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Scaling up game-changing agricultural innovations and technologies in Africa

April 16th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), with the support of the World Bank, recently rolled out an initiative aimed at placing innovative climate-smart technologies in the hands of farmers so that they are better protected from the impacts of climate change. This is sorely …

Resistance to the usual pesticides makes armyworm more dangerous

April 16th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

Agriculture is grappling with many pests already, and as USAid’s Regina Eddy says, the armyworm is unique in that it is resistant to many conventional pesticides. Eddy is the coordinator of Fall Armyworm Task Force at the USAid Bureau of Food Security.
She said the pest also has a voracious appetite …

African research in danger due to low prioritisation

April 16th, 2018 / SciDev.net

The future of research in Africa is in jeopardy unless adequate management of national scientific research systems is done, a meeting has heard.
Experts at the meeting said that inadequate management of national scientific research systems is frustrating researchers in Africa and other developing countries.
Top researchers from developed and developing countries …

The missing ingredient in fighting Africa’s malnutrition problems

April 16th, 2018 / Independent, UK

The benefits of improved nutrition are widely known and appreciated. Improved nutrition increases the incomes of households. This in turn raises the demand for food, enriches livelihoods and leads to more employment opportunities.
Many past initiatives to produce more food in Africa and combat malnutrition have focused on increasing the availability …

Tanzania: food shortage looms as pests invade 50% of farms – report

April 13th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Crop pests have invaded nearly a half of Mainland Tanzania farms, a new report has revealed.
To combat the menace, the government has deployed a team of agriculturalists to train farmers on how to control the situation.
Moreover, pesticides worth $132,439 have been distributed to fight armyworms, rodents and crop diseases, but …

Technology helping East Africa unlock agriculture potential

April 13th, 2018 / East African Business Week

Information technology is being utilised more than ever to improve agriculture in East Africa.
The sector is responsible for 83.9% of imports and 80% of total employment in Ethiopia alone. Technology-led transformation promotes good business practise and encourages farmers to work collaboratively.
On a larger scale, aerial images from satellites, weather forecasts …

Gene editing in agriculture: Disclosure, communication and transparency critical to public acceptance

April 13th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Communication is critical around the topic of gene-editing, an emerging technology that involves making precise changes in the genetic material of plants and animals used in food production to improve food safety, reduce food waste and use less water, land and other resources.
“Consumers are going to ask, ‘Is this safe?’ …

Agripreneurship deserves as much buzz as supposedly sexier, urban-based sectors

April 12th, 2018 / Huffpost, South Africa

South Africa or Africa at large should seek to be the place that gives us the Steve Jobs of agriculture, to tackle major challenges the continent faces in terms of economic growth, food security and the present threat of climate change. This is particularly important in the sensitive debate over …

Tanzania: new maize seeds impress farmers as yields improve

April 12th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

The Commission for Science and Technology (Costech) in cooperation with Ilonga Agricultural Research Institute have produced water-efficient maize seeds under the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (Wema) project.
Trials have been made and Isamilo villagers at Kamwanga Ward in Geita District are happy with results.
Their Muungano Group was given Wema 2109 …

Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops

April 12th, 2018 / John Innes Centre, UK

A new study has isolated a gene controlling shape and size of spikelets in wheat in a breakthrough which could help breeders deliver yield increases in one of the world’s most important crops.
The team from the John Innes Centre say the underlying genetic mechanism they have found is also …