Monthly archives: March, 2014

Slow Food Youth Gardens promote nutrition and sustainability (Africa)

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva recently said the way to build opportunities for young Africans was by expanding Slow Food Foundation’s gardening project.

Uganda’s cattle corridor gets boost from Belgium

Belgium has offered €2 million ($2 774 800) towards efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change on thousands of farmers in Uganda’s cattle-corridor. The Belgian aid will go to a project which is in line with the National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) programme, initiated by the agriculture and water ministries, meanwhile the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will directly supervise the implementation of the Belgium-funded aspects in these districts.  Belgian Ambassador Alain Hanssen along with FAO Country Representative Alhaji M. Jallow have signed an agreement for FAO to implement the two-year project on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and Ministry of Water and Environment.
Natural disasters such as floods and long spells of drought, have contributed to diminishing crop and animal productivity in the corridor over the recent years. The cattle corridor includes Ankole sub-region, Sembabule, Luweero, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Mubende and Kiboga, among others. Kennedy Igbokwe, the project manager, said most of the money will be used to equip district officials and farmers with relevant knowledge and avail facilities that can help them cope with climate change threats, adding that there would be rehabilitation of watershed catchment areas each in six districts. – The Observer

Boosting food production through dry season farming (Nigeria)

The Federal Government recently approved the release of N14 billion ($85 190 000) for dry season farming. This is in addition to N9 billion ($54 765 000 released in 2013 for the same purpose. This funding underscores the importance government attaches to dry season farming.

Potato virus identified in tobacco crop (Zimbabwe)

Tobacco Research Board (TRB) researchers in Zimbabwe have identified a virulent necrotic strain of Potato Virus Y (PVY), which has the ability to destroy up to 90% of a  tobacco crop. According to Zimbabwe’s Minister of Agriculture, mechanisation and irrigation development, Joseph Made, the virus was one of the most prevalent diseases spread by aphids, which feed on regrowths from undestroyed tobacco stalks. He said, there were some challenges that arose as a result of knowledge gaps among tobacco growers. “Amid these challenges is the issue of failure to observe tobacco cultivation legislation,” he added further explaining that most of the new entrants in the tobacco industry did not take note of legislative issues, aimed at restricting incidences and spread of insect-borne viruses of tobacco. Made concluded that “Non-adherence to the legislation related to stalk destruction, planting of seed beds and planting into the lands could all have a catastrophic effect on our vibrant tobacco industry.”-