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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 …

Ugandan farmers to use app to identify fall armyworm

August 20th, 2018 / East African

Farmers in Uganda can now quickly identify and report the presence of the fall armyworm using a mobile application system that has been jointly launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
The Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System (Famews) is already in use in …

Lessons from Kenya on how to restore degraded land

August 20th, 2018 / The Conversation

The state of the earth’s biodiversity – the world’s variety of living organisms – is in crisis. About one third of the world’s land has been severely degraded from its natural state. Some of the worst forms of degradation include deforestation, soil erosion, loss of soil fertility, declining water quality …

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 …

African swine fever’s most recent victim in 2018: Ghana

August 17th, 2018 / Farm Journal's PORK

The Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) reports that Ghana has seen its first case of African Swine Fever (ASF) in 2018. The disease seems to be spreading at a faster pace this year in Europe, Asia and Africa.
“Ghana confirmed the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in five districts in …

How to ensure bumper harvest from butternut

August 16th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

From B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru:
Butternut squash is a vine crop of the cucurbit family. This tropical crop is an alternative choice four pumpkin lovers.
This is because the butternut squash fruits locally known as ‘ensusuuti’ not only looks like a tiny pumpkin but it tastes alike.
Locally we do not …

Trait-based regulation of GM plants is on the horizon – at last!

August 16th, 2018 / Agri-Pulse

Evan Pugh Professor Emerita and Penn State University Senior Science Advisor Nina Fedoroff writes:
We are now able to modify plants with exquisite precision to make use of the enormous fund of molecular and physiological knowledge about them accumulated over the past century. Taking apart the regulatory thicket will make …

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, …

How soil scientists can do a better job of making their research useful

August 15th, 2018 / The Conversation

Soil is a vital part of the natural environment. It supports the growth of plants, is a habitat for many different organisms and is at the heart of nearly all agricultural production. It also plays an integral role in countless other ecosystem services like water and climate regulation.
Despite this, soil …