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Growing sunflower helped me invest

June 24th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Having lost a husband and with young children to look after, life was uncertain for Rose Atim until she started growing sunflower. She told her story to B4FA Fellow Michael J Ssali. View …

Poor seeds hold back Tanzania’s cotton

June 23rd, 2015 / East Africa Business Week, Uganda

Seeds rank as the very basis of agriculture production, but use of uncertified seeds is one of the major reasons for low cotton output in Tanzania. “Despite challenges, for the long term sustainability of the cotton industry, the quality of seeds for planting should not be compromised,” John Baffes, an …

100 multipurpose crop planters for women smallholder farmers

June 23rd, 2015 / YouTube

B4FA Fellow Noah Nash reports: the introduction of the multi-purpose crop planter seeks to address the inefficiencies in production, as well as cost of labour challenges among women smallholder farmers. USAID Ghana through the Agriculture Technology Transfer project has presented 100 multi-purpose crop planters to women smallholder farmers in the …

Ancient perennial wheat relative resists diseases and builds soil

June 23rd, 2015 / Civileats.com

Kernza’s arrival has been a long time coming. The new grain variety from the Land Institute is derived from an ancient form of intermediate wheatgrass, a perennial that is actually a distant relative of wheat. And there’s a widespread team of researchers hoping their work will pave the way for …

Access to seeds, 2015

June 22nd, 2015 / Access to Seeds Foundation

The end of 2015 will see the publication of the first Access to Seeds Index. This will show the extent to which the seed industry uses its knowledge, technologies and varieties to benefit smallholder farmers. The Methodology Report 2015 defines exactly how the Index will do this: what we measure, …

Sweet potatoes become food of choice in arid areas

June 22nd, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

County governments and organizations working in Kenya’s arid areas are expressing appetite for sweet potatoes in a bid to balance between feeding population and livestock, as the versatile crop exhibits faster growing and replication traits. Read …

Is plant science the answer to improved food security?

June 22nd, 2015 / Earth Island Journal, US

In a world of climate change and growing global population, some researchers believe plants are key to adaptation. Nigel Taylor is attempting to genetically engineer a virus-resistant version of the plant, and is working with researchers in Uganda and Kenya, where cassava is a staple crop. Once created, this plant …

Biodiversity reduces human, wildlife diseases and crop pests

June 21st, 2015 / Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, US

With infectious diseases increasing worldwide, the need to understand how and why disease outbreaks occur is becoming increasingly important. Looking for answers, a team of biologists found broad evidence that supports the controversial ‘dilution effect hypothesis,’ which suggests that biodiversity limits outbreaks of disease among humans, wildlife and crops. …

Drought solutions that can be tested, then scaled

June 21st, 2015 / Christian Science Monitor, US

“Israel is very much a beta test site for solving these problems in a small country,” says Glenn Yago, founder of the Financial Innovation Lab at the California-based Milken Institute, who is fostering increased Israeli investment in water projects in California. “Drip irrigation, desalination, [wastewater] recycling, and aquifer remediation – …

Pay attention to improving soil fertility

June 21st, 2015 / Leadership, Nigeria

Dr Nditoi Idem, the Head of Crop Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Uyo, has urged the government to pay more attention to improving soil fertility. He advised that applying both organic and inorganic fertiliser to the soil adequately could enrich it and boost production. Read …