Hey Readers!

A lot has been going on with Tech4agri.  As you may remember late last year we did a survey for our upcoming projects which you responded to and give great positive feedback. So we are working hard on getting these projects together!

Fortunately we were able to launch Tech4agri: the Podcast last February but we unfortunately did not get another episode out..until now! Introducing out first episode: Thought4Food!


Firstly, apologies in advance for the poor audio in some parts. We’re new to podcasting and just jumped right in so we are learning by doing.

This episode focuses on the threat of world hunger which many are unaware of. Our population will become significantly larger than it is now in just a few years.

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TFF logo

It’s finally here!!!!

The 2015 Thought for Food Summit takes place today and Tech4Agri will be there live! The event is held in Lisbon, Portugal a beautiful city with rich culture, and food that serves as a prominent hub for entrepreneurship & innovation.

Meet the finalists

Hundreds of teams from universities all around the world entered the TFF Challenge, each diverse, motivated and brave enough to tackle the challenge of “How to feed 9 billion people by the year 2050?” Can you imagine the ingenuity coming out of such a competition!

From improving post harvest losses with the use of thermochromic and hydrochromic labels to an alternative meat product derived from insects; from roof top and vertical farming to community action and cooperative skill development these teams have applied science, technology, communication and simple innovation to create amazing ideas that can certainly contribute to solving this global problem of food availability and access.

Following their hard work the finalist teams had a stellar bootcamp where they developed their ideas even futher and practiced their eventual live pitch which will be held on the second day of the summit. The best to them all! View their projects at the TFF Website.

The TFF Challenge 2015 finalists at their development bootcamp. Picture courtesy Thought for Food

The TFF Challenge 2015 finalists at their development bootcamp. Picture courtesy Thought for Food

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What drives you to succeed?

As customary on Tech4agri , we take the time to feature agriyouth like many of us out there striving for success. Understanding success factors certainly helps one along the way but it is not an exact formula. What is clear is that one must have that drive to pursue what he or she is truly after, exhausting every opportunity, to ensure they accomplish their goals.

This week we feature Machel A. Emanuel, a Dominican born, PhD student at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica. Machel’s academic background  features a Bsc. Zoology & Botany, following that an Msc. Plant Production and Protection.

Over time Machel opted for an academic career within the university community which led to a specific research area in crop science with a focus on post harvest techniques. Mainly his work is devoted to the physiology and biochemistry of fresh tropical and sub-tropical fruits during the maturation, ripening and storage stages.

Furthermore Machel has conducted research on some fruits such as ackee (Blighia sapida), june plum (Spondias dulcis), carambola (Averrhoa carambola), otaheite apple (Syzygium malaccense), soursop (Annona muricata) and custard apple (Annona reticulate) with much of his work featured on Acta Horticulturae, an immense online repository of horticultural research information.

He is also well networked as a member of the International Society for Horticultural Sciences (ISHS) and certified as an Organic Farm Inspector by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

Currently Machel is expanding his career, knowledge and field experience even further as a visiting scholar at the Horticultural Science Department, University of Florida.

Truly a dedicated individual, one can clearly see his efforts to build his reputation within the academic world. Trends within this strategy centre on finding a balance of skills and  certified qualifications  while simultaneously exposing oneself to related fields of study followed by narrowing one’s focus.

In a brief interview with Tech4Agri Machel explains more his method and continued efforts in agriculture.


Phd Candidate Mr. Machel A. Emmanuel

Phd Candidate Mr. Machel A. Emmanuel

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Pacific and Caribbean voices echo at global research forum

This week tech4agri welcomes Faumuina Tafuna’i, Media Officer at Women in Business Development Inc.  who is based on the Pacific island of Samoa.  We feature her work as our guest blogger this month following our engagement at the IFPRI Resilience Conference. As fellow youth in agriculture and journalism we shared similar thoughts on the Caribbean presence at the conference as well as overall impressions. Give her article a read!

Pacific Caribbean High Level Panel

At least we were there!

For the first time, Pacific and Caribbean voices were heard at an International Food Policy Research Institute conference – and it won’t be the last.

Asked why the Pacific and Caribbean regions had not been included before, Chief of staff and conference director Rajul Pandya-Lorch says IFPRI are mandated to work where there is the greatest concentration of populations.

However, through the support of The Technical Centre of Rural and Agricultural Co-operation (CTA), a Pacific and Caribbean delegation of private sector, civil agencies and government sector were able to attend the conference in Ethiopia themed on “Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition and Security”.

“Each of the conferences builds on including more actors,” says Pandya-Lorch. “We saw that with the South Asia conference where this time when we announced this conference, we got an immediate phone call from South Asia with an organization wanting to run a side event.

“That’s why CTA with their experience and networks are so important. And we would hope to amplify that participation at the next conference.”

This year’s conference attracted more than 800 participants – 300 more than Pandya-Lorch had anticipated – as well as 21 side events, twice the number of the last conference hosted in Delhi.

CTA sponsored a side event with a high-level Pacific and Caribbean panel to discuss “Enhancing resilience for food and nutrition security in small island economies”. Chaired by CTA director Michael Hailu, the panel also included Gyan Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

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Producers on the ‘Innocentive’ – Part 2

Greenhouse technology is by no means a new phenomenon. It has been made to perfection by producers of the Netherlands and other European countries,  out of the necessity to grow food year round.

Although the technology is meant to prevent the cold, many farmers around the world utilize the structure in protected agriculture, meaning it protects crops from any sort of weather particularly excessive precipitation.

In that sense Caribbean producers have long since adopted the technology notwithstanding a few modifications.

Some have only maintained or used a variation of the roof structure that is, the entire house has no walls or encasement. Conversely others have replaced the material the structure is made of from heavy plastic or glass to netting, shade cloth and other types.

These designs have led to the creation of shade houses. The reason behind these modifications are clear.

The Caribbean region lies within the tropic zone which means excessive heat becomes a major problem with fully intact greenhouses.

Producers on the Innocentive2

Therefore the producers illustrated above, husband and wife agriculturist team, Jude and Sam have accomplished what many could not.

Their greenhouse is in fact, completely intact. As you can see, they utilize misters, fans and a combination of polyethylene (plastic) roofing and netted walls which combat the heat.

In addition irrigation lines are run to feed each of the tomato, sweet pepper and chive plants within the structure with fertilizer on an electronic timer. In short the entire system is automated.

Misters and other mechanics trigger according to temperature within the vast greenhouse. Even so the greenhouse also makes use of simple items such as trellis clips,  plastic potting and soil less medium.

Although the initial set up cost was high, and the system requires frequent attention, the quality of produce that Jude and Sam receive are above par. Such produce assures a higher earning market and contract farming deals.

This two person team has proven that full scale greenhouse technology can work effectively. However they have advised that one must ‘Stay Dedicated!’ in order to succeed.

“Made in Agriculture: Part Two”

Readers, Do you remember these posts?

These are all posts made over a year ago on the tech4agri blog. At the time they were all ideas or in the testing stage of their design and intended implementation. Other items along with the aforementioned were simply conceptual but has the potential for great impact. Let’s have a brief recap of these technologies. Have they been updated?

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