In the news...

Fortified composite manure doubles crop yields

January 13th, 2017 / Farmbiz Africa, Kenya

Farmers, who fortify composite manure, may increase harvests by two-fold as a result of adding the missing mineral components that support a wholesome growth.
Composite manure fortification involves introduction of extra mineral elements into the fertiliser, which is prepared from organic farm waste.
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation officer Jane Kiptoo …

Invest in training, African leaders told

January 9th, 2017 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Researchers have called on African governments to support vocational training in agriculture, noting the skills are crucial for smallholder farmers.
The researchers from more than 12 African countries, and India and Germany, were meeting at a recent conference on agricultural innovation in Nairobi organised by German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and …

University students threaten demos over retaining GMO ban

December 20th, 2016 / The Star, Kenya

Students from five public universities have threatened to usher in the New Year with massive nationwide protests if the Jubilee administration fails to reverse the ban on genetically modified food products.
University student leaders yesterday said the ban is hurting learners undertaking biotechnology courses in terms of much time they spend …

International collaboration receives grant to improve cassava harvests and nutrition for smallholder families in sub-saharan Africa

December 15th, 2016 / Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, US

The Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa Plus (VIRCA Plus) consortium of American, Nigerian, Ugandan, and Kenyan institutions recently received a five-year, $10.46 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop disease-resistant and nutritionally-enhanced cassava varieties to improve the livelihoods and health status of African farm families.
Plant …

Hermetic bag keeps off grain pests for over two years, reducing losses

November 25th, 2016 / Farmbiz Africa, Kenya

Farmers can keep off grain destroying pests for two years without chemicals after the USAID Kenya and the Ministry of Agriculture launched hermetic bags, which suffocate any crop storage enemies.
The official launch follows years of testing for efficacy in taming maize, wheat, beans, cowpeas, among other grains destroying organisms such …

Land is no doubt Africa’s best asset

November 24th, 2016 / Standard Media, Kenya

African governments have embraced agriculture not just as a source of revenue but also a way of uplifting rural communities. The sector creates gainful employment and helps diversify the economy for greater stability. We have seen yields rising, business linkages being made and new technology starting to change the way …

Drought-resistant grass to spur milk production

November 23rd, 2016 / All

Struggling East African dairy farmers could benefit from new varieties of high-quality, drought-resistant forage grass known as Brachiaria that boosts milk production by 40 per cent, a report says.
The forage grass could enable farmers to increase their incomes, according to experts at the Colombia-headquartered International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) …

Deal agreed to export Scottish seed potatoes to Kenya

November 22nd, 2016 / Aberdeen Press & Journal, UK

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing, who announced the trade deal at AgriScot, said the potential market demand for Scottish seed tatties in Kenya was significant.
“Kenya grows around 160,000 hectares (395,360 acres) of potatoes annually but only 2% of this is grown from certified seed potatoes,” said Mr Ewing.
“This agreement with …

The VIRCA project – developing effective solutions for the control of cassava viral diseases

November 17th, 2016 / Darnforth Center, US

The Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa (VIRCA) project – was established in 2006 and includes African and international organizations working together to develop effective solutions for the control of cassava viral diseases. Supported by this partnership, VIRCA researchers are using genetic modification techniques to improve resistance to cassava brown streak …

Farmers sow resistance to drought, boosting seed demand

October 13th, 2016 /

In the late afternoon, Angelina Mwangangi, 52, is digging on her farm on a slope overlooking Iveti hill in Machakos County, southeast of Nairobi. To prevent erosion when the rains come, she has carved out terraces.
Since the harvest in August, farmers here in Mathitu village have been preparing their land …