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More iron, zinc: new beans have an edge

January 6th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Earlier this year, National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) released bean varieties, which have higher levels of iron and zinc for production by Ugandan farmers.
Dr Stanley Nkalubo, head of legumes research at NaCRRI—one of Naro’s research institutes, says use of bio-fortified foods is an inexpensive method to overcome or prevent malnutrition …

Africa: a pivotal moment for biofortification

January 6th, 2017 / AllAfica.com

This year’s World Food Prize pays tribute to biofortification, an intervention that strengthens efforts to address one of the world’s most insidious and pervasive public health challenges–hidden hunger. That is good news for the majority of the two billion people globally who suffer from hidden hunger, and likewise for those …

Smallholder farms in the developing world produce more than half the planet’s food calories

January 6th, 2017 / ILRI

Smallholder and family farms are crucial to feeding the planet, and successful policies aimed at alleviating poverty, boosting food security and protecting biodiversity and natural resources depend on the inclusion and participation of small farmers. However, despite the recent spotlight on small farms and increasing consensus on their importance, detailed …

Climate change is smallholders’ pain

January 6th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

Experts use many numbers when talking about climate change. However, rising temperatures, the resulting crop failure and consequent loss of livelihoods and destitution of millions of households are this year’s most important and urgent developments for millions of smallholder farmers across African agro-ecological landscapes.
To illustrate the unfolding crisis, let us …

African countries should access economic benefits of biodiversity

January 6th, 2017 / Leadership, Nigeria

The 13th Conference of Parties (COP-13) to the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), held recently in Cancun, Mexico. It also featured two sub-conferences aimed at protecting the world’s natural habitat and maximising it’s economic benefits. Executive Secretary of the CBD, Braulio F. de Souza Dias in this …

GM crops: between golden harvest and risks

January 5th, 2017 / Daily Trust, Nigeria

Nigeria is set to introduce genetically modified crops into the country’s farming system starting 2017 with the commercial release of the home-grown genetically modified cowpea (beans), which Institute for Agricultural Research, ABU, Zaria worked on in the last 13 years.
Also next year, the country is expecting the research on …

Improved agricultural technologies for improved livelihoods in Tanzania

January 5th, 2017 / Africa Rising

How switching to improved agricultural technologies like hybrid maize varieties and application of bladed fertilizers catalyzed a young female farmer’s dramatic rise from an off-season casual laborer to a champion farmer in rural Tanzania.
Of the different technologies she was introduced to, two stand out in 22-year-old Siza Mkini’s opinion – …

Beans, quick to cook, easy to eat

January 5th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru writes: Beans are a widely grown crop in Uganda and a key source of protein in many diets. Though they are mostly cooked, innovative ways of preparation are being explored in research and development.
One of these is as bean flour, which can be mixed with wheat …

African breakthroughs to help Aussie wheat growers

January 5th, 2017 / Queensland Country Life, Australia

A RANGE of groundbreaking agricultural research and development work being conducted in Africa will help push sub-Saharan Africa towards food security, but may also have big benefits for Australian agriculture as well.
Deputy director general of research at the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) Andrew Noble …

Experts eye Africa-friendly biotechnology curriculum

January 5th, 2017 / Business Daily, Kenya

Experts have proposed changes in the biotechnology curriculum to reflect the African way of life, politics and social cultural norms in bid to boost acceptance.
The experts — mainly local university dons working under European Union-funded Sector for Food Security and Biotechnology in Africa (FSBA) — said increased uptake of biotechnology …