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Uganda: we need crop intensification

June 18th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

A socio-economic survey has shown the need for farmers as well as policy makers to make use of research to enhance crop intensification. While it helps the former boost productivity, it provides the latter with evidence to identify the constraints at individual, household, community, market, and policy levels. The survey was …

Lock and key for potential control of GMOs

June 17th, 2015 / UC Berkeley, US

UC Berkeley researchers have developed an easy way to put bacteria under a molecular lock and key in order to contain its accidental spread. The method involves a series of genetic mutations that render the microbe inactive unless the right molecule is added to enable its viability. “This approach is …

Bringing services to the farmers

June 17th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Like other regions in Uganda, West Nile is endowed with resources to enable successful farming. B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru visited a research institute that is supporting the farmers to boost their productivity. Its programmes, which the scientists are working on, include crop breeding. The focus is on varieties such as …

App connects Kenyan farmers with climate-smart seeds

June 16th, 2015 / AllAfrica.com

A new app launched in Kenya could help millions of farmers adapt to climate change by offering information on the best seeds for changing growing conditions, agriculture experts said. The free “MbeguChoice” app is the first tool of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, and was developed by a 25-year-old Kenyan …

Orange sweet potato reduces diarrhea in African children

June 16th, 2015 / IFPRI, US

A new study has found that orange sweet potato (OSP) reduced both the prevalence and duration of diarrhea in young children in Mozambique. The OSP was conventionally bred to provide more vitamin A in the diet. In Africa, more than 40 percent of children aged under five are estimated to …

Web portal provides open data on food and nutrition security

June 16th, 2015 / IFPRI, US

“The portal will host a broad set of open data related to food and nutrition security and early warning mechanisms, as well as opportunities for dialogue among policymakers, researchers, the private sector, and other stakeholders,” said Maximo Torero, Director of the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division at the International Food …

Kenya: fanya juu terraces restore soils, yields and optimism

June 15th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

Over 50,000 smallholder farmers in Eastern and Central Kenya are recording a more than doubling of yields and reduced soil erosion after embracing a soil conservation scheme that involves digging of trenches in hillside to trap runaway water and soil. The scheme christened fanya juu which is practiced in areas …

Ethiopia: 52 of 100 seed varieties get approval

June 15th, 2015 / Addis Fortune, Ethiopia

The National Seed Approval Committee approved only 52 of the over 100 seed varieties submitted to it by federal and regional research institutions following their research which took as long as 12 years. Thirty-four of the varieties were developed at federally controlled research centres, while the rest were developed by …

Tanzania: farmers lead campaign to revive coffee

June 15th, 2015 / Tanzania Daily News

For several years now, Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) has been working hard to support groups of farmers to introduce new improved coffee varieties that produce high yields within a short time. TaCRI says the new varieties are also resistant to diseases like Coffee Berry Diseases (CBD). Inter-cropping of the …

Increasing smallholder farmer production, nutrition, and income

June 14th, 2015 / The Ethiopian Herald

Increasing smallholder farmer production through the adoption of modern agricultural practices and technologies is a key to meeting productivity targets. The proper technologies can ameliorate the efficiency of seed and fertilizer use, as well as reduce labour time and post-harvest losses, as they increase grain quality and incomes.  Read …