In the news...

First ever ‘flower maps’ for beekeeping in Africa

September 4th, 2015 / African Farming

The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology has produced the world’s first ever flower maps in Africa. Researchers at the Kenya-based institute have developed a new remote-sensing method, allowing ICIPE to produce a map of flowering plants across Africa which can be used by beekeepers to identify flowers suitable …

Brazil: An indigenous village produces super cassava

September 4th, 2015 / World Bank

Brazil’s Terena indigenous community has combined ancient practices and new technologies to increase the quality and quantity of this popular root crop. The Terena began to experiment with new organic fertilizers that make use of cassava peels, and adopted a new variety of (non-transgenic) root: IAC 576-70, known as amarelinha, …

A 2nd Green Revolution has begun: rice, food security, and climate change

September 3rd, 2015 / IRRI, Philippines

As the global population continues to grow toward a predicted nine billion souls by 2050, it will be humanity’s greatest challenge to produce more food to feed the world 35 years hence without wrecking the planet. These challenges must be met in the face of food production systems that …

Ten apps to boost African agriculture

September 3rd, 2015 / Venturesafrica.com

Analysts have shown that by 2025 half of Africa’s population will have internet access with about 360 million smartphones on the continent. Also based on their estimation, internet technology could increase annual agricultural productivity in Africa by $3 billion per annum. Throughout the continent, farmers, NGOs and scientists are …

Local start-ups key to transforming Africa’s seed industry

September 3rd, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

Calestous Juma writes: The seed industry in sub-Saharan Africa is informal in nature, with approximately 80% of farmers saving and replanting seeds from year to year. This gives them security of access. But improved varieties – including high-yielding and hybrid crops – will increase productivity and income. See …

Ghana: agriculture must be seen as serious business

September 2nd, 2015 / The Chronicle, Ghana

According to Ghana’s President Mahama, when people begin to take agriculture as business, they would not only be ensuring food security, but also partnering the government in its efforts to promote agriculture, which is crucial to the rapid socioeconomic development of the country. The President assured the people of the …

Why farms of the future need to mix livestock and crops

September 2nd, 2015 / Devex, US

Today, for hundreds of millions of the world’s smallholder farmers, livestock — a few cattle or maybe a small herd of goats and a flock of chickens — are by far the most important household asset. Moreover, these animals typically live on a small farm of about a hectare (a …

Sustainable potato that resists blight given green light

August 31st, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A potato genetically engineered by J.R. Simplot Company to resist the pathogen has cleared its first federal regulatory hurdle. Sold under the company’s Innate brand. This is the second genetically engineered potato developed by Simplot to gain approval — In March, the USDA cleared sale of the Innate potato whose …

Enhancing food security using PICS bags

August 31st, 2015 / Graphic Online, Ghana

Effective storage of grains such as maize, beans, cowpea, groundnuts and rice has always been a major challenge to smallholder farmers, not only in the country, but the rest of Africa. Grains are mostly destroyed by pests and insects within three months of storage due to the lack of proper …

GM technology isn’t good or evil – it’s what we do with it that counts

August 29th, 2015 / The Guardian, Uk

Just mentioning genetic modification (GM) creates division. The anti-GM lobby sees red mist, the pro-GM lobby seemingly wants to roll out the red carpet and others see GM as a red herring, a distraction from other (more easily acceptable) solutions to our huge food challenges. See …