Pittendrigh’s team took a creative approach to this problem, ultimately designing a series of high-quality educational animated videos that can convey specialized knowledge in an accessible, visual way to smallholders. Using voice-over technology, the same easy-to-understand video content can be used throughout countries and regions by simply changing the narrative language.
This breakthrough in the cassava market was made possible by a creative new invention called the autonomous mobile cassava processing unit, or AMPU, developed and deployed by the private Dutch Agricultural Development and Trading Company (DADTCO). AMPUs utilize a “split processing” technology to convert the cumbersome, water-laden roots of a cassava plant into cake, which can be more conveniently stored, transported and marketed.
Locally produced fertilizers from these new factories will reduce costs for local farmers who could purchase only imported fertilizer previously, and the new custom blends have the potential to help farmers increase yields by up to 100 percent compared to conventional fertilizer application.
Produced using low cost technology, the fortified feed blocks improve feed intake and digestibility of poor quality feed resources that have become more common due to the ecological impacts of climate change. Inexpensive and easy to transport, these blocks also open up entrepreneurship opportunities for women, who can manufacture them in areas of plenty and market them in areas of scarcity, sustaining livestock and economic vitality during dry seasons.
Biogas systems are essentially a form of composting: they use heated, airtight containers to transform organic waste (everything from cow dung to food scraps) into methane gas – the primary component of natural gas – and bioslurry, an unappetizing name for a nutrient-rich fertilizer that can help healthy and delicious food crops grow.
Outbreaks of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), a hemorrhagic disease that affects the health of hundreds of thousands of animals critical to agriculture, as well as human health, occur in the Sub-Saharan belt of Eastern and Southern Africa. The disease causes substantial economic hardship: it creates losses in live goat, sheep and cattle exports as well as major shortages of meat and milk in rural and urban communities.
Researchers have begun the process of mapping the DNA sequences of these resistant varieties so they can identify the specific genes that lead to resistance and, eventually, cross-breed bean plants exhibiting these genes with varieties already proven to be productive in Africa.