United States and India Help Improve Farming in Africa
PRESS RELEASE - 30th Oct, 2013
New Delhi - The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced three new partnerships to share successful low-cost agricultural innovations and technologies with African countries.
USAID has granted financial awards to three Indian organizations through its India-Africa Agriculture Innovations Bridge Program, aimed at sharing Indian innovations with African countries for increased food security and nutrition under Feed the Future, the U.S Government's Global Hunger & Food Security Initiative. The technologies to be shared were developed by Indian innovators and include a low-cost tractor, an organic fertilizer, and a solar dryer. All were devised to increase farmers' agricultural yields and incomes by mechanizing their operations, fertilizing depleted soils, and preventing post-harvest losses.
USAID, in partnership with Indian non-profit organization Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI) will transfer three types of low-cost mechanization and processing equipment to Kenya. Indian and African organizations will demonstrate new technologies and promote local manufacturing to ensure long-term sustainability.
In partnership with Indian company AquAgri Processing Private Limited, USAID will improve agriculture production by promoting African farmers' use of organic fertilizer made out of a seaweed extract. Over the next three years, the company will develop a fertilizer concentrate and powder to export and market to at least seven African countries. Public and private sector entities in Africa will conduct trials to ensure the fertilizer's effectiveness on African crops.
USAID is also partnering with Indian non-profit organization Science for Society to introduce Solar Conduction Dryers (SCD) in Africa for reducing post-harvest losses. SCD is a solar powered food dehydrator that reduces moisture content in food crops and extends their shelf-life up to one year. This drying process allows better retention of nutrients, color, flavor, and hygiene than open-sun drying. This unique low-cost Indian innovation provides an electricity-free solution to preserve food in some environments where there is not ready access to electricity.