| SPORE No. 21 - January 1989 |
The following international training courses are to be run in 1989-by the Deutsche Stiftung fur international Entwicklung (German Foundabon for International Development):
June 15-July 26, Training of trainers (Technical Fields: Plant Production and Plant Protection, Agricultural Engineering and Soil Conservation)
July 13-August 9, Seed Technology II (Organization and management of Seed Programmes)
August 17-September 12, Extension for Agricultural and Rural Development
October 19-November 15, Farming Systems Development. For more details, contact:
Wielinger Strasse 52 D-8133 Feldafing
The sixth and seventh courses on Microcomputers for Agricultural Development at Wye College, University of London will take place from July to September, and from October to December 1989.
The courses aim to provide an intensive, full-time, handson programme over ten weeks with the emphasis on key microcomputing concepts relevant to agricultural development and their practical application. Each is geared to individuals working in the agricultural sector of developing countries.
For more details, contact: N J Spooner
Department of Agricultural Economics Wye College
Kent TN25 5AH UK
The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) of the Netherlands has announced its next Internabonal Training Course in Soil and Plant Analysis to be held in Amsterdam from October 16 1989 until April 3 1990. Participation is open to those with a non-academic background and at least two years' experience in laboratory practice, with special reference to soil and plant analysis.
For more details, contact: J N Blees
Course Coordinator Intemational Training Course in Soil and Plant Analysis
Department of Education and Training Koninlijk Instituut voor Tropen
Mauritskade 63 1092 AO Amsterdam
CAB International is again hosting its Information on AgricultureTrainingCourse designed for scientists librarians and information officers in developing countries. The course will take place between September 18 and 29,1989, at the University of Reading in the UK, and consists of an intensive programme of lectures, pracbcal sessions, and evening sessions, and includes a visit to the British Library Document Supply Centre.
For more details, contact: The Course Coordinator CAB Intemabonal - Wallingford Oxon OX10 ODE UK
The Alley Farming Training Course for 1989, jointly organized by the international lnstitute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA), and ICRAF (the International Council for Research in Agroforestry) will take place between August 7 and 18,1989, under the auspices of the Alley Farming Network for Tropical Africa (AFNETA).
The Course, is to be conducted in both English and French It will treat traditional farming systems, as practised successfully and areas of improvement; sound soil management techniques; the role of woody species in soil management; the relevance of alley farming to industry; crop production; methods of establishment of trees, suitable species, livestock and forage production; multistorey cropping and compound farming; experimental design and statistical methods; methods for economic evaluation; and research.
For more details, contact:
Coordinator Group Training Courses flTA - PMB 5320 - Oyo Road - Ibadan NIGERIA
Wageningen Agricultural University announces the following specialist MSc course in 1989/90: Aquaculture; Animal Production; The Management of Agricultural Knowledge Systems.
For more details and application forms, contact:
International Education Office
Wageningen Agricultural Unhersity PO Box 453 - 3700 AL Wageningen THE NETHERLANDS
The International Agricultural Centre (IAC) at Wageningen will repeat its first international course on glasshouse crop production from May to June 1990. The course is open to users of glasshouses, managers of glasshouse production projects or firms, personnel of cooperatives and state farms, extension workers and other experts of Ministries of Agriculture in charge of or dealing with glasshouse production projects.
For more details, contact:
MC - PO Box 88 3700AB Wageningen THE NETHERLANDS
New journal for rural development practitioners
Rural Development in Practice which came out for the first time in August 1988, is a quarterly international journal for rural development practitioners.
It will concentrate on the practical aspects of rural development, such as project design, with the emphasis on infrastructure, communication, and extension; planning on a participatory basis, pilot experimentations; implementation; organization and management; culturally adapted market research; and monitoring and post-project evaluation.
It aims to provide a forum for the discussion of practical issues encountered in rural development, so as to ensure that individual projects are no longer viewed in isolation but become part of a body of accumulated research. The readership is intended to include practitioners in rural development projects and programmes witfi international organizations, governments, NGOs, research and training institutions and private firms.
Subject matter is thematic: the first issues have been concerned with rural credit, rural marketing, rural diversification, and rural technologies.
Annual subscription is UK£24 or equivalent.
Available from: The Editor in Ghief Rural Development in Practice RWAL Publications Lloyds Bank Chambers 15 Devonshire Road Bexhill-on-Sea East Sussex TN40 1AH UK
A grinder for groundnuts
The Electra Company' which specializes in tropical product packaging, has just developed a groundnut grinder. This machine grinds shelIed groundnuts into a smooth homogeneous paste. It can work continuously either from the mains or with petrol and its output is about 200 kg/ hour. Requiring little space, easy to maintain and to operate, this small machine could help African women prepare the famous groundnut soup. for more details, contact:
47170 - Mezin
Protein-enriched cassava to combat malnutrition
Cassava is a key part of the diet of many CentraI.Africans. It is easy to grow and high in carbohydrates, but low in protein from 07% to 1.6% depending on the variety. The traditional maceration or fermentation that cassava undergoes before it is eaten does little to raise this level. But if the amount of protein in cassava could be increased significantly, it would help reduce child malnutrition in the region.
The Burundi Institute of Agronomic Science (ISABU) funded by the Belgian Administration of Cooperation for Development has taken up this challenge, and is developing a simple technique to enrich cassava with protein. Its method is based on fungal fermentation in a solid medium using Rhizopus oryzae. Previous methods have needed strict fermentation control and can only be carried out successfully on an industrial scale.
ISABU's techniques can be used by local productive units, in cooperatives, health centres or schools, for example, to make cassava flour that contains 11% digestible protein, an 11-fold increase on previous levels. Now ISABU is working to promote its use, and encourage the establishrnent of production units.
For more details, contact
Cassava Technology Project Burundi Institute of Agroriomic Science (ISABU) BURUNDI
Give a bee a bad name . .
The dominance of the notorious "killer" bee - an Africanized form of the European honey-bee Apis mellifera - may be better news for the bee-keepers if South and Central America than they realize. Recent research suggest this species may well be the most active pollinators of all bees. It matures faster than the European bee it usually displaces and so needs more pollen to sustain its hives. With extra care over placing of the hives and handling of swarms, apiarists should have few problems from the "killer" bee's aggressive nature.
The Africanized bees were originally introduced to the Americas in Brazil. Honey production dropped for the first ten years but has now risen to record levels. The "killer" bee is travelling through Central America and Mexico at a rate of about 500 kilometres a year. Although US beekeepers do not welcome this imminent invasion, it may well increase honey production - not least because of the African bee's resistance to the Asian mite Varroa jacobsoni, which is currently threatening North America's $US130m honey industry.
For more details, contact: Richard Nowogrodski Entomology Department Cornell Unhersity Ithaca New York USA
Computer science for rural newspapers
UNESCO has just completed development of computer software that includes the phonetic signs of all the African languages (AFRALPHA). The development of rural newspapers has been hampered by the impossibifity of reproducing the special letters of African alphabets with standard type-setting equipment. With this software it is now possible to type-set all the letters of the reference alphabet established in 1978 by UNESCO with high quality typography. The use of this software obviously implies the computerization of production of African rural newspapers. This move started some years ago because of the difficulty of disseminating information in this scattered rural environment.
For more details, contact: UNESCO 7 Place Fontenoy 75007 Pans FRANCE
Network news International Seed Action Network
This network constitutes NGOs who, worldwide, oppose the impoverishment of genetic diversity and strive for the promotion of the people's right of inspection of genetic resources. The members of this network are in favour of initiatives that aim both at storing varieties and creating hybrids.
Address in Africa: CILE PO Box 72461 Nairobi KENYA in Asia: SEARICE/SIBAT PO Box 375 Manila PHILIPPINES
The Regional Centre for the Improvement of Drought Adaptation (CERAAS), that has just been created by the Network on Drought Resistance, will be based at CNRA in Bambey, Senegal. Also it will give an incentive to research on drought adaptahon mechanisms in plants and on the selection of better adapted varieties. It will welcome research workers from the North as well as from the South, facilitate contacts and the transfer of new techniques developed in the lab.
The International Bee Research Association (IBRA) is developing a directory on research workers in bee-keeping, on beekeeping experts and on specialists in fields connected with bee-keeping and related products.
IBRA t3 North Road Cardiff CF1
Cattle milk and meat network
This network deals with the humid and sub-humid zones of West and Central Africa. It should facilitate information dissemination but it will also initiate training activities to strengthen national agricultural research activities, plan research programmes, implement joint projects and standardize research methodologies.
Cattle Milk and Meat Network LCA - BP 5689 Addis Ababa ETHIOPIA
Crop protection with plant extracts
Farmers often use plant extracts to protect their crops against parasites but the information on the plants and methods used is scattered and very sketchy. "The Information Network for Crop Protection with Plant Extracts" is aiming to collect and disseminate this knowledge to make it available to producers. All those with information in this particular field can contribute to this network.
Information on Pesticides
The principle according to which an agreement is necessary before any toxic product is introduced, is now going to be inscribed in the "FAO International Code of Conduct for the Distribution and Use of Pesticides". Any exporter who wishes to sell a pesticide which is forbidden or strictly regulated will have to inform the importing country about these restrictions and the risks incurred. This product will then only be sent if the importing country has effectively given its agreement.
FAO Via delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome ITALY
The French Academie d'Agriculture has recently awarded its special Jean Dufrenoy Prize to Bernard Dreyfus of ORSTOM for his work on nitrogen fixation. The research on Sesbania rostrata (see SPORE 12), the legume with exceptional nitrogen-fixing potential, has for the first time succeeded in producing in vitro nodules, by infecting Sesbania protoplasts with Azorhizobium, the bacterium responsible for nitrogen fixation. These nodules will, for the first time make the study of the mechanisms of cellular interactionbetween the two organisms feasible.
For more details, contact
B Droyfus, ORSTOM,
Route des PÃ¨res Maristes,
BP 1386 Dakar-Hann SENEGAL
The Office for the Exchange and Dissemination of Information on Micro-Breeding (BEDIM) gives information to anybody interested in on-going studies and techniques. It lists the organizations to contact to know all about breeding agouti, Guinea pigs and Gambia rats, a topic which has given rise to a lot of interest. The Office also publishes a newsletter.
Reference sourse for maize diseases
Plant diseases are not always either easily recognizable or identifiable, but a new publicahon should help maize producers and maize-related industAes and agencies in this important task.
"Maize Diseases- a reference source for seed technologists" by Denis McGee provides a database on all disease of maize caused by fungi, bacteria, mycoplasmas, spiroplasmas and viruses. The symptoms, transmission, economic importance, distribution and controI methods are given for each disease; host plants and health tests are also described. The illustrations simple layout and short factual statements will meet the needs of the generalist and the man in the fieId. The specialist will find references to other relevant literature. McGee D.C. 1988, "Maize Diseases - a reference source for seed technologists".
The American Phytopathological Society
3340 Pilot Know Road
Training and visit extension in practice
Training and visit is an approach to agricultural extension work which has evolved over the past decade in response to the under-utilization of a generally inadequate resource of fieldworkers.
It aims to enhance their effechveness, and thus agricultural productivity: this is done by the regular upgrading of their techmcal skills, by concentrating on a narrower range of tasks, and by a more frequent contact with farmers.
Training and Visit Extension in Practice is a collection of papers published by ODI (the Overseas Development Inshtute) and edited by John Howell. It focuses on the role, management, and performance of agricultural extension services which use the T and V system, with particular reference to the impact of this system in Zimbabwe Somalia, Zambia and India.
As a whole, the book reflects the work of members of ODI's Agricultural Administration (Research and Extension) Network, and emphasizes extension management questions that occured during the period 1982-1987.
It is concluded with an overview by the editor which draws conclusions from the lessons of recent experience on how to make agricultural extension effective, and completed by a comprehensive bibliography.
Training and Visit Extension in Practice, edited by John Howell 1988, 107pp price UKL 4.95. ISBN 085003106 0.
Overseas Development Institute
Regents College - Inner Circle
London NW1 4NS
Crop protection for small-scale farmers
In most countries of Eastern and Central Africa, agricultural production is carried out mainIy on small-scale farms; smallscale farming families account for the majority of the population in these countries. On many of these farms, a single family provides the only labour available, and inputs such as pesticides and machinery are not affordable. However, in many of these countries there is an urgent need to improve the productivity of food crops, despite these constraints. For example, extensive yield losses are inflicted upon these crops on small-scale farms by insects weeds, diseases and nematodes and improvement of crop protection practices is therefore seen as an important means of raising yields.
"Crop Protection for Small-Scale Farms in Eastern and Central Africa - a Review", is a book devoted to the consideration of this question; it was published by the Commonwealth Science Council in 1988. It is based on an analysis of the farming systems in the Embu district of Kenya and on a workshop held in Embu, which combined systems analysis techniques with farm visits and a detailed study of the area. As a result a coordinated collaborative regional research project was recommended, and further developed at a CSC project planning meeting in Harare in March 1988.
This volume represents a compilation of the review papers presented at this meeting. lt is intended as a handbook for the scientists involved in the CSC research programme but will also be of interest to other scientists involved in crop protection for small-scale farms. It provides an extensive review of intercropping and its relation to crop protection; it recommends appropriate research; it discusses mapr weed control problems in the region and, in particular looks at potential control methods for Striga: it also looks at intercropping prachces.
Dr S Z Sithole goes on to review the available informahon on yield losses in maize due to maize stalk borer and indenhfies the need for further information using standardized and quantitative procedures. The final chapters discuss pesticide safety management and storage, while Mr Peter Johnson of the Department of Agricultural, Technical and Extension Services of Zimbabwe expresses the need to learn from farmers of their approaches to crop protection, and in general terms, how their farming systems work.
"Crop Protechon for Small-Scale Farms in East and Central Africa - a Review" edited by Roslyn Tamara Prinsiey of the CSC and P John Terry, Weed Research Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Bristol UK, ISBN 0 85092 331 X, price UKL6.00
Energy for the people
Energy for the People is a dossier on woodfuel in the developing world. It began as a set of articles in the January-February issue of the CEC's Courier magazine, which requested comments and suggestions from readers, but the structure and text of the original articles have been revised to take account of these contributions, and also of additional material obtained from field visits and interviews.
Thus the EC-commissioned study, produced by the Panos Institute and the Association Bois de Feu, aims at being an up-to-date and broad-based synopsis of the woodfuel problem, with a particular focus on the viewpoint of woodfuel users themselves.
The A4-format book, which is well and clearly illustrated with numerous half-tones, is divided into sections dealing with wood as vanishing resource; woodfuel and the rural household, woodfuel in towns; industry (creator or destroyer or forests?); and a prognosis of the future by examining current projects and the role of the NGO's
Finally, there is a clear and informative bibliographical section.
The Courier 200 rue de la Loi
B-1049 Brussels BELGIUM
Camel workhorse of the desert
There are some 12 million camels in 49 countries and they are used for transport, as draught animals and to draw water. In "Camels and their management" the author G S Ralthore says that one camel can do the work of two oxen and survive on less food than one horse - food moreover that a horse would not favour, including thorny and salty desert shrubs'The book is the first on the subject to be written by an Indian author and is based on his 45 years of practical experience with camels. It covers all aspects of camel husbandry including anatomy physioiogy, breeds and breeding, nutrition, and diseases and their treatment The author's enthusiasm for this versatile animal is obvious and his wide knowledge and simple, practical advice will be useful to camelkeepers veterinarians and students of animal husbandry.
Rathore G S. 1986 Camels and their Management 225pp illustrated. Indian Rs. 38.0
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Bhavar- New Delhi 110012 - INDIA
Farmer participation in research
Involving farmers in research is important in order to ensure that the research is appropriate to their conditions. There are many instances where farmers' evaluations have provided researchers with new insights.
In "Farmer Participation in Agricultural Research John Farrington and Adrienne Mann assess the conceptual framework underlying four different approaches to farmer-participatory research (FPR). The book includes an examination of the role of indigenous technical knowledge and a number of useful case studies which review field experience with FPR. Unfortunately, some of the jargon used in the book will make it difficult to follow for a newcomer to the subject, but there is an extensive bibliography of sources of further information.
The book concludes that understanding the conditions in which resource-poor farmers operate, and the many criteria by which they assess new technology, is critical to the technology development process. This is why the promotion of FPR is so important.
Farrington J and A Mann 1988 Farmer Participation in Agricultural Research: a review ot concepts and practices. O.D.I. 80pp UKL4 95 ISBN 085003 1 1 5X
Overseas Development Institute
London NW1 4NS
One hundred innovations for development
Technical problems in developing countries require technical solutions, but however innovative the solution, it should be simple cheap, robust, easy to handle, maintain and repair. It should also be capable of being manufactured in the areas of demand.
One hundred profiles of new ideas from around the world are contained in a new publication from Intermediate Technology Publications called "One hundred Innovations for Development".
All the inventions in this book are winners of an International Inventors Awards competition held in Sweden in 1986; they come from some 43 countries. They were selected for their ability to promote economic and social development in the Third World, and there were categories for water, industry, forestry and energy. The organizers of the competition said that "the innovator has to be both researcher, inventor, entrepreneur and social fieldworker in one person."
Of the hundred winning innovations, the 50 best are described in detail in the book, and illustrated with plans, line drawings or photos. Subjects are as diverse as fish-smoking technology from Ghana, a windbreak screen wall from Senegal and a technique for the rapid germination of rattan seeds from the Philippines. All the innovations have a practical application and many are already in use.
The International inventors Awards organizers, Sten Joste and Gillis Een, plan to repeat the competition in 1989 in order, they say, "to stimulate both technical and social creativity for the benefit of the poorest people in the third world."
One hundred Innovations for Development, ISBN 1 85339 095 X, 80pp, A4 format, UKL6.95 plus lUKL;.40 post and packing from:
Unit 25 - Longmead Shaffesbury
Dorset SP7 8PL
Useful plants of West Tropical
The traditional knowledge of the uses of plants which has been accumulated over generations by trial and error is now being eroded by modern life and agriculture: in many cases the plants themselves are threatened with extinction. Before they and the memory of how to use them are lost, many useful plants of West Tropical Africa have been described in a book of the name. It has taken 15 years to update the first edition which was published in 1937.
The number of positive uses plants can be put to as food animal feed, for medicinal purposes and at cultural ceremonies, is very diverse. So-called "negative" uses, such as arrow poisons, for example, are also included.
As the book covers plant uses over a wide geographical area of tropical West Africa and further afield, the listing it gives of the uses of one plant bv peoples in the 17 countries of West Africa makes an interesting comparison in ethnobotany. The Latin, English, vernacular and other appropriate plant names are given. An indication of the thoroughness with which the originaI publication of 612pp has been revised by H.M. Burkill is that among the references and indexes there is one of a single species with 115 uses.
This reference volume, (families A-D) and the other three to come, provide a fascinating record of man's discovery and exploitation of plant properties. It demonstrates conclusively that the traditional knowledge and the plants themselves must be protected so that both new and traditional uses can be exploited by future generations.
Burkill, H. M., 1985. The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Vol I. Families A-D. ISBN 0 947643 01 X
Royal Botanic Gardens - Kew - Richmond Surrey TWO 2AE
ECLAC meeting the demand for statistics
ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin American Countries has established a statistical database on a wide variety of economic and social subjects for the CDCC countries of the Caribbean in recognition of the vital role played by statistics in the decision-making process. This now includes a special sub-sector on agricultural statistics. The CDCC countries, which embrace several ACP states, work together to break cultural and linguistic barriers and to foster economic and social develop ment through mutual self-help.
They include: Bahamas, Barba dos, Belize, Cuba, Dominica Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, The Netherlands Antilles, Saint Kitts Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Suriname, the British Virgin Islands, the US Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago. The first objective of the compilers was to collate, store and disseminate statistics of government departments and statutory boards with the intention of providing only single-source data. The second was to make an inventory of major statistical publicabons of the various countries, and to prepare abstracts of their contents so that the resulting document could be searched for subject matter or tabular content.
The constructors of the database used elements of the meta-data system that guides researchers to the tables, and allows them to understand more fully the numbers as stored in the time series that form the core of the database. A Directory of Major Statistical Publications was prepared and published, and eventually Major Statistical Publications - Abstracts was also brought out. This provides a fuller bibliographic treatment of the documents cited in the Directory, and is one component of a three-part document consisting of Publisher/Title index; Abstracts; and Series Index.
The Abstracts is intended to provide bibliographical coverage for a select number of statistical publications generated periodically within the Caribbean region and which give statistical data for a number of social and economic factors.
The records entered in the abstracts have been structured to convey the following informabon: country to which the data relate; name of the agent responsible for the publication, title; a source number code which denotes country, publisher, and numeric sequence; frequency or periodicity, publishing dates of those entries held in the Caribbean Documentation Centre; and content. All statistics published are provisional, and revisions are numerous. A record of requests for information is kept; note is taken of the series requested for which no coverage is held and attempts are made to expand the scope of the database in the light of these.
The special agricultural statisbcs sub-sector puts out a biennial publication giving information on production, land use and tenure, land area and area under cultivation, population (including agricultural population) and the contribution of agriculture to Gross Domestic Product.
For more details, contact:
Lancalot A Busby