Technologies by country

This category contains 57 resources

Processamento de Mandioca: Farinha Húmida de Mandioca

Mandioca (Manihot esculenta Crantz) é a terceira maior fonte de calorias nos trópicos, depois do arroz e do milho. Milhões de pessoas em África, Ásia e América Latina dependem da mandioca. É cultivada por agricultores pobres, muitos deles mulheres e frequentemente em terras marginais. Para estes agricultores e suas famílias, a mandioca é vital para a segurança alimentar e criação de rendimento. A mandioca é a matéria-prima base para uma série de produtos transformados, que podem contribuir para aumentar a sua procura, dinamizar a indústria de transformação e para o crescimento económico dos países em desenvolvimento. Esta comunicação descreve a tecnologia para obter farinha de mandioca a partir dos seus tubérculos.

Transplantação de sorgo e milho painço em regiões semiáridas

Os principais desafios para os agricultores das zonas semiáridas e áridas, das regiões tropicais e subtropicais, são a reduzida segurança alimentar, a instabilidade da produção e o risco de perda de colheitas. Estes riscos estão associados ao maior constrangimento físico à produção agrícola nessas zonas, ou seja, à irregularidade e à imprevisibilidade da precipitação, resultando em escassez de água. Sob estas condições, há um risco considerável de perdas de colheita, germinação irregular e elevados custos em novas sementeiras. A transplantação, dentro deste sistema, foi uma solução que permitiu aos agricultores maximizar a estação de crescimento e minimizar o risco de perda de colheitas, germinação irregular e reduzir os custos do preenchimento de falhas. As colheitas precoces são importantes para os agricultores, uma vez que ajudam a compensar períodos de escassez alimentar. A transplantação de cultivares precoces promove a redução destes períodos, permitindo a antecipação da colheita em duas a três semanas e o aumento da produtividade (que geralmente duplica), em relação aos sistemas de sementeira direta, disponibilizando alimentos nos períodos de maior escassez e em que são mais caros no mercado.

Redução da agricultura itinerante e meios de subsistência rurais sustentáveis

No Gana, o aumento da pressão demográfica e a necessidade de cultivar uma maior superfície de terreno resultaram na redução dos períodos de pousio. Como consequência, o tempo de regeneração da fertilidade do solo é insuficiente para permitir a recuperação da floresta secundária e dos solos esgotados. O pousio tem uma grande importância ecológica, económica e social, tanto para a população rural, como para a população em geral. A maioria dos agricultores depende do pousio, uma vez que utilizam poucos ou nenhuns fertilizantes para melhorar a fertilidade dos solos empobrecidos. Isto implica que a produção agrícola (e os seus rendimentos) irá diminuir de forma progressiva ao longo dos anos. Na última década foram desenvolvidas várias tecnologias promissoras para abordar este problema. Os ensaios de campo demonstraram a importância da consociação milho-leguminosa, plantação permanente de bananeiras, cacaueiros para sombra, plantação de bananais e árvores de pousio e da consociação inhame-leguminosas para a melhoria das produtividades e recuperação da fertilidade do solo.

Extração de óleo de coco: Método de teor humidade intermediária

O óleo de coco (também conhecido como manteiga de coco) é extraído do coco e é constituído em mais de 80% de gordura saturada. É normalmente utilizado para cosméticos, pastelaria e culinária. O processamento tradicional de coco aquoso consiste em ralar do coco em pequenos pedaços, adicionar água, espremer a mistura à mão, deixar a emulsão resultante em repouso e, por fim, retirar o creme rico em óleo. O creme é então cozido para produzir o óleo. O método do teor de humidade intermediária tem como objetivo acelerar o processo, com a introdução de uma prensa de cesto (ou de opérculos) para extrair o óleo diretamente do coco ralado e parcialmente seco.

Método de extração de óleo se coco: prensa de alavanca

O óleo de coco (também conhecido como manteiga de coco) é extraído do coco e contém mais de 80% de ácidos gordos saturados. É normalmente utilizado para cosméticos, bem como em pastelaria e cozinha. A prensa de alavanca foi desenvolvida na Tanzânia durante a década de 80, do século passado, para extrair o óleo das sementes de girassol. A tecnologia foi adotada e floresceu no Zimbabwe, Quênia, Moçambique e em diversos outros países da África Central e Austral. Esta prensa tem sido utilizada para extrair óleo de outras sementes (incluindo gergelim, niger e colza), bem como de coco seco ralado segundo o processo húmido tradicionalmente realizado na Tanzânia. A prensa pode processar cerca de 4 kg/hora de coco seco ralado e produzir cerca de 2,5 litros de óleo.

Produção de Farinha de Mandioca de Alta Qualidade, Gana

A Farinha de Mandioca de Alta Qualidade (FMAQ) é uma boa alternativa ao amido de mandioca e pode ser o ponto de partida para uma indústria baseada em mandioca. A produção de FMAQ é menos dispendiosa e necessita e menos fatores de produção que o amido de mandioca. A FMAQ pode ser utilizada como alternativa ao amido e outros materiais importados e numa grande variedade de produtos industrias, tais como adesivos, xaropes de açúcar e álcool industrial, etc.

Solarização: redução dos estragos causados por insetos no feijão-fradinho

O feijão-fradinho ou feijão-de-corda é importante para as famílias rurais ganesas pelo seu valor nutritivo e como complemento para seu rendimento. Os produtores mais pobres vêem-se muitas vezes obrigados a vender o feijão logo após a colheita, seja para saldar dívidas ou porque não conseguem evitar perdas de armazenamento (perdas de peso e redução de valor) associados aos estragos causados por insetos. Os vendedores do mercado também são afetados.

Prevenir queimaduras tipo Stackburn no armazenamento de milho, África

Queimaduras tipo Stackburn no armazenamento de milho são danos causados pela acumulação de calor no interior das pilhas de sacos em armazéns comerciais de milho na África subsariana e caracteriza-se pela descoloração castanha do grão. O milho afetado pode perder valor comercial ou ter que ser desviado para alimentação animal. Quando a descoloração é severa, as agências de ajuda alimentar, quando tentam distribuir milho afetado, podem encontrar resistência ou mesmo rejeição por parte dos beneficiários, sendo obrigadas a descartar grandes quantidades de milho a custos consideráveis (até £ 23 milhões ao longo de 1993 na África do Sul). A acumulação de calor está associada ao reduzido fluxo de ar, em resultado da utilização de sacos de polipropileno tecido. A construção das pilhas de sacos, com intervalos no seu interior para permitir o fluxo de ar e/ou o retorno aos sacos de juta, previne a ocorrência de queimaduras tipo Stackburn, embora com ligeira perda de capacidade de armazenamento.

Milho bem seco beneficia a todos – O secador solar de milho

O secador solar de milho é uma estrutura que permite secar o milho recorrendo à energia solar. Em funcionamento, demora três dias para reduzir o teor de humidade do milho de 24% para 14%. A secagem de milho reduz o risco de desenvolvimento de bolores e aflatoxinas e valoriza o seu preço de mercado.

Controlo da mosca-da-fruta para produtores de manga no Gana

A cultura da manga está cheia de desafios e os agricultores devem conhecê-los para ter sucesso na sua produção. Quanto mais agricultores os conhecerem, maior sucesso terão. Neste vídeo, quatro agricultores da Região Oriental do Gana partilham as suas experiências no controlo da mosca-da-fruta em plantações de mangueiras. Eles explicam 1) Como construir uma armadilha de moscas-da-fruta para manter o seu número sob controlo 2) Como instalar uma armadilha de mosca-da-fruta na árvore, 3) Como usar um isco de proteína para controlar a mosca-da-fruta e 4) O papel da higiene agrícola na gestão da mosca-da-fruta. A descrição abaixo é o texto escrito (script) do vídeo.

Making farm-made fish feed for small-scale farms

Fish feed/aquafeed is one of the most expensive inputs for small aquaculture farms. At the same time it is one of the most important components, especially for the whole aquaculture ecosystem. This is also true for aquaponics because the fish feed sustains both the fish and vegetable growth. The technology below provides two simple recipes for a balanced fish feed for use in small-scale fish farms or aquaponic systems. The first formulation is made with proteins of vegetable origin, mainly soybean meal. The second formulation is mainly made with fishmeal. In addition, the technology provides a selection of live fish feed to supplement the pelleted feed. This technology of farm-made aquafeed production is most appropriate for small-scale aquaculture farming, and is best used when commercial feed is difficult or expensive to obtain.

Increasing yield of mango with selective harvest

Due to inaccurate methods of harvesting, farmers tend to destroy the quality of the mangoes and obtain reduced yields of the fruit which results in a loss of income of the farmers. Through selective harvesting techniques, mangoes are harvested in three stages from the trees based on their maturity level. Also, proper picking poles are used to harvest the mangoes in order to avoid dropping them on the ground causing subsequent damage. This technique explains how to properly harvest mangoes and how the mango harvest can be planned in order to reduce post-harvest losses.

Fish Powder

Fish is a good source of micronutrients, essential omega 3 fatty acids and high quality protein. Apart from processing fish fillets, many fish processing companies dispose of the fish byproducts (fish head, bones, viscera, frames and skin). Development of low cost, nutrient dense and safe fish products from byproducts is gaining in popularity. In Uganda and Ghana, fish byproducts are dried and milled to create a powder. Such powder has high levels of micronutrients, particularly calcium, phosphorous, zinc, iron as well as vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids. Micronutrient deficiencies are a problem in Uganda and Ghana and thus enriching staple foods with nutrient dense fish powder offers an opportunity for combatting malnutrition amongst various populations at a relatively minimal cost. The following practice demonstrates the product of powder fish by-products.

Bacterial Black Spot (BBS) Identification and Control for Mango Farmers in Ghana

Growing mango is full of challenges and farmers should know about them to succeed in the mango production. The more farmers know, the better they will succeed. This short film (and its description) is dealing with a disease called Bacterial Black Spot (BBS). In 2010 it was first identified in West Africa and is now a major threat for mango growers. It weakens branches and causes fruit drop. If not treated, it can devastate an entire plantation. Once the disease breaks out in a certain area, it spreads further and further every year. This video (and the description below which summarize the video) aims to provide some advices on how to recognize the disease and stop it.

Anthracnose Control for Mango Farmers in Ghana

Growing mango is full of challenges and farmers should know about them to succeed in the mango production. The more farmers know, the better they will succeed. This short film (and its description) is dealing with a disease called Anthracnose. It is a very wide spread disease in humid environments like in the tropical parts of Ghana. Once the disease infects the mango trees, most of the harvest can be lost. This video (and the description below which summarize the video) aims to provide some advice on how to recognize the disease and stop it.

Fruit Fly Control for Mango Farmers in Ghana

Growing mango is full of challenges and farmers should know about them to succeed in the mango production. The more farmers know, the better they will succeed. In this short film four farmers from the Eastern Region of Ghana share their experiences with fruit fly control in mango plantation. They explain us 1) How to build a fruit fly trap to keep the number of fruit flies under control 2) How to install a fruit fly trap in the tree, 3) How to use a protein bait to control fruit flies, and 4) The role of farm hygiene in fruit fly management. The description below is the written text (script) of the video.

La technique FAO-Thiaroye de Transformation du Poisson ou le FTT-Thiaroye: comment l'utiliser

Le FTT-Thiaroye est une technique née des efforts collaboratifs entre la FAO et l’institut de formation CNFTPA du Sénégal. Son développement répond au besoin d’améliorer les opérations de séchage et de fumage de poisson à petite échelle. La clef de son adoption repose sur ses avantages propres. Tout d'abord, le FTT permet la commercialisation de produits de meilleure qualité et plus sûrs (notamment grâce à l'absence d'hydrocarbures aromatiques polycycliques/HAP), fournissant en même temps un rendement plus élevé et des pertes après-capture marginaux. Deuxièmement, il réduit le ratio bois ou charbon/poissons, et sa structure facilite l'utilisation de sous-produits agricoles (épis de maïs ou mil, coques ou bourres de coco, etc.) et le gaz de cuisine comme combustibles. L'impact environnemental et les coûts d'exploitation sont ainsi diminués. En dernier et non le moindre, le FTT réduit la pénibilité du travail des femmes opératrices de pêche, avec une moindre exposition des transformateurs à la fumée et la chaleur.

The FAO-Thiaroye processing technique - How to use and operate it

The FTT-Thiaroye is a technique drawn from the collaborative efforts between the FAO and the CNFTPA training institute in Senegal. Its development addresses the need to improve small-scale fish drying and smoking operations. The key to its adoption rests upon its benefits. Globally, the main condition required for the FAO-Thiaroye to be successfully applied is the know-how of its construction, use and maintenance. This technology describes how to use and operate the FTT-Thiaroye.

The FAO-Thiaroye processing technique- How to construct it and assemble its components

The FTT-Thiaroye is a technique drawn from the collaborative efforts between the FAO and the CNFTPA training institute in Senegal. Its development addresses the need to improve small-scale fish drying and smoking operations. The key to its adoption rests upon its benefits. Globally, the main condition required for the FAO-Thiaroye to be successfully applied is the know-how of its construction, use and maintenance. This technology describes step by step how to construct and assemble a FTT-Thiaroye unit.

Well dried maize benefits all – the solar maize dryer

The solar maize dryer is a construction that dries maize through solar energy. It takes three days to reduce the moisture content of maize from 24% to 14%. Drying maize reduces the risk of mold and aflotoxins and helps farmers to achieve good market prices.

How to measure soil pH value

Most soils in Ghana are too acidic, limiting the nutrient uptake of plants. The following video presents one easy way to measure a soil’s pH value using pH indicator strips. Knowing your soil's pH value helps to take action to improve your soil quality.

Video on how to build a fruit fly trap

Fruit flies are a common pest damaging fruits and vegetables. This video explains how to build a safe, simple and cost effective fruit fly trap with a plastic bottle, a pheromone and an insecticide.

Video on how to prune a mango tree

This video explains how to do maintenance pruning of mango trees. Pruning is a very effective way to enhance the quality of mangos. At the same time production costs are reduced.

Video on how to defeat the mealy bug

Papaya mealy bugs (Paracoccus marginatus) are a pest infesting papaya trees (Carica papaya) and were accidentally introduced into Ghana. Biological control of papaya mealy bugs is possible with the help of Acerophagus papayae wasps. These predators lay their eggs into the mealy bugs, killing them.
The short video shows how Acerophagus wasps can be bred and multiplied in a small laboratory at low cost in order to be released into the orchard. This video was made on Tropigha Farms in the Volta Region.

How to make good, hot compost

This video explains the process of making good, hot compost from green leaves, woody material, rock phosphate and animal manure.

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 .

Bonnes pratiques d’utilisation des pesticides

Conçue au Benin par le projet ‘Programme de Promotion de l’Agriculture (ProAgri, Bénin) dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre du programme COMPACI chargé de la promotion du secteur cotonnier en Afrique, la présente technologie illustre les bonnes pratiques de gestion intégrée des pesticides. La boite explique les grandes étapes à suivre pour l’établissement d’une parcelle, les précautions à suivre lors du transport, le stockage, et l’utilisation des substances utilisées pour le traitement – les dispositions à prendre depuis le point de vente jusqu’à la destruction des vieux emballages en passant par les lieux de stockage, les facteurs à considérer lors de la sélection des parcelles à cultiver, les équipements à utiliser lors des traitements, la préparations de la bouillie de traitement, les personnes autorisées à préparer et à appliquer le traitement, les bonnes pratiques à observer lors des traitements, les habitudes à éviter lors des traitements, l’entretien des équipements après les traitements, et les soins à apporter à un victime en cas d’intoxication.

Contract Farming Handbook

Published by the 'Competitive African Cotton Initiative' (COMPACI) in collaboration with other partners (GIZ, AISPII etc.), the technology is a powerful tool for linking farmers to buyers in an increasingly concentrated agri-food sector, and buyers to supply sources in ever-more competitive agricultural markets. The purpose of this guide is to provide a practical and process-oriented approach for a sound planning and implementation of contract farming (CF) schemes. This guide has been developed to serve practitioners involved in starting up and managing or supporting the initiation and implementation of contract farming schemes. The guide provides a hands-on and process-oriented approach for the development of contract farming schemes. Following the logic stages of starting up a business, the overall structure is easy to capture. And, while giving orientation for a focused approach, the guide remains flexible leaving the selection of tools and sequencing of activities to the discretion of users according to the reality on the ground. The proposed approaches in this guide are applicable to any type of product and situation provided that users are capable of using it in a flexible way and adapting the tools and recommendations to the specific local situation and the ever-faster changing production and market contexts in developing countries.

Fabrication d’une farine de manioc de haute qualité

Le manioc n’est pas pleinement utilisé en Afrique de l’Est en comparaison de l’Afrique occidentale (Nigeria, Ghana). Le manioc peut vous procurer des revenus supplémentaires, créer de l’emploi et servir de réserve alimentaire pour les périodes de pénurie.
Le manioc tolère la sécheresse, résiste aux parasites et maladies, et il est facile à cultiver et à récolter. Toutes les parties de la plante de manioc peuvent être valorisées. On peut utiliser les feuilles de manioc pour faire du potage ou comme fourrage pour le bétail. Les tiges peuvent être utilisées pour planter plus de manioc, pour cultiver des champignons comestibles ou comme combustible. La racine peut se manger cuite ou crue, ou bien transformée en farine. Le manioc peut également satisfaire des besoins industriels tels que la production de biocarburant et d’amidon utilisé en papeterie et en pharmacie. La farine de manioc de haute qualité est fabriquée dans un délai d’un jour après la récolte de la
racine. Elle est très blanche, avec une faible teneur en graisse, elle n’est pas amère comme la farine traditionnelle de manioc fermenté. Elle ne transmet pas de mauvaise odeur ou de mauvais goût aux produits alimentaires et se mélange très bien avec la farine de blé pour la fabrication de pain ou de gâteaux.

How to estimate the quality of cashew nuts (RCN)

The quality of Cashew produced from country to country and region to region determines the reputation as well as competitiveness of the product on the international market. The price farmers may expect is directly linked to the quality of their produce. It is important therefore to teach farmers who may not have any or limited knowledge about how to assess the quality of nuts about exactly what determines whether their product is of high quality, meeting the demands of what consumers want. This simple, well-illustrated technical manual is used as training material by the African Cashew initiative and functions as a tool via which farmers may be taught how to assess and recognize good quality nuts. Not only does it demonstrate how to do this, it displays which tools and mechanisms may be used to implement this, provding information on the physical criteria used worldwide, across the cashew producing industry.

Guide to harvesting and post-harvest handling of cashew nuts

Production of high quality cashew nuts is dependent on the application of excellent and thorough harvest and post-harvest techniques and practices. This picture based leaflet is used as part of the African Cashew Initiative’s extension material. It is handed out to cashew farmers to help them understand how to approach the period just before harvesting begins and what do after they have harvested their cashew farms. This is to ensure that their final products are of the utmost quality.

Note: This Leaflet is accompanied by a guide for “Field Staff” on harvest and post harvest operations” which is available on this site.

Good Practices for the Establishment of a New Cashew Farm

Application of good practices is an essential foundation for the establishment of a new functional, thriving cashew farm. This flip-chart (picture bloc), with its very comprehensive pictures as well as question and answer sections, describes how to better prepare an area for the establishment of a thriving cashew farm. It is designed to help introduce novice cashew farmers or those who want to expand their cashew farming endeavors. It is used as training material by the African Cashew Initiative and is intended to be used by extension agent to animate group sessions to train such farmers or can be consulted by someone who has the intention of establishing a cashew plantation.
This picture based extension material is part of a series which covers the establishment phase, good agricultural practices of cashew plantation management, harvest and post-harvest operation as well as quality issues.

Try the rabbit: a practical guide

Rabbits are prolific breeders, producing large quantities o tasty meat for home consumption. Their rate production is faster than that of pigs, goats or sheep.The attached manual is a practical guide for those intending to start a rabbit farm in the West African region. It attempts to provide most of the information required: rabbit farming, construction rabbit hutches, breeding management, feeding rabbits, selecting breeding stock and diseases and pests.

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.

Cassava processing: Cassava wet flour

Cassava (Manihot Esculenta Crantz) is the third most important source of calories in the tropics, after rice and maize. Millions of people depend on cassava in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is grown by poor farmers, many of them women, often on marginal land. For those people and their families, cassava is vital for both food security and income generation. Cassava is a raw material base for an array of processed products that could effectively increase demand for cassava and contribute to agricultural transformation and economic growth in developing countries. The following technology describes how to obtain cassava flour from cassava tubers.

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.

Introducing a mechanical press for making Shea butter in northern Ghana

A manually operated press for the extraction of shea butter is successful and popular with rural women in northern Ghana. The production of shea butter is an important income earning activity for women in rural areas and for many their only source of income. Shea butter is used for cooking and for cosmetic purposes, and is increasingly valuable as an export commodity. However, lack of group business and management skills, competition from large-scale enterprises, inflation, and international commodity price fluctuations may hinder successful implementation of the technology.

Using plants with pesticidal properties to control insects during on-farm grain storage in Ghana

Market liberalisation in Africa has resulted in more commodities being stored in small quantities in on-farm facilities. This has resulted in increased post-harvest losses, especially by storage pest insects of grain and legumes. The use of synthetic pesticides in food stores at the farm level can be considered costly by resource-poor farmers. In northern Ghana locally available plants are cheap and effective alternatives, provided problems associated with their sustainable use are addressed.

Pheromone traps for the management of the cowpea pest Maruca Vitrata

Maruca vitrata is a major pest of cowpea, resulting in 20-80% yield losses in West Africa. A pheromone lure and suitable trap developed and in Benin and Ghana has successfully trapped male moths. From these trappings a threshold has been calculated to provide farmers with the optimum time for spraying in conjunction with locally available pesticides and botanical pesticides. The traps have not been as effective in Nigeria and Burkina Faso suggesting the influence of ecological issues.

Development of biopesticide legislation in Africa

Abuse and misuse of insecticides is common in Africa and, although the use of pesticides in Africa represents less than 5% of the global total, misuse is disproportionately high. Use of insecticides is determined largely by export crops, such as cotton and cocoa, and trends are therefore dependent on world prices. Therefore, without specific measures, a continued increase in insecticide consumption is likely to be matched by continued misuse. Such chemicals are associated with the familiar problems of environmental pollution and human contamination, rising costs and resistance development. The following technology describes methodologies relating to technical, regulatory and policy issues concerning the development and implementation of legislation for registration of biological pesticides in sub-Saharan Africa.

Solarisation: reducing insect damage from cowpeas

Cowpea is important to rural households in Ghana for its nutritional value and to supplement income. Poorer producers typically have to sell grain legumes soon after harvest, either to meet debts or because they cannot prevent storage losses (weight losses and value reduction) associated with insect damage. Market sellers are also affected. This technology describes a solarisation method for controlling cow pea infestations.

Assessing post-harvest fish losses: Load Tracking method

Load Tracking is one of a suite of loss assessment tools, including IFLAM and QLAM. Prior to the research which informed their development, with the exception of work by FAO and NRI, little effort had been made to develop systematic and practical assessment methodologies for generating accurate information on post-harvest fish losses. Load Tracking is used by researchers to assess post-harvest fish losses with communities and people working in small-scale and industrialised fisheries. Losses can be quantified at most parts of the processing or distribution chain.

Sustainable livelihoods: New market opportunities for cassava

In Ghana processing of cassava was limited to traditional technologies such as gari, kokonte, agbelima and tapioca, and minimal amounts of low-grade starch and starch biscuits. However, farmers are now able to expand market opportunities for cassava flour, with improved producer prices, for use in baking, sugar syrups and adhesives. Reliance on imported wheat flour has been reduced, with corresponding savings in costs and improvements in profits from the sale of locally produced products for which the use of cassava flour is suitable.

Assessing losses in the fish supply chain: Questionnaire Loss Assessment Method (QLAM)

Planning and policy-making for the development of the post-harvest fisheries sector has been hampered by the lack of practical tools to understand post-harvest fish losses. The Questionnaire Loss Assessment Method (QLAM) is based on a formal questionnaire survey approach to post-harvest loss assessment. Enumerators interview a population sample using a questionnaire focussed on post-harvest losses. Data are analysed and presented using appropriate biometric principles. The method produces quantitative data on key aspects of loss such as: the type of loss incurred, reasons for loss and the variables which affect loss (such as fishing gear or processing method). It is also used to validate the results of the associated tools Informal Fish Loss Assessment Method (IFLAM) and Load Tracking, over a wide geographical area or within a number of communities.

Participatory approaches: Soaking seeds (seed priming) to improve crop yields

Crop establishment is often poor in the semiarid 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.

Transplanting sorghum and pearl millet in semi-arid regions

The main challenges for farmers in semi-arid and arid areas of the tropics and subtropics are poor food security, yield instability and risk of crop failure. These are associated with the biggest physical constraint to crop production in these areas:
erratic and unreliable rainfall resulting in shortages of water. Under these conditions there is a considerable risk of failed crops, patchy stands and high re-planting costs. Transplanting within this system was a practical option which enabled farmers to maximise the growing season and minimise the risk of failed crops, patchy stands and reduce the costs of re-planting. Early crops are important to farmers as they break the hunger gap; transplanting early crops breaks this gap two to three weeks earlier, and yield more (often double) than normal direct-sown crops, providing food when it is in short supply and very expensive in the market place.

Method to extract coconut oil: Ram press

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. The ram press was developed in Tanzania during the 1980s to extract oil from sunflower seed. The technology was taken up and flourished in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mozambique and several other central and southern African countries. The press has been used to expel oil from other seeds (including sesame, niger and rapeseed) as well as dried coconut gratings from the traditional wet process carried out in Tanzania. The press can process around 4 kg/hour of dried gratings producing around 2.5 litres of oil.

Post Harvest Fish Loss Model

Planning and policy making for the development of post-harvest fisheries has been hampered by a lack of information, or easy access to information, on post-harvest fish losses and tools to help plan interventions. The technology is a MS Excel model (Post Harvest Fish Loss Model v1) which enables the user to mimic the effect of loss reduction interventions at different stages in the fish supply chain.

Participatory breeding of superior, mosaic disease resistant cassava for Africa

Cassava is increasingly the main starch staple eaten in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, particularly West Africa. The crop is attacked by a wide range of pests and diseases. A major constraint to production is cassava mosaic disease (CMD) caused by various cassava mosaic geminivirus species. Cost-effective participatory plant breeding methods were developed, emphasising farmer inputs, and using cassava as both a target and a model vegetatively-propagated crop. This led to the development of superior, CMD-resistant varieties through the use of seed derived from agronomically superior and CMD-resistant parents and by training farmers in selection. Knowledge was obtained on how cassava landraces evolved and spread, particularly CMD resistant ones, so that participatory plant breeding could incorporate farmer methods.

Improved cassava fufu processing methods, West Africa

The commercialisation of traditional processed products from cassava, such as fufu, potentially offers new opportunities for income generation to rural households in Nigeria, Ghana and other parts of West Africa. Several options exist for the commercialisation of fufu, including the production of a shelf-stable product that minimises use of scarce water resources but maximises returns in a growing urban market. Therefore, women particularly stand to gain since they use proceeds from fufu sales as stepping stones to other entrepreneurial activities. However, linkages between processors and sellers are very important.

Soil fertility for sustainable vegetable production: Green and animal manures in the humid forest belt, Ghana

Dry-season vegetable farmers in Ghana face increased dependency on chemical fertilizer and supplementary water inputs due to decreased soil productivity caused by prolonged cultivation that has mined the soil's previously high organic matter content. Farmers also complain of increased incidence of pests and diseases. These factors increase capital and labour costs and risks associated with production. Use of green and animal manures and composts provides a low-cost alternative to chemical fertilizers, replacing, or used in conjunction with purchased inputs. Increased organic matter content also improve longer-term soil productivity, and water-retention capacity. These techniques provide sustainable ways of intensifying cropping in a region where increasing population pressure challenges the sustainability of traditional long duration fallow-based systems.

Participatory breeding of superior, mosaic disease-resistant cassava

The project has validated a participatory breeding approach for developing superior, mosaic disease-resistant cassava, demonstrating that it can provide a means by which farmers, plant breeders and plant pathologists could work together in an effective and inclusive manner. It also provided an environment whereby farmers made a significant and consistent contribution to the outcome of selection. Following multilocational trials with 35 clones, 3 "front runners" have been identified and inspection plots have been prepared both for inspection by the National Varietal Release Committee and as future sources of planting material in anticipation of release.

Shortened bush-fallow rotations and sustainable rural livelihoods

In Ghana, increased population pressure and the need to cultivate greater land area have resulted in reduced fallow periods. As a consequence, the restoration of soil fertility is insufficient to allow recovery of secondary forest and rejuvenation of exhausted soils. Fallows are of ecological, economic and social importance to rural people and to the nation at large. A majority of farmers depend on fallowing, using little or no fertilisers to improve impoverished soils. This implies that farm production (and income) will consistently decline over the years. Several promising technologies have been developed in the last decade to address these issues. On-farm trials have demonstrated the value of maize-legume relays, permanent plantain, cocoa-shade trees, planted tree fallow, and yam-legume relays in improving yields and restoring soil fertility.

Participatory varietal selection: Improved varieties of upland rice for Ghana (IDSA85, WAB209, WAB126, WAB340 and others)

Rice is economically very important in Ghana and West Africa. The lack of improved rice varieties, particularly upland varieties, is recognized as a constraint. The main purpose of the work reported here was to test and evaluate new drought-and weed-tolerant rice varieties with farmers using participatory techniques and formal replicated yield trials, and to disseminate participatory approaches to crop improvement in Ghana and West Africa.

Production of high quality cassava flour, Ghana

High quality cassava flour (HQCF) is an attractive alternative to cassava starch that can form the starting point for a cassava-based industry. HQCF production is less capital intensive and requires lower levels of inputs for success, compared to cassava starch. HQCF can be used as an alternative to starch and other imported materials in a range of industries such as adhesives, sugar syrups and industrial alcohol.

Production of glucose syrup from high quality cassava flour

In an attempt to expand existing markets for cassava, technologies were developed to provide a local supply of glucose syrup to substitute for the imported product. This technology could yield economic and social benefits to the farmers who produce the cassava, entrepreneurs who produce the syrup, as well as the end-users. Some of these benefits would include, foreign exchange savings, improvement in income levels, employment creation, efficient use of natural resources and easy access to an industrial raw material among others.

Preventing stackburn heat damage to maize stored, Africa

Stackburn in maize is heat damage characterised by a brown discoloration of the grain resulting from heat build-up in the interior of stacks held in commercial storage in sub-Saharan Africa. Affected maize may be downgraded in commercial markets or have to be diverted for animal-feed use. Where discoloration is severe, food-aid agencies attempting to distribute stackburned maize may meet beneficiary resistance or rejection and be forced to dispose of large quantities of deteriorated maize at considerable cost (up to £23 million during 1993 in southern Africa). Heat build is linked to restricted airflow resulting from the use of woven polypropylene sacks. Building stacks with internal gaps to allow air flow and/or a return to jute sacks prevents stackburn, with some slight loss in plinth capacity.