In the news...

Cowpea protected from a devastating pest, free for smallholder farmers

October 27th, 2017 / Science Magazine, US

Across Africa, armies of hungry caterpillars destroy the flowers and pods of cowpeas; casualties can reach 80 percent of this staple food crop if no measures are taken. But the real victims are smallholder African farmers who feed their families on farms smaller than five acres. Next year, they will …

NBBC expert wants Nigerians to embrace agricultural biotechnology

October 27th, 2017 / Worldstage News, Nigeria

Mrs Edel-Quinn Agbaegbu, the Secretary, National Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium (NBBC), has called on Nigerians to embrace the use of agricultural biotechnology to transform agriculture and enhance food security.
Agbaegbu said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that application of modern biotechnology in …

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 …

Is this $13 billion food security crisis (the armyworm) an opportunity?

October 26th, 2017 / Motley Fool

A few years ago, engineered biology conglomerate Intrexon (NYSE:XON) acquired a pioneering company called Oxitec. While there are plenty of whacky technology platforms in next-generation biotech, the start-up’s technical niche still caught many people off guard: genetically engineered insects incapable of passing their genes on to the next generation.
The sudden …

Revolutionising the way we build food and nutrition security in Africa

October 25th, 2017 / BizCommunity

Research focusing on traditional crops that are often ignored and known as “orphan crops” shows they contain minerals and vitamins that are essential for the body and are mostly consumed by rural African people. Various agricultural research institutions in Africa are currently carrying out research on these crops mainly to …

As Africa’s need for food grows, Mali’s rice turnaround shows a way forward

October 23rd, 2017 / Reuters

In 2008, as food prices rose around the world, riots broke out in West Africa, and Mali’s government stepped in.
It quickly launched an initiative to subsidise purchases of good-quality certified rice seed, as well as fertilisers, for farmers, in an effort to cut reliance on rice imports and grow more …

Urgent action needed to address Africa’s soil health issues

October 23rd, 2017 / Business Day Online

One of the best prospects for feeding Africa’s rapidly growing population is to increase the sustainable use of fertilizers, a high-level panel of experts is expected to say today at an international meeting of the World Food Prize.
Despite 10-year-old commitments to expand the use of fertilizer in African agriculture, the …

African agriculture needs modernisation to save $110bn by 2025 – Adesina

October 23rd, 2017 / The News, Nigeria

The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said that Africa needef to modernise and industrialise agriculture to avoid spending 110 billion dollars by 2025 on food importation.
Adesina said this in his remark at the 2017 Borlaug Dialogue Symposium on making farming cool: Investing in future African farmers …

Young farmers inspire optimism for our ‘Future Harvest’

October 17th, 2017 / World Bank

To commemorate World Food Day, we’re celebrating young farmers who are working to feed the world and improve food security through innovation, collaboration and hard work. The World Bank recently hosted an event highlighting farmers who are finding profit and purpose in agriculture.
Journalist Femi Oke moderated the panel, which …

The future of farming in Africa is not agriculture but agribusiness

October 17th, 2017 / Quartz Africa

Africa is a farm lover’s dream: abundant uncultivated arable land, roughly over half the global total; tropical climates that permit long growing seasons; a young labor force; and an expanding population that provides a readily available market for produce consumption.
Yet, African countries are yet to harness these opportunities to ensure …