In the news...

Using soilless media to grow vegetables

December 22nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Even with the healthiest soils, it is still possible to find pests and other pathogens that attack crops and likely to lower your crop yields.
Soilless growing media have been proven to be sterile and free from pathogens that are soil-borne and applicable for urban farmers who grow plants on rooftops …

A year in review: 2017 food and agriculture news

December 21st, 2017 / The Food Tank

As 2017 comes to a close, Food Tank has collected news highlights from the food and agriculture world to share with you. We witnessed a monumental shift in global politics, a series of natural disasters, and indications of growing malnutrition and obesity. And yet, the signs of a growing movement …

Small farmers to revitalise agriculture in Africa

December 21st, 2017 / CNBCAfrica

President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, was chosen as the World Food Laureate by the World Food Prize board in June 2017. On October 16, as part of the World Food Prize events, he delivered a boldly-titled lecture “Betting on Africa To Feed The World”.
With an estimated …

Ethiopia: Teff gets mechanization solution

December 21st, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

After years of efforts to mechanize all crop productions of the country, the government has succeeded to come up with mechanization machinery for the production of Teff, the country’s principal staple food crop.
The planting harvesting and threshing machinery developed by the joint efforts of Ministry of Agriculture and National Resources …

African leaders convene to discuss ways to beat hunger and malnutrition

December 20th, 2017 / African Farming, UK

His Excellence Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, Minister of State for Planning and Development of the Republic of Benin, and The Right Honorable Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi co-chaired the first meeting of The Malabo Montpellier Forum in Cotonou, Benin.
“We are delighted to host the inaugural …

The world’s top banana is doomed and nobody can find a repllacement

December 20th, 2017 / Wall Street Journal, US

In June, a team of European researchers traveled to Papua New Guinea on a mission of global significance. They came to search for the Giant Banana plant.
The scientists traveled through the jungles of the South Pacific nation, by car and on foot, accompanied by two armed guards. They were tantalized …

When you want to keep a dairy cow …

December 19th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali advises:
Many smallholder farmers tend to go into dairy cow keeping by blind trust.
They are told about the economic benefits of owning a dairy cow and they go for one without taking sufficient time to inquire about the suitability and qualities of the cow they want …

Why technology should be at the heart of farming

December 19th, 2017 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Nickson Muturi is the project manager for Business Development at Syngenta, and he is leading agricultural data projects across Africa, specifically focusing on mobile technology. He spoke to Leopold Obi.
To what extent is access to agricultural information through the mobile phone of benefit to smallholder farmers?
Farmers in the region …

How gene editing will boost crop yields

December 19th, 2017 / Successful Farming, US

On the surface, a light switch and gene editing have as much in common as a linebacker does with a ballerina.
Dig a bit deeper, though. “In a very simple way, the main application of gene editing is like flipping a light switch on and off,” says Federico Tripodi, …

GMOs might feed the world if investors weren’t so scared

December 15th, 2017 / Bloomberg, US

In the basement of Koshland Hall at the University of California at Berkeley is a trove of seeds with the potential to fix some of agriculture’s most vexing problems.
There are wheat seeds—both hypoallergenic, so more people could eat it, and of a variety able to better withstand unpredictable rainfall—a growing …