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Striga – how to keep the killer weed off your farm

June 20th, 2017 / Daily Trust, Nigeria

Striga, also known as witch weed, is a parasitic weed that negatively affects the productivity of crops like maize, sorghum, millet and upland rice in sub-Saharan Africa.
Statistics from the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) show that striga infests about 40 million hectares of smallholder farmlands in the region and causes …

Future of corn: genetics could improve maize’s sustainability and productivity

June 20th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A new, much more detailed reference genome for maize, or corn, as it is called in the U.S., [was] published in Nature [June 12]. In its accounting of the sequence of DNA letters in the plant’s 10 chromosomes, the new version helps us understand as never before why maize, and …

How to boost coffee yields amid harsh weather conditions

June 20th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru reports:
Coffee is a major agricultural commodity in Africa, including Uganda. It is where most people derive their livelihood because it is mainly grown for commercial benefits.
The main type of coffee produced in Uganda is Robusta and it grows well in low altitude areas of central, eastern, …

Why did Tanzanian farmers demand growing GM crops?

June 19th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports:
An online weekly newsletter, Crop Biotech Update, reported on June 6, 2017, that farmers in Mwanza Province, North Eastern Tanzania urged their government to hasten delivery of GM crops which they said would save them from crop failure.
The maize, cassava, and cotton farmers whose crop has …

Aflasafe products tested in Ghana for aflatoxin control in maize and groundnut

June 19th, 2017 / Africa Rising

Aflatoxin contamination of maize and groundnut by Aspergillus section Flavi fungi is perennial in Ghana. Consumption of foods with high aflatoxin content can cause acute liver cirrhosis and death, while sub-lethal chronic exposure may cause cancer, stunting in children, immune system suppression, and impaired food conversion. Animal productivity likewise becomes …

New initiative to accelerate crop improvement for food security in Africa

June 19th, 2017 / Biosciences Africa

A new initiative to speed up crop improvement in sub-Saharan Africa – the Alliance to Accelerate Crop Improvement in Africa (ACACIA) was launched today. The alliance has been established by founding members, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) through the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-ILRI (BecA-ILRI) Hub in Kenya and …

How do Nigerian farmers understand climate change?

June 19th, 2017 / CGIAR/CCAFS

Scientists have been greatly concerned about the potential impacts of climate change on agriculture, and about the impacts, adaptation and mitigation strategies of farmers in Africa. In a recently published article, scientists from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) East Africa, and the Department …

Agric experts laud ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ policy

June 16th, 2017 / Graphic Online, Ghana

Agriculture experts from West Africa attending a conference on the West Africa Seed Programme (WASP) have lauded the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs agriculture policy, describing it as revolutionary enough to boost productivity in the sector.
They have, however, observed that quality seeds would be crucial to the success of …

How to practice climate smart farming with ease

June 16th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Farming and environment The continued unpredictable weather pattern is largely due to environmental degradation that impacts negatively on farming. But whereas farmers are directly affected by the effects they have not been mindful of conserving the environment.
“You cry of drought, lack of water but what efforts are you putting up …

Africa soil health

June 16th, 2017 / CABI

Poor soil fertility is a key constraint to improving farm productivity and livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. It is now widely recognized that increased fertilizer use, integrated with other soil fertility management practises is the way forward. The Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) brings together experts in soil health, and we …