Drought leads to sharp rise in food prices in East Africa

shutterstock 413761537 1Drought throughout East Africa has sharply curbed harvests and pushed the prices of cereals and other staple foods to unusually high levels, posing a heavy burden to households and special risks for pastoralists in the region, the FAO reveals

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Bayer, Yara join to hands to deliver technology to farmers

5367317878 a0e812a1ac zBayer and Yara International ASA (Yara) have entered into a software collaboration and technology license agreement to provide farmers worldwide with digital farming tools that help increase farm productivity, profitability and sustainability

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International Year of Pulses closes with call to build upon strong momentum

chana 390705 640The International Year of Pulses, which was celebrated in 2016, has helped raise awareness globally of the benefits of eating and growing pulses, with calls to now build upon the strong momentum

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Dangote to launch rice outgrower scheme in Nigeria

field 1835722 640 1Dangote Rice, a subsidiary of Dangote Group, is set to launch 25,000 ha of rice outgrower scheme in Sokoto with a prospect of hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for the rural communities inhabitants

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ERL: half of world's calories is produced by small farms

Women smallholder farmers in KenyaA study published in Environmental Research Letter (ERL) estimates that more than 50 per cent of the world's food calories are produced in regions where the average farm size is less than five hectares, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa 

The featured article entitled, 'Subnational distribution of average farm size and smallholder contributions to global food production' written by Leah H Samberg, James S Gerber, Navin Ramankutty, Mario Herrero and Paul C West, looked into the smallholder farms and farming. The authors are from the University of Minnesota, USA, University of British Columbia, Canada, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), based in Austrailia.

 The articles is designed is designed to provide a subnational estimate of the number, average size and contribution of farms across the developing world. It is estimated in the article that there are 918 subnational units in 83 countries in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and South and East Asia that are on average, less than five hectares of agricultural land per farming household. 

To evaluate the prevalence of smaller or larger farms, the scientists use a metric dubbed "mean agricultural area" (MAA), which is defined as hectares of agricultural land divided by the number of farming households.

Units with a MAA of less than five hectares play a dominant role in Asia, the researchers found. In sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion drops slightly with smallholder units producing half of the food calories in the region, supported by places with a medium-density of farm households, which account for another 26 per cent. The situation changes again in Latin America, with 70 per cent of food calories produced in regions with large and very large MAAs.

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