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Climate-smart farming boosting food security

September 16th, 2015 / The East African, Kenya

Experts recommend soil management practices such as conservation agriculture, which increases productivity based on three principles — minimal soil disturbance (reduced tillage), permanent soil cover (mulching) and crop rotation. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, conservation agriculture reduces the farming systems’ greenhouse gas emissions and enhances its …

Farmers embracing irrigation, seed beds and fertilisers

September 16th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Most farmers in Uganda use rudimentary methods where they do not apply the often necessary agricultural inputs such as fertilisers. However, this trend is gradually changing with a number of them embracing certain farm practices such as irrigation, seed beds and fertilisers. One such farmer is Esau Okecho, a mixed …

As drought hits, Tanzania cooks up sweet potato

September 11th, 2015 / Thomson Reuters Foundation, UK

In the wind-swept plains of Kishapu, in Tanzania’s northern Shinyanga region, Himelda Tumbo has for a few years struggled to grow maize on her farm. “I have suffered huge losses due to drought. The seasonal rains are not enough and the crops are drying up,” she complained. Maize once …

Portable biosensor making food and fodder safe

September 10th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

The presence of aflatoxins in food and feed are a major reason why some of our agricultural produce would be rejected in international markets. In addition, they are harmful to both human and animal health. They can cause diseases like cancer and nervous and reproductive disorders, retard growth in children, …

Weeds tell farmers the kind of soils they have and crops to grow

September 10th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Farmers can easily tell the type of soils on their farms by simply observing the type of weeds that grow in it. This is a cost-free and accurate method of soil sampling that can save farmers from hefty laboratory test costs, while still allowing them to determine the kinds of …

Adding value to African indigenous vegetables

September 9th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) are considered a significant contributor to food security and nutrition for smallholder farmers in East Africa. They are also important as a source of income, particularly for women, although the farmers’ capacity to meet a growing demand for vegetables is limited …

Kenyan Farmers raise concerns over GMO maize

September 8th, 2015 / The Star, Kenya

Farmers in Makueni last week got a chance to ask questions and voice their concerns on genetically modified maize. Peninah Mutunga, a farmer from Kathonzweni in Makueni county, Kenya, has had many questions since she first heard of genetically modified organisms. “Will the GM maize be labelled so that when …

Small mills flourishing business with rural communities

September 7th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: Small grinding mills are very important machines for many communities in Africa because they can be operated anywhere. There are various types of this milling tools ranging from the ancient types to modern used by communities across Africa Ugandan communities inclusive. …

Ten apps to boost African agriculture

September 3rd, 2015 / Venturesafrica.com

Analysts have shown that by 2025 half of Africa’s population will have internet access with about 360 million smartphones on the continent. Also based on their estimation, internet technology could increase annual agricultural productivity in Africa by $3 billion per annum. Throughout the continent, farmers, NGOs and scientists are …

The challenge of fighting poverty through farming

September 2nd, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: It is good to reflect a little on poverty—the enemy we are all bent on eradicating from our lives mainly through farming. The majority of our people struggle against poverty as small-scale farmers in the rural areas.Peasant farmers are particularly vulnerable to the effects of …