Share This Page

Scientific Research Underpins Development Advancements

elephant1An elephant trampling a farmer’s field is a frequent problem in many parts of Africa. One elephant can destroy a farmer’s entire crop. Recent news reports suggest that research scientists may have found an eco-friendly way to keep the elephants out.  Scientists have learned that elephants are afraid of swarming bees.  So farmers may be able to string up bee hives around their fields.  When elephants disturb the wire, they stir up the bees and flee.

Scientific research is an important and often overlooked part of  the development process.  Without strong science behind advances in food production, medical treatment, pest control, and more, development advances cannot be made and sustained. Aid for Africa counts scientific organizations as critical partners in development.  For example, Aid for Africa member scientists at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Kenya study insects that can improve food and human health.  Scientists at the International Potato Center have developed a sweetpotato variety to fight vitamin A deficiency– a leading cause of blindness in children in Africa. Women are now planting these sweetpotatoes in their home gardens in ten African countries. Researchers at the International Livestock Research Institute are finding ways to keep cows and other farm animals in tropical countries disease free. And plant scientists have helped Trees for the Future bring communities the best trees for their needs—trees that will survive and flourish. Scientists may now add elephant control to their list of advances that are changing lives in Africa.