In the news...

13 African countries have biotech crops in different stages of development, but approvals are slow

August 8th, 2018 / Genetic Literary Project, US

13 African countries have some biotech crops in different stages of development; the research involves 12 crops and 14 traits. Governments around the continent are evaluating the research and approving crops that feature stacked traits, like insect-resistance and drought tolerance in corn.
A new report published by the International Service for …

Pheromone-based pest control could be the wonderful future of agriculture

August 7th, 2018 / Green Optimistic

Conventional insecticides are extremely harmful to the farmer, pollinating insects, and consumers ( residue on fruits and vegetables). Therefore, the world is looking for an alternative, safer way to protect the plants from pest insects. One of them is pheromones .
One of the most promising methods is mating disruption by …

Agritechnology firms in partnership to enhance smallholder farmers’ productivity

August 7th, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Technology company, SunCulture, which specialises in provision of solar water-pumps and irrigation solutions for small holder farmers, has closed an investment round with electric utility firm, EDF Group, a low-carbon energy provider.
In the deal, EDF will share its experience, selling and installing off-grid solutions designed for residential customers and its …

How conservation agriculture is helping Ethiopian farmers become more than subsistence farmers

August 6th, 2018 / Addis Standard, Ethiopia

Major factors limiting food production for smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa include the depletion of soil fertility, soil erosion and periodic droughts due to climate change. In Ethiopia, crop productivity is further constrained by a lack of quality inputs such as improved seeds, and high prices of chemical fertilizers, which …

Land degradation – a triple threat in Africa

August 6th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Sustainability, stability, and security–the three overlapping issues are an increasing concern among many especially in Africa where land degradation is displacing citizens and livelihoods.
African ministers and United Nations officials convened at the U.N. as part of the Initiative on Sustainability, Stability, and Security (3S), which aims to address migration and …

We must improve peasant farming

August 6th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes:
In the introduction to his book “The Struggle for Land in Buganda” Samwiri Lwanga Lunyiigo, says: “Peasants must be part of our agrarian revolution through the improvement of their farms.”
He goes on to state that floating masses of poor and landless peasants will not allow …

From cocoa bean to chocolate – how Africa can own the game

August 6th, 2018 / AllAfrica.com

Chocolate is one of the world’s most beloved sweet treats. It is consumed pretty much everywhere. You are probably a chocolate lover. So where does your favourite brand of chocolate come from?
A recent white paper from data provider Gro Intelligence gathered the facts: Europe dominates the production, consumption and exportation …

Women’s cooperatives boost agriculture and savings in rural Ethiopia

August 3rd, 2018 / AllAfrica

Through women’s cooperatives, a joint UN programme provides training in agricultural techniques, improved seeds and time-saving machinery, while also granting loans and encouraging saving.
n most parts of the Dodola district, 300 km south of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, slow-moving oxen plowing opens stretches of farmland. But in one field, a …

South Africa’s fake honey scam leaves local beekeepers embittered

August 2nd, 2018 / The South African

There’s a great honey scam taking place in South Africa, whereby unethical manufacturers are faking nature’s sweet golden produce to maximise profits.
Unscrupulous producers are defrauding the public by manufacturing a product made of sugar water and selling it onto consumers under the misnomer of pure honey.
Fake honey damaging South Africa’s …

Ethiopia releases new, perennial sorghum variety

August 2nd, 2018 / SciDev.net

Ethiopian scientists have developed a new sorghum variety that could lead to multiple yields annually.
According to the National Statistics Agency in Ethiopia, the country has almost two million hectares of sorghum fields, and harvests about four million tonnes of sorghum grains every year.
The new sorghum variety is expected to produce …