Maize is one of the crops capable of combating food insecurity but at the same time, an income generating activity in most parts of the country. It is consumed widely in the country, the reason why it is grown by almost every household especially in the Albertine region.
However, like any other crop, maize is vulnerable to various challenges, ranging from pests and diseases to adverse weather conditions like drought as this deprives the soil of moisture that is needed for proper plant growth.
Most farmers also cannot afford irrigation systems to water their crops until the rains surface.
To help such farmers, researchers at Bulindi Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute based in Hoima district, have embarked on the promotion of planting maize in permanent planting basins (PPBs) technology.
According to Jude Abitegeka, the farm manager at Bulindi ZARDI, the PPB technology involves digging up of holes called basins in which maize... Read more
With the high amount of rains we early received this year, everyone can say it has been a good season, because of the bumper harvests by farmers. According to the East African Regional maize supply and market outlook report, 2017, Uganda is ranked one of the maize surplus-producing countries in East Africa.
However, these bumper maize harvests are currently suffocating the market with the prices of the products such as maize grains, maize bran and maize flour falling to record lows. Victor Kawuki, a maize farmer and trader shares that prices have been affected by stable inflow of maize from the local communities and could still decline further as farmers are harvesting more maize.
... Read moreSince the prices were low the previous season, people hoarded maize expecting the prices to go up, which did not happen. This time around, a lot of people grew maize, so, the fresh maize found some old maize in the stores from the previous season pushi
The high prevalence of Vitamin A deficiency in Zambian population, particularly among the young children of rural areas, has been a consistent phenomenon in the country for a while. In response to this, several government’s policies have, since 1998, been formulated to promote increased intake of the vitamin while encouraging healthy food intake. This policy resulted in the establishment of National Pro- Vitamin A Orange Maize Steering Committee (NPASC), an Innovation Platform (IP) formed in 2010 to promote bio-fortification of maize following. Complimentary measures of addressing Vitamin A deficiency among the Zambian population include: (i) Fortification of processed cane sugar; (ii) Production and consumption of orange maize (Pro-vitamin A maize); (iii) Administration of “high” dosage of Vitamin A (medical treatment); (iv) Breeding and production of orange-flesh... Read more
Fall Army worm larvae can affect many crops including maize, rice sorghum, millet, sugarcane, vegetable crops and cotton. By end of January 2018, it was reported that all Sub Saharan Africa countries except Djibouti, Eritrea and Lesotho were affected with FAW infestation and expected to spread further in the rest of the continent. The UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) took a leading role in convening partners towards developing a comprehensive guide towards tackle this challenge.
The guide summarizes the important technical information about the worm and describes in details on how to integrate FAW management in a farmer Field School(FFS) where it focuses on providing resources and ideas on how to integrate FAW management in FFS.
Some of the key guidelines and advice to effectively and sustainably manage FAW include:
I just received this invitation for a brown bag lunch, as it is happening at AGRA Nairobi. Still, the interesting part are the links in the invitatation text. Courtesy TASAI.
Timely availability of improved seeds at affordable prices is critical to increased productivity by smallholder farmers in Africa. Improved seeds can deliver state of the art technology to farmers including higher yields, disease and pest resistance, climate change adaptation, and improved nutrition. Over the last two decades, formal seed systems in Africa have been gradually liberalized resulting in increased participation of private seed enterprises (multinationals, regional and domestic companies). This presentation shares the latest findings from The African Seed Access Index (TASAI), a tool that appraises the structure and economic performance of formal seed sectors. For the top four grain and legume crops in each country, the index tracks 20 indicators in five categories: Research and Development, Industry Comp... Read more
Source: The NewTimes
Gerard Munyeshuri Gatete inspects a solar powered water pump on an 8-hectare farm in Barija Sector in Nyagatare District, Eastern Province. It pumps water 60 metres underground to irrigate his crops during drought.
Gatete said that before getting the technology one year ago, he and family members who co-own the farm would harvest about one tonne of beans per hectare, but now they harvest 2.5 tonnes.
26th October 2017
For the Agroecology platform's new Agroecological Weed and Pest Management Working Group, Dr Fentahun from AKLDP presented the overall situation related to the new pest, Fall Army worm (FAW). He also shared a technical brief focusing on the characteristics of the pest, agro-climatic conditions and agro-ecological consistency affecting FAW, and management options and on suggested action points for the FAW in the context of Ethiopia.
Fall Army worm has existed for more than 150 years in Central, Eastern and South America. It is able to attack up to 186 crop species from a wide variety of families. It reproduces quickly and is able to travel far and fast, adult moths flying up to 100 km/day. It was identified in Ethiopia in February 2017, and due to its quick reproductive nature and favorable environmental conditions, it has now present in 8... Read more
I am SENGOGA Desire actively involved in Agribusiness sector. Currently, am doing maize farming in in Eastern Province of Rwanda. Together with other youth, we look forward to start a vibrant cooperative which will enhance our economic status and create more jobs for people living in rural areas. Our goal is to make an effort to combat hunger and malnutrition in Rwanda. I am glad to be part of this network looking forward to learn from you.
Read about push and pull plants to protect maize crops in the latest issue of African Farming.
As a sideline, they mention the use of sand to protect the young plant (funnel of leaves stage) from the FAW caterpillar. Who has more about this?
3 pages in this link:
Assistant Professor Dawit Dalga had been working on researching the pest, and he said the new chemical was tested on farmlands in 14 villages and proved successful. The pest is locally being called the "strange American pest" because it made its way into Africa from the Americas.
BY Mike Listman / July 19, 2017
He has been involved since the early 2000s in promoting quality protein maize (QPM). The grain of QPM features enhanced levels of lysine and tryptophan, amino acids that are essential for humans and certain farm animals. Wegary took part in a CIMMYT project that supported the release of five new QPM varieties.
Read the full Article from CIMMYT
East Africa Regional Grain Trade Analysis for the Week Ending 21st July 2017
Maize (9,489MT) was the highest traded commodity in the region in the week ending 21st July 2017, a decrease from the previous week (11,304MT). The price of maize is on a decline across all Kenyan markets, as many parts of the country have started harvesting fresh maize. The Government of Kenya’s promise to import more maize at a much lower price seems to have finally pushed the price of maize on a downward trend. Zambians and Malawi traders continue looking at exporting maize to Kenya, which seems to offer a much more favourable price, despite unconfirmed reports of Tanzania’s continual barriers towards Kenyan imports from Southern Africa region. Maize wholesale prices were highest in South Sudan, Juba Ksh83($0.80)/kg, and Burundi Gitega, Ksh72($0.69)/kg. The lowest prices were in Tanzania, Mbeya Ksh21($0.20)/kg and Uganda, Kampala Ksh24($23)/kg. Kenya reported the following wholesale prices Kisumu, Ksh60($0.... Read more
Maize meal continued to be a big topic of discussion in June 2017, and towards the end of the month Nairobi, started experiencing shortages of rice, a probable indication, that Kenyans were unwillingly consuming more rice than maize meal. In June 2017, Kenya was the Leading Net Importer (66,312MT), a 324% increase in comparison to May 2017 net import (20,449MT). Kenya imported (68,626MT) and exported (2,314MT). The leading imports were maize and beans, while wheat (2,194MT) was the leading export.
Uganda was the Leading Net Exporter (64,304MT) in June 2017 having exported (70,952MT) and imported (6,648MT). The leading exports were beans (34,096MT), a huge increase in comparison to May 2017 (9,803MT). Uganda exported beans to Kenya (30,552MT), to DRC (3,232MT), and to Tanzania (10MT). Uganda’s combined commodity exports were to Kenya (65,243MT), to Rwanda (2,326MT), and to DRC (3,232MT). Mai... Read more
The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is an insect-pest which causes major damage to more than 80 crop species, including economically important crops, such as maize, rice, sorghum, wheat, sugarcane, several other vegetable crops and cotton.
It was first officially reported in Nigeria in early 2016 and has been officially confirmed in 11 and suspected in at least 14 other African countries, as of April 2017. Read more here
The Zambia Agriculture Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE) in collaboration with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) will give exposure to Zambian grains on the world market in addition to the region markets . ZAMACE has since started registering brokers to trade with their counterparts on the South African bourse and the first trade would take place in the next few months
Follow the link to read more:
Scientists are calling for urgent action to halt the spread of a pest that is destroying maize crops and spreading rapidly across Africa.
The fall armyworm poses a major threat to food security and agricultural trade, warns the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (Cabi).
It says farmers' livelihoods are at risk as the non-native insect threatens to reach Asia and the Mediterranean.
The Food and Agriculture Organization plans emergency talks on the issue.
The fall armyworm, so called because it eats its way through most of the vegetation in its way as it marches through crops, is native to North and South America but was identified for the first time in Africa last year.
Cabi chief scientist Dr Matthew Cock said: "This invasive species is now a serious pest spreading quickly in tropical Africa and with the potential to spread to Asia.
"Urgent action will be needed to prevent devastating losses to crops and farmers' livelihoo... Read more
This guide describes the practical application of FAO’s ‘Save and Grow’ model of sustainable crop production intensification to the world’s key food security crops: maize, rice and wheat. With examples from Africa, Asia and Latin America, it shows how ecosystem-based farming systems are helping smallholder farmers to boost cereal yields, strengthen their livelihoods, reduce pressure on the environment, and build resilience to climate change. The guide will be a valuable reference for policymakers and development practitioners during the global transition to sustainable food and agriculture.
For a more extensive summary, and to download the publication (PDF), follow this link: