Good news this week on the fight against Yellow Rust. Scientists who created a method to track the spread of the disease are now working on a faster and cheaper diagnostic tool, resulting in a bigger, more accurate dataset that will quickly inform breeders and farmers to take early action on choosing resistant varieties and protecting crops. Scientists have also made progress in identifying maize varieties resistant to maize lethal necrosis (MLN), a viral disease that affects crop in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
There’s also big news in nutrition-led health: researchers have found that the Vitamin A in orange sweet potato reduces prevalence and duration of diarrhea in young children in Mozambique. Among the study’s findings is that in children under 3 who ate orange sweet potato in the previous week, the likelihood of having diarrhoea was reduced by 52%. The findings will help public health experts save lives by informing mothers about food intake and supplements. Sweet potato also made news in Kenya, where high yielding, fast-maturing varieties are becoming more and more popular due to its suitability for arid and semi-arid areas.
Elsewhere in Kenya, a new app has been released that helps connect Kenyan farmers with seeds that could help farmers adapt to climate change. The free app, called MbeguChoice, offers information on the best seeds for changing growing conditions.
From the B4FA Fellows, Lominda Afedraru writes about a research institute that’s helping West Nile farmers boost productivity, while Michael Ssali reports on why agriculture deserves a bigger share in Uganda’s budget. Noah Nash’s video reports from Ghana include rice production projections for 2015 and women smallholder farmers receiving support from USAID Ghana, which presented them with 100 multipurpose crop planters to boost productivity.
Finally, we’re pleased to invite you to browse our newly designed website. It features daily news highlights for easy perusal, and comprehensive, easily accessible resources on crop biotech and African agriculture. Please do drop by – and if you can, take a couple of minutes to tell us how you like it in the survey provided!
Thank you as ever for joining us, and please send questions, comments and links to [email protected].
Biosciences & plant genetics around the world
Is plant science the answer to improved food security?
Earth Island Journal
VIDEO: Why don’t farmers save seeds? Hybrids and their benefits
China’s spending on genetics research making huge advances in biotech
Genetic Literacy Project
More than 240 organizations and scientific institutions support the safety of GM crops
‘India will be food secure by 2050’ – Dr S Ayappan
New Indian Express
FAO launches digital platform on family farming
New farming methods to help Ethiopian farmers
Video: Rice production projections in Northern Regions for 2015 by rice expert Dr. Wilson Dogbe, of SARI
by B4FA Fellow Noah Nash
Video: USAID Ghana give 100 multipurpose crop planters for women smallholder farmers
by B4FA Fellow Noah Nash
Poor seeds hold back Tanzania’s cotton
A research institute that is helping West Nile farmers boost productivity
Daily Monitor, by B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru
Why agriculture deserves a bigger share in the budget
Daily Monitor, by B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali
Budget for agriculture not enough, say experts
Focus on agriculture financing in Uganda
Views and opinions in Week in Review are solely those of the author or authors and do not necessarily represent those of B4FA.