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Seed selection tool for Kenyan farmers goes live

September 23rd, 2015 / Farmbizafrica.com

Informed by the need to guide farmers on proper seed choice, the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) in partnership with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) have developed an online application, MbeguChoice, which already boasts a database of over 200 commercialized crop varieties, including 61 varieties …

Kenya: New coffee variety Ruiru 11 is high yielding

September 22nd, 2015 / The Star, Kenya

The grafted Ruiru 11 coffee variety will lead to increased output by reducing production costs by 30 per cent, Coffee Research Institute director Elijah Gichuru, has said. And unlike the conventional varieties, the grafted Ruiru 11 has more yield ranging between 15 and 20 kg per tree per year. …

Ghana: Educating farmers on the misuse of chemical fertiliser

September 22nd, 2015 / Viasat 1 News, Ghana

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports: Akdi Christopher has advocated educating farmers on the potential dangers in the misuse of chemical fertilizer on crops and the soil. According to him, if not managed properly, chemical fertilizer can lead to crop distraction, negative growth effects, and high pollution levels in water …

Nigerian researchers release two new maize hybrids

September 22nd, 2015 / The Vanguard, Nigeria

B4FA Fellow Jimoh Babatunde reports: Two new hybrids of maize that will help improve productivity and income of farmers in Nigeria have been released at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IART), Obafemi Awolowo University in Ibadan. The new maize hybrids – Ife Maizehyb-07 and Ife Maizehyb-08 were …

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 …