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Addressing lack of access to seeds for smallholder farmers

December 14th, 2016 / Bizcomunity, South Africa

Some of the key issues affecting smallholder farmers’ access to good quality seeds include limited knowledge, lack of access to information, high costs of seeds and a lack of seed laws. These issues came up at a recent two-day Access to Seeds Index workshop held by the Southern African Confederation …

Biofortification – a better, iron-rich bean

December 12th, 2016 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

One strategy for improving human health and the nutrition of resource poor people is increasing the iron content of beans. But what are the challenges for plant breeders?

Biofortification – a good strategy
Biofortification is a good strategy to improve the nutrition of resource poor people for a number of reasons:
• people …

African governments urged to implement agricultural policies

December 12th, 2016 / Geeskaafrika.com

African countries have been urged to now implement their policies on agriculture and industrialisation in order to achieve sustainable growth and development.
At the 11th African Economic Conference that concluded Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria, stakeholders noted that the continent had good agricultural and industrial strategies but lacked to actualise them.
The three-day …

Uganda’s agricultural productivity can increase 10 times

December 12th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Uganda can increase its current agricultural productivity by many times over with fertile land and variety of crops that it has.
“With advanced technology, the right policies and a bigger budget, agricultural productivity can increase five to 10 times from the current,” said Dr Jee Hyeong –Jin, who heads the …

Climate change is smallholders’ pain

December 12th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Experts use many numbers when talking about climate change. However, rising temperatures, the resulting crop failure and consequent loss of livelihoods and destitution of millions of households are this year’s most important and urgent developments for millions of smallholder farmers across African agro-ecological landscapes.
To illustrate the unfolding crisis, let us …

Ethiopia: Small scale farming viable option

December 9th, 2016 / Ethiopian Herald

It has been said a lot about small scale farming plays dominant role in the nation’s economic development. In the growth which is registered for a decade and a half, the contribution of the sector is immense. The sector supplies food to the local market. About 80 per cent of …

How late distribution of inputs affects farming in Nigeria

December 9th, 2016 / AllAfica.com

Farmers, agriculturists and other stakeholders say farm inputs are the bedrock of farming and should not be distributed late if government’s objectives of food self-sufficiency and exportation of farm produce are to be achieved.
The experts say that agricultural activities are time bound and nature dependent, especially in parts of the …

With a little help from fungus

December 9th, 2016 / New Phytologist

If you need help defending your tomato plants from pests, enlisting the help of a fungus might not be at the top of your list. But a recent study, published in New Phytologist, has shown that a fungus could actually be an unlikely ally in the greenhouse.
Similar to the beneficial …

Scientists develop pest-resistant tomato using Bt technology

December 7th, 2016 / ISAAA, US

Tomato fruit borer (Helicoverpa armigera) is one of the most damaging pests in tomato production, especially in India. Tomatoes do not have genes that confer resistance against the borer and conventional efforts to manage the pest were ineffective. Thus, a team of Indian scientists used Bt technology to develop fruit …

GE cowpea seed to be available for Nigerian farmers in 2019

December 7th, 2016 / ISAAA US

Nigeria’s National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) head announced that genetically engineered (GE) cowpea will be commercially available in the country on or before 2019. Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, NABDA Director General, mentioned this during the November meeting of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB). Prof. Ogbadu said that GE cowpea …