|SPORE Bulletin of the CTA No. 43 (CTA Spore, 1993, 16 p.)|
Technology information kit
The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) and the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), both of the Philippines, have combined to produce a resource kit for farmers interested in integrating agriculture and aquaculture.
The kit consists of a folder which holds a series of simply
presented technology information sheets. The sheets are colourcoded according to
subject area and the text is supplemented by simple diagrams and drawings. The
subject areas are: integrated farming systems; animal-fish
systems; rice-fish systems; management for rice-fish; fish management and feeding; and fish breeding and nursing.
The kits are designed to stimulate people who work directly with farmers to develop small scale farms that provide a reasonable rural livelihood, a clean well-conserved environment and food, fuel and fibre products.
Dr Clive Lightfoor ICLARM MC PO Box 1501 Makati, Metro Manila
Dr Julian Gonsalves IIRP Silang 4118, Cavite PHILIPPINES
Oil extraction made easy
A company in Germany has produced a range of snmdle-pressescalled KOMET. KOMET Spindle-presses can extract high quality vegetable oils from copra, seeds, kernels and nuts (e.g linseed, sesame seed, cotton seed palm kernels, sunflower seeds, mustard seed, peanuts etc.). The oil is produced by a 'cold' pressing system. It is not necessary to heat, boil or steam the raw materials prior to the pressing operation, a process which can spoil or damage the valuable end product.
The oil yield factor of the KOMET spindle-press is very high, even with a single passage of the raw material, but it is possible to increase the yield by subsequent re-pressing. In contrast to oil extraction systems using chemical solvents there is no contamination, and the residue after pressing can be used directly for human and animal foodstuffs. It is also not necessary to refine the oil and the oil from the press retains its original character of colour, taste and odour.
The single spindle-press KOMET CA 59, IS designed for use in the laboratory/research sections of edible oil and margarine factories for farmers, hospitals etc. The double spindle-press, KOMET DD 85, can be used as an individual machine or several units can be grouped together to form oil production units for small-scale industries such as salad oil, soap or margarine factories and village cooperatives.
For the processing of bigger nuts and kernels, as well as of dried copra, the company has developed a cutting machine. This machine works on the scissors principle, cutting the material m such a way that there is no initial loss of oil.
IBG Monforts GMBH & Co., Postfach 200353 04050 Monchengladbach 2, GERMANY
Biotechnology to improve cassava
The production of cyanide by the cassava plant, possibly as a defence mechanism against pests, was one of the subjects under discussion at the first international scientific meeting of the Cassava Biotechnology Network (CBN) held in Colombia in August. The meeting examined ways of using biotechnology to enhance the use of cassava and produce new strains.
Cassava is an extremely important crop for providing a cheap source of starch under harsh climatic conditions, but it does have several drawbacks. The cyanogenic compounds which occur naturally m cassava can affect health if the processing of cassava is inadequate or rushed. Cassava is also pest-susceptible and liable to rapid deterioration after harvest. In recent years cassava production has increased substantially in Africa with the surplus going into processing. Participants at the meeting recommended biotechnology research in the areas ofprocessing, especially fermentation, so as to develop additional ways of using cassava.
Participants also discussed the successful use of biotechnology in the areas of biochemical markers to help identify duplication among the 5,000 varieties in CIAT's cassava gene bank genetic mapping to increase efficiency of genetic improvement; lowering the cost of germplasm conservation and successful embryogenesis replication in recalcitrant cassava cultivars.
CIAT AA 6713, Cali, COLOMBIA
Rehabilitating boreholes in Kenya
The Masai tribe in Kenya is increasingly facing problems with water resources. For a tribe who earn their living from cattle, water is essential. A recent survey from the Arid and Semi-Arid Land Development Ministry (ASAL) in the Kajiado district in Kenya showed that over 60% of the 400 boreholes in the regions were no functioning.
A new borehole and pump costs 2 million Kenyan shillings but i mechanical overhaul of an existing pump can be done for 40,00 shillings. The first engines are being overhauled by a GTZ-suported workshop within the Ministry of Water. Artisans in the workshop train on defunct engines. Another goal of the project. to create a long-term maintenance facility which will continue to function when AMREF support is withdrawn.
The repair of the boreholes has immediate impact on the Masai community as a reliable source of water is restored. It also helps toreduce the spread of overgrazed areas due to too many cattle being concentrated in one place.
IRC Newsletter, PO Box 93190, 2509 AD The Hague, THE NETHERLANDS
The benefits of agroforestry
At ICRAF´s research station in Kenya's semi arid zone, low hedgerows of Cassia siamea, a leguminous shrub from Asia, planted on the contours have the to the natural formation of micro-terraces on land sloping at 14%. The hedges take up less space than conventional conservation structures, leaving more land available for crop production. Subsequent heavy rain proved that fields with crops alone lost a very heavy rain proved that fields with crops alone lost a very heavy tonnage of soil per hectare compared to the small losses from fields with hedgerows. Crop yields of maize and cowpea were also significantly higher where they were grown between hedgerows than in fields with crops alone.
In Rwanda ICRAF researchers have also shown that contour aligned hedgerows of trees and grasses can lead to natural terrace formation and prevention of erosion. Screening trials have identified Sesbania sesban, a nitrogen-fixing tree, as a particularly promising species. Indigenous to the region, Sesbania grows quickly producing fuelwood, bean stakes, small poles and animal fodder in less than a year. Researchers have found ways of growing and then transplanting Sesbania as young bare-rooted seedlings. Results indicate that the bare-rooted seedlings of Sesbania sesban grow and survive nearly as well as seed lings produced in nurseries in polythene bags for transplanting.
ICRAF is conducting improved fallow trials in collaboration with national programmes in Zambia and Cameroon. The system is based on planting fast-growing leguminous trees in rotation with food crops. During the fallow period, the trees capture atmospheric nitrogen and return this and other nutrients to the soil, primarily through leaf fall. At the end of the fallow period, the farmer harvests wood from the trees and returns all leafy material to the soil as nitrogen-rich mulch.
In Southern Africa, after tree fallows of only one year, maize grain yields were as much as double the yields from control plots and 60% higher than yields from plots with chemical fertilizers. The benefits are due not only to the capture and recycling of nutrients, but also to the improved physical properties of soil resulting from tree root penetration. Even higher yields are obtained, over a period of several years, from plots where mulch is combined with fertilizer applied at half the recommended rate.
ICRAF PO Box 30677 Nairobi KENYA
Milk Processing and Preservation
ILCA offers a number of group training courses each year for African scientists in various areas of livestock research, production and utilization. To make training more effective and to assist in the development of in-country training programmes, ILCA has produced scef-instructional audio-tutorial modules. Each module consists of an audio-tape, a set of slides and an illustrated booklet.
Although the modules are designed for their Rural Dairy Processing courses, ILCA hone that they will have an even wider application in other organizations with students and professionals involved in dairying in Africa.
A booklet with drawings and instructions on how to make an improved churner is also available from ILCA.
Dr C B O'Connor Dairy Technologist ILCA, PO Box 5689 Addis Ababa. ETHIOPIA
Pigeonpea in social forestry
ICRISAT's Genetic Resources Unit, together with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, have launched a programme in eastern Africa to evaluate ICRISAT's pigeonpea germplasm.
The plant has been stud fed in its area of origin and adaptation in order to realise its full agronomic potential. This has resulted in the identification and development of pigeonpeas that produce enormous biomass during their vegetative phase, and have high perenniality.
At present, these are used extensively in social forestry experiments by ICRISAT and ICRAF, based in Nairobi. All pigeonpeas are perennials but these have come to be called 'the perennial pigeonpeas', and there is now a great demand for them.
ICRISAT Patancheru Andhra Pradesh 502 324 INDIA
SPC agricultural news is a bi-annual newsletter of the South Pacific Commission Food and Materials Programme. Its primary purpose is to keep staff of the Ministries of Agriculture of member countries and other organizations informed of their activities and services. The first issue gave an overview of the programme, which currently has four components: general agriculture (with emphasis on crops); plant protection; animal production and health; and agricultural information services. Later issues will expand on some of these activities.
South Pacific Commission Private Mail Bag, Suva, FIJI
African publishing review is the bi-monthly newsletter of the
African Publishes Network
(APNET). The newsletter is distributed to publishers and booksellers throughout Africa, as well as to anybody with an interest in African publishing and its development. The Review serves as a source of information on what is happening in the field of African publishing and is a forum for voicing opinions and airing common problems. Although principally written in English, some francophone and lusophone contributions are included.
African Publishing Review
PO Box 4209
Hot chickens need cool water
In Spore 38 page 10 we carried the above news item which reported on research in Israel into the beneficial effects of giving laying hens cool drinking water to avoid heat stress.
Dr Musharaf of the University of Gezira, Sudan has sent a report of an experiment conducted in a climate chamber to study the effects of water temperature and feed density on the production characteristics of laying hens during heat stress. Following a preliminary period of adaptation pullets of 25 weeks of age were moved to the climate chamber and maintained at 38°C from 08.00 to 17.00 hours and 28°C from 17.00 to 08.00 hours at a constant 55% relative humidity.
Groups of birds on a low density diet with either cool running water of 7°C or warm stagnant water one °C lower than ambient temperature were compared to birds on a high density diet who also had available either the cool or warm stagnant water.
Cool water and high density feed improved feed consumption, egg weight, feed efficiency and final body weight. Apart from egg weight, other egg quality characteristics were not affected by water temperature.
Dr N A Musharaf Department of Animal Science University of Gezira PO Box 20 Wad Medani SUDAN
Animal power unit
The one horse-power machine shown in the picture was constructed with hand tools by staff and students of the Development Technology Unit of Warwick University, I UK. It consists of easily-worked mild steel and wood.
The University researchers, aware of the desperate need for shaft power in developing countries, have updated the horse-gin, which was used in the UK until about 1920 for threshing grain, milling flour and many other agricultural jobs.
In this new machine a scrap car wheel rolls around a circular track, guided by a wooden boom. The draught animal, which could be an oxen, horse, mule or even a camel, pulls the boom and wheel around.
Power from the car wheel is taken by a shaft to the centre of the machine, then around several corners and finally out through another shaft, (which here powers the pump). If power is needed outside the circle, the shaft may be extended to go under the animal's track, in a duct or bridge.
The new feature of this machine, which makes it cheaper and easier to make, is that power is taken through two right angles using universal or Hooke joints, instead of gears. This makes the machine tolerant of poor manufacturing standards and cuts out most of the expensive and difficult-to-make parts.
Dr C E Oram Development Technology Unit Department of Engineering University of Warwick Coventry CV4 7AL UK
Drying onions in Mali
Onions are the most important cash crop for farmers of the Dogon Plateau. Of the total grown only 1% are consumed by the growers themselves. The harvest period lasts from early December to the end of April and peaks at the end of February.
During the harvest period the price of fresh onions fluctuates considerably. The average price paid per kilogramme at the beginning of December is 150 FCFA compared to 35 FCFA at peak production time.
Preserving onions by drying is a long-establishe practice among the Dogon. During drying, a fermentation occurs which gives the onions a special flavour. Because of this flavour they are used more as a spice than as a fresh onion substitute.
Deutsche Gesellschaft fhnische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) have been looking into various methods by which fresh onions could be dried without fermentation. The method chosen had to be usable in the villages, be operable without auxiliary power and be an addition to rather than a replacement of the traditional method.
Several experimental processes were tried using a tunnel system but results were not satisfactory until an open air rack system was developed. Each wooden rack is covered with fine mesh on the bottom and sides and has feet that allow the racks to stack on top of each other. The onions are skinned before slicing and the slices spread out on the racks.
The racks are placed side-by-side on the first day but are subsequently stacked, no more than ten high, to ensure stability. While drying, the onions are carefully loosened up once a day to improve aeration.
The racks are easily made and maintained by local farmers and the onion slicing machines are made by local blacksmiths. The dried onions are now being sold in Mali, Ivory Coast and Senegal.
Tomatoes and cabbages have also been dried experimentally on the racks.
GTZ Postfach 5180 D-6236 Eschborn GERMANY
Shrub and tree seeds available
Following our news item "Agroforestry to stabilize soils" the CTA Question and Answer Service has received many requests for information on where to obtain seeds of agroforestry species.
The Inland Foreign Trading Company of Singapore has for a number of years been facilitating the rehabilitation of eroded land in several countries and now has a comprehensive collection of seeds available. They can also provide grass seed for minimizing soil erosion and the recommended variety is Vetiveria zizanoides.
The company issues a list of the tree and shrub seeds which they can supply.
The Inland and Foreign Trading Co. (PTE) Ltd Block 79a, #04-418/420 Indus Road Singapore 031 MALAYSIA
Courses and conferences
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT IN DEVELOPMENT PLANNING
a short course held during July-September at the University of Sussex. In this course students will obtain a thorough grounding in environment theory and methodology, illustrated by case studies for a range of development activities and socio-physical backgrounds. The course aims to enable participants to become competent in a wide range of techniques and technologies for environmental management.
WOMEN IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
(time and place as above). The course is intended primarily for women working with government and non-governmental organizations concerned with creating a sustainable environment. It will develop the knowledge and skills required for the effective planning and management of environmental programmes in which women play an integral part.
Both the above courses are run by Ian MacDonald Associates (IMA) in association with Hunting Technical Services. Exact starting dates given on application.
Also offered by IMA at the University of
TRAINING WOMEN TRAINERS IN BEEKEEPING
8 May-30 June 1993. The course will comprise: Beekeeping skills analysis, training methods training aids, production of training materials; marketing; and networking and information systems.
Details of af the courses from: Course Administrator IMA, 36 Robertson Road, Brighton BN1 5NL, UK
AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY: EFFICIENCY, EQUITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
17th May-9 July 1993. The course provides training in a) the relationship between agricultural policy, rural development and rural poverty reduction, b) the choice of agricultural and rural development strategies and their appropriate policy components, c) the analysis of macro-economic policy reform and its effects on the agricultural sector and d) environmental assessment and management in the agricultural and natural resource sectors.
MlCROCOMPUTING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOR PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROFESSIONALS
12 July-17 September 1993. This course is designed to meet the individual needs of professionals working in a wide range of institutional situations. It has a modular structure, each module lasts for one to ten weeks, depending upon the amount of time the participant wishes to devote to it.
CROP PROTECTION MODULE 1: VERTEBRATE PEST MANAGEMENT AND CROP PROTECTION, September-November 1993
MODULE 2: CROP PROTECTION - POLICY, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, October-December 1993
Both these ten week modules will incorporate core themes of crop protection in cropping systems, environmental and socioeconomic aspects of crop protection and crop protection research and resource-poor farmer.
The above three courses are offered by the Overseas Development Group of the University of East Anglia.
The Course Coordinator, ODG, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD MARKETING WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON EXPORT MARKETING TO EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA
19 July-27August 1993. A business orientated course for private and public sector managers working in the agricultural and food sectors.
Mrs Mary Arnold, Short Courses Office, Department of Agricultural Economics Wye College, Ashford, Kent TN25 5AH, UK
MASTER OF SCIENCE COURSE ECOLOGICAL AGRICULTURE
the course starts every year in September and takes 17 months and will~be held at the University of Wageningen.
Details from: Department of Ecological Agriculture Ir C van Veluw, Haarweg 333 6907 RZ Wageningen, THE NETHERLANDS
LIVESTOCK AND SUSTAINABLE NUTRIENT CYCLING IN MIXED FARMING
OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
This conference will be held on 22-26 November 1993 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference will review the present state of knowledge on nutrient cycling in crop livestock systems, identify research methodologies for investigating nutrient cycles in the plant/animal soil interfaces of c,rop-livestock systems, and identify future research priorities and integrated approaches for improving the role of livestock in nutrient cycles of crop-livestock systems.
Details from: J Mark Powell
Organizer Nutrient Cycling Conference
ILCA, ICRlSAT Sahelian Center
BP 12404, Niamey, NIGER