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US$4 million project to control maize lethal necrosis

January 2nd, 2016 / SciDev.net, UK

A new project has been launched to control the spread of a lethal viral disease which affects maize yields and threatens food security in many Sub-Saharan Africa countries. The project for tackling maize lethal necrosis (MLN), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was launched at a …

Inter-planting coffee and banana to cope with climate change

January 2nd, 2016 / IPS

Studies by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and partner organizations show that a Ugandan farmer gets 50 per cent more income from inter cropping coffee and banana than from growing either crop alone. Conducted in over 30 districts of Uganda, the study showed that coffee yield remained the …

West Africa: Using SMS Texts to Provide Weather Forecasts for Small Farmers

December 23rd, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

Ignitia, a high-tech social enterprise, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to deliver reliable, targeted, low-cost tropical weather forecasts via text messages to 1.2 million small-scale farmers in West Africa by the end of 2017. BCtA is a global initiative that encourages companies to fight …

Orange-flesh sweet potato solution to Vitamin A deficiency

December 22nd, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

A number of African countries have launched campaigns to increase consumption of orange-flesh sweet potatoes in order to combat malnutrition.Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of preventable childhood blindness and mortality from infections, especially in children and pregnant women. It affects the poorest segments of the population, particularly those …

Sorghum height research offers insight for wider crop improvement

December 21st, 2015 / Feed navigator.com

Tracking height traits in sorghum plants may boost develop of better preforming sorghum and offer lessons for improving other feed crops. Read …

The magic of hybrid seeds

December 18th, 2015 / Daily Nation, Kenya

One of the most important questions that often comes to farmers’ minds is, “what seeds should I plant?” Now, before rushing to the nearest agrovet or seed stockist, arm yourself with this guide that will enable you select the best seeds that fit the location of your farm. Read …

G-33 demands outcome on special safeguards

December 15th, 2015 / Livemint.com

With an agreement on a special safeguard mechanism (SSM) that they want unlikely at the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s 10th ministerial conference starting on Tuesday in Nairobi, a group of developing countries including India has demanded an outcome on special safeguards (SSGs), amending a provision that already exists in Article …

Africa closer to a cure for banana disease

December 15th, 2015 / Inter Press Service

Scientists at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) headquartered in Ibadan, Nigeria in partnership with the National Agriculture Research Organisation (NARO) in Uganda are close to a breakthrough after more than eight years researching solutions to BXW.In one Ugandan dialect, ‘kiwotoka’, describes the steamed look of banana plants affected …

Irish potatoes help combat effect of climate change in Ethiopia

December 14th, 2015 / Irish Times, Ireland

One success story among many that we have had here is the introduction of the humble Irish potato to drought-stricken and hungry areas of the highlands of Ethiopia. In an attempt to find a substitute for local varieties, we introduced the Belete variety which produced extremely high yields of 56.6 …

Tanzania gives farmers U.S.$36 million for inputs and improved seeds

December 1st, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

Tanzania has disbursed 2,999,778 vouchers for agriculture inputs worth $36.4 million (Tsh78.1 billion) to 999,993 farmers on the mainland so as to prepare for the new agricultural season 2015/2016. “The input subsidy vouchers have benefited many farmers of maize and rice crops by increasing production of these crops and …