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Green shoots for Ghana’s flower industry

August 4th, 2015 / The Africa Report

It is early afternoon and a small group of women are tending to rows of yellow, pink, orange and red variations of heliconia tropical flowers as part of a gender-focused social enterprise program channelled through Eden ‘n’ Eve, a 10-acre flower farm owned by Sefa Gohoho-Boatin.  See …

Re-imagining African agriculture

August 3rd, 2015 / UNEP, Kenya

Over 1,200 experts, policy makers and participants today adopted the Nairobi Action Agenda on Ecosystem based Adaptation for food security and formed the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA), which re-imagines a system of agriculture for the continent that would be beneficial both economically and environmentally. As the …

Train farmers in climate-smart agriculture says minister

August 3rd, 2015 / New Vision, Uganda

Uganda’s agriculture minister Tress Bucyanayandi has called for more innovation in the agriculture sector to help farmers cope with the changing climate in the East African region. Effects of climate change such as drought, floods, landslides, pests and diseases are already being felt, as seen by reduced food production and …

Kenyan loan rates linked to soil quality

August 3rd, 2015 / BBC, UK

Watch BBC’s Hannah McNeish’s report on a Kenyan company offering loans to farmers where the interest rates charged are linked to the quality of the soil, providing an incentive for soil preservation.  See …

Sorghum value addition opens new frontiers for Kenyan farmers

July 31st, 2015 / FarmBiz Africa

Sorghum has been one of the most successful crops in adoption across the country, especially in the arid and semi arid areas. The Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization, KALRO, is championing the value addition of sorghum, especially making of sorghum sausages as farmers record success in growth and market …

Everyone who’s sure about a food philosophy is wrong

July 28th, 2015 / Washington Post, US

There’s an unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream (organic, local, anti-GMO) to the less-so (biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry). The parties are entrenched, the tone is partisan. But they ought to be able to get along, because all hard-core advocates of this or …

Bubble desalination boosting crop growth

July 28th, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Researchers in Australia are seeking to build a prototype ‘Bubble-Greenhouse’ that could provide remote, arid places with a low-tech, low-maintenance way to turn salt water into fresh water to grow food. The engineers from Murdoch University estimate that a 150 square metre Bubble-Greenhouse could produce around eight cubic metres of …

Ghana to overhaul agric with digital technology

July 24th, 2015 / Graphic Online, Ghana

Plans are underway to overhaul agriculture through the application of digital technology, President John Dramani Mahama has said. With over 31 million mobile line subscribers in Ghana, he said the government was poised to apply mobile phone technology to reach out to farmers with new ideas, to improve production and …

Crop modification techniques

July 24th, 2015 / Biology Fortified, US

To help educate people about the many methods that are used to generate new traits in plants, Biology Fortified has created an infographic on six different crop modification techniques, with examples of crops generated with each method. We hope that it will to help people understand and relate to the …

Rice that makes less methane

July 23rd, 2015 / New Scientist, UK

Rice agriculture is responsible for between 7 and 17 per cent of human-induced methane emissions. Sugars produced during photosynthesis leak into the soil, where they are used up by methane-producing soil microorganisms. Chuanxin Sun from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and his colleagues in China and the US have …