Through Brian Donnelly
West Scotland’s UNIVERSITY has secured funds for a pioneering cooperation project in Africa.
The link between UWS, Mount Kenya University and Farmtrack, an agricultural consultancy based in Kenya, is believed to be Scotland’s first African knowledge transfer partnership.
The collaborations link companies with academic partners to accelerate innovation, create change and, through collaboration, implement new expertise, skills and capabilities.
Projects resolve a particular business need that the organization has defined.
Supervised by Innovate UK, the U.K., the software Innovation agency, which has been extended to include a variety of African collaborations this year.
One of the first projects in the U.K. is the UWS partnership with Farmtrack. And the first in Scotland to be funded by Innovate UK and the Department for International Development with £ 199,000.
UWS scientists, led by Professor John Struthers, an economist and director of the University’s Business and Economic Growth Research Centre for Africa, will collaborate with scientists at Mount Kenya University and Farmtrack, based in Nairobi, to create an environmentally sustainable fruit fly trap that targets females of the species and uses raw materials that are locally available.
Mr. Struthers said, “Currently, farmers in Kenya face many obstacles when it comes to trading with certain countries, especially the EU, so we hope this new environmentally friendly technology will open doors for Kenya’s agricultural sector. The Farmtrack project has great potential to increase farmers’ yields and boost the Kenyan economy.”
There is currently no commercially accessible and environmentally sustainable approach to female fruit fly management. The proposed solution would reduce the current dependency of imported goods on chemical pesticides, healthy supplies and human, animal and environmental health.