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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 …

Next breakthrough for farmers is a friendly fungus

December 7th, 2016 / Bloomberg Markets, US

Monsanto Co., a lightning rod for critics of modern agricultural techniques, is introducing a new feature next year for its genetically modified corn seeds that it says will not only boost yields but cut down on fertilizer use and carbon-dioxide emissions.
The seed giant, together with Danish company Novozymes A/S, has …

Storing grain in warehouses for better market is way to go

December 6th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: If grain farmers are to attract better market opportunities, there is need for adequate warehousing as grain markets in East Africa, including Uganda, suffer from a range of constraints.
Smallholder farmers are particularly affected owing to vulnerability to price fluctuations and weak bargaining. But effective marketing …

Ghana’s government lauds WACCI for enhancing food security

December 6th, 2016 / Ghana New Agency

The University of Ghana’s West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) has been commended for its initiative towards enhancing food security in Ghana and the West African subregion.
Mrs Mona Quartey, a Deputy Minister of Finance, commended WACCI for being one of the most outstanding Africa Centres of Excellence (ACE) in the …

Private sector SMEs should be catalytic force in industrialization of agriculture

December 6th, 2016 / African Development Bank Group, Côte d'Ivoire

Private sector small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be the catalytic force in the industrialization and modernization of agriculture, a paper delivered Monday at the 2016 African Economic Conference taking place in Abuja has proposed.
Chief Executive of Agrolay Ventures, Nigeria, Ada Osakwe, who spoke as a panelists at the “High …

Africa’s agriculture projects are growing inequality, not food

December 5th, 2016 / Mail & Guardian, South Africa

Low yield growth, increasing food insecurity, climate change and massive population growth are the four factors that will determine the shape of Africa over the next century. Even if countries on the continent are successful in negotiating more favourable trade conditions and introduce policy reforms, Africa will still need to …

African Development Bank to give Shs703 billion for agriculture

December 5th, 2016 / Business Community, South Africa

Uganda will receive $195 million (Shs703b) from the African Development Bank (ADB) to support two agricultural projects in the country, in relation to the bank’s Regional Alignment with Feed Africa Strategy. As per Uganda project, the ADB says the Agricultural Value Chains Development Project is $110 million (Shs396) and it …

Open letter to the Member States of the African Regional Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

December 5th, 2016 /, Zimbabwe

A specific concern is that the Arusha Protocol provides very strong intellectual property rights to breeders of uniform varieties, at the expense of farmers’ rights. There is nothing in the Protocol or the draft Regulations that expressly safeguards the right of smallholder farmers in the ARIPO region to freely use, …

Why Lagos might choose to buy tomatoes from southern Africa – rather than 90km away

December 2nd, 2016 / How we made it in Africa

In Lagos, it can be cheaper to source tomatoes from countries in southern Africa than from 90km outside of the city, according to Omri van Zyl, CEO of AgriSA. Why? Because infrastructural inefficiencies in markets like Nigeria raise the costs of both production and getting produce to market.
This is just …

Ethiopia to commercialize BT cotton in two years

December 2nd, 2016 / Africa Business Communities, Netherlands

Ethiopia is set to begin commercialization of biotechnologically developed cotton following the adoption of a law that granted experimentation rights both in labs and fields and the conduct of confined field trials of the BT cotton.
According to Endale Gebre (PhD), director of agricultural bio technology sector at the Ethiopian Agricultural …