About The Organization

Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) is a not-for-profit organization established in Kenya in 2009 by the Biovision Foundation for ecological development in Switzerland and supported by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi. The Trust’s goal is to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Kenya and other African countries through supporting dissemination of information and knowledge on appropriate technology to improve human, animal, plant, and environmental health. Agricultural output and food supply are however hindered by various environmental factors and lack of information and relevant training for the African smallholder farmers. Plant pests, for instance, are responsible for up to 80% of crop losses. Ecologically sustainable solutions are a practical alternative for African farmers to achieve good crop yields without relying on expensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides. What is lacking, however, are effective dissemination pathways to deliver relevant information to the farmers.

Our vision is a food secure African continent with healthy people living in a healthy environment

Our Mission is to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of rural communities in Africa through disseminating relevant agricultural information to small holder farmers and supporting likeminded organizations and institutions.

The overall goal of the Trust is to sustainably improve the lives of the people in Africa while conserving the environment as the basis for all life.

This will be achieved through bridging the gap between research and application, with a strategic focus to translate, package and disseminate information[1] related to human, animal, plant and environmental health to small holder farmers and rural communities in Africa.   The Trust will also cooperate and support other organizations, institutions and stakeholders working with small holder farmers to promote ecological sustainable agriculture in Africa.

 

Core values

Environmental consciousness

Accountability

Efficiency and Effectiveness

Collaboration, networking and partnerships

Integrity

Innovation and creativity

Inclusivity

 

BvAT Priority Areas

Key Priority Area 1: To support programmes, projects and initiatives in the agro sector that focus on generation and dissemination of knowledge and information on ecologically sound and useful innovations in human, animal, plant and environmental health.

Key Priority Are 2: To undertake research into special issues and challenges facing smallholder farmers in order to provide useful and practical solutions.

Key Priority Area 3: To support educational and empowerment programs amongst small-holder communities in partnership with other players (public, private, civil society).

 

Who We Are

A food secure continent with healthy people living in a healthy and well conserved environment is the vision we have here at Biovision Africa Trust. We have thus made it our mission to ensure smallholder farmers are properly equipped with relevant agricultural information on sustainable agricultural methods to improve food production while conserving the environment in the process.

The number of hungry people in Sub-Saharan Africa is over 200 million and 40% of children under five years old are stunted due to malnutrition. Our goal is to improve lives and food production of the continent without compromising the future generations’ ability to do so. Africa has the potential to feed its population without strain but ironically the continent spends $35 billion annually importing food. The African agricultural sector relies heavily on the smallholder farmers who are the backbone and the bulk of the food production. It is here that we come in to educate, teach and equip these farmers with methods that ought to optimize locally available natural resources without negatively affecting the resource base.

We therefore believe in promoting sustainable agriculture and collaborate with organizations that are like-minded in spearheading this vision.

 

What We Do

Educate

Smallholder farmers are the drivers of many African economies but unfortunately their potential is undermined. Most of these families rely solely on farming for their income but struggle to make a decent living due to low yields caused by inappropriate farming methods and unavailability to access such information.

It is here that we come in as an organization to equip these farmers with information gathered from extensive research and promote the use of sustainable methods to maximize output without jeopardizing this environment we live in. We believe that the environment need not be impacted due to our human need to feed and this is the basis of our work and the information we pass to the farmers.

Also, through our Outreach programme, we liaise with school students through their clubs and societies and educate them on sustainable agriculture. We believe that educating young students will have a positive impact on our environment and a a rise to a new generation of people who have the right mindset towards the environment.

Research

Through the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative and the Changing Course in Global Agriculture we undertake extensive research on policies that are agriculturally sound and promote practices that favor such policies. Food security, economic growth and environmental stability are the foundation of the policies we work to promote.

Collaboration with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology has resulted in tremendous leaps in understanding, managing and control of both animal and plant pests and diseases and it is such information we bring to the farmers to help them adequately tackle such hurdles.

 

How We Do It

The Farmer Communication Programme is a programme designed to bridge the gap between the information researched and the farmers themselves. The programme is supported by the Biovision Foundation, Biovision Africa Trust, Icipe-African Insect Science for Food and Health and other collaborators.

The FCP aims at increasing productivity of the farmers, improving income, enhancing easy access to the information and supporting farmers.

Publications

Through our monthly publication The Organic Farmer and our bi-monthly Swahili publication, Mkulima Mbunifu, we are able to reach thousands of smallholder farmers in East and Central Africa. With an estimated 200,000 readers, we are able to reach a large number of farmers thus promoting sustainable agricultural methods for both their benefit and to the environment as a whole.

Radio Presentations

TOF Radio is a weekly program in Kiswahili that is aired on Tuesday at 8:30 PM on Milele FM and 8:15 PM on Thursday on KBC national radio station. Here, farmer experiences are shared with the listeners and advice is also given on agribusiness and eco-friendly farming methods.

The program is interactive as it allows farmers to send in comments and have their questions answered on air.

Infonet

This is a web-based information platform which is also available offline on Infonet CDs. This platform offers farmers, extension workers, trainers and students as a whole, quick access to relevant information on sustainable agriculture covering areas in human, animal, plant and environmental health.

With articles published by researchers including news and information on events and advancements going on in the field of sustainable agriculture, visitors are able to keep up with the trends in this field.

The TOF and MkM magazines are also available for download on this platform.

Outreach

Through this platform, we are able to extend information to farmers and the community as a whole both directly and indirectly.

Currently, there are 14 well equipped resource centres around Kenya which address various issues in agriculture. These centres target farmers in the area, the youth interested in sustainable agricultural methods and also school going children through their clubs and societies.

 

 

 


[1] Research information as well as other sources with relevant information