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FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org [1]

1-Ghana’s farmers harness ‘soil power’

Farmers in northwest Ghana’s Lawra district are seeing big changes from what they call “soil power.”

Ghana’s soils are some of the most nutrient-deficient in the world. This is a serious challenge to farmers’ efforts to adapt to the changing climate.

Farmer Clement Naazuin says that virtually every important task he carries out on his farm involves improving the soil. He plants maize and millet on ridges instead of traditional mounds or flat surfaces. This prevents rainwater running off the fields and stripping the soil of nutrients. He also stopped burning crop residues from cereal harvests. Instead, he leaves them in the field to decompose, which increases soil fertility.

While these climate-smart practices often take extra time and resources, farmers like Mr. Naazuin know they are essential to their farm’s success.

Original story: http://www.trust.org/item/20130715154437-lft5q/?source=hpblogs [2]

2-Tanzanian farmers threatened by maize disease

Farmers in Kilimanjaro, Manyara and Mara Regions should be on alert for Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease.

The disease is spread by insects that attack plants at all stages of growth, though symptoms begin when the maize reaches 60 centimetres in height.

The Ministry of Agriculture says farmers in the highly affected northern regions should store maize as flour and not raw cobs. Farmers should also avoid feeding livestock with affected maize.

The Ministry is currently working on developing maize varieties resistant to the disease.

Original story: http://allafrica.com/stories/201308060357.html?viewall=1 [3]

3-Rwanda: New ICTs help farmers set prices

Mariyana Mukamunana sells vegetables at Biryogo market. She says she has no access to information that could help her set prices, apart from what other vendors are charging.

But now, a system called e-Soko can be consulted by mobile phone. It gives information on market prices, making it easier for buyers to decide where to make their purchase and for sellers to decide what quantity to offer.

Rwanda’s director in charge of ICTs in the Ministry of Youth and ICT says e-Soko could help stabilize market prices and prevent speculation. Users can consult the system by calling 7656.

Original story: http://focus.rw/wp/2013/07/gap-still-deep-between-ict-and-agriculture/ [4]