In the news...

Enhancing powdery mildew resistance in wheat

August 17th, 2017 / ISAAA, US

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) suffers significant yield losses due to powdery mildew, a major fungal disease caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt). The enhanced disease resistance1 (EDR1) gene plays a negative role in the defense response against powdery mildew in Arabidopsis thaliana, making EDR1 a target for improving …

Tanzania: Ambitious new plan aims to double production of coffee

August 17th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Coffee production in Tanzania could more than double in four years’ time if an action programme to increase the competitiveness of small holder farmers is successfully implemented.
The ten-year programme launched in 2011/2012 aims to increase coffee production and quality from 50,000 tonnes a year by then to 150,000 tonnes in …

Nigeria: The National Directorate of Employment trains 400 youths on agricultural skills

August 17th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in collaboration with C. Hassan Consultancy Ltd. has commenced a refresher training of 400 unemployed youths in Kaduna state on agricultural skills for gainful employment.
The training, according to the Director-General of NDE, Dr. Nasiru M. Ladan is to impart on the trainees, skills such …

How biotechnology can help Nigeria reduce its agricultural import bill

August 15th, 2017 / Nigerian Tribune

Opinion: The Nigerian government needs to expedite actions towards the adoption of biotechnology in order to grow the agricultural sector. Read …

Focus on challenges that discourage youth from farming, says report

August 14th, 2017 / MyJoyOnline

The agenda to attract educated young people into farming “has to focus on the challenges that discourage them from farming,” according to a report by African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET).
The report, titled “Agriculture Powering Africa’s Economic Transformation,” looks at how to make farming attractive to young people. These challenges …

Kenya to provide farmers with insect resistant Bt cotton seeds in pilot trials

August 11th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A genetically modified cotton seed variety with high resistance to the Boll worm infestation is due to be released to the farmers in Kenya soon.
Director of the Thika based Horticultural Research Institute and lead Researcher Dr Charles Waturu, said the new variety will be released to farmers in dry irrigation …

Why do consumers prefer organic to conventional produce when both use pesticides?

August 11th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

What gets overlooked by [activist] groups are the reports from the USDA itself that show that even organic foods have pesticide residues on them — some are synthetic pesticides and some, like Spinosad, are ones approved for organic uses. Feel comfortable, though, because that same USDA data showed safe levels …

“Making farming cool” equals to opportunities for young people

August 11th, 2017 / News Ghana

How to make farming attractive to young people is fast becoming a major talking point in development circles. In a context where farming populations are ageing and young people, especially young graduates, seem repelled by the drudgery and low technology associated with African farming, there is a sense that work …

Plants love microbes – and so do farmers

August 10th, 2017 / UQ News, Australia

Increasingly, farmers want to capitalise on beneficial microbes to support their crops, and science can assist the design of effective crop probiotics to make crops healthier, hardier and more productive, by increasing their resilience to pests, diseases and environmental stresses, and improving access to nutrients. Read …

Ethiopia: new directive breaks ground to incentivize commercial farmers

August 10th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The Board of the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) has approved a directive that was designed to incentivise commercial farmers by providing lower lease fees and extended contract periods.
The directive that was approved last week was drafted by the Ethiopian Horticulture Development & Agriculture Investment Authority (EHDAIA), which was established six …