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Insurance programme launched to support African women farmers

January 23rd, 2018 / Africa Business Chief

The African and Asian Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme (ARDIS) was launched on 18 January in order to help African and Asian farmers affected by climate disasters.
The scheme will target up to 4mn people, particularly focusing on women and their families, in areas of drought such as Kenya, Malawi, Mali, …

Research on solar pumps promises better tidings

January 2nd, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

On a shiny afternoon last week, Oliver Bill, a 24-year-old former student leader at Moi University, was busy moving up and down to irrigate his 1.3 acres under tomatoes using a portable solar powered pump.
The holder of a degree in strategic management has become a smart farmer, and is perhaps …

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 …

“Farming is business” – Migration to the city and the future of farming in Kenya

December 11th, 2017 / Sustainable Food Trust

In the Kenyan reality TV show Don’t Lose the Plot (DLTP), four young farmers budget, plant and grow their farms in a competition that rewards the most profitable and sustainable contestant with an agricultural investment worth $10,000. Set up on one acre of land each, the contenders have nine months …

140 new drought-resistant seeds unveiled to address food insecurity

November 27th, 2017 / The Standard, Kenya

The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate (Kephis) has released 140 new drought-resistant and fast-maturing seed varieties into the market. Kephis Managing Director Esther Kimani said the new variety of seeds would help to address food insecurity, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. “These varieties are drought-tolerant and early-maturing, and superior to …

App ‘trained’ to spot crop disease, alert farmers

November 14th, 2017 / SciDev.net

A team of scientists has received US$100,000 grant to refine a mobile application (app) that uses artificial intelligence to diagnose crop diseases, and aims to help millions of African smallholders.
The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas team won the grant during big data conference in Colombia on 21 …

Can Kenyan farmers combat food insecurity with climate-smart agriculture?

November 8th, 2017 / Equal Times

Farmers in Kenya are being taught about climate-smart agriculture (CSA), farming methods that will enable them to make the most of their own land by helping to ensure food security and economic empowerment from the sale of surplus crops such as sorghum, millet, green grams (mung beans), cassava and cow …

Danforth researchers use CRISPR to gene-edit cassava

October 26th, 2017 / St Louis Public Radio, US

To prove that a new-gene editing technology could be used to alter the cassava plant, scientists in the St. Louis suburbs zeroed in on a gene used to process chlorophyll. Before long, they had petri dishes full of seedlings that were white as chalk.
The plan is to use CRISPR — …

Kenya launches task force to facilitate commercialization of GM cotton

October 13th, 2017 / Xinhua, China

Kenya on Wednesday unveiled a national task force to oversee the commercialization of genetically modified cotton in the next five years.
Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Willy Bett said the team will build the capacity of key stakeholders involved in the rollout of genetically engineered cotton.
“The government is committed …

Fall armyworm arrives in Africa on the heels of climate change

October 13th, 2017 / Sierra Magazine

Tobias Okwara is a farmer in Kayoro Parish in southeastern Uganda. In the midst of a long drought that began in May 2016, he and his neighbors got together to discuss what to do. Food was becoming scarce, and they hoped to recover quickly once the rains started again. They …