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RESOURCES
Alternative Arable Cropping Strategies: A Key to Enhanced Productivity, Resource-Use-Efficiency, and Soil-Health under Subtropical Climatic Condition
December 11 2017 by INKOA

There are 115 million operational holdings in the country and about 80 % are marginal and small farmers. To fulfill the basic needs of house hold including food (cereal, pulses, oilseeds, feed, fodder, fiber etc.) warrant an attention about Alternative Arable Cropping Strategies (AACS). Undoubtedly, majority of the farmers are doing farming since long back but their main focus was individual components but not in a strategies way. The strategies is made in such a way that product of one component should be the input for other enterprises with high degree of complimentary effects on each other. The information on AACS in a systematic way is presented here.

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Document relevant to the topic/s: Production and post-harvest technologies and practices
Evaluation of an organic package of practice towards integrated management of Solanum tuberosum and its comparison with conventional farming
December 4 2017 by INKOA

A study was taken up during 2014-16 for evaluating the potential of an organic package of practice towards integrated crop production (green farming) in comparison to conventional farmers’ practice in West Bengal, India. Under green farming, compost was integrated with chemical fertilizer for soil management while organic plant/ pest management was undertaken utilizing Inhana Rational Farming (IRF) Technology. The study indicated higher yield (9.7 %), higher nutrient use efficiency and economic sustainability under green farming irrespective of study area or potato variety. Higher qualitative expression in terms of starch content, pulp pH, vitamin C etc. under green farming might be due to the organic plant management aimed at energization of plant biochemical functions. Soil quality development as noted under green farming might have been influenced by the on-farm produced compost containing rich self- generated micro flora (in order of 1016 per colony forming unit.). The study indicated that green farming may serve as an efficient substitute of conventional farming towards yield sustenance, abatement of food toxicity and quality end product; through higher use of renewable energy and activation of plant physiological functions.

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Document relevant to the topic/s: Production and post-harvest technologies and practices
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RECENT NEWS
Kenya Plant Health and Inspectorate Service launches new analytical LabDecember 14 2017

Demand for agricultural produce has over the years experienced a steady growth especially for international market but has faced lots of red lights due to poor or unmet standards with some products having to face partial ban. With agriculture being the backbone of the country’s economy, the laboratory comes as a relief to the sector as it will ensure that produce from Kenya meets the required international standards.  The facility that was unveiled by Deputy President William Ruto was completed at a cost of Ksh.250 million and has come in handy to help address challenges related to quality standards. Kenya now has a facility where testing of fertilizers, seeds, soil and water can be carried out before being used by farmers. This will also facilitate the production of healthy plants, sustainable agro-environment and safe trade. 

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Experts root for innovative ways to protect potato, cassava farmers against effects of climate changeDecember 11 2017

African governments should promote innovative risk management tools and approaches to safeguard root and tuber farmers against challenges caused by climate change to ensure sustainable productivity in the sector, experts have said.

They added that there is need to ease farmer access to information about weather and climate, saying this will support efforts aimed helping them (farmers) to manage climatic risks that threaten food security and sustainable development. 

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Kenya: Nyeri County to Build Sh6 Million Store for Potato, Onion FarmersNovember 27 2017

The Nyeri County government will build a Sh6 million store in Kieni as it seeks to cushion potato and onion farmers against post-harvest losses. The store will provide an information centre and proper storage areas which will prolong the shelf life of the harvest by four to six months and also maintain consistence in quality. According to the Agriculture Executive Henry Kinyua, farmers lose up to 40 percent of their total produce in post-harvest losses. "Our analysis indicates that prices of onions and potatoes increase three times in two to three months after harvesting," he said. 

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UPCOMING EVENTS
From 07/02/2018 to 09/02/2018Graz, Austria

The complexity of climate change means that appropriate approaches, methods and tools to communicate the problem and its various ramifications are urgently needed. Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) clearly addresses the importance of climate change communication to the general public and reiterates the need to engaging the various stakeholders in debating this issue. It also highlights the responsibility of the UNFCCC signatories countries to develop and implement educational and public awareness programmes on climate change and its effects, to ensure public access to information, and to promote public participation in addressing communication issues. 

From 19/02/2018 to 09/03/2018The Netherlands

Today, markets have become mainstream instruments for poverty reduction, smallholder inclusion and increased food & nutrition security. However, market dynamics, failures and shortcomings often diminish the desired impacts and/or long term effects. This international course shows participants to which extent and in which manner markets can be used to induce and prolong positive change.

From 09/04/2018 to 20/04/2018Campus WUR, The Netherlands

This course aims to offer a systems thinking and systems dynamics approach on agriculture as well as skills and tools to design innovative, resilient and sustainable food systems. It looks at how to balance between producing food, managing natural resources, dealing with uncertainty and providing an livelihood base for the rural population. It will move beyond the technical realm looking also at the role and involvement of public, private and civil stakeholders for inclusion of social, environmental, economic, and political aspects.

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