In the news...

Pesticides: what we ought to know

October 8th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Pests are a big nuisance to farmers because, among other things, they reduce crop production.
To overcome the problem, farmers often resort to buying pesticides which are poisonous chemicals manufactured to kill the pests. They may be dusted or sprayed on the crop to prevent pest attack.
The …

Africa bets on technology to lure youth to farming

October 5th, 2018 / Reuters

“A simple text to a farmer just to say, ‘The weather outlook for the next three days is this’ can fundamentally change what they do.”
Africa has the world’s youngest population – 60 percent of its 1.2 billion people are under 25 – but only 3 million jobs are created …

Improved cowpea in the offing for Ghanaian smallholders

October 5th, 2018 / SciDev.net

“These novel cowpeas will sustain the cowpea industry and provide foundation for further breeding and improvement of the crop.”
Aaron Asare, Ghana’s University of Cape Coast.
Ghanaian smallholders could by the end of this year get access to new, disease-resistant cowpea varieties that mature early and improve yields, says an expert who …

Africa sets sights on tackling foodborne disease burden

October 5th, 2018 / Food Safety News

Co-An index to help tackle the burden of foodborne diseases in Africa launched this week.
The African Food Safety Index (AFSI) was unveiled by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), with the African Union Commission, CGIAR A4NH, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., and the World …

China to train African scientists as part of $60-billion development plan

October 4th, 2018 / Nature, UK

China wants to train Africa’s next generation of scientists. Its lofty goal is to improve African science in fields from agriculture and climate change to quantum physics and artificial intelligence.
The training is one element of a much larger plan adopted by Chinese and African leaders at the third Summit of …

New project to promote employability for youth in agriculture

October 3rd, 2018 / IPP Media

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the NEPAD Agency launched the Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) project.
Over 80 stakeholders from all 9 provinces gathered for a two-day inception workshop.
The project was officially launched by Mr Joe Kgobokoe, Deputy Director General, Policy, Planning & Monitoring & …

IRRI opens regional office in Africa

October 3rd, 2018 / World-Grain.com

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) opened a new regional office in Nairobi to help Africa boost rice productivity and self-sufficiency.
The office was inaugurated by Professor Hamadi Boga, Principal Secretary, Kenyan State Department of Agriculture Research, who was represented by Margaret Makelo; Jim Godfrey, chairman of the board of trustees and …

We’ll only stop young African scientists from leaving if we help them fix these key problems at home

October 2nd, 2018 / Quartz Africa

Young African scientists face persistent barriers which cause them to leave their own countries, and even academia. This means the continent’s work force loses highly trained people who are crucial for scientific and technological advancement, and for economic development. A number of factors contribute to this trend, including a desire for higher pay, …

Global actions needed to combat fall armyworm

October 1st, 2018 / SciDevNet

Fighting fall armyworm requires global efforts as the pest could spread to more countries, warn scientists. Within the past two years, Fall armyworm has spread to 44 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, threatening the food security of about 200 million people who depend on maize as a staple food crop, experts say. The detection …

Living Planet: Is climate change to blame for extreme weather in Africa?

September 28th, 2018 / DW

Drought in the Horn of Africa, flooding in East Africa, mudslides in Sierra Leone, snow in high altitude areas of the Sahara Desert. Superstorms, heatwaves, hail storms, high winds. Africa is battling with extreme weather, which is impacting its food security and affecting its poorest citizens the most. But to …