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Rwanda: Micronutrient fertilisers can double crop yields

August 24th, 2015 / The New Times, Rwanda

Farmers planting rice, potatoes, wheat, beans and maize can almost double their produce with the use of micronutrient fertilisers and lime, a new study indicates. This is according to a study conducted in 2014 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) in partnership with International Fertiliser Development Centre …

Uganda: farmers advised on seeds

August 24th, 2015 / East African Business Week, Uganda

“When small holder farmers form cooperatives, NARO can support them with technical skills to enable them establish community seed banks. When this is done we shall solve the problem of counterfeit seeds on the market and poor market distribution. Farmers have been alleging that they are being supplied with fake …

Rice production could increase 33%

August 22nd, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A newly discovered gene could increase rice production by up to a third, according to a study by Chinese scientists, potentially offering a new weapon in the fight against global hunger. By modifying the plant’s BG1 gene, the researchers said they were able to create one of the largest rice …

Peace is good for food security

August 22nd, 2015 / GhanaWeb.com

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: “I’ve seen amazing progress with my own eyes: Back in 1990, many people in Ghana went hungry. There are still pockets of hunger in some parts of the regions in Ghana, but today, hunger is almost non-existent. We make food and share food,” says Lydia …

GM – ‘the most critical technology’ for feeding the world

August 22nd, 2015 / EurikaAlert!, US

Nina Fedoroff, molecular biologist and former Science and Technology Adviser to Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, warns of the detrimental influence of politics and misinformation on the safety of GM crops. Instead, Fedoroff says that: “GM crops are arguably the safest new crops ever introduced into the human and animal …

Salt-tolerant plants eyed as crops of the future

August 20th, 2015 / CBC News, Canada

A team of scientists is searching for solutions to what they describe as a fast-approaching agricultural crisis. Their neatly plotted rows of naturally salt-tolerant plants, known as halophytes, could be a part of the answer. The scientists from the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation are also trying other approaches: tweaking genes …

Kenya: GM maize will double yields

August 20th, 2015 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Genetically modified maize will double productivity while reducing costs of fertiliser by eliminating the infestation of the stem borer. Scientists from the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation say the water efficient BT maize has the potential to yield 3.7 tonnes of per hectare. See …

Disturbing contrasts in African agriculture

August 20th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: In the preface to Africa Development Report 2014, Kofi Annan, wrote: “The unacceptable reality is that too many African farmers still use methods handed down from generation to generation, working their lands or grazing their animals much as their ancestors have done for millennia. Africa …

Can organic farming sustainably feed the developing world?

August 19th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A recent new paper published in the journal Sustainable Agriculture Research examines results from six experiments comparing organic and conventional farming methods. The long-term experiments showed an increase in soil health, productivity, water quality and economic benefits for farmers when they employed organic systems. “These results suggest that organic …

Gene therapy for a changing climate

August 19th, 2015 / Can we feed the world?

Supporting smallholder farmers to better adapt to climate change and build their resilience to a variety of risks – weather-related or not – can be done in a variety of ways. For example, better access to finance can enable farmers to invest more in their farms; better training can …