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Spirit Newsletter nº20 / July 2017

Dear Spirit Forum member,

Last month we launched new documents in the resources section of the Spirit portal. Especially, the document Effect of organic and conventional farming systems on nitrogen use efficiency of potato, maize and vegetables in the Central highlands of Kenya, which is focused on determining the effect of conventional and organic farming systems at low and high management intensities on N uptake and N use efficiency of potato, maize, cabbage, kale and Swiss chard.

Moreover, Rwandan small-scale farmers have denounced high cost of irrigation technologies needed to avoid dependence on rain-fed agriculture. The farmers said that effective irrigation technologies (one set made up with an engine and irrigation accessories) are expensive, costing over Rwf1 million.

New topics were added to our LinkedIn group this month. Check out and join at East Africa Potato Value Chain!

Next 31st August-1st September, The Responsible Business Forum (RBF) on Sustainable Development will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The RBF will examine each of the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in depth with case studies and perspectives from businesses, governments, UN agencies and NGOs, investors and international experts.


Kind regards,

The Spirit Project Coordination Group

RESOURCES

A rapidly changing Phytophthora infestans population expected to be avirulent on up-coming biotech potato in East-Africa
July 7 2017 by INKOA

Phytophthora infestans (Pi) is the causative pathogen for the late blight disease in potato. It remains one of the most devastating plant pathogens worldwide amidst a shift in its population with changes that influence disease management. East-Africa has recently reported a change in its Pi population with a fitter clonal genotype, KE-1, discovered in Kenya in only two fields in 2007, which is now displacing the old US-1 in East-Africa assumed to have been around since 1941. We have recently developed for Africa late blight resistant (LBr) potato varieties, Desiree and Victoria, bearing 3 R genes (RB, Rpi-blb2 isolated from Solanum bulbocastanum and the Rpi-vnt1.1 isolated from S. venturii). After three seasons of field-testing the transgenic LBr potato in Uganda, we can report that all the transgenic events were completely resistant to late blight. Furthermore, we have documented the changes in Pi population that has taken place throughout the 2015-2016 cropping season of the CFT and the results show a displacement of the old and unique US-1 lineage by the new KE-1 lineage. We also observed that none of the Pi isolates screened from the confined field trials exhibit virulent effector genes that could potentially overcome any of the 3 R genes.

Effect of organic and conventional farming systems on nitrogen use efficiency of potato, maize and vegetables in the Central highlands of Kenya
July 10 2017 by INKOA

Increased per capita food production in the tropics is closely tied to soil organic matter and water management , timely nitrogen (N) supply and crop N use efficiency (NUE) which are influenced by farming systems. However, there is lack of data on the effect of organic farming systems on NUE and how this compares to conventional farming systems under tropical conditions. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the effect of conventional and organic farming systems at low and high management intensities on N uptake and N use efficiency of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), maize (Zea mays L.), cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. Capitata), kale (Brassica oleracea var. Acephala) and Swiss chard (Beta vul-garis sub sp. Cicla).

Formative Gender Evaluation: Technical Report on the Viable Sweetpotato Technologies in Africa – Tanzania project
July 19 2017 by INKOA

This report is based on a qualitative formative gender evaluation of the Viable Sweetpotato Technologies for Africa (VISTA) Tanzania project implemented in seven districts in the Mbeya, Iringa and Morogoro regions, which are part of USAID’s (United States Agency for International Development) Feed the Future zone of influence.

View all resources

NEWS

EVENTS

Drones Measure Nitrogen Application in Potato Farming

July 21 2017

The researchers at Wageningen University & Research announced that the ‘Toward precision agriculture 2.0’ research program has included a group of potato farmers carrying out test runs with sensor observations by drones. The drone images show exactly where they should apply more or less nitrogen on their fields, allowing farmers to use the product more efficiently.

Rwandan small-scale farmers denounce high cost of irrigation technologies

July 5 2017

Small-scale farmers have decried the cost of effective irrigation techniques needed to avoid dependence on rain-fed agriculture. The farmers said that effective irrigation technologies (one set made up with an engine and irrigation accessories) are expensive, costing over Rwf1 million.

Zambian farmers call on Government to protect potato growers from cheap imports from South Africa

July 21 2017

A local Zambian commercial farmer has called on Government to protect potato growers from cheap imports from South Africa. Stuart Cooke, who is managing director of Chartonel Farms in Lusaka, said a lot of cheap potatoes are allowed onto the Zambian market from South Africa, which is disadvantaging local farmers. “Cheap imports are really affecting us. Our new crop is just coming in, but they have flooded the market with cheap imports from South Africa. Zambia is being used as a dumping ground for South African produce. Only when the price in South Africa is very low do they sell here and that affects our market in a big way,” Mr Cooke said.

View all news

African Green Revolution Forum 2017

From 04/09/2017 to 08/09/2017 — Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Initiated in 2010, the African Green Revolution Forum brings together African Heads of State, Ministers, farmers, private agribusiness firms, donors, financial institutions, NGOs, civil society, scientists, and other stakeholders to discuss and develop concrete investment plans for achieving the green revolution in Africa.

In a region is challenged by climate change, rapidly growing urban populations, and an urgent need for jobs, agriculture offers solutions, providing a clear path to food security and employment opportunities for all Africans. 

Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development 2017

From 31/08/2017 to 01/09/2017 — Maslow Convention Centre, Johannesburg (South Africa)

The Responsible Business Forum (RBF) on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, 31 August – 01 September 2017, will examine each of the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in depth with case studies and perspectives from businesses, governments, UN agencies and NGOs, investors and international experts.

SA Innovation Summit

From 06/09/2017 to 08/09/2017 — Cape Town, South Africa

The SA Innovation Summit is a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing South African innovation. Annually, the Summit offers numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs, innovators, thought-leaders, policymakers, inventors and investors to drive innovation in South Africa and inspire sustained economic growth.

View all events

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