In the news...

Keep your small farm productive by taking good care of soil

May 2nd, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes: A small scale farmer works on the same piece of land every year and can hardly practice crop rotation or make part of the plot rest. The soil may eventually lose the required nutrients for successful crop production due to over cultivation and depletion.
A farmer …

Naturally transgenic sweet potato can be tweaked to fight plant disease, boost nutrition

May 1st, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Dr. Jan Kreuze, a plant virologist at the Center for Potato Improvement (CIP) in Lima, Peru is working on developing disease-resistant sweet potatoes that can fend off what he calls “the HIV of sweet potatoes.” His team was able to identify a protein that interferes with the sweet potatoes’ defense …

Sweet potato project improves nutrition and incomes

May 1st, 2017 / SciDev.net

B4FA Fellow Samuel Hinneh reports: Farmers and entrepreneurs in West Africa are benefiting from a project that offers improved sweet potato varieties and market access. The US$4 million project that began in April 2014 and ended last month (March 2017) was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and …

Kenya launch drought-tolerant crop varieties to boost food security

April 28th, 2017 / Coastweek.com

Kenya’s ministry of agriculture on Tuesday launched several drought resistant and high yielding crop varieties to be deployed in 21 arid and semi arid counties where hunger and malnutrition is rampant.
Principal Secretary for Livestock, Andrew Tuimur said the drought tolerant crops including beans, green grams, cassava and grain amaranth will …

Ghana’s Northern Rural Growth Programme – innovative way to make agriculture a worthy investment for rural farmers

April 28th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) sought the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) financial support to implement the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) in Ghana at a total cost of US$ 92.79 million. The programme was designed with the overall goal of ensuring equitable and sustainable reduction of poverty and …

South Africa: SUNfarming technology spells good news for food security

April 27th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana has commended a farming project, which harnesses the power of the sun to grow vegetables.
The Minister visited the SUNfarming project, situated at the North West University in Potchefstroom, on Tuesday.
The solar powered vegetable growing project was born from a partnership between SUNfarming and …

Africa’s indigenous technology for rural women economic empowerment

April 27th, 2017 / AllAfrica.com

Rural women are very closely associated with indigenous technology. According to an academic paper by Susanto Basu and David Weil titled Appropriate Technology and Growth in 1998, innovation that is based on indigenous knowledge is a pertinent driver of economic growth. What this means is that products or services and …

Talking Biotech: What’s blocking GMO crop adoption in Africa?

April 26th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Outside of South Africa, Kenya was the first place in sub-Saharan Africa to do research and development of genetically engineered crops. This week’s Talking Biotech guest, professor Matthew Harsh from Concordia University in Montreal, lived in Kenya for a year while conducting sociological and ethnographic research. He interviewed scientists, policymakers, …

Microbes, new weapon against agricultural pests in Africa

April 26th, 2017 / IPS News, US

Microscopic soil organisms could be an environmentally friendly way to control crop pests and diseases and even protect agriculture against the impacts of climate change, a leading researcher says.
Africa is battling an outbreak of trans-boundary pests and diseases like the invasive South America fall armyworm (FAW), tomato leaf miner and …

Malawi progresses GM crop trials

April 26th, 2017 / Alliance for Science, US

Bolstered by a solid and functional biosafety framework, Malawi is one of the few countries in Africa poised to move forward in commercializing genetically modified crops, with cotton, cowpea and banana now in field trials.
The Biosafety Act was passed in 2002, biosafety regulations in 2007 and the National Biotechnology and …