FRW news in brief

    | July 28, 2014

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    1-Tanzania: Researchers urge farmers to adopt intercropping and organic fertilizer

    Agricultural experts from Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique and Malawi came together recently in Arusha, Tanzania, at a meeting organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA.

    There was general agreement that in order to increase yields, small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa need to embrace farming systems that include intercropping and organic fertilizers.

    AGRA Tanzania Project Coordinator Stephen Lyimo says intercropping improves productivity and profitability while organic fertilizers improve soil fertility.

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    2-Ethiopia: Seed banks increase farmers’ options

    Small-scale farmers in Ethiopia are benefiting from seed banks in community-based training centres across the country. The most recent to open is in the Oromia region.

    There are now 18 seed banks spread across Ethiopia’s Oromia, Amhara and Southern regions. Farmers can source and plant a greater variety of seeds from these banks, which also serve as training centres for local farmers, including women, on beekeeping and horticulture.

    The community centres also provide farmers with greater access to information to combat the effects of climate change. Ethio-Organic Seed Action and the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity plan to expand the seed banks into more areas of the country.

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    3-Uganda: Refugees and asylum seekers prosper

    Many of the 387,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda have been able to find enough work to support themselves and their families. This is helping to relieve the burden on humanitarian services in the country.

    Most live in refugee settlements where they can farm and earn a living, although many have relocated to Kampala and other parts of the country.

    A research team from Oxford University’s Humanitarian Innovation Project found that 78 per cent of refugee households in Kampala no longer receive assistance from the UNHCR or other agencies. In refugee settlements, 17 per cent of households receive no assistance.

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