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Southern African maize munching pest is South American invader

January 18th, 2017 / Reuters, UK

A maize pest that has devastated crops in southern Africa is a South American species which is harder to detect and eradicate than its African counterpart, agriculture officials and experts said on Tuesday.
The fall armyworm outbreak has erupted in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi and follows a crippling El Nino-triggered drought …

Alien armyworms invade corn in drought-hit southern Africa

January 18th, 2017 / Agweb, US

The fall armyworm that’s native to the Americas has arrived in southern Africa for the first time, wiping out tens of thousands of acres of corn fields. For a region trying to recover from drought, the pest brings renewed fears of food shortages and inflation. The United Nations’ Food and …

Africa’s agriculture projects are growing inequality, not food

December 5th, 2016 / Mail & Guardian, South Africa

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 …

Why Lagos might choose to buy tomatoes from southern Africa – rather than 90km away

December 2nd, 2016 / How we made it in Africa

In Lagos, it can be cheaper to source tomatoes from countries in southern Africa than from 90km outside of the city, according to Omri van Zyl, CEO of AgriSA. Why? Because infrastructural inefficiencies in markets like Nigeria raise the costs of both production and getting produce to market.
This is just …

Protecting and developing African agriculture in the face of climate change

November 29th, 2016 / Bizcommunity, South Africa

The United Nations 2016 climate change conference (COP22), meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, presented an historic opportunity to refocus the global community’s attention on the need to help developing nations adapt to climate change. In no area could this be more pressing than Africa, where protecting food security and ending hunger …

Why small grains continue to resist winner takes all commercialisation

November 10th, 2016 / NewsDay, Zimbabwe

From Mali to Zimbabwe and South Africa to Southern Sudan, small grains remain an integral part of mainstream local food systems.
There are many reasons why small grains continue to pack a huge socio-economic punch in many countries.
To revisit and stimulate a frank discussion on the power of small grains, eMKambo …

Biotech crops impact economy positively

November 9th, 2016 / Bizcommunity, South Africa

The Department of Science and Technology Director General, Dr Phil Mjwara, says biotechnology or genetically modified (GM) crops have had a positive economic impact on South Africa.
“It is estimated that the economic gains from biotech crops for South Africa for the period 1998 to 2013 was $1.6bn and $313m for …

South Africa: Minister commends pro-women agriculture initiative

October 21st, 2016 / African Brains, Kenya

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana has welcomed an initiative by a group of Western Cape women, who have set up a network of entrepreneurs to help women and youth to get into farming.
In an interview with SAnews, the Minister said the initiative makes it easier for government to …

Charcoal rot: a threat to staple food crops in South Africa

September 2nd, 2016 / The Conversation, UK

Charcoal rot is caused by a fungus that invades various agricultural crops and gives them a charred appearance. The disease is becoming more widespread in South Africa – which is worrying, since it can dramatically affect crop yields which drives up prices and hits farmers’ incomes.
Charcoal rot attacks crops that …

SA’s women are ensuring food security in the country

August 15th, 2016 / Business Day Live, South Africa

Women have become visible participants in all four pillars of food security. They have became producers of food; ensuring that their households have enough resources to obtain food in sufficient quantity, quality and diversity for a nutritious diet; they decide what food to purchase and how to prepare it as …