Insecticidetreated nets protect livestock and boost milk yields in UN pilot projects

“The nets are environmentally safe and have drastically cut the number of flies, mosquitoes and other disease-transmitting insect vectors by close to 90 per cent,” the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a statement, referring to a project in Kisii, Kenya, in the country’s western highlands. The nets have also cut down the cases of mastitis, a bacterial disease that can be spread by flies as well as poor hygiene during milking, according to FAO.In addition, the Rome-based UN agency said that preliminary findings reported a 40 per cent decrease in cases of malaria in the farmers’ homes.In countries like Kenya, where smallholders owning just one or a few cows care for 80 per cent of the dairy animals and produce more than three-quarters of the country’s milk, the loss of an animal can devastate a family economically. “We were treating animals that were already sick, but they kept dying. So we needed to look at the real culprits – the insects that transmit disease in the first place,” said Burkhard Bauer, an independent Senior Scientific Advisor of the Free University of Berlin working on the FAO project. A farmer in the Kisii area, Mary Munyega Nyandeo, told FAO that the nets have improved the quantity of milk she gets, putting more money in her pocket.“I used to milk around 2 litres of milk, but since the nets were brought and the flies disappeared, I now milk around 4 or 5 litres a day, so I make profit,” Ms. Nyandeo said.In Ghana, similar nets are used to protect smallholder pig farms. A third pilot project is getting underway in Burkina Faso. The nets are ecologically safe and efficient since the animals do not have to be coated repeatedly with insecticides. “The insecticide used is made from the same chemicals used in pet flea collars,” said Raffaele Mattioli, Senior Officer with FAO’s Animal Health Service in Rome.The insecticide-treated nets also potentially eliminate ticks, which holds promise for tick-borne diseases such as East Coast Fever in Eastern Africa, Mr. Mattioli added. read more

Citroën display tells the DS story at SMMT

The latest exhibit on show at SMMT is a trio of the latest DS models from Citroën, along with a classic DS 23 Pallas from 1973, celebrating the UK launch of the DS5 in Spring 2012.The new DS5 appears alongside its sister models, DS3 and DS4. The exhibition at SMMT is the first time the DS5 has been on show to the public after it appeared at Top Gear Live last year.DS5 is the result of the Citroën C-SportLounge concept car, first presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005. The interior design was inspired by an aeroplane cockpit, and full grain leather and aluminium appear throughout the cabin.The car will feature the the world’s first full diesel hybrid powertrain – PSA’s Hybrid4 – combining a 163bhp diesel engine plus a 37bhp electric motor, developing a total power output of 200bhp.Four powertrain modes allow the driver to choose between Auto, changing between engine and electric motor for optimum fuel consumption; Zero Emission Vehicle, using only the electric motor under 37.5mph; Four wheel drive, with the combustion engine powering the front wheels and electric powering the rear; and Sport, using a combination of both to provide a ‘boost’ effect. Despite the power available, the DS5 has a CO2 rating of just 99g/km, meaning that it is exempt from VED and available at low BIK tax rates.The story of the DS line goes back to the Paris Motor Show in 1955; the two letters spoken together in French as “Déesse”, meaning “goddess”. By the end of the first day 12,000 orders had been placed, rising to 80,000 by the final day of the show, creating a 15-month waiting list.The Citroën DS5 goes on sale to UK buyers in the Spring – more information is available at www.ds5.citroen.co.uk.Click through the slideshow below to see all the photos from SMMT’s exhibition space.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more