India’s wheat planting area expected to surpass last year’s

INDIA – India, the world’s second-largest producer of wheat, expects wheat planting to surpass last year's 31 million hectares due to the improved water availability and better soil moisture. According to the officials, wheat planting had begun in irrigated parts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and will pick up in other regions, including Punjab and…

Argentine grain output prospects receive double boost

ARGENTINA - Argentine grain harvest prospects received a double boost as officials forecast a further increase in corn sowings in 2017-18, while upgrading their area estimate for the newly-started wheat harvest. The Argentine agriculture ministry, in its first forecast for corn sowings for 2017-18 for all purposes, including silage, pegged them at 8.9m hectares, a…

Officials cut Aussie wheat hopes, but stand by export forecasts

AUSTRALIA - US officials stood by expectations for near-average Australian wheat exports this season, despite following other commentators in downgrading their estimate for the drought-hit harvest to a 10-year low. The US Department of Agriculture's Canberra bureau cut to 20.0m tonnes its estimate for the newly-started harvest, citing the "poor rainfall and high temperatures across…

Traditional veges, sweet potato key to food security in Africa

AFRICA - Research focusing on traditional crops that are often ignored and known as "orphan crops" shows they contain minerals and vitamins that are essential for the body and are mostly consumed by rural African people. Various agricultural research institutions in Africa are currently carrying out research on these crops mainly to improve yields and…

Zimbabwe denies food insecurity fears

ZIMBABWE - Zimbabwe has in excess of 700,000 tonnes in grain and Government has put in measures that will ensure that no one will starve before the next harvest, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said. Acting President Mnangagwa said this in the National Assembly yesterday while responding to a question by MDC-T Bulawayo Representative Dr…

Africa must re-adopt its orphan crops as times change

AFRICA - A large portion of Africa's people relies on several indigenous plant species for subsistence. These plants are often primary food sources for people and animals and are also used for other non-food purposes. Most are farmed as food crops and are preferred by indigenous people and farmers. They are often hardy and tolerant,…

Report shows one million at risk of hunger in Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE - At least one million food-insecure households in Zimbabwe are at high risk of exhausting their food stocks between January and March next year despite the bumper maize harvest recorded this year, a United Nations agency has warned. Unicef in its end of September 2017 situational report highlights that there would be food insecurity,…