In the news...

Africa’s agriculture projects are growing inequality, not food – extension services needed

February 9th, 2017 / Huffington Post, US

Low yield growth, increasing food insecurity, climate change and massive population growth are the four factors that will determine the shape of Africa over the next century. Even if countries on the continent are successful in negotiating more favourable trade conditions and introduce policy reforms, Africa will still need to …

Armyworm problem spreads through Africa

February 8th, 2017 / eNCA

A pest devastating maize crops is spreading rapidly in Africa, with South Africa and Zimbabwe confirming its presence on Tuesday.
The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) has been detected in South Africa’s northern Limpopo province, the South African Government News Agency quoted Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana as saying.
Godfrey Chikwenhere from Zimbabwe’s Agriculture …

Online Pest Risk Atlas for Africa to combat climate change effects on pest management

February 7th, 2017 / AAAS, US

The International Potato Center (CIP) announces the launch of its free online mobile accessible Pest Risk Atlas for Africa that assesses potential pest risks under current and potential future climate conditions for a number of important pests that effect African agricultural and horticultural crops like potato, sweetpotato, vegetables, and maize.
“African …

Is Africa really undergoing a smallholder agricultural revolution?

February 7th, 2017 / The Conversation, UK

Good news stories about transformation in African agriculture abound with some positive statistics to back them up. The general story is that farmers are adopting improved agricultural practices, that productivity is increasing and that rural economies are burgeoning.
But many of the stories tend to focus on the overall growth based …

Ghanaian agriculture students welcome ‘Champions for Change’ initiative

February 6th, 2017 / Ghana News Agency

Agricultural science students’ from Ghanaian universities have welcomed Africa Lead’s
– Champions for Change initiative – that trains youth leaders to champion innovations in the agricultural sector for increased food production and improved livelihoods.
The students were drawn from a number of tertiary institutions in the country including: University of Cape Coast …

ECA, FAO collaborate on sustainable agriculture in Africa

February 5th, 2017 / Footprint to Africa

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) have entered a partnership to enhance the development of sustainable agriculture and agribusiness; food and nutrition security; regional integration; and trade on the continent.
The two entities from the United Nations ecosystem will complement each other, FAO in …

After the devastating drought, armyworm could be our next agricultural disaster

February 5th, 2017 / Huffington Post, South Africa

The 2016/17 summer crop production season started on a slightly positive note for Southern Africa’s agricultural sector, after emerging from a devastating drought in the 2015/16 season. For South Africa, there are already promising indications that the country could retain its status as a net exporter of maize.
In the second …

Monoculture in cover crops is often better than polyculture

February 2nd, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Research thus far has consistently found that cover crop polycultures are not necessarily better than cover crop monocultures. This is now reaffirmed by a large study, done in Pennsylvania, published this year (Finney et al. 2016). The study had 18 treatments replicated four times (these studies are a lot of …

Trees supplement income for rural farmers in Africa

February 2nd, 2017 /

Trees may be easy to spot on the plains of Africa but they are often overlooked as a source of income for farmers. A new study shows trees on farms may help reduce rural poverty and maintain biodiversity. The study used satellite images showing forest cover and nationally representative household-level …

Africa: guess how much water your daily food consumes

February 2nd, 2017 /

The facts are clear. So are the consequences. And the facts are that it takes between one and three tonnes of water to grow one kilogramme of cereal; that a kilogramme of beef takes up to 15 tonnes of water to produce; and that it is estimated that between 2,000 …