In the news...

Reduce the use of herbicides in yam production, caution scientists

July 29th, 2016 / Youtube.com

B4FA Fellow, Noah Nash reports from Ghana: A Yam breeder with the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI, Dr. Emmanuel Chambas has urged yam growers in the northern region to minimise the use of chemical in the production of yam set for the export market. See …

Agricultural development also supports science, technology

July 29th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali writes: Today’s farmer has different challenges from those before the onset of climate change and eruption of crop diseases, which threaten to wipe out major food and cash crops.
We expect our leaders to be climate smart and to pay more attention to agricultural research and its …

Working to boost sorghum production

July 29th, 2016 / Ethiopian Herald

Ethiopia’s Institute National Sorghum Research Coordination Head Dr. Taye Taddesse said Ethiopia is working on sorghum development through research and providing fast maturing seeds and other technical support to farmers. Currently, 10 000 farmers in Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and SNNP states are benefiting from the Institute’s support.
He said the institute …

SDGs could boost citizen science in Africa

July 28th, 2016 / SciDev.net

The Sustainable Development Goals are a chance for Africa to give citizens a say in shaping local science activity and the innovations that follow from it. The explosion of science initiatives now taking place across the continent in the wake of the SDGs means local people need a say in …

Could CRISPR gene editing change the future of ag?

July 28th, 2016 / Civileats.com

Up until recently, a genetically modified organism was one that had its genetic materials engineered. Now, a new technology is completely blurring the line. It’s called gene editing, and it often involves “turning off” or deleting genes from a plant’s genome, as opposed to moving genes from one species to …

Uganda’s president call for adoption of GM crops

July 28th, 2016 / ISAAA, US

While officially opening the 24th edition of the Annual National Agricultural and Trade Show on July 14, 2016, President Yoweri Museveni analyzed what confuses Ugandans about GM technology, which involves transferring genes from one plant into another plant of economic interest, and to impart better qualities in the crop. …

Tackling Uganda’s Banana Crisis

July 27th, 2016 / Crop Life International, Belgium

The banana is a very important part of the Ugandan diet with 70 percent of the population eating the fruit every day. However, as Banana Bacterial Wilt is devastating banana crops across the country, eradicating the disease has become a major focus for Uganda’s government, scientists and industry. Plant …

Microbe-enhanced cotton can help boost crop production

July 27th, 2016 / MIT Technology Review, US

A new treatment for cotton seeds draws on beneficial microbes that live inside plants—much like the good bacteria in our own guts—to help the crops thrive in dry conditions. The microbe-enhanced cotton, the first product from startup Indigo Agriculture, is already growing on 50,000 acres spread across five different states …

GMO tomatoes may stay firm longer

July 27th, 2016 / Wall Street Journal, US

In an attempt to produce plump, tasty tomatoes with longer shelf lives, scientists have successfully tweaked a gene that slows how quickly the fruits soften without affecting their size or colour. See …

Africa’s economies are set to get a boost from tighter integration with or without Brexit

July 26th, 2016 / Quartz Africa

Calestous Juma and Francis Mangeni write: The African Union (AU) is holding its 27th summit in Kigali, Rwanda this week in the wake of the United Kingdom’s referendum decision to withdraw from the European Union. The outcome of last month’s referendum has sent seismic waves across Africa. Many observers have …