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Microbes, new weapon against agricultural pests in Africa

April 26th, 2017 / IPS News, US

Microscopic soil organisms could be an environmentally friendly way to control crop pests and diseases and even protect agriculture against the impacts of climate change, a leading researcher says.
Africa is battling an outbreak of trans-boundary pests and diseases like the invasive South America fall armyworm (FAW), tomato leaf miner and …

Smart technologies to ensure sustainable farming

April 19th, 2017 / Ethiopian Herald

“There is something that we are not doing properly, that is why we keep on falling short of feeding the whole Africa,” mutters Dr. Kodjo P. Abassa, trying to get comfy on his chair. Dr. Abassa, former Adviser at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, has worked for more …

10 Ways Young People Are Reinventing Agriculture In Africa

April 19th, 2017 / Africa.com

Around seventy percent of young people in Africa live in rural areas. Rather than migrate, more and more are getting involved in agriculture. Young people are changing how the world sees the sector.
Here are ten ways African youth are contributing to reinventing and redefining agriculture. Read …

Soil microbiome – research into practice

April 17th, 2017 / Claudia Canales, B4FA

The previous blog looked at the extraordinary complexity of life supported by soils, in particular healthy, productive soils. This is especially true in the rhizosphere, the soils directly affected by plant root secretions. Key functions modulated by microbes include plant nutrition through the release of inorganic phosphorous in soils, the …

… on B4FA.org

April 17th, 2017

New on B4FA.org:
Blog: A key question is how to harness or influence the microbiome to restore damaged land and improve the productivity and sustainability of agricultural practices.
AND
recently launched a new feature explaining genomic …

Five invasive pests cost African economy US$1 billion every year

April 17th, 2017 / News Ghana

New research by CABI reveals that just five invasive alien species are causing US$0.9 – 1.1 billion in economic losses to smallholder farmers across six eastern African countries each year, equating to 1.8% – 2.2% of total agricultural GDP for the region. These losses are expected to grow to $1.0 …

How ‘human bees’, biotechnologists and Gates Foundation are rescuing the African cassava staple

April 14th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

In the developed world, most people eat the root vegetable cassava only in tapioca pudding or bubble tea. But in sub-Saharan Africa, it’s the primary staple for half a billion people and is the continent’s most popular crop. It has gained prominence due to its tolerance to extreme weather conditions, …

Hunger will continue to plague Africa until we get serious on soils

April 14th, 2017 / Thompson Reuters

Severe hunger in Africa could become a thing of the past even in arid regions. Long-term strategies to build resilience to the harsh climates that decimate crops and cattle do exist and need implementing with urgency. In Africa, these strategies, that can lead to major productivity gains in the face …

How nanobiotechnology could transform agriculture at every level

April 13th, 2017 / Huffington Post, India

Considering the advancements in science and technology, nanotechnology is being visualised as a rapidly evolving field that has the potential to revolutionise agriculture and food systems. Nanotechnology, when applied as a tool, in tandem with other measures, can seek to address some of the world’s most critical sustainable development problems …

Improving cassava production in Nigeria through sustainable seed systems

April 13th, 2017 / BizCommunity.com

According to seed sector specialists, businesses selling improved varieties and high-quality cassava stems for cultivation could help African farmers significantly raise their productivity. Raised productivity will be enjoyed by all stakeholders across the value chain in a sustainable way as this means more Naira from the land, inputs, and effort.
This …