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Smallholder farmers hold key to food security

May 10th, 2017 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Small-scale farmers, account for a large portion of food produced in many parts of Africa. Investment should target them to increase the welfare of citizens, improve food security and drive the economic development.
One setback the smallholder farmer has suffered from time immemorial is financing.
The African Union, through a number of …

Why South Africa’s agricultural industry needs digital transformation

May 10th, 2017 / BIZCommunity, South Africa

The evolution of technology is transforming the world. Digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced machinery and artificial intelligence are changing the way people work, making processes more efficient and helping to create innovative new products and services. The digital transformation of the agricultural sector will impact …

Using agriculture and agribusiness to bring about industrialisation in Africa

May 10th, 2017 / The Africa Report

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 …

Global GM crops reduced farm chemical usage and CO2 emissions in 2016 boom year

May 9th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Examining the benefits of biotechnology, ISAAA reports that the adoption of biotech crops has reduced CO2 emissions equal to removing approximately 12 million cars from the road annually in recent years; conserved biodiversity by removing 19.4 million hectares of land from agriculture in 2015; and decreased the environmental impact with …

“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 …