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Plants and fungi together could slow climate change

December 3rd, 2019 / IIASA

A new global assessment shows that human impacts have greatly reduced plant-fungus symbioses, which play a key role in sequestering carbon in soils. Restoring these ecosystems could be one strategy to slow climate change.

Human-induced transformations of Earth’s ecosystems have strongly affected distribution patterns of plant-fungus symbioses known as mycorrhiza. These …

Microloans make farming profitable for Kenyan smallholders

December 2nd, 2019 / SciDev.net

Farmers in Kenya report increased yields after signing up to microloan scheme.Groups such as One Acre Fund and myAgro give smallholders access to finance and farming inputs.More investment is essential to help small-scale farmers reach their potential. Read more …

White collar job? No thank you- Kisaakye

December 2nd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports:

Timothy Kisaakye, 34, is considering relocating from Kampala to his home village of Kasanje on the outskirts of Masaka Town to become a full-time farmer. 

Big dream “I do not think I will get a job in Kampala that can pay me the amount of money that I …

Investing in drought-tolerant maize is good for Africa

November 30th, 2019 / CIMMYT

Zambia’s vice-president has recently called to reduce maize dominance and increase crop and diet diversification in his country. The reality is that maize is and will remain a very important food crop for many eastern and southern African countries. Diet preferences and population growth mean that it is imperative to find solutions …

Reality TV shapes up young farming in Eastern Africa

November 28th, 2019 / Spore, Netherlands

In Kenya, as in other African countries, young people often do not possess the collateral or adequate financial knowledge needed to venture into agricultural enterprises, deterring them from seeking and acquiring financial support for the development of agribusinesses. Further issues regarding the storage, transportation and market access of farm produce, …

African countries advised to improve land database

November 28th, 2019 / New Business Ethiopia

Michael Lipton, Emeritus Professor of Economics at Sussex and Emeritus Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies advised Sub-Saharan Africa countries to improve their database on land in order to address land governance challenges. Read more … …

What must be done to get toxin out of Kenya’s food supply

November 27th, 2019 / The Conversation, UK

An exposé in Kenya has revealed that there are high amounts of a poisonous substance, known as aflatoxin, in many of Kenya’s popular maize flour brands. This is particularly worrying as maize flour is a staple food for most Kenyans. Part of the problem is in how maize is processed and distributed in …

Climate-smart rice production is key for global food security, says report

November 27th, 2019 / New Food Magazine, UK

Proposing three innovative finance solutions to support sustainable rice production in line with the Paris Agreement climate targets, Financing Sustainable Rice for a Secure Future was published by Earth Security Group (ESG), with support of the UN Capital Development Programme (UNCDF), the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), trader Phoenix Group, the World Business Council …

Stop the talk, get youths involved in agriculture

November 26th, 2019 / The Guardian, Nigeria

The Federal Government and states have been advised to stop the talk and put infrastructure, enabling the environment and necessary investments in place to harness the intelligence, vigour, and vibrancy of Nigerian youths in agriculture.

Harnessing them in agriculture would create job opportunities, social-economic benefits and make Nigeria food-secure. Professor Chidi …

Key steps in curbing aflatoxin in maize

November 25th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Aflatoxin is a fungal polyketide secondary metabolite caused by two main fungi; Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, both of which produce four types of aflatoxins; aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2. Aflatoxin B1 is the most common and can be carcinogenic if the toxicity level exceeds the set thresholds. 

Maize is …