In the news...

In GMO debate, Uganda seeks to balance hope and fear

February 20th, 2018 / Christian Science Monitor, US

B4FA Fellow Christopher Bendana writes:
After publicly supporting a bill that would have legalized genetically modified crops, Uganda’s president is now calling for additional measures to address anti-GMO activists’ concerns.
Scientists in Uganda had hoped it was the dawn of a new era in food security for a drought-prone region.
In October, Uganda’s …

Rationalizing governance of genetically modified products in developing countries

February 20th, 2018 / Nature, UK

Ever-more powerful genetic technologies, such as genome-editing endonucleases and marker-assisted breeding, continue to facilitate the development of genetically modified (GM) crops engineered with complex traits, such as, nutritional quality, climatic resilience and stacked disease-tolerance mechanisms. But in many developing countries, the uptake of these GM products is being jeopardized by …

The future of food: we need to transform agriculture for good

February 19th, 2018 / Food Tank

We need to transform agriculture for good!
Like human societies, agriculture is at a crossroads. We can either enforce and protect monocultures or facilitate and celebrate diversity. It is not a question of whether the Green Revolution has successfully fed most of us (it has), but whether this model can nourish …

FAO launches guide to tackle Fall Armyworm in Africa head-on

February 19th, 2018 / Reliefweb

Faced with the infestation of millions of hectares of maize, most in the hands of smallholder farmers, and the relentless spread of Fall Armyworm (FAW) across most of Africa, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched today a comprehensive guide on the integrated pest management of the FAW on …

Wild crops could save chickpeas

February 19th, 2018 / Reuters

They are nutritious, versatile and a dietary staple for millions of people from South Asia to Ethiopia, but scientists have warned that the humble chickpea is under threat from climate impacts such as higher temperatures, drought and pests.
The key to saving the chickpea could lie with a project cross-breeding domestic …

Crop diversity for human nutrition and health benefits

February 16th, 2018 / World Agriculture

REPORT
Summary: Alongside dramatic increases in crop production over the last 50 years, global food systems have become more dependent on a few major `staple’ crops – just three cereals now provide about 60% of plant-based human energy intake.
There is compelling evidence that diverse diets that include fruits, vegetables, nuts and …

Why sorghum is valued

February 16th, 2018 / The Star, Kenya

Sorghum is a flowering plant in the family of grass botanically known as poaceae. There are 25 species of sorghum in the world.
There are species grown for grain, while others are grown for fodder to feed livestock. Most are drought- and heat-tolerant, and the grains are used as food in …

Why a global decline in genetic crop variety matters for the future of food

February 16th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Potatoes are native to the Andes, and over 4,000 varieties are grown there now. They come in numerous shapes, sizes and colors – red, yellow, purple, striped and spotted. A colorful mound of them resembles the bold, burnished colors of locally woven shawls.
This wide array of types is an example …

Trust, ease and transparency: how one microfinance institution is reaching pural farmers

February 16th, 2018 / AgriLinks

In Kenya, smallholder farmers lack access to financial services and face high barriers to accessing commercial banks and community lending institutions. These institutions rarely approve loans to smallholder farmers or have a slow turnaround time for approval, preventing farmers from getting capital when they need it in the agricultural cycle. …

How climate change is fuelling innovation in Kenya

February 14th, 2018 / Smithsonian Magazine, US

A new generation of start ups are working to help farmers in a region that faces myriad challenges
On a shopping trip to the rice-trading hub of Mwea, Rigu had an insight. In front of each rice processor’s storefront there were heaps of chaff, the almost weightless husk that is separated …