3 years ago

The Partnership no. 13

  • Text
  • Enza
  • Tomatoes
  • Partnership
  • Zaden
  • Tomato
  • Biodiversity
  • Melon
  • Varieties
  • Flavour
  • Consumer

Nourishing Nuri Nuri is

Nourishing Nuri Nuri is one of the 600 Lead Farmers that have been trained to date by Fair Planet. He lives with his wife and their eight children in Mamuja, a tiny village near Butajira. Nuri has grown tomatoes of a local variety before, but his results were very poor. When Nuri joined the training programme and gained access to high quality seeds, he dramatically improved his farming productivity: from his small tomato plot of 1650 m 2 , he produced 10,000 kgs of tomatoes, a yield that is eight times higher than average in Ethiopia. The average household income in rural Ethiopia is about €700 per year, whereas Nuri’s profit, from his first production season of high quality tomatoes, was €700. In the second training season, Nuri grew more tomatoes and saved more than €2080! With this money, he fixed his house and sent his kids to school and his elder son to University. Three years after joining the programme, Nuri planted 400 grafted avocado trees; built a fishpond and a hen house and continues to grow high-value vegetables. From being a subsistence peasant, Nuri became an agribusiness entrepreneur. The training centres are located in the three main agro-climatic regions of Ethiopia. In each centre, professional variety trials are performed, nowadays not only for tomato anymore, but also for pepper, onion and cabbage varieties. The concept is still the same as five years ago: high quality seeds from the partnering seed companies are tested to identify the best performing varieties for local needs. “Moreover, we have developed a unique extension model and now train hundreds of Lead Farmers, every year, how to improve their productivity with minimal changes to their traditional production practices.” Double income And the results don’t lie. Due to better seeds and improved farming practices, smallholder farmers in Ethiopia are able to increase their crop productivity more than fivefold while improving their produce quality and marketability. They benefit from improved nutrition for their families, and are able to provide fresh and locally produced food for their communities. Nuri used the profits from his vegetable plot to buy and plant 400 grafted avocado trees and to build a fishpond and a hen house to support his family. “The results are much better than we were hoping for: many of the smallholder farmers generated profits – in only one production season that doubled their annual income – allowing them to reach sustainable economic growth and improve their families' livelihood. Principally, they can thus break the trap of hunger and poverty, aspiring and achieving much improved lives.” Spreading the knowhow Currently a novel ‘1:10’ extension methodology is developed that will upscale the impact of the programme and spread the knowhow from each Lead Farmer to ten neighbouring farmers. “Our aim is to reach about 50,000 smallholder farmers. However, the need is much greater: the challenge that we face is how to reach the millions of smallholder farmers in this country. To address this challenge, we have recently met with the Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Eyasu Abraha, to discuss how the programme could be implemented on a national scale, in collaboration with his Ministry.” Haran concludes with her pride of the Ethiopian smallholder farmers, who make the best out of these high quality seeds. “I am sure that all participating seed companies join our pride with what we have achieved as of to date. The success of Fair Planet depends on their expertise and goodwill and it has paid off.” 32 | The Partnership

Flavour and Sensory Analysis In Focus Within Enza Zaden we do a lot of so called postharvest research. This entails research focused on taste, shelf-life, fresh-cut quality, nutrition and cold tolerance of our products. With the data we get from these analysis we can further improve our products and attune them to consumers’ wants and needs. We looked up some facts on how we experience taste. Some facts 1. How it all started During the 1940s and through the mid-1950s the first research in food acceptance took place at the U.S. Army Quartermaster Food and Container Institute in Chicago, Illinois. The military found that adequate nutrition, as measured by analysis of diets or preparation of elaborate menus, did not necessarily represent food acceptance by military personnel. These initial studies acknowledged research on consumer acceptance. 4. Taste buds Gustation is a chemical sense mediated by structures that contain taste buds. Taste buds are located on the surface of the tongue, in the mucosa of the palate, and on areas of the throat. General chemical sensitivity in the mouth is tactile or irritation sensations that are felt in areas where there are no taste buds. Examples of these general chemical sensitivities are astringency or drying from tannins in foods, and the cooling effects of menthol, or the warmth or irritation from hot pepper. 5. Sweetness blocker Gymnema Sylvestre blocks the sweet receptors, such that sweet foods do not taste sweet anymore. It is often used in diets to lose weight. 6. The strongest will survive In a mixture of quinine and sucrose, both ingredients will be partially suppressed by the other. A balanced sweet/sour wine will taste very sour after eating a sweet dessert, while the same wine would seem to lack sourness, and taste too sweet when taken with a salad having a vinegar dressing. 2. Our brain Sensory evaluation is the scientific method used to evoke, measure, analyse and interpret those responses to products as perceived through the senses of sight, smell, touch and hearing. The brain can make adjustments based on feedback from the muscles and the jaw while chewing, allowing for controlled, and smooth movements. This also tells us about the internal structure or texture of the product. 7. Sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami The four classical tastes are sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. These qualities suffice for most purposes. Other suggested tastes are metallic, astringent and umami. Umami is an oral sensation stimulated primarily, but not only, by monosodium glutamate. Astringency is a chemically induced complex of tactile sensations. Metallic taste is little understood. 3. Effect of colour If a colour difference exists, the brain may signal that a flavour difference exists when in fact, it is not there when the visual differences are masked. For example, if a taster receives two cookies and one is darker in colour, they may perceive the darker one to be sweeter, when in fact it may not be. 8. Smelling vs. chewing Smelling an aromatic food through the front of the nose may produce a different experience than when the aroma is perceived during chewing of food. Source: Ennis, D. M. (2003). Foundations of Sensory Science The Partnership | 33

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