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Evidence patchy on value of mobile apps for farmers

February 6th, 2018 / SciDev.net

A review of research on how information services based on mobile phone technology can improve the lives of farmers has found only patchy evidence of success.
The review, which looked at 23 studies of such services in Africa, Asia and Latin America, found that although users often reported improvements, these were …

The future of farming

February 6th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes:
Land disputes are getting more frequent as population pressure on land builds up. The population is increasing at the same rate as the struggle for people to get farming space.
Chunks of natural forests and wetlands have been turned into farmlands. In the majority of cases …

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 …

Research on solar pumps promises better tidings

January 2nd, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

On a shiny afternoon last week, Oliver Bill, a 24-year-old former student leader at Moi University, was busy moving up and down to irrigate his 1.3 acres under tomatoes using a portable solar powered pump.
The holder of a degree in strategic management has become a smart farmer, and is perhaps …

Why technology should be at the heart of farming

December 19th, 2017 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Nickson Muturi is the project manager for Business Development at Syngenta, and he is leading agricultural data projects across Africa, specifically focusing on mobile technology. He spoke to Leopold Obi.
To what extent is access to agricultural information through the mobile phone of benefit to smallholder farmers?
Farmers in the region …

Africa’s agriculture needs a big dose of digital transformation

October 5th, 2017 / Digital Journal

Scientists are now calling for a technological transformation in how Africans undertake agricultural production. With almost three quarters of the workforce on the continent focussed on agriculture, such a change could lead to rapid innovation.
Looking at Africa as a whole, it is the agricultural sector that will see a revolution …

Farmers asked to adopt agriculture technologies

October 2nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
Agricultural productivity in Africa continues to remain far below the potential of the continent although Africa has experienced tremendous progress in the last decade therefore adoption of modern technologies still lags.
The successes of agricultural research has yet to fully translate into appreciable rapid agricultural growth …

Ghana: Finance minister launches $50m fund for West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement

July 4th, 2017 / Graphic

Ghana’s Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has launched a $50 million endowment fund for the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI). The fund is established to complete, furnish and equip the centre’s new multi-purpose building into a world-class teaching and research centre. The finance minister says the government …

Demonstration farms can help revolutionise African agriculture

June 28th, 2017 / The Conversation, Africa

Farms that are used to teach agricultural techniques and technologies – known as demonstration farms – are a smart investment that can help accelerate the adoption of game-changing innovations. Farmers can learn new ways of doing things without having to do it on their farms.
Demonstration farms are used to teach …

Why technologies could hook the youth to agriculture

June 23rd, 2017 / SciDev.net

Strengthening resilience and food security for agricultural communities is necessary for transforming agriculture, wellness and development of people, especially the youth, in Africa.
Salient to me from the Ministerial Conference on Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition and the 4th Agritec Africa International Exhibition in Kenya last week (14-16 June) …