First Scottish project for African AgriFood KTP develops environmentally friendly approach to fruit fly

Posted on: 12/01/2021

UWS, Mount Kenya University and Kenya-based agricultural consultancy firm Farmtrack enter African AgriFood KTP

A pioneering new partnership, developed by KTN’s Knowledge Transfer Adviser Joel Ferguson, will see the first ever collaboration between University of the West of Scotland academics, led by Professor John Struthers, scientists from Mount Kenya University and Nairobi-based Farmtrack. The partnership will use locally available raw materials to develop an environmentally friendly fruit fly trap targeting females of the species.

John Struthers, Economist and Director of UWS’s centre for African research on enterprise and economic development, said: “At present, farmers in Kenya face many barriers when it comes to trade with certain countries, specifically in the EU, so we hope that this new environmentally friendly technology will open up doors for Kenya’s agriculture sector. The Farmtrack project has huge potential to increase farmers’ outputs and to boost the Kenyan economy.”

KTN’s Joel Ferguson added “It has been a pleasure to work with UWS, Mount Kenya University and Farmtrack to develop this partnership, which is one of a series of AgriTech UK Africa partnerships funded by Innovate UK through the Global Challenges Research Fund.  These projects will use the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) model to deliver positive change with the businesses and communities that will benefit from the partnership. At KTN we look forward to supporting the partners through implementation in the next two years”.

According to an article in The Herald newspaper: “Currently there is no commercially available and environmentally friendly approach to female fruit fly management. The proposed approach will reduce the need for chemical pesticides’ current reliance on imported raw materials, safeguarding supplies, human, animal and environmental health”.

Find out more about KTP here; and see the latest KTP Associate jobs here.


This project is funded by UKRI’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) through Innovate UK.

African AgriFood Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (AAKTP) bring new skills and the latest academic thinking into an African business. An AAKTP enables the delivery of a specific, strategic innovation project through a joint partnership between a UK and African University/Research Organisation with an African business.

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