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Government of Rwanda plans to sell Nyabihu potato factory to boost production
January 12 2018

The Government is in the process of privatising the Nyabihu District-based potato processing plant amid tight market and low production capacity, The New Times has learnt.

The decision comes as part of efforts to turn around the factory production capacity, which is currently low, according to government officials familiar with the situation.

The factory lacks proper management to optimise its productivity and its products have failed to penetrate the local market, officials said. 

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Open access publishing platform launched for African Scientists
December 18 2017

In partnership with F1000, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is launching a publication platform, AAS Open Research, to enable AAS funded and affiliated researchers to publish without barriers and immediately. It will launch in early 2018. AAS Open Research will showcase African research on the global stage in an innovative and transparent way.

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Kenya Plant Health and Inspectorate Service launches new analytical Lab
December 14 2017

Demand for agricultural produce has over the years experienced a steady growth especially for international market but has faced lots of red lights due to poor or unmet standards with some products having to face partial ban. With agriculture being the backbone of the country’s economy, the laboratory comes as a relief to the sector as it will ensure that produce from Kenya meets the required international standards.  The facility that was unveiled by Deputy President William Ruto was completed at a cost of Ksh.250 million and has come in handy to help address challenges related to quality standards. Kenya now has a facility where testing of fertilizers, seeds, soil and water can be carried out before being used by farmers. This will also facilitate the production of healthy plants, sustainable agro-environment and safe trade. 

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Experts root for innovative ways to protect potato, cassava farmers against effects of climate change
December 11 2017

African governments should promote innovative risk management tools and approaches to safeguard root and tuber farmers against challenges caused by climate change to ensure sustainable productivity in the sector, experts have said.

They added that there is need to ease farmer access to information about weather and climate, saying this will support efforts aimed helping them (farmers) to manage climatic risks that threaten food security and sustainable development. 

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Kenya: Nyeri County to Build Sh6 Million Store for Potato, Onion Farmers
November 27 2017

The Nyeri County government will build a Sh6 million store in Kieni as it seeks to cushion potato and onion farmers against post-harvest losses. The store will provide an information centre and proper storage areas which will prolong the shelf life of the harvest by four to six months and also maintain consistence in quality. According to the Agriculture Executive Henry Kinyua, farmers lose up to 40 percent of their total produce in post-harvest losses. "Our analysis indicates that prices of onions and potatoes increase three times in two to three months after harvesting," he said. 

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The Horizon 2020 Sustainable Food Security Call
November 27 2017

The Horizon 2020 Sustainable Food Secuirty Call is is EC's main contribution to research and innovation in relation to Food and Nutrition Security in Europe and beyond. Its commitment to sustainability implies that particular attention is given to the interfaces between the economic, environmental and social dimensions of food production. The call advocates for food system approaches to tackle the inherent links between ecosystems, food production, the food chain and consumer health and wellbeing.

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The African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative to grow Africa’s food security
November 6 2017

A new African Development Bank (AfDB) initiative aims to lift African farmers out of poverty and ensure continental food security by 2025. The African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative will use proven technology and new research to scale up agriculture on the continent.

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Rwandan farmers welcome new deal to boost potato production
October 20 2017

The newly signed deal between the International Potato Centre (CIP) and BlackPace Africa Group to advance potato production in Africa, including Rwanda, is a timely intervention that will help improve production, farmers have said. Commenting on the agreement that was signed last week, Jean Damascene Ntawushobora, the president of Irish Potato Farmers’ Union (IABINYA) in Nyabihu District, said farmers still need high yield varieties that are suitable for the different soil types across the country. “We are planting Irish potato varieties developed by former Agricultural Research Centre while others are imported from neighbouring countries such as Uganda and DR Congo. Therefore, any research and initiatives that focus on improving potato varieties is welcome,” he told The New Times in a telephone interview on Monday.

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