AGRA makes great impact in agriculture – SARI

Dr. Stephen Nutsugah, the Director of the Savannah Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has lauded a giant stride made by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in Ghana’s agricultural sector. A field demonstration was held to find out the improvement of the soil fertility after application of various methods to improve the soil’s health and to educate farmers on the need to improve soil health through the application of chemicals such as fertilizer. Dr. Nutsugah said the gains made by AGRA were as a result of the dissemination of appropriate soil fertility management technologies by the project implementation team and stakeholders in the production chain. Read more here.
Ghana Web


Harnessing agriculture for national development

In every democratic government, the legislature is indispensable for the development process . It further serves as a bulwark of the other two arms of the government while checkmating their activities. To contribute to the effective parliamentary support system in Nigeria, the African Leadership Forum (ALF) a not-for-profit organization with a quest for effective leadership, initiated the Parliamentary Support Programme (PSP). Agriculture being a major contributor to the Nigerian economy has over the years been affected adversely by poorly fashioned, ill-advised policies and development schemes which has practically resulted in a no-result rural development in the country. Read more here.
Timilehin Odunde

Palm Oil Fuels Land Grabs In Africa – Analysis

The oil palm nursery occupies several hectares of newly cleared forest and fallow land in Sierra Leone. This is the newly growing investment of palm oil production by industries and companies from Asia. Government targets for the use of agrofuels in Europe, China and North America are making palm oil, which can be used to produce biodiesel, an even hotter commodity. The burgeoning demand for palm oil is fuelling a war of words over its pros and cons, and fuelling a new scramble for land in Africa. There are no detailed studies showing the full extent of foreign investment in land for oil palm in West and Central Africa, so information about land deals, many lacking any transparency, is piecemeal at best. Read more here.
Pambazuka News

Further funding for African agricultural technology

Kenya on Monday called on African, Caribbean and Pacific States ( ACP ) member countries to put more funds on agricultural and technology development to help make it marketable. Agriculture Permanent Secretary Romano Kiome told delegates attending a Eastern and Southern Africa agricultural meeting in Nairobi that they must put emphasis on inputs, markets, credit and institutions if agriculture is to become profitable in the continent. Nevertheless, regional bodies like Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) are needed to lead the region in coming up with a policy on how countries can resort to growing one variety of crop to sustain the economy rather than concentrate in all that do not bring income to the countries. Read more here.
Peter Mutai and David Musyoka, Xinhua

Trends and outlook report on key agriculture and rural development indicators in Tanzania

The government of Tanzania is implementing an Agricultural Sector Development Programme. Its objective is to increase productivity, profitability and farm incomes by improving farmers’ use of and access to agricultural knowledge, technologies, marketing systems and infrastructure. The share of agricultural sector to GDP and export has declined in the past 10 years. An assessment of the linkages between agricultural investment, growth, and poverty and hunger reduction in the past decade reveals that there is an apparent disconnect between the observed growth and poverty and food security outcomes in Tanzania. Read more here.

Food security: Can Africa learn from Brazil?

Brazil has emerged as a good example of ‘how to do it’ when it comes to just about all sectors of agriculture, getting the best out of a few plantations and numerous small-scale producers to make the sector stable and guarantee food security. Brazil’s progress has been underpinned by the state agricultural-research company and pushed forward by genetically modified crops. However, many African countries are reluctant to take on GM foods, insisting that more research needs to be conducted on environmental and human health impact. Read more here.
Khinani Ontebetse

Transforming Africa’s agriculture with a pump

One way that can help Africa break out of its dependence on subsistence farming is through a simple water pump. In Tanzania, the agricultural sector accounts for nearly 80 percent of employment and 75 percent of rural household income, yet only 26.5 percent of GDP. Land for farming is readily available. However, effective tools for small-scale irrigation are not. The pumps enable small landholder farmers to switch from low value to high value crops and become less dependent on rain. Read more here.
Jonathan Kalan