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Twelve new crop varieties of cowpea, rice & maize released

September 21st, 2015 / Ghanaweb.com

The Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has released twelve new crop varieties onto the market. Four cowpea, seven maize varieties and a new rice variety capable to withstand hash weather conditions were released on Friday. The varieties are made up of …

Farmers’ lobby aims to boost East African Community potato yields

September 21st, 2015 / The Standard, Kenya

Lack of improved seeds, use of obsolete technology, lack of access to credit, effects of climate change and cartel-like behaviour are some of the factors that have been blamed for the East African Community’s (EAC) low production of potatoes. Last week during the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme’s (CAADP) …

Nigeria: Fertilizer subsidy continues, says Tambuwal

September 21st, 2015 / News Diary, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe reports: Considering the importance of agricultural value-chain, governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State confirmed that his administration would continue with a fertiliser subsidy to farmers across the state. According to the governor, this was aimed at boosting food production, as well as increasing farmers’ purchasing …

Bringing African universities to farmers

September 21st, 2015 / Scidev.net/youtube.com

This video focuses on the work of researchers from Makerere University, Uganda, in Rakai district, an area of the country whose farmers are particularly prone to climate change-induced water vulnerability. As part of the WATERCAP project, they have helped transform local people’s lives. Through the introduction of low-tech innovations, …

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 …