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Twelve new crop varieties of cowpea, rice & maize released

September 21st, 2015 / Ghanaweb.com

The Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has released twelve new crop varieties onto the market. Four cowpea, seven maize varieties and a new rice variety capable to withstand hash weather conditions were released on Friday. The varieties are made up of …

Farmers’ lobby aims to boost East African Community potato yields

September 21st, 2015 / The Standard, Kenya

Lack of improved seeds, use of obsolete technology, lack of access to credit, effects of climate change and cartel-like behaviour are some of the factors that have been blamed for the East African Community’s (EAC) low production of potatoes. Last week during the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme’s (CAADP) …

Nigeria: Fertilizer subsidy continues, says Tambuwal

September 21st, 2015 / News Diary, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe reports: Considering the importance of agricultural value-chain, governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State confirmed that his administration would continue with a fertiliser subsidy to farmers across the state. According to the governor, this was aimed at boosting food production, as well as increasing farmers’ purchasing …

Closing Africa’s research gap

September 21st, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

A large gap remains in research capacity between Africa and the rest of the world in all scientific disciplines. Addressing the challenges, especially, in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector remains a a major hurdle. In Africa itself, research is mostly dominated by five nations: Egypt, …

Bringing African universities to farmers

September 21st, 2015 / Scidev.net/youtube.com

This video focuses on the work of researchers from Makerere University, Uganda, in Rakai district, an area of the country whose farmers are particularly prone to climate change-induced water vulnerability. As part of the WATERCAP project, they have helped transform local people’s lives. Through the introduction of low-tech innovations, …

Resistance to GM comes from people who have not known hunger

September 21st, 2015 / El País, Spain

“Scientists must engage more with the public. The problem with GM food is that the public is not aware that for centuries have been doing genetic modification, albeit very random way: crossing different strains or, for many years, with mutagenesis [generating mutations] crops and subsequent selection of the most …

Farmers in eastern, northern Uganda to get new greengram (mung bean) varieties

September 17th, 2015 / AllAfrica

In eastern and northern Uganda, greengram, popularly known as choroko in Ateso, has been cultivated and consumed a long time. Now, thanks to the Dryland Legume Research Programme, new varieties with such desirable characteristics as early maturation, drought tolerance and higher yields will be available to farmers towards the …

Ugandan scientists and journalists strive to find a middle ground

September 17th, 2015 / ISAAA

Scientists from Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organization and Ugandan science journalists met on September 2-3, 2015, to discuss issues that have created rifts between the professions. Held in Kampala, the meeting helped attendees map out inherent differences that have resulted in miscommunication of agricultural biotechnology to the public, identify solutions, …

Swaziland’s cotton industry under threat, farmers waiting for GM cotton despite ban

September 17th, 2015 / Swazi Observer

While agriculture remains a backbone of the country’s economy, the cotton industry is threatened by two critical factors: the imminent closure of the cotton ginnery stationed at Big Bend, and the fact that genetically modified cotton, which is now preferred by farmers around the globe, is not allowed in …

Climate-smart farming boosting food security

September 16th, 2015 / The East African, Kenya

Experts recommend soil management practices such as conservation agriculture, which increases productivity based on three principles — minimal soil disturbance (reduced tillage), permanent soil cover (mulching) and crop rotation. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, conservation agriculture reduces the farming systems’ greenhouse gas emissions and enhances its …