African Institute for Capacity Development

Nairobi, Kenya

African Institute for Capacity Development

Nairobi, Kenya
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Saladini F.,University of Siena | Vuai S.A.,University of Siena | Vuai S.A.,African Institute for Capacity Development | Vuai S.A.,The University of Dodoma | And 11 more authors.
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2016

Africa is a continent with enormous natural resources in the form of biomass and innovative ways are needed to exploit those ones available from agricultural processes and other production systems. This paper aims to assess the sustainability of a set of potential feedstocks for the production of biofuels and other value added products in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa. These feedstocks are residues from agricultural and industrial food processing systems that we assess by emergy evaluation for insights into their sustainability. The feedstocks are grouped into sugar-rich (corn stover, cassava peels, pineapple peels, olive oil pomace and rejected bananas) and nutrient-rich (cocoa pods, discarded cabbage leaves, cattle manure and soybean processing residues). Where possible, comparison is made between traditional and commercial production of the same good. Despite higher environmental impacts, commercial systems were found to perform better in exploiting natural resources. Finally, sugar- and nutrient-rich feedstocks were compared on the basis of glucan and ash content, respectively. Cassava peels and cattle manure gave the best performance from an emergy point of view. This approach enabled emergy evaluation of feedstocks that also considered their potential for the production of useful bio-products. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Nyamai M.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | Mati B.M.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Home P.G.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Odongo B.,African Institute for Capacity Development | And 2 more authors.
Agricultural Engineering International: CIGR Journal | Year: 2012

Improving the yield of rice (Oryza sativa L) in existing irrigated areas rather than further expansion is more likely to be the main source of growth for the crop in Kenya, especially due to limited land and water resources. In order to achieve this, there is need to identify and adopt solutions that are environmentally more sustainable. That is, the production systems adopted should reduce water consumption and increase productivity. A study was carried out to evaluate whether the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) could increase water productivity and crop yield relative to the conventional production system of continuous flooding. The effects of SRI on total water use, growth characteristics and yield of three rice varieties were investigated at Mwea Irrigation Scheme of Kenya on vertic clay soils. The production practices of SRI were found to be beneficial to rice growth and yield. SRI gave higher average grain yield (14.85 t ha -1) than the conventional flooded system (8.66 t ha -1) at P=0.006, while the average yield across production systems was 15.89 t ha -1, 11.26 t ha -1 and 8.10 t ha -1 for BW196, NERICA1 and Basmati370 varieties respectively, with P<0.001. There was a 24% saving in irrigation water by SRI, while land productivity (LP) and water productivity (WP) increased by 71% and 90% respectively compared to the conventional flooded system. Overall, SRI production system gave better yield and productivity results than the conventional flooded system. This was probably as a result of better phenotypic expressions due to the innovative soil-water-crop management practices of SRI that change the environment where rice is grown.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2012.3.4-01 | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2012

The project will develop environmentally appropriate and socio-economically sustainable biotechnological processes for converting biodegradable fractions of identified African and Mediterranean agricultural and industrial waste as well as fractions of municipal and animal solid waste into food, feed, value-added products for nutraceuticals and healthcare, biogas and organic based fertilizer. Integrated processes will combine sugar conversion from mainly amylopectins and starchy materials into proteins (for food and feed) with biogas and fertilizer production done in co-digestion of municipal solid waste and manure. Left over sugars from protein production will be used to produce amino acids and lactic acid by bacterial conversion of biowaste to upgrade the fertilizer and for fruit waste storage and food conservation. The technologies to be developed will rely on simple and locally available equipment and naturally occurring microorganisms. Life cycle analysis and socio-economic studies will be undertaken to ensure local applicability in the target countries. The project will contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by improving the management of biowastes in developing countries and thus reducing their potential adverse impacts on human and animal health, the environment and the economy. With partners from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the project also provides an opportunity for EU researchers and third country partners to network and share experiences and best practices. The involvement of small-and medium sized enterprises will contribute to EUs industrial competitiveness by exposing them to new markets and new product opportunities from waste utilization. Research activities will be accompanied by proof of concept at SMEs and demonstrations by local communities and NGOs. Exchange of best proactices and knowledge-sharing among project partners will be emphasised

Ndiiri J.A.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Mati B.M.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Home P.G.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Odongo B.,African Institute for Capacity Development | Uphoff N.,Cornell University
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2013

A detailed farm survey was conducted in Mwea Irrigation Scheme, Kenya during the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 main growing seasons to assess the adoption and to quantify the net income advantages of using system of rice intensification (SRI) management over farmer practices (FP) for rice cultivation.Data were collected through questionnaires and structured interviews with farmers who were practicing both SRI and FP methods of rice production on their farms. Under FP, three seedlings aged 28 days are transplanted in respective hills at random spacing. The fields are then flooded with water throughout the growing period. For SRI practice, factors considered as essential were transplanting only one seedling per hill aged 8-15 days with spacing of at least 20. cm by 20. cm; weeding the crop at least three times at intervals of ten days; and intermittently irrigating the fields. The contributions of using organic manure for fertilization and soil-aeration weed control methods were not considerations in this study since the availability of organic materials and mechanical push-weeders were challenges at the time of study. A total of 40 farmers in 10 units out of the 50 SRI farmers from 18 units of the irrigation scheme were sampled. Benefit-cost relationships were estimated using tabular analysis of all the variable costs and income from production using the survey data.On average, yield under SRI management increased by 1.6. t/ha (33%), with seed requirements reduced by 87% and, water savings of 28%. SRI required 9% more labor than FP on average, but this factor of production showed great variability; in three Mwea units, labor costs were reduced by an average of 13%. SRI required 30% more labor for weeding than FP in the first season, but this was reduced to 15% in the second season when push-weeders became available. The results showed SRI giving a higher benefit-cost ratio of 1.76 and 1.88 in the first and second seasons, respectively, compared to 1.3 and 1.35 for FP.The results indicated that SRI practices of planting younger seedlings, with wider spacing and intermittent irrigation, lead to increased paddy rice yields with concomitant rise in the income accruing to farmers. Possibly further increases in net benefit could come with enhanced availability of mechanical weeders and using organic material for fertilization. Up-scaling of SRI in Mwea can be expected to help achieve greater national and household food security. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Ndiiri J.A.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Mati B.M.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Home P.G.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Odongo B.,African Institute for Capacity Development
Taiwan Water Conservancy | Year: 2013

Field experiments were conducted in 2010 and 2011 during the main growing seasons at Mwea Irrigation Agricultural Development Center in the Mwea irrigation scheme, Kenya. Trials compared water savings and water productivity for Basmati 370 rice variety grown under System of Rice Intensification (SRI) management with reduced water applications (alternate wetting and drying, AWD) vs. conventional practice of continuous flooding (CF). During these years, a detailed farm survey was conducted to assess the yield improvements and water savings made by farmers using SRI crop and water management methods compared to usual farmer practices (FP) for rice cultivation. Data were collected through questionnaires and structured interviews from farmers who were practicing both SRI and FP methods of rice production on their farms. For this study, the factors considered as defining SRI were transplanting only one seedling per hill, aged 8-15 days, with spacing at least 20cm x 20cm; weeding the crop at least three times at intervals of ten days; and intermittently irrigating the fields. Contributions that could be made by using organic manure for fertilization and by soil-aerating weed control, as recommended for SRI, were not considered due to limited availability of organic materials and mechanical push-weeders at the time of the study. SRI gave the highest yields and water savings for both field trials and farmer surveys. In the field trials, average yield was increased by 1.7 t/ha while farmers reported average increases of 1.6 t/ha. The measured and reported savings of irrigation water were 31% and 30%, respectively. Average water productivity was similarly found to be higher with SRI management, raised by 140% and 100%, respectively, in experimental plots and farmer survey reports. These findings are consistent with similar evaluations in other countries. The results clearly indicated that SRI practices (planting younger seedlings, with wider spacing and intermittent irrigation) increase paddy rice yields with higher water productivity at both plot and farm levels. Possibly further increases in water productivity could come with still better water management by farmers and more organic materials for soil fertilization and soil-aerating weeding. From the study results, it is calculated that 3,857 additional hectares could be irrigated in the Mwea scheme using the water that could be saved with SRI management, Further, 54,000 tons more paddy could be produced annually from the scheme if SRI methods were used throughout. Up-scaling of SRI in Mwea can be expected to help achieve greater national and household food security.

Mati B.M.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology | Wanjogu R.,Mwea Irrigation and Agricultural Development Center | Odongo B.,African Institute for Capacity Development | Home P.G.,Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
Paddy and Water Environment | Year: 2011

There are various avenues for intensifying agricultural production, the most common being increased use of fertilizers, supplemental irrigation of crops, and adoption of high-yielding varieties. These options are rather widely known to farmers around the world, but they have not been widely adopted by smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa. The low adoption rate is related to complex technical and socio-economic issues, such as poor extension services, lack of capital, failure to mobilize the requisite water, or simply, poverty. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is in a special category of innovation in that, farmers stand to gain multiple benefits from its use, including the possibility of increasing rice yields substantially, saving water, and getting better grain quality, using differently the assets that they already have. A major impediment for the adoption of SRI in Africa has been lack of knowledge about this intervention, especially for farmers already practicing irrigated agriculture. Farmers generally have good business sense and will adopt technologies or practices once the benefits are proven and the risks are seen as minor. SRI should be attractive for these reasons, but there are various issues to be resolved before large numbers of farmers can adopt the method. This article reports on the steps taken and the technical and socio-economic issues addressed in efforts to introduce SRI and promote it in Kenya, specifically in the Mwea Irrigation Scheme. A diverse set of individuals and institutions in Kenya together embarked on the evaluation and dissemination of SRI methods in this East African country beginning in July 2009. If the new methods can perform in Kenya as in other countries, this will bring much benefit to rice farmers and rice consumers in the region. SRI is coming to Kenya relatively late, as it was the thirty-ninth country from which favorable SRI results have been reported. This means that Kenyans can learn from others' experience and evaluations, and there is also now more of a supportive institutional framework. The initial results from on-farm SRI trials have been positive, although not conclusive. They have given impetus to Kenyan farmers and institutions to collaborate within a multi-sectoral, multi-level coalition that has provided an informal, multi-faceted platform for the evaluation, adaptation and dissemination of SRI practices. The initiative in Kenya is now gaining more formal status and more resources. This experience is presented to show the kinds of things that have been and can be done to utilize the SRI opportunity for raising land, labor, and water productivity in the rice sector. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Gilioli G.,University of Brescia | Tikubet G.,African Institute for Capacity Development | Herren H.R.,Millennium Institute | Baumgartner J.,Global Center for the Analysis of Sustainable Agricultural Systems Global
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability | Year: 2015

In a peri-urban poverty-stricken community in the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 15 years of development efforts were undertaken by establishing an enterprise, which initially consisted of a horticultural farm and finally was composed of a multifunctional farm and a restaurant with a shop. The enterprise collaborated with BioEconomy Africa, which was charged with administrative, monitoring and facilitation tasks, and provided a training, demonstration and research facility. In the innovation process, the enterprise selected technologies and implemented them within the context of local economic and market conditions. The project benefitted from a flexible allocation of modest funds. This paper assesses the sustainability of the enterprise and the community on the basis of social–ecological system transformability and resilience. The scheme of the Food and Agriculture Organization is used to evaluate the transformability, while resilience is evaluated through self-organization capacity, disturbance absorption capacity, and learning and adaptability. The project period was divided into five Macro-phases. The transformability assessment of the enterprise revealed nonlinear and asynchronous dynamics of environmental sustainability, economic resilience, social well-being and governance that after reaching a minimum attained a maximum at the end of the period under observation. The resilience assessments showed that the self-organization capacity, the disturbance absorption capacity, and learning and adaptability slowly changed to reach a satisfactory level at the end of the observation period. The changes in transformability and resilience profoundly affected the livelihood of the community. The paper demonstrates the important role of agricultural in the development of poverty-stricken peri-urban communities and indicates that innovation processes and the efficiency of facilitation extension model implementation can be enhanced by applying adaptive project execution procedures. It can be concluded that the continuous monitoring and assessments of transformability and resilience are a prerequisite for efficiently moving the socio-ecological system on a smooth road towards a socially acceptable standard of living. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Ekobu M.,National Crops Resources Research Institute | Ekobu M.,Makerere University | Solera M.,National Crops Resources Research Institute | Solera M.,Makerere University | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Economic Entomology | Year: 2010

"Sweetpotato weevils" Cylas puncticollis (Boheman) and Cylas brunneus F. (Coleoptera: Brentidae) are the most important biological threat to sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas L. (Lam), productivity in sub-Saharan Africa. Sweetpotato weevil control is difficult due to their cryptic feeding behavior. Expression of Cylas-active Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry proteins in sweetpotato could provide an effective control strategy. Unfortunately, Bt Cry proteins with relatively high toxicity against Cylas spp. have not been identified, partly because no published methodology for screening Bt Cry proteins against Cylas spp. in artificial diet exists. Therefore, the initial aim of this study was to develop an artificial diet for conducting bioassays with Cylas spp. and then to determine Bt Cry protein efficacy against C. puncticollis and C. brunneus by using this artificial diet. Five diets varying in their composition were evaluated. The highest survival rates for sweetpotato weevil larvae were observed for diet E that contained the highest amount of sweetpotato powder and supported weevil development from first instar to adulthood, similar to sweetpotato storage roots. Seven coleopteranactive Bt Cry proteins were incorporated into diet E and toxicity data were generated against neonate C. puncticollis and second-instar C. brunneus. All Bt Cry proteins tested had toxicity greater than the untreated control. Cry7Aa1, ET33/34, and Cry3Ca1 had LC50 values below 1 g/g diet against both species. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using an artificial diet bioassay for screening Bt Cry proteins against sweetpotato weevil larvae and identifies candidate Bt Cry proteins for use in transforming sweetpotato varieties potentially conferring field resistance against these pests. © 2010 Entomological Society of America.

PubMed | African Institute for Capacity Development, Millennium Institute and University of Brescia
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of public health research | Year: 2014

This paper presents a framework for the development of socio-ecological systems towards enhanced sustainability. Emphasis is given to the dynamic properties of complex, adaptive social-ecological systems, their structure and to the fundamental role of agriculture. The tangible components that meet the needs of specific projects executed in Kenya and Ethiopia encompass project objectives, innovation, facilitation, continuous recording and analyses of monitoring data, that allow adaptive management and system navigation. Two case studies deal with system navigation through the mitigation of key constraints; they aim to improve human health thanks to anopheline malaria vectors control in Nyabondo (Kenya), and to improve cattle health through tsetse control and antitrypanosomal drug administration to cattle in Luke (Ethiopia). The second case deals with a socio-ecological navigation system to enhance sustainability, establishing a periurban diversified enterprise in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and developing a rural sustainable social-ecological system in Luke (Ethiopia). The project procedures are briefly described here and their outcomes are analysed in relation to the stated objectives. The methodology for human and cattle disease vector control were easier to implement than the navigation of social-ecological systems towards sustainability enhancement. The achievements considerably differed between key constraints removal and sustainability enhancement projects. Some recommendations are made to rationalise human and cattle health improvement efforts and to smoothen the road towards enhanced sustainability: i) technology system implementation should be carried out through an innovation system; ii) transparent monitoring information should be continuously acquired and evaluated for assessing the state of the system in relation to stated objectives for (a) improving the insight into the systems behaviour and (b) rationalizing decision support; iii) the different views of all stakeholders should be reconciled in a pragmatic approach to social-ecological system management. Significance for public healthRecently, there is a growing interest in studying the link between human, animal and environmental health. The connection between these different dimensions is particularly important for developing countries in which people face the challenge of escaping vicious cycle of high diseases prevalence, food insecurity driven by absolute poverty and population growth, and natural capital as a poverty trap. The design and implementation of such efforts, aiming at human health improvement and poverty alleviation, should be framed into adaptive social-ecological system management perspectives. In this paper, we present few case studies dealing with human health improvement through anopheline malaria vectors control in Kenya, cattle health improvement through tsetse vectored nagana control, antitrypanosomal drug administration to cattle in Ethiopia and with the development of rural sustainable communities in Ethiopia. Some recommendations are given to rationalise human and cattle health improvement efforts and to smoothen the road towards enhanced sustainability.

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