In the news...

Pesticides: what we ought to know

October 8th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
Pests are a big nuisance to farmers because, among other things, they reduce crop production.
To overcome the problem, farmers often resort to buying pesticides which are poisonous chemicals manufactured to kill the pests. They may be dusted or sprayed on the crop to prevent pest attack.
The …

Africa bets on technology to lure youth to farming

October 5th, 2018 / Reuters

“A simple text to a farmer just to say, ‘The weather outlook for the next three days is this’ can fundamentally change what they do.”
Africa has the world’s youngest population – 60 percent of its 1.2 billion people are under 25 – but only 3 million jobs are created …

Improved cowpea in the offing for Ghanaian smallholders

October 5th, 2018 / SciDev.net

“These novel cowpeas will sustain the cowpea industry and provide foundation for further breeding and improvement of the crop.”
Aaron Asare, Ghana’s University of Cape Coast.
Ghanaian smallholders could by the end of this year get access to new, disease-resistant cowpea varieties that mature early and improve yields, says an expert who …

Africa sets sights on tackling foodborne disease burden

October 5th, 2018 / Food Safety News

Co-An index to help tackle the burden of foodborne diseases in Africa launched this week.
The African Food Safety Index (AFSI) was unveiled by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), with the African Union Commission, CGIAR A4NH, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., and the World …

Scientists design a more productive maize to cope with future climates

October 5th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

An international research team has found that they can increase the productivity of maize by targeting the enzyme in charge of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Dr. Robert Sharwood from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis at The Australian National University (ANU), said they developed a …

China to train African scientists as part of $60-billion development plan

October 4th, 2018 / Nature, UK

China wants to train Africa’s next generation of scientists. Its lofty goal is to improve African science in fields from agriculture and climate change to quantum physics and artificial intelligence.
The training is one element of a much larger plan adopted by Chinese and African leaders at the third Summit of …

Nigerian FG commences field trials on GMO crops

October 4th, 2018 / The Guardian, Nigeria

The Federal Government has granted permits for confined field trials on genetically modified maize, rice, cassava, sorghum and cowpea to ascertain ability to resist insect attack in the country.
Country Coordinator of Open Forum on Agriculture Biotechnology (OFAB), Dr. Rose Gidado, told The Guardian that the permits were granted after in-depth …

SARI applies science in addressing post food losses

October 4th, 2018 / Daily Guide, Ghana

Scientists from the Savannah Agriculture Research Institute (SARI) under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have introduced and exposed close to 300 farmers to two improved varieties of cowpea in the Binduri and Bawku West Districts of the Upper East Region.
The beneficiary farmers are those who farm along …

Pioneering biologists create a new crop through genome editing

October 3rd, 2018 / Phys.org

Crops such as wheat and maize have undergone a breeding process lasting thousands of years, in the course of which mankind has gradually modified the properties of wild plants into highly cultivated variants. One motive was higher yields. A side effect of this breeding has been a reduction in genetic …

New project to promote employability for youth in agriculture

October 3rd, 2018 / IPP Media

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the NEPAD Agency launched the Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) project.
Over 80 stakeholders from all 9 provinces gathered for a two-day inception workshop.
The project was officially launched by Mr Joe Kgobokoe, Deputy Director General, Policy, Planning & Monitoring & …