In the news...

Africa’s economic future will be cultivated on small family farms

February 15th, 2016 / African Insider

Africa’s growing population and expanding middle class are creating a domestic market for food products that will be worth $1 trillion by 2030. But to tap this opportunity for Africa’s smallholder farmer, we need to stop thinking about them as subsistence growers and embrace their potential to generate income. …

Why we won’t be able to feed the world without GM

February 12th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

With an increasing population, we can increase yields to meet demand without expanding area, and/or we can reduce demand enough to allow supply to catch up. Increasing supply in a sustainable way is perfectly possible. Some of this is about increasing efficiency through better farming, such as using precision …

Nigeria: Why We Developed Drought Resistant Crops – Professor Izge

February 12th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

Usman Adamu Izge is a Professor of Agriculture with specialty in genetic and crop breeding at Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State. In this interview, he speaks on why he carried out research on breeding a drought resistant variety of groundnut. Read …

Biofortification: New ‘green revolution’ for more nutritious crops

February 12th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Plant breeders and biotechnologists are working on a new Green Revolution to make crops produce more nutrients, a process called biofortification. Recently, several new biofortified crops have been in the news: an orange ‘super banana’ genetically engineered to produce elevated levels of beta-carotene currently undergoing human testing in Iowa; …

Africa: UN drive to lift up poor farmers must focus on climate

February 11th, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

A new push to give farmers in developing countries better access to markets, led by the United Nations’ food aid agency, could fall short of its goals if it does not prioritise helping poor farmers adapt to climate change, experts have warned. Aimed at boosting incomes and improving food …

UN FAO warns of threat to food security from overuse of antibiotics

February 11th, 2016 / UN News

The overuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents is impacting rural livelihoods and food security, and requires globally coordinated efforts, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today. “Antimicrobial resistance is a global threat that in this inter-connected world cannot be solved in Europe alone,” Ms. Semedo, FAO …

Scientists make breakthrough in blight-resistant Irish potatoes

February 10th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) is in the process of breeding Irish Potato varieties that are resistant to late blight, a fungal disease ravaging the crop in farmers’ fields across the country. Read …

Saving the banana

February 8th, 2016 / Scroll.in

Catastrophe is looming for the banana industry. A new strain has emerged of a soil-borne fungus known as “Panama disease” which can wipe out entire plantations – and it is rapidly spreading around the world. Farmers in Australia, Latin America and across Asia and Africa all fear the worst. The …

Accelerating change for smallholders with digital technology

February 6th, 2016 / Can we feed the world, UK

The fourth revolution, ‘Industry 4.0’, will build on the digital revolution, but there is work to be done on bringing the digital revolution to developing countries, particularly to rural areas. Digital technology has the potential to accelerate change and reduce isolation, while agricultural development has the potential to support the …

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe declares drought disaster

February 6th, 2016 / BBC, UK

The United Nations World Food Programme has said some 14 million people face hunger in southern Africa because of a drought that has been exacerbated by the El Nino weather phenomenon. South Africa, Namibia and Botswana have also been badly hit. Read …