In the news...

Morocco’s OCP Africa: blueprint for an African Green Revolution?

February 9th, 2018 / Morocco World News

The role of agriculture in economic development cannot be overstated. In fact, there seems to be, in the literature of development studies, an overwhelming consensus on the centrality of agriculture in achieving sustainable economic development.
In sub-Saharan Africa, however, policymakers and other stakeholders have, so far, been frustratingly failing to satisfy …

Study suggests root microbiome key to drought resistant plants

February 8th, 2018 / University of Toronto, Canada

Just as the micro-organisms in our gut are increasingly recognized as important players in human health and behaviour, micro-organisms are critical to the growth and health of plants, a new study by a University of Toronto researcher has found.
For example, plants that are able to recruit particular bacteria to their …

Scientists peek inside the ‘black box’ of soil microbes to learn their secrets

January 26th, 2018 / The Sale

A tablespoon of soil contains billions of microscopic organisms. Life on Earth, especially the growing of food, depends on these microbes, but scientists don’t even have names for most of them, much less a description.
That’s changing, slowly, thanks to researchers like Noah Fierer, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Fierer …

Increasing food production

January 18th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Last year the number of food insecure people in Africa rose from 220 million to 224million.
In its Regional Overview report the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) attributed the unfortunate rise to the changing weather patterns that caused poor harvests, loss of livestock, civil conflicts, and …

This army of AI robots will feed the world

January 15th, 2018 / Boomberg, US

And it could do it while eliminating herbicides, replenishing topsoil, and reducing carbon consumption. If all goes to plan. Read more …

… on B4FA.org

January 9th, 2018

New on B4FA.org:

No discussion about the history of science, technology and innovation policy in Africa is complete without mentioning Calestous Juma. He championed the use of technological innovation to tackle sustainable development challenges like food insecurity, climate change, poverty and disease – especially in African countries. This is how we should …

Hidden threat to health

January 3rd, 2018 / Phys.org

One of the most ambitious programmes to provide lasting improvements in nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa begins today when a diverse multinational team of experts from agriculture to ethics start looking for ways to end dietary deficiencies in essential micronutrients.
Rothamsted Research is contributing soil and crop expertise to the programme, known …

Using soilless media to grow vegetables

December 22nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Even with the healthiest soils, it is still possible to find pests and other pathogens that attack crops and likely to lower your crop yields.
Soilless growing media have been proven to be sterile and free from pathogens that are soil-borne and applicable for urban farmers who grow plants on rooftops …

A year in review: 2017 food and agriculture news

December 21st, 2017 / The Food Tank

As 2017 comes to a close, Food Tank has collected news highlights from the food and agriculture world to share with you. We witnessed a monumental shift in global politics, a series of natural disasters, and indications of growing malnutrition and obesity. And yet, the signs of a growing movement …

UN soil expert urges Africa to increase funding for soil research

December 6th, 2017 / Xinhua, China

A United Nation soil scientist on Tuesday called on African countries to increase their budgetary allocations to purchase soil research equipment that could help improve food productivity.
Daniel Pennock, the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said timely research is …