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Loss of fertile land fuels ‘looming crisis’ across Africa

July 31st, 2017 / New York Times, US

Africa itself has a land problem. The continent seems so vast and the land so open. The awesome sense of space is an inextricable part of the beauty here — the unadulterated vistas, the endless land. But in a way, that is an illusion.
Africa itself has a land problem. The …

At Last, ‘Plan B’ for Africa

July 31st, 2017 / SciTech Connect

A practical, appropriate and effective solution to Africa’s food and nutritional insecurity has eluded everyone for over 100 years. Since colonial days, conventional thinking has been based on the misconception that what works in temperate latitudes must work in the tropics and sub-tropics. This thinking fails to understand the very …

Better communication is essential to the future of agriculture…and the planet

July 27th, 2017 / Huffington Post, US

On June 15, I had the honor of presenting the annual AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. Each year, one person is selected to address scientific thought leaders across all segments of the agriculture and food industry – …

Farmers urged on irrigation

July 24th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

For many years, Ugandan farmers have relied and thrived, on rainfall to water the land, with irrigation a preserve of large-scale schemes for cash crops such as rice, sugar canes and flowers for export.
The government says because the climate is changing, droughts are becoming more frequent.
The country has suffered at …

World Population Day 2017: IFPRI models impact of population growth on demand for food

July 19th, 2017 / IFPRI

The current world population of 7.6 billion is now projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. As that number grows, so too do concerns about the environment, development, and food security. World Population Day (July 11) seeks to bring awareness to the challenges ahead.
IFPRI’s International Model for Policy Analysis of …

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 …

Aquaculture to play significant role in Africa’s food security – NEPAD

July 14th, 2017 / PM News, Nigeria

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) on Wednesday said fisheries and aquaculture play a significant role in Africa’s economy, food security and nutrition.
Dr Bernice McLean, a Senior Programme Officer for Fisheries, NEPAD, made the assertion at a stakeholders’ workshop on the Pre-Assessment of the Semi-Industrial Shrimp Fishery in Lagos.
“Fisheries …

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 …

Vinegar: A cheap and simple way to help plants fight drought

July 11th, 2017 / Phys.org

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) have discovered a new, yet simple, way to increase drought tolerance in a wide range of plants. Published in Nature Plants, the study reports a newly discovered biological pathway that is activated in times of drought. By working out the …