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Africa told to improve informal seed sector

October 6th, 2016 / SciDev.net

Africa’s informal seed sector has been neglected for a long time despite providing 80 per cent of seeds that smallholder farmers use, a conference has heard.
According to experts who attended the Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) Africa Synthesis Conference in Kenya last month (19-20 September), developing the formal and informal …

Transforming agriculture to address climate change and other global challenges

October 3rd, 2016 / FAO, Italy

The agricultural sector must transform itself not only to achieve food and nutrition security for all, but also to help address global challenges such as climate change and antimicrobial resistance, FAO Director- General José Graziano da Silva said today.
In a speech to ministers, government, private sector and civil society representatives …

Modernizing sub-Saharan Africa’s farming systems can boost livelihoods, help feed the world

October 3rd, 2016 / UN News

With Africa set to play an ever-growing role in feeding the world’s bourgeoning population, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) today stressed that the sub-Saharan region needs modern, efficient – and above all mechanized and environmentally sound – farming system to meet global demand and transform the lives …

Will big agriculture mergers impact smallholder farmers?

October 1st, 2016 / deveximpact, US

Roughly 90 percent of the world’s farmers classified as smallholders who are spread across the developing world and feed into global value chains? How will the mega-mergers of Dow Chemicals and Dupont, Bayer and Monsanto and Syngenta and China National Chemical Corp. — ChemChina, for short — affect the incomes …

Agricultural mechanization: A key input for sub-Saharan Africa smallholders

October 1st, 2016 / reliefweb.int

“There is no doubt that the application of farm power to appropriate tools, implements and machines is an essential agricultural input in sub-Saharan Africa with the potential to transform the lives and economies of millions of rural families,” says FAO Assistant Director-General Ren Wang, head of the Agriculture and Consumer …

Latest China-funded biotech research facility completed in Nairobi

September 30th, 2016 / Coastweek, Kenya

A state-of-the-art facility funded by the Chinese government to promote collaborative research with African countries in the field of agriculture and biodiversity conservation has beenofficially handed over to a Kenyan university.
A hand-over ceremony was held on the campus of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) where the …

Farmers need new knowledge all the time

September 30th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: Empowering smallholder farmers to become more productive should be more than mere provision of free seed and planting material—a practice that is apparently going across the country.
New challenges keep cropping up as time passes. With our rapidly increasing population, the small plots on which our …

Pending global seed monopolies could threaten small-scale African farmers

September 28th, 2016 / AFK Insider, US

Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming the battleground of the world’s giant seed companies, which are in the process of negotiating a series of corporate consolidations that could leave almost 60 percent of the world’s seeds in the control of three firms, according to a report in The Guardian.
Until recently, six or …

African agriculture is powering economic transformation

September 28th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

The evidence is now in and the verdict is that Africa´s agriculture is powering economic transformation in the region. African agriculture has shown remarkable improvement compared to its precarious state 15 years ago.
However, progress is uneven across the region. Governments that have invested in their agricultural sectors, such as in …

Improving cassava processing

September 22nd, 2016 / CGIAR Roots, tubers and Bananas

Much of the cassava grown in developing countries is processed to produce starch or flour used as ingredients in an array of food products. As demand for those products grows, the cassava processing industry will play an increasingly important role for farmers and local economies. The CGIAR Research Program on …