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Climate science: Getting African researchers involved

October 5th, 2017 / SciDev.net

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met for its 46th session in Montreal, Canada, from September 6-10. It reached an agreement on an outline of contributions from its three working groups to the Sixth Assessment Report, which is due to be published in 2022. It will now recruit a …

Researchers work on drought-tolerant maize for Africa

October 4th, 2017 / VOA News

In Zimbabwe, researchers say they are breeding maize that is drought and heat resistant as part of efforts to fight hunger across Africa, where maize is a staple food.
In Hezekaya Village in Gokwe, about 200 kilometers west of Harare, cotton is what most people plant because it can grow in …

Initiative to build African science journalism capacity

September 27th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

A two-year programme has been launched to build capacity of science journalists and improve science coverage in Africa.
It was launched this month (1 September) with the aim of recognising the important role of science journalism in promoting Africa’s socioeconomic development.
The project is being funded by the African Academy of Sciences …

Chips, chocolate and coffee – our food crops face mass extinction too

September 26th, 2017 / Guardian, UK

A “sixth mass extinction” is already under way, scientists are now warning us. Species such as the Bengal tiger and blue whale are vanishing at an alarming rate, and mournful eulogies are being written on how those born in 20 years’ time may never see an African elephant. But who …

Water harvesting techniques for smallholder and large-scale farmers

September 25th, 2017 / Farmbiz Africa

Kenya Meteorological Department recently warned of heavy rains between September 19 and 25, unfortunately many farmers may miss utilizing the opportunity to harvest enough of this rain water and store it for future use due to lack of even simple ways of harvesting water.
According to the Agroforestry world, Kenya is …

The price we pay for rejecting biotechnology

September 12th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
We are stuck in a paradoxical situation where the government is urging farmers to work hard when it is not doing much on its part to overcome the challenging national agricultural production constraints that could be reduced by the use of biotechnology.
An online newsletter, Genetic …

Africa should harmonise agro-policies

August 24th, 2017 / Daily Mail, Zambia

THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) says African countries need to develop harmonised regional agricultural policies that promote investment in key resilient infrastructure to boost regional trade in agro-products.
The policies should also aim to mitigate climatic challenges.
COMESA climate change advisor Mclay Kanyangarara said strengthened regional integration measures …

Can epigenetics change the way we breed crops for drought and climate change?

August 24th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Crops that can withstand the ravages of climate change or resist killer diseases? Many already have been developed — including varieties of bananas, cassava, wheat and oranges — but they languish on laboratory shelves as their creators navigate the complex, and sometimes contradictory, regulations developed over the years to deal …

What sub-Sahara can learn from India’s ‘Green revolution’: the good and the ba

August 23rd, 2017 / The Conversation

Sub-Saharan Africa has huge potential to become a global food basket, but it is far from being realised. The region is estimated to have 60% of the globally available and unexploited arable land yet it remains food deficient.
Even when arable land is cultivated, hurdles such as limited irrigation, small sized …

Is our type of agriculture really working?

August 21st, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Most of our farmers work on small plots of land and can be described as family farmers, smallholders or just peasants. This kind of farming provides employment to about 70 per cent of our adult population.
Typically a peasant farmer uses a hand hoe and a machete, …