Knowledge for Development

Cut flowers

Learning and Innovation in Agri-Export Industries

In many developing countries, the contribution of small scale farmers to the high value cut flower export business has been minimal and on the decline. In this book, Dr Maurice Bolo examines the role of partnerships between farmers and exporters in building farmers’ innovation capabilities. The book applies the lenses of innovation systems and value chain analysis to examine how institutions, power dynamics and governance patterns influence the opportunities for interactions, learning and innovation within these partnerships.


Kenyan firm wants to harness water hyancith

Simon Njoroge Mwaura, the CEO, Hyacinth Inc, Kenya wants to succeed where science has not in taming the notorious and invasive water hyacinth from the Kenyan waters. Speaking in Nairobi recently while announcing an oncoming conference in September aimed at brining together all organisations handling water hyacinth, Mwaura revealed that Hyaquip has designed a water hyacinth processing equipment to harvest, process and utilize the hyacinth, other water mash plants and plants with soft tissues as raw material to manufacture organic fertiliser. The harvested hyacinth is processed into raw material for commercial use, i.e. fertilizers after drying and extracting 95 percent of its water content. The company has utilized this troublesome weed as a golden weed that will provide the world with much needed organic fertilizers and will benefit developing countries mainly in Africa to utilize the weed that is available in hundred's of acres in the fresh waters mainly lakes, rivers and large ponds (Source: by Henry Neondo, African Science News Serivce, 25 June 2008).


Biotechnology in ornamental horticulture

This article appears in volume 41 number five of the journal In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology – Plant (2005). To access the article subscription is needed. It provides a review about transformation systems and potential genes of interest that are available in the field of ornamental horticulture. Genetic engineering techniques have so far had limited impact. As outlined in this review, the development of new, novel varieties is an important driving force in the industry, there are, therefore, good prospects for the development of genetically modified ornamental varieties. The few products in the market to date may simply be a reflection of the relatively small scale of the industry compared to the major food crops, and the wide diversity of species within it. Commercial issues attendant to the use of gene technology in ornamental plants need careful consideration. These include careful choice of crop and background variety, the international regulatory process and freedom to operate. Read this document.