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Shocking encounter with fall army worms

March 21st, 2017 / The Sunrise, Uganda

About a week ago, my wife Esther brought my attention to an attack in our little maize garden. She urged me to spray the tender plants having detected damage on the leaves on the crop that is just three weeks now.
I hesitantly accepted to spray against the feeling that it …

Raising crop productivity in Africa through intensification

March 14th, 2017 / Agronomy, Switzerland

The population of Africa will double in the next 33 years to reach 2.5 billion by 2050. Although roughly 60% of the continent’s population is engaged in agriculture, the produce from this sector cannot feed its citizens. Hence, in 2013 alone, Africa imported 56.5 million tons of wheat, maize, and …

Video: Managing aflatoxins in groundnuts during drying and storage

March 14th, 2017 / Access Agriculture, Kenya

Certain moulds grow on groundnut, maize and other foods. These moulds produce a poison called aflatoxin. To have healthy groundnuts it is important to care for the groundnut during its whole growth, but especially during drying and storage. See …

Our body does not absorb genetic material from our food

March 3rd, 2017 / DTU Food, Denmark

A major new study carried out by researchers from the Denmark’s National Food Institute has found no evidence that genetic material from the food we eat is absorbed via the intestine into the bloodstream from where it has the ability to change the body’s functions.
The study has been carried out …

GMO and organic – can they work together?

March 3rd, 2017 / The Grower, US

Could they learn to work together? A growing population—and a changing climate—may demand it. Conventional agriculture has a history of depleting the soil and polluting waterways with contaminated runoff. But there is a growing recognition that such practices are not sustainable—short term yields may be higher with conventional methods, but …

UN – 20 million people on brink of famine

February 24th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Wednesday that 20 million people in four countries face famine unless the international community steps in to prevent it.
“The situation is dire,” Guterres told reporters. “Millions of people are barely surviving in the space between malnutrition and death, vulnerable to diseases and outbreaks, forced …

Onions stop tomato aphids attack

February 21st, 2017 / FarmBiz Africa

In cutting down pesticide application and the accruing costs in production, one farmer succeeded in vending off the pests by growing onions around his greenhouse tomatoes in the last season.
Lari Sub-county farmer Nathan Kimeu was implementing an idea he learnt from the Internet that onions’ smell can repel some crop …

The soil microbiome: enlisting an invisible army for food security

February 20th, 2017 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

Plants do not grow in isolation: even the smallest amount of soil is home to millions of very diverse microorganisms, mostly bacteria and fungi, which interact with plants and affect the way they grow and cope with environmental and biotic stresses.

These microbes have co-evolved with plants since they colonised …

Are genetically modified crops a solution for the African armyworm invasion?

February 20th, 2017 / AFKinsider

A combination of native African armyworms and Fall armyworms from the Americas are ravaging staple crops across southern Africa. If uncontrolled, they have the potential to cause major food shortages, according to a report in The Conversation.
Damage to maize is likely to have the biggest impact on farmers in southern …

Pests, disease seen hitting southern African food output

February 15th, 2017 / Reuters, Africa

Crop pests and diseases sweeping through southern Africa pose a threat to food security in a region where production has yet to recover from drought, a senior U.N. food agency official said on Tuesday, calling for a swift and coordinated response.
At the start of an emergency conference called by the …