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Week in Review

B4FA Week in Review – 25 January 2016

January 25th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, the chair of the African Union Commission appointed a ten-member panel to advise the continent on use of existing and emerging technologies for economic development, including assessing ethical and safety requirements and standards. NEPAD, the African Union’s economic development programme, will work closely with the panel, to be co-chaired …

B4FA Week in Review – 18 January 2017

January 18th, 2017 / B4FA.org

Drought-plagued Southern Africa is facing a new threat: the invasion of fall armyworms, an invasive caterpillar from the Americas that’s already devastated 10 percent of farms inZambia and has spread to Zimbabwe and Malawi. The fall armyworm has destroyed tens of thousands of acres of corn fields in Southern Africa, …

B4FA Week in Review – 11 January 2016

January 11th, 2017 / B4FA.org

This week, we’re perusing a fascinating map of smallholder farms in developing countries that was released at the end of last year. Created by researchers at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment (IonE), the map used household census data to map farming populations and average farm sizes across …

B4FA Week in Review – 4 January 2017

January 4th, 2017 / B4FA.org

New year’s greetings to all our readers! We ease into 2017 with a summary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP13, which ended on 17 December in Cancun, Mexico. During the conference, governments agreed on steps to promote integration of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity across sectors, including agriculture. …

B4FA Week in Review – 21 December 2016

December 21st, 2016 / B4FA.org

As 2016 draws to a close, Calestous Juma looks back on 2016 as a year when “Important wins were notched up for African agriculture” in a piece published in The Conversation, Africa, this week. He cites emerging technologies such as “precision agriculture, sensors, satellites and drones”, “communication, transportation, wholesale and …

B4FA Week in Review – 14 December 2016

December 14th, 2016 / B4FA.org

This week in B4FA’s latest blog post, our own Claudia Canales writes about the various benefits of biofortified iron-rich beans, as well as the challenges inherent in developing such a bean, including nutrient bioavailability, the hardiness, yield and flavour of the biofortified variety, not to mention distribution and the availability …

B4FA Week in Review – 7 December 2016

December 7th, 2016 / B4FA.org

On Monday, the annual African Economic Conference opened in Abuja, Nigeria, on the theme “Feed Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialization for Inclusive Growth”. Organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and now in its 11th year, the conference will tackle …

B4FA Week in Review – 30 November 2016

November 30th, 2016 / B4FA.org

At COP22, agriculture finally got the floor time it deserved as one of the world’s major sources of greenhouse gas, and as an industry with possibly the most at stake as the world’s climate changes. The International Institute for Sustainable Development subsequently published a report titled “COP 22 Agriculture and …

B4FA Week in Review – 23 Nov 2016

November 23rd, 2016 / B4FA.org

This week, a paper published in Science is making headlines as a potential big breakthrough in crop biotechnology. “Plant biologists seeking improved photosynthesis—and, ultimately, more bountiful crops—have cleverly manipulated plants to adjust more quickly to shade,” reports Science magazine. “Genetically engineered into tobacco plants, the faster response yielded up to a 20% increase in …

B4FA Week in Review – 16 November 2016

November 16th, 2016 / B4FA.org

This week, as world is reeling from the US presidential election results, it’s too early yet to tell how a Trump presidency will affect African economy and development. However, a couple of articles have already emerged, asking whether Trump will upend bipartisan consensus on U.S. Africa policy? (AllAfrica) and what …