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Tanzanian farmer brings forest back to life

August 14th, 2015 / SciDev.net

The village of Nkoasenga in northern Tanzania is increasingly experiencing drought and soil degradation, which make it harder for local people to grow food and cash crops. Jonas Somi, a 65-year-old farmer from Nkoasenga, blames the village’s environmental problems on deforestation and is planting fast-growing Grevillea robusta to provide shade …

Global warming increases ‘food shocks’ threat

August 14th, 2015 / BBC

Researchers from the US and the UK have analysed the chances of extreme weather events causing food shocks as the world warms over the coming century. Looking at the production of rice, wheat, maize and soybeans, the scientists found that the the chances of a one in 100-year production disruption …

Uganda: Farmers can benefit from fabricated farm machinery

August 13th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Scientists at Agricultural Engineering and Appropriate Technology Research Institute, Namalere (AEATRI) are making a number of agricultural tools, which they are encouraging farmers to adopt for better output.The tools being promoted fit under different programmes at the institute; energy engineering, water harvesting and storage, soil …

Bt cotton necessary to boost cotton yields in Zambia

August 13th, 2015 / ISAAA, US

The Cotton Development Trust (CDT) is positive that insect resistant cotton will help decrease the concerns of farmers and will effectively contribute to cotton development in Zambia. According to CDT Director, Lwisya Silwimba, small-scale farmers face low productivity and high cost of production, which negatively affects the cotton industry in …

Can the Earth feed 11 billion people?

August 13th, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

If industrialised agriculture can now feed 7 billion, then why can’t we figure out how to feed 11 billion by the end of this century? There may be many issues that need to be addressed, the argument runs, but famine isn’t one of them. However there are a number of potentially …

Ban on GMOs in Kenya to be lifted says Ruto

August 12th, 2015 / Daily Nation, Kenya

The Kenyan government will lift the ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in two months, Deputy President William Ruto has said today. Mr Ruto added “various government ministries, departments and agencies concerned with biotechnology have already consulted and agreed on the necessary regulations and safety measures to be adhered to …

Relating beauty to agriculture

August 12th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: Conventionally, beautiful young women tend to be associated with white collar jobs and not with strenuous work in gardens. However the organisers of the 2015/2016 Miss Uganda contest did the unusual and yet most appropriate thing when they related it to farming. We were treated …

New project to help cocoa farmers tackle climate change

August 11th, 2015 / SciDev.net

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports on a project based on applied climate science has been launched to help cocoa farmers in Ghana adapt to the effects of climate change. The project, which targets cocoa-based farming systems in Ghana, leverages existing value chain interventions and will translate climate science into actionable …

Kenya: New hope for mango farmers as destructive bug meets its foe

August 11th, 2015 / The Star, Kenya

The fruit fly, a pest that has plagued mango farmers for years, has an unlikely foe – its own species. A new technology uses the pest as a host to a fungus that ensures the fruit fly’s own destruction. See …

Africa’s historic moment: pan-African food security

August 11th, 2015 / International Policy Digest

Agriculture can potentially ensure inclusive and sustainable growth on the continent of Africa if its value chain is optimized holistically. It can create jobs for many of the 17 million youth entering the job market annually while simultaneously feeding Africa. See …