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Onions stop tomato aphids attack

February 21st, 2017 / FarmBiz Africa

In cutting down pesticide application and the accruing costs in production, one farmer succeeded in vending off the pests by growing onions around his greenhouse tomatoes in the last season.
Lari Sub-county farmer Nathan Kimeu was implementing an idea he learnt from the Internet that onions’ smell can repel some crop …

Cereal prices continue to rise, defying improved supplies

February 21st, 2017 / FAO, Italy

The FAO Food Price Index rose notably in January, led by sugar and cereals, even as global markets remain well supplied.
The FAO Food Price Index averaged 173.8 percent in January, its highest value in almost two years, marking a 2.1 percent increase from its revised December value and 16.4 percent …

Scientist inspires girls in Africa to embrace agriculture careers

February 21st, 2017 / Thompson Reuters, UK

Little did 47-year-old Thokozile Ndhlela know that growing up in rural Zimbabwe would inspire her to become a well-respected agricultural scientist, helping transform agriculture by developing science-based solutions to some of the complex issues facing African farmers.
Currently a postdoctoral staff member with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)in …

Drought-tolerant maize shows promise in Tanzania

February 20th, 2017 / Alliance for Science, US

Tanzania’s first-ever genetically modified crop — a field trial of drought-tolerant maize intended to benefit small-scale farmers suffering the effects of climate change — is proceeding well and will be harvested imminently, according to scientists overseeing the trial for the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project.
Dr. Alois Kullaya, …

International Year of Pulses closes with call to build upon strong momentum

February 20th, 2017 / African Farming, UK

The International Year of Pulses, which was celebrated in 2016, has helped raise awareness globally of the benefits of eating and growing pulses, with calls to now build upon the strong momentum.
At the closing ceremony of the International Year of Pulses (IYP) hosted by Burkina Faso with the UN …

Is organic farming better for the environment?

February 20th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Many consumers believe that buying organic is “voting with their dollars” for a more environmentally desirable form of farming. That belief is promoted in organic marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, those consumer intentions are not supported by a realistic assessment of state-of-the-art environmentally optimal farming methods.
The standards that govern organic farming, set …

Are genetically modified crops a solution for the African armyworm invasion?

February 20th, 2017 / AFKinsider

A combination of native African armyworms and Fall armyworms from the Americas are ravaging staple crops across southern Africa. If uncontrolled, they have the potential to cause major food shortages, according to a report in The Conversation.
Damage to maize is likely to have the biggest impact on farmers in southern …

Economic transformation in Africa should be spurred by agriculture

February 16th, 2017 / Ghana Business News

The African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) said Africa’s agricultural sector can drive economic transformation on the continent if the challenges in the sector are properly addressed.
Dr. Yaw Ansu, Chief Economist at ACET, speaking on: “The Importance of Agriculture in Economic Transformation,” said if Africa can better impact the lives …

Rwanda: over 3,000 farmers to receive coffee treatment skills

February 16th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Sustainable Harvest Rwanda, a nongovernmental organisation that aims to improve coffee productivity, this week launched a three-year-long project to help women better take control of the coffee farming process.
The project, which will focus on three districts (Gakenke, Rulindo and Gicumbi) in the Northern Province, will train more than 3,000 female …

Togolese Gilbert Houngbo elected new IFAD boss amid food crisis in Africa

February 16th, 2017 / Daily Nation, Kenya

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on Tuesday elected a new president amid increasing demand for rural agricultural development funding in developing countries
The fund, which is a specialised United Nations agency and international financial institution that invests in eradicating rural poverty in developing countries around the world, elected former …