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South Africa: Minister commends pro-women agriculture initiative

October 21st, 2016 / African Brains, Kenya

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana has welcomed an initiative by a group of Western Cape women, who have set up a network of entrepreneurs to help women and youth to get into farming.
In an interview with SAnews, the Minister said the initiative makes it easier for government to …

CAADP having a positive impact on food and nutrition security

October 21st, 2016 / African Brains, Kenya

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is having a positive impact on food and nutrition security in countries that are implementing it, according to the just released 2015 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR).
“Improving food security is not only about making sure people are consuming adequate calories, but …

Africa: agriculture has big role to play in curbing greenhouse gas emissions

October 21st, 2016 /

“There is no doubt climate change affects food security,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said while presenting the report. “What climate change does is to bring back uncertainties from the time we were all hunter gatherers. We cannot assure any more that we will have the harvest we have …

GMO grass could cut methane emissions from cows, improve milk yield

October 20th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The grass is about to get greener thanks to DNA technology out of Denmark. Researchers say they’ve genetically modified a “super grass” that is easier on cow’s stomachs… “It is simply a better diet for the cow, which can utilize the feed more efficiently and therefore doesn’t release as much …

Lessons from how farmers view wealth creation as a holistic system

October 20th, 2016 / NewsDay, Zimbabwe

Although there is a tendency to treat the majority of African smallholder farmers as passive recipients of external information and knowledge, they are very good at learning from their experiences.
In Zimbabwe, eMKambo has discovered that farming communities and individual farmers contribute to the national knowledge base more than they will …

Could African agriculture leapfrog harmful pesticides by using plant microbiomes?

October 20th, 2016 / Afk Insider

In Africa, where there is an overwhelming need to improve soil health and crop productivity, microbial science in agriculture is just getting started. Researchers believe there’s a revolution in finding alternatives to pesticides and artificial fertilizers that can improve African farm productivity.
Scientists are investigating the plant microbiome — the billions …

Ancient farming practice produces more food and less pollution

October 19th, 2016 / Yale Climate Connections, US

In West Africa farmers combine agricultural and kitchen waste, then add ash and char residue from cooking. When the charred material is applied, it becomes highly resistant to decomposition, and it can stay for hundreds of years.
The char holds carbon, keeping it in the ground and out of the atmosphere. …

Increasing agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa can reduce poverty & spur growth

October 19th, 2016 / World Bank, US

A new World Bank report shows that improving agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa remains an important strategy for reducing poverty, enhancing inclusive growth, and promoting structural transformation in the region. See …

Can a new sweet potato help tackle child malnutrition?

October 19th, 2016 / BBC, UK

Millions of children across Africa suffer from malnutrition – one way to tackle this is a special type of sweet potato that can deliver an extra vitamin hit which is being developed in Uganda.
It may spend less time in news headlines than Ebola or the Zika virus, but Vitamin A …

How scientists are taking on the global food crisis

October 18th, 2016 / Science, US

When Amrita Hazra moved to the United States from India in 2005 to start graduate school, she noticed that grocery stores were packed with products based mostly on three grains: wheat, corn and rice.
Hazra remembered eating a wide variety of grains in her homeland, including many types of millets — …