The online calendar

FAO has launched a quick reference calendar covering 43 major African countries. The web-based tool covers more than 130 crops from beans to beetroot and from wheat to watermelon. It advises which crops to plant and when, taking into account the type of agricultural zone. 

The calendar aims to help farmers plan the right crops for their conditions and can be used by aid workers to implement seed relief following natural or human disasters. It can also serve as a quick reference for selecting crop varieties suited to changing weather patterns, as well as tried and tested seed varieties likely to produce the best results.

The calendar covers 283 agro-ecological zones, representing the richness and variety of the African ecology as well as challenges of land degradation, sand encroachment and floods. An estimated 50% of the global increase in yields over the past 10 years has come from improving the quality of seeds. The other 50% has come from better water management and irrigation practices.

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