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Focusing on smart agriculture across Africa

December 17th, 2019 / Punch

The world is changing and one of the factors driving this change is climate change, which continues to affect the weather and the elements, such as rainfall and storms, among others. These changes affect basically everything that concerns man and his environment.

The impact of these changes is gradually being felt …

Agriculture is part of the climate problem, and the solution

December 17th, 2019 / Forbes Magazine, US

Recently, scientists from the Stockholm Resilience Centre and colleagues have suggested that we have already exceeded the boundaries for climate change, biodiversity loss, and the nitrogen cycle. These limits all share a common factor: agriculture.

 In short, agriculture is part of the problem. We have the responsibility to harness our natural …

A disappointing end to the COP25 climate talks

December 17th, 2019 / European Scientist

The outcome of the two-week-long COP25 conference in Madrid with delegates from almost 200 nations was a partial agreement that asks countries to come up with more ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Despite some progress, world leaders failed to agree on more ambitious emissions cuts to meet the …

World food prices jump in November 2019

December 12th, 2019 / African Farming, UK

World food prices rose significantly in November, reaching their highest point in more than two years, driven by jumps in the international prices of meat products and vegetable oils.

The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities, averaged 177.2 points over the …

Can African smallholders farm themselves out of poverty?

December 12th, 2019 / The Conversation, UK

A great deal of research on agriculture in Africa is organised around the premise that intensification can take smallholder farmers out of poverty. The emphasis in programming often focuses on technologies that increase farm productivity and management practices that go along with them. 

Yet the returns of such technologies are not …

Podcast: How nitrogen-fixing bacteria can cut fertilizer use 30-50%

December 12th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

In the early 20th century, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch revolutionized agriculture. The two German chemists developed a technique, now known as the Haber-Bosch process, that converts nitrogen from the air into ammonia, which can be used to fertilize the crops we all rely on for sustenance.  The discovery led to …

WMO’s first state of climate services report focuses on agriculture and food security

December 11th, 2019 / IISD

With an estimated 80% of the world’s food insecure living in degraded environments exposed to recurrent extreme events, the 2019 ‘State of Climate Services: Food and Agriculture’ report explores how to support agriculture in the face of climate variability and change. Produced by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and partners, …

Building resilient agriculture through farmers’ education

December 11th, 2019 / ReliefWed

Agricultural experts and academia drawn from Eastern and Southern African nations called on governments to increase the reach, impact, and institutionalisation of Farmer Field Schools (FFS) through adaptive approaches to ensure that farmers in Africa are fully engaged in sustainable agricultural production and farming as a business.

At FAO’s Subregional Workshop …

Crops Research Institute Releases stress tolerant maize to address food insecurity in Africa

December 11th, 2019 / Modern Ghana

The Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and its international partners have developed a Stress Tolerant Maize variety for farmers in in parts of Africa where climate change threatens food security.

The Stress Tolerant maize variety was introduced to smallholder maize farmers at Ejura …

Ghana: post-harvest losses in cereals: US$141m lost in 2018

December 10th, 2019 / Ghana Web

Ghana loses more than one tenth of its top four cereals produce to post-harvest losses (PHL) every year due to impediments along the entire value chain.

In 2014, the combined losses in rice, maize, millet and sorghum from the point of harvest to their retail/wholesale points at market centres were estimated …