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Why African farmers should balance pesticides with other control methods

March 23rd, 2018 / The Conversation

Insect pests cause almost half of the crop losses in Africa. If the continent is to feed its growing population, farmers must find ways to control them. Pests account for high losses in other developing regions too.
For smallholder farmers in particular, pest management needs to be affordable, safe and sustainable. …

Embrace new technologies to increase agricultural production, Africa urged

March 23rd, 2018 / New Times, Rwanda

Africa should embrace technology and innovations to boost agro-production and, hence save the billions of dollars the continent spends on food imports, the Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources has said.
Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana said use of advanced technology helps increase crop yields across the continent, a development that would help …

Forty years of data quantifies benefits of Bt corn adoption across multiple crops for the first time

March 21st, 2018 / Phys.org

University of Maryland researchers have pulled together forty years of data to quantify the effects of Bt field corn, a highly marketed and successful genetically engineered technology, in a novel and large-scale collaborative study. Other studies have demonstrated the benefits of Bt corn or cotton adoption on pest management for …

Empowering African women through plant breeding

March 21st, 2018 / CropLife Interntional

While plant breeding has historically focused on improvements to a plants immunity, productivity, or quality, researchers are increasingly looking to understand and enhance traits which make crops more attractive to both men and women. Male and female farmers are just like consumers in that they look for certain traits …

Climate Smart Agriculture, combating climate change across Africa

March 21st, 2018 / Devdiscourse.com

The impact of global climate change is particularly felt in agriculture, as rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and increased pests and diseases pose new and bigger risks to the global food system.
However, at the UN climate talks, the concept of ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture’(CSA), an approach for transforming and reorienting agricultural systems …

FAO launches mobile application to support fight against Fall Armyworm in Africa

March 21st, 2018 / Reliefweb

FAO has launched a mobile application to enable farmers, agricultural workers and other partners at the frontline of the fight against Fall Armyworm in Africa to identify, report the level of infestation, and map the spread of this destructive insect, as well as to describe its natural enemies and the …

Fast maturing maize, onion offers hope to farmers

March 21st, 2018 / The Standard, Kenya

A seed company has unveiled new maize and onion varieties that are drought tolerant and guarantee increased yields. EA seeds introduced the new maize variety — Tosheka, an early maturing type that takes 90 days and is drought tolerant.
According to EA seed Marketing and Sales Manager, Macharia Chege, the maize …

The importance of using agricultural tools

March 19th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

<strong>B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
While farmers in the developed world have been empowered by the use of machinery in their day-to-day activities, those in developing world are still practicing rudimentary farming.
Yet mechanised agriculture is now being emphasised as the way forward.
Powered machinery has replaced many jobs formerly carried out by …

Can media help to enhance the adoption of GMOs in Africa?

March 16th, 2018 / USJA, Uganda

COMESA is the only Regional Economic Community (REC) that has a policy on biotechnology and biosafety, taking into account the sovereign rights of the member states. COMESA has developed a plan to strengthen public awareness and communication on GMOs; one of the strategies aims to enhance reporting skills in science …

Tanzania: New improved high-iron and zinc beans released

March 15th, 2018 / Sweet Potato Knowledge Portal

The high-iron beans are a special type of conventionally bred biofortified beans that contain high levels of iron and zinc. Biofortification enhances the nutritional value of staple food crops by increasing the density of vitamins and minerals in a crop through either conventional plant breeding, agronomic practices or biotechnology. Examples …