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Growing more, growing better for Africa’s food security

May 2nd, 2018 / CTA, Netherlands

Professor Sir Gordon Conway writes:
“There are three pillars of sustainable intensification:
Ecological: harnessing nature to support agricultural production. For example, crop rotation or agroforestry are production methods that work with nature to improve soil fertility and build a more sustainable food and nutrition system.
Genetic: new hybrid crops and improved livestock …

Africa has plenty of land. Why is it so hard to make a living from it?

May 2nd, 2018 / The Economist, UK

Surrounded by tangled shrubland, Wisdom Mababe’s farm in central Zambia seems incongruously neat. “In 2002, when I started, it was bare bush,” he says. Each year since, he has bulldozed an area the size of 40 football pitches. Maize grows in ordered rows; cattle graze behind a fence. “The land, …

Ugandan legislator on why his nation needs to ‘wake up’ on GMOs

May 1st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Robert Kafeero Sekitoleko is an engineer, legislator and chairperson of the Sectoral Committee on Science and Technology in Uganda’s Parliament. He has faced the wrath of opposing forces in an effort to drive the debate and passing of the Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill to allow GMO crop breeding in Uganda. …

We must stand up for quality seeds

May 1st, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Seed companies, researchers and dealers recently launched the Global Development Alliance in Nairobi in partnership with USAid. Ian Barker is the Head of Agricultural Partnerships at Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. He spoke to Leopold Obi about what the alliance is all about and what farmers should expect from it. …

Scientists hail European ban on bee-harming pesticides

May 1st, 2018 / Nature, UK

In a long-awaited decision, the European Union today voted to ban the use of three controversial neonicotinoid insecticides on all crops grown outdoors.
The vote ends years of bitter wrangling between those in favour of a ban, including environmental groups and many scientists, and opponents of further restrictions, including neonicotinoid manufacturers. …

Agricultural diversification as an important strategy for achieving food security in Africa

April 27th, 2018 / Wiley Online Library

Farmers in Africa have long adapted to climatic and other risks by diversifying their farming activities. Using a multi‐scale approach, this report explores the relationship between farming diversity and food security, and the diversification potential of African agriculture as well as its limits on the household and continental scale. Read …

Kenya among countries to get agricultural investment fund

April 27th, 2018 / Star

Kenya is among 10 countries in East Africa set to benefit from Sh130 million investment project that targets to increase production in the agriculture sector. This week, the East African Farmers Federation in partnership with the International Fund For Agriculture Development unveiled the EAFF-IFAD Youth project workshop. The project intends …

WEMA maize shows promising resistance to destructive fall armyworm

April 27th, 2018 / Joy Online

Scientists have observed unexpected benefits in Mozambique’s Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) field trials that could well be a game changer in efforts to ensure Africa’s food security. Though the maize varieties were genetically engineered to withstand drought and the vicious stem borer pest, they’re also showing promising resistance …

A remarkable new technology that will diminish a global cancer threat from aflatoxin

April 26th, 2018 / Forbes

Aflatoxin is probably one of the single largest causes of cancer in the developing world – particularly in Africa. Recently, a Swiss, family-owned grain handling equipment company called Bühler has cooperated with Microsoft to develop a system which can process corn at a rate of 15 metric tons per hour and reject …

USAID offers prize money to combat Fall armyworm in Africa

April 26th, 2018 / VOA News

The U.S. Agency for International Development is offering a prize of $150,000 for the most viable solution, two awards of $75,000 to the “most promising” solutions, and two awards of $50,000 to an “early stage” solution that shows the most potential. Read …