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Is cassava the key to tomorrow’s food security?

February 1st, 2016 / International Center for Tropical Agriculture

Cassava is a survivor crop. It can withstand harsh conditions – drought, heat or infertile soils – as agriculture intensifies and populations grow. It is a carbohydrate source for 500 million people globally and a staple in Africa, Asia and South America, which account for 53 percent, 33 percent and …

Plentiful short rains boost Kenya’s food security

February 1st, 2016 / Ghana News

The report published by food security experts from the Famine Early Warning Systems (FEWS Net), an agency which provides early warning and analysis on food insecurity, says the El Nino-related rains which pounded several parts of Kenya are expected to boost food security in Kenya by helping a significant recovery …

What urbanisation means for rural areas in Africa

January 28th, 2016 / Can we feed the world?, UK

In 1950 only about a third of the world’s population lived in cities, but rapid population growth has led to increased urbanisation, which has seen this figure rise to 54% in 2014. As this trend is set to continue, by 2050 over two-thirds of the global population will live in …

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 …