CABI, a not for profit organization that improves people's lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment, is to meet with 16 of its African Member Countries to discuss new ways of improving agricultural and environmental practices.
The meeting - attended by key Government figures - will be held on 19th-20th September 2007, at the World Agroforestry Centre, in Gigiri, Nairobi. The meeting will focus on a joint strategies for Africa taking in the differing needs of individual countries.
The Permanent Secretary of Agriculture, Kenya says, "This meeting is an invaluable opportunity for Kenya and CABI to discuss the most pressing agricultural challenges which face our country and to develop effective strategies to tackle them."
For over 90 years, CABI has been working on key areas in African agriculture and the environment including invasive species, commodity crops and knowledge for development. Dennis Rangi, CABI's Executive Director International Development believes this meeting will see CABI's work become more country specific.
"For almost a century, we have been committed to helping African farmers improve their prospects and livelihoods. In light of the new challenges that our African farmer face, this meeting will give us an opportunity to get closer to the individual needs of our Member Countries and ensure that our help reaches the areas and people who need it most."
A number of their current projects show that CABI's approach is already becoming more bespoke. CABI's Angolan coffee project is one example. By understanding the problems faced by Angola after the civil war, CABI has been able to provide the necessary training, infrastructure and access to markets needed to rebuild their coffee industry.
Using knowledge to help farmers prosper in Ghana is another example. CABI has developed and distributed "The Ghanaian Cocoa Farmers' Newspaper", an easy to understand paper for farmers, containing up-to-date information on the best ways to farm cocoa and deal with environmental issues.
CABI is also tackling the threat of invasive species in specific African countries. Farmers across sub-Saharan Africa are being threatened Armyworms - a pest that devastates their crops. Thanks to CABI's work, scientists are now able to predict the armyworms' migration route, and warn farmers about possible outbreaks during the growing season.
The 16 Member Countries attending the meeting are: Botswana, Burundi, Cote d' Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.