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New genomics tool is being deployed in East African cassava fields

September 19th, 2017 / Medium

TED Senior Fellow and computational biologist Laura Boykin has made her life’s work to rid cassava — a staple root crop on which 800 million people around the world rely for their daily calories — of whitefly-borne virus. Now, with a team of international scientists, including co-Principal Investigators Dr Joseph Ndunguru and Dr Titus …

Kenya’s urban youth harness technology to venture into gainful agribusiness

September 19th, 2017 / Xinhua, China

Gideon Anyona has always monitored activities in his farm using a smart phone while relaxing in his rented apartment located on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
His 15 acre farm, located in a rural Narok county 150 kilometers northwest of Nairobi, has a resident employee but mobile technology has …

Closing the gap between the youth and agriculture in Africa

September 19th, 2017 / CNBC Africa

Agriculture and youth are a compatible pair, particularly in the African context: as one of the continent’s most critical industries and biggest sources of income, contributing a quarter of Africa’s total GDP and employing 70 percent of the labour force, it has the remarkable potential to empower what will be …

Do we need new coffee varieties?

September 18th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssale writes:
The Seeds of Gold magazine last week released news that the National Agricultural Research Organisation in collaboration with breeders at National Coffee Research Institute (NaCORI), Kituuza in Mukono District, had introduced new robusta coffee varieties that are resistant to the dreaded Coffee Wilt Disease (CWD).
The …

Promoting bio-fortified crops

September 18th, 2017 / The Nation, Nigeria

Micronutrient malnutrition, also called hidden hunger, is dangerous to health.
To eradicate it, an international global organisation has taken up the challenge.
Spearheading the firms is HarvestPlus, a programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It is seeking to reduce micronutrient malnutrition through bio-fortification; by breeding new varieties of …

Genetic markers against deadly cassava viruses found

September 18th, 2017 / SciDev.net

Scientists have identified genetic markers of resistance to two deadly viral diseases in cassava varieties of East African origin.
According to the scientists, the cassava varieties — Namikonga and Albert — which are genetically related through a West African cassava variety TME117 are preferred by farmers in Tanzania and have …

Hybrid maize boosts yields for Kenyan farmers

September 18th, 2017 / Egghead, US

Hybrid maize seeds and the yields they make possible can make a big difference for small-scale farmers in developing economies worldwide, especially those who are at risk of poverty and food insecurity. However, low adoption rates are common, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
A randomized controlled trial in Kenya led by Michael …

Agribusinesses and African smallholders seize US$1 trillion food market

September 18th, 2017 / African Farming UK

The recent Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR) has demonstrated that the power of entrepreneurs and the free market is driving Africa’s economic growth from food production, with the food production in Africa expecting to reach more than US$1 trillion per year by 2030.
The report was launched at African Green Revolution …

AGCO leads sustainable business projects for African smallholders

September 18th, 2017 / African Farming, UK

AGCO has led new project to determine sustainable business models for smallholders and farm service centres in the African region in African green revolution forum (AGRF) in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Speaking at the AGRF thematic working group meeting on mechanisation, Mark Moore, agricultural advisory manager of AGCO, outlined a new 18-month …

Text message network connects offline farmers in Kenya

September 18th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The service, whose Scottish co-founder Kenny Ewan describes it as “the internet for people with no internet”, is free to use and only requires a mobile phone.
Read …