Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New information platform for East African farmers

01.11.2007
Farmers in Eastern Africa can now, at the click of a button, have free access to the most recent, scientifically-based and region specific information on sustainable methods for the prevention and control of pests and vectors that are harmful to humans, animals and plants.

The development comes as a result of an internet platform, www.infonet-biovision.org, launched today by icipe – African Insect Science for Food and Health and the Swiss-based BioVision Foundation with funding from the Principality of Liechtenstein, through its Government Development Agency.

The site, explained BioVision Chief Executive Officer, Andreas Schriber, is different from search engines because it is designed with farmers, and trainers of farmers in mind. “Imagine a tomato farmer whose crop is invested by a disease. In order to protect the plants, he needs to identify the disease first. If he types in “tomato diseases” in one of the general search engines available on the world wide web (www), the result might be millions of pages. Most of them will be characterised by heavy scientific jargon, and the farmer will have a difficult time sieving through all of them,” he says.

Mr Schriber notes that in contrast, www.infonet-biovision.org, has collated all the various possible diseases of tomatoes in the region, and their visual symptoms, either through photographs or illustrations. “All the farmer will have to do is identify the picture that most closely represents the damage on his crop, and he will be guided to carefully selected and edited methods, tips and strategies, on how to go the problem.”

This information, emphasises icipe Director General, Prof Christian Borgemeister, is scientifically accurate, having been compiled by local and international experts in collaboration with a network of partner organizations. More importantly, it incorporates farmers’ perspective.

Currently, explains project leader Monique Hunziker the site incorporates information on over 40 major pests from those that affect the production in the farms, such as aphids, to those that damage the crop while in storage. This material has taken into consideration more than 35 major crops, vegetables and fruits grown in East Africa.

“This is a starting point that we are building-up on, adding more content on a daily basis. We have, for instance, already started to put together information on soil and water conservation, natural enemies, on medicinal plants, the processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables and on organic farming and plant nutrition,” says Mr Schriber.

In addition, the plan is to integrate information on simple and environmentally safe technologies and approaches to generate incomes, and more information on human health (integrated malaria control) and animal health (i.e. animal keeping, tsetse, tick control) and many more issues.

icipe and BioVision are aware that for farmers to take advantage of this initiative, they must at least have access to a computer, and the ability to use it. Initial field tests of Infonet, however, show that even for beginners with no computer knowledge whatsoever, it takes as little as 20 minutes to get acquainted with the platform.

For farmers who have computers but no internet access there is an off-line version of Infonet available, downloadable immediately from the website or available on Compact Discs or USB flash sticks.

Liz Nganga | alfa
Further information:
http://www.infonet-biovision.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops
17.01.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

nachricht Robotic weeders: to a farm near you?
10.01.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>