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WACCI urges government to scale-up agricultural research investment

June 27th, 2018 / GhanaWeb

Professor Eric Danquah, Founding Director, West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, has urged the government to scale-up agricultural research investment; to increase productivity and to ensure food security for the people.
More should also be done to transform WACCI into a world class agriculture innovations and entrepreneurship …

New UN-supported farming app is cream of crop in tackling fall armyworm

June 26th, 2018 / UN News

Launched by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Pennsylvania State University, the talking mobile phone app – whose name is Nuru – can identify the insect, which is in fact a caterpillar.
“Many African farmers might have heard about Fall Armyworm but are seeing it for the first time,” FAO …

WEMA maize shows resistance to armyworm

June 26th, 2018 / Leadership, Nigeria

Nigeria, like other African countries, woke up to a nightmare of recent army worm infestation in the region, leaving farmers worried as the pest, which has grown resistance to chemicals, wreaked havoc on newly cultivated maize farms across the country. This resulted in the severe reduction on the yield recouped …

Searching for biotech solutions to problems plaguing livestock in Africa

June 26th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
In Africa, scientific research involving biotechnology innovations in agriculture has largely focused on finding ways to produce better crops. But, increasingly, researchers in animal sciences are exploring the potential of these new technologies in breeding and disease resistance.
Those efforts are bolstered by the institutions such as …

Can biotech crops solve the hunger crisis?

June 26th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project

Is there a likely solution in sight for hunger? “I now say that the world has the technology—either available or well advance in the research pipeline—to feed on a sustainable basis a population of 10 billion people,” Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug pointed out. “The more pertinent question today …

Rise of farmers’ organizations in Africa; shaping policies for agriculture

June 25th, 2018 / DevDiscourse

The past two decades have witnessed the unprecedented development of farmers’ and rural producers’ organizations throughout Africa. Farmers’ organizations are enjoying growing recognition as the representatives of the farming community at the national, regional and international levels.

Today, there are tens of thousands of grass-roots farmers’ organizations across Africa. Most play …

Nairobi tech firm gets Sh2bn for maize hybrids

June 25th, 2018 / Business Daily

A Nairobi-based appropriate tech firm has received Sh2.46 billion to pursue regulatory approval for commercialisation of drought-tolerant and insect-resistant maize hybrids.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant to non-state research agency African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) will be used to fast-track adoption of the newly developed maize hybrid, Tela, that …

On the offensive against fall armyworm in Africa

June 22nd, 2018 / CIMMYT

The fall armyworm could cause maize yield losses projected at $2.5 to $6.2 billion a year. Experts estimate that Africa will need an investment of at least $150 to $200 million annually for research and pest management to mitigate related damage.
The voracious fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) has marched across Africa …

Encouraging African youth to adopt climate-smart agriculture

June 22nd, 2018 / CCAFS

Twelve million young people enter the African workforce each year with only roughly 3 million jobs available to them. To many, an agricultural career is not a glamorous prospect, particularly as climate change degrades land and disrupts weather patterns, making it harder for farmers to grow enough to feed even …

Are medium-scale farms driving agricultural transformation in Africa?

June 22nd, 2018 / AGRILINKS

For many years, we’ve been trying to understand the implications of shrinking farm sizes for millions of rural African households. Driven by population growth and growing land scarcity, most African farm households are witnessing the gradual sub-division of their farms over time, causing the median African farm to become smaller …