In the news...

Staple plantains at risk of same diseases as bananas

March 11th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

Plantains, an important staple through much of the tropical world, are susceptible to the same diseases currently threatening the world’s most popular banana the Cavendish. “All 120 plantain varieties suffer from the same susceptibility to black sigatoka, nematodes and weevils, like the cavendish, so there’s no variation in response to …

How to get the best out of animal manure

March 9th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Advice for B4FA Fellow and farmer, Michael Ssali. Farmers with small plots of land must take good care of the soil to get maximum crop yields. Such farmers use simple tools like hoes, spades and watering cans but they are best positioned to fully inspect their gardens and to successfully …

Tuning into the needs of African women farmers

March 9th, 2016 / Huffington Post, US

Mebrihit Tsegaye is one of the millions of African women who rely on farming. With the wellbeing of her three children on the line, she regularly participates in a radio listening group with women in her community to make her farm as successful as possible. This gives her dependable access …

Anti-science the biggest threat to modern farming and food security

March 9th, 2016 / ISAAA, US

“We are going to need all kinds of agriculture technology, including genetic engineering, if we are going to ensure global food security,” says Robert Saik, Canadian agricultural consultant, “the anti-science movement is the largest threat to agriculture in terms of our ability to feed the future planet … the voices …

Climate deadline looms for African food crops

March 8th, 2016 / BBC, UK

Researchers have produced a timescale of how projected climate change is set to alter the face of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change is widely projected to have a significant adverse impact on food security if no adaptation measures are taken, they explain. In their study, the team provides timings …

Climate change could make growing these crops in African regions impossible

March 8th, 2016 / Climate Change News

Global warming threatens some of sub-Saharan Africa’s most important crops, growers have been warned. Key cultivating regions could become unviable in the coming decades under projected climate change scenarios, according to research published in Nature on Monday. Bananas, beans and maize are most at risk of the nine staples that …

Without women, African agriculture won’t withstand climate change

March 8th, 2016 / Thomson Reuters

On International Women’s Day: the outcomes agreed at the U.N. climate change summit in Paris, which will shape future policies, fell short on a critical issue. Mentions of gender were mostly confined to how climate change will impact women, and how they are considered “vulnerable populations”. Discussions on how to …

Digital technology cloud hangs over every African farm

March 7th, 2016 / East African, Kenya

The digital cloud is high above every smallholder farm in Africa. We have the opportunity to bring the power of the cloud down to earth, and transform the ability of smallholder farmers to access finance, information and markets as never before. On Monday, a landmark edition of the international journal …

Female vegetable farmer survives on dry-season farming

March 7th, 2016 / Daily Trust, Nigeria

Rebecca Benjamin is a dry season vegetable farmer. When it is rainy season, she returns to her regular farm in the village or takes to selling fish to augment the income of her semi-sized family resident in North Bank area of Makurdi, the capital of Benue State. During each dry …

Celebrating African rural women

March 7th, 2016 / Eldis

African Biodiversity Network and the Gaia Foundation have jointly produced a report that explores the central role that women and traditional knowledge plays in the resilience and diversity of local, rural food systems across the continent. It is hoped that the document will help spur discussion and debate, and inspire …