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Gene banks are forever

May 18th, 2017 / Crop Trust

There have been mergers and name changes, budget crunches and strategic re-thinks for the individual centers. And, from 1971 when it was founded, lots of structuring and restructuring – with the obligatory accompanying re-branding – for the club to which they all belong. I remember when it used to be …

Nigeria: Armyworms invade maize farms

May 18th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Farmers in Benue State are worried as army worms wreak havoc on newly cultivated maize farms across the state.
Similar incident is being experienced in some parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as farmers are recording isolated cases of armyworms attacks, which affected some farms particularly farms at the outskirt …

Doubled-up legume technologies in conservation agriculture show potential for scale up

May 18th, 2017 / Africa Rising

Smallholder farming systems in southern Africa are faced with challenges such as declining soil fertility, low productivity and profitability and the increased need to adapt to climate variability and change. Sustainable intensification of both legume- and maize-based farming systems is needed to increase food, nutrition and income security for smallholders.
Since …

Dependence on food aid, foreign donors will not help Nigeria

May 17th, 2017 / Business Day

Researchers from various tertiary institutions have expressed reservations over the political will of governments in Nigeria to effectively tackle the issue of food security as manifested in the high rate of continued dependence on food aid from developed countries and foreign donors.
According to them, ‎hunger will not be removed by …

Overexpression of galactinol synthase gene improves drought tolerance in rice

May 17th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Enhancing drought tolerance without grain yield penalty has been a challenge for plant breeders and crop improvement. A team of researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia, and various universities and research institutions in Japan evaluated the Arabidopsis thaliana galactinol synthase 2 gene (AtGolS2). The team overexpressed …

Action plan developed to tackle fall armyworm in Africa

May 16th, 2017 / SciDev.net

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: Research that explores the interaction between fall armyworm life patterns and insecticide spray timing is urgently needed to tackle the pest currently devastating maize in Africa, scientists say.
The fall armyworm, scientifically called Spodoptera frugiperda, is native to the Americas, and attacks maize and a variety …

Efforts towards improving sorghum varieties

May 16th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

In Ethiopia, teff, wheat, maize, sorghum and barley are grown on nearly three quarters of the total arable plots of land. The production and productivity of these crops have shown increment due to the implementation of rigorous researches, provision of various inputs, and application of modern agricultural technologies among other …

Disastrous tomato pest, Tuta Absoluta, returns

May 16th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Nigeria: The Gombe State Agricultural Development Project, ADP, says that the tomato pest, Tuta Absoluta, has seriously affected tomato harvests in three of the state’s 11 local government areas.
Tuta absoluta, a destructive tomato pest, ravaged many tomato farms across Nigeria in 2016 causing an astronomical increase in the market price …

Adapting to climate smart agriculture by Ugandan farmer

May 15th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports: It is now a fact that we are locked into global warming and the current changes in climatic patterns have a direct impact on rainfall variability as well as the frequency of weather extremes. Our TV screens have displayed dying livestock due to severe drought …

SA suffers from fragmented policymaking in agriculture and food security

May 15th, 2017 / BIZCommunity, South Africa

One of the findings from the entre of Excellence in Food Security’s (CoE) Agro-food value chain, regulation, and formal and informal livelihoods project, coordinated by Dr Shane Godfrey and Dr Gareth Haysom from the University of Cape Town, is that, despite much of the power in the South African food …