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Smart technologies to ensure sustainable farming

April 19th, 2017 / Ethiopian Herald

“There is something that we are not doing properly, that is why we keep on falling short of feeding the whole Africa,” mutters Dr. Kodjo P. Abassa, trying to get comfy on his chair. Dr. Abassa, former Adviser at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, has worked for more …

10 Ways Young People Are Reinventing Agriculture In Africa

April 19th, 2017 / Africa.com

Around seventy percent of young people in Africa live in rural areas. Rather than migrate, more and more are getting involved in agriculture. Young people are changing how the world sees the sector.
Here are ten ways African youth are contributing to reinventing and redefining agriculture. Read …

Warming of 2°C in Africa could reduce ag production by 20 per cent

April 19th, 2017 / Fresh Plaza, US

The Center for Global Development’s 2011 report, “Quantifying Vulnerability to Climate Change Implications for Adaptation Assistance,” forecasts median agricultural productivity losses due to climate change ranging from 18% in North Africa to 19.8% in Central Africa through 2050.
The weak output in Africa, reinforced by a spike in temperatures and exacerbated …

Zambia’s women contribute to cassava growing boom

April 18th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Born in a small town of Mufulira, on the Copper Belt province of Zambia in 1960, Winnie Nachivula, is making a mark in the cassava production in Zambia which currently stands at over 1 million metric tonnes per year, making it the most important crop grown in Zambia after maize.
Cassava …

Nigeria: Agric extension workers: SADP adopts World Bank standard ratio

April 18th, 2017 / The Vanguard, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe writes: Sokoto state government has planned to adopt the World Bank standard ratio of extension worker to farmers in order to boost support for farmers in the state.
Programme Manager of Sokoto Agricultural Development Project (SADP), Abubakar Sadiq Malami told Saturday Vanguard on Friday that ‎the move …

Vicious circle of poverty and food insecurity

April 18th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: A poor household is usually malnourished, and vulnerable to disease and other evils. Uganda is known to be well endowed with fertile soil and bi-annual rainfall. Yet we have thousands of households that are too poor to produce enough food for their nutritional requirements or …

The significance of smallholder farms in the global food system

April 17th, 2017 / The Lancet Planetary Health, UK

When many of us contemplate the role of agriculture in feeding 7·2 billion people, we picture large-scale, industrialised, and efficient systems that produce lots of food that is shipped around the world. Although those systems are relevant, they are only one dimension of what agriculture consists of, who feeds us, …

Five invasive pests cost African economy US$1 billion every year

April 17th, 2017 / News Ghana

New research by CABI reveals that just five invasive alien species are causing US$0.9 – 1.1 billion in economic losses to smallholder farmers across six eastern African countries each year, equating to 1.8% – 2.2% of total agricultural GDP for the region. These losses are expected to grow to $1.0 …

Will organic community embrace gene editing if it restores ancient crops?

April 17th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The majority of plants used in organic farming were conventionally bred to select for traits that increased productivity and are not suited for organic farming where pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer usage is limited. Significant inbreeding during the selection process has led to loss of several beneficial traits such as salt …

Farmers in Makueni reap big after planting drought-tolerant crops

April 17th, 2017 / The Star, Kenya

For many years, farmers in Makueni county have stuck to growing maize, but this has not yielded much, leaving them to rely on relief food when the crop failed and during droughts like the current one.
But now an initiative from the Anglican Development Services-Eastern and the Alliance for a Green …