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Brazil: An indigenous village produces super cassava

September 4th, 2015 / World Bank

Brazil’s Terena indigenous community has combined ancient practices and new technologies to increase the quality and quantity of this popular root crop. The Terena began to experiment with new organic fertilizers that make use of cassava peels, and adopted a new variety of (non-transgenic) root: IAC 576-70, known as amarelinha, …

A 2nd Green Revolution has begun: rice, food security, and climate change

September 3rd, 2015 / IRRI, Philippines

As the global population continues to grow toward a predicted nine billion souls by 2050, it will be humanity’s greatest challenge to produce more food to feed the world 35 years hence without wrecking the planet. These challenges must be met in the face of food production systems that …

Ten apps to boost African agriculture

September 3rd, 2015 / Venturesafrica.com

Analysts have shown that by 2025 half of Africa’s population will have internet access with about 360 million smartphones on the continent. Also based on their estimation, internet technology could increase annual agricultural productivity in Africa by $3 billion per annum. Throughout the continent, farmers, NGOs and scientists are …

Local start-ups key to transforming Africa’s seed industry

September 3rd, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

Calestous Juma writes: The seed industry in sub-Saharan Africa is informal in nature, with approximately 80% of farmers saving and replanting seeds from year to year. This gives them security of access. But improved varieties – including high-yielding and hybrid crops – will increase productivity and income. See …

The challenge of fighting poverty through farming

September 2nd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: It is good to reflect a little on poverty—the enemy we are all bent on eradicating from our lives mainly through farming. The majority of our people struggle against poverty as small-scale farmers in the rural areas.Peasant farmers are particularly vulnerable to the effects of …

Ants are as effectives as pesticides

September 2nd, 2015 / Aarhus Science and Technology, Denmark

A new scientific review from Aarhus University shows that when farmers use ants as pest controllers, it is just as effective as using chemicals. In addition, the method is sustainable – and far cheaper. See …

Progress made in fight against banana bacterial wilt but …

September 2nd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Banana is grown in nearly 130 countries around the world. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda is the biggest banana producer followed by Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. However, the crop could be wiped out by a disease that is spreading across different countries in Africa. Banana …

Ghana: agriculture must be seen as serious business

September 2nd, 2015 / The Chronicle, Ghana

According to Ghana’s President Mahama, when people begin to take agriculture as business, they would not only be ensuring food security, but also partnering the government in its efforts to promote agriculture, which is crucial to the rapid socioeconomic development of the country. The President assured the people of the …

Why farms of the future need to mix livestock and crops

September 2nd, 2015 / Devex, US

Today, for hundreds of millions of the world’s smallholder farmers, livestock — a few cattle or maybe a small herd of goats and a flock of chickens — are by far the most important household asset. Moreover, these animals typically live on a small farm of about a hectare (a …

244 reasons why GMOs are safe

September 2nd, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

To date, more than 2000 scientific studies have assessed the safety of these crops in terms of human health and environmental impact. These studies together with several reviews performed on a case by case from regulatory agencies around the world, have enabled a solid and clear scientific consensus: GM crops …