‘ICAC Recorder’ tackles Insect Management – African extension Programmes and Employment Potential

Executive Summary

Highlights from the March 2019 ‘Recorder’ include:

•             An editorial from Dr. Keshav Kranthi, Head of the ICAC Technical Information Section, saying that ‘the time has arrived to arise, wake up, and show Africa’s mettle to the world’

•             ‘Insecticide Management in Cotton: Progress and Prospects’, by Joe CB Kabissa, former Director General of the Tanzania Cotton Board

•             An overview of extension services relevant to Africa authored by Usha Rani Joshua & AH Prakash of India’s Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR)

•             A comprehensive assessment of the employment potential of the textile-apparel industry in sub-Saharan Africa by ICAC economist Lorena Ruiz and Dr. Keshav Kranthi

‘ICAC Recorder’ Tackles Insect Management, African Extension Programmes and Employment Potential

In the third edition of ICAC’s special four-part series on Africa (the fourth will be available in June), the March 2019 Recorder addresses three topics of critical interest: new options for managing pests; the current status of Africa’s extension services; and an article highlighting the massive potential that the textile-apparel industry has for future employment in Africa.

The edition begins with an impassioned editorial from Dr. Keshav Kranthi, head of ICAC’s Technical Information Section. He explains that there is no reason for Africa to continue suffering low yields due to its wealth of natural resources, and that the continent remains ‘a giant in slumber’ — until now.

As Joe CB Kasbissa outlines in the first feature, cotton’s share of insecticide use has fallen from 24 % in 1994 to only 14.8% in 2010, thanks largely to the use of Bt cotton. But that trend is reversing and new steps must be taken to achieve sustainable insecticide use in cotton.

In the second entry, Usha Rani Joshua & AH Prakash of India’s Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) point out that while cotton is grown by more than 3.6 million African farmers, they often lack access to the inputs and training they need. The proper use of existing technology would go a long way toward increasing yields, and thus farmer income.

The issue closes with a feature from two ICAC Secretariat members — Economist Lorena Ruiz and Dr. Kranthi — that highlights the massive employment potential for Africa’s textile and apparel industry. They point out that Africa exports about 90% of its cotton fibre, and if domestic value-adding industries could be developed, it could generate up to USD 90 billion in additional revenue.