In the news...

Good seed agribusinesses will improve food security

March 30th, 2016 / New Ghana

Though the agriculture industry still remains the single largest employer in Ghana, yields over the past years have consistently come short of the required targets to feed the growing population. To improve yields and food security, while cutting back on the 1.5 billion the country already spends on importing basic …

Make agricultural research and data accessible

March 30th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Africa needs to refocus research thinking and agenda on the continent for agriculture to become productive and aid development, say agricultural experts. According to panellists at a SciDev.Net event organised in conjunction with the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications in Nigeria, research is necessary for agricultural growth …

Project helps African farmers address stresses in maize farming

March 29th, 2016 / Commodities and Fair Trade News,

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and its partners have unveiled a new project – Stress Tolerant Maize for Africa (STMA) – to diminish devastating environmental effects in maize production that occur simultaneously across many regions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The new project will develop new improved varieties …

African Union official hails Ugandan scientists on biotech

March 29th, 2016 / New Vision, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Christopher Bendana, reports: Sunday Akile, the programme officer for legal and policy biosafety at the African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE), has lauded Ugandan scientists doing research on biotechnology. ABNE is an institution of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). “Our scientists have scored high in this …

Reducing food losses and waste in sub-Saharan Africa

March 29th, 2016 / FAO, Italy

Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. These losses are particularly unfortunate in Africa where 220 million people are estimated to be undernourished. Climate-induced crop failures — including those caused by the ongoing …

Agriculture, a mountain of opportunity says UNEP Executive Director

March 29th, 2016 / UNEP, Kenya

Agriculture has emerged as one of the key sectors that highlight the integrated nature of this approach and how it can help drive many of the solutions for a healthy planet with healthy people. However, agriculture probably also highlights more than most the way in which our fates are inextricably …

El Niño threatens food security in Africa

March 28th, 2016 / Dipnote, US

The second worst El Niño episode in history has hit Africa with devastating force, causing extensive drought and flooding that are in turn causing or exacerbating widespread hunger. El Niño is a complex weather pattern that stems from variations in ocean temperatures; it is not necessarily related to global …

Science meets farming to reveal Africa’s best bean

March 28th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

Around 23 million tonnes of beans are grown globally for trade and local consumption every year. Across the world, millions of farmers depend on one or more of the 40,000 known bean varieties. But beans are a fragile crop. They need lots of water and stable temperatures to grow. A …

Seed banks overlook wild relatives of food crops

March 28th, 2016 / SciDec.net.UK

Wild relatives of vital food crops are at risk of going extinct but remain underrepresented in gene banks, scientists warn. There is an urgent need to collect and conserve relatives of plants such as rice, wheat, maize and potato to preserve their genetic diversity, says a paper published this week …

8 out of the 10 countries with worst access to safe water are in Africa

March 28th, 2016 / AfricanInsider, US

Worldwide, some 650 million people still do not have access to clean water, according to WaterAid. Government subsidized water sources often are reserved for wealthier communities, leaving the poorest to spend disproportionately. Almost half of those — 300 million plus — are in Africa. Yet Africa has possibly 20 times …