RUFORUM: Building agricultural universities’ capacity throughout Africa
Universities play an important and largely unfulfilled role in the well-being of small-scale farmers and the economic development of countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) supports universities to address this important role. Established in 2004, RUFORUM is a consortium of 46 African universities operating within 22 countries spanning the African continent.
Toolkits for invasive plants in East Africa
Many plants introduced to East Africa have escaped cultivation and are wreaking havoc. These invasive species are reducing biodiversity and negatively impacting livelihoods. Little is known about the number of invasive plant species present here, or their impact. This project aims to use communication technologies to improve the ability of national authorities to access and manage data which allow them to identify and control invasive species that threaten biodiversity in East Africa.
Measuring the livelihood impacts of invasive alien species in East Africa
Although a lot is known about the biodiversity impacts of introduced species in East and southern Africa, very little is known about the livelihood impacts that they have on communities that depend on the goods and services provided by ecosystems. The aim of this project is to determine the negative socio-economic impacts of selected invasive alien plants on poor rural communities, especially farmers, in East and southern Africa.
Toolkits for invasive plants in Laikipia, Kenya
Many exotic plant species introduced to Laikipia County, Kenya, have escaped cultivation and threaten biodiversity. Little is currently known however, about the presence of invasive species or their impact. Without this type of information, it is unlikely that various stakeholders will take action to effectively manage this threat. This project aims to fill some gaps and increase knowledge of invasive species in Laikipia for pastoralists and those actively involved in biodiversity conservation.
Controlling pest pear in Laikipia
Pastoralists in northern Kenya are heavily dependent on livestock. Their lives are being devastated by the non-native cactus Opuntia stricta. This weed has invaded the last good grazing land and when livestock and wildlife eat its fruits the spines can cause infection and death. Chemical and mechanical control methods are expensive and impractical, so we are helping to introduce a new sustainable method: a sap-sucking insect that feeds solely on the cactus.