In the news...

Bumper crop of cocoa is no sweet deal for African farmers

April 20th, 2017 / MarketPlace, US

Seventy percent of cocoa comes from West Africa, mostly Ivory Coast and Ghana. The supply can swing way up or down depending on political instability and the weather there. β€œAt times coca prices’ annualized volatility can be as much as 20 to 25 percent,” said James Butterfill, head of research …

Cereal prices continue to rise, defying improved supplies

February 21st, 2017 / FAO, Italy

The FAO Food Price Index rose notably in January, led by sugar and cereals, even as global markets remain well supplied.
The FAO Food Price Index averaged 173.8 percent in January, its highest value in almost two years, marking a 2.1 percent increase from its revised December value and 16.4 percent …

Mastercard launch mobile marketplace for Africa’s agricultural sectors

January 20th, 2017 / African Farming, UK

In Nairobi, Kenya, on 17 January, Mastercard launched 2KUZE, which is Swahili for “let’s grow together.” The marketplace will enable farmers to buy, sell and receive payments for agricultural goods via feature phones. The platform will bring together the benefits and security of mobile commerce and payments to famers in …

Why Lagos might choose to buy tomatoes from southern Africa – rather than 90km away

December 2nd, 2016 / How we made it in Africa

In Lagos, it can be cheaper to source tomatoes from countries in southern Africa than from 90km outside of the city, according to Omri van Zyl, CEO of AgriSA. Why? Because infrastructural inefficiencies in markets like Nigeria raise the costs of both production and getting produce to market.
This is just …

Turning value addition into family business

September 3rd, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michail Ssali reports: Farmers need some basic skills of food processing and preservation. In most cases, the farmers that try to process their food items end up selling them at better prices and earning higher profits. Food processing is basically about improving the storage life, quality and safety. …

Lack of market for farm produce impoverishing Africa

September 2nd, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

African countries can reverse the crisis of food shortage by creating markets for its farmers, a development banker has advised. At a session on agriculture in Nairobi, Dr Akiwumi Adesina, the President of the African Development Bank said African farmers have been unable to feed the continent because they are …

Digital technology cloud hangs over every African farm

March 7th, 2016 / East African, Kenya

The digital cloud is high above every smallholder farm in Africa. We have the opportunity to bring the power of the cloud down to earth, and transform the ability of smallholder farmers to access finance, information and markets as never before. On Monday, a landmark edition of the international journal …

How technology can be a sweet game-changer for African agriculture

March 1st, 2016 / Mail & Guardian Africa, Kenya

Many fear that the new industrial age will hurt emerging markets, as they are likely to suffer when artificial intelligence and robots become widely used, reducing the competitive advantage of their cheap labour. For 80% of Africans employed in the agriculture sector, this also holds an uncertain future since the …

Foods available to African farm households increase with market access and off-farm work

January 18th, 2016 / ILRI News

Rural development in sub-Saharan Africa has to be more than closing yield gaps and agricultural development per se. Connecting people to urban centers and generating other employment sources will directly affect food security in a manner that boosting production cannot. Farmers start selling produce at levels below fulfilling food self-sufficiency, …

Farmers advised on best practices to improve maize, bean production

January 13th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali reports: “While Uganda is endowed with good soils and a favourable climate, agricultural production is far below potential and the produce often fails to meet quality standards. Coffee, maize and beans are some of the food and cash crops produced but their marketability has proved to …