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July 26, 2018Knowledge Portal
The dynamics of smallholder farmers’ acquisition and distribution of sweetpotato vines in Tanzania

This study offers insights into smallholder farmer’s practices regarding acquisition and distribution of sweetpotato planting material in Tanzania. Findings reveal that most farmers rely almost exclusively on informal seed systems. »

February 12, 2018Knowledge Portal
Protected cultivation of vegetable crops in sub-Saharan Africa: Limits and prospects for smallholders. A review

This article presents an overview of the agronomic, economic, and environmental performances of low-tech protected cultivation techniques (PCT) in sub-Saharan Africa. Technology transfer and the adoption of PCT affordable for smallholders are believed to be able to feed the increasing population and fight malnutrition. »

January 30, 2017Knowledge Portal
Agronomic biofortification of crops to fight hidden hunger in sub-Saharan Africa

This article in the Global Food Security journal discusses the effectiveness of agronomic biofortification – the application of mineral micronutrient fertilizers to soils or plant leaves to increase micronutrient contents in edible parts of crops – and it’s potential to fight hidden hunger. There is evidence that agronomic biofortification can increase yields and the nutritional quality of staple crops, but there is a lack of direct evidence that this leads to improved human health. »

January 25, 2017Knowledge Portal
The impact of taxes and subsidies on crop yields: Agricultural price distortions in Africa

This report elaborates on the impact of agricultural taxes and subsidies on crop yields in Africa. The key finding presented is that both taxes and subsidies wield a negative influence on crop yields. Clearly, levying taxes and subsidies have their merit, for raising public finances and providing rural income support respectively, but neither leads to a more intensified agriculture. »

June 22, 2016Knowledge Portal
Origins of food crops connect countries worldwide

This research on the Royal Society shows how the origins of food plants has led to the recognition that specific geographical regions around the world have been of particular importance to the development of agricultural crops. Yet the relative contributions of these different regions in the context of current food systems have not been quantified. The authors determine the origins (‘primary regions of diversity’) of the crops comprising the food supplies and agricultural production of countries world. »

February 1, 2016Knowledge Portal
Seed systems smallholder farmers use

This article elaborates on the importance of informal seed markets for African family farmers. Using a comprehensive data set with 9660 observations across six countries and covering 40 crops, the authors show that farmers access 90.2 % of their seed from informal systems with 50.9 % of that deriving from local markets. However, current investments are mostly geared towards formal markets instead of informal ones, while the informal sector remains the core for seed acquisition in Africa. »