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Uganda: We must increase agriculture budget to help farmers adapt to climate change

October 30th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali

Opinion: Ugandan agriculture faces real challenges that can no longer be ignored. We must allocate more money to agriculture in order to help the farmers adapt to the rigors of climate change, investing in irrigation systems, rainwater harvesting, valley dams and biotech research into drought-tolerant crop varieties.
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Tanzania to start confined field trials of drought-resistant GMO maize in 2016

October 30th, 2015 / AllAfrica

Tanzania plans to conduct trials for new varieties of genetically modified maize that can survive recurrent droughts and pests. The confined field trials, to start in April 2016, will be conducted in the semi-arid area of Makutupora in Dodoma to assess the potential of the maize varieties to produce high …

Uganda: New satellite data technology to provide farmers with information

October 30th, 2015 / Daily Monitor

Lack of up-to-date information, especially agronomical and weather updates, has always been a big challenge for Ugandan farmers. Now the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and partners have launched a new satellite-based technology project, providing timely, accurate crop-management information via smart phones to farmers. Read …

Help improve online data on agricultural biodiversity

October 26th, 2015 / Biodiversity International

In 2015, the GBIF Secretariat and Bioversity International created a ‘Task Group on Data Fitness for Use in Agrobiodiversity’ to improve the quality and quantity of data on the GBIF portal that are important to agricultural biodiversity research and policy communities. These include data on agricultural biodiversity monitoring, gaps in …

Facing drought-induced food shortage, Zimbabwe confronts GMO dilemma

October 26th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Zimbabwe is facing a crippling maize (staple in Zimbabwe) shortage. Vice President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has revealed that the cash strapped government needs at least US$300 million to import 700 000 tons of maize to meet national consumption. And According to the World Food Program (WFP), Zimbabwe’s food crisis …

We need the farms of the future today

October 26th, 2015 / Newsweek, US

The world population is expected to grow to 9.6 billion by 2050, and according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), if we want to avoid mass malnutrition, we’re going to have to up our food production by 70 percent by 2050. The problem is most …

Delivering Sustainable Development Goals in Africa

October 23rd, 2015 / International Policy Digest, US

Achieving the SDGs effectively, in a fast, efficient, impactful and lasting way will require innovative action from all. The World Bank reports that in Africa, a 10% increase in crop yields translates to approximately a 7% reduction in poverty. Growth in agriculture is at least two to four times more …

Using radioactive material to increase Africa’s crop yields

October 23rd, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

A tech that uses radioactive material is increasing crop yields in some nations. It has raised tea yields by 17 per cent in Tanzania and aided water use in Ghana.An expert hopes other African nations would adopt it to spur food security. Read …

UNR researchers seek to improve teff grain production

October 23rd, 2015 / Carson Now, US

“Teff is now in high demand as a highly nutritious, gluten-free grain suitable for consumption by gluten-intolerant persons. … As demand for this crop increases it make sense for us to develop better varieties with increased drought tolerance and yield stability under drier conditions. Another advantage of teff is that …