In the news...

Microloans make farming profitable for Kenyan smallholders

December 2nd, 2019 / SciDev.net

Farmers in Kenya report increased yields after signing up to microloan scheme.Groups such as One Acre Fund and myAgro give smallholders access to finance and farming inputs.More investment is essential to help small-scale farmers reach their potential. Read more …

White collar job? No thank you- Kisaakye

December 2nd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports:

Timothy Kisaakye, 34, is considering relocating from Kampala to his home village of Kasanje on the outskirts of Masaka Town to become a full-time farmer. 

Big dream “I do not think I will get a job in Kampala that can pay me the amount of money that I …

Investing in drought-tolerant maize is good for Africa

November 30th, 2019 / CIMMYT

Zambia’s vice-president has recently called to reduce maize dominance and increase crop and diet diversification in his country. The reality is that maize is and will remain a very important food crop for many eastern and southern African countries. Diet preferences and population growth mean that it is imperative to find solutions …

Reality TV shapes up young farming in Eastern Africa

November 28th, 2019 / Spore, Netherlands

In Kenya, as in other African countries, young people often do not possess the collateral or adequate financial knowledge needed to venture into agricultural enterprises, deterring them from seeking and acquiring financial support for the development of agribusinesses. Further issues regarding the storage, transportation and market access of farm produce, …

African countries advised to improve land database

November 28th, 2019 / New Business Ethiopia

Michael Lipton, Emeritus Professor of Economics at Sussex and Emeritus Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies advised Sub-Saharan Africa countries to improve their database on land in order to address land governance challenges. Read more … …

Innovation needed to end food loss and global hunger

November 14th, 2019 / Relief Web

FAO Director-General addresses Vatican Conference on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said raising awareness, greater innovation – including digital technologies – and investment were needed to reduce food waste and eliminate global hunger.

The Director-General gave the keynote speech to the Vatican’s Conference on Food Loss and Waste …

Ghana’s seven year quest to increase cocoa production

November 8th, 2019

Despite red flags raised by the minority in parliament, last Wednesday, parliament voted to approved the US$600 million loan facility for the Cocoa Productivity Enhancement Project being given to Ghana by the African Development Bank (AfDB) to restructure and revamp the cocoa industry.

The project which covers a seven year duration …

Microbes living in plant roots fight off fungal infection, cutting need for pesticides, study shows

November 7th, 2019

Micro-organisms living inside plant roots team up to boost the plant’s growth and tolerance to stress. An international research team led by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and Wageningen UR reports its discovery in …. the scientific journal Science.

Certain species of ‘resident’ bacteria can protect plant roots against fungal infections. …

IITA unveils digital tools for agricultural transformation

November 6th, 2019

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on Friday unveiled suite digital tools that are helping in transforming farming, improving yield and livelihoods of farmers.

The digital tools include the cassava, Goseed and yam seed trackers; Akilimo, IITA Herbicide Calculator, e-commerce site and IITA News App.

Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, IITA Director General …

What will I eat today’ vs. ‘will I eat today?’ – It’s time to trust African scientists

November 5th, 2019

In Africa, it is time we focus on diligent and accelerated regulatory regimes, as well as decisions based on science and the benefits of agricultural biotechnology. It is time we focus on agricultural productivity with an acknowledgement of environmental conservation and sustainability. It is time we give strong consideration to …