Public Release: 

CABI meets African countries to discuss improving agriculture

CABI

The meeting - attended by key Government figures - will be held on 19th-20th September 2007, at the World Agroforestry Centre, in Gigiri, Nairobi. It will see CABI focus on a joint Africa strategy 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 facing our African farmers, 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.

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Journalists are welcome to come along for the opening speech by The Permanent Secretary of Agriculture, Kenya on Wed 19th September. Please contact Billiah Maende on 254 (20) 72 24450.

For all other media enquires please contact Lynsey Sterrey on +44 (0) 1491 829 361 or email l.sterrey@cabi.org.

Editors notes:

About CABI

CABI is a not for profit organisation that improves people's lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. Its mission and direction is influenced by its 45 member countries who help guide the activities undertaken as a business. These include scientific publishing, projects and consultancy, information for development and mycological services. CABI's activities contribute directly to achieving Global Development Objectives, particularly those concerned with poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and partnership for development.

For more information on CABI go to www.cabi.org

The 16 African 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.

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