In the news...

Storing grain in warehouses for better market is way to go

December 6th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: If grain farmers are to attract better market opportunities, there is need for adequate warehousing as grain markets in East Africa, including Uganda, suffer from a range of constraints.
Smallholder farmers are particularly affected owing to vulnerability to price fluctuations and weak bargaining. But effective marketing …

Private sector SMEs should be catalytic force in industrialization of agriculture

December 6th, 2016 / African Development Bank Group, Côte d'Ivoire

Private sector small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be the catalytic force in the industrialization and modernization of agriculture, a paper delivered Monday at the 2016 African Economic Conference taking place in Abuja has proposed.
Chief Executive of Agrolay Ventures, Nigeria, Ada Osakwe, who spoke as a panelists at the “High …

Africa’s agriculture projects are growing inequality, not food

December 5th, 2016 / Mail & Guardian, South Africa

Low yield growth, increasing food insecurity, climate change and massive population growth are the four factors that will determine the shape of Africa over the next century. Even if countries on the continent are successful in negotiating more favourable trade conditions and introduce policy reforms, Africa will still need to …

Open letter to the Member States of the African Regional Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

December 5th, 2016 / bulawayo24.com, Zimbabwe

A specific concern is that the Arusha Protocol provides very strong intellectual property rights to breeders of uniform varieties, at the expense of farmers’ rights. There is nothing in the Protocol or the draft Regulations that expressly safeguards the right of smallholder farmers in the ARIPO region to freely use, …

Why Lagos might choose to buy tomatoes from southern Africa – rather than 90km away

December 2nd, 2016 / How we made it in Africa

In Lagos, it can be cheaper to source tomatoes from countries in southern Africa than from 90km outside of the city, according to Omri van Zyl, CEO of AgriSA. Why? Because infrastructural inefficiencies in markets like Nigeria raise the costs of both production and getting produce to market.
This is just …

Egypt: Students launch first scientific internet radio station

December 1st, 2016 / IAAAS, US

Cairo University students under the BSc Biotechnology program launched the Scientific Square Radio (SSR). It is the first scientific radio station in Egypt and is located at the Central Library, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University. Prof. Naglaa Abdallah, Coordinator of the BSc Biotechnology program and Director of the Egypt Biotechnology …

How Africa can turn a food deficit to surplus

November 30th, 2016 / Financial Times, UK

By 2050, the world will need to feed 9bn people, 2bn more than we feed today. In order to meet this demand, global food production must increase by an estimated 70 per cent in the next 30 years. Africa — which contains 65 per cent of the world’s unexploited arable …

Common grass could help boost food security

November 30th, 2016 / Phys.org

Australian researchers have discovered that the common Panic grasses could hold the secret to increasing the yields of cereal crops and help feed the world with increasing temperature extremes and a population of nearly 10 billion people by 2050.
The findings, published in Nature Plants, show the potential to improve crop …

Make silage from sweet potato vines

November 30th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes: Uganda is the most important producer of sweet potatoes in Africa and only second to China globally. However the value of sweet potato vines as feed for animals is little understood by farmers.
Sweet potato is the third major food crop after cassava and bananas. While …

Protecting and developing African agriculture in the face of climate change

November 29th, 2016 / Bizcommunity, South Africa

The United Nations 2016 climate change conference (COP22), meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, presented an historic opportunity to refocus the global community’s attention on the need to help developing nations adapt to climate change. In no area could this be more pressing than Africa, where protecting food security and ending hunger …