News in Brief

    | July 8, 2013

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    Ghana: Sesame holds promise for increasing food security and income

    Sesame farming has huge potential in Ghana, according to the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV).

    Sesame is a relatively unknown cash crop in Ghana, but grows well in soils with low fertility, outperforming crops such as maize, millet and sorghum in these soils.

    Sesame has nutritional and financial benefits as well. The seeds are high in calcium, phosphorus and iron. SNV believes that growing and selling sesame could help improve food security and income for Ghana’s farmers.

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    Kenya: Traditional food preservation can decrease hunger

    Traditional food preservation can greatly increase household food security, according to the Community Action for Nature Conservation in Kenya.

    Theresa Achieng Okoth still practices the traditional preservation techniques she learned as a young girl. She sun-dries or smokes meat and fish to save money, preserving the foods for up to a year.

    In central Kenya, farmers traditionally preserved maize by mixing water with ash and sprinkling it on maize after harvest. Techniques that protect stored food from weevils and other insects can greatly reduce food spoilage, according to the United Nations Environment Program.

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    Zimbabwe: ‘Cattle bank’ promises easier credit for pastoralists

    Pastoralists can now deposit cows in return for cash at TN bank in Zimbabwe.

    Depositors get loans based on the value of their cattle. The farmers accrue interest on the cows, and have the option to buy them back after two years.

    The TN bank program offers a source of credit for those without traditional bank accounts. The program can also benefit aging farmers unable to care for their animals.

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