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Environmentally friendly practices boost cocoa production in Ghana

January 28th, 2016 / UNDP, US

UNDP, in partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), and with financial support from Mondelēz International Cocoa Life Programme, introduced farmers to environmentally friendly practices that can also boost cocoa production and rehabilitate degraded cocoa landscapes. Through the three-year project “Environmental Sustainability and Policy for Cocoa Production in Ghana” (ESP), …

Agricultural education and the next green revolution

January 25th, 2016 / Chicago Council on Global Affairs, US

There is much to celebrate when writing on the accomplishments of agriculture and science. Our era is one where farms all over the world are more productive than ever and the hungry—though there are still too many—have never been fewer. But as our population continues to grow towards nine billion …

Calestous Juma: A biotech revolution for Africa

January 23rd, 2016 / Capital Finance International

In western countries, the genetic modification of crops is often seen as a threat to the environment. Professor Calestous Juma takes a contrarian view: he is a keen advocate of biotechnology and its potential to transform African economies. Read …

MYTH: UN endorses small-scale organic farming over biotech

January 23rd, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Looking at the body of current evidence, most scientists have found a reduced environmental impact, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and better situation for farmers as result of biotechnology. When you combine that with the scientific consensus that GMOs are just as safe, and in some cases nutritionally and environmentally superior …

Most African smallholder farmers mainly buy seeds through informal markets

January 23rd, 2016 / AllAfrica.com

Small, family farmers in Africa purchase more than half of their seeds every year through local markets and other informal sources – neglected outlets that present a major opportunity for improving access to better crop varieties crucial to dealing with climate, nutrition, and other production challenges in a region where …

New seed varieties NOT reaching small farmers

January 22nd, 2016 / Eye Witness News, South Africa

Africa’s small farmers, more than half of whom buy their seeds from local informal markets, need access to improved seeds that can yield more food and cope with climate change, according to research. Innovations in food science, including seeds that produce vitamin-rich food and crops that can withstand the hotter, …

Growing concern over El Nino’s impact on southern Africa as planting window ends

January 20th, 2016 / UNFP, Rome

The El Niño global weather event, which is leading to even worse drought across the region, is already affecting this year’s crop. With little or no rain falling in many areas and the window for the planting of cereals closing fast or already closed in some countries, the outlook is …

Foods available to African farm households increase with market access and off-farm work

January 18th, 2016 / ILRI News

Rural development in sub-Saharan Africa has to be more than closing yield gaps and agricultural development per se. Connecting people to urban centers and generating other employment sources will directly affect food security in a manner that boosting production cannot. Farmers start selling produce at levels below fulfilling food self-sufficiency, …

Farmers advised on best practices to improve maize, bean production

January 13th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali reports: “While Uganda is endowed with good soils and a favourable climate, agricultural production is far below potential and the produce often fails to meet quality standards. Coffee, maize and beans are some of the food and cash crops produced but their marketability has proved to …

Mark Lynas: Yes to GMOs, mandatory labeling

January 13th, 2016 / Farm Futures, US

Mark Lynas used to through mud, clandestinely seeking to destroy European GMO crops. “As a scientist, you must have data to back up what you’re saying,” Lynas said. “And I realized I wasn’t holding myself to the same scientific standards on GMOs as I applied to my research on climate …