twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

African farmers revamp agriculture norms through Purdue partnership

Scott Massey, a Purdue University graduate and founder of Heliponix, a company that makes an appliance that fits under a kitchen counter and grows produce year-round, brings sustainable agriculture methods in Cameroon

togo workshopScott Massey, founder of hydroponics startup Heliponix, discusses agricultural innovations with Togonese students as a part of his first Mandela Washington Fellowship. (Image source: Purdue Foundry)

Many farmers in Cameroon usually grow just enough food to feed their families due to limited fertiliser and high-yield seeds, coupled with poor soil quality and lack of irrigation.

Massey has been selected for a second Mandela Washington Fellowship to lead educational workshops at Cameroonian universities this month. Approximately 200mn ha of suitable land remains unfarmed across Africa, causing many observers to wonder how African nations can unlock their full agricultural potential.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship seeks to promote agricultural development through the academic and entrepreneurial empowerment of African peoples.

“African entrepreneurs have immeasurable economic opportunities to market solutions using new agricultural technologies,” Massey said. “Our overall goal is to provide these resilient people with the means to their own production and permanently break the cycle of dependency on foreign aid.”

Massey has used his extensive knowledge in hydroponic systems and agricultural engineering to develop GroPod, an in-home appliance that grows produce year-round. His background also gives him the unique expertise to teach innovative and sustainable farming techniques in Cameroon.

“In these workshops, we are implementing a new vertical farming technique that utilizes an adaption of the proprietary vertical farming technology also used in GroPod,” Massey said. “Not only will we be teaching the students about these advanced technologies that they can use to start their own businesses, but we will also be building model farms that they can incorporate into their curriculums to grow clean food.”

In general, African farmers struggle against nonexistent agricultural infrastructure and poor farming conditions, making subsistence farming the most advantageous practice. However, Massey and Bainamndi’s work could empower Cameroonian students and farmers to expand operations sustainably and successfully through entrepreneurship and innovation.

Massey’s work aligns with Purdue's Giant Leaps celebration of the university’s global advancements made in health, space, artificial intelligence and sustainability as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. Those are the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual centre solving real-world issues.


LATEST NEWS IN Agriculture

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double rice production to curb food insecurity

Gambia-Korea partnership seeks to double…

President Adama Barrow has received a delegation led by the Korean Ambassador to The Gambia, HE Kim Ji-Joon, at the State House in Banjul to announce the delivery of sample rice...

World Sustainability Organization chooses Zambia as the first African Sustainability Hub

World Sustainability Organization choose…

The World Sustainability Organization and Foundation (WSO&F) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Zambian Government, to make Zambia the African Sustainability Hub 

Rallying call to improve African and global cotton production

Rallying call to improve African and glo…

As the business of cotton production continues to attract global attention, there are concerns about how sustainable the practice of growing, harvesting, and production will be, especially for lower income...

Research and farming institution from Zimbabwe wins FAO Award

Research and farming institution from Zi…

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) honoured three research and farming institutions, one of which was from Zimbabwe

Building community and ecological resilience through forest landscape restoration

Building community and ecological resili…

The Atebubu and Wiase Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) Living Lab is offering a more resilient food system, greater income and the opportunity to restore nature to farmers living in the...

European Investment Bank to support increased rice production in Liberia

European Investment Bank to support incr…

The European Investment Bank is planning to support large-scale investment to increase rice production and enhance food security in Liberia

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Agriculture

Mauritania to gain US$21mn IFAD grant to boost food security, nutrition and reduce rural poverty

Mauritania to gain US$21mn IFAD grant to…

285,600 Mauritanian farmers will benefit from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) agreement that was signed on 12 January 

Encouraging seed systems

Encouraging seed systems

AT A TIME when failing harvests are once again threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions across Africa, 300 agriculture scientists, entrepreneurs, farmers’ organisations and governments from across the continent...

BioConsortia new products generate 15 per cent yield increases

BioConsortia new products generate 15 pe…

BioConsortia, Inc, innovator of microbial solutions for plant trait enhancement and yield improvement, has moved new products into the registration phase

UK’s Agrimetrics launches data marketplace for agri-food

UK’s Agrimetrics launches data marketpla…

Agrimetrics, the UK’s agri-tech centre for innovations in data science, has launched the Agri-Food Data Marketplace, a move that aims to enable data-owners to safely share and monetise data, while...

AfDB lends US$80mn to Congo to set up agricultural value chains

AfDB lends US$80mn to Congo to set up ag…

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has granted a US$80mn loan to Congo to set up agricultural value chains to benefit more than 350,000 people

Zimbabwean farmers urge government for continued agricultural support

Zimbabwean farmers urge government for c…

Farmers in Zimbabwe have urged the Zimbabwean government for continued agricultural support following the unveiling of a US$1bn crop and livestock facility

Moody's: Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana are remaining resilient to credit pressures from cocoa price fall

Moody's: Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana are rem…

Moody's Investors Service have produced a report on Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, stating that the nations are remaining resilient against credit pressures bought upon by the drastic fall in cocoa price

France remains at the top of 2017 Food Sustainability Index

France remains at the top of 2017 Food S…

France remains at the top of the 2017 Food Sustainability Index (FSI), which ranks 34 countries according to their food system sustainability

IoT to revolutionise agricultural sector

IoT to revolutionise agricultural sector

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to transform the agricultural sector, but it has left many agritech companies concerned by the cyber threats associated with the technology

Aeroponics system can ‘produce pest-free seed yams’

Aeroponics system can ‘produce pest-free…

The aeroponics technology can aid in successful production of seed yams that are pest-resistence, a study at Nigeria’s International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has revealed

FAO to provide livelihood to 49mn people in 2021

FAO to provide livelihood to 49mn people…

The UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is seeking US$1.1bn in 2021 to save the lives and livelihoods of some of the world's most food-insecure people

Bühler and DIL partner to accelerate sustainable food production

Bühler and DIL partner to accelerate sus…

Bühler AG has partnered with the DIL Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik e. V. to work together on the next generation of extruded meat substitutes

Prev Next