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Climate-smart farming boosting food security

September 16th, 2015 / The East African, Kenya

Experts recommend soil management practices such as conservation agriculture, which increases productivity based on three principles — minimal soil disturbance (reduced tillage), permanent soil cover (mulching) and crop rotation. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, conservation agriculture reduces the farming systems’ greenhouse gas emissions and enhances its …

EU, Icipe fund modern farming in East Africa

September 16th, 2015 / The East African, Kenya

The European Union and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (Icipe) have unveiled a €15 million ($17.2 million) project aimed at disseminating technologies to boost food security and livelihoods in East Africa reports B4FA Fellow Isaac Khisa. Read …

Farmers embracing irrigation, seed beds and fertilisers

September 16th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Most farmers in Uganda use rudimentary methods where they do not apply the often necessary agricultural inputs such as fertilisers. However, this trend is gradually changing with a number of them embracing certain farm practices such as irrigation, seed beds and fertilisers. One such farmer is Esau Okecho, a mixed …

As drought destroys maize, Zimbabwe tries new climate-resilient staples

September 14th, 2015 / AllAfrica

In a country where maize porridge is ingrained in eating habits, Jambezi farmers are growing sorghum and millet for food, cash and to improve their resilience to harsher weather conditions that have made maize an increasingly risky crop. Read …

As drought hits, Tanzania cooks up sweet potato

September 11th, 2015 / Thomson Reuters Foundation, UK

In the wind-swept plains of Kishapu, in Tanzania’s northern Shinyanga region, Himelda Tumbo has for a few years struggled to grow maize on her farm. “I have suffered huge losses due to drought. The seasonal rains are not enough and the crops are drying up,” she complained. Maize once …

How to boost cassava yields

September 11th, 2015 / The Nation, Nigeria

Many farming families depend on cassava, but low yields are becoming increasingly common. Indeed, productivity has been extremely low and achieving less than 10 tonnes per hectare. This worsens the farmers’ situation and keeps them in a cycle of extreme poverty. The situation, however, is going to change. Thanks …

Pest-resistant maize opens technological advancement

September 11th, 2015 / The Nation, Kenya

Professor Calestous Juma writes: Agricultural biotechnology critics are right to question the potential negative impact of the global dominance of the technology. However, they are wrong to assume that all the biotechnology introduced in emerging nations is driven by the interests of foreign firms.Kenya is on the cusp of becoming …

Portable biosensor making food and fodder safe

September 10th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

The presence of aflatoxins in food and feed are a major reason why some of our agricultural produce would be rejected in international markets. In addition, they are harmful to both human and animal health. They can cause diseases like cancer and nervous and reproductive disorders, retard growth in children, …

Nitrogen use efficient rice shows yield increase of 30 %

September 10th, 2015 / Market Watch, US

Major yield increase has the potential to change the economics of rice production and enhance food security. Four years of field trials with a leading line of Nitrogen Use Efficient (NUE) rice have demonstrated an average 30 percent yield increase over conventional controls. These results were reported jointly today by …

Weeds tell farmers the kind of soils they have and crops to grow

September 10th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Farmers can easily tell the type of soils on their farms by simply observing the type of weeds that grow in it. This is a cost-free and accurate method of soil sampling that can save farmers from hefty laboratory test costs, while still allowing them to determine the kinds of …