Microloans make farming profitable for Kenyan smallholders

This article was originally published on SciDev.Net This article is supported by the CASA programme. For 40-year-old Beatrice Mulwale, a smallholder farmer from western Kenya, poor yields and low income had been par for the course for most of her farming life.
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More than advice: farmers say paid-for extension must provide a “bundle of services”

Chinyunyu Plant Clinic in Rufunsa district, Zambia.
Agricultural advisory services are a critical factor to promoting agricultural development, and investments in extension services are potentially important tools for improving agricultural productivity and increasing farmers’ incomes, two desirable outcomes of food security and poverty reduction articulated in MDGs and SDGs.
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Personalised plant health advice from sowing to harvesting at plant clinics in India

Two plant doctors inspect paddy crop at a plant clinic in Puducherry, India
It has been proven that access to extension services is one of the key pathways to enhancing technology uptake, promoting innovations, and improving production among smallholder farmers. These studies have pointed out the very high rates of return (13-500%) of extension as an economically viable way to increase productivity and income. In fact, the same…
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In Thiruvaiyaru, plant clinics are “a source of inspiration to do agriculture with clarity, confidence and interest.”

Since 2012, farmers in Thiruvaiyaru block, Thanjavur district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, have had been using Plantwise plant clinics to help solve problems with pests and diseases. The programme there is run by the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in collaboration with Plantwise. Agriculture is the primary livelihood of 70% of…
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CABI calls for greater investment in food security programmes to help stem global rise in hunger

CABI is today calling for greater investment in food security programmes to help stem the global rise in hunger following the publication of a UN report which says more than 820 million people worldwide are still going hungry. The report, from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP)…
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Agriculture should be a source of pride and a good economy

The 2019 European Development Days (EDD), held 18-19 June in Brussels focused on ‘addressing inequalities: building a world which leaves no one behind’. CABI convened a panel at this year’s edition on inequalities in agriculture and how these are a threat to sustainable development, preventing farmers from reaching their potential. EDD is an annual event…
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How bees can be a friend to smallholders

Bee with pollen on its legs drinking nectar from a flower
In an unprecedented study, honey bees have been found to be the world’s most important single species pollinator in natural ecosystems. Working alongside wild bees, they are also said to be responsible for every one in three bites of food. For the smallholder farmer, befriending bees – both honey and wild – could mean more…
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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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Philippine farmers worst hit by Typhoon Mangkhut

Typhoon Mangkhut (local name: Ompong) recently swept across the northern island of Luzon, Philippines, severely affecting the country’s bread basket. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, approximately 171,932 farmers have suffered as a consequence of the storm.
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Investing in smallholder farmers for a food-secure future

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Smallholder farmers provide the vast majority of the world’s food supply, and ‘small-scale farming’ is the largest occupation group of economically active people, 43% of which are women. Approximately 2 billion of the world’s poorest live in households that depend on agriculture in some form for their livelihoods, whether this is for market or subsistence.…
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