In the news...

SARI introduces new technology to boost yam production

September 17th, 2018 / The Graphic, Ghana

The Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (SARI-CSIR) at Nyankpala in the Northern Region has introduced a new technology to boost yam production in the country.
The seed yam technology, known as Aeroponics System (AS), is to address the inadequate seed yam production for …

The great African regreening: millions of ‘magical’ new trees bring renewal

September 4th, 2018 / The Guardian, UK

From the peanut basin of Senegal to the Seno plains of Mali, to Yatenga, formerly the most degraded region of Burkina Faso, and as far south as Malawi: gaos are thriving in Africa. And over the past three decades, the landscape of southern Niger has been transformed by more than …

Cowpea: A food and animal feed crop

August 31st, 2018 / Open Access Government

“Cowpea is a food and animal feed crop grown in the semi-arid tropics particularly the savannahs of West Africa but also other parts of Africa, Asia and the Americas. It originated in Southern Africa and the cultivated form was domesticated in West Africa.
“While it is a very important crop in …

New pest identified in West and Central Africa!

May 24th, 2018 / IITA

A new pest—southern armyworm, Spodoptera eridania (Stoll)—has been discovered in West and Central Africa!
This introduced second armyworm species from the Americas was first found in cassava fields in south-eastern Nigeria in December 2016, reported Dr Georg Goergen, Entomologist/Biocontrol Specialist and Head of IITA’s Biodiversity Center in Bénin. Its presence was …

Scientists are on a mission to save chocolate

February 12th, 2018 / MACH

For people who love sweets, 2018 started on a sour note: Headlines claimed that cacao, the tropical tree whose beans contain the raw ingredients for chocolate, was on the brink of extinction as a result of climate change.
As with many sensational stories, this one turned out to be inaccurate. Cacao …

Improving yams with genomics

January 31st, 2018 / BMC Biology

Human diet depends mainly on crops and a large number of species have been independently domesticated from wild relatives across the globe. In terms of quantity of the production however, a small number of crops currently dominate the world share, such as maize, wheat and rice. Accordingly the research efforts …

African agricultural land becoming more attractive to investors

September 28th, 2017 / Fresh Plaza

In recent years investors have started discovering the potential of agriculture more and more. Especially Africa is interesting to these investors. That’s partly due to the enormous amount of agricultural land available, according to the FAO sub-saharan Africa has 90 million hectares of arable land available. Only 25 percent of …

Nigeria: starting a cocoa farm this season

May 23rd, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Cocoa, according to the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), was introduced by the Portuguese into the Gulf of Guinea from where it got to Nigeria around the last quarter of the 19th Century. The introduced variety was the Amelonado.
This variety later became unique to West Africa, hence the name …

Action plan developed to tackle fall armyworm in Africa

May 16th, 2017 / SciDev.net

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: Research that explores the interaction between fall armyworm life patterns and insecticide spray timing is urgently needed to tackle the pest currently devastating maize in Africa, scientists say.
The fall armyworm, scientifically called Spodoptera frugiperda, is native to the Americas, and attacks maize and a variety …

Sweet potato project improves nutrition and incomes

May 1st, 2017 / SciDev.net

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: Farmers and entrepreneurs in West Africa are benefiting from a project that offers improved sweet potato varieties and market access. The US$4 million project that began in April 2014 and ended last month (March 2017) was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and …