In the news...

In defense of corn, the world’s most important food crop

July 14th, 2015 / Washington Post, US

Corn has a bad rap. Think of those 90 million U.S. acres growing the stuff, and what comes to mind? Monocrops, perhaps? Cheap meat and processed foods? Ethanol? Subsidies? Polenta might not even make your list. But let’s separate corn, the plant, from corn, the cog in the industrial machine. …

Double cassava yield with improved weed control

July 14th, 2015 / The Day, Nigeria

Preliminary results from experimental plots carried out by researchers working under the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) led Cassava Weed Management Project show that by switching to improved weed management practices, Nigerian cassava farmers can double current national average yield of 12-13 tonnes per hectare. Read …

GMO policies around the world

July 13th, 2015 / Biology Fortified, US

In the debate surrounding GMOs, a statement that is often made is that many countries have banned transgenic crops, which suggests that they are not safe. Although all countries have laws and regulations surrounding biotech crops, including the United States, very few countries have an outright ban, where GMOs can …

People can reverse effects of climate change

July 13th, 2015 / Tanzania Daily News

Climate change is wreaking havoc in the countryside and as a result people’s food source has been largely disturbed. Crops resistance to diseases and pests has changed. Their maturities and yield levels too have changed just as management practices, taste, eating habits and lifestyle. Growing drought resistant crops, however, can …

Why the COP-21 climate talks need to focus on agriculture

July 10th, 2015 / SciDev.net

Food systems’ high sensitivity to climate is well known. Less widely recognised is that agriculture is also a major driver of climate change. Agrifood systems — systems involved in producing, processing and transporting food — are estimated to contribute at least a quarter of global, human-caused greenhouse emissions. It is …

Tanzania: Use of inferior crop seeds lowers food output

July 10th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

Continual use of unimproved and inferior quality seeds by most Tanzanians is seemingly plaguing the country’s production of food and cash crops. Despite a significant improvement in the utilisation of improved seeds by 25 per cent, available statistics show that about 75 per cent of seeds used by agricultural producers …

6 farming similarities between the UK and Africa

July 9th, 2015 / Farmers Weekly

The crops, climate and cultures differ dramatically, but there are parallels in the challenges that farmers in both Africa and the UK face – even if the scale and consequences of success and failure differ dramatically. Here are six similarities. Read …

New FAO Representative presents credentials to AU

July 9th, 2015 / GBC Ghana

Dr Patrick Kormawa, newly appointed Sub regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa FAO Representative to Africa and United Nation Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), has presented his credentials to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. Welcoming him, Dr Zuma urged the FAO to work closely with …

Uganda: Women grow vegetables to invest in other activities

July 8th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

In Uganda, growing vegetables helps one women’s group to invest in further money-making agricultural activities as chicken and pig rearing, as well as build better houses and pay children’s tuition fees. B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports. Read …

Kenya: Mushroom farmer sets up school to boost exports

July 8th, 2015 / FarmBiz Africa

A farmer in Eldoret is earning Sh70,000 daily from mushroom cultivation, and is calling on farmers to be trained on cultivation as the export market grows. Mr. Daniel Rotich, who also works with the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Institute, worked with a fungi culture and mushroom cultivation agronomist to assist …