In the news...

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 …

Why China’s swine fever scourge should worry you

December 10th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

The last time we discussed African swine fever (ASF) was 2018. In the article, we highlighted the devastation the disease had done on various farms.

At around the same time, unbeknown to most farmers, their Chinese counterparts had just begun experiencing the same problem. 

It was the first emergence of the disease …

Revolutionising precision agriculture with high-performance GPS+INS

December 6th, 2019 / Africa Farming, UK

With the global population estimated to reach eight billion people by 2025, feeding the population while conserving the forest and wildlife reserves remains a growing challenge.

According to Septentrio, a global provider of positioning solutions for professional applications in industries such as autonomous vehicles, robotics, construction, marine, logistics and unmanned aerial …

Innovative solutions and business opportunities for farmer organisations

December 6th, 2019 / CTA, Netherlands

Technological innovations and advances in digital farming continue to evolve at a rapid pace, increasing efficiencies in farming operations globally. However, the adoption of these new technologies by small-scale farmers is still low due to poor data infrastructure and a lack of business partnerships, limiting farmer organisations from capitalising on …