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Coffee farmers on climate front line

May 15th, 2015 / SciDevNet, UK

An estimated 70 per cent of the world’s coffee production comes from small-scale producers in an industry with some 25 million growers. But as climate change hits, many of them could lose their livelihoods as they simply cannot move their production to higher, cooler land. Read more
AllAfrica reports …

Initiative aims to safeguard citrus crops in Kenya and Tanzania

May 14th, 2015 / African Farming, UK

US$1.3mn initiative has been launched in Kenya to address issues affecting citrus fruit production. The project, which will be run by the Nairobi-based International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and its partners, will be tackle the twin problems of insect pests and diseases in Kenya and Tanzania. …

Local initiative to manage coffee wilt disease

May 14th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

One of the longest-surviving crop diseases in Uganda is the Coffee Wilt Disease (CWD), a fungal infection that wiped out more than 12 million robusta coffee trees in central and western Uganda regions towards the end of the 20th Century. Adams Byaruhanga, a resident of Kikasa village, Bukalasa Parish in …

Solution to virus-threatened African cassava faces anti-GMO protests

May 14th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Cassava, Uganda’s major staple after matooke, feeds over half a billion people in the world with Africa contributing to about 50% of the global production. But the crop is threatened, and it appears that only the only solution rests with advanced biotechnology to create virus resistant transgenic varieties. Read …

Plant breeder boosts soybean diversity

May 13th, 2015 /

It took decades of painstaking work, but research geneticist Ram Singh managed to cross a popular soybean variety (“Dwight” Glycine max) with a related wild perennial plant that grows like a weed in Australia, producing the first fertile soybean plants that are resistant to soybean rust, soybean cyst nematode and …

India eases stance on GM crop trials

May 13th, 2015 / Nature, UK

Five years ago, India was a hostile place for researchers testing genetically modified (GM) crops. Its government barred the commercial planting of a transgenic aubergine (a vegetable locally known as brinjal) after protests from anti-GM activists. But under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi India is changing course. In …

Importance of good seed

May 13th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali reports “One of the issues holding back our country’s agricultural production is farmers’ failure to access good quality seed… Many farmers don’t buy seeds and lack correct information about the advantages of planting good quality seed. Yet under the National Agricultural Research Organization (Naro), several research …

Cameroon: food security – new variety of leguminous plants available

May 12th, 2015 /

Women from the Centre, North and West Regions in Cameroon are learning how to diversify sources of revenue by baking biscuits using beans, soya beans, groundnuts and peanut flour. The flour is made out of a new varieties of leguminous plants rich in calcium, protein and iron. Read …

Attack by two parasites reduces cattle death

May 12th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

A calf infected by two parasites of the same species is more likely to live and develop immunity against the deadly East Coast Fever than one attacked by a single parasite a new study says. The findings of the study which could offer real insights in understanding, and taming a …

Soil erosion may threaten global food security

May 12th, 2015 / SciDevNet

Soils are being lost faster than they are being naturally produced in many parts of the world. In addition, there is increased pressure on farmland from non-food uses, such as crops being grown for biofuels, and there may be future shortages of rock phosphate, which is used to make fertiliser. …

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