In the news...

The future of plant disease management

April 9th, 2019 / Sustainable, Secure Food

Plant scientists are looking for ways to help plants withstand infection. One of the best ways is to find plants that seem to have their own resistance. You might know individuals who never get a cold or flu – their immune systems seem to manage infections better than others. It’s …

Why African farmers must consider drought tolerant crops

March 25th, 2019 / Africa.com

The latest UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s annual Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition Report highlighted drought as one of the key factors contributing to the continuing rise in the number of hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa. And in South Africa, the Government’s Crop Estimates Committee announced that the country …

International project working to beat wheat rust

March 25th, 2019 / Weekly Times, Australia

A JOINT venture project between the CSIRO and a US foundation has had recent success with a field trial of a wheat variety stacked with five wheat rust resistance genes.

The collaboration between CSIRO and the University of Minnesota known as 2Blades has recently demonstrated strong field resistance to stem rust …

Is agribusiness the problem or the solution?

March 18th, 2019 / Africa.com

For two centuries, all too many discussions about hunger and resource scarcity has been haunted by the ghost of Parson Thomas Malthus. Malthus warned that rising populations would exhaust resources, especially those needed for food production. Exponential population growth would outstrip food output.

Humanity now faces a major challenge as global …

Let’s make farming attractive to youths

March 18th, 2019 / The Sunday Mail, Zimbabwe

We need to realise that if Zimbabwe is ever to address the perennial food-related challenges such as food insecurity, malnutrition, and increasing food prices, in a sustainable manner, there is urgent need to make sure that more and younger people are incentivised to go into farming and remain there. Read …

Using genetic engineering to turn annual crops into perennials could bolster global food production

March 18th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The last several decades have witnessed a remarkable increase in crop yields — doubling major grain crops since the 1950s. But a significant part of the world still suffers from malnutrition, and these gains in grains and other crops probably won’t be enough to feed a growing global population.

These facts …

Population explosion: The main agricultural snag

March 18th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Michael Ssali, B4FA Fellow, writes:

Crop production is bound to be a big challenge given the current circumstances under which farmers work. 

One of the immediate challenges is growing land fragmentation due to uncontrolled population growth. 

Traditional inheritance rules in many communities dictate that every child gets a piece of the garden when …

Ethiopia needs to improve production of its “golden crop” Teff. Here’s how

March 11th, 2019 / The Conversation

Teff, an ancient grain from Ethiopia and Eritrea, has been growing in popularity across the world in recent years. Huge demand meant prices skyrocketed and the Ethiopian government eventually slapped a ban on exports which it kept in place for six years. The aim was to enable Ethiopians, who rely on it as a staple …

Get good seeds for planting

March 11th, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:

As we begin this rainy season, many crop farmers across the country are preparing to plant seeds. Seeds are a major input in crop production.If the seeds are of poor quality, the farmer will not get high yields even if the soil is good and the …

How genetic engineering can help Africa cope with climate change by tweaking crops, animals

March 3rd, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Climate change will have a dramatic impact on agricultural production in Africa.  Over the last century, temperatures across the continent increased by around 0.5 degrees Centigrade. If this trend continues as expected, extreme heat waves and droughts are likely to become more common. Climate estimates suggest that there could be an …