In the news...

New technology to help farmers use fertilisers, boost their yields

November 12th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes: A study done by National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL) Kawanda shows that Uganda faces severe soil nutrient depletion. This is because many farmers keep tilling the land over and over again without applying practices that maintain soil fertility. Therefore, it recommends that small holder farmers …

Land fragmentation is the biggest challenge we face

November 11th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes: Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Ugandan agriculture today is sub-division of farm lands. It is mainly associated with the traditional inheritance systems of our communities, which also still treasure large families. A man gets married to a number of wives, each one of whom produces …

Smallholders gaining from nitrogen-efficient maize

November 10th, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

Smallholders face challenges such as poor soils and high cost of fertilisers. New improved varieties can raise yields by 30 per cent even in poor soils. Smallholders are seeing the varieties’ impacts, including aiding food security. Read …

Optimizing Africa’s food systems

November 10th, 2015 / International Policy Digest, UK

In Africa, agriculture is not only a source of food and nutrition but of incomes, employing up to 64 percent of labor on the continent with women producing up to 80 percent of food. It is therefore the most accessible sector. Investments to enhance productivity in this sector will ensure …

Rwanda: Farmers cautioned on seeds with short growth cycle

November 9th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

In Rwanda farmers have been cautioned against planting seeds with short maturity periods. The advice was given by Dr Daphrose Gahakwa, the deputy director general for research at Rwanda agriculture board (RAB) while advising on how farmers can cope during the dry season.”We have several varieties of short term seeds …

Nigeria: A solution that puts smallholders’ food, nutrition and income in a bag

November 6th, 2015 / IPS, Italy

Sometimes the best solutions can appear to be so simple that it’s hard to imagine why they weren’t invented centuries ago. Take the so-called PICS bags, big plastic storage sacks made of triple-lined plastic that can hold up to 90 kilograms of cowpeas or other farm produce. They cut agricultural …

The importance of using herbicides

November 4th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: These days, it is extremely difficult to practice productive farming without the use of chemicals to protect crops from pests, diseases as well as the weeds especially for the farmers that are operating on a large scale. Read …

Morocco’s progress on food security acknowledged by UN

November 3rd, 2015 / The Guardian, UK

Morocco’s progress on reducing poverty and eliminating hunger through a nationwide plan has received qualified praise from the UN special rapporteur on the right to food. Hilal Elver acknowledged the country’s achievements in boosting production through “plan Maroc vert” (plan for a green Morocco, or PMV), but cautioned that more …

Uganda: New satellite data technology to provide farmers with information

October 30th, 2015 / Daily Monitor

Lack of up-to-date information, especially agronomical and weather updates, has always been a big challenge for Ugandan farmers. Now the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and partners have launched a new satellite-based technology project, providing timely, accurate crop-management information via smart phones to farmers. Read …

Delivering Sustainable Development Goals in Africa

October 23rd, 2015 / International Policy Digest, US

Achieving the SDGs effectively, in a fast, efficient, impactful and lasting way will require innovative action from all. The World Bank reports that in Africa, a 10% increase in crop yields translates to approximately a 7% reduction in poverty. Growth in agriculture is at least two to four times more …