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Small mills flourishing business with rural communities

September 7th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Small grinding mills are very important machines for many communities in Africa because they can be operated anywhere. There are various types of this milling tools ranging from the ancient types to modern used by communities across Africa Ugandan communities inclusive. …

Ghana to commercialize GM crops in three years

September 7th, 2015 / Ghana Business News

Despite the sustained campaign against the introduction of commercial genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Ghana, including a protracted legal battle, Ghana is likely to commercialize GMOs in three years, according to information sourced by Ghana Business News. Early this year, Food Sovereignty Ghana (FSG) a food advocacy organisation, sued the …

Building better crops from the bottom up

September 7th, 2015 / Global Food Security, UK

Plant breeding using classical, top-down or forward genetic approaches has served us well in the millennia since people settled in agricultural communities and started crossing plants, selecting individuals with traits that made farming easier and the edible parts more nutritious. An alternative to top-down genetic crop improvement is the so …

First ever ‘flower maps’ for beekeeping in Africa

September 4th, 2015 / African Farming

The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology has produced the world’s first ever flower maps in Africa. Researchers at the Kenya-based institute have developed a new remote-sensing method, allowing ICIPE to produce a map of flowering plants across Africa which can be used by beekeepers to identify flowers suitable …

Africa’s smallholder farmers: Agents of change in a risky climate

September 4th, 2015 / Agriculture for Impact

It can be difficult to avoid sounding hyperbolic when talking about climate change because if current farming practices and resource-heavy ways of life don’t change, the future looks dim. But with the right training and incentives, farmers have shown that they can adopt and drive sustainable agricultural development, which can …

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 …