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How to grow more cassava

January 26th, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

Cassava is one of the most efficient producers of carbohydrates and energy among all food crops. It can produce more than 250,000 calories per hectare per day, compared to 176,000 for rice, 110,000 for wheat and 200,000 for corn.
But despite its widespread consumption, cassava yields have not improved in a …

Invisible irrigators: how small-scale Tanzanian farmers are making a difference

January 25th, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

Despite increased efforts to expand irrigation in Tanzania, the country is still well below its declared target of one million hectares of irrigated land. Or is it?
New research reveals that official statistics often don’t include irrigation set up and run by individual farmers. This would appear to be good news, …

How GM crops can help us to feed a fast-growing world

January 25th, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

The United Nations forecasts global population to rise to more than 9 billion people by 2050. Climate change may mean that the crops we depend on now may no longer be suited to the areas where they are currently cultivated and may increasingly be threatened by droughts, floods and the …

Answering the 3 Most Common Internet Objections to GMOs

January 25th, 2017 / GMO Building Blocks

Any discussion of GMOs on the internet brings a swarm of commenters. No matter the topic, an inevitable pattern of comment is “Yes, but what the author ignores is (insert common anti-GMO myth)”. Here are three of the most common tropes that litter those discussions. See …

Avian flu: what farmers should do

January 24th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:: This week, the ministries of agriculture and health issued an alert about an avian flu outbreak in Wakiso, Kalangala and Masaka districts. This followed reports of several migratory birds found dead on the shores of Lake Victoria in these areas.
In his statement, Agriculture minister Vincent …

Young Africa Works summit puts youth at the centre of green revolution

January 24th, 2017 / African Media Agency, UAE

More than 300 global and African thought leaders and youth agripreneurs will come together for The MasterCard Foundation’s second Young Africa Works Summit on February 16-17 in Kigali, Rwanda. The event will spark new thinking on how Africa’s growing youth population can transform the agricultural sector. Fifty young people will …

Farmers urged to adapt the use of crop residues to improve soil (video)

January 24th, 2017 / Youtube.com

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports: An Agronomist at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University for Development Studies Nyankpala Campus, Professor Israel Dzomeku has advised farmers to adapt use of left over crop residues on their farmlands after harvesting since it increases the organic matter in the soil.
According to him …

The smart way to help African farmers tackle climate change

January 23rd, 2017 / IRIN

The basic recipe for boosting performance is well known: more investment, better access to financial services, improved seeds, and a lot more fertiliser (appropriately applied).
What is less appreciated is the key role played by agricultural extension workers. They link small-scale farmers to new research, helping to improve their knowledge and …

Genetic diversity-the pillar to food security and agricultural productivity

January 23rd, 2017 / Ghana Web

Population expansion coupled with urbanisation of fertile agricultural lands together with modernisation in every aspect of human daily activities which create biodiversity are getting eroded in direct and indirect ways. Deforestation, land degradation, coastal development as well as environmental stress collectively lead to large scale extinction of plant species, more …

Addressing GMO concerns (3): big Ag won’t let farmers save seeds

January 23rd, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

This is the third article in a three-part series exploring some common concerns heard about GMOs.
There is some odd and fuzzy-headed thinking that asserts that crop breeding should be exempt from intellectual property protection. Often expressed as “Nobody should be able patent life”. There is a certain emotional appeal that …