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First ever ‘flower maps’ for beekeeping in Africa

September 4th, 2015 / African Farming

The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology has produced the world’s first ever flower maps in Africa. Researchers at the Kenya-based institute have developed a new remote-sensing method, allowing ICIPE to produce a map of flowering plants across Africa which can be used by beekeepers to identify flowers suitable …

Africa’s smallholder farmers: Agents of change in a risky climate

September 4th, 2015 / Agriculture for Impact

It can be difficult to avoid sounding hyperbolic when talking about climate change because if current farming practices and resource-heavy ways of life don’t change, the future looks dim. But with the right training and incentives, farmers have shown that they can adopt and drive sustainable agricultural development, which can …

Ten apps to boost African agriculture

September 3rd, 2015 / Venturesafrica.com

Analysts have shown that by 2025 half of Africa’s population will have internet access with about 360 million smartphones on the continent. Also based on their estimation, internet technology could increase annual agricultural productivity in Africa by $3 billion per annum. Throughout the continent, farmers, NGOs and scientists are …

Local start-ups key to transforming Africa’s seed industry

September 3rd, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

Calestous Juma writes: The seed industry in sub-Saharan Africa is informal in nature, with approximately 80% of farmers saving and replanting seeds from year to year. This gives them security of access. But improved varieties – including high-yielding and hybrid crops – will increase productivity and income. See …

The challenge of fighting poverty through farming

September 2nd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: It is good to reflect a little on poverty—the enemy we are all bent on eradicating from our lives mainly through farming. The majority of our people struggle against poverty as small-scale farmers in the rural areas.Peasant farmers are particularly vulnerable to the effects of …

Ants are as effectives as pesticides

September 2nd, 2015 / Aarhus Science and Technology, Denmark

A new scientific review from Aarhus University shows that when farmers use ants as pest controllers, it is just as effective as using chemicals. In addition, the method is sustainable – and far cheaper. See …

Why farms of the future need to mix livestock and crops

September 2nd, 2015 / Devex, US

Today, for hundreds of millions of the world’s smallholder farmers, livestock — a few cattle or maybe a small herd of goats and a flock of chickens — are by far the most important household asset. Moreover, these animals typically live on a small farm of about a hectare (a …

Innovators and entrepreneurs will unlock Africa’s agribusiness promise

August 31st, 2015 / Quartz Africa

The potential growth of Africa’s food and beverage markets will only be possible with adequate investment in small and medium-sized agribusiness enterprises. Small African firms engaged in agribusiness greatly outnumber the large players. Policymakers need to support agribusiness and technology incubators, export-processing zones and production networks. They must also sharpen …

SA farmers should make use of more GMOs

August 28th, 2015 / iafrica.com, South Africa

Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana said genetically modified farming techniques are being developed by his department and should be adopted by the industry. “We are working with the department of technology in finding new methods by which we can improve new cultivars, the new seeds that are 20 percent resistant to …

Southern African countries urged to unleash agriculture potential

August 28th, 2015 / This Day Live, Nigeria

The Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, has called on Southern African countries to tap into the youth population in the region to address food insecurity and end unemployment. Addressing policymakers and youths in the region at a conference organised by Centre for …