Rapid urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has resulted in an increase in demand for food. Almost 33% of the SSA population, close to 200 million people, is undernourished. Fruit and vegetable consumption in SSA remains 22-82% below the intake value threshold of 400 g/day recommended by the World Health Organization and Food and Agricultural Organization. This severe malnutrition leads to many chronic diseases among the populations. Vegetable growers, mainly small holders are poor and have no access to inputs for improved germplasm, pest and disease control tools, and improved crop production techniques. Vegetable farms are routinely devastated by pests and extended drought conditions. We propose to harness alternative pest management techniques, micro-climate modifications, and growers’ education and training to improve small-scale vegetable production in East and West Africa4,5,7.
- Optimize and adapt EFN (Eco-friendly net) and other row cover technologies for year-round production of vegetables under diverse local conditions (climate, crop/cultivar, irrigation, pests and pathogens).
- Determine the costs, benefits, and socio-economic viability of EFN and row cover technologies.
- Increase local human capacity, women empowerment, adoption and use of locally adapted adaptable eco-friendly nets and other row covers in target communities.
- Our partner A to Z is currently developing strategies for appropriate recycling of end-of-life nets and covers.
- Benin: West Africa
- Kenya: East Africa
Research and Extension Plan
Kenya: The new technology has not been experimented on tomato in Benin or on tomato and cabbage in Kenya. Therefore, the first step will focus on research station trials to identify and address technical constraints. The second step will involve a limited number of innovative farmers to identify constraints to adoption. The final step will be large-scale on-farm implementation of the technology with over 50 farmers per country.
Benin: Previous studies have demonstrated efficacy of nets for production of cabbage in Benin4,5. Most technical constraints have been identified and the technology is currently in the extension phase. In 2011 a total of 40 farmers have volunteered to host demonstration sites. In 2012 and 2013 the number of farmers cooperators will be scaled up to 100.
- Improve vegetable quality and productivity by developing innovative technologies adapted to climate change
- Improve pest control by strengthening IPM strategies
- Reduce the dependence on pesticides and their negative environmental impacts
- Create new jobs around the production and the recycling of EFN
- Gogo E.O, M. Saidi, F.M. Itulya, T. Martin, and M. Ngouajio. 2012. Microclimate Modification Using Eco-Friendly Nets for High Quality Tomato Transplant Production by Small-Scale Farmers in East Africa. HortTechnology, 22:292-298.
- Gogo, E.O. 2013. Influence of eco-friendly nets and floating cover on microclimate modification, pest infestation, growth and yield of tomato [Lycopersicon esculentum (Mill.)]. MSc. Thesis, Egerton University, Kenya.
- Gogo, E.O. M. Saidi, F.M. Itulya, T. Martin, and M. Ngouajio. 2014. Eco-Friendly Nets and Floating Row Covers Reduce Pest Infestation and Improve Tomato [Solanum lycopersicum (L.)] Yields for Smallholder Farmers in Kenya. Agronomy,4:1-12.
- Licciardi S., F. Assogba-Komlan, I. Sidick, F. Chandre, JM Hougard and T. Martin 2008. A temporary tunnel screen as an eco-friendly method for small-scale growers to protect cabbage crop in Benin. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, 27, 152-158.
- Martin T., Assogba-Komlan F., Houndete T., Hougard J.M. and Chandre F. 2006. Efficacy of mosquito netting for sustainable small holders’ cabbage production in Africa. Journal of Economic Entomology, 2006, 99, 450-454.
- Muleke E.M, M. Saidi, F.M. Itulya, T. Martin, and M. Ngouajio. 2013. The Assessment of the Use of Eco-Friendly Nets to Ensure Sustainable Cabbage Seedling Production in Africa. Agronomy, 3:1-12.
- Nair, A. and M. Ngouajio. 2010. Integrating row covers and soil amendments for organic cucumber production: Implications on crop growth, yield, and microclimate. HortScience 45(4):566-574.
- Saidi, M., E. O. Gogo,F. M. Itulya, T. Martin and M. Ngouajio. 2013. Microclimate modification using eco-friendly nets and floating row covers improves tomato [Lycopersicon esculentum (Mill ] yield and quality for small holder farmers in East Africa. Agricultural Sciences, 4:577-584.
This work is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Award No. EPP-A-00-09-00004. The contents are the responsibility of Horticulture CRSP project BioNetAgro investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.