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Nigeria ranks low, S/Africa, Malawi highest, among African countries committed to ending hunger

January 31st, 2017 / The Vanguard, Nigeria

Nigeria ranks 37 in its commitment to ending hunger and malnutrition among its people, the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index – Africa (HANCI-Africa) has indicated. The rankings, produced by the Institute of Development Studies (UK) with the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), was released on the website …

Why microbes are key to solving Africa’s food security crisis

January 31st, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

Microbial-based solutions, which are formulated from microbes, offer multiple benefits to crops. These include improved growth as well as protection from insects, drought and other climate-related extremities. The solutions also offer environmentally sustainable approaches to improved crops and productivity while ensuring the resilience of agricultural systems. Poncho®/VOTiVO® is an example …

You CAN manage livestock during droughts

January 31st, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Adverse dry weather conditions that have had an impact on agriculture across the country rise the possibility of food insecurity, which is likely to affect many communities.
Much as crop farmers have faced the same challenge over the last three seasons of 2016 stretching through to …

Addressing smallholder farmers’ needs with green manure cover crops and agroforestry

January 30th, 2017 / Africa Rising

In Africa, mineral fertilizer remains a scarce, expensive, and risky resource for most smallholder farmers. On average, farmers use less than 10 kg/ha of NPK fertilizer; and many do not apply it at all. The price of fertilizer is 3-5 times higher in Africa than in Europe due to the …

‘Biblical plague’ of armyworms stalks South African maize

January 30th, 2017 / SundayTimes, South Africa

Regional governments are to hold a crisis meeting in Johannesburg next month following signs that a virulent pest attacking maize crops may have found its way to South Africa. See …

‘Access to technologies’ key to food security

January 30th, 2017 / dw.com, Germany

For small-scale farming in Africa to be sustainable, farmers need better access to new technologies, says Agnes Kalibata, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa See …

Why shortage of seed potato is an investment opportunity

January 27th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Potato production in Uganda is constrained by lack of inputs namely fertilisers, pesticides and clean seed amongst others.
Most potato producers in Kigezi region are subsistence farmers characterised by poor farming methods, which include use of poor quality inputs. For example, over 90 per cent use poor quality recycled seeds. …

RNA clay offers green alternative to plant pesticides

January 27th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

A nano-sized bio-degradable clay-comprising double stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) could offer a cost-effective, clean and green alternative to chemical-based plant pesticides.
Australian researchers from the University of Queensland have successfully used a gene-silencing spray, named BioClay, a combination of biomolecules and clay, to protect tobacco plants from a virus for 20 …

How tiny microbes are revolutionizing big agriculture

January 27th, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

Mathew Wallenstein of the Innovation Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Colorado State University is part of a new crop of scientists who are harnessing the power of natural microbes to improve agriculture. In recent years, genomic technology has rapidly advanced our understanding of the microbes that live on virtually every surface …

Natural killers: developing better biopesticides

January 26th, 2017 / Global FoodSecurity, UK

As armyworms return to devastate crops in Africa, Lancaster University’s Professor Ken Wilson reports on renewed efforts to bring a sustainable solution.
The pressing need for alternatives to chemical pesticides was the subject of a recent GFS workshop and blog post: How would we cope with a post-pesticide world?
As harmful …