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How climate change is pushing more African countries to accept GM crops

March 1st, 2016 / African Insider

Faced with unpredictable harsh weather conditions more and more African Countries are changing their stance against genetically modified (GM) crops to help improve on farm yields and feed a growing population. For long GM food has been viewed with suspicion by many African governments with vicious debates taking place across …

How technology can be a sweet game-changer for African agriculture

March 1st, 2016 / Mail & Guardian Africa, Kenya

Many fear that the new industrial age will hurt emerging markets, as they are likely to suffer when artificial intelligence and robots become widely used, reducing the competitive advantage of their cheap labour. For 80% of Africans employed in the agriculture sector, this also holds an uncertain future since the …

What can be done about badly depleted nitrogen levels in Africa’s soil

February 26th, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

African soils have been mined for their nutrients for far too long. Nutrients are removed in harvesting across the continent, but they aren’t being returned to the soil. This usually happens in the form of manures or fertilisers. As with a bank so too with soil: if you don’t deposit …

You probably didn’t know smallholder farmers can benefit from GMOs, too

February 23rd, 2016 / Forbes, US

Many smallholder farmer communities are challenging — transportation is difficult, electricity might be rare—but they’re filled with potential… Agricultural technology like GMOs can make a difference. Improved seed varieties can increase farmers’ yields, meaning farmers can harvest more from their land. That increase in yields doesn’t just change a farmer’s …

Why the whitefly is bringing global scientists to Tanzania

February 22nd, 2016 / IPPmedia.com

Scientists and researchers have expressed their concern about the recent upsurge in the number of whiteflies; the tiny, sap-sucking insects that destroy important crops and vegetables such as beans, cassava and sweet potato. The whitefly spreads diseases to important crops very swiftly, a situation which, if not urgently controlled, efforts …

Action against widespread mycotoxin contamination

February 19th, 2016 / Paepard

An estimated 500 million of the poorest people in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Asia are exposed to the pervasive natural toxins, aflatoxins and fumonisins, on a daily basis by eating their staple diet of groundnuts, maize, and other cereals. Exposure occurs throughout life at levels far in excess of …

The huge, hidden upside to low oil prices

February 19th, 2016 / Quartz Africa.com

Oil prices just keep falling and crashing into things on their way down. It seems like every day another country gets a bill for damages: Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Russia, the UK. While the global economy’s biggest players are reeling, there is a less visible group of people who stand to …

We need to all approaches to boost agriculture

February 17th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

“This (feeding the growing population) will require sustainable intensification— growing more from less by using land and resources more efficiently with the aim of meeting the current needs while improving the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In addition, we must conserve natural resources, preserve eco-system …

Stakeholders concerned about whitefly pest

February 15th, 2016 / All Africa.com

Over 100 members of the panel for agricultural research from 23 countries have met today in Arusha to discuss ways to tackle the whitefly species known to cause crop losses. The pest fly which carries and spread disease is a major threat to global food production. According to research …

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. …