In the news...

Counterfeit pesticides cost farmers Sh120bn

August 10th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

The country is losing at least Sh120 billion in revenue to unregistered agro-chemicals dealers and counterfeit pesticides, according to Agrochemicals Association of Kenya (AAK) chairperson Patrick Amayunzu.
AAK said counterfeits account for 15 to 20 per cent of agrochemicals being distributed in the country, posing a threat to farmers and the …

Model farm promises youth better livelihoods

August 10th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Known as the Songhai model, the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development’s organic agricultural project at Kampiringisa in Mpingi District is beginning to take shape, six months after it was established.
Sitting on 100 acre land at Kampiringisa Rehabilitation Centre, demonstrates the relationship between crop husbandry, animal husbandry and aquiculture …

Open EU to African goods, German development minister says

August 9th, 2018 / DW.com

The European Union should completely open its market to products from Africa in order to promote development and stem migration flows, German Development Minister Gerd Müller said Wednesday.
“Open the market for all African goods,” he told Die Welt newspaper in an interview.
Agricultural products from Africa must be able to enter …

Ghana eyes Bt cotton following its approval in nearby Nigeria

August 9th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Nigeria’s decision to commercialize Bt cotton has revived hopes for the novel variety in Ghana, its West African neighbor. Science-focused civil society groups are confident Nigeria’s move will serve as a good role model and push players in the agricultural space to resume work on processes to make Bt cotton …

Biotech update: What is CRISPR and how does it works

August 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Researchers have found that the CRISPR – Cas9 system can be applied to nearly every organism. Early studies using CRISPR – Cas9 for gene editing have focused on crops important for agriculture. It was realized early on that the system could be used in crops to improve traits, such as …

13 African countries have biotech crops in different stages of development, but approvals are slow

August 8th, 2018 / Genetic Literary Project, US

13 African countries have some biotech crops in different stages of development; the research involves 12 crops and 14 traits. Governments around the continent are evaluating the research and approving crops that feature stacked traits, like insect-resistance and drought tolerance in corn.
A new report published by the International Service for …

Pheromone-based pest control could be the wonderful future of agriculture

August 7th, 2018 / Green Optimistic

Conventional insecticides are extremely harmful to the farmer, pollinating insects, and consumers ( residue on fruits and vegetables). Therefore, the world is looking for an alternative, safer way to protect the plants from pest insects. One of them is pheromones .
One of the most promising methods is mating disruption by …

Agritechnology firms in partnership to enhance smallholder farmers’ productivity

August 7th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Technology company, SunCulture, which specialises in provision of solar water-pumps and irrigation solutions for small holder farmers, has closed an investment round with electric utility firm, EDF Group, a low-carbon energy provider.
In the deal, EDF will share its experience, selling and installing off-grid solutions designed for residential customers and its …

Ghanaian farmers enlist drones to combat fall armyworm invasion

August 7th, 2018 / Genetic Literary Project, US

Farmers at Janga in the West Mamprusi municipality of the Northern Region [in Ghana] are learning how to use drones and other newly introduced chemicals meant to fight an invasion of fall armyworms in the area. The intervention comes at a time when the worms have wreaked havoc on maize …

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 …