innovations offer great promise for improved food output in the future. At both local and national levels, much knowledge already exists which, if effectively disseminated and implemented, could immediately improve yields and reduce losses. However, this information is often not readily accessible in developing countries, nor is it in a form that allows it to be shared within countries, let alone across regions.

what is this project doing? CABI is helping solve this problem by creating a network of agricultural information for the world’s researchers to share through our GARA initiative. The aim is to preserve and disseminate valuable agricultural material and associated knowledge for the benefit of current researchers and generations to come. The Global Agricultural Research Archive (GARA) has been developed to capture research digitally and create a knowledge archive on behalf of three developing countries in Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia – Malawi, Pakistan and the


Philippines. The archive is centrally managed and maintained to enable preservation, disaster recovery, and the long-term protection of knowledge which may be lost for ever. It is a vital resource within these countries, and also offers the potential to create an information network that could be shared across the region. Improving access liberalizes agricultural knowledge. When research succeeds and outputs are documented, disseminated and preserved, one small team of researchers can raise the productivity and income of millions of farmers. For developing countries this will mean: • information sharing across borders • agricultural knowledge can become integrated into the burgeoning knowledge economy similarly to that of developed countries • local knowledge will become preserved for future local use

results so far Successfully developed and demonstrated at CABI’s Global Summit on Food Security in October 2009, GARA contains more than 1,500 easily accessible full text records from key institutional partners in Malawi, Pakistan and the Philippines. • 520 full text articles from Malawi • 550 full text articles from Pakistan • 680 full text articles from Philippines These digitized database records include reports, conference proceedings, journal articles and newsletters. In the last year, over 13,000 people have visited the site to use the documents held there. The top ten countries using GARA are Pakistan, India, Philippines, USA, UK, Iran, Malawi, Malaysia, Australia and South Africa. It’s good to see that this small collection of documents is being used and that the countries participating in the project are in this list. It’s also good to see that this work is now being accessed throughout the world. The challenge going forward is how to expand this approach. sponsor CABI Development Fund (CDF)

Janice Osborn, Project Manager

contact CABI, Nosworthy Way, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8DE, UK T: +44 (0)1491 832111 F: +44 (0)1491 829198 E: 62

contact CABI India CABI, 2nd Floor, CG Block, NASC Complex, DP Shastri Marg Opp. Todapur Village, PUSA New Delhi – 110012, India T: +91 (0)11 25841906 E:

Africa Kenya CABI, ICRAF Complex United Nations Avenue, Gigiri PO Box 633-00621 Nairobi, Kenya T: +254 (0)20 7224450/62 E:

Malaysia CABI, PO Box 210, 43400 UPM Serdang Selangor, Malaysia T: +60 (0)3 89432921 E:

Ghana CABI, PO Box M32 Accra, Ghana Americas

Pakistan CABI, Opposite 1-A, Data Gunj Baksh Road Satellite Town, PO Box 8 Rawalpindi-Pakistan T: +92 (0)51 9290132 E:

Brazil CABI, UNESP-Fazenda Experimental Lageado, FEPAF (Escritorio da CABI) Rua Dr. Jose Barbosa de Barros 1780, Fazenda Experimental Lageado CEP:18.610-307 Botucatu, San Paulo, Brazil T: +5514-38826300 E:

Europe Switzerland CABI, Rue des Grillons 1 CH-2800 Delémont Switzerland T: +41 (0)32 4214870 E:

Trinidad & Tobago CABI, Gordon Street, Curepe Trinidad and Tobago T: +1 868 6457628 E: USA CABI, 875 Massachusetts Avenue 7th Floor, Cambridge MA 02139, USA T: +1 617 3954051 E:

UK CABI, Nosworthy Way Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8DE, UK T: +44 (0)1491 832111 E:

Asia China CABI, Beijing Representative Office Internal Post Box 56 Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences 12 Zhongguancun Nandajie Beijing 100081, China T: +86 (0)10 82105692 E:

CABI, Bakeham Lane Egham, Surrey TW20 9TY, UK T: +44 (0)1491 829080 E: E:

Africa project dossier  

Current and recent projects CABI is carrying out in Africa

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