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African breakthroughs to help Aussie wheat growers

January 5th, 2017 / Queensland Country Life, Australia

A RANGE of groundbreaking agricultural research and development work being conducted in Africa will help push sub-Saharan Africa towards food security, but may also have big benefits for Australian agriculture as well.
Deputy director general of research at the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) Andrew Noble …

Toward climate-smart agriculture in West Africa

December 19th, 2016 / BioMed Central, UK

Many projections of the impact of climate change on the crop, livestock and fishery production sectors of African agriculture are reported in the literature. However, they may be arguably too general to understand the magnitude of impact and to inform adaptation strategies and policy development efforts that are tailored to …

Africa: Climate-resistant beans could save millions

December 16th, 2016 /

Only about 30 crops provide 95 percent of human food energy needs, according to FAO. Dependency on a few staple crops magnifies the consequences of crop failure.
Botanists are already taking extreme measures to save those plant species deemed useful. Some 7.4 million samples are in seed banks around the world, …

On-farm smallholder irrigation performance in Ethiopia: from water use efficiency to equity and sustainability

December 15th, 2016 / Lives, Ethiopia

The performance of smallholder irrigation schemes are challenged by several factors: among which water insecurity and low land and water productivity are the main ones.
This paper evaluates the on-farm management of nine smallholder irrigation schemes from four regional states in Ethiopia. The schemes are diverse in several aspects and we …

Climate change is smallholders’ pain

December 12th, 2016 /, UK

Experts use many numbers when talking about climate change. However, rising temperatures, the resulting crop failure and consequent loss of livelihoods and destitution of millions of households are this year’s most important and urgent developments for millions of smallholder farmers across African agro-ecological landscapes.
To illustrate the unfolding crisis, let us …

Storing grain in warehouses for better market is way to go

December 6th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: If grain farmers are to attract better market opportunities, there is need for adequate warehousing as grain markets in East Africa, including Uganda, suffer from a range of constraints.
Smallholder farmers are particularly affected owing to vulnerability to price fluctuations and weak bargaining. But effective marketing …

Common grass could help boost food security

November 30th, 2016 /

Australian researchers have discovered that the common Panic grasses could hold the secret to increasing the yields of cereal crops and help feed the world with increasing temperature extremes and a population of nearly 10 billion people by 2050.
The findings, published in Nature Plants, show the potential to improve crop …

World cotton sector moves to preserve growth

November 25th, 2016 /, UK

The world’s major cotton producer and trader nations have agreed on strategies to boost collaborative research and spur scientific sharing and technology transfer to overcome challenges to the sustained growth of the global cotton industry.
Depleting water resources, new pest-related problems, an increasing frequency of intense droughts, floods, shifting weather and …

Drought-resistant grass to spur milk production

November 23rd, 2016 / All

Struggling East African dairy farmers could benefit from new varieties of high-quality, drought-resistant forage grass known as Brachiaria that boosts milk production by 40 per cent, a report says.
The forage grass could enable farmers to increase their incomes, according to experts at the Colombia-headquartered International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) …

Suggestions on current food challenges

November 22nd, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow and farmer Michael Ssali writes: Every year, 12 million hectares of land is degraded due to drought and desertification according to the 2016 Global Food Report.
The farmers who attended the second National Coffee Festival at Mandela National Stadium, Nambole, on November 4 were introduced to the Coffee Drought …

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