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Postharvest losses: curse to African farming

May 2nd, 2018 / SciDev.net

Adopting cost-effective technologies could help smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa tackle postharvest losses and increase their income, a report says.
According to the FAO, postharvest losses reduce the income of the continent’s farmers and value chain actors that depend on farmers by about 15 per cent.
The report by the International Food Policy …

Growing more, growing better for Africa’s food security

May 2nd, 2018 / CTA, Netherlands

Professor Sir Gordon Conway writes:
“There are three pillars of sustainable intensification:
Ecological: harnessing nature to support agricultural production. For example, crop rotation or agroforestry are production methods that work with nature to improve soil fertility and build a more sustainable food and nutrition system.
Genetic: new hybrid crops and improved livestock …

We must stand up for quality seeds

May 1st, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Seed companies, researchers and dealers recently launched the Global Development Alliance in Nairobi in partnership with USAid. Ian Barker is the Head of Agricultural Partnerships at Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. He spoke to Leopold Obi about what the alliance is all about and what farmers should expect from it. …

USAID offers prize money to combat Fall armyworm in Africa

April 26th, 2018 / VOA News

The U.S. Agency for International Development is offering a prize of $150,000 for the most viable solution, two awards of $75,000 to the “most promising” solutions, and two awards of $50,000 to an “early stage” solution that shows the most potential. Read …

This treadle pump is big deal

April 20th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Samuel Ojok is a vegetable farmer in Otuke District in northern Uganda. Every tomato season, he grows two or more acres of tomatoes and other vegetables such as cabbage, green pepper, onions and watermelons.
He is never worried about his garden running short of water or getting affected by a change …

Researchers develop first gene drive targeting worldwide crop pest

April 20th, 2018 / Phys.org

Biologists at the University of California San Diego have developed a method of manipulating the genes of an agricultural pest that has invaded much of the United States and caused millions of dollars in damage to high-value berry and other fruit crops.
Research led by Anna Buchman in the lab of …

FAO – Lack of modern farming techniques threaten food security in Africa

April 19th, 2018 / PM News, Nigeria

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that lack of modern farming techniques threatens Africa’s food security.
Josef Kienzle, FAO’s Leader of the Mechanisation task team, said that unless the governments adopt new technologies of farming, the continent will continue relying on food aid.
“There is need for a paradigm …

Scientists want to replace pesticides with bacteria

April 19th, 2018 / Bloomberg, US

Fresh snow coats the sidewalks outside Indigo Ag Inc.’s Boston offices, but inside the temperature is calibrated to mimic spring in the Midwest. Hundreds of almost identical soy seedlings sit beneath high-intensity arc lamps, basking in the artificially sunny 60F weather.
The plants aren’t destined to stay identical for long. “We …

The biotech innovator behind tissue culture in banana farming – Erostus Nsubug

April 18th, 2018 / The Observer, Uganda

EROSTUS NJUKI NSUBUGA is the chairman of the Uganda biotechnology consortium but is best known as the brains behind the groundbreaking of tissue culture of breeding bananas.
Nsubuga holds a master’s degree in agriculture but it means little other than being just part of his long curriculum vitae detailing. He always …

Crop protection companies making strides in Africa

April 18th, 2018 / IEG Policy

Africa is making steady progress towards agricultural transformation. Over the past decade there has been a dramatic change in different countries and various localities. There is a noticeable upward shift in expenditure on agriculture by national governments in African countries.
Many countries have reaffirmed their commitment to prioritizing agriculture in their …