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Decent jobs for rural youth key to Africa’s prosperity

February 27th, 2018 / Asian Independent, UK

Africa must, in coming decades, explore the entire food chain to create adequate jobs for young people, especially in rural areas, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Thursday.
“Countries need to promote a rural and structural transformation that fosters synergies between farm and non-farm activities …

New climate-smart technologies will boost agriculture and jobs in West Africa

February 27th, 2018 / UN Climate Action

A new programme is being launched to equip farmers in Africa with climate-smart agricultural tools and technologies.
The project is being rolled out by CORAF, a West African research institute, with the support of the World Bank.
It seeks to place innovative technologies in the hands of farmers to better protect them …

Why we should genetically modify coffee

February 26th, 2018 / RealClear Science

Remember the Gros Michel banana? If you’re under the age of seventy, you probably don’t. That’s because in the 1950s a fungal disease called Panama disease essentially wiped out commercial production of the Gros Michel. In just a few years, growers were forced to switch from the rich, creamy, and …

Africa could become a world agricultural leader in CRISPR and other new breeding techniques

February 26th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
It’s 8:30 East African Standard Time. I disembark from a van filled with science journalists from Kampala, Uganda and accompanied by stakeholders from Uganda National Farmers Federation at the National Agriculture Crops Resources Research Institute in Namulonge.
We are on a fact-finding trip about research and the …

Fighting plant pests

February 26th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Pests are described as insects, bacteria, viruses, birds, and rodents that destroy crops by eating them or by infecting them with diseases.
They are often a nuisance which results in huge losses for the farmer. They can damage the crop when it is growing in the …

Namibia: San embrace permaculture for food security

February 23rd, 2018 / The Namibian

The San community living in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest has embarked on an initiative to pioneer new farming techniques in efforts to enhance food security.
The community, according to a media statement issued last week by the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation, has been expanding its agricultural activities to …

Chemical-free, low-cost crop storage bags that preserve food longer now commercially available

February 23rd, 2018 / Purdue University, US

The internationally recognized Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bag, a specially designed bag to prevent insect-caused post-harvest losses for farmers in developing countries, is now commercially available for farmers worldwide.
The PICS technology, which received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a triple layer sealed plastic bag that …

Adesina urges America to support African agriculture as a business

February 23rd, 2018 / AfricanBrains

“I do not seek aid for Africa. I seek investments in Africa,” said the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina in making a strong case for increased American and global investments to help unlock Africa’s agriculture potential.
He made the remarks as the Distinguished Guest Speaker, at the …

Green super rice for a greener revolution

February 22nd, 2018 / ISAAA, US

A collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has developed Green Super Rice (GSR), a new breed of rice varieties that perform well in the toughest conditions.
GSR is a mix of more than 250 different …

Tea and potatoes show potential of intra-Africa agricultural trade

February 22nd, 2018 / UNTAD

Basic crops grown in Africa can be made into higher-value products, whether it’s by bagging tea or turning potatoes into frozen French fries, creating jobs and fueling growth in the continent, according to a recent UNCTAD assessment of the continent’s food trade.
The potential of basic crops to form such agricultural …