BizTrends 2018


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Newly designated Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems
Newly designated Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems

"GIAHS is also about innovation and opportunities, including broadening access to new markets and businesses such as eco-labelling, agri-tourism, youth empowerment to add value to our agricultural patrimony."

11 hours ago

Key challenges for Kenya in big push to reduce post-harvest losses
Key challenges for Kenya in big push to reduce post-harvest losses

Kenya estimates that 20% of cereals are lost even before reaching the market. That's a high figure, particularly since it doesn't include food waste...

By Timothy Njagi Njeru, Priscilla Wainaina 3 days ago

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No need to panic over land expropriation without compensation

The process is still a long way off from being proclaimed into law...

By Stuart Manning 19 Apr 2018

South African wheat production under the spotlight
South African wheat production under the spotlight

Wheat production in South Africa is one of the segments worst affected by the economic realities faced by the industry. Crucial plans have therefore been put into practice to elevate wheat's status as a competitive crop...

By Andries Gouws 18 Apr 2018

dennisflarsen via
Honeybees hog the limelight, yet wild insects are the most important and vulnerable pollinators

A broad library of evidence suggests there has been a widespread decline in their abundance and diversity since the 1950s. This matters because such insects are critical both for the reproduction of wild plants and for agricultural food production...

By Philip Donkersley 16 Apr 2018

Agri SA head of land affairs, Annelize Crosby (right), and head of Labour and development, Jahni de Villiers. (Image supplied)
Land reform, rural safety top of mind at Agri EC roadshow

During a recent roadshow, SA's organised agriculture has highlighted a progressive approach to land reform. Other issues such as the increasing incidents of farm attacks were also discussed...

16 Apr 2018

RahimMngwaya via
New maize seeds impress farmers as yields improve

Tanzania - A new maize variety is expected to combat food scarcity in Geita where pests and drought ravage crops...

By Elias Msuya 12 Apr 2018

Hannahlongole via
Researchers developing drought-tolerant African crops

Drought impacts negatively on maize and sorghum, staple crops for many African countries. When combined with legumes, they supply nutrients in a form that ensure high-quality protein diets for humans and animals...

11 Apr 2018

Andreas Krappweis via
El Niño affected two-thirds of the world's harvests

"During recent years, researchers' ability to predict these oscillations has improved significantly. With this research, we highlight the potential of utilising this improved forecasting skill in agricultural planning."

10 Apr 2018

The cotton bollworm is hybridizing with the corn earworm in ways that could result in a damaging mega-pest (Credit: CSIRO)
Two major crop scourges are hybridising to produce a new mega-pest

Australian scientists have found evidence that two of the world's most damaging pests have hybridised to create a dangerous mega-pest with pesticide-resistant genes and warn that its spread throughout the global agricultural community could be devastating...

By Rich Haridy 10 Apr 2018

AnnaJB via  - Intercropping maize and beans in Rwanda
Eco-farming can solve hunger, climate crises, experts say

Asian farmers are growing rice and rearing fish in the same fields to increase their income and reduce weeds, while Ghanaians are using crop residues as compost to boost yields. Such eco-farming techniques could deliver nutritious, environmentally friendly food for a growing world...

9 Apr 2018

Africa's great migrations are failing but there is a solution - and you can eat it too
Africa's great migrations are failing but there is a solution - and you can eat it too

With colonial-era subsidies of the fencing system gone, what's left is a lose-lose system that hinders local farmers, tourism and sustainability...

By Penny van Oosterzee 6 Apr 2018

Michaelgoima via
Strengthening the role of family and small-scale farmers in scaling up agroecology

According to FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva family farmers must remain central to bringing agroecology to scale...

6 Apr 2018

Why ozone poses a challenge to food security
Why ozone poses a challenge to food security

There's substantial evidence that ozone is one of the most phytotoxic (toxic to plants) air pollutants, causing significant damage to agricultural crops worldwide...

By Divya Pandey, Lisa Emberson & Sofie Mortensen 5 Apr 2018

Applications for Fall Armyworm Tech Prize open
Applications for Fall Armyworm Tech Prize open

Feed the Future is calling for applications for the Fall Armyworm Tech Prize which offers to fund up to $400,000 in digital solutions aiming to help stop the spread of the pest in Africa...

5 Apr 2018

Photo by Dikaseva on
The new 'climate change lingo'

Climate change lingo will be part of the ongoing debate regarding adaptation effectiveness and the practical implementation of climate-smart agriculture, which sustains climate-resilient sustainable development...

By Anette Theunissen 4 Apr 2018

Agroecology's potential to transform food systems for the better
Agroecology's potential to transform food systems for the better

"We need to promote a transformative change in the way that we produce and consume food. We need to put forward sustainable food systems that offer healthy and nutritious food, and also preserve the environment. Agroecology can offer several contributions to this process."

4 Apr 2018

How innovation can contribute to food and nutrition security
How innovation can contribute to food and nutrition security

"We hope to produce so-called smart foods with extra health benefits that are safe, marketable, affordable, ready to eat and trendsetting."

By Mologadi Makwela 3 Apr 2018

Photo by Max Boettinger on
Data: The fertiliser that will feed Africa's agricultural transformation

Everywhere we look, technology is being touted as the enabler of a new era of African agricultural prosperity. But how should we, as a continent, approach the adoption of digital technologies across the agricultural value chain...

By Dr Gilbert Saggia 28 Mar 2018

Photo by Scott Goodwill on
We know how food production needs to change if crisis is to be avoided - so why isn't this happening?

Business as usual is no longer an option for food and agriculture. The global agriculture system will have to be radically transformed to avoid further environmental and social problems...

By Nina Moeller & Michel Pimbert 27 Mar 2018

Aquaculture skills in the spotlight
Aquaculture skills in the spotlight

A skills inventory and needs analysis for the aquaculture sector has revealed an urgent need for both generic skills and aquaculture-specific technical skills to better equip workers and farmers in taking the industry forward...

27 Mar 2018

Ikea's "fast food of the future" includes worm balls, bug burgers and algae hot dogs
Ikea's "fast food of the future" includes worm balls, bug burgers and algae hot dogs

Space10 is Ikea's research hub and innovation lab, devoted to developing bold and sustainable new business models. The latest project to come out of the lab is a selection of five iconic fast food dishes...

By Rich Haridy 23 Mar 2018

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Agri-Teen Symposium to foster youth participation in agriculture

The symposium aims to establish a practical network of mentors for South African youth to tap into enhanced programmes that not only encourage greater youth participation in the sector but also facilitate this in a sustainable manner...

22 Mar 2018

Sustainable diets will remain a minefield until we change the way we approach food
Sustainable diets will remain a minefield until we change the way we approach food

With profit-making still at the top of the food industry agenda - and the environmental costs of many food products hidden by complex supply chains - we need more than consumer power alone to achieve a truly sustainable food system...

By Chris West, Bob Doherty & Tony Heron 20 Mar 2018

Climate change a top concern for agribusinesses
Climate change a top concern for agribusinesses

The Allianz Risk Barometer 2018 reveals that climate change or increasing volatility of weather is a top concern for agribusinesses. Farming is a high-risk industry faced with uncontrollable threats like hailstorms, floods, disease outbreaks and drought...

20 Mar 2018

Let them eat carp: Fish farms are helping to fight hunger
Let them eat carp: Fish farms are helping to fight hunger

Over the past three decades, the global aquaculture industry has risen from obscurity to become a critical source of food for millions of people...

By Ben Belton, Dave Little & Simon Bush 19 Mar 2018

Disasters cost farmers in developing countries billions of dollars
Disasters cost farmers in developing countries billions of dollars

Between 2005 and 2015, natural disasters cost agricultural sectors of developing countries $96bn in damage or lost crop and livestock production, according to FAO's new report...

16 Mar 2018

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Fighting Fall armyworm? There's an app for that

FAO has launched the Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System mobile app, which provides valuable insights on its behaviour in Africa and guide best response...

15 Mar 2018

Partnership beefs up veterinary services across Africa, Asia and Middle East to tackle animal disease
Partnership beefs up veterinary services across Africa, Asia and Middle East to tackle animal disease

In just 12 months a USAID-FAO partnership, which works to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to manage outbreaks of diseases in farm animals, trained more than 4,700 veterinary health professionals in 25 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East...

12 Mar 2018

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