Hard work and poor prospects for smallholder farming households in Africa.
Swathi Sridharan (formerly ICRISAT, Bulawayo)
Smallholder farming might not be able to generate enough value on its own, but farmers still need support.
Aerial view of Port Louis, Mauritius.
Supplied by author
A significant change in political mentality is required to shore up one of Africa's leading lights.
Digitisation includes the delivery of agronomic advice and information via text messaging and interactive voice response.
There have been some positive strides made in getting smallholders involved in digital agriculture in Africa
Fresh produce at a market in Blantyre, Malawi.
Across Africa less than 10% of the population is connected to a sewer system. But the waste could be used elsewhere.
Zimbabwe erupted in violent protest after the government doubled the price of petrol.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa's decision to double the price of petrol shows very poor judgement and bad leadership.
Pastoralists on a dry plain in central Mali, one of the seven Sahel countries hit by a wave of deadly attacks.
A big rise in armed attacks in the Sahel - and the intensity of the attacks in recent years - is now seen as a major source of concern.
Seizing the day.
Zimbabwe has two lost decades to move on from. Fortunately, there are many ways out.
New research shows just how bad tobacco farming can be for the environment and for farmers.
Lack of support for beneficiaries of land reform in South Africa has seen many new farmers fail to live off the land.
South Africa's government makes much of its efforts of putting more land in the hands of the previously disenfranchised black majority. Yet, many beneficiaries continue to wallow in poverty.
Researchers at several institutions are searching for microbial solutions for Africa’s low-performing staple crops.
Microbial-based solutions are perhaps the best-kept secret in agricultural innovation.
Africa has the potential to take the lead in the drive to achieve sustainable agriculture.
Sustainable agriculture in Africa has the ability to act as an example for other regions worldwide. But to do this the approaches and technology taken must be interdisciplinary.
Some farmers are suspicious of technological innovation. But technology can really help them.
It's been proved that prizes can boost cultural innovation. The same is certainly true for innovation in agriculture – which Africa desperately needs.
A woman harvests roses in a greenhouse at a flower farm outside Addis Ababa. Floriculture has boomed in Ethiopia.
Considering all the positive signs Ethiopia might very well be on its way to become Africa's industrial powerhouse.
Food security efforts need to look beyond urban agriculture.
It's important to question whether the promotion of urban agriculture can actually help people, or whether other solutions should be explored.
Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for soils and Africa doesn’t have enough.
Nitrogen inputs in African soil must be carefully used. If they're not, there will be unintended consequences for the environment and human health.
Cattle drink water from an almost dry dam in South Africa. The drought in the region is one of a number of troubling issues that remain largely hidden from public sight.
One of the many intriguing ideas of the Austrian philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, was this: the limits of my language means the limits of my world. Does this explain the failure to see the gathering gloom…
Proper management of Africa’s savanna regions is crucial for the continent’s climate and food security future.
Africa's savannas provide high potential for farming development but this needs to be done in a smart manner to not worsen climate change.
Community education is a vital part of the Malawi Farmer to Farmer Agroecology project.
Carmen Bezner Kerr
Agroecological techniques that mimic nature – the antithesis of GMOs and high-cost fertilizers – have made farmers in developing countries more resilient to extreme weather.
The Sahel, the transition zone between the arid north of Africa and tropic south, has highly variable rainfall.
Center for International Forestry Research.
Field trials in Senegal show native shrubs can access deep-soil water and make it available to adjacent crops – a technique that could alleviate drought conditions in marginal lands around the world.
An Ethiopian girl sells barley seeds in northern Tigray. The sub-Saharan Africa seed industry remains largely informal.
The seed industry in sub-Saharan Africa suffers from many challenges. India, which has one of the biggest seed markets in the world, offers some lessons on how these challenges could be overcome.