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UK Department For International Development (DFID)

The Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom of Britain leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. 

DFID works to end the need for aid by creating jobs, to unlock the potential of girls and women and to help to save lives when humanitarian emergencies hit.

DFID also works for helping to prevent climate change and encouraging adaptation and low-carbon growth in developing countries.

Technologies from UK Department For International Development (DFID)


Soaking Seeds (Seed Priming) to Improve Crop Yields

Crop establishment is often poor in the semi-arid tropics. However, good crop stand establishment is essential for the efficient use of water and light, and a uniform stand is a pre-requisite for cropping success. Seeds that germinate quickly produce viable seedlings that are not dependent on rapidly declining moisture in the soil that may occur in rain fed systems. Soaking seeds in water before sowing gives the germinating seeds a head start and speeds up seed establishment with a corresponding increase in survival rates and yields.
This practice explains as well how farmers can improve the nutrient supply to crops at a low-cost and effective way .

Rubber/banana intercropping

Plantation tree crops, such as rubber, play an important role in income generation for small-scale farmers in the humid and sub-humid tropics. The efficiency of land-use is low, however, during the establishment phase of the plantation with rubber occupying only about one-fifth of the planted area under normal spacing. Intercropping with shorter duration annual and perennial crops such as banana offers one means of improving both land-use and income generation during the unproductive immature stage of rubber, which lasts about six years.

Improving The Quality of Parboiled Rice in Ghana

Parboiled rice is rice that has been boiled in the husk. Parboiling makes rice easier to process by hand, improves the nutritional value of white rice, and changes its texture. Today, it is the preferred rice of many in the southern parts of the Indian subcontinent, and elsewhere.

The quality of any manufactured product is only as good as the quality of the raw materials and the controls exercised during processing. The best market price is achieved by a product which has a good colour (white), no odour, few broken grains, free from stones and black grains, no husk well milled and properly dried. The process of parboiling is carried out mainly by women.

Management strategies to optimise production of and access to Self Recruiting Species (SRS)

Aquatic animals that can be harvested sustainably from a farmer managed system without regular stocking are referred to as self recruiting species (SRS). A range of indigenous and introduced fish species; as well as molluscs, crustacea and amphibians are inevitably present in many rural aquaculture systems, even where attempts have been made to eradicate them. SRS resource systems operate at the interface of capture fisheries and aquaculture, involving active management and private ownership of animals during all or part of their life cycle, but remaining closely linked to the wider, natural aquatic ecosystem. Active management of wild aquatic animals on farms serves not only to increase their availability for harvest, but to conserve the natural aquatic biodiversity of rice based farming landscapes.The technology characterizes the role of self-recruiting species in different aquaculture systems, and offers management approaches that enhance the production of and access to such resources by the poor.

Participatory approaches: Client-oriented breeding of rice for rainfed, medium and low lands of Easter India

Poor farmers in marginal areas have benefited little from high yielding, "green revolution" varieties that have transformed the productivity of more favourable areas. In the states of northeastern India, farmers who cultivate upland rice on low-fertility, sloping soils continue to grow low yielding landraces that are susceptible to diseases and pests. More efficient plant breeding that is highly client oriented provided a rapid, cost effective solution to these problems by developing new upland rice varieties superior to the landraces.

Tsetse and trypanosomiasis control measures: Restricted application of insecticide to livestock

Since tsetse flies feed mostly on the legs and mostly on the largest animals in the herd, an application of pour-on insecticides or sprays restricted to the legs of cows, bulls and draught animals has been shown to be effective in controlling tsetse. This also results in a significant cost saving to the farmer, of up to 80 to 90%.

Coconut oil extraction: Intermediate moisture content method

Coconut oil (also known as coconut butter) is extracted from coconuts and consists of over 80% saturated fat. It is typically used in cosmetics as well as in baking and cooking. Traditional aqueous coconut processing involves grating coconut into small pieces, adding water, squeezing the mixture by hand, leaving the resulting emulsion to stand, and then scooping off the oil-rich cream. The cream is then boiled to produce oil. The intermediate-moisture content aims to speed up the process by introducing a bridge-press to extract oil directly from partially-dried coconut gratings.

Integration of aquaculture into the farming systems, India

The development and uptake of recommendations for the integration of fish into smallholder rain-fed farming systems would benefit from farmer participation in the process. Trials in eastern India with small groups within communities demonstrated strong interest in aquaculture, especially in the use of under-utilised community seasonal ponds. The adoption of group-based aquaculture proved significant, with 57% of all farm groups within the area conducting managed aquaculture by the end of the project.

Preparation of urea molasses blocks (UMB)

UMB are a high protein concentrated feed source that supplies Non-Protein Nitrogen (NPN) to rumen microbes. The blocks also contain important minerals and vitamins. UMB are a good way of providing readily degradable protein and fermentable energy to ruminant animals, and help increase the protein supply to ruminants in situations where this may be limited. Molasses is a source of energy and widely available in concentrated form. Both urea and molasses are industrial or agricultural by-products. This technology describes methods for making UMB that can be carried out on a small scale, either by individual farmers or by smallscale rural industries.

Improved utilization of urban waste, Hubli-Dharwad City Region, Karnataka, India

Municipal solid waste (MSW) can be a valuable fertilizer for peri-urban farmers in India. An integrated approach to urban waste management, currently absent, is needed to improve its use, to include segregation of waste materials (removal of plastic and glass), thereby halting the decline in quality, and its management and marketing in an environmentally sustainable way. The addition of night soil would improve the nutrient content of MSW. There is a range of options that could be considered to maintain access to MSW by near-urban farmers, including subsidizing composts produced by the private sector, producing a range of composts at different prices and maintaining access for both farmers and the private sector.