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Smart technologies to ensure sustainable farming

April 19th, 2017 / Ethiopian Herald

“There is something that we are not doing properly, that is why we keep on falling short of feeding the whole Africa,” mutters Dr. Kodjo P. Abassa, trying to get comfy on his chair. Dr. Abassa, former Adviser at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, has worked for more …

10 Ways Young People Are Reinventing Agriculture In Africa

April 19th, 2017 / Africa.com

Around seventy percent of young people in Africa live in rural areas. Rather than migrate, more and more are getting involved in agriculture. Young people are changing how the world sees the sector.
Here are ten ways African youth are contributing to reinventing and redefining agriculture. Read …

Warming of 2°C in Africa could reduce ag production by 20 per cent

April 19th, 2017 / Fresh Plaza, US

The Center for Global Development’s 2011 report, “Quantifying Vulnerability to Climate Change Implications for Adaptation Assistance,” forecasts median agricultural productivity losses due to climate change ranging from 18% in North Africa to 19.8% in Central Africa through 2050.
The weak output in Africa, reinforced by a spike in temperatures and exacerbated …

Nigeria: Agric extension workers: SADP adopts World Bank standard ratio

April 18th, 2017 / The Vanguard, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe writes: Sokoto state government has planned to adopt the World Bank standard ratio of extension worker to farmers in order to boost support for farmers in the state.
Programme Manager of Sokoto Agricultural Development Project (SADP), Abubakar Sadiq Malami told Saturday Vanguard on Friday that ‎the move …

Vicious circle of poverty and food insecurity

April 18th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: A poor household is usually malnourished, and vulnerable to disease and other evils. Uganda is known to be well endowed with fertile soil and bi-annual rainfall. Yet we have thousands of households that are too poor to produce enough food for their nutritional requirements or …

Soil microbiome – research into practice

April 17th, 2017 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

The previous blog looked at the extraordinary complexity of life supported by soils, in particular healthy, productive soils. This is especially true in the rhizosphere, the soils directly affected by plant root secretions. Key functions modulated by microbes include plant nutrition through the release of inorganic phosphorous in soils, the …

Will organic community embrace gene editing if it restores ancient crops?

April 17th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The majority of plants used in organic farming were conventionally bred to select for traits that increased productivity and are not suited for organic farming where pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer usage is limited. Significant inbreeding during the selection process has led to loss of several beneficial traits such as salt …

Farmers in Makueni reap big after planting drought-tolerant crops

April 17th, 2017 / The Star, Kenya

For many years, farmers in Makueni county have stuck to growing maize, but this has not yielded much, leaving them to rely on relief food when the crop failed and during droughts like the current one.
But now an initiative from the Anglican Development Services-Eastern and the Alliance for a Green …

How ‘human bees’, biotechnologists and Gates Foundation are rescuing the African cassava staple

April 14th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

In the developed world, most people eat the root vegetable cassava only in tapioca pudding or bubble tea. But in sub-Saharan Africa, it’s the primary staple for half a billion people and is the continent’s most popular crop. It has gained prominence due to its tolerance to extreme weather conditions, …

Africa’s agriculture needs new blood, but young people are attracted to the cities

April 14th, 2017 / Development & Cooperation

The growing population of Africa needs food, but millions of young people are looking for jobs and future prospects. The countryside offers lots of opportunities for employment but suffers from a lack of attractiveness.
It is the well-educated young Africans, in particular, that are leaving rural areas for the cities. A …