A Stunning Alternative!

Pressures on the world’s meat production system is mounting. Issues such as chemical additives, threats to human health, poor food safety and handling, the stress production causes on the environment, the prevalence of ‘factory made meats’ and inhumane treatment of animals as well as a disregard for animal health are all hot topics of today’s world.

Livestock production despite being a major source of livelihood for millions of small farmers has a poor view in the eyes of the world’s watchdogs simply due to the irresponsible action of a few thousand large scale producers. As a result an alternative is now coming to life: Bug meat!



What! Eating insects? Yes this is a thing or rather a re-surging way to be fed. Entomophagy is the practice of eating insects  – including arachnids (tarantulas) and myriapods (centipedes). This is an age old human practice from civilizations of the past.

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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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World Food Day 2014 –Tobago

This video highlights just some of the many activities of #WFD14 on the island of Tobago. The stakeholders of the local agricultural sector impress attendees every year with the varied areas of interest that agriculture provides. Many are encouraged to began production at home and more importantly to venture into the sector on a part time basis or even as a full fledged producer. Kudos to videographer, LukeSmith T.V for capturing these activities and most notably highlighting the youth who are exposed to our all important industry at such a young age.

Reblogged from ICT4Ag Blog

In the Caribbean region, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is prevalent with mobile penetration at a particularly high level. Access to computers, smart phones, tablets and other ICTs is needed in every industry, with the easiest access found in the business, education, tourism, commerce and energy industries. However, with respect to the agricultural sector, ICT support varies considerably across the islands.

Some countries, such as Jamaica make heavy use of ICTs and social media in their various agricultural authorities such as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). Conversely in several other islands, ministerial facilities and divisions are on occasions under-resourced and lack appropriate technologies which could improve service and efficiency.

Regardless, there are several examples that can be found, whereby business and research divisions source the necessary equipments to facilitate their needs, particularly along the agri-food value chain.

At the University of the West Indies Field Station in Trinidad and Tobago, livestock researchers have employed microchip technology to assist in research efforts for Agouti production. Agoutis are large mammals belonging to the rodent family. This wild mammal is native to South America and the Caribbean. Along with other animals such as manicou and iguana, it is referred to and consumed locally as ‘wild meat’ meaning that it must be hunted.

Agouti of the Field station’s production system

Agouti of the Field station’s production system

Conversely, research efforts at the agricultural field station have established a production system for the animal similar to that of rabbit production and other small ruminants. The aim is to facilitate a timely value chain that will provide the meat to the public which is in high demand. Although micro chipping animals is not a novel idea, establishment of an entirely new option in meat production is. Using the technology, researchers are able to communicate and record important data such as genealogy, size and growth rate which will then support research activity. Despite this interesting precedent, researchers face issues in acquiring the necessary funding for continued and further investigate work.

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The Thought for Food Summit – Truly Motivating!

TFFChallengeWow! This is all I had to say about the Thought for Food Global Summit! Truly a different experience. Each aspect of the competition leading up to the Summit, held, 20- 22 September in Berlin, was geared towards young people. 97% of the attendees were all under 35 years. Emphasis was placed on idea sharing, thinking outside of the box, starting a movement, networking  and much more all geared the need towards uprooting the status quo (#uprootthestatusquo) as it relates to hunger, obesity, global food systems and food security. Attendees were able to meet with and learn immensely from experts and real world practitioners in agriculture, innovation, entrepreneurship, venture capital, public policy, and food science of the future.

(Click the picture link to the left for the #TFFChallenge Overview)

“Thought For Food inspires new ideas and bold approaches to tackle the world’s food issues. This is a wake up call. The world’s food system needs changing, and business as usual won’t cut it. We need new thinking, inspired solutions and urgent action to make a difference. That’s why we have created Thought for Food.”

In just two days, myself and other team members have learned so much. Our minds have literally been opened in terms of thinking not only about food issues but our personal approach to the situation. Not to mention the sheer number of  dedicated, young people, entrepreneurs, researchers and travelers from all around the world looking to make a difference in one way or other.

Photos by Tobias Jaeger - Thought for Food Challenge Organizing Team and Luke Smith of Lukesmithtv

Photos by Tobias Jaeger – Thought for Food Challenge Organizing Team and Luke Smith of Lukesmithtv

The future lies in Vertical Farming

More and more the talk of the global agriculture diaspora centres on the ever increasing global population and the threat of food insecurity. Currently the global agri food system is steeped in money, food wastage and an economical contrived structure that makes it extremely difficult to feed the world. That being said it is not impossible. However fighting the giant that is today’s food system is not the best route to solving food and nutrition issues for developing countries.

In the nation of Singapore, one company has made strides to tackle the issue via vertical farming. This concept has been feature on tech4agri before. However it is no longer a concept and very much a viable agricultural technique. Sky Greens has had created a powerful system to bring fresh grown vegetables to the country’s local food system. For more on their efforts visit this VIDEO LINK.

According to their website, Sky Greens

“The World’s first low carbon hydraulic water-driven, tropical vegetable urban vertical farm, using green urban solutions to achieve enhanced green sustainable production of safe, fresh and delicious vegetables, using minimal land, water and energy resources.”

Sky Greens

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