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As weeds outsmart the latest weedkillers, farmers are running out of easy options

April 15th, 2019 / The Salt

There was a moment, about 20 years ago, when farmers thought that they’d finally defeated weeds forever.

Biotech companies had given them a new weapon: genetically engineered crops that could tolerate doses of the herbicide glyphosate, also known by its trade name, Roundup. Farmers could spray this chemical right over their …

Tapping into digital technology platforms to boost farming productivity in Africa

April 15th, 2019 / How we made it in Africa

Africa is a bit of an anomaly as far as agriculture is concerned. On the one hand, it has 65% of the world’s available uncultivated arable land, and it has the potential to feed the world. However, a country such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which has …

Moves to industrialise agriculture must involve smallholder farmers

April 15th, 2019 / The Independant, Nigeria

Dr. Ikechi Agbugba is the Senior Research Fellow, Africa Agricultural Agenda (AAA), the major arm of Surveillance Media Limited, and publisher of first Pan-African International Magazine on agriculture. He is also a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt. In this interview with SEYI TAIWO-OGUNTUASE, …

The world needs smart bananas

April 15th, 2019 / Fresh Plaza

Millions of people depend on bananas. However, their cultivation is very vulnerable to diseases and the effects of climate change. There is a pressing need for a new more resistant banana variety. To this end, on Monday, 8 April the Belgian University, KU Leuven, and Bioversity International signed an agreement. …

Genetic breakthrough on tropical grass could help develop climate-friendly cattle farms

April 15th, 2019 / Phys.org

Cattle are a mainstay for many smallholders but their farms are often on degraded lands, which increases cattle’s impact on the environment and lowers their production of milk and meat. Researchers at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) have shown that Brachiaria grass species can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cattle …

Royalty-free seeds, mobile devices help African farmers boost crop yields despite drought

April 9th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project

As our global population continues to grow and the climate becomes hotter and drier and resources become scarcer…. we need both food and fresh water to survive, but growing food demands significant fresh water as well. Our efforts to ensure both food security and ample fresh water supplies are intertwined, …

GMO ‘overregulation’ hinders tech development, market diversity, and food security, says researcher

April 9th, 2019

Current GMO regulation is crippling advancements in sustainable development and food security, according to agricultural economist Matin Qaim, who told FoodNavigator he is optimistic EU law can be adjusted to be ‘more science-based’.Read more …

How you can grow bananas successfully

April 9th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

Successful banana farming begins with proper choice of the location for growing the crop, according to Constance Itungu, a crop technician at Kamenyamiggo National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) station in Lwengo District. 

Requirements “Bananas grow better in well drained loamy and fertile soil,” she says. “The area should …

The future of plant disease management

April 9th, 2019 / Sustainable, Secure Food

Plant scientists are looking for ways to help plants withstand infection. One of the best ways is to find plants that seem to have their own resistance. You might know individuals who never get a cold or flu – their immune systems seem to manage infections better than others. It’s …

Why African farmers must consider drought tolerant crops

March 25th, 2019 / Africa.com

The latest UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s annual Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition Report highlighted drought as one of the key factors contributing to the continuing rise in the number of hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa. And in South Africa, the Government’s Crop Estimates Committee announced that the country …