In the news...

Wheat leaf disease, a potential threat

November 14th, 2017 / Farmers' Weekly, South Africa

Outbreaks of a previously unknown wheat leaf disease have been reported in South Africa, which could have a serious impact on food security and sustainable wheat production in the country.
The disease involved severe discolouration of wheat leaves and, according to Dr Tarekegn Terefe, senior researcher at ARC-Small Grain in Bethlehem, …

Agriculture training in South Africa badly needs an overhaul …

November 9th, 2017 / The Conversation

Agriculture delivers more jobs per rand invested than any other productive sector. If the entire agriculture value chain is considered in South Africa, its contribution to GDP reaches approximately 12%.
South Africa has the ability to meet national food requirements – yet more than 7 million citizens experience hunger. A further …

SA scientist’s maize weevil control breakthrough

October 27th, 2017 / Farmers Weekly, South Africa

Maize is the most widely grown grain variety in the world, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. It is a vital staple food for primarily lower income groups, especially in Africa, and is grown on both a subsistence and large commercial scale.
Pests therefore pose a serious threat …

South Africa: farmers speak out against new plant bills

September 30th, 2017 / AllArica.com

“Seed is something that is sacred. Seed is life. In our tradition, it is about culture, identity; it’s about sharing … If everything is for sale, when will it stop?” asked Rifqah Tifloen at a public hearing on the Plant Improvement Bill and the Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill in Port …

Initiative to build African science journalism capacity

September 27th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

A two-year programme has been launched to build capacity of science journalists and improve science coverage in Africa.
It was launched this month (1 September) with the aim of recognising the important role of science journalism in promoting Africa’s socioeconomic development.
The project is being funded by the African Academy of Sciences …

Agric agencies need more resources to fight Armyworm – Scientists

August 29th, 2017 / Joy Online, South Africa

The government has been urged to better resource agencies under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) if it is serious about avoiding another widespread destruction by the Fall Armyworm.
Dr. Audrey Vanderpuye of the School of Agriculture at the University of Cape Coast says the Plant Protection and Regulatory …

Zimbabwe and SA lose 1 million chickens to bird flu

August 9th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Zimbabwe and South Africa have lost over one million chickens to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), it has been learnt.
The disease hit the two countries recently, threatening the livelihood and food security status of millions of families.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) confirmed the development in a statement after a …

SA suffers from fragmented policymaking in agriculture and food security

May 15th, 2017 / BIZCommunity, South Africa

One of the findings from the entre of Excellence in Food Security’s (CoE) Agro-food value chain, regulation, and formal and informal livelihoods project, coordinated by Dr Shane Godfrey and Dr Gareth Haysom from the University of Cape Town, is that, despite much of the power in the South African food …

Uganda: Armyworm – how prepared are we?

April 12th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Joseph Mayengo a smallholder farmer at Manja Village Kisekka Sub-county in Lwengo District suddenly discovered that his maize crop was under attack by strange looking caterpillars.
They had perforated holes in the leaves and in the stems, and it was clear that there was little chance for …

Digital transformation in agri-business required to safeguard African food supply

March 27th, 2017 / TWeb, South Africa

African food security is under threat from a confluence of climate change, severe drought, water scarcity and a destructive fall armyworm invasion. But, says Lawrence Kandaswami, Managing Director, SAP South Africa, there are technology tools at hand to help solve Africa’s food security problems.
“Smart Farming solutions will become the cornerstone …