In the news...

Charcoal rot: a threat to staple food crops in South Africa

September 2nd, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Charcoal rot is caused by a fungus that invades various agricultural crops and gives them a charred appearance. The disease is becoming more widespread in South Africa – which is worrying, since it can dramatically affect crop yields which drives up prices and hits farmers’ incomes.
Charcoal rot attacks crops that …

Nigeria: IITA trains 60 extension service providers over Cassava farming

September 1st, 2016 / 20read.com

B4FA Fellow Kate Obande reports: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on Tuesday said it had trained 60 extension service and spray providers in tackling weeds, especially in cassava farming. The training covers areas such as the Safe Use of Herbicides, Herbicides Safety and Application, Gender, Effective Meeting, Group …

GM seeds market growth to increase due to rise in biofuels use

September 1st, 2016 / ISAAA, US

The global genetically modified (GM) seeds market will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) close to 10% by 2020, says a new report by Technavio, a global technology research and advisory company. Technavio’s latest report, Global Genetically Modified Seeds Market 2016-2020, covers the present scenario and …

Water for sustainable growth: how biotech crops are one solution

September 1st, 2016 / Forbes Magazine, US

Every day, our farmers are using new tools and technology to do more with less so they can solve for water efficiency. “For farmers, water represents balance. Not enough and our crops won’t grow. Too much, and they will drown and we will lose nutrients as they flow away.” Drought …

A rice revolution for Africa?

August 31st, 2016 / IOL Business News, South Africa

The first hybrid rice varieties developed in sub-Saharan Africa are yielding up to four times more than other improved varieties, say scientists, who are using web-based tools to identify the right climate conditions to maximise harvests. The 15 hybrids, bred in Kenya and Tanzania, are also tolerant to diseases and …

Importing food ‘harming’ Africa – UN

August 31st, 2016 / New Times, Rwanda

Despite agriculture employing more than 80 per cent of the African population, the continent generates only 10 per cent of global agricultural output. Yet another shocking reality is that Africa still spends $35 billion a year on importing food, despite having a quarter of the world’s arable land, according to …

How to ensure Africa’s irrigation boom benefits everyone

August 31st, 2016 / GFAR, Italy

Napandaela is a 63-year-old woman living in small village in northeastern Tanzania. Speaking of competition over water among villagers, she says: “In the face of water scarcity, upstream users and powerful individuals take as much water as they can and leave little for others.” Napandaela, a former chairperson of the …

SEND-Ghana demands more agric investment

August 30th, 2016 / SEND, Ghana

According to SEND-Ghana, and NGO, its research on investment in smallholder agriculture revealed the need for AU to revise the minimum threshold to push for additional direct investments to support the sector. See …

The agriculture sector can woo today’s youth

August 26th, 2016 / Microlinks, US

When it comes to youth, the development sector seems to have accepted the idea that agriculture isn’t sexy. As part of research being conducted by the Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) Activity around the extent to which USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative is engaging youth in agricultural value chains, researchers spoke …

Time To Move Beyond GMO Controversy And Take Advantage Of Scientific Progress

August 24th, 2016 / Forbes Magazine, US

Prof. Peter Raven, one of the world’s leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity, writes: Anybody that plans to go into crop production should consider acquiring land whose soil holds sufficient plant nutrients and has the potential to keep enough water for the crops to grow well. Good soil …