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From journalist to passion fruit grower

March 27th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Lominda Afedraru paid a visit to John Bosco Wasswa’s passion fruit farm. Former journalist JB Wasswa was inspired by a newspaper article to venture into passion fruits … here he talks about how he and his family got started, what the challenges were and are, and his ambitions – to …

ActionAid: The charity spreading groundless fears over GM

March 24th, 2015 / The Independent, UK

Donors to one of Britain’s largest humanitarian aid charities have been unwittingly funding an aggressive anti-GM food campaign in Africa that misleadingly warns farmers that eating the crops could give them cancer. A senior official working for ActionAid in Uganda reports that the charity shows farmers pictures of rats with …

GM crops: Vital for food security? Or overestimated potential?

March 23rd, 2015 / The Independent, UK

The Independent explores the debate that still rages over genetically modified food nearly 20 years after the first commercial crops were developed. Journalists travelled to Kenya and Uganda where scientists are using GM to improve drought resistance and combat pests and diseases – some of which are unique to Africa. …

Biotech crops – fastest adopted crop technology in the world

March 23rd, 2015 / Vanguard, Nigeria

The global hectarage of biotech crops has in creased more than 100-folds from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to181.5 million hectares in 2014 making biotech crops the fastest adopted crop technology in recent times.This was revealed by the director-general of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, at …

Increase water harvesting in Africa

March 20th, 2015 / Nature

Ensuring that the world’s food needs are met by 2050 will take a doubling of global food production1. To improve agricultural yields on that scale will require a radical rethink of global water-management strategies and policies. Sub-Saharan Africa is the epicentre of this challenge with half of its current …

Heated debate in Uganda over super crops

March 18th, 2015 / Business Daily Live

Green cooking bananas, or matooke, is a national staple in Uganda but in recent years a deadly bacterial disease, known as “banana wilt”, has had a devastating effect, driving some farmers to abandon their beloved crop altogether. It has also sparked a Ugandan version of the global row over …

How air pollution affects agriculture

March 18th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports on how crops can be injured when exposed to high concentrations of various air pollutants. Injury ranges from visible markings on crop leaves, to reduced growth and yield, to premature death. In case of animals, it may lead to infection as a result of …

With iCow and M-Farm, smartphones reboot African agriculture

March 17th, 2015 / Business Daily Live

Wider smartphone and internet access has allowed technology firms to reach remote African farmers with apps providing veterinary diagnoses, crop planting guidance and virtual marketplaces. “People who don’t have access to running water or electricity have access to a phone that is more powerful than computers we had a …

Scientists set to create banana hybrids to raise yields

March 6th, 2015 / SciDev.net

A five-year project that aims to improve banana farming in Tanzania and Uganda by creating high-yielding and disease-resistant banana hybrids is to begin trials in June. The project, which received US$13.8 million funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in October last year, aims to develop banana varieties for …

Britain’s Former Environmental Secretary Owen Paterson Calls Out Greenpeace and EU Anti-GMO NGOs

March 3rd, 2015

As Britain’s Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs between 2012 and 2014, Owen Paterson was instrumental in negotiating the new EU law on GMO cultivation that broke the near-monolithic ban on GMOs in Europe and will allow individual countries to decide whether or not to grow …