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Lifting Sino-African agricultural cooperation

December 19th, 2016 / Global Times, China

In most African countries where agriculture remains a vital driver to the economy, Sino-African cooperation in the sector can not only reduce poverty and sustain growth but can also raise the international status of African agriculture and safeguard global food security.
Sino-African agricultural cooperation started in the 1950s, and over …

Toward climate-smart agriculture in West Africa

December 19th, 2016 / BioMed Central, UK

Many projections of the impact of climate change on the crop, livestock and fishery production sectors of African agriculture are reported in the literature. However, they may be arguably too general to understand the magnitude of impact and to inform adaptation strategies and policy development efforts that are tailored to …

Nigeria refocuses on farming as oil money shrinks

December 16th, 2016 / African Farming, UK

Nigeria is turning to farming as dwindling oil income has driven the economy to the brink of its first full-year contraction in more than two decades.
The government plans to capitalise the state-owned Bank of Agriculture Ltd. with US$3.2bn so it can lend to farming projects at less than half the …

Africa: Climate-resistant beans could save millions

December 16th, 2016 /

Only about 30 crops provide 95 percent of human food energy needs, according to FAO. Dependency on a few staple crops magnifies the consequences of crop failure.
Botanists are already taking extreme measures to save those plant species deemed useful. Some 7.4 million samples are in seed banks around the world, …

Women empowerment key to achieving food security

December 15th, 2016 / Pulse, Nigeria

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) says women empowerment is key to transforming agriculture in Africa as well as achieving food security.
The UNDPA Economic Advisor, Mr Ojijo Odhiambo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that women were majority of farmers in the continent.
Odhiambo, however, said women …

On-farm smallholder irrigation performance in Ethiopia: from water use efficiency to equity and sustainability

December 15th, 2016 / Lives, Ethiopia

The performance of smallholder irrigation schemes are challenged by several factors: among which water insecurity and low land and water productivity are the main ones.
This paper evaluates the on-farm management of nine smallholder irrigation schemes from four regional states in Ethiopia. The schemes are diverse in several aspects and we …

International collaboration receives grant to improve cassava harvests and nutrition for smallholder families in sub-saharan Africa

December 15th, 2016 / Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, US

The Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa Plus (VIRCA Plus) consortium of American, Nigerian, Ugandan, and Kenyan institutions recently received a five-year, $10.46 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop disease-resistant and nutritionally-enhanced cassava varieties to improve the livelihoods and health status of African farm families.
Plant …

Africa’s bioeconomy could be as transformative as the digital revolution

December 14th, 2016 / Quartz Africa

According to a new study by the Stockholm Environment Institute, Creating Sustainable Bioeconomies: The Bioscience Revolution in Europe and Africa, new opportunities for economic transformation are already being built on Africa’s abundant biological resources. The emerging bioeconomy has the potential to transform primary production, especially in agriculture, aquaculture, forestry, health …

Addressing lack of access to seeds for smallholder farmers

December 14th, 2016 / Bizcomunity, South Africa

Some of the key issues affecting smallholder farmers’ access to good quality seeds include limited knowledge, lack of access to information, high costs of seeds and a lack of seed laws. These issues came up at a recent two-day Access to Seeds Index workshop held by the Southern African Confederation …

Biofortification – a better, iron-rich bean

December 12th, 2016 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

One strategy for improving human health and the nutrition of resource poor people is increasing the iron content of beans. But what are the challenges for plant breeders?

Biofortification – a good strategy
Biofortification is a good strategy to improve the nutrition of resource poor people for a number of reasons:
• people …