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Ghanaian farmers enlist drones to combat fall armyworm invasion

August 7th, 2018 / Genetic Literary Project, US

Farmers at Janga in the West Mamprusi municipality of the Northern Region [in Ghana] are learning how to use drones and other newly introduced chemicals meant to fight an invasion of fall armyworms in the area. The intervention comes at a time when the worms have wreaked havoc on maize …

How conservation agriculture is helping Ethiopian farmers become more than subsistence farmers

August 6th, 2018 / Addis Standard, Ethiopia

Major factors limiting food production for smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa include the depletion of soil fertility, soil erosion and periodic droughts due to climate change. In Ethiopia, crop productivity is further constrained by a lack of quality inputs such as improved seeds, and high prices of chemical fertilizers, which …

Land degradation – a triple threat in Africa

August 6th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Sustainability, stability, and security–the three overlapping issues are an increasing concern among many especially in Africa where land degradation is displacing citizens and livelihoods.
African ministers and United Nations officials convened at the U.N. as part of the Initiative on Sustainability, Stability, and Security (3S), which aims to address migration and …

We must improve peasant farming

August 6th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes:
In the introduction to his book “The Struggle for Land in Buganda” Samwiri Lwanga Lunyiigo, says: “Peasants must be part of our agrarian revolution through the improvement of their farms.”
He goes on to state that floating masses of poor and landless peasants will not allow …

From cocoa bean to chocolate – how Africa can own the game

August 6th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Chocolate is one of the world’s most beloved sweet treats. It is consumed pretty much everywhere. You are probably a chocolate lover. So where does your favourite brand of chocolate come from?
A recent white paper from data provider Gro Intelligence gathered the facts: Europe dominates the production, consumption and exportation …

When is genetic modification not genetic modification?

August 3rd, 2018 / The royal Society

When is modifying genetics not genetic modification? Strange question but it’s one that the European Court of Justice has spent two years deliberating. The court’s decision determines whether the latest generation of tools for making changes to the DNA of plants, animals and microorganisms come under the same regulations as …

Kenya, Ethiopia show neighboring Uganda how to revive its dying cotton industry with pest-tolerant technology

August 3rd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Cotton, once a cash cow in Uganda where growers aspired to outcompete each other in the acreage covered and income earned, could slowly become a crop of the past if nothing is done to curb the steady decline in its production.
According to data from the Cotton Development Organization, Uganda’s lint …

Women’s cooperatives boost agriculture and savings in rural Ethiopia

August 3rd, 2018 / AllAfrica

Through women’s cooperatives, a joint UN programme provides training in agricultural techniques, improved seeds and time-saving machinery, while also granting loans and encouraging saving.
n most parts of the Dodola district, 300 km south of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, slow-moving oxen plowing opens stretches of farmland. But in one field, a …

Let’s first ask what women scientists want

August 3rd, 2018 / SciDev.net

Contrary to stereotypes, women scientists often fare better in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) than they do in other parts of the world, says Rana Dajani, a biologist from Hashemite University in Jordan. Statistics from the OECD, from UNESCO and elsewhere show high percentages of women in scientific …

How drones can transform agriculture

August 2nd, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Progressive countries have adopted drones – unmanned aircraft that flies autonomously – for precision agriculture with impressive results, but what exactly can a drone do for the agricultural sector in Africa and Kenya, in particular?
Farmers need accurate, precise and up-to-date information on plant health and environmental conditions.
On the most basic …