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How conservation agriculture is helping Ethiopian farmers become more than subsistence farmers

August 6th, 2018 / Addis Standard, Ethiopia

Major factors limiting food production for smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa include the depletion of soil fertility, soil erosion and periodic droughts due to climate change. In Ethiopia, crop productivity is further constrained by a lack of quality inputs such as improved seeds, and high prices of chemical fertilizers, which …

Land degradation – a triple threat in Africa

August 6th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Sustainability, stability, and security–the three overlapping issues are an increasing concern among many especially in Africa where land degradation is displacing citizens and livelihoods.
African ministers and United Nations officials convened at the U.N. as part of the Initiative on Sustainability, Stability, and Security (3S), which aims to address migration and …

From cocoa bean to chocolate – how Africa can own the game

August 6th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Chocolate is one of the world’s most beloved sweet treats. It is consumed pretty much everywhere. You are probably a chocolate lover. So where does your favourite brand of chocolate come from?
A recent white paper from data provider Gro Intelligence gathered the facts: Europe dominates the production, consumption and exportation …

Kenya, Ethiopia show neighboring Uganda how to revive its dying cotton industry with pest-tolerant technology

August 3rd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Cotton, once a cash cow in Uganda where growers aspired to outcompete each other in the acreage covered and income earned, could slowly become a crop of the past if nothing is done to curb the steady decline in its production.
According to data from the Cotton Development Organization, Uganda’s lint …

How drones can transform agriculture

August 2nd, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Progressive countries have adopted drones – unmanned aircraft that flies autonomously – for precision agriculture with impressive results, but what exactly can a drone do for the agricultural sector in Africa and Kenya, in particular?
Farmers need accurate, precise and up-to-date information on plant health and environmental conditions.
On the most basic …

Ethiopia releases new, perennial sorghum variety

August 2nd, 2018 / SciDev.net

Ethiopian scientists have developed a new sorghum variety that could lead to multiple yields annually.
According to the National Statistics Agency in Ethiopia, the country has almost two million hectares of sorghum fields, and harvests about four million tonnes of sorghum grains every year.
The new sorghum variety is expected to produce …

How changing the world’s food systems can help to protect the planet

August 1st, 2018 / The Conversation

By Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Executive Director, CGIAR System Organization
Going into debt with nature is a dangerous thing. When our stocks of water, land and clean air are spent – we don’t have a second planet to borrow from. But that’s exactly the way that Earth is heading. 1 August 2018 marks …

Securing East Africa’s cassava

August 1st, 2018 / CGIAR

Morag Ferguson is thrilled with the results of a recent genotyping study. It seems that the cassava landraces she has been working on from South, East and Central Africa are pretty unique. The genetic diversity maps show this specific group of landraces branching off clearly in isolation from the cassava …

Genetically modifying rice to produce HIV-neutralizing proteins

August 1st, 2018 / Phys.org

A team of researchers from Spain, the U.S. and the U.K. has genetically modified a strain of rice to produce HIV-neutralizing proteins. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes the technique by which they modified the rice and how it might …

Financial benefit of using GM crops

July 31st, 2018 / Farming UK

A new report has quantified the significant financial benefit of using GM crop technology to maximise agricultural productivity.
The report, which has been produced by Graham Brookes and Peter Barfoot of UK-based PG Economics Ltd, looks around the world at where GM science has been used to boost productivity and save …