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Unleashing the power of women farmers in Africa, and beyond

August 31st, 2018 / TRT World

Kenya has set a small, but great, example of how governments on the African continent can empower women to realise the immense potential of agriculture on the continent.
The government of Kenya recently launched an affirmative action policy to preferentially award 30 percent of government ministry tenders to women-owned businesses in …

Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) a blessing or a curse?

August 30th, 2018 / Life Science Leader, US

Back in March of this year, a reader of Life Science Leader magazine submitted the above question for our popular monthly Ask The Board column. Started in our February 2011 issue, the column enables readers to submit questions, which are then posed to a member of Life Science Leader’s editorial …

High yielding drought resistant bean variety that matures in two months is ready for market

August 28th, 2018 / FarmBiz Africa

Bean farmers in Kenya can now harvest up to 600kg per acre in just two months, thanks to a new high yielding variety dubbed Kenya Mali or KAT SW-12 launched in the market two years ago.
Kenya Mali, which was bred by researchers from the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization …

Ghana: How rapid population growth could become an emergency and outpace both food production and economic growth

August 23rd, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Ghana’s economy is predominately dependent on agriculture, particularly cocoa, though the government has taken steps to ensure that the cultivation of staples such as rice, maize and soya is also enhanced.
The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) says that 52 percent of the country’s labour force is …

With sensors and apps, young African coders compete to curb hunger

August 23rd, 2018 / Reuters

From an app to diagnose disease on Zambian farms to Tinder-style matchmaking for Senegalese land owners and young farmers, young coders have been finding solutions to hunger in the first Africa-wide hackathon on the issue.
Eight teams competed in the hackathon, organised by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and …

Youth, women hold agribusiness power

August 21st, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

There are two strong arguments — pragmatic and strategic — on why we need to get greater women and youth involvement in agriculture.
Let’s deal with the pragmatic first. Women make up half of the population and provide 40 per cent of the labour in crop production in Africa. Moreover, Africa …

Next-generation biotech products could threaten the existence of agricultural nutrient producers

August 20th, 2018 / Motley Fool

Microbials are essentially probiotics for plants. A plant’s root system can feast on a buffet of water and a wide range of nutrients present in the soil. However, much like humans, plants are unable to break down or process all the available nutrients without help from friendly bacteria or fungi. …

Fears for food security and the future of farming families, as Fall Armyworm spreads to Asia

August 17th, 2018 / India Blooms

The UN agency is offering its expertise to farmers and Governments in the region to help them manage Fall Armyworm. The insect was recently detected in India, marking the first time it has been found in Asia, and FAO fears it is “highly likely” to spread, with southeast Asia and …

Wheat gene map to help ‘feed the world’

August 17th, 2018 / BBC

The starting pistol has been fired in a race to develop “climate change resistant” wheat with the publication of a map of the crop’s genes.
An international team of scientists has identified the location of more than 100,000 wheat genes.
The researchers say the map will accelerate the development of new strains …

Why Tanzania youth need to be at the forefront of agricultural initiatives

August 15th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Though during the school holidays I assisted on the farm, in a rural area, I did not have a connection to agriculture when I arrived in Tanzania’s largest commercial city Dar es Salaam and headed off for “The Hill” to study law. This all changed in my early 30s when, …