Soil-dwelling worms threatening farmers’ livelihoods

By Wilson Odhiambo. Originally published on SciDev.Net. As soil-dwelling worms threaten smallholders’ livelihoods, governments should act fast, writes Wilson Odhiambo. David Magondo, a father of three from Central Kenya, has been farming for over 35 years in an activity that has helped him feed and take care of his family. But the once dependable source…
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Phone app set to transform how low-income farmers in Africa invest in fertilizer

An upgrade to a mobile phone app now offers farmers across Africa even more benefits and cutting-edge fertilizer use technology. This will help farmers to grow healthier, more productive with increasingly profitable crops, as a result of more informed use of how small amounts of fertilizer impact the crops which they grow.
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Why African farmers should balance pesticides with other control methods

By Esther Ndumi Ngumbi. Reblogged from The Conversation. Insect pests cause almost half of the crop losses in Africa. If the continent is to feed its growing population, farmers must find ways to control them. Pests account for high losses in other developing regions too. For smallholder farmers in particular, pest management needs to be affordable, safe…
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NextGen Cassava Improving Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has paired with the UK Government to award the Next Generation (NextGen) Cassava Breeding Project $35 million with the aim of promoting the growth of cassava crops and to improve food security in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Fall armyworm could cost Africa $2bn+ in lost harvest

Last week, CABI confirmed that since it arrived in Africa in 2016, the Fall Armyworm (FAW) has been reported in 28 African countries, presenting a now permanent agricultural challenge for the continent. FAW mainly affects maize and can cut yields by up to 60%. In research funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), CABI…
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The Life Cycle of Fall Armyworm

The Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, is a major invasive pest in Africa. It has a voracious appetite and feeds on more than 80 plant species, including maize, rice, sorghum and sugarcane. Another feature which makes it an incredibly successful invasive species is its ability to spread and reproduce quickly. CABI have developed a poster to…
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The perfect storm – how drought is hitting crops hard

Last year, one of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded caused significant changes to weather patterns around the world. Southern and Eastern Africa were hit particularly hard and suffered some of the worst drought conditions for decades, with as little as a quarter of the expected rainfall in the last few months of the…
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Shifting gears: expansion of e-plant clinics in Kenya

“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid!”  Passionate words spoken in 2014 during an indelible Oscar moment. The utterance of these words, coupled with the winning of an Academy Award, announced Lupita Nyong’o’s entry into the global stage. Two years later in Lupita’s country of origin, Kenya, long-held dreams in the plant health…
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Plantwise Initiative Equips Farmers with Knowledge in Zambia

Article by Dorcas Kabuya Chaaba- NAIS A small-scale farmer in Chilanga District, Moses Banda has seriously taken up vegetable production. Mr Banda commends Government for its continued support in assisting farmers in addressing crop problems and how best to control them organically. “My vegetables always had holes due to Sefasefa (Diamond Back Moth) and all…
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Plantwise-Farmer Field Schools; Synergies in Mozambique

Blog contributed by Martin Kimani (CABI) and Lito Malia (Plantwise National Coordinator, Mozambique) According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Farmer field schools (FFS) are essentially schools without walls that introduce new technological innovations while building on indigenous knowledge. In FFS, farmers are the experts. At a recently held FFS stakeholder and donor forum…
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