In the news...

Bio tech crops help African countries

July 18th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
It was reported in this column last month that maize, cassava, and cotton farmers in North Eastern Tanzania, had appealed to senior government officials to give them Genetically Modified (GM) crops to plant in order to avoid persistent crop failure.
This followed vain attempts made for years …

Inside how donors are hurting Africa

July 18th, 2017 / The Southern Times

Money from wealthy nations is hurting Africa and not helping the continent as it continues to be trapped in slower economic growth and rising unemployment, a new report by Tony Blair’s Institute has warned.
The report titled “Making inclusive growth work in Africa” says a number of African countries, among them, …

Agritech will not take root without better communication

July 18th, 2017 / Eco-business

Technology has the potential to raise crop yields, cut fertiliser use, improve farming efficiency and, by its nature, make the world’s oldest and least digitised industry more sustainable.
But without better communication of the benefits to farmers and the end consumer, agritech could suffer the same fate as genetically modified crops …

How some African farmers are responding to climate change — and what we can learn from them

July 14th, 2017 / ensia.com

As sub-Saharan Africa’s climate changes, small-scale farmers are increasingly looking to innovative ways of dealing with agricultural challenges. And in some instances, the techniques they adopt are helping to combat climate change, too.
Alternative animal feed, climate-friendly grasses and the use of fodder trees are among the examples providing farmers resilience …

South-South cooperation critical in boosting Africa’s agricultural production

July 14th, 2017 / Xinhuanet, China

Uganda is in its second phase of implementing the South to South Cooperation program aimed at boosting agricultural production in the East African country.
Alhaji Jallow, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Representative to Uganda, told Xinhua in an interview that there is evidence that the model of farming, featuring sending …

East African scientists turn to gene sequencing against Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD)

July 13th, 2017 / African Marketplace, CNN

Cassava has no defense against a tiny insect that is decimating crops across East Africa, with dire economic and humanitarian consequences.
The whitefly carries two viruses that together destroy over $1 billion worth of cassava in Sub-Saharan Africa each year. Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) is the more established threat and does …

Scientists biofortify wheat to produce flour with more iron

July 13th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Researchers from the John Innes Centre (JIC) have developed a variety of wheat that has high levels of iron. This new biofortified variety could help decrease the number of people with iron deficiency around the world.
Wheat contains iron in parts that are removed before milling. With the use of the …

Bringing smallholders and farming startups into the fold

July 13th, 2017 / BizCommunity, South Africa

Transformation. It’s a word we hear, and use, often. But how many of us take the time to pause and think about what it really means? By definition, transformation is “a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.”
My specific field of interest is education – and even more specifically, …

As solar refrigerator keeps mangoes cold, farmers’ profits heat up

July 13th, 2017 / Thompson Reuters

It is a hot and cloudless morning, a sign that it will be sunny right through the afternoon. Joseph Mailu moves along rows of fruiting mango trees with a long pole in his hand, harvesting the mature fruits.
The succulent green mangoes drop inside a net tied to the tip of …

Soil nutrient depletion, major cause of food shortage in Africa

July 11th, 2017 / Xinhuanet, China

Experts at the three-day West Africa Fertilizer and Agri-Business Conference which began here on Monday identified depletion of soil nutrients as one of the key challenges to food security on the African continent.
Eugine Rurangwa, Land and Water Officer at the UN-Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) African Regional Office noted there …