In the news...

Tackling post-harvest losses towards food security

November 9th, 2015 / Leadership, Nigeria

Post-harvest losses are losses which occur between the time of harvest and the time of human consumption and can be divided into quantitative and qualitative losses. Whichever way they occur, it is usually a loss to the farmer in particular and the nation at large as the value of that …

Rwanda: Farmers cautioned on seeds with short growth cycle

November 9th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

In Rwanda farmers have been cautioned against planting seeds with short maturity periods. The advice was given by Dr Daphrose Gahakwa, the deputy director general for research at Rwanda agriculture board (RAB) while advising on how farmers can cope during the dry season.”We have several varieties of short term seeds …

Weeding through the facts on herbicide resistance

November 5th, 2015 / Food Insight, US

As long as farmers have been farming, crops have faced considerable damage from diseases, insects, and weeds. To combat these problems, producers use a range of crop protection products to keep their plants safe. Lately, we hear media reports about more and more weeds becoming resistant to herbicides. So what …

New plant breeding techniques: Innovation breakthrough or GMOs in disguise?

November 5th, 2015 / EurActiv.com

‘New plant breeding techniques’ focus on developing new seed traits within a given species through genetic engineering. A troubling question for policymakers is whether these techniques should fall under GMO legislation. Read …

The importance of using herbicides

November 4th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: These days, it is extremely difficult to practice productive farming without the use of chemicals to protect crops from pests, diseases as well as the weeds especially for the farmers that are operating on a large scale. Read …

Morocco’s progress on food security acknowledged by UN

November 3rd, 2015 / The Guardian, UK

Morocco’s progress on reducing poverty and eliminating hunger through a nationwide plan has received qualified praise from the UN special rapporteur on the right to food. Hilal Elver acknowledged the country’s achievements in boosting production through “plan Maroc vert” (plan for a green Morocco, or PMV), but cautioned that more …

Delivering Sustainable Development Goals in Africa

October 23rd, 2015 / International Policy Digest, US

Achieving the SDGs effectively, in a fast, efficient, impactful and lasting way will require innovative action from all. The World Bank reports that in Africa, a 10% increase in crop yields translates to approximately a 7% reduction in poverty. Growth in agriculture is at least two to four times more …

Using radioactive material to increase Africa’s crop yields

October 23rd, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

A tech that uses radioactive material is increasing crop yields in some nations. It has raised tea yields by 17 per cent in Tanzania and aided water use in Ghana.An expert hopes other African nations would adopt it to spur food security. Read …

Drought-tolerant maize improves yields in 13 countries

October 22nd, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

A new project has begun following the end of a related initiative that has provided more than 200 improved maize varieties for farmers in 13 Sub-Saharan Africa countries. The Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project launched eight years ago under the Global Maize Program of the International Maize and …

Feeding sub-Saharan Africa

October 22nd, 2015 / IntoBiology

In the west, we’ve spent 50 years relying on increasing food yields by adding nitrogen-based fertilisers to the soils. But it’s not an approach that seems to be working for the millions of smallholder farmers across western and central Africa. Local farmers, agronomists and scientists from across the world are …