Nelly Bassily | July 29, 2013
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Congo-Brazzaville: Farmers increase banana plantings with new technique
Farmers in southern Congo have adopted a new technique for producing young banana plants. They grow new plants from stem fragments. New banana plants are usually derived from whole suckers taken from the plant base.
The new method is simple, easy and affordable and produces large numbers of new plants. Growers can produce up to 50 healthy young plants from one banana stem fragment in two or three months.
The Cameroon-based African Research Centre on Banana and Plantain is working with farmers to introduce the technique.
New millet varieties promise to address food security in Uganda
Farmers in Uganda will soon be able to grow new hybrid varieties of foxtail millet. Ugandan and Chinese researchers have collaborated in developing the new varieties.
Foxtail millet is the second most widely grown millet in the world, after pearl millet. The new varieties are tolerant of dry conditions, produce more than 50% higher yields than local millet varieties, and are ready for harvest in three months – compared to four months for local varieties. The husks can be used as animal feed, and the grains made into local brew.
Once the new seeds are ready, the Ugandan government will deliver them to farmers in different regions of the country to study their suitability.
Original story: http://allafrica.com/stories/201307220777.html?viewall=1
Insuring Ghana’s farmers against the weather
Ghanaian farmers who have lost money because of poor weather conditions have a new insurance scheme. It’s called the Ghana Agriculture Insurance Programme or GAIP.
Farmers pay one-tenth of the total cost of their crops to GAIP at the beginning of the farming season. If there is no rain for 12 consecutive days, they receive payouts. The size of the farmer’s land and the amount she or he invested in inputs help determine how much money is paid out.
The insurance scheme is in its second year. To date, the drought in northern Ghana has resulted in 136 payouts to small-scale farmers.
Currently, the scheme is available only to farmers who grow crops within 20 kilometres of existing automatic weather stations (AWS) in the Upper West and Upper East regions of northern Ghana. There are 41 AWS nationwide.
Original story: http://allafrica.com/stories/201307180797.html?viewall=1