In the news...

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 …

Ghana: agriculture must be seen as serious business

September 2nd, 2015 / The Chronicle, Ghana

According to Ghana’s President Mahama, when people begin to take agriculture as business, they would not only be ensuring food security, but also partnering the government in its efforts to promote agriculture, which is crucial to the rapid socioeconomic development of the country. The President assured the people of the …

Why farms of the future need to mix livestock and crops

September 2nd, 2015 / Devex, US

Today, for hundreds of millions of the world’s smallholder farmers, livestock — a few cattle or maybe a small herd of goats and a flock of chickens — are by far the most important household asset. Moreover, these animals typically live on a small farm of about a hectare (a …

Enhancing food security using PICS bags

August 31st, 2015 / Graphic Online, Ghana

Effective storage of grains such as maize, beans, cowpea, groundnuts and rice has always been a major challenge to smallholder farmers, not only in the country, but the rest of Africa. Grains are mostly destroyed by pests and insects within three months of storage due to the lack of proper …

SA farmers should make use of more GMOs

August 28th, 2015 / iafrica.com, South Africa

Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana said genetically modified farming techniques are being developed by his department and should be adopted by the industry. “We are working with the department of technology in finding new methods by which we can improve new cultivars, the new seeds that are 20 percent resistant to …

How growing trees on the farm leads to food security

August 26th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports: it is important to plant different tree species in crop lands because they contribute to higher productivity of crops and animals as well as the soil. Trees from legume families fix nitrogen, which is useful for crops. Trees also provide fuel wood for cooking and …

Food production efforts should include nutrition education

August 26th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali reports: A study, The Cost of Hunger in Africa, which was conducted in 2013 by the government, with support from African Union, revealed that Uganda loses Shs1.8tn ($899m) annually—or 5.6 per cent of GDP—due to the effects of malnutrition. Illnesses related to malnutrition cost the country …

Rwanda: Micronutrient fertilisers can double crop yields

August 24th, 2015 / The New Times, Rwanda

Farmers planting rice, potatoes, wheat, beans and maize can almost double their produce with the use of micronutrient fertilisers and lime, a new study indicates. This is according to a study conducted in 2014 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) in partnership with International Fertiliser Development Centre …

Disturbing contrasts in African agriculture

August 20th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: In the preface to Africa Development Report 2014, Kofi Annan, wrote: “The unacceptable reality is that too many African farmers still use methods handed down from generation to generation, working their lands or grazing their animals much as their ancestors have done for millennia. Africa …