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New seed varieties NOT reaching small farmers

January 22nd, 2016 / Eye Witness News, South Africa

Africa’s small farmers, more than half of whom buy their seeds from local informal markets, need access to improved seeds that can yield more food and cope with climate change, according to research. Innovations in food science, including seeds that produce vitamin-rich food and crops that can withstand the hotter, …

Growing concern over El Nino’s impact on southern Africa as planting window ends

January 20th, 2016 / UNFP, Rome

The El Niño global weather event, which is leading to even worse drought across the region, is already affecting this year’s crop. With little or no rain falling in many areas and the window for the planting of cereals closing fast or already closed in some countries, the outlook is …

Farmer of the year advocates a ‘Third Way’

January 20th, 2016 / Seedstock, US

Farmer of the Year, Amy Hepworth, says, “the organic movement is wonderful. It got us off the worst chemicals, and we’ve never gone back. Right now we have the most abundant and safest food supply in human history. We need to continue to employ applied science to improve and heal …

The opportunity, science and politics of GM crops

January 18th, 2016 / Farm Weekly, Australia

Despite the numerous advances made through modern farming, agricultural innovation continues to have more than its fair share of critics, mostly from outside the farming sector. Agriculture touches on almost every aspect of our lives and is impacted by decisions and events in almost every sector – from energy, to …

Foods available to African farm households increase with market access and off-farm work

January 18th, 2016 / ILRI News

Rural development in sub-Saharan Africa has to be more than closing yield gaps and agricultural development per se. Connecting people to urban centers and generating other employment sources will directly affect food security in a manner that boosting production cannot. Farmers start selling produce at levels below fulfilling food self-sufficiency, …

Digging for seeds of truth in GMO debate

January 18th, 2016 / CBS News, US

By some estimates, 80 percent of all processed foods — cereals, baby formula, canned soups and more — contain at least one GMO, or Genetically Modified Organism. But whether GMOs are safe and whether they should be listed on the label has led to a very big food fight. …

Africa tops the trio of continents set for rise in food demand

January 15th, 2016 / Food Navigator.com

Africa has the greatest potential for growth in food consumption over the next 25 years, according to a report, as the continent’s young demographic and lower-than-average calorie consumption provides huge export potential. Read …

Breeding silk worms: Some lessons to learn from Kenya

January 15th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru, writes: In Africa, the demand for raw silk is huge, especially in the textile industry. but farmers have not been sensitised to adapt sericulture—the rearing of silk worms, unlike in Kenya where Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) breeds silkworms to strengthen the capacity of …

Farmers advised on best practices to improve maize, bean production

January 13th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali reports: “While Uganda is endowed with good soils and a favourable climate, agricultural production is far below potential and the produce often fails to meet quality standards. Coffee, maize and beans are some of the food and cash crops produced but their marketability has proved to …

Branding Nigeria through agriculture

January 10th, 2016 / Daily Trust, Nigeria

Special events have proven to be veritable means of putting places and people under spotlight and generating awareness among the public at both local and international levels. In recent times, an upsurge of various events, in sports, entertainment, professional meetings, NGO fora, international organisations and global groups have elicited a …