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“Africa must start by treating agriculture as a business”, says AfDB president

May 9th, 2017 / African Business

No region of the world has ever moved to industrialised economy status without a transformation of the agricultural sector. Agriculture, which contributes 16.2% of the GDP of Africa, and gives some form of employment to over 60% of the population, holds the key to accelerated growth, diversification and job creation …

Armyworm invasion forces Ghana to declare agricultural state of emergency

May 9th, 2017 / Face2FaceAfrica

The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, asked the Ghanaian Parliament to declare an “agricultural state of emergency” in the country as the current armyworm invasion jeopardizes agriculture as a source of food and income.
In a memo addressed to the Cabinet Monday, Akoto called on Parliament to allow the …

Agronomist urges farmers to commit to weed control to prevent herbicide resistance

May 8th, 2017 / Phys.org

Farmers faced with tight profit margins may consider cutting back on weed control efforts this growing season, but an Iowa State University agronomist said doing so may cost farmers money in the long term.
Robert Hartzler, a professor of agronomy and ISU Extension and Outreach weed expert, said low commodity prices …

Africa’s subsistence-minded farmers should become commercially-minded

May 8th, 2017 / How we made it in Africa

The vast majority of food produced in Africa is grown by small-scale farmers. Most of these farmers live in poverty and are only able to produce enough to feed their families. As a result, they are not able to use agriculture to lift themselves out of poverty or to increase …

Maize scientists vow to intensify research on armyworm invasion in Africa

May 3rd, 2017 / PAEPARD, Kenya

Nairobi. Scientists from the global maize research center vowed to intensify eradicate fall army worms that had invaded hundreds of farms in various regions across Africa. This two-day meeting was attended by 130 experts and stakeholders from African governments, international and national agricultural research organizations, non-governmental organizations, national plant protection …

Cassava is genetically decaying, putting staple crop at risk

May 3rd, 2017 / Phys.org

For breeders of cassava, a staple food for hundreds of millions in the tropics, producing improved varieties has been getting harder over time. A team at Cornell used genomic analysis of cassava varieties and wild relatives to make a diagnosis: Mutations have corroded the genome, producing many dysfunctional versions of …

Sweet potato project improves nutrition and incomes

May 1st, 2017 / SciDev.net

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: Farmers and entrepreneurs in West Africa are benefiting from a project that offers improved sweet potato varieties and market access. The US$4 million project that began in April 2014 and ended last month (March 2017) was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and …

Ghana’s Northern Rural Growth Programme – innovative way to make agriculture a worthy investment for rural farmers

April 28th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) sought the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) financial support to implement the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) in Ghana at a total cost of US$ 92.79 million. The programme was designed with the overall goal of ensuring equitable and sustainable reduction of poverty and …

‘Southern Africa must boost irrigation infrastructure’

April 28th, 2017 / The Herald, South Africa

Zimbabwe and the southern Africa region should take advantage of the recent good rains to beef up its irrigation infrastructure, tapping into the vast water bodies in order to increase yields and global competitiveness in agriculture.
Irrigation industry expert Edwin Mungure who is also Sales and Marketing manager at Almin Metal Industries said; …

African Development Bank pumps $24bn into agriculture

April 26th, 2017 / Fresh Plaza, US

The African Development Bank (AFDB) has committed $24 billion towards Africa’s food production over the next 10 years in order to create jobs and increase food security, along with boosting the agriculture industry on the continent.
The funds and plan were released by the bank’s president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina during …