Category “Technology (BioTech)”

Tanzania: WEMA Seeds – a Science Breakthrough

Word is out that if you want to witness hope and optimists farmers, get kitted for destinations like Vitonga, one of the Mvomero villages, where Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) engage farmers in the field and demo trials.

An optimist Alfreda Jones, 35, a resident of Vitonga village nestled on green folding mountains of Uluguru, personifies hope. On July 17 this year, two weeks before the start of the famous annual agricultural exhibition known as Nane Nane, Alfreda peered into the distant horizon and quipped in her local Kiluguru vernacular: “When I saw your car I contemplated you have the keys to change my life.”

The maize yield in her demo plot where she planted seeds supplied to her by WEMA visually outweigh the yield in adjacent farms. Even Alfreda’s seven-year-old son Fred Jones knows the difference. Welcome to Mvomero district of Morogoro, where climate change – started dashing the hopes of resource-poor farmers.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

Zimbabwe: Harness Biotech for National Food Security

Food insecurity remains the biggest threat not only to Zimbabwe, but to Africa as a whole. By 2050, Africa’s population will more than double to 2,4 billion and will need to be fed, along with the billions of animals raised annually for food and as pets. Pollution will intensify, contributing to climate change and low agricultural production among our smallholder farmers.

The picture is grim. At present, much of Africa is a net importer of maize and other food crops, a development that is costing our countries billions of dollars annually.

We are richly endowed with vast tracts of land but we are not investing in agricultural biotechnology to boost crop yields and to promote more efficient food production.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

Africa: New Climate Innovation Center Launched to Jumpstart Clean-Tech and Climate-Smart Agriculture Ventures in Ethiopia

Addis Ababaethiopia, — World Bank-supported business hub, the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), was launched today in Addis Ababa to support pioneering clean technology enterprises that address climate change while creating jobs and improving livelihoods. First of its kind in the country, the center will help over 3.1 million Ethiopians increase resilience to climate change and is expected to create more than 12,000 jobs in the next ten years.

Ethiopia’s agriculture, which is highly sensitive to fluctuations in rainfall, represents the basis of the national economy. It accounts for approximately 46% of the GDP and 80% of the jobs of the working population. According to the World Bank report ‘Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change,’ without a proper green growth strategy, the total climate adaptation costs for Ethiopia could range from US$1.22 billion to $5.84 billion per year.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

Botswana: Government to Expedite Agriculture Infrastructure Development

In an effort to optimise agricultural production, government will expedite the Agriculture Infrastructure Development Initiative (AIDI) once the economy has improved. Speaking during a harvest day at Mosi in Southern District on Friday, March 22, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama said under the initiative, government would provide water, power and telecommunications infrastructure across the country for both crops and livestock step by step until the high production areas including Mosisedi were covered.

President Khama explained that the initiative was dealt a serious blow and shelved following the economic recession in 2008. However, he said the Ministry of Agriculture would continue to bring services closer to farmers through agricultural service centres, adding that the Mosisedi commercial farmers were provided with fertilisers, seeds, agricultural machinery and implements through the centre at Good Hope rather than major centres in Lobatse and Gaborone.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

Tanzania: More Research in Agriculture Needed to Eradicate Poverty

GOVERNMENT over the last three years invested over 25bn/- in research, especially on agriculture products, as one way of eradicating poverty.

This was said recently by the Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Nteranya Sanginga, during a meeting which brought together agriculture experts from the world’s leading partnership in agriculture research.

The meeting which was hosted by IITA and CGIAR, a global partner that unites organisations engaged in research for a food secure future, brought together a consortium board and director generals of all 15 international centres that make up the CGIAR consortium.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

Gambia: ITC, WARF Aims to Revitalize GILMA

The International Trypanotolerance Centre (ITC), in collaboration with the Regional Project on Sustainable Management of Endemic Ruminant Livestock (PROGEBE) and West African Rural Foundation (WARF) in Senegal Dakar last Friday held a daylong validation workshop, aimed at revitalizing the Gambia Indigenous Livestock Multipliers Association (GILMA). This one day workshop that gathered participants across the country was held at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, representing the minister of Agriculture, Isatou Yarbo stated that the livestock sector in The Gambia contributes 29% to agricultural GDP and 8.6% to national GDP.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment

Rwanda: Agriculture ICT Competition Underway

Information and Communication Technology solution developers are tussling it out at kLab, Rwanda’s first innovation hub, on the best ways ICT can empower the agriculture sector. This is part of the ongoing conference in Kigali convened to deliberate on ways agriculture can leverage ICT to enhance marketing.

The competition, dubbed “ICT4ag” (ICT for agriculture), seeks to promote application of technology in the agriculture sector with an emphasis on value chain, advocacy and policy development.

The challenges the developers are tasked with include coming up with solutions for the bidirectional sharing of information between farmers and extension officers and devising a solution that would enable farmers to access finance with ease. The participants comprise nine groups from Uganda, Madagascar, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda.

Read the full article HERE

Leave a Comment