I wouldn’t have much to do”; that was the refrain sung by the German group, the Comedian Harmonists in the 1930s. The tranquil world of chicken farming as it was almost 100 years ago has long since disappeared and been replaced by intensive factory systems.
At the end of February, two experts from Biovision attended an international workshop at icipe in Nairobi, where together with 100 other participants they investigated concrete solutions.
How can the fall armyworm that rages in the maize fields of Kenya be stopped? There is a significant threat of crop failures and hunger. That is why international experts are looking for solutions at the icipe in Nairobi on 21-22 February. Biovision also has two specialists on site.
Why is it so important for Biovision to train farmers in Africa? Surely, farmers are the best judge of what they have to do? After all, their current practices are based on knowledge and experience built up over many years and adapted to local conditions.
How can Switzerland become sustainable in future? 250 decision-makers came together at the conference to launch SDSN Switzerland to develop tangible solutions.
… but no water for the head! That is an accurate description of the situation currently facing the camel keepers in Isiolo County supported by Biovision. Although the current drought is putting a severe strain on the camels, they withstand it significantly better than other livestock.
Some 250 decision makers will meet in Bern on 15 February in order to drive forward implementation by Switzerland of the global Sustainable Development Goals, The conference is being organised by SDSN Switzerland. The network jointly managed by Biovision and the CDE at the University of Bern.
A new study of the Swiss Research Institute for Biological Cultivation (FiBL) and the University of Basel shows that soil microbes can increase yields significantly and much less fertilisers are needed.
In a large coalition of Swiss environmental, human rights, consumer and farmer organisations, Biovision demands in a open letter to Johann Schneider-Amman, Minister for Economic Affairs, to keep palm-oil outside of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) being currently negotiated between Indonesia and Switzerland.
An analysis by Biovision of various scenarios has shown that even with additional financial resources Kenya is unlikely to achieve its agricultural goals by 2030. However, the right mix of sustainable and medium-term measures would achieve more than conventional strategies as the latter only have a short-term effect.
“When I first came here as a settler in 1982, there were lots of trees together with elephants and lions,” recalls Sabinus Ndolu, a farmer in Fulwe (Tanzania). Then, more and more people arrived; the trees disappeared and with them the animals. Now nature is hitting back. There is less and less rain and harvests have plummeted. Sabinus wants to change that.
Pius Mutia examines the unripe mangoes on one of his trees and then moves on to the next one. On reaching the shade, he stops to listen attentively to the agricultural adviser talking about how to care for fruit trees. Some 20 mango producers are already huddled around the adviser who is gesticulating wildly with his hands. From time to time they all burst out laughing.
A milestone for Biovision and a crucial step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The UN and its 193 Member States have resolved to place greater emphasis on agro-ecological principles in order to encourage globally sustainable food systems.
FOEN, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment has published a comprehensive study into the risks and opportunities of climate change in Switzerland. One of its main findings is the imminent threat to both agriculture and biodiversity.