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Push for soil indicators to help monitor SDGs

March 27th, 2015 / SciDev.net

A group of land and soil specialists has proposed three indicators to measure land use and soil health that they say could help the UN monitor its future Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The UN’s Millennium Development Goals, which expire this year, include one indicator referring directly to land use (the proportion …

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 …

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 …

B4FA Nigerian book launch: “We need technology to improve food security”

March 26th, 2013

On 20 March, B4FA held the Nigerian launch of its new book, Insights: Africa’s future … Can biosciences contribute? According to several Nigerian leaders, the book is a welcome call for an open discussion of science, technology and agriculture.
“This is a subject dear to my heart. … I went to the web …

East African Business Week Interviews B4FA’s Prof. Chris Leaver

January 25th, 2013

This week, B4FA’s Scientific Advisor, Prof. Chris Leaver was interviewed by East African Business Week‘s Kenan Kalagho – read excerpts below to hear Prof. Leaver’s views on food security, plant genetics and GM crops…

What is Bioscience for farming in Africa?
This is a programme specifically designed to encourage informed discussion about …

$25.2m to be devoted to cassava in Africa, reports B4FA Media Fellow

December 16th, 2012

Writing in The East African,  B4FA Media Fellow Isaac Khisa reports that cassava research, breeding and production has recently received a boost in the form of a $25.2m five-year project, dubbed “Next Generation Cassava”, that is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID).

The aim of …

Tanzanian Media Fellow highlights role of U.S., EU in African GMO debate

December 3rd, 2012

In an article in Tanzania’s The Citizen, B4FA media fellow Polycarp Machira suggests that Africa is being drawn into a US/EU disagreement on the adoption of GMO’s in African countries.  Machira notes the importance of African policymakers and scientists deciding for themselves the most appropriate course to take, describing a recent …

Leading scientists analyse African innovation in Addis Ababa workshop

November 28th, 2012

Last week, a joint workshop “Governance of Science, Technologies and Innovation including Genetics for Farming, Biotechnologies, Nanotechnologies and Indigenous Knowledge” with the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), National Academies Sciences in Africa (NASAC), African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS), Malaysian Commonweatlh Study Centre, Cambridge, and B4FA was held at the African …

B4FA Media Fellow: Can plant breeding help feed Uganda?

November 26th, 2012

In two recent articles, Michael J. Ssali, a journalist at Uganda’s Daily Monitor and a B4FA Media Fellow, reported on advances in plant breeding currently taking place in Uganda to improve the country’s food supply and offered farmers insight into hybrid seeds. His articles arise from a recent B4FA genetics …

B4FA Media Fellow: ‘B4FA fires up journalists with knowledge on modern plant breeding’

November 26th, 2012

Do journalists get excited about plant breeding and genetics? And does it matter to Uganda’s population? According to Henry Luttaya, a B4FA Media Fellow who writes for Sunrise in Uganda, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’ to both questions. In his recent article, ‘B4FA fires up journalists with knowledge on …