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South Africa: farmers speak out against new plant bills

September 30th, 2017 / AllArica.com

“Seed is something that is sacred. Seed is life. In our tradition, it is about culture, identity; it’s about sharing … If everything is for sale, when will it stop?” asked Rifqah Tifloen at a public hearing on the Plant Improvement Bill and the Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill in Port …

New app diagnoses crop diseases in the field and alerts rural farmers

September 30th, 2017 / CGIAR

The team behind a new mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to accurately diagnose crop diseases in the field has won a $US100,000 award to help expand their project to help millions of small-scale farmers across Africa.
Cassava brown streak disease is spreading westward across the African continent, and together with …

Increasing food security by decreasing postharvest losses

September 28th, 2017 / World-grain.com

A recent report from the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that the world is making significant progress in addressing the issue of hunger. Food security is expected to improve through 2027, driven by forecasts for low food prices and rising incomes for 76 …

Africa’s city farmers can feed millions as they earn an income

September 28th, 2017 / Business Day, South Africa

All across Africa, populations are growing rapidly. Many people are vulnerable to malnutrition, limited healthcare and high rates of unemployment. As a result, people are streaming towards cities hoping to find jobs and earn an income.
According to the UN, in 2013, sub-Saharan Africa’s annual urban growth rate was 3.6% — …

African agricultural land becoming more attractive to investors

September 28th, 2017 / Fresh Plaza

In recent years investors have started discovering the potential of agriculture more and more. Especially Africa is interesting to these investors. That’s partly due to the enormous amount of agricultural land available, according to the FAO sub-saharan Africa has 90 million hectares of arable land available. Only 25 percent of …

New cassava variety developed

September 26th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Cassava is an important source of food and income for small-holder farmers in several African countries, including Uganda because it grows well in conditions of drought and low soil fertility.
However, viral diseases especially Cassava Brown Streak Virus (CBSV) and Cassava Mosaic Virus (CMV) can destroy …

Farmers harvest double from orange-fleshed sweet potato varieties

September 25th, 2017 / Farmbiz Africa

More than 35,000 farmers in Nyanza and Western Kenya are harvesting double yields per acre after adopting the high producing orange-fleshed sweet potato varieties from a research organization, International Potato Center (CIP).
Demand for the Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) is turning the food into a cash crop for the farmers in at …

We don’t have any GMO food, but genetically modified plants

September 25th, 2017 / Vanguard, Nigeria

The Federal Government has strongly assured its citizenry again that the country’s bio-security is guaranteed, insisting that there is no Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) in Nigeria.
The government, while placing the alert on importation of unauthorized maize, made it clear that no genetically modified maize had been imported into the country’s …

Water harvesting techniques for smallholder and large-scale farmers

September 25th, 2017 / Farmbiz Africa

Kenya Meteorological Department recently warned of heavy rains between September 19 and 25, unfortunately many farmers may miss utilizing the opportunity to harvest enough of this rain water and store it for future use due to lack of even simple ways of harvesting water.
According to the Agroforestry world, Kenya is …

Scientists intensify crop breeding

September 20th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Ugandan scientists have intensified efforts to breed key crops using conventional and biotechnology mechanisms in a bid for farmers to grow high yielding crops which are also resistant to pests and diseases.
Scientists from National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) have been breeding hybrid varieties of crops such …