A platform technology for improving livelihoods of resource poor farmers in sub-Saharan Africa


Africa faces increasingly serious problems in its ability to feed its rapidly growing population, resulting in high hunger and poverty incidences. Growth in agricultural productivity is essential to reduce hunger and poverty and ensure food security. Agricultural growth can be achieved by reducing incidence of the major constraints to productivity such as pests, weeds and degraded soils. These constraints are responsible for the continent’s crop productivity being the lowest in the world (around 1t/ha compared with 2.4t/ha in South Asia, 3.2t/ha in Latin America and 4.5t/ha in East Asia and Pacific), and cause high levels of hunger, malnutrition and poverty. More.....

Stemborers, parasitic striga weeds and poor soil fertility are the three main constraints to efficient production of cereals in SSA. Losses caused by stemborers can reach as high as 80% in some areas and an average of about 15-40% in others. Losses attributed to striga weeds on the other hand range between 30 and 100% in most areas, and are often exacerbated by the low soil fertility prevalent in the region. The soils are highly degraded due to continuous cropping with limited or no external inputs to improve soil fertility. When the two pests occur together, farmers often lose their entire crop. Crop losses caused by stemborers and striga weeds amount to about US $ 7 billion annually, affecting mostly the resource poor subsistence farmers. More.....

A conservation agricultural approach known as `Push-Pull' technology has been developed for integrated management of stemborers, striga weed and soil fertility. Push-Pull was developed by scientists at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), in Kenya and Rothamsted Research, in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with other national partners. The technology is appropriate and economical to the resource-poor smallholder farmers in the region as it is based on locally available plants, not expensive external inputs, and fits well with traditional mixed cropping systems in Africa. To date it has been adopted by over 89, 182 smallholder farmers in East Africa where maize yields have increased from about 1 t/ha to 3.5 t/ha, achieved with minimal inputs. More.....

News and Updates

Napier Stunt Break Through
"It was so incredible to hear and observe the impact of Climate-Smart Push-Pull on the lives of adopting farmers. To see not only a tremendous increase in yield but also an abundant improvement in overall livelihood was unfathomable. Education, nutrition, and opportunities unbiased to gender are just a few of the benefits that have proved the effectiveness of this agricultural technology-it was beyond anything I could have imagined".

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Napier Stunt Break Through
The discovery is a key milestone as it will help farmers increase production by planting fodder grass varieties that are resistant to the disease. Researches have identified this bacteria that causes Napier Stunt Disease.A three year study at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology to boost production in dairy farming sought to identify the varieties of Napier grass that are resistant to the disease and educate farmers on how to contain them.More....

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Napier Stunt Break Through
Farmers in western Kenya have begun planting disease-resistant varieties of Napier grass, the major source of fodder for smallholder dairy farms in East Africa, to begin to reverse the drastic cut in fodder production due to Napier Stunt Disease (NSD) since the 1990s. More...

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launch_2014
The launch of the McKnight-funded project titled ‘Saving the Smallholder Dairy industry in East Africa: Validation and Implementation of an Integrated Management Approach for Napier Stunt Disease was held at Rock -Motel - Kisumu on 17th March 2014.

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Our Goal
“To end hunger and poverty for 10 million people by extending Push-Pull technology to 1 million households in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020”, Zeyaur Khan, Coordinator, Push-Pull Programme
A TWAS Fellow
Prof. Zeyaur Khan has been elected a Fellow of TWAS, The World Academy of Sciences.....More....
TWAS Prize in Agriculture
Prof. Zeyaur R. Khan, Principal Scientist & Programme Leader; Coordinator, Push-Pull Programme, was announced as a co-winner of the TWAS Prize .....More....
Adopters
Push-pull farmers