When Telesphore Ruzigamanzi, a smallholder banana farmer from a remote village in Eastern Rwanda, discovered a peculiar yellowish hue on his crop before it started to dry up, he did not give it the due consideration it deserved.
Recently, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva urged countries, scientists, policymakers and stakeholders invested in building an equitable, sustainable, and thriving planet to pay attention to the soil. He further noted that the future of the planet depends on how healthy the soils of today are.
Africa needs strong political commitment to accelerate the transformation of its agricultural sector.According to the 2018 Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR), Catalyzing State Capacity to Drive Agriculture Transformation
, released this September by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), African states need political will to boost production and income on the millions of small, family farms that grow most of Africa’s food.
Paul Ayormah and his fellow farmers make their way home after hours spent manually weeding a friend’s one-acre maize farm in Ghana’s Eastern Region.“Tomorrow it will be the turn of my maize farm,” he tells IPS.
Deforestation and unsustainable farming are depriving the planet of forests, while destructive practices in fishing are limiting the chance to sustainably manage our oceans.
Brightly coloured cans, bags of fertilizer and packets containing all types of seeds catch the eye upon entering Nancy Khorommbi’s agro dealer shop tucked at the corner of a roadside service station.
Farming and agriculture may not seem cool to young people, but if they can learn the thrill of nurturing plants to produce food, and are provided with their favorite apps and communications software on agriculture, food insecurity will not be an issue, food and agriculture experts said during the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Food Security Forum from June 22 to 24 at the ADB headquarters here.
“It is everything” is how smallholder farmer Nyovane Ndlovu describes beekeeping, which has long been an alternative sweet source of income for drought-beaten farmers in Zimbabwe.
Daniel Mithamo, 28, grew up knowing that dairy farming is about producing milk in large quantities. You sell a few litres, consume some with your family, and dump the rest for lack of cold storage and decent roads to access markets.
Imminent demise of small farmers is predicted as they are not competitive in a context of transforming agrifood markets. Most important is the transformation of the "post–farm gate" segments of the supply chains.
With agriculture as one of the drivers of economic growth, Zimbabwe needs to invest in the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who keep the country fed, experts say.
The outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone has badly affected the West African country’s move towards meeting key development goals.
Until last month, Allen Nambozo's only source of income was the cabbages, carrots and bananas she grew along the slopes of Uganda’s Mount Elgon in the eastern district of Bulambuli.
By leveraging knowledge about climate change, through adopting improved agriculture technologies and using water and energy more effectively, Africa can accelerate its march towards sustainable development.
Ethiopia is widely regarded as an African success story when it comes to economic growth. According to the International Monetary Fund, the country’s economy is growing by seven percent annually. But there are concerns that climate change could jeopardise this growth.
For the past 40 years Josephine Kakiyi, 55, has been cultivating maize, beans and vegetables on her small plot of land in the remote area of Kwa Vonza, in Kitui County, eastern Kenya.
Small farmers can look to options like agroecological intensification and innovation, without necessarily turning to climate-smart agriculture, which is promoted by the United Nations but has awakened doubts among global experts meeting in this Italian city.
Eherculano Thomas Rice, is pleased to have harvested 40 bags of white maize from his eight-hectare field in Chimoio, in Mozambique's Manica Province. But he knows that his productivity and yield would be higher if he had been able to afford to buy fertiliser to add to his crop.
"It is time for a new agricultural model that ensures that enough quality food is produced where it is most needed, that preserves nature and that delivers ecosystem services of local and global relevance" – in a word, it is time for agroecology
Just two years ago, Mary Ondolo, a 50-year-old mother of nine from Kenya’s marginalised, hunter-gatherer community, the Ogiek, used to live in a grass thatched, mud house. She'd been living there for decades.
Before she entered the Miss Uganda beauty contest, 24-year-old Fiona Nassaka was a farmer.