In the news...

Scientists and farmers recognise need for biotech in Ghana

March 27th, 2015 / Crop Biotech Update

The President of the Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen, John Awuku said that farmers, especially small holder farmers, have recognized the important role that improved seeds and fertilizers play in increasing yield and income. He noted that Ghana needs a vigorous education campaign on GMO, plant breeding …

New seed index encourages competition in Africa

March 27th, 2015 / African Farming and Food Processing

A new index — African Seed Access Index (TASAI) — has been developed to measure seed development and distribution to African farmers. TASAI is the first initiative of its kind, issuing detailed scorecards on Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Read …

Dealing with major banana diseases

March 27th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Diseases are caused by small micro-organisms, which we cannot see with our naked eyes. Just as animals fall sick, plants fall sick and even die too. Diseases are usually rampant in plantations which full of weeds, are un-mulched, and unprunned, and are normally spread by planting infected suckers from …

What is climate change and how does it affect agriculture?

March 27th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports that we are likely to see more extreme weather, with farmers facing more difficulties producing crops and finding pasture for livestock. Due to the rise in temperatures and prolonged droughts, rivers and other freshwater bodies may dry up causing fish stocks to drop. Pests and …

From journalist to passion fruit grower

March 27th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru paid a visit to John Bosco Wasswa’s passion fruit farm. Former journalist JB Wasswa was inspired by a newspaper article to venture into passion fruits … here he talks about how he and his family got started, what the challenges were and are, and his ambitions – to …

B4FA Week in Review – 24 March 2015

March 25th, 2015

The GM debate in Africa has made UK headlines as journalist Oliver Wright journeys to Uganda for the Independent to investigate the Bill and Melinda Gates programme to develop wilt-resistant hybrid bananas by inserting a gene from red peppers. (Read “The GM crops debate moves to Africa – and it’s just as noisy“.) …

ActionAid: The charity spreading groundless fears over GM

March 24th, 2015 / The Independent, UK

Donors to one of Britain’s largest humanitarian aid charities have been unwittingly funding an aggressive anti-GM food campaign in Africa that misleadingly warns farmers that eating the crops could give them cancer. A senior official working for ActionAid in Uganda reports that the charity shows farmers pictures of rats with …

GM crops: Vital for food security? Or overestimated potential?

March 23rd, 2015 / The Independent, UK

The Independent explores the debate that still rages over genetically modified food nearly 20 years after the first commercial crops were developed. Journalists travelled to Kenya and Uganda where scientists are using GM to improve drought resistance and combat pests and diseases – some of which are unique to Africa. …

Biotech crops – fastest adopted crop technology in the world

March 23rd, 2015 / Vanguard, Nigeria

The global hectarage of biotech crops has in creased more than 100-folds from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to181.5 million hectares in 2014 making biotech crops the fastest adopted crop technology in recent times.This was revealed by the director-general of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, at …

Increase water harvesting in Africa

March 20th, 2015 / Nature

Ensuring that the world’s food needs are met by 2050 will take a doubling of global food production1. To improve agricultural yields on that scale will require a radical rethink of global water-management strategies and policies. Sub-Saharan Africa is the epicentre of this challenge with half of its current …