Cover Image
close this book SPORE No. 68 - April 1997
View the document Extension services: master or servant?
View the document Images from space that aid development
View the document New crops, new products
View the document In brief
View the document Mailbox
Open this folder and view contents Viewpoint
View the document News from CTA
View the document Books
Open this folder and view contents Information sources


On our 'Mailbox' pa e we publish extracts from letters sent to the editorial team at CTA. These letters have been selected for their potential interest to other readers of Spore. We also publish correspondence arising from CTA's Question and Answer Service. Readers are therefore invited to send us further information on subjects covered in Spore.

Spore would also be pleased to receive short articles and news items on agriculture and rural development in ACP countries; these will be considered for publication in our "In Brief" pages. Finally, under the heading "Viewpoint", we will continue to publish personal opinions on the subject of agricultural development in general.

Please send your correspondence to Spore at CTA in the Netherlands (see back page for our address) and please note that we are unable to return manuscripts.


• Sevérin Senou, Dowa - Porto Novo, Benin: "Our non governmental organization, Jeunesse - Conviction - Travail ( Youth Conviction - Work) is very grateful for the books you provided to us ("AIternative Financing for Development NGOs''). We organised a training workshop around the books on 9 and 10 November last year in Dowa, for leaders of farmers' organizations and womens, groups specializing in food processing. We send you a photograph of some of the participants. "


• Mahamadou Keita, Tambacounda, Senegal: "hour article in Spore 64 about rice caught my attention. I have worked as a project leader on a rice project near the River Gambia, and cannot stress enough the need for reliable, shortcycle crops especially in periods of long-term drought. In various parts of Senegal, more use is being made now of upland rice instead of paddy rice, with short, 70-day cycles. I ask that research bodies such as ISRA in Senegal continue to work in these varieties."


• Brother Herman van Waes, Boende, Zaire, referring to the question in the French edition of Spore 63 on tick control methods other than soaking: "There is another way. For the last ten years, we have injected our cattle and sheep with Ivomec solution /based on Ivermectin) and Enzec (Abamectin), every six months, with 100% success against internal and external parasites."

Spore: Other methods include controlled fires, closing off pasture areas for three months to starve out the ticks, and exposing tick eggs to sunlight.



• Dorothy Hamada, FAO, Rome, Italy, questions the relevance of cyberspace {the use of computer networks to access and exchange information, and of email to send letters quickly): Countries to which I am assigned seldom have access to such technology, and print media are still valuable tools. They can be referred to anytime and absorbed at the pace of the user."

• Carlos Ernesto Moamba, World Vision, Mozambique: "In connection with my need for books, I have tried to contact you on email without success. Please confirm your email address."

Spore: CTA's general email address is and for Spore it is For readers with access to the World Wide Web, CTA's Web-site is A future issue of Spore will feature more news about these services and new information technologies.


• John C Quachieh, Beckwai Ashanti, Ghana, referring to books received from CTA: "My home is now a research library, where all sorts of people, especially literate farmers, extension officers, and social workers come. I am scheduled to receive an award {District Level) in seed yam production during National Farmers' Day. People do not believe that I have never seen the inside of a university lecture room. You have made me a full man. "

Questions and Answers


D U Omenuko, of ELOFARM, Idemili, Anambra State, Nigeria is one of several readers to have asked CTA's Question and Answer service recently about removing the smell from fats and oil, to boost their marketability as cooking oils and for soap production.

The following advice is based on comments from a scientist in an established industrial company, who pointed out that the success of any treatment will depend upon the quality of the material involved.

First, refine the animal fat (we are assuming beef tallow) with an alkali, such as caustic soda. Then bleach the material by absorption or treatment with a bleaching earth or carbon. The actual deodorization is achieved by a process called (vacuum steam stripping'. This involves steam distillation and can be done on a relatively small scale in a mild or stainless steel vessel. This must be airtight and oxygen free. The vessel is filled to about half full and then a vacuum is pulled at 4mm absolute pressure, the oil is heated and superheated steam (approx. 475 degrees F) is blown through a spider distributor at the bottom of the vessel. This then leads to a condenser where the material is cooled and discharged for storage.

We suggest that you speak with your own engineers and to others working in the same field.

"Having the longest feathers doesn't mean you'll fly high"

A Lamba proverb from Zambia