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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 …

Young people, agriculture, and transformation in rural Africa

January 10th, 2016 / Eldis, UK

Over the last decade, both agriculture and young people have become increasingly prominent on African development agendas. Politicians, policymakers, and development professionals have confronted food price volatility, food insecurity, and the phenomenon of large-scale land grabs on the one hand, and the entrenched under- and unemployment among young people—the (youthful) …

Branding Nigeria through agriculture

January 10th, 2016 / Daily Trust, Nigeria

Special events have proven to be veritable means of putting places and people under spotlight and generating awareness among the public at both local and international levels. In recent times, an upsurge of various events, in sports, entertainment, professional meetings, NGO fora, international organisations and global groups have elicited a …

Who wants to farm? Youth aspirations, opportunities and rising food prices

January 7th, 2016 / Eldis, UK

In an era of land grabs and environmental uncertainty, improving smallholder productivity has become a higher priority on the poverty and food security agenda in development, focusing attention on the next generation of farmers. Yet emerging evidence about the material realities and social norms and desires of young people in …

Farming God’s way in the face of climate-related challenges

January 6th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssale writes “An Islamic farming manual, titled Farming God’s Way, written by Dr Husna Ahmad and Sam Adams, teaches that God appointed human beings to be guardians of the world, which He created and that it is their duty to safeguard this blessing and not to exploit …

Nitrogen-fixing tech aiding legume yields

January 5th, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

A low-cost nitrogen fixing technology for legume crops is being given to small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe to improve national food and nutrition security. The Chemistry and Soil Research Institute in Zimbabwe is distributing sachets that contain inoculated Rhizobia bacteria — a technique for adding bacteria to a carrier medium to …

Opposition to GMOs is about corporations, not technology

January 5th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The positions of major NGOs on GMOs and climate change are quite consistent if one considers that the real issue is not opposition to GM technology, but rather to large petro/chemical companies. Large petro/oil companies commonly profit from fossil fuel usage; therefore policies which mean reduced fossil fuel usage are …

Six key messages wrapping up the International Year of Soils

January 5th, 2016 / FAO, Italy

In 2015 we celebrated the “International Year of Soils” and with good reason. Soil sustains all our agricultural and livestock food production, wood for fuel production, filters water so that we can drink it and fish can live in it. We also use it for construction – therefore it sustains …